Free data scheme for charities
Vodafone has launched charities.connected, an initiative allowing UK charities to apply for free data.
The data can be used by individuals and families supported by charities. Or it can be used directly by the organisation, to improve its own digital capacity.
What is on offer
The data is offered in the form of SIM cards with 20GB of data, plus free calls and texts every month, for six months. The SIM cards will work in any SIM-enabled device (a phone, tablet, laptop, MiFi, or dongle).
Multiple SIMs can be requested and repeat applications can be made, if the organisation has a range of digital exclusion projects underway.
Who and how to apply?
Registered charities of any size can apply.
Application is via an online application form. You need to provide details of how the free data will support your project and the number of people who will benefit.
Why is it needed?
According to the 2021 Charity Digital Skills report, almost half of charities (45%) have had to give their users devices, data, or support to enable them to get online. 20% said they had to cancel services because they did not have the skills or technology needed to deliver them.
Helen Milner, CEO of the Good Things Foundation, has endorsed the project. “We’ve seen first-hand the challenges that charities of all sizes have faced during the pandemic, with the move to online services. Many simply haven’t had the digital infrastructure in place to deliver their services effectively.“
“Vodafone has done some fantastic work over the last year to help digitally excluded people get online and we think this next initiative – offering free connectivity to charities – will have a huge impact on these organisations and the communities they support.“