Building Resilience: helping nonprofits to create more equitable communities and a healthier planet

Vinay Nair
29 May 2024

Today, Lightful is releasing our Building Resilience Impact Report. As the world around us continues to change at a rapid pace, we have been working to better meet the needs of nonprofits, so that we can all meet the needs of the current moment. I’m so grateful to my colleagues and all our stakeholders who have contributed towards making publishing this important report a reality.

Lightful’s mission is to help nonprofits become better storytellers, build trust and raise more money. Today’s report that combines our Theory of Change, our impact across 2023, and the results of our first five-year longitudinal study, showcases how nonprofits benefit from our learning programmes and our digital and AI-powered tools. The Building Resilience Impact Report comes at a critical time for philanthropists, trusts and foundations looking how better to support the sector further.

Now is the time for collective action

The world is witnessing a growing urgency for equity and justice. Communities across the world are living in a state of multiple crises: environmental, economic, health and social. No corner of the globe is immune from the consequences of rising global temperatures, food and water insecurity, conflict and financial instability. Now is the time for collective action. Now is our time to come together. And it starts with the world’s most powerful changemakers - nonprofits and civil society organisations.

These organisations stand at the forefront of transformation, building a better future for people and the planet. But in order to do their work, they need the skills and tools to better tell their story, reach new audiences, build trust, and raise more funds. When faced with significant challenges such as increased demand for their services, staff recruitment and retention, and a lack of essential skills, it’s difficult to keep up - especially in a rapidly evolving digital world. Indeed, digital inequity is disempowering the sector, preventing it from reaching its potential, and delivering even more impact. At Lightful, we are dedicated to changing this, providing small and medium sized nonprofits with digital capacity building skills, alongside digital and AI-powered tools, so that we are increasing their durability and #BuildingResilience of nonprofits.

The power of digital resilience

Now, more than ever, in a world where Artificial Intelligence, social media and digital tools are integral components of everyday life, building the digital resilience of grassroots organisations is not just necessary; it's imperative. As digital interactions become more important, expectations for seamless digital experiences are constantly increasing and charities, like any other organisations, must meet these expectations. Digital equity is essential for strengthening the nonprofit sector, building more equitable communities and a healthier planet.

What do we mean by building resilience? Resilience is the ability to adapt to and recover from changes, challenges and adversity. And we believe that digital can enable this organisational resilience. By leveraging the power of digital, they can adapt to new technologies like AI, modernise communications and fundraising, and advance organisational efficiency.

Our commitment

Our vision is a world where nonprofits have the power to create more equitable communities and a healthier planet - and digital has a huge role to play in supporting nonprofits to build that future. But those organisations with little to no digital literacy must keep up with current trends, to prevent widening skills and knowledge gaps within the sector. It’s time to level up the playing field for nonprofits, amplifying their ability to effect change.

Bridging the digital skills gap means shifting power to grassroots organisations and increasing their durability. They are the experts in their work, they can be the megaphones for their community, they are the agents of change. What they do need are the skills, tools and support to continue their work and drive it forward. And that’s where we come in, empowering nonprofits with the digital skills to communicate, fundraise, and campaign more effectively. And it’s working. We’re building confident, digital ambassadors across the sector, and across the globe through our digital learning programme, BRIDGE.

Lightful's longitudinal impact study key insights

2023 was an important year for Lightful. We have now worked with over 3,000 nonprofits to increase their resilience through digital with our BRIDGE (Building Resilience in Digital Growth and Engagement) programme; we developed our ethical approach to AI, whilst creating innovative new AI-powered digital tools for nonprofits; and we refreshed our Theory of Change to better track and measure this impact. Off the back of that, we ran our inaugural longitudinal impact study, surveying nonprofit participants from over the last five years.


The impact of BRIDGE does, in fact, last - as the vast majority of participants (84 percent) use the skills they learned during BRIDGE at least weekly. The responses showed that participation leads to an increase in digital confidence across key areas including strategy, storytelling, campaigning and fundraising. The impact of the increased capacity in digital skills led to respondents feeling that they had a more positive impact on their community, and that it made them more effective within their organisations.

At Lightful, we know that organisations with higher levels of digital maturity deliver more impact online and offline. But don’t just take my word for it. I hope you will enjoy reading and learning about what Lightful has achieved in 2023 and, critically, the impact our work has had on charities for the past five years. You can access our Building Resilience report here.

Join us in #BuildingResilience of the sector

Our role now is to keep listening to charities, keep responding to their needs, and keep growing this incredible community of empowered nonprofit digital ambassadors. With your support, with the support of some of the biggest leaders in philanthropy, we can continue to equip this sector with the skills, tools and support it needs to lead us into a brighter, more equitable future.

We believe in community-led change, that’s why Lightful was created - to ensure that those doing the greatest good have access to the best technology to support their work. This sector matters, their digital resilience matters. So let’s invest in it. Download our full report here or get in touch with us at partnerships@lightful.com and keep up the momentum on #BuildingResilience of the sector.

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