FAQs for Charities

By registering with CITA you will have access to the following benefits:

  • A pool of independent, professional IT staff who will work with you to help you harness the full potential of technology to meet your aims
  • A help desk to support you if you have any questions or need clarification
  • The CITA Community – a networking community across social media platforms that will help you better understand how to improve your use of information technology
  • Occasional receptions and social gatherings to network and build relationships with other charities, volunteers, partners and CITA staff members.
  • A range of technology services and solutions from our partners which have been validated by CITA and are provided at discounted rates.

CITA has an expansive bank of volunteer IT professionals with wide and varied skills and experiences. Through the registration process, CITA will carefully match your needs to the right volunteer – an appropriate independent IT professional who can help you understand how to get better technology and/or use your current technology better.

Most probably – we can.

CITA has worked with charities that have needed help with issues such as cloud migration, GDPR or Office 365,  right through to delivering or project managing important integration projects. Areas that are common in terms of help and support include:

  • Cloud migration
  • CRM (including SalesForce.com) consultancy
  • Digital policy / GDPR adherence
  • Document / records / case management
  • E-mail setup and management
  • IT software or hardware selection and deployment
  • Migration to new PCs and file sharing
  • Office 365 deployment
  • Web analytics / support

The skills will depend upon the need and may be specific to a defined software or technology type. Typically, the sort of skills most often required include:

  • Consultancy
  • Cloud strategy knowledge
  • Coding skills
  • Data management
  • Data security
  • Integration skills / migration knowledge
  • Project management
  • Web skills / analytics

There is a small charge made to charities that have an income of over £50,000 to cover CITA’s administration costs. This charge is made on a project by project basis and is the only cost.

The volunteers registered with CITA provide their services on a pro bono basis, i.e. free of charge.

The administration fee is only charged to charities with an annual income of more than £50,000 and is based on the service required. This is summarised in the table below:

Charities with Income Registration CITA Review CITA Advisory CITA Delivery
Under £50k Free Free Free Free
Over £50k Free £100 £250 £250

The above pricing model allows CITA to ensure that the smallest and often most needy charities are able to access all CITA services completely free of charge.

CITA has access to discretionary funding and can award ‘bursaries’ to part-fund the administration fee where circumstances are appropriate. Please make sure that you mention the need for a bursary (and the rationale) when you register for a service.

Of course, we welcome any additional contributions that charities are able to make, which will allow us to ensure more organisations can benefit from lower costs all round.

CITA will never turn away a charity that is unable to afford a contribution towards our administrative costs.

The administration fee is invoiced when your CITA service request is advertised to our volunteers.

If CITA cannot match you to an appropriate volunteer, CITA will refund your Administration Fee.

No. If you feel the volunteer that CITA matches you with is not appropriate to meet your needs, (which is a rare occurrence) you must inform CITA as soon as possible. We will then match you with an alternative volunteer at no extra cost.

Most charities approach CITA because they do not have enough or appropriate IT skills, experience or knowledge inhouse. By engaging CITA they immediately mitigate the cost of either hiring such resource or having to buy the skills in via a consultancy contract.

CITA volunteers provide their services on a pro bono basis, i.e. free of charge.

Some charities will also look at the outcome of a project to support a business case – often CITA volunteers are party to buying decisions and their expertise can help to ensure that the procurement process drives a better total cost than otherwise.

If the business case is challenging, remember that CITA does have access to discretionary funding and can award ‘bursaries’ to part fund the Administration Fee where circumstances are appropriate.

When you register to apply for a CITA Service (CITA Review, CITA Advisory or CITA Delivery) you will outline your needs in detail. CITA will use this as a basis of matching you against a list of potential volunteers. Where a volunteer is available and able to support you, they will contact you for an initial call.

CITA is confident that you will find a volunteer. We have matched CITA volunteers with over 700 charities and only a handful of times have we been unable to match a charity’s need with the right volunteer.

Whilst “IT” encompasses a wide range of technologies, services, capabilities and skills, we find that most charities have common core problems that can be resolved through the capabilities of one of almost 700 volunteers.

For most charities CITA can match a volunteer within a week, but for some it can take longer. It will often depend on the complexity of your project, the estimated timescales and duration of the volunteer effort, and your geographic location.

We believe that providing the right volunteer is more important than rushing into an assignment – so if you have very tight, unmovable timescales, please let us know – we wouldn’t want to be part of your problem!

After the match has been made, as part of the assignment process, an introductory call takes place. This will usually be initiated by the volunteer.

In the event that circumstances change and the volunteer is unable to complete the service, CITA will work with you to find a suitable replacement. For larger projects (often provided through CITA Advisory or Delivery Services), volunteers would normally document stage reports as part of best practice management and these interim reports will be available to any replacement. CITA trusts that the calibre of our volunteers and their professional approach would mean that an effective handover would be ensured.

This will depend on the significance of change. We recognise that project needs sometimes alter and that strong project management practices will help to anticipate and accommodate change. In our experience, most change has been accommodated by the same volunteer.

If the change is such that the volunteer no longer has the capability or capacity to complete the project, however then you will need to agree with CITA whether the changes are such that it is in effect a new assignment or if it is a continuation.

COVID-19 Statement

For volunteers and charities – It is important that, whilst preparing for or during an assignment, both volunteers and charities rigorously adhere to current government guidelines and restrictions designed to limit the spread of the virus.

These can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Where an assignment cannot be carried out safely according to these guidelines and restrictions then it should be delayed until such time that it can. Both volunteers and charities must each feel comfortable that adequate measures for their safety have been put in place before any assignment should proceed.

CITA cannot be held liable for the consequences of any failure, either by a charity or by a volunteer, to follow safe practice as required by any government guidelines or restrictions in force at the time of the assignment.