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.

Captivating, tailored content gets results

The last day of Fundraising Convention is always tinged with a bit of sadness because, who wants it to end? However, it’s also exciting because the next day you get to go back in to the office and put in to practice what you’ve learnt! So what where the highlights of day three?

I was back in the digital stream for the first sessions of the day (actually…. every session apart from the plenary. Sorry, not sorry) for the Big debate: This house believes that our donor base is too old for digital.

For the motion was Simon Scriver, professional fundraising consultant and Jen Love, Partner at Agents of Good. Against the motion were the two Jo(e)s, both from breast cancer charities – believe me, that got confusing! Jo Wolfe, Assistant Director of Digital at Breast Cancer Care and Joe Freeman, Assistant Director of Digital Engagement at Breast Cancer Now.

Simon took to the lectern first to deliver the fact that 7% of charities’ income comes from online. Meaning, 93% is offline and often that 7% that gives online have been driven by something offline, such as a chat with a friend who is running a marathon and fundraising for a charity.

So, do you spend most of your time on the 93% or waste your time on the 7% in the digital fantasy world?

With that bombshell, Jo Wolfe delivered her argument and that was that it’s charities that are old in their ways, not donors. In fact, 78% of over 65s are on digital and yes, we are not our users but let’s not make assumptions about them. Let’s talk to them instead and find out just how digitally savvy they are.

Jo argues that it’s not until charities invest more in digital that we will see a shift in how people donate. Although not fundraising related, Breast Cancer Care’s online forum has 1.2 million women around the world who connect with other women in meaningful ways. They can go on the forum anytime – not on a set day, at a set time like in a face-to-face group. Isn’t that pretty powerful?

Jo Wolfe.JPG

Jen then explained how her mom is 70 and spends 99% of her time online. liking her Facebook posts and playing Candy Crush but this has nothing to do with online fundraising. Why? Because it’s not her story.

93% of donors are experiencing your charity on the street, in their mail box and on Facebook but they are not part of your conversation.

With that, Joe Freeman argued that the world is changing – we have computers in our pocket. We were always told, ‘don’t talk to strangers and don’t get in a stranger’s car’ but now we talk to strangers online and get into ubers. Rather bluntly (although it’s true) Dorothy Donor is going to die. Who is going to replace her? With FPS and GDPR fast approaching, it is going to be even harder to communicate with supporters so social channels are going to be even more important.

There were of course, lots of other very interesting and valid points but I especially liked this from Joe:

So who won? It was put to a vote (although we had to raise our hands and not vote through an app….) and the winners were….

Jo and Joe! Not sure if the fact that this was run in the digital stream had anything to do with it….

The next session I went to was #AutismTMI – how to get 56 million views without traditional advertising.

Chrystyna Chymera-Holloway, Head of Insight and Strategic Marketing and Tom Purser, Head of Campaigns and Community Engagement at the National Autistic Society presented on their #AutisimTMI campaign, which has been running for around two years. TMI stands for ‘too much information’.

99.5% of people in the UK have heard of autism, however only 16% of autistic people and their families said the public understands how autism affects behaviour. When asked, parents said their child’s autism was misinterpreted as ‘naughty’, ‘strange’ or ‘funny’. The aim of the campaign was to improve the lives of people with autism, and their families, by increasing the public’s understanding of autism and their perceptions, attitude and behaviour toward them. Their target was:

  • To increase a real understanding of autism by 5%
  • Behavioural change (5%)

5% may seem small, but it is in fact millions when referring to the UK population. So, how did they do it?

The campaign

The campaign centred around authentic content as it had to resonate with supporters and be true to autism. They used a survey, which gave stats on things like which areas were the worst, e.g. shopping centres, buses and also what autistic people and their families wanted the public to know to create their content. All they really wanted was a little bit of kindness – to associate certain behaviours with autism and to not stare but, rather be kind and show empathy. Every piece of content was 100% genuine and stemmed from actual experiences.

Heartbeat and hero content

Hero content were the pieces of content they really invested in, such as their launch film, and were shown throughout the campaign. They also created two other films. The heartbeat content was done in-house and was about more about resonating with their own audience, rather than the public.

The launch film – Can you make it to the end?

The film took lots of real life experiences and the star, Alex, has autism himself. It aims to show what goes in inside the mind of a person with autism and how there is sometimes ‘too much information’, which then makes them act out.

They also launched a virtual reality experience of the film which took place in the shopping centre the film was shot in, which put people in Alex’s shoes.

Media Partnership

The Guardian partnership fitted their target audience, but more importantly it gave them the opportunity to tell lots of different stories and have different types of content, like video and quizzes as well as editorial over a sustained period of time.

Guardian Partnership.JPG

What were the results?
The launch film was seen 56 millions times! And the second film achieved over 1 million views with the third film achieving almost 10 million views. Their social channels grew by almost 25k on Twitter and 110k on Facebook in the first four months of the campaign.

