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CharityComms 2021 Digital Conference

Available On-Demand

£75 + VAT pp for CharityComms charity members
£100 + VAT pp for CharityComms corporate partners
£145 + VAT pp for non-members of all types

Booking terms & conditions

Attend event

This event took place on 24 – 25 November 2021 and all registered delegates were sent direct access details for the recordings. Please only book your place here if you missed the event the first time round. 

Our annual, sell-out digital conference is back online for another year! 

A lot has changed in a year. Social media users grew at the fastest rate in three years to 4.20 billion, mobile has become our first screen, online shopping became so normal that there’s a world-wide shortage of cardboard boxes, and lockdowns have seen many charities bring their services and fundraising completely online.

At this event we will explore the latest trends and innovations to help your charity thrive in the ever-evolving digital environment. Set over two days, there will be a mix of inspiring lightning talks, breakout discussions, panel sessions and the opportunity to connect with your peers. You’ll be able to go back to your desk with loads of helpful tips, techniques and tools from charities both large and small to help you on your digital journey.

Each day will cover different themes:

Day one:

Day two:
Leadership and strategy
Charity products and services

About the event
We’ll be holding the event online on 24 – 25 November from 9:30 to 13:45 each day.

Your ticket gives you access to talks across the two days and beyond with our on demand function, enabling you to catch-up on anything you missed!

Who is this event for?
This event is designed for charity digital, marketing and comms professionals at all levels and for a variety of budgets – from low to high.

Have a question about the content?

Please get in touch with Emma.

Have a question about the event in general?

Please get in touch with Vanessa.

Day 1

Adeela Warley 
CEO, CharityComms

Housekeeping and icebreaker

Vanessa Weddell 
head of events, CharityComms

Digital PR
Talking heads: how we’re tackling sector challenges

From getting cut-through in the noisy, COVID-dominated news agendas to keeping up with the constantly changing digital landscape; and from rebuilding face-to-face relationshipto protecting your team from burnout, the last 18 months has thrown up a lot of challenges for charity PR professionals. In this candid discussion, we’ll be talking to award-winning teams and leading charity PR lights about how they’re tackling some of the big sector issues.

Vishnee Sauntoo 
head of communications, Age International

Akriti Farmahan 
PR Manager, British Red Cross

Rohini Kahrs 
communications officer, The Runnymede Trust

Breathing space
Fireside chat: weathering the storm - dealing with negative media coverage

Most social and media managers dread that sinking feeling when a negative story hits – and why is it always at the weekend, out of hours or at the end of the day? The RNLI has had its fair share of negative coverage over the past few years and, in this fireside chat, Vanessa will be asking Rich about how they’ve been able to turn storms of negative coverage into groundswells of support. Rich will also offer his top tips for looking after your team during a crisis.

Rich Ward
senior social media manager, RNLI

Vanessa Weddell 
head of events, CharityComms

Peer exchange – what are your current PR challenges?
Tea break
Digital Fundraising
An agile approach to fundraising

The past 18 months had charities adapting their fundraising approaches to suit a consistently unpredictable economy and society. These new approaches have proven themselves during the toughest of times. Matt Haworth, expert in all things charity digital, encourages charities to continue down this new path. Matt will showcase how charities can innovate on traditional methods by approaching fundraising in the same way that we approach digital; test propositions, gather more data, iterate, embrace lean ways of working and react quickly to change. All of which can result in a lower cost of failure and higher chance of success in a fast moving and ever-shifting landscape.  

Matt Haworth 
co-founder, Reason Digital

Lessons from launching Mind’s 27 27 event

Back in MarchMind launched its 27 27 event with the aim of encouraging students to run 27 miles in 27 days. Using student created content and a highly targeted, optimised recruitment campaign using social, they attracted over 10,000 students to sign up and raised £1,072,813 – the first time a Mind product has generated over £1 million. In this talk, Alex will share learnings from this campaign and offer top tips for your charity.

