Judging the Third Sector Awards

This year I am honoured to be a judge in the Third Sector Awards. Unfortunately I cannot reveal the three categories I helped to judge but I had a wonderful morning at Third Sector’s offices in London recently with my fellow judges, reviewing the entries and making our final selections to then be shortlisted.

It was great to see lots of familiar faces, such as Rob Dyson, Morgan Martins and Reuben Turner as well as finally meeting some people in person, like Kate Sayer and Andy Hillier.

Third Sector Awards 2016

There were some really strong entries and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I hope next year a new category will be added – Digital Fundraising. I best suggest it!

The Awards take place on Wednesday 14 September at the Lancaster so be sure to follow the hashtag #TSawards to see who all the winners are.To all who entered… best of luck!

How crowdfunding is changing the face of social action

I am very proud to be on the panel of this year’s #FRO16 by The Resource Alliance, which is a global two-day online conference aimed at helping charities and social enterprises have access to case studies, new thinking and best practice – for free.

If you register now for #FRO16, you’ll be able to watch all the sessions for one month. Sessions include speakers from JustGiving, Storythings, Indiegogo, SolarAid, Platypus Digital, Dignity in Dying, HOME fundraising, Change.org and many more.

In association with The Resource Alliance, I’ve produced a whitepaper which looks at how crowdfunding is changing the face of social action. Download if for free, here. Follow the hashtag, #FRo16, to see what people are saying!

My top 5 charity campaigns of 2015

As we approach the end of the year, I’ve thought about the many charity campaigns I’ve seen throughout 2015 and have made a list of my favourites:

#SmearForSmear by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

The cervical cancer charity launched a social campaign to raise awareness of the importance of having a smear test, during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (25-31 Jan). The idea was simple: put on some lipstick, smear the lipstick, take a selfie, share on social with #SmearForSmear and nominate a friend to do the same.

It started as purely an awareness raising campaign but a text donate call to action was soon added once the campaign seemed to gain momentum. Of course, as it followed the #icebucketchallenge and #nomakeupselfie it gathered some criticism for ‘jumping on the social media bandwagon’. Here’s my response to that claim in the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network.

I even took part myself:

#BTTCK by RNLI’s social media team

Not strictly a charity campaign but I absolutely loved the Back to the Crew Kit campaign by RNLI’s social media team. For three  whole days the five members of the RNLI’s social media team wore oil skins and lifejackets from a bygone era in order to raise vital funds for their charity. Search #BTTCK on Twitter for some hilarious pictures and videos on how they got on.

#EndangeredEmoji by WWF

Such a clever, current campaign that (deservedly) even picked up an award in the Drum Social Media Buzz Awards. The idea is that every time you use an endangered animal emoji on social media, you make a small donation to WWF to help save them from extinction.

#TheChokeables by St John Ambulance

What do you do if your baby starts choking? The aim of this campaign was to teach parents first aid directly so that they would know what to do if faced with an emergency. Social media, particularly Facebook, played a massive part in getting the video seen and shared and as a result of this campaign 45 babies were saved*

*This is from feedback given to the charity by parents.

The video has been watched almost 6 million times on YouTube alone.

#DECHOX by British Heart Foundation

DECHOX is a denial fundraising challenge where participants give up chocolate for the month of March. Not for this chocoholic I’m afraid but it was a great success for the charity. The beauty of this campaign lies in its social nature – there was a whole host of tools, such as pre-written emails, social media badges and even an ‘offline’ desktop sign. There is also a clever link between unhealthy foods and heart disease so there was a real purpose to this campaign. And boy were people proud of their medals.

I also liked how the charity took on an edgier tone of voice and in fact, this was one of the campaigns this year that sparked my article for the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network on profanity in charity campaigns.


So there you have it – my top 5 charity campaigns for 2015. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what charities come up with in 2016!

What were your favourite campaigns of 2015?

The top 30 Social CEOs and a free guide

Last night I attended the Social CEO Awards, hosted by JustGiving. Set up by Zoe Amar and Matt Collins, and now in its third year, the awards celebrate CEOs who are using Twitter to actively engage with their supporters and beneficiaries, discussing key issues and raising awareness of their charity.

The full top 30 are listed in this Guardian Voluntary article.

This year there were three new categories: Senior Leader, Trustee and Rising Star. Congratulations to all the winners!

If you are a CEO wanting to get started on Twitter, or improve your social skills, then download this free guide: Digital Leadership: how to survive and thrive as a social CEO.

The guide has been produced by Zoe Amar and Matt Collins and features advice and tips from Zoe, Matt, Rob Hayter of TPP Recruitment and myself. I offer tips on how CEOs can fundraise on social media and share examples of CEOs who are using Twitter brilliantly to fundraise – like Polly Neate, CEO of Women’s Aid who took part in the Mont Ventoux Climb and raised over £2,000 for her charity.

