Charity comms2020 final


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Key figures in charity communications have teamed up to produce CharityComms 2020, a unique and intriguing snapshot of the most significant communications trends of the coming decade.

Charities represented in the initiative include Amnesty International, Macmillan Cancer Support, UNICEF, Friends of the Earth, The Scout Association, and many more.

Participants were invited to write down the five trends they see as the most significant in the coming decade. These points are accompanied by an image that reflects their vision, giving a very personal view of what each contributor thinks lies ahead.

CharityComms 2020 is a joint initiative produced by CharityComms, the professional body for charity communicators, and Bright One, the volunteer-run communications agency for the third sector, linking comms professionals with third sector organisations.

“With increasingly rapid changes to the way we communicate, plus upheavals in politics, environment and the economic situation, third sector organisations need to be constantly looking ahead,” said Vicky Browning, director of CharityComms. “We hope CharityComms 2020 will provide ideas and inspiration to enable charities to tackle the challenges of the coming decade with confidence.”

Ben Matthews, founder of Bright One said: “The combined vision of so many influential thinkers in the charity sector has produced a unique insight into the future of communications. CharityComms 2020 is an open resource and we would welcome additional contributions from anyone in the sector who would like to add their views to those already gathered.”

Communicators operating within the charity sector are invited to add their own five trends and an accompanying image by sending them to Ben Matthews at CharityComms 2020 will be updated periodically as further submissions are received.