Alex Bordoli 
network public fundraising manager, Mind

Game on: how British Red Cross is tapping into the gaming world

The gaming and streaming worlds are largely untapped by charities, yet they offer exciting opportunities to reach new audiences and drive income growth with strong potential for scalability. One charity that has been successfully tapping into this potential is the British Red Cross. In this talk, Georgia will talk about how they have been successfully working with gamers that resonate with their cause and how your charity can too

Georgia Paton 
product delivery officer (gaming & streaming), British Red Cross

Lunch break
Digital Marketing
Supercharge your teams with emotional intelligence

A digital project never failed because of bad code – it’s all about people – 85% of job success comes from well‐developed people skills. The greater your skills in leadership, emotional intelligence and resilience, the more likely you are to succeed. In this fast-paced and interactive session, Trenton uses principles from his latest book to highlight how we can all develop emotional intelligence to ensure that we and our teams are productive, happy and healthy. These principles can be transferable to any teams (from marketing to product development) and actually, for many life situations!

Trenton Moss 
author, Human Powered: Supercharge your digital product teams with emotional intelligence

Using Facebook ghost testing to develop a digital and offline brand marketing campaign

During COVID many people were forced to grieve alone. According to recent research, almost half of us don’t know what to say to someone close to us who is grieving. To help tackle this, Sue Ryder launched Grief Kind, aiming to help people support their loved ones who are grieving. We’ll hear how the Sue Ryder team used Facebook ghost testing to listen and attract new audiences, helping them to successfully identify and develop a blended digital and offline product to launch the campaign across social. 

Lizzie Wrobel 
head of digital, Sue Ryder

Kate Walker 
senior digital manager, Sue Ryder

Developing supporter journeys at The Bike Project -moving beyond one-off transactional engagements

Small charity – The Bike Project – refurbishes second-hand bikes for refugees. This year, the charity has been working hard on developing its user journeys. When people used to donate their bike, the conversation would end there. To continue to build relationships with these often-passionate donors, the team has created a new digital on-boarding process helping them to grow their CRM, capture data and personalise communications that demonstrate the impact of donations and offer them new ways to support. In this session, Muna will talk about this work and show how even small charities can develop authentic user journeys across on and offline experiences.  

Muna Hussen
head of marketing and fundraising, The Bike Project

Reflection time
Close and launch of pre-recorded presentations to view at your leisure:
Protecting your reputation online

In this short and practical talk, Rebecca gives her top tips for protecting your charity’s reputation online. She’ll be exploring techniques for excellent online moderation and engagement and how to handle sensitive or divisive topics. She will also be talking about online safety and responsibility for employees, volunteers, partners, and influencers as well budgeting for crisis.

Rebecca Fitzgerald
CEO, StrawberrySocial

The generosity bug: how behavioural science makes giving addictive

Behavioural science has allowed nonprofits to multiply their donations and increase the average amount given by up to 30%. However, over half of new donors never return to make regular contributions, meaning good causes miss out on the vast majority of their lifetime value.  This talk shows how fundraisers can unlock lost revenue by making charity addictive. Using the behavioural toolkit developed by big tech and social media, nonprofits can make good habits irresistible and improve donations online. 

Dr Stephen Courtney
CRO and UX Strategist, Fresh Egg

Day 2

Adeela Warley 
CEO, CharityComms

Housekeeping and ice breaker

Vanessa Weddell 
head of events, CharityComms

Digital leadership and strategy
Leading through uncertainty and change

Change is constant. The pandemic meant implementing changes in technology, behaviour, structures and working practices – and things are still shifting as we work out what the future will look like. Ruth Richards is a coach and ex-charity leader who will draw on both psychological theory and experience to talk about how change affects individuals and teams. This session will help you think more clearly about change, whilst keeping your values at the heart of everything you do.

Ruth Richards 
coach and facilitator, Ruth Richards Coaching

Digital change isn’t just about tech: how embedding digital principles in a service launch helped advance our digital strategy

Scouts’ digital strategy puts people at the heart of what they do. Being digital first isn’t just about technology – it’s a combination of changing how people, processes and technology work together. Its digital principles are the foundation for how it does things, including the launch of its inspiring new programme for 4–6-year-olds, Squirrels. In this session, they will talk about how they enabled the launch of a new service by embedding their digital principles in everything they do. 

