voluntary sector

Enhancing Voluntary Sector Marketing and Communications

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:00

Thursday 13 June 2019

Central London

This Forum will provide attendees with an excellent opportunity to discuss innovative methods for enhancing marketing practices and communication campaigns across the voluntary sector. Communications and marketing experts will share best practice strategies that will deliver enhanced public engagement, improved fundraising and increase volunteer recruitment. Delegates will also learn how best to utilise social media to reach a wider range of stakeholders, develop strong, effective branding and create engaging content.


This Forum is specifically designed for the voluntary sector. Job titles will include:

  • Marketing Managers and Directors
  • Social Marketing Managers
  • Communications Managers and Officers
  • Digital Marketing Managers
  • Heads of Digital
  • Directors of Fundraising
  • Directors of Innovation
  • Research and Insight Managers
  • Fundraising Managers and Officers
  • Heads of Media
  • Directors Communications and PR
  • Heads of Strategy and Engagement

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Chloe Stables, Head of Communications, NCVO
  • Baroness Pitkeathley, Co-Chair, The All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Charities and Volunteering
  • Zoe Amar, Chair, The Charity Digital Code of Practice
View the agenda and additional speakers

According to a study by the Direct Marketing Association, out of all sectors, charities’ emails are the least likely to be opened. The DMA’s Email Benchmarking Report found that only 6 % of charities’ emails are being read and answered, this is behind the publishing sector (7%) and the finance sector (9.5%). Furthermore, a survey from the Institute of Fundraising, as part of HM Revenue & Customs’ Consultation on Cash and Digital Payments in March 2018, found that 70% of charities have seen a decrease in cash donations over the last three years.

In addition, The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s (DCMS) Community Life Survey 2017-18 found that 64% of people had taken part in either formal or informal volunteering in the last year, a decrease since 70% in 2013-14. In response, the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities released their ‘Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society’ Report in March 2017. The Committee was told that finance, legal, marketing and digital were all important areas where support and training were needed in the voluntary sector. Also, in the report The Cranfield Trust stated that the funding environment was much more competitive due to increasing number of communication and social media channels available to consumers. This is seeing small and medium sized charities battling to catch up with the innovative marketing and communications techniques so that they are able to compete with larger, national charities.

An increasingly competitive voluntary sector landscape, combined with a decreasing number of donations and volunteers means that it is now more important than ever for voluntary sector organisations to develop effective marketing techniques regardless of their size. The voluntary sector needs to equip itself with the latest communication and marketing methods and implement modern communication practices based around engaging content and delivered through innovative digital practices across a multitude of channels.

Chloe Stables, Head of Communications, NCVO

Chloe oversees communications for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the largest network for charities and volunteering. Chloe started her career in advertising, before taking a small detour into politics working for a well-known MP. This led onto working for a large public affairs consultancy before moving to homelessness charity, St Mungo’s, where she established the public affairs function.  Chloe is a trustee of Group B Strep Support, a small charity that campaigns to stop group B Strep infections, including meningitis, in babies. She is also a member of the advisory panel for the University of Westminster MA in Media, Campaigning and Social Change.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Adeela Warley, CEO, CharityComms (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Current Voluntary Sector Marketing Landscape

  • Outlining the current landscape of the voluntary sector across the UK
  • Highlighting the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Charities and Volunteering in supporting charities across the UK
  • Examining the current challenges facing the voluntary sector regarding marketing, campaigning and lobbying

Baroness Pitkeathley, Co-Chair, The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Charities and Volunteering (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Delivering High-Quality Voluntary Sector Marketing and Communications

  • Assessing the latest trends in charity communication techniques and promoting the development of effective, innovative marketing methods across the voluntary sector
  • Outlining the resources available to help improve marketing and branding as well as help charities boost fundraising and improve campaigning through the NCVO’s KnowHow resource bank
  • Sharing best practice guidance on how to establish a robust social media strategy, including how to define your goals and measure impact, as outlined in NCVO’s ‘How to Develop a Social Media Strategy’ guide
  • Evaluating the role of effective marketing campaigns in increasing engagement and raising awareness of important issue

Chloe Stables, Head of Communications, NCVO (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Establishing an Award-Winning Marketing Campaign to Raise Awareness

Winner of the Third Sector Communications Campaign of the Year Award 2018 Rob Dawson Director of Advocacy, Communications and Support, Meningitis Research Foundation (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Utilising Technology and Data to Deliver a Robust Personalised Fundraising Campaign

