Proud to be ‘Best Trustee’ in the Social CEOs Awards

On Thursday 16 November the Social CEOs Awards took place at JustGiving, who were one of the sponsors alongside TPP Recruitment, Lightful and Grant Thornton. Now in its fifth year, the awards celebrate CEOs and leaders in the charity sector who use social media to champion their cause, raise awareness, break down barriers and have conversations.

The top 30 Social CEOs are not ranked but there is one overall winner. The other categories are:

Best Trustee on Social Media
Best Leader on Social Media
Best Rising Star on Social Media
Best Digital Leader
Best Digital CEO

I am absolutely delighted, proud and honoured to have won the Best Trustee category! Find out who all the other winners and the top 30 Social CEOs are.

Kirsty Marrins Best Trustee on Social Media in Social CEOS Awards

Photographer: Dan Papworth-Smyth

As a Digital Communications professional, I use social media and digital daily. It’s part of my life and part of who I am so naturally, as a trustee of the Small Charities Coalition, I use these channels and my networks to promote the work of the charity and raise our profile.

I would encourage every trustee to get on social media and talk about their charity, their impact and just have conversations. It can make a huge difference. Many of my fellow trustees at Small Charities Coalition and our Chair, Julia Kaufmann, are active on social media and all our staff are too. In fact, our CEO Mandy Johnson – who has only been in her role for four months, made the top 30 Social CEOs Awards list! I’d like to think that, although we may be small, Small Charities Coalition is a shining example of how everyone in the organisation is responsible for raising our profile and using our networks and influence to best serve our members.

Social media is a great leveller. It puts us all on an even playing field, whether you’re at a large charity or a small one. Many of the winners in the Social CEOs Awards this year are from small charities!

Kirsty Marrins and Mandy Johnson of Small Charities Coalition.JPG

After my award win I was whisked away to give a few words on why more trustees should embrace social media.

Read this excellent article by Mandy on the role of social media for a charity CEO. Mandy also regularly shares her thoughts and views on her YouTube channel. If you’re a CEO, particularly of a small charity, I really recommend subscribing to her vlogs.

A big thank you to the co-founders of the Social CEOs Awards, Matt Collins of Platypus Digital and Zoe Amar of Zoe Amar Communications for recognising the need for these awards – to celebrate those doing social media well and to encourage other leaders to see the benefit and to get on board.

Three reasons to become a trustee

It’s Trustees’ Week and, therefore, the perfect time to promote being a trustee. I’ve been a trustee of the Small Charities Coalition for three years and I have two more years left of my term. In that time, I have learnt so much about governance and the vital role that the Small Charities Coalition plays in our sector. Thanks to our small but amazing team, our volunteers and my fellow trustees – past and present, we have provided advice, support and help to thousands of small charities and given them a voice through our policy work.

As we all know from the closure of Kids Company, being a Trustee is a huge responsibility. Essentially you are legally responsible (along with your fellow trustees) for your charity so always make sure to do your due diligence before applying for a trustee role – it’s vital that you know what you’re getting yourself in to. But with this responsibility comes a heap of benefits too.

Here are three reasons to become a trustee:

  1. Gain experience in different areas

Prior to becoming a trustee, I had never held a management position. By becoming a trustee, you quickly learn about management, governance and strategy. It’s a great way to gain skills in areas where you are lacking. It’s a position of great responsibility so can help boost your CV. How? Well, the CEO of the charity reports to the trustees and the trustees also help manage finances and issues of governance.

  1. Feel good by giving something back

Being a trustee of a charity where you really care about the cause is very rewarding. There are no financial rewards as being a trustee is a voluntary role and it can sometimes be quite full on. However, knowing that your skills and experience are helping a charity reach its strategic objectives is a wonderful feeling. Even better is when you know how much your time, skills and experience is appreciated and valued.

A charity should always have a Board who all bring different skills to the table with them – although of course some will overlap – so that they can best serve their charity in all areas. As a digital marketing trainer, I offer my services to our members by delivering training or webinars on behalf of the charity. I also have a monthly column in Third Sector where my by-line says that I am a trustee of SCC, which helps get our name out there. And whenever I am delivering external training or presenting, I always introduce myself as a Trustee of SCC so look beyond just what you can offer in the boardroom.

  1. Extend your networks

SCC has 10 trustees from different areas, sectors and stages of their careers. By joining a Board, you are extending your network of peers and engaging with a diverse range of people. As a trustee of SCC, I’ve been invited to events which of course allows me to meet people and expand my network. I’m also a huge advocate of social media and always promote the work of SCC to my networks whenever I can, and I know that some people have followed me on Twitter or connected with me on LinkedIn because of my trustee role. Our CEO, Mandy Johnson, wrote this excellent post about the role of social media for a charity CEO and how it can be used to connect with our members across the UK as well as allowing ourselves to be transparent.

During Trustees’ Week, why not explore what trustee roles are available on Trustee Finder, in partnership with Make a lasting difference.



Announcing the Charity Governance Award winners

Last night I attended the inaugural Charity Governance Awards at the Clothworkers Hall in London. The awards were organised by the Clothworkers’ Company in partnership with Reach, Prospectus and NPC (New Philanthropy Capital).

I’m delighted these awards exist as it’s important to recognise good governance. Usually the only time we hear about governance is when it’s bad and it all goes horribly wrong.

By shining a spotlight on the best of the sector, we want to demonstrate how effective governance can transform a charity and even more of the lives of its beneficiaries.

Charities were invited to apply for the awards and there was a two-stage judging process. The fourteen judges boast a wealth of experience in charity governance and the voluntary sector and included Dawn Austwick (Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund), Tony Cohen (Chair of Barnardo’s) and Janet Thorne (CEO of Reach Volunteering).

The six winning charities will share in the £30,000 prize pot, each winning a £5,000 unrestricted grant.

The winning charities represent a diverse range of subject areas including youth work, heritage conservation, mental health support, palliative care, and community improvement. I was really impressed with what the boards of these charities had achieved and all the charities shortlisted were worthy winners but of course, there can only be one…


Board diversity and inclusivity

Leap Confronting Conflict, winners at Charity Governance Awards (photo by Kate Darkins).jpg

Improving impact – charities with 0-3 staff

Robert Thompson Charities, winners at Charity Governance Awards (photo by Kate Darkins).jpg

Improving impact – charities with 4-25 staff

Improving impact – charities with 26+ staff

St Cuthberts Hospice, winners at Charity Governance Awards (photo by Kate Darkins).jpg

Embracing opportunity and harnessing risk

Managing turnaround

Moasic Clubhouse, winners at Charity Governance Awards (photo by Kate Darkins).jpg

The 2017 Awards will open for entry on 6 October so make sure you put your Board forward.

Congratulations to all the winners and to all the Boards shortlisted!