Melissa Gannaway 
communications manager, The Scouts Association

Charlotte Bridgewater
content manager, The Scouts Association

Tea break
The new rules of engagement for hybrid charity workforces

In this talk, Beth Murray (global lead, Workplace for Good at Meta), will share what a charity leader needs to know about engaging, motivating, and communicating with their staff as we move into hybrid working.

The talk will cover:

  • How employees are feeling – and what that means for your organisation
  • Why you should care about employee experience
  • The new rules of engagement for hybrid workforces
  • How modern charity leaders communicate

Beth Murray 
global lead, workplace for good, Workplace from Meta

Peer exchange
Boost your impact through integration

Moving supporter data between tools and technology is critical to creating tailored, meaningful and effective supporter experiences. In this session, digital mobilisation experts more onion will share case studies and discuss how better connecting your tools and data can help you increase your campaigning and fundraising impact. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to refine your existing systems, this session offers practical tips and takeaway examples on how you can improve your integration. 

Jess Day
digital strategist and client manager, more onion

Lunch break
Products and services
Tapping into the cultural zeitgeist: creating the Feel Good Book Club

During the pandemic, many more of us experienced loneliness. Responding to this, the Samaritans created The Feel Good Book club – a product that not only boosted its income but tapped into our human need for connection with an online community based around books and feeling good. In this session, we’ll hear about innovation at the Samaritans including their design process and audience-centred approach to developing products and services. There will be plenty of key take-aways that can be applied to many areas of work – from marketing to fundraising.

Ella Geraghty
innovation portfolio manager, Samaritans

Neil Gilbert 
insight, innovation and venturing, Samaritans

Emily Rollins
project officer, Feel Good Book Club, Samaritans

Embracing the waves of opportunity: how charities can use technology to improve lives

From AI, machine learning and computer vision to 5G and the Internet of Things – there are some exciting trends on the horizon. In his talk, Robin will explore how these new technologies can be harnessed to enable the development and deployment of tailored charity services. Robin will also consider the existence of specialist technology solutions in a rapidly developing landscape of embedded accessibility. You will also consider the role that humans will play in the workplace of the future.

Robin Spinks 
strategic lead, innovation partnerships, RNIB

Putting audiences at the heart of your website design

Hear from the team at Target Ovarian Cancer, on how they successfully redeveloped their website using an agile, incremental approach which put users’ views and accessibility at the heart of the design. In this talk, we will hear how they surfaced and implemented rich user insights to steer the redevelopment of the site and how they continue to evolve and optimise the site even after launch. Amy will also share how they took a mobile-first approach that works beautifully across all devices plus she’ll tell us what they did to ensure an outstanding performance in their Core Web Vitals. This talk is a must-attend session for anyone looking to improve or redevelop their charity’s website.  


Amy Olson
head of digital communications, Target Ovarian Cancer

Government Digital Service (GDS): how we bake inclusivity into digital design

Thanks to the work of GDS, the UK is consistently ranked as a world-leading digital government. Throughout the pandemic many new services were designed and existing ones evolved. In this talk, you’ll hear from head of technology and lead technical architect from GDS on how they design digital services with inclusion in mind and how your charity can do the same. They’ll run through the UK government’s design principles and examples of how they’re used. There will also be plenty of opportunity to ask your questions – so please come armed with these.  


Louise Ryan
lead technical architect and head of technology for portfolio, Government Digital Service

Kate Ivey-Williams 
lead service designer , Government Digital Service

Reflection time
Close and launch of pre-recorded presentations to view at your leisure:
Recruitment, diversity and how to find the best talent in a post-covid world

In this talk, you’ll learn about how the marketing, communications, and digital job market has transformed post-pandemic: how candidates’ expectations have changed; how to recruit an inclusive and diverse team; and how to compete to find the best talent. This talk is perfect for directors and heads of department who are looking to grow creative and innovative marketing, communications, and digital functions. 

