Saying thank you on #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday started in the UK in 2014. Charities use it in all sorts of different ways. Some ask for money or time. Others ask for action. (See Do something good this Giving Tuesday by Kirsty Marrins for some examples).

Others just say thank you. Here are some of the creative and lovely thank you’s I have seen today.

Videos

Mind’s staff read out messages from people who have been helped by Mind. At the end it says ‘We can’t thank you enough for helping us to give people a place to turn and a way forward’.

Mind's staff reading out thank you messages

The Trussell Trust have been tweeting very short thank you messages covering all aspects of how people support them. There is one long one (37s!) on YouTube.

Trussell Trust's staff hold up thank you signs

The Donkey Sanctuary said thank you to their supporters with lots of lovely pictures of donkeys.

Video of still photos of donkeys

Images

War Child UK shared a thank you photo with children holding up letters and waving.

Children hold up letters spelling out 'Thank You'

Refugee Action shared ‘thanks to you’ numbers showing how many people they had been able to help.

Refugee Action - 'this year, you've helped us to...

Marie Curie have been using lots of different ways to say thank you. Here they share statistics showing the impact of their work. Other tweets show them writing thank you letters. Members of staff talked about this on their personal twitter accounts too. And they made fab personal doodles.

Marie Curie - a supporter says thanks for the fun thank you

Personal thanks

Rethink Mental Illness also called supporters to say thank you. In total they contacted 221 people!

Rethink Mental Illlness contacted 221 people to say thank you

Breast Cancer Care started a #ChainOfThanks.

Debbie's thanks to her best friend as part of BCC's ChainOfThanks

The British Heart Foundation thanked their 68,000 event fundraisers and also tweeted a special thanks to the Marathon runners. They also tweeted personal thank you’s using gifs and red and white images to certain supporters. And the CEO Simon Gillespie tweeted his thanks to staff and volunteers.

BHF: 'you ran the miles, you made it count'

Dogs Trust thanked their corporate partners, saying they were ‘wagtastic’.

Dog's Trust sending personal thanks

How do you say thanks?

It is easy but important to say thank you. How do you do it?

A general thank you works well with an image or video to attract attention. These images, videos and actions are low cost and reasonably low-effort. You don’t need a big budget to say thank you well using social media.

Have you seen any other creative thanks today? Please do share them in the comments.

Thanks for reading ūüôā

See also GivingTuesday’s Twitter Moments showing some of the UK charity activity and how brands got involved.

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How digital is your organisation?

Playmobil figures staring at a screen

A recent Guardian Voluntary Sector Network article by Zoe Amar argued that charity boards are failing to adapt to the digital age. And Karl Wilding argues on the NCVO blog that digital changes everything.

Some organisations already have digital at their core. Just look at how Parkinson’s UK advertised for their new role of Director of Digital Transformation and Communications. Whereas many know they should be doing more but don’t know where to start and others just don’t see digital as a priority.

Charles Handy at this week’s Cass CCE Charity Talk talked about the need for organisations to find their second curve to survive and in particular the impact of digital on this. He predicted that online platforms (such as Uber) will be central to the way we live our lives.

Two free resources this week look really useful to help organisations understand where they are digitally and improve their skills. Share them with your boards / Senior Managers / colleagues.

Measure and develop digital skills in your organisation

NCVO released a new free toolkit developed by Helen Ridgway. Building a digital workforce ‘includes templates, resources, tips and examples – and a series of bespoke workshops, training and support – to help you plan, design and deliver a comprehensive digital skills development programme for your organisation’. It is packed with 25+ documents including several about conducting a skills audit.

Also on my radar this week is the Third Sector Digital Maturity Matrix developed by Breast Cancer Care. It was developed to ‘to assess the maturity of an organisation’s digital capability (i.e. the current state) and compare it to where they aspire to be (i.e. desired to-be state)’. Download it for free.

What do you use?

Have you spotted any other useful resources? Or like NCVO and Breast Cancer Care, have you shared your own tools for other people to use? Please share in the comments below.

What can we learn from #nomakeupselfie?