  • Outlining how the British Heart Foundation embedded their fundraisers at the centre of the story through personalised videos to make fundraising more innovative and shareable with potential donors
  • Examining the internal process of creating a personalised video led campaign, including working collaboratively between marketing and data teams to best utilise their CRM and JustGiving API
  • Highlighting the major lessons learnt throughout the campaign, such as the decreasing impact of social media to drive fundraising and a greater demand made by friends and families for sponsorship
  • Assessing the impact of the fundraising campaign, including improved awareness, increased fundraising and further development of relationships between the charity and supporters

Nominated for the Third Sector Digital Innovation of the Year Award 2018 Lindsay Baldwin, Director of Communications, British Heart Foundation (invited)


Case Study: The Role of an Effective Communications Strategy in Developing a Strong, Recognisable Brand

  • Outlining the journey of redeveloping Winston’s Wish’s identity and brand with a new modern brand and fresh look to expand the organisations profile and reach
  • Examining the process of establishing a new strapline ‘Giving hope to grieving children’, to better convey the charities key elements of support and hope for families of bereaved children
  • Highlighting the impact of the rebrand, including seeing a 19% increase in families referred, a 26% increase in calls to the national helpline and a 17% increase in visitors to its website
  • Analysing how the rebrand was implemented internally throughout the organisation, including embedding the new brand and gaining support for the new brand direction

Winner of the Third Sector Communications Campaign of the Year Award 2018 Susie Gallagher, Head of Communications and Marketing, Winston’s Wish (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Delivering Lasting Behavioural Change Through Effective Marketing

  • Outlining the seven key principals of the Charity Digital Code of Practice, and how they can be embedded into the marketing process
  • Understanding the key elements which comprise a successful digital marketing programme, such as strong leaderships and a robust digital strategy
  • Sharing best practice guidance on how charities can champion the digital code  and maximises its impact to improve their marketing practices

Zoe Amar, Chair, The Charity Digital Code of Practice (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Effectively Supporting Charities to Campaign and Advocate on Behalf of Beneficiaries

  • Outlining the current campaigning landscape and the important role campaigning has on the voluntary sector, as outlined in ACEVO’s Speaking Frankly, Acting Boldly report
  • Examining the role charity leaders play in ensuring charities campaign effectively and how they can work together to advocate for change
  • Highlighting the work of ACEVO as part of the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement, a coalition of over 100 charities and campaign groups formed to lobby for charities campaigning rights
  • Analysing the impact of the Transparency of Lobbying Act on charity campaigning, including scaling back to more generic national campaigns rather than less impactful targeted campaigns

Anne Wallis, Head of Membership and Marketing, ACEVO (invited)


Case Study: Lobbying and Influencing Legislation Through Effective Communications

  • Examining the journey of campaigning for stronger sentences for animal cruelty through Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s #NotFunny Campaign
  • Sharing guidance on how best to embed robust research into engaging campaign content to drive change and raising public awareness based on facts
  • Outlining the importance of creating shareable content to garner wider public support and the role this played in achieving over 62,000 people sharing content or writing to their MP/MSP
  • Highlighting how the campaign achieved large scale public support, as well as celebrity and political endorsements, resulting in a Draft Animal Welfare Bill and an official change in sentences for animal cruelty

Finalist for the Third Sectors Communications Campaign of the Year Award 2018 Mike Webb, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Utilising Social Media to Deliver an Award-Winning Communications and Fundraising Campaign

  • Examining how WaterAid utilised social media, including YouTube and Twitter to raise awareness of Sierra Leone’s journey to clean water, as part of the #Untapped appeal which achieved over 430 million views combined
  • Utilising interactive technology including Facebook Messenger chatbot to connect people from Tombohuaun with the UK public, to embed an aspect of real-life storytelling into the campaign
  • Outlining how WaterAid worked in partnership with the private sector to utilise new technologies which enabled the campaign to provide an experience as well as telling a story
  • Highlighting the success of the campaign and the key lessons learnt from a campaign that raised £4.2 million and won numerous marketing and fundraising awards

Winner of Campaigns for Good’s Best Global Fundraising and Advocacy Campaign Award 2018 & The Third Sectors Fundraising Campaign of the Year Award 2018 Oscar Mackenzie, Social Media Manager, WaterAid (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Raising Awareness and Delivering Positive Impacts; Small Charity Perspective

  • Outlining how Genetic Alliance UK utilised free and very low cost digital tools and techniques to increase their social media following by over 11,300 in one year
  • Examining the challenges faced when delivering effective communications around topics with limited public awareness, including limited expertise or resources and how to overcome them
  • Sharing guidance on how creativity and ingenuity can be embedded as a driving force behind a consistent and coherent message, resulting in improved awareness and delivering positive impacts
  • Highlighting how Genetic Alliance UK established a culture of collaboration to allow their small communications team to actively promote and support the work of hundreds of voluntary members

Emma Damian-Grint, Director of Fundraising and Communications, Genetic Alliance UK (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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