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Charity comms2020 final

  1. 1. CharityComms 2020 ideas, inspiration and innovation for the next 10 years in charity communications a joint initiative from Bright and
  2. 2. foreword We’re only six months in to a new decade, but already we are seeing the charity landscape and the way we communicate changing dramatically. Social media tools are being adopted across all shapes and sizes of organisations, with charities often leading innovation in these areas ahead of the private sector. Meanwhile, changes in the political, economic and environmental climates, combined with increasing pressures on funding and resources, mean that you need to be thinking years ahead to make sure that your charity is equipped to deal with whatever is coming down the road. We’ve asked key figures in the charity communications field to write down the five trends they see as the most significant in the coming decade. These points are accompanied by an image that reflects their vision, giving you a snapshot of what each contributor thinks lies ahead. We hope that these ideas, inspiration and insights help your organisation communicate effectively over the next 10 years. Both Bright One and CharityComms will be with you along the way. Enjoy! Ben Matthews Vicky Browning Founder, Bright One Director, CharityComms
  3. 3. contributors 1 Jonathan Waddingham, Just Giving 2 Steve Bridger, Builder of Bridges 3 Vicky Browning, CharityComms 4 John Carnell, Bullying UK 5 Gail Scott-Spicer, The Scout Association 6 Ben Matthews, Bright One 7 Sue Fidler, Charity Email 8 Gideon Burrows, ngo media 9 Adeela Warley, Friends of the Earth 10 Lynda Thomas, Macmillan Cancer Support 11 Zoe Amar, Lasa 12 Julia Cream, Timebank 13 Jaz Cummins, Amnesty International UK 14 Amy Sample Ward, 15 Rachel Beer, beautiful world 16 Victoria Rae, UNICEF 17 Jude Habib, Sound Delivery 18 Joe Saxton, nfpSynergy
  4. 4. Jonathan Waddingham Charity Champion, Just Giving @jon_bedford • Distribution: You’ll have to use multiple channels to reach your audience, and make sure your comms are integrated • Targeting: The more people share online and with you, the better you should be able to target them with timely, relevant and interesting information • Mobile: As the proliferation of smartphones increases, making sure your content is optimised for mobile will be key • Impact: With even more competition for attention, how will you cut through the noise and get through to people? • Portability: As social networks become more entwined with the web in general, your content needs to be portable and able to be syndicated to any site or platform
  5. 5. • The term ‘social media’ will sound just as dated as ‘information superhighway’ does today • Fragmentary movements of citizens - some global, some local - will mobilise around single-issues, seeking alliances with social change organisations, which they believe can help bring the change they want • In the web of ‘flow’, charities will catch people ‘in motion’ - when they are ‘goal orientated’ - and will give them the tools to reproduce messages through their own networks • Websites will become much slimmer, with the focus switching to curation, aggregation... and amplifying the 000’s of ‘small actions’ of others • Smart organisations will evolve their workforce for a networked economy and will trust a passionate community of employees to build relationships online using different platforms for different objectives Steve Bridger Builder of Bridges @stevebridger
  6. 6. • We will create a stronger sense of community between charity comms professionals • There will be a greater recognition of the value of communications in the organisational mix • Comms will increasingly become a two-way dialogue, not just pushing information but engaging in social interactions • We will worry less about managing our brands and think more about connecting people to them using shared experiences • Technology will generate more new methods of communicating that will challenge comms professionals: the canny ones will make strategy drive their use of technology, not the other way round Vicky Browning Director CharityComms
  7. 7. [ shared experiences ]
  8. 8. John Carnell Founder & CEO Bullying UK • Mobile web explodes • Semantic web • Charities make their data open • Social media is the default media • Open collaboration at all levels from CEO to volunteers and stakeholders
  9. 9. • Personalisation/segmentation - charity communications will become much more personalised, away from mass and to the segment, if not the individual • Communicating mergers - mergers and other collaborations will become more regular and public, risk of public discomfort with costs of rebranding and confusion from name/mission changes • Transparency/impact - transparency will be required of charities as much as of MPs and banks, and impact requirements by funders and the general public will become more demanding and onerous • CRM embedding - the principles of CRM will be come more widely understood and accepted across the sector, beyond the large charities • Polarisation - communications will become more polarised, from charities with budgets and Board support for above the line activities, to those without this resource Gail Scott-Spicer Director of Marketing and Communications The Scout Association
  10. 10. • Superstar philanthropists emerge – serial social entrepreneurs carry a weight that exceeds that of individual organisations, e.g. Bill & Melinda Gates, Muhammad Yunus, etc • Actions become worth more than donations – support for your cause has a bigger impact than the donations towards it. Think small acts accumulating to create big change • Communicating efficiency is central as charities become more transparent – demand for openness and transparency from supporters means charities will discuss how they are spending funds where it matters most • Data visualisation becomes a core comms component – communicating the complexity of where support goes and impact created is more engaging when communicated through diagrams rather than lengthy text • ‘Real Life’ face-to-face contact still matters more than online communication – engagement only goes so far online and must be integrated with offline events for the greatest effect Ben Matthews Founder Bright One @benrmatthews
  11. 11. [ contribute and comment ]