On Wednesday (19th March)¬†social media¬†exploded with #nomakeupselfie. It was started by someone independent of any charity. It quickly caught on and was met with a mix of¬†joining in and¬†dismissal (‘what has this got to do with cancer’?).¬†Two days later it quite clearly has got something to do with cancer as¬†the meme has resulted in ¬£millions being donated to various cancer¬†charities (including ¬£8m+ to Cancer Research alone), lots of self checking messages and widespread news stories.

Sample #nomakeupselfie tweets

Clearly viral explosions of this size don’t come along very often and are impossible to create (see this blog post from Social Chic on why you shouldn’t replicate #nomakeupselfie). What can we learn from it so that it / when it does happen (on whatever scale) we can be ready?

1. Be ready to react

The beauty of social media is that it is ever changing, fun, interesting Рbringing unexpected challenges and opportunities to charities. When something big happens, you have to decide quickly what to do. If you have to put in a business case to react three days later, you are going to miss out. Sometimes the decision to ignore or get involved is obvious, sometimes not.

Your social media strategy can be your friend here as it should include some element of crisis comms planning (good and bad). You could create a flow chart like this one from the American Airforce which shows how they decide to deal with comments on blogs. Your social media strategy should also be loose enough that you can drop everything to run with a big event such as this.

2. Just go with it

It might not be on-brand or on-message but if your supporters are involved, then maybe you should join in? This event evolved and organically became a fundraising-related.  But charities helped this with strong messages and an easy ask.

BCCare tweet: We didn’t start it...but thanks #nomakeupselfie supporters! http://bcc.cx/1nDfA2W . Here’s how your support will help http://bcc.cx/1cqSuRi

3. Keep watching

A number of cancer charities¬†chose to ignore¬†#nomakeupselfie because the early message¬†didn’t fit with them but didn’t¬†join in when it did change. For the¬†charities who chose to get on board with it,¬†it has raised unexpected income.

On day 2 charities were better at joining in with the spirit of it, sharing their own photos. On Friday Male CEOs of Macmillan and Beating Bowel Cancer¬†both shared their selfies.¬†¬†And the meme was copied and evolved into #manupmakeup, #whataman and even #YorkshireSelfie. Macmillan’s male staff did their own Vine.

When the excitement showed no sign of stopping, charities started buying ad words connected with #nomakeupselfie. Clearly the world was searching for information so they spotted an opportunity to raise their profiles further. Clever.

4. Have your JustTextGiving details to hand

Make it easy for people to donate. Make sure your JustTextGiving details are easy for people to share. Giving a regular reminder of these details is useful.

You can’t watch every hashtag. This meme turned from fun into fundraising because people got frustrated at its sharing with no action. It was easy for them to share the JustTextGiving details and equally simple and short for people to donate this way. (See more about Twitter fundraising.)

NB, it is important to check and double check your details. See this BBC article: thousands make #nomakeupselfie donation error.

5. Say thank you and share success

People like to feel involved especially if it is something big. Donating £3 might be a small action but the collective effort has made the news. For every person who did something, it has been an important part of their day. So say a public thank you to everyone. Say how much has been raised and what difference this will make. This builds trust and makes people want to get involved again. (See more about transparency.)

This thank you tweet from Cancer Research has been RTd 14,000 times. And their brilliantly written¬†FAQs post about how they’ll use the money (published on Tuesday 25th)¬†is an important response to the millions of people who helped raise such a significant sum.

CRUK thank you tweet

#nomakeupselfie – what the charities say

Coverage and comment

Charity insider blog posts

What do you say?

What have you learnt from this week’s events? What do you think of #nomakeupselfie?¬†Have you done your¬†crisis comms planning for events like this?

This Nan selfie is my favourite:

Nan selfie RTd by Cancer Research

Can I help you?

Please also get in touch if you’d like me to help you review your crisis comms, digital fundraising channels or supporter engagement. I am a freelance web editor and can help you give your communications a healthcheck and ideas injection.

You can also sign up to receive my blog updates by email. Just add your address to the text box on this page (top right).

Is your SMT/trustees page inspiring?

How to give the pages about your senior managers and trustees a digital facelift.

Most charities have a page¬†introducing their senior managers and trustees. These are mostly dull and uninspiring. The pages come across as part ego boost for the subjects and part nod to transparency. But they could¬†be so much better. They could boost transparency and trust¬†(especially in this climate of ongoing rumblings about CEO’s pay). They could be inspiring. Supporters may actually want to read them.

