Charity comms on a budget
Fen Bagias, Communications & Campaigns Manager
ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence)
Key areas to consider
How can effective organisational strategies help you focus your energy and
How can partnership working across the third, public and private sectors help you
save comms costs and enable you to work more efficiently?
How can you empower other team members to engage with comms activities such as
the website, social media and the charity’s brand?
How can new technology enable you to do things faster, more efficiently or present
information/ideas in more effective ways?
I will outline some insights in this presentation in relation to strategy, brand, website,
PR/social and campaigning…
Are your communications strategies and plans clearly
linked with organisational strategy and outcomes?
Could teams be structured differently to improve teamworking across comms, fundraising and campaigning?
Understand the ‘theory of change’ model – be clear on
difference between outputs and outcomes
Maximise opportunities to measure impact – and
communicate outcomes/your success externally
Definition: ‘A way of building your reputation to persuade people
to act in certain ways that benefit your organisation’
Brand re-development doesn’t have to cost a fortune. ERIC will be
developing a new website – a new visual identity will evolve from
the design of the site. Other brand development activity has been
managed internally, including staff and stakeholder audits
Brand audits – regularly review how your beneficiaries/users feel
about your work, communications and levels of customer service.
For example run your own website or Survey Monkey polls, ask
corporate partners to include questions about your charity within
Do you have brand guidelines or an approvals process? This could
help to support team members and ensure communications are
consistent in terms of visual brand and messaging
According to NFP Synergy emotions will become a measurement
currency for charities – understand how to connect with your
audiences’ emotions, and which emotions lead to action
Is your website your charity’s central marketing
tool? Do all teams in your charity have a clear stake
in an organisation-wide web development strategy?
Consider skilling up members of your team – using
the content management system, Google Analytics,
Google Ads (free for charities) SEO
Constantly review your web stats, keep tweaking
and improving content. Aim to add 3,000 words of
new content through the site every month to support
Focus on stories – people want to know about
people, not the charity itself
PR & social
Focus on targeting media rather than ‘blanket approaches’
– link back to your organisational strategy, key audiences
Develop a multimedia toolkit for presenting information,
data and visuals using free or low cost providers –
Piktochart, Prezi, Bubbl, Flickr, iStock
Utilise free journalist request services
Join the online conversation. Commentate on blogs,
Time saving technology – eg Hootsuite/Tweetdeck
Can you improve your charity’s campaign planning process?
Resources such as ‘The Good Guide to Campaigning and
Influencing’, by Brian Lamb (NCVO publication) can help with
strategy development, mapping of issues/the PEST environment
Are your campaigns integrated in their messaging, eg do they
include fundraising call to actions?
Together we’re stronger – maximise partnerships and alliances
across the sector to achieve your campaigning goals
Are you using all available data to support your campaigning? Eg
new research, latest hospital admissions data
Know your targets and what motivates them
Seek pro bono support from public affairs / campaigning experts
Relationship building – meeting in person with journalists or
stakeholders can leave a lasting impact.
Volunteers – could you use extra support? Place free ads through
local charity networks, universities and colleges.
Mentoring services across the sector – could someone in another
charity help you skill up in a particular area, eg website
development or public affairs? Go through personal or
professional networks or the Small Charities Coalition.
Do you have a coverage monitoring service? If not, sign up to
Google Alerts and you could ask corporate partners to support
you with monitoring/evaluation for specific campaigns. They can
also help with access to services like Red Pages (celebrity
Look at free/low cost training. NCVO, Knowhownonprofit, Media
Trust, local charity networks eg Voscur in Bristol.