  12. 12. • ―E" will become more central to the way charities communicate with supporters and donors as the internet generation becomes the core supporter base. From web and email to social networking and SMS - whatever the new inventions are, this will become the core communications mechanism • We will see this developing use of "e" cascade down through the sector from those very few at the top of the tree who are already moving in that direction to the smaller/local charities as supporter demand for "e" communications increases • Charities will increasingly offer more interactive sites and portals, inviting the public to contribute and comment on their content and charitable activity • Charities will need to become increasingly transparent as supporters demand more information about their spending and activity - requiring both more detail and more timely information via the web. It will be interesting to see whether the very charitable work of an organisation will be affected by the comments, responses and even donation options of the supporter base • Charities, and therefore their technology suppliers, must crack the issue of supporter "self management", integrating web, communications, donations, fundraising activities and Sue Fidler campaigning actions with backend databases. If the sector does not at least try to keep up with the leading edge of personalisation as seen in, ebay and the like our @SueFidler customer service will fall below what the public finds acceptable
  13. 13. Gideon Burrows Editor, ngo media • Charities will need to find new ways of delivering their news directly to users. Print media will wither further. Newspaper websites will almost definitely start charging which could mean a whole new generation of independent news websites for charities for charities to target • Online video is going to become more and more common – meaning boundaries between web and TV will blur further. This could open up a whole new supporter base for charities • Charities will have to find a way of managing their brand in the social media world. Social media works both ways. People expect interaction – supporters want to offer criticism, and demand results instantly. Charities which engage with social media have to be open to having a genuine conversation with supporters • For the best charities, the content of communications will become even more important. Charities still need great words, however they intend to deliver them. The challenge will be to avoid becoming too preoccupied with how to deliver messages (Twitter or Facebook? e.newsletters or online videos?) at the expense of what charities want and need to say. We still need to hone our key messages, keep them striking, simple and to the point • Charity communicators will need to think creatively about how to engage the 'the digital dispossessed' – people who can't afford, or choose not to have smartphones, digital cameras or an internet connection, who may feel increasingly left out of the communications loop. Charities who are thinking about making communication materials download only must remember that this automatically alienates older, poorer, less tech-savvy people who don't own a computer – possibly their own service users
  14. 14. • The growth of digital media will force charities to create a consistent brand experience across multiple channels • The rise of social media will demand more inspiring and personal appeals for action • Supporters will expect an interactive dialogue with organisations - they will want to know they are being heard as well as responding to our asks • Organisations will need to respond to news instantly, using all appropriate channels • People will come together - more and more people will realise that the only way to drive positive change is for us to all act together Adeela Warley Head of Communications Friends of the Earth
  15. 15. [ quality of content ]
  16. 16. • Consumers will demand more from the brands that they engage with. Customer management will become everything and user experience will take over from quality of content in a world where consumers will simply move away from brands who don't live up to their expectations or deliver information in the way they want it • The way in which we communicate with consumers has changed - we've moved from broadcasting to listening, and now it's all about conversations with real people. This presents a whole new challenge, both risky and exciting, to balance managing the corporate line with the increasing need to keep things real and personal. This shift gives us a great opportunity to speak on behalf of our constituent audiences, but equally with a greater expectation placed on us by our customers than ever before • There will be greater creative expression from consumers as they are increasingly given more and more tools (ipad etc) to create both verbal and non-verbal communication about brands and charities. User generated content will grow and grow • Charities will need to increasingly offer ‘experiences’ rather than causes - for example, emulating the Vodafone donate yourself activity - giving people the opportunity to do more to change the world in a personalised way • The dominance of the digital era will continue and evolve in ways that we probably haven't even thought of yet. (Editors of both The Guardian and The Times have said that their current printing press is the last printing press their papers would buy) Lynda Thomas Director of External Affairs Macmillan Cancer Support
  17. 17. • Tighter budgets: They’re an opportunity to think about what really creates value - and where to cut waste • Results: Keep demonstrating exactly how your work is making a difference to your organisation’s bottom line and brand • Involvement: With donations and funding set to decline, you’ll have to get creative about other ways to keep these stakeholders engaged • Brand: More than ever you’ll need to differentiate your organisation’s vision and offering. There are many ways to do this inexpensively • Mobile: As use of landlines decline mobiles are set to grow as a research channel - what are the opportunities for you? Zoe Amar Marketing and Business Development Manager Lasa @zoeamar
  18. 18. • Go retro – pick up the phone, talk face to face • Let go – give up trying to control communications • Be transparent – open up how you work and the way you do things. This will become as important as your key messages • Get up close and personal – direct and personal relationships will be king as websites seem less and less important • Sustainability – it’s not going away! Julia Cream Head of Communications Timebank
  19. 19. [ people to people ]
