An introduction to digital and design processes for charitable organisations

We're helping organisations improve the focus, reach and impact of their service delivery through digital

What is a Design Hop?

Design Hops are the first step, or ‘hop’, into exploring the role of digital in charitable services. By demystifying technology and design, and placing the focus on people not tech, the free half-day workshop and follow-up support helps you start your digital journey on the right foot.

Or if you’ve already started that journey but are struggling to move forwards, Design Hops provide a step-by-step approach to help you plan, prioritise and test.

Find out what previous attendees have said.

Sign up to a Design Hop

Design Hop canvas
London Hop June

Who are they for?

Established charitable organisations between £10k-£100m annual income.

Ideally we’re looking for decision-makers, who will be able to put the methods learnt directly into practice and are in a position to further develop ideas, e.g. through allocating internal resource or grant-funding applications. You should also have a good understanding of your charity’s existing services and the challenges in providing them.

Unfortunately these workshops are not suitable for organisations with beneficiaries based outside the UK.

How does it work?

1. We’ll send you some pre-reading and an exercise to do with your team ahead of the workshop, because it’s really important that responsibility for digital is spread across more than just one person

2. Our practical, fast-paced workshop takes you through the design process: a tried-and-tested methodology for exploring problems and beginning to develop solutions. You will leave with a completed template and plan for communicating the process to others, such as colleagues, tech partners or grant funders.

3. You’ll be connected to local networks, digital experts and tools that can support the next step of your digital journey, including live funding opportunities, where relevant

4. In some areas we also have follow-on workshops confirmed with local partners. These help you embed digital practice and move your ideas and solutions forwards.


Attendees will gain:

Digital confidence

  • Understand what ‘digital’ and ‘design’ means in practice for your organisation 
  • Follow a step-by-step process to set achievable goals and actions for digital progress
  • Meet and network with peers in your area who are tackling similar challenges.


  • See examples of other charities using digital and design to become more resilient and responsive to their service users
  • Learn simple exercises and tools to use and share with colleagues immediately
  • Identify assets you can draw on to help manage change.


  • Prioritise an achievable, tangible problem to address
  • Hone in on and plan your next steps to test key assumptions and get buy-in from others
  • Maintain momentum through a range of follow-up opportunities with CAST and The Catalyst network.

When and where are the Design Hops?

More dates will be added throughout 2019/20. Sign up through the link below – if there isn’t currently a Hop near you we’ll let you know as soon as there is.

Inverness – Thursday 5th September 2019
SCVO training room, Fairways House, Fairways Business Park, Slackbuie Ave, Inverness IV2 6AA

Glasgow – Wednesday 11th September 2019
Woodland Training Room, GCVS Albany Centre, 44 Ashley St, Glasgow G3 6DS

Edinburgh – Thursday 12th September 2019
Sir Walter Scott Hall, Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA

Derry – Thursday 19th September 2019
Holywell Diverse City Partnership, 10-14 Bishop Street, Derry, BT48 6PW

London – Monday 28th October 2019
Voluntary Action Islington, 200a Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP

Harrogate – Thursday 28th November 2019
Chain Lane Community Hub, Chain Lane, Knaresborough, HG5 0AS.


“The Design Hop workshop is a friendly and engaging space to explore how digital might help your charity, community group or social enterprise deliver better services. Rather than focus on specific digital solutions, the session offers a simple step-by-step approach which puts your users at the heart of it. It serves as a timely reminder: that digital evolution is less about using new tech for the sake of it and more about starting with a problem, looking at your existing user needs and service, and exploring how tech might be part of the solution to improve it.”

“It’s a highly practical workshop for charities and community organisations with the seed of an idea for delivering a service or aspect of their work digitally. It was not only the space and time we needed to put our heads together away from the office and get to the crux of the issue but essentially it’s given us a blueprint for a new project. Unmissable.”

“The workshop was very informative and an eye opener for what digital technology can achieve for charities. As a charity with a turnover under £1m, being able to learn about how various applications of digital technology have enabled other small charities to increase their reach or improve impact on client’s wellbeing has anchored the course into the reality of what may be possible and achievable. It also provided very useful practical information on funding and networking opportunities and a structure to test new approaches.”

How do you sign up?

Fill out the short form at the link below to apply for one of the live Design Hops, or a future event. We will respond within a couple of weeks of registration confirming your place, or signpost you to alternative opportunities if we think they’d be a better fit for your needs. Registration will typically close shortly before the event, or once the event is full.

Sign up to a Design Hop

What previous attendees have said

THE WELL: "We worked with the extraordinary people from CAST on our rapid response service Warrior Down. Even though we only spent a little more over a half day, we achieved so much!"