Frequently Asked Questions


What is Digital Candle? 

Digital Candle is a crowd-sourced advice platform for charities. In plain English, that means we introduce people at charities who need digital help to experts who might be able to help. 

Where did Digital Candle come from? 

It started with this Tweet...

Is Digital Candle really free? Who pays for it? 

Yup, it is totally free. It was started as a labour of love by Matt Collins (a.k.a. @charitychap). It is now supported by The Catalyst.

Digital Candle is an odd name. Why are you called that? 

Candle was Matt’s working title for the project. We had planned to switch to a grown-up name like Crowdsourced Responsive Advice Platform, but somehow that never quite happened. Probably for the best. 

Why did Catalyst decide to support Digital Candle? 

Catalyst had done research on how charities make a step change improvement in digital. One common theme is that an outside advisor makes a big difference. Candle is an approach to helping charities get external voices involved.

It all sounds a bit hokey. Do people actually find it useful?

Haha… yup, we’ve had great feedback so far. But we are so new that we are yet to do any proper evaluation. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about our users experiences.  

How many people are on Digital Candle? 

As of March 2020, we’ve got 110 experts and 63 charities have asked questions. 


I’ve got a question on <some obscure subject>. Have you got any experts on that? 

We’ve got experts on almost all aspects of digital. And if we don’t have one, we’ll take the responsibility to find someone. So go ahead and ask!  

The expert I was introduced to never responded. Can you help? 

Sure! Sometimes life gets in the way. Introductions don’t get acted upon. Ping us and we’ll introduce you to someone else. 

I asked a question on Digital Candle, but I’d like a second opinion. Can you help?  

If you’d like a second opinion, submit your question again. Currently, we’ve got more experts than charities, so you’d actually be doing us a favour by requesting another expert conversation. 


I’d like to sign up to help on Digital Candle but am I enough of an expert? 

Don’t worry! We find that people with smaller amounts of digital experience are much prized as advice givers. And we’ll try to match you according to your experience.

I’m a bit nervous. How should I structure my call? 

Feel free to structure it however you think best. Our research shows that charities attempting to improve digital usage benefit from almost any form of outside advice, so you are unlikely to go far wrong. 

We have created call guidance notes, if you’d like some ideas. 

Can I ask for extra information before that call? 

Some experts want to better understand a charity’s question before the call, so they can mull it over. If that is you, feel free to ask a few questions via email once you are introduced. 

I signed ages ago as an expert and haven’t been contacted. What’s up?

Huge apologies! This doesn’t mean that you are not appreciated! We are afraid that some experts have signed up and never been introduced to anyone. 

Rather to our surprise, we currently have more experts than charities. Please bear with us. We will try to match you up as soon as possible.  

The future

How is this service going to develop? 

We’ve got many ideas about how Digital Candle could be made more useful. 

For now, our immediate priority is to talk to people who used it (both as charities and experts), so we can understand the user experience. We’d love to hear any feedback, ideas or suggestions. Please email

Have you got a question that isn’t answered here? Email