The biggest result of all? That 5% increase in real understanding of autism actually achieved 17%. Wow.

Autism TMI results.JPG

In terms of media results, almost 65k campaign sign-ups and 2 new corporate partners were secured.

Results.JPG

Top tips 

Top tip from Tom, was:

Start with a strategy and don’t be afraid to change it. The campaign is almost 2 years old so you need to adapt to keep people engaged.

Other tips or learnings are to invest in great content but great content is nothing if no one sees it so spend time in seeding that content and looking for appropriate media. For an awareness target, data capture isn’t crucial, internal buy-in and comms in essential.

Learnings.JPG

Use your existing audiences for case studies and stories but also to help you spread and amplify your message.

Top tips.JPG

Read more about how the campaign has performed, on the NAS website.

The plenary with the fabulous Kanya King MBE, founder and CEO of the MOBO awards was so inspiring. It was filmed, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.

My last session of the day (and of Fundraising Convention) was 100 nights at the Royal Albert Hall – using digital to engage concert goers by Dan Papworth Smyth, Digital Communications Manager at Teenage Cancer Trust.

This year the charity hit their 100th concert and every year the line-up is amazing so it’s easy to sell the tickets but how do you engage the audience as many aren’t even aware that it’s a charity event. They’re just there for Ed Sheeran!

Taking advantage of a captivated audience

After the first interval and just before the main act they always show a 5 minute video. It’s an incredible opportunity to explain a really complicated message in an easily digestible way, to a captivated audience. And of course they have a shorter version for social media too. For the concert they don’t use subtitles but they do for social media as we all know that most people are watching video without sound. Dan says it’s easy to add the subtitles yourself, and he shows you how in this blog post.

This was the video (grab some tissues)

Of course there are lots of clips that don’t make the final video so they looked at ways to still use them across social, during the week of the concerts. Be warned though, if you are using visually similar video (the clips all were shot in the same hospital), Facebook thinks it is the same clip. Dan said that because they were sharing them over that week, their reach dropped dramatically.

Filming behind the scenes

The content that really engages people are the behind the scenes films at the Royal Albert Hall. Most of the videos were filmed by the digital team on their phones, with an external microphone. They work well because they are less intrusive for the person you’re filming.

Behind the scenes.JPG

Dan said, “The Royal Albert Hall only holds 5,000 so is actually a small venue. There are lots of people following it online, as they missed out on tickets, so we have to ensure that we make them jealous and try harder to get tickets next year! Our content is about live tweeting what’s happening at the concerts as well as interspersing it with our key messages. We have an insane content plan!”

Make people jealous.JPG

As the concerts are so amazing, they thought about how they could use new technology to try and  translate the experience to people not at the concert.  They tested using 360 degree video – you can read more on Dan’s blog.

Artist engagement

The charity works closely with the incredible artists (who play for free) to help make sure that they talk about the work of the charity and help amplify their messages to their audiences. On YouTube, their top four videos are all concert-related and have combined views of 620, 000. Dan’s top tip is that they piggyback off that by putting those videos in playlists with their own videos about their work.

Capitalise post-show

Post show, they take all the visual content they have and put together a blog post that same night so that the next day, when people are still buzzing and want to tell their friends about how awesome it was, they have a post packed full of photos that can then be shared. This method has helped increase visits to the website by 70% during that week. It also led to increased donations of 200% and the value of the donation by 320%.

Learnings

  • Start work on film and short clips sooner
  • A videographer is great but you need to direct them
  • Team rotation and rest

So what were the results?

  • Record breaking reach on Facebook
  • 16% of year on year increase in #TeenageCancerGigs
  • Successful first trial of contactless (there is always a text to give request but they wanted to offer something different)

Results (2).JPG

I thoroughly enjoyed Fundraising Convention this year. The sessions were interesting, packed full of tips and were ones I’d not been to before (they’ve not done the circuit yet!). Best of all is getting to see and chat with peers in the sector. The great thing about our sector is the passionate people.

Be more human and drop the jargon

As an official blogger for the Institute of Fundraising’s Fundraising Convention, I was back on day two, excited for the sessions ahead. This time I mixed it up a bit and didn’t spend the entire day in the digital stream sessions. Missed day one? Read my highlights here.

First session of the day, however, and I was back in the digital stream to hear Reuben  Turner, Creative Director of GOOD Agency present on Digital: are we doing it all wrong? Now, I’ve known Reuben for years and heard him speak many times. He tells it like it is, pulls no punches but also always has new and interesting things to say and share. And he didn’t disappoint.

Reuben urged us not to think like content marketers (but isn’t content King?), always in pursuit of that next click or like.

content marketing.JPG

Instead, be more human. More of us want to feel connected and part of a tribe and this is the beauty of digital as it can bring people who belong, together.

Take a look at how the Army now recruit. It’s less ‘come and drive a tank!’ and more ‘here is where you belong’.

Army recruitment.JPG

Although SEO, adwords, test and learn etc are your base, and are of course still important, they will only lead to incremental growth. This is more process than emotion.