  20. 20. • Feeling part of it – There will be an ever growing audience of maturing digital users who happily give their name / face / status / time / voice etc to causes, moments and movements they enjoy feeling part of • Slacktivism / Convenient charity – On the flipside to ‘Feeling part of it’, short attention spans, digital-campaign- fatigue and easy-click causes will result in often transient, shallower contributions from fluid, fickle audiences • Conspicuous digital giving - Desire to be seen as socially minded and balance indulgent 'me me me' culture, by using online persona to associate publicly with cause/s • Accountability & coalition - Demanded by the public to justify the scale and spend by big players, and seen as a smart move to boost strength of voice and efficiency • Glocalisation – Digital allowing real time contact with beneficiaries across the globe, making them feel like neighbours. Seeking of local beneficiaries, or volunteering of (especially professional) skills to nearby causes. A desire to give a unique gift, have a real connection Jaz Cummins Web and New Media Manager Amnesty International @jazcummins
  21. 21. • Co-creation - of services, programs, campaigns • Flatter processes - less hierarchy in organisations, fewer steps in finding information and services • Portability - moving to the cloud; conversations and content moves seamlessly across platforms • Privacy and ownership - creative commons and other licensing can't support all the rules and options we'll need for the content we're creating and wanting to own • Personalisation - the more we create and the more we share, the more we expect to shape how we receive and browse Amy Sample Ward @amyrsward
  22. 22. • The rise of the ‘autonomous supporter’: Charities will need to meet their needs better • Increase in supporter-generated initiatives: Individual fundraisers will develop their own ideas • Increase in networked fundraising (people to people): Charities must facilitate this and support this • Increasing income generation from micro-donations: Opening up new supporter audiences and the possibility to generate more sustainable income from more donors • Continued diversification of digital media channels: Charities must keep ahead and reach out via the channels supporters and stakeholders use Rachel Beer Founding Partner beautiful world @rachelbeer
  23. 23. [ closer connections ]
  24. 24. 1. Of course it will be all about technology but it must also be about people. How can we (the inventors and users of technology) use the digital age to improve lives? 2. Technology means the world is getting smaller and closer. We expect instant access to information and everyone is a communicator 3. Information is real, raw, unpackaged and authentic 4. Conversely, closer connections may make global problems seem bigger. From wherever we are at any time, we will see and hear (and who knows maybe smell, taste and touch?) real lives of other human beings in real time 5. In 2020, it must be unacceptable to see a child scavenging on a rubbish dump and not in school. This photo galvanises me – we need to see the child not just the problem. This is wrong. We must and can put it right – Victoria Rae Head of Communications UNICEF
  25. 25. Jude Habib Sound Delivery @sounddelivery • Traditional, Social and Digital Media Platforms will continue to change at a rapid pace but good old fashioned STORYTELLING will remain at the heart of our communications. What will be key is WHO will be telling those stories and HOW they will be telling them • User-Led Storytelling: Our beneficiaries/users are becoming content creators telling their stories in their own words - becoming powerful communication tools in their own right • Supporter-Led Storytelling: Providing supporters with the tools to campaign and communicate on the charity's behalf delivering much more diverse results which are effective and emotive. Your supporters are often your best advocates, let them spread your message and further your cause in their own way • Staff-led Storytelling: Your best assets are the staff that work for you - give your entire team the tools to tell their stories - not just the communications department • Donor-Led Storytelling: Why do people give and continue to give? In a competitive charitable market place our donors will be given a voice to recruit others
  26. 26. • A move to see communications work, including social marketing, campaigning and lobbying, as a cost-effective way of delivering an organisation's mission particularly set alongside traditional service delivery methods • Better integration of all key messages and brand image so that fundraisers, media teams, policy wonks and the whole gamut of communications all reflect the same core values and strategy for the organisation • Online and social media are dovetailed with other media and communications routes and not set apart from them or seen as the 'silver bullet' for changing communications overall • The importance of training, best practices and increasing professionalism will lead to improved emphasis on CPD and recognised professional qualifications, led by CharityComms of course • A recognition that the mainstream and online media fail to do justice to charities and non-profits by pigeon- holing them as saints or sinners. The current lack of a 'charities' correspondent, programme or web page in the BBC is but the most glaring omission in this respite Joe Saxton Driver of Ideas nfpSynergy
  27. 27. Join the conversation! What trends in charity communication do you see taking place over the next 10 years? How will some of the ideas described here affect your charity? Email your 5 trends and an accompanying image to Or tweet your thoughts using the Twitter hashtag: #cc2020
  28. 28. Photo Credits We have given all credit for images used in this presentation where possible. If a photo has been used that you own the rights for and you have not been credited properly, please contact us immediately. 1. Jonathan Waddingham | istockphoto | 2. Steve Bridger | image by russelldavies | 3. Vicky Browning | image by uncultured | 4. John Carnell | image by carsten_tb | 5. Gail Scott-Spicer | image by brieuc | 6. Ben Matthews | image by stefanvds | 7. Sue Fidler | image by takomabibelot | 8. Gideon Barrows | image by juehuayin | 9. Adeela Warley | organisation’s own 10. Lynda Thomas | istockphoto | 11. Zoe Amar | organisation’s own 12. Julia Cream | image by macinate | 13. Jaz Cummins | image by sully_aka_wstera2 | 14. Amy Sample Ward | image by ikkoskinen | 15. Rachel Beer | organisation’s own 16. Victoria Rae | organisation’s own 17. Jude Habib | image by dalobee | 18. Joe Saxton | image by certified_su |
  29. 29. This work is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License This work and its contents are licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. The copyright statement we require you to include when you use our material is: © Copyright 2010 Ben Matthews / & Vicky Browning / You are free: • To Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work Under the following conditions: • Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes • No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. Thanks to all who contributed to this initiative and big thanks to Rudy De Waele at for the inspiration with Mobile Trends 2020 -