CAST has worked with a number of key national partners to deliver programmes of support to cohorts of charities. For each programme delivered, CAST strives to make as much information as possible available to the sector, usually in the form of blogs written by participants and workshop hosts. Key programmes over the past two years have included:

  • Tech for Good Build, an 11-month programme designed and delivered by CAST (funded by Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation), which supported 20 organisations to explore new digital approaches to improving people’s lives.
  • The Innovation & Digital Accelerator, a 12-month programme developed by CAST for Sport England’s B2022 Fund, with the aim of helping National Governing Bodies tap in to the full potential of digital, to improve access to sport for all.
  • CAST Digital Campus, a 13-month programme currently being delivered by CAST for a consortium of organisations convened by Refugee Action. The programme provides participants with access to tools, support and hands-on training to build their knowledge, experience and confidence with digital.
  • Community Explore, a 12-week programme currently being delivered by CAST as part of Power to Change and Promising Trouble's Discovery Fund, supporting 20 community businesses to develop digital products and services using user and community-centred development processes.
  • Deloitte Digital Connect, a six-month programme developed by Deloitte in partnership with CAST, which supports charities with expertise, advice and a network to support their digital development. The third cohort was welcomed onto the programme late last year, and is currently making great progress.

In addition to these longer-term interventions, CAST continues to run short-course Design Hops, teaching a step-by-step method for user centred digital design. And there is a strong focus on nurturing peer-to-peer connections: as well as the popular Coffee Connections service, CAST’s Digital Leads Network is in a dynamic phase of development, with the first face-to-face meetup having taken place just last month - and plans in place to open the network up to include charity digital leads from the wider sector.

CAST is also set to mark the first anniversary of the GrantAdvisor UK relaunch next month. The platform encourages open dialogue between UK social impact organisations and grantmakers, by collecting reviews and comments on grantseekers’ experiences of working with funders. As well as encouraging dialogue between funders and grantseekers, CAST also works with funders directly: a year-long project with Disrupt Foundation has just entered a soft launch phase, and CAST is currently providing support to funders including Lucy Faithfull Foundation, Trust for London and The Prudence Trust.

CAST has also been working hard to understand the sector's most pressing concerns, challenges and needs in terms of artificial intelligence (AI), in order to help social impact organisations overcome obstacles and make the most of AI-related opportunities. The results of CAST’s sector-wide survey (which concluded in February 2024) and details of support interventions - including an AI in Grantmaking peer group meetup - can be found in this March 2024 AI survey blog.

Amidst all this ongoing independent work, CAST counts the launch, incubation and ongoing relationship with Catalyst as one of the proudest achievements in its nine-year history.

For more information, take a look at CAST's latest annual report.

April 2024