Less human.JPG

Instead, focus on being more human and bringing out these qualities in people:

1. Acknowledge me (I’m here)
2. I care about this too (I belong)
3. I can make a difference ( I matter)

More human.JPG

Quite frankly, no one cares about advertising, marketing or even fundraising (apart from those whose job it is) so we need to find that sweet spot and tap into culture. It’s less about what we WANT people to care about and more about tapping in to what they actually care about. That’s how we will win hearts and minds.

Culture not advertising.JPG

For my second session I ventured out of the digital stream (to cries of ‘traitor!’ Only kidding) and joined the panel discussion on the Election 2017: What did it mean for charities and fundraising? The speakers included former BBC Newsnight reporter and NCVO chair Peter Kellner, Lucy Caldicott, CEO of UpRising and Fundraising Regulator board member, Vinay Nair, CEO and co-founder of Lightful and John Tizard, strategic advisor and commentator.

There were some really interesting points, summed up in the following tweets.

Ultimately, the key lesson was that we are in uncertain times but we must not let that distract us from our mission. We must still lobby for the causes we care about – we owe it to our beneficiaries.

My third session was on How to drive Digital transformation in practice by Yasmin Georgiou, Head of Digital Engagement at Great Ormond Street Hospital. This was such a good session! I loved how Yas made it seem so accessible and achievable. Digital transformation suddenly didn’t sound so scary! That’s not to say it’s easy though…

Yas started with the question ‘Why do we need to change?’ For GOSH, there were 3 reasons:

1. (a new) Organisational strategy
2. Outdated processes between digital and fundraising
3. ‘Digital’ had lost all meaning

No one at the charity was crying out for ‘transformation’ but rather for innovation. They wanted shiny things like VR, but without the foundation in place (what their supporters wanted, needed and expected from their digital channels) they couldn’t just step into innovation. It’s really refreshing to hear that Yas said ‘no’, rather than jump on the new, shiny things – tempting as they were.

Being Head of Digital is challenging, if digital has lost all meaning.

So get rid of the jargon, as internal stakeholders don’t understand it and it makes them feel intimidated and devalued. Ditch ‘transformation’ and just replace it with ‘the thing’ such as the website or new database or whatever the project is.

Digital maturity is a gradual progression with realistic goal setting and is not about the digital team – it’s an organisation-wide view. This gradual process works particularly well for risk averse charities. Yas used, amongst other things, Third Sector’s Digital Maturity Matrix, developed by the digital team at Breast Cancer Care, to assess where they are now and where they want to be.

digital transformation.JPG

It’s about evolution, not revolution. You might want to wrap up your project in a couple of months but you have to go at the pace of the organisation. Yas said that if she had gone any faster she would have lost people along the way. A top tip is when setting up departmental workshops, don’t forget about the HR team – the conversations with them were the most telling.

Digital transformation tips.JPG

Yas says that it’s important to look outwards and admit when you need external support so she got an agency involved, looked to her peers in the sector and went to events and had lots of coffees. She also accessed a CharityComms mentor, which helped immensely.

And this is their Digital Matrix.

GOSH digital matrix.JPG

The to do list is the maturity index and the roadmap, which is now a living strategy. Conversations now are about meeting an organisational need rather than talking about channels and technology. The result of this new way of working has led to the One day at GOSH campaign, which was filmed over 24 hours at the hospital.

Yas’s four top tips for embarking on digital transformation are:

1. Work at the right pace (go too fast and you’ll alienate people)
2. Collaboration and empathy
3. Be clear on expertise
4. Be prepared to adapt

Tips for digital transformation.JPG

After lunch I went along to the Women Leaders in Fundraising panel discussion, chaired by Lizzi Hollis. Lizzi set up Charity Women to tackle inequality in the sector. I urge you to join the Facebook group!

The panel consisted of:

  • Helen McEachern, Director of Fundraising at ActionAid UK
  • Carol Akiwumi, Fundraising Consultant and Trainer
  • Amanda Bringans, Interim Director of Fundraising at the British Heart Foundation and Chair of Institute of Fundraising
  • Meredith Niles, Fundraising Director at Marie Curie
  • Kerry Blackstock, Director of Public Fundraising at WWF UK

Lizzi Hollis.JPG

It was a fascinating discussion and an important one too. Inequality and diversity are key issues that the sector needs to address – now.

My key learnings were:

  • speak up when you see or hear sexism, racism or inequality
  • we need to attract young, male talent into the sector because we don’t actually want it to become ‘women’s work’
  • leaders need to surround themselves with the best people and acknowledge and value their skills
  • it’s up to all of us (men and women) to fight inequality in the sector
  • as women, we need to stop ‘trying to have it all’. Decide what is important to you and work on that
  • we need to challenge the norms of what women are expected to do. The sector needs to allow for flexible working – for all parents, not just mothers
  • diversity needs to start at board level

It was a thought-provoking day at Fundraising Convention. On to day three!