Welcoming our newest CharityComms trustees

Here at CharityComms we love to share good news. So with that in mind we are pleased to officially introduce you to our newest trustees – two of whom were voted for by you and two who were co-opted by the board.

Joining the CharityComms family are the wonderful Justin Driskill, Kirsty Marrins, CJ Marshall and Pippa Gardner. Bringing a wealth of experience from across various roles in the sector all four new trustees will make a great addition to our board.

Here’s a reminder of their manifestos and their visions for CharityComms:

 

Justin Driskill, senior digital marketing and analytics officer, Crisis UK 

Background and experience

I have over 15 years digital marketing experience and have worked for small, local, and national charities as well as a digital agency which specialises in charities. I worked in publishing and advertising before moving into charity with an internship at Malaria No More. I currently work at Crisis where I am specialising in analytics and SEM, and have previously worked for health, arts, youth, and international development charities. I am also the editor of The Online Advertising Guide which teaches SMEs about all forms of digital comms. I have qualifications in fundraising, digital marketing, analytics and project management.

Motivations

I’m putting myself forward to be a trustee of CharityComms as I know I could help steer the next phase of digital transformation that I feel the organisation needs – a much stronger online provision of information. Smaller charities cannot always travel to conferences and so a focus on digital would not only future proof the organisation but would also make a huge difference to the third sector. With digital continuously moving forward so fast, and becoming a larger and larger part of what even small charities do, it’s vital that CharityComms does better at this.

Personal qualities and experience

What I would bring to the CharityComms board is an ability to cut through jargon and explain complex digital ideas in simple ways. I have also worked as a digital consultant so I can analyse and improve plans, and develop KPIs. Having spent a lot of time in the advertising industry I also can tell the difference between saying the right words, and actually achieving the right outcomes. In terms of filling the board’s diversity gap – I am half-American/half-Iranian.

Vision for CharityComms

My vision for CharityComms going forward would be a radical improvement in their digital provision. The digital benchmark and blog are great, but they are just scratching the surface of the sort of information, guidance, and best practices that could be provided online, and about digital comms in particular. Members need a well-managed forum to discuss issues, easily searchable guides, how-to’s and best practices. Digital is making up more and more of comms in general, so it should be a much greater focus for CharityComms.

 

Kirsty MarrinsKirsty Marrins, digital communications consultant, Kirsty Marrins Ltd 

Background and experience

I have been working in the charity sector since 2007, working in-house at Dementia UK, Aspire and Trinity College London before joining JustGiving as their content and community manager. For the last four years I have worked as a digital communications consultant and have worked with many charities to help them with their social media and digital marketing. I have managed the very active Third Sector PR & Comms Network for around eight years, I write a monthly column for Third Sector on all things digital and I have trained hundreds of people either through face-to-face training or through webinars. I also write for a number of organisations, including Lightful, Givepanel and also CharityComms. It’s my dedication to sharing knowledge and expertise with the sector that won me a CharityComms Inspiring Communicator Award in 2016.

Motivations

I have been a CharityComms member for over 10 years and I credit the organisation for helping me in my career, through their excellent events, articles, guides and case studies. I would love the opportunity to join the board and to give something back to an organisation that is very close to my heart, through offering my time, skills and experience as a trustee.

Personal qualities and experience

I have over 10 years’ experience in digital communications and I was a trustee of the Small Charities Coalition for five years, so I have experience in three of the areas you’re looking to recruit. I am very dedicated, loyal and passionate about the charity sector and I’m committed to ensuring that everyone who works in the sector has access to resources that will enable them to do their job to the best of their ability. I believe that CharityComms plays a vital role in upskilling and inspiring those who work in comms, via their events programme as well as their articles, guides and podcasts and in recognising excellence through their Inspiring Communicator Awards. I would love to join the board and help play a part in shaping their future.