Toby Roberts
business manager, marketing and communications, Peridot Partners

Digital trends for leaders: learnings from CharityComms’ Digital Benchmark

The CharityComms Digital Benchmark is a group of UK charities who pool their digital data to compare and evaluate their website’s performance. In this talk, Alexis will share some of the top findings and interesting trends from this year plus some potential pitfalls we can see on the horizon. This is a must-view session for digital leaders looking to understand the wider picture in 2021. 

Alexis de Ponson du Terrail
Digital projects manager, CharityComms

Creativity worth fighting for

Producing work that is truly creative is no mean feat. With the need for processes, objectives, a multitude of content and a raft of key messages sometimes it can feel like creativity is lost from content production. At Morever, they strive hard to make original film and animations that keep creativity alive. In this talk, Abi will share insights and practical tips for staying creative and inspiring creativity in your teams and colleagues, especially in these times where so many of us are working from home.  

Abi Mellor 
managing director, Morever

Headline Sponsors

At Reason Digital, we solve problems that actually matter. We partner with people and organisations to co-create digital alongside people with lived experience. Together, we create lasting social good. For more than a decade, we’re an agency that has partnered with charities such as Age UK, WellChild and the Trussell Trust to combat society’s biggest issues with award-winning digital innovation. Harnessing technology to impact people’s lives for the better is something we’re happy to get out of bed for each day. A 7am start to sell more stuff – not so much.

more onion logo

More onion is a digital mobilisation agency. We work exclusively with progressive non-profits to deliver high-impact communications, campaigns and fundraising through both our expert consultancy and our powerful mobilisation platform, Impact Stack.

We won’t just follow a brief to deliver what you’ve asked for; whether it’s engagement actions, supporter journeys or lead generation, we’ll work collaboratively with you to understand and deliver what you need.

We have trained hundreds of charity professionals in campaigning and fundraising skills and supported the digital transformation of multiple teams. Since 2008 we have delivered over 1000 projects for clients across Europe, including award-winning work.

Pre-recorded Presentation Sponsors

Peridot Partners is committed to transforming the leadership of socially focused organisations by building lasting and meaningful relationships.

We specialise in executive search, trustee recruitment, board services, and leadership development across many sectors including fundraising, not for profit, education, and housing organisations.

We recruit people with values, expertise, and ambition to join progressive organisations. We have a strong track record of partnerships with a range of organisations, from small start-up institutions all the way up to internationally recognised organisations, and we look forward to helping you inspire change.


StrawberrySocial is a company where experience is the ‘boss’. Many of us have been in social for 16+ years. As such, we specialise in risk management for charities, brands and agencies. We provide a flexible 24/7 community management moderation service (Facebook Challenge Groups a speciality!). Our team is knowledgeable in the specific needs of charity communities; moderating, risk assessment and management, sign-posting help, crisis escalation, child safety and protecting the community. We can also create community growth and engagement strategy plans (including audits), workflows and guidelines – plus run due diligence reporting on influencers.


Morever is an awarding creative agency for good, for innovation and with purpose. 
Visual storytellers, we are absolutely passionate about the work we deliver. Our aim? To make films that make a difference. A big difference.
We are specialists in the Charity sector, delivering film, animation and motion graphics for our clients, which include the British Red Cross, the RSPCA, the Stroke Association, Greenpeace and Diabetes UK.
We are proud winners of the Gold award at the 2020 Charity Film Awards (20-50 million category) for our film, Ken’s story with Blind Veterans UK.

Fresh Egg has over 20 years’ experience working with organisations at various stages of their digital transformation. Two decades in the game has seen us adapt and evolve to ride the ever-changing digital wave and hone our craft into what it is today – experience-led digital marketing with the customer journey at its heart. We have extensive experience working with charities and NFP organisations and can assist in the following areas: SEO/content strategy, PPC (including Grants) consultancy, CRO, analytics/data consultancy, CX discovery, audience/user research, experience design, in-housing, and digital strategy consultancy.