Bog standard

A¬†standard ‘meet the team’ page has a photo and biography information for the CEO and other senior managers. There may be a separate page for trustees using a similar style. This usually helps to highlight the lack of diversity in the organisation’s management and doesn’t give any insight into the cause, or an¬†understanding what and why these¬†people do. They are very static and a website dead-end.

Let’s look at some examples of how these pages could be the start of a deeper insight or conversation.

1. Promote social media

Zoe Amar and Matt Collins are currently on a mission to get CEOs tweeting. They have produced a brilliant how-to guide available from The Guardian’s site¬†and list of the top 30 Charity CEO tweeters. More and more senior managers are embracing social media as a way of sharing successes, challenges and connecting with others. Steve Bridger’s list of CEO tweeters shows how many there are out there. But if you look at the charities they head-up, how many are promoting the CEO’s Twitter addresses (or blog or LinkedIn profile)¬†on the website? Only very few. How are supporters meant to be able to access the insights of the CEO tweeter if the addresses are not publicised?

Oxfam's CEO. No twitter address

Breast Cancer Care win the gold star here. Everyone listed on the senior managers page has their own Twitter profile.

Breast Cancer Care - Our senior managers

I have not managed to find a similar page on any site of trustees who tweet (next project Zoe / Matt?).

NB While thinking about transparency and contactability, what is your organisation’s policy on publishing the email addresses for senior managers or trustees? How contactable are they? Contact information for trustees is especially rare to see.¬†¬†Nottingham CVS publish a contact form and generic email address for their trustees which is a great solution.

2. Think about biogs

Cutting and pasting information from someone’s CV just isn’t interesting or engaging, especially when it is replicated in a long list of trustees. Of course¬†senior managers and trustees have impressive backgrounds and experience but supporters may also want to know¬†about motivations, personal experience and skills. Equally, including information about someone’s¬†CAMRA membership or love of¬†ballroom dancing may not be appropriate. Here are some alternatives:

  • add quotes from each person – Breast Cancer Care’s trustees¬†share quotes rather than CVs
  • include stats about what someone has achieved in their role¬†– see this inspirational example from¬†the CEO of Parkinson’s UK
  • US charity Do something.org share a strange fact nugget about each member of their team next to their cartoon character¬†profile picture
  • publish some kind of skills profile for the team¬†(think LinkedIn endorsements)? This would give a much¬†better insight.

LinkedIn skills profile

See more about writing great staff biogs in this nonprofithub post.

3. Get good photos

Getting a photographer in to do individual head-shots of everyone in the same style is worth it. A page where people have supplied their own photos of varying degrees of quality, looks dreadful (see this example from the NSPCC).

A group picture of the team working together might be even better? (See this team photo of The Brain Tumour Charity.)

Brian Tumour Charity - meet the team

4. Think about your audience

Like with any page on your website, you should think about who is reading this page. Who is it for? What do you want them to do as a result (donate / feel sure that the charity is in safe hands / apply to become a trustee / want to know more)? It may be that all this biography information is not relevant, reading the detail of someone’s career can be quite alienating.

Keeping it simple might be the best answer. Try limiting each person to one paragraph or a certain number of words. Or just including their role and a brief summary.¬†Beanstalk¬†here do a mixture of both but it’s really clear.

Beanstalk trustees

You could test what works best for your audience by looking at your page statistics. Make some changes and see how it influences traffic and bounce rates. Change it back or do something different if it has a negative effect.

You could also try putting a call to action (donate / sign up to newsletter etc) at the bottom of the page and see whether anyone acts.

How to convince your boss?

Of course the internal politics connected with tweaking these pages is not to be underestimated. Showing senior managers these examples may help to convince them that it is time for a digital facelift?

(As an example, Parkinson’s UK spotted me tweeting about Breast Cancer Care’s page and now plan to add twitter addresses to their senior management page.)

And going back a stage, if your boss needs convincing to get on board with social media, send them:

What do you do?

How do you make your staff pages useful? What difference has improving your staff pages made? Please share good and bad examples you have seen. Go-on, add a comment!

Please also get in touch if you’d like me to help you improve your staff pages.