If your CEO is not convinced about the benefits of being on social media, download the guide and leave it on their desk!

How to make social media more personal for your charity

Social is called ‘social’ because, well…it’s social!

It’s 2015 so I’m sure I don’t need to tell you (or even remind you) that social media is not about broadcasting but about conversations.

I didn’t really need to remind you, right? Good.

Often organisational social media accounts can be conversational but still faceless. You know you’re talking to a person – hey, they may even crack a joke from time to time – but who exactly are these people behind the social media accounts? I bet you don’t know.

But there’s a really easy way to fix this. Use a sign-off.

Big charities often have big social media teams. And by ‘big’, I mean more than one person so they tend to use their name or at least their initials when replying to people. This immediately creates a sense of personalisation – you are talking to a person, not just a charity. When you call up a charity, the person answering the phone would always give their name, so why do we not do the same on social?

Here’s a great example from Save the Children UK. Now, if I have a question I know I can address it to Steve. Isn’t that nice? Better than addressing my question to @SaveChildrenUK…

One of the best examples is Oxfam. They consistently reply with their names and, I have to say, it does make it more special.

I’ve used Oxfam as an example of best practice before in this blog and when I tweeted the post, I had a lovely reply from Stuart:

And of course this works on Facebook too. Here’s how Macmillan responds to comments:

Macmillan Facebook post

And here’s one from Irene at Anthony Nolan:

Anthony Nolan Facebook Comment

Now I’m sure you will agree that this doesn’t cost any money or time, which means that every charity – no matter how small – can do the same. After all, how can we create genuine relationships through social media if we don’t know who we’re talking to?

Facebook rolls out new Donate Button

This week, Facebook rolled out a new call-to-action button for charities – Donate Now. The beauty of this is that you can link it to any URL – whether it’s your Donate landing page on your website or, if you’re on JustGiving you can link it straight into the one-touch donate flow or even to a specific Campaign page.

I covered how to use it over on JustGiving’s blog.

Here are a few charities who have already incorporated the Donate Now button onto their Facebook page:

Dogs Trust

dogs trust FB

Make a Wish Ireland

Make a Wish Ireland

Teenage Cancer Trust

Teenage Cancer Trust FB

Blue Cross

Blue Cross FB

Have you incorporated it yet?

How charities are using Storify

Last week I was invited to speak at CIPR’s Social Media Panel event on Social Storytelling. I was asked to speak specifically on Storify (if you know me, you know how much I LOVE Storify) and how charities are using it.

Here’s my presentation:

I was joined on the night by the fabulous Jessica Gioglio, Head of Creative Lab at Sprinklr and co-author of ‘The Power of Visual Storytelling’ who gave a wonderful presentation.

Will Barker presented on how Tenovus Cancer Care used Snapchat for traditional PR and the amazing results that they had.

For more presentations and a Storify of the event, click here.

Does your charity use Storify? Share your best ever Storify in the comments below.

Charities get in on the April Fools’ spirit

Here are some really impressive April Fools’ day jokes from charities that I Storified for JustGiving. If you’ve spotted any others, please let me know. Enjoy!

Have charity viral campaigns had their day?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by Resource Alliance to participate in a live debate, chaired by Fundraising UK’s Howard Lake, on whether charity viral campaigns have had their day. The debate was to launch the opening of registrations for their free virtual fundraising conference – Fundraising Online – which will take place on May 13 to 14.

My opponent Sean Triner, Pareto Fundraising director, debated for the motion saying that:

Viral campaigns are like lottery tickets. Every so often someone hits the jackpot. But for every winner there are tonnes of losers.

I argued against the motion, saying that it’s far too soon to say that these types of campaigns have had their day and that success means different things to different charities and the word ‘viral’ is actually damaging.

The debate has been covered by Fundraising and Philanthropy Australia  and you can watch/listen to the debate here:

I’d love to know if you agree with me that charity viral campaigns are only in their infancy, therefore they certainly have not had their day or whether you agree with Sean that they have already reached saturation. Please leave a comment below.

I’m a Squared Online Graduate!

I started my Squared Online – Google’s digital marketing course- journey in July 2014 and am very proud to say I graduated on Thursday!

If you are interested in the course, I have blogged throughout. One of the highlights of the course has been the people I have got to meet in my two project groups – really talented, clever people who were a pleasure to work with.

I have learnt a lot from the course but as it’s an online course, you do need to put in the time and effort. I’m particularly proud of my team’s Google Analytics report for the fourth project. Our group was cited as one of the best reports overall and my Conversion Report was chosen as ‘the best of’! For our last project we had to produce a Whitepaper and our group got the insurance sector. Once again ours was cited in the live graduation class as one of the best, so I’m immensely proud of my group and the hard work we put in.

Congratulations to all my fellow July cohort Squares and all the best to those still on the journey or those starting out. Give it your all!