Vision for CharityComms

My vision for CharityComms is to grow in membership and to offer more to those who work outside of London. I know that they already do this to some extent with their regional groups, however I believe that technology can help them be less London-centric and more accessible to those living outside the capital. I would also like to see CharityComms play a greater role in the sector in terms of advocacy and to be a voice for their members. I would like to see the organisation work together with other infrastructure bodies to actively support and encourage more diversity into the sector.

 

CJ MarshallCJ Marshall, PR manager, Future Care Capital

Background and experience

With a decades’ worth of experience working in public relations, public affairs and communications, my career has covered both the public and charitable sectors. I didn’t start off my career in communications and consequently have a diverse background as an academic lawyer, elected official, soldier and police officer. I have also held several board type roles across policing, local government and social care organisations. My “on the ground” experience from working in frontline services has given me a unique perspective on issues and placed me in the privileged position to see what effects public policies have had in the real world.

Motivations

I’ve benefited immensely from having a CharityComms membership and would like to provide the organisation with support and advice to continually help many more professionals to benefit in a similar way, especially those earlier on in their career. Statistically, the communications profession is not the most diverse and I could be a role model to others demonstrating that anybody can make it into prominent communication roles. Currently, not much is cutting through in the media due to Brexit and people are suffering as a result – helping steward a network of dedicated members would give me a huge sense of pride and achievement.

Personal qualities and experience

I have a lot of experience of working on boards and in alliances with varying views, usually taking on the role of arbitrator when trying to arrive upon a consensus. I have a wide skill set and bring more than just communications expertise to the table, including public relations, public affairs, legal knowledge and policy development. Not only do I represent diversity in a physical sense (I’m mixed-race and relatively young), I have a uniquely diverse background and I’m dyslexic with all the challenges that poses. I also work for a small but ambitious charity which is most certainly punching above its weight!

Vision for CharityComms

I wouldn’t consider coming in and changing things for the sake of it, so long as the organisation is financially viable, operating effectively and providing real benefit for its members. Alongside the current 2023 goals, growing the membership to create a larger network of professionals should always be an aspiration. Whilst looking at what more CharityComms can provide to its members would also be an area I’d like to investigate. Taking the time to engage with and gain more insight from the members is another opportunity as well as continuing to raise awareness of the importance of communications roles within organisations and the charitable sector.

 

Pippa Gardner, communication manager and project co-ordinator, Woodcraft Folk 

Background and experience

I have worked in comms in charitable organisations for over 10 years. These have often been all-encompassing marketing and communications remits within small teams or as the sole person responsible for this area of work. Throughout my career I have taken an avid interest in digital communications and taken this on as a specialism in my work. Academic training, combined with my previous experience as monitoring and evaluation manager, has developed my skills in research and evidence based comms activities. My career to date has spanned the charity, education and arts sectors.

Motivations

I have a range of relevant experiences and perspectives which will add to the work of CharityComms and which motivated me to take on the role of trustee. In a time when trans people are being so poorly represented in the media and facing ongoing attacks, especially through online platforms, I feel it important to bring my experience as a trans person to inform the work of charity communications providing support to the sector.

Personal skills and experience

I am able to fill several of the skills and diversity gaps identified on the previous board. I am a queer, trans, non-binary person who also has lived experience of disability. I bring skills and knowledge in digital communications from over 10 years of website design and management and social media management projects and roles. I also bring knowledge of charity governance, having previously held trustee roles for Girlguiding, Girlguiding Anglia and Purple House Women’s Centre, and skills relating to smaller charities with a turnover of under £1m.

Vision for CharityComms

My vision for CharityComms is to increase its offer and support for smaller organisations, including those without a dedicated comms function. I believe we have a role to play in challenging the narratives and methods of communication being used to increasingly polarise our society, identifying how charity’s communications functions can play a role in addressing systemic injustices and finding solutions.

We would also like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to all the other excellent nominees who stood for election in our latest trustee recruitment process.