Charity digital conference

21 November 2018
09.30 - 17.30
CharityComms organisational and individual members: £175+vat
Corporate Partners: £220+vat
Small charity (income up to £1m) and freelancers: £195+vat
Medium charity (income £1-5m): £245+vat
Large charity (income £5m - 10m): £280+vat
Super large charity (income £10m+): £310+vat
Corporate/Public sector: £395+vat

etc venues St Paul's
200 Aldersgate
St Paul's

Attend event

Back by popular demand – our annual, sell-out digital conference is even bigger and better this year. Designed to help your charity make the most of digital, the day will have something for everyone.

With a live hack, talks, workshops, peer discussions and how-to sessions on digital leadership, new tech and trends, tools and channels, and data and insight – this event is designed for charity digital and comms professionals at all levels.

We have lots planned for our breaks too. With options to take part in guided mindfulness and yoga – we’ll be focussing on self-care, helping you to improve focus and avoid burnout. There’ll also be an opportunity to sink into the darkness of our charity film room, network with peers in our sector corners, and book advice surgeries with expert suppliers.

Refreshments and snacks will be provided during the breaks and there’ll be a two-course networking lunch.

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 Harri.


Digital leadership | New tech and trends | Tools and channels | Data and insight | The Hack

09.30 - 10.00
10.00 - 10.10

Adeela Warley
chief executive, CharityComms

10.10 - 10.35
State of the sector

Transparency, data privacy concerns and digital transformation. These are just a few of the challenges faced by charities in the current economic, social and political climate. In this opening session, Matt Haworth, leading expert on doing good with digital, paints a picture of the current state of the sector, informed by new research.

Matt Haworth
co-founder, Reason Digital

10.35 - 11.15
Lightening talks: charities smashing it with digital
The internet, girl empowerment and the potential of personalisation

Working across the globe in places where girls are marginalised and vulnerable, Girl Effect builds youth brands and mobile platforms to empower girls to change their lives. In this talk, we’ll learn about Girl Effect’s global mobile platform, Springster and how personalisation is being used to drive engagement, shape online experiences and create lasting change for girls.

Paul Vetch
client services director, Torchbox

Lani Jacobs
anthropologist, Girl Effect

Taking the leap into digital services with limited resources

With no digital team and limited resources, WellChild has been developing a new digital product that has the potential to help solve a very real challenge for people looking after children with serious health needs. Matt will share the process the organisation followed, from the design sprints that helped identify problems and solutions, to developing and using a prototype to unlock funding. Matt will show how, with limited resources, the right approach can help you to efficiently develop digital products that have the power to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Matt James
director of communications and engagement, WellChild

Applying digital product methodology to campaigns

More info coming soon.

Speaker to be confirmed

Transforming service delivery: breaking down siloes and letting users lead

Age UK works to ensure people have the best possible experience of life as they get older, and has a focus on helping the 1.2m older people in the UK who are chronically lonely. One way it does this is through Call in Time – a telephone befriending service which matches people for weekly phone conversations to help break down isolation. This service was small and manual, not scaleable and sustainable, and needed reinventing using technology. Hear about the challenges of delivering service innovation in a large charity and how it developed a different way of working together to break down the siloes, let users lead and deliver an award winning end-to-end digital solution.

Catherine Fraher
head of digital and technology strategy, Age UK

11.15 - 11.45
Refreshments, sector networking, advice surgeries, yoga and self-care

Time to chill and grab a cuppa. You’ll also have the chance to:

  • explore ‘self-care and leadership’ in a short talk and exercise with Hannah Massarella from Bird
  • stretch out the stress through gentle workplace yoga with trained yoga teacher (and our mentoring manager), Lally Wentworth
  • visit a sector expert in our pre-bookable advice surgeries
  • network with your peers in our sector corners
11.45 - 12.25
Breakout one: ‘how to’ sessions
Digital leadership
1a. How to make digital everyone’s job: vision, culture and structure

From restructuring its digital team to building communities of practice, and from working with organisational development on digital confidence to making it everyone’s job, we’ll hear how Parkinson’s UK has been working together to radically reorganise around a vision for how digital can improve lives. There will also be a quickfire “challenge Alison” round at the end: a light-hearted look at whether the Parkinson’s UK experience can provide any of the responses, answers and myth-busting you might need in your own work.

Alison Prince
head of digital, Parkinson's UK

Suitable for: digital leaders and digital managers supporting others to use digital in their work; people in organisational development teams

New tech and digital trends
1b. Panel discussion: how to harness the opportunities of voice technology

Voice technology is fundamentally changing the way we interact with our devices, helping us to save time and get things done quickly. We use it for a multitude of tasks – from searching for our favourite music to shopping online. But how can the charity sector best use voice to engage with their audiences in new and exciting ways? How do you know if voice is right for your charity and when is the right time to invest? We’ll be exploring the possible applications, potential pitfalls and considerations for this exciting and emerging technology.

Rob Leyland, technology innovation manager, Cancer Research UK

Clive Gardiner
head of digital, NSPCC

Louise Corden
lead digital producer, NSPCC

Vicky Reeves
digital director, Addition by WPNC

Richard Hill
chief strategy officer, M&C Saatchi Shop and co-founder of Send Me a Sample

Suitable for: anyone interested in the potential application of voice technology in the charity sector

Tools and channels
1c. Authentic storytelling for film… breaking the mould

How can the charity sector enable people to tell their stories in a powerful, moving and fresh way? In this lively and interactive session on authentic storytelling for film, Abi will share what Morever has learned about making contributor-led films for Diabetes UK, the MS Society and Breast Cancer Care. You will work through some of the big pre-production considerations including: how to find contributors, selecting music, how to approach scripting and much more.

Abi Mellor
client services director, Morever

Suitable for: managers of content, communities, business, fundraising, social media, content, creative and comms

Data and insight
1d. How the Charity Digital Code of Practice can help you increase impact

Join Zoe Amar, one of the sector’s leading digital experts, as she shares her insights into how the Charity Digital Code of Practice can help your organisation to achieve more. She will discuss how to measure impact and how you can use this data to make the case for further investment in digital from your senior management team and board. This will be an interactive session, so come prepared to share how you currently measure success!

Zoe Amar
director, Zoe Amar Digital

Suitable for: people from charities of all sizes who would like to learn more about measuring digital impact and the new Charity Digital Code of Conduct

The Hack
1e. The Hack: users and the problem

If you’re tired of sitting back and want to get your hands dirty, this stream is for you. Our hack runs throughout the day in four workshops that are perfect for the person who learns by ‘doing’. A problem will be our focus, with the intention of creating a prototype digital solution by the end of the day. It’s not necessary to attend all four, simply decide which title you’d like to gain experience in.

This first workshop is about how we identify the problems we need to solve and the people they impact. We’ll perform several exercises to identify the target audience, then start to break down the problem into manageable chunks using tools such as the theory of change model.

Facilitated by the Reason Digital team

12.35 - 13.15
Breakout two: case studies
Digital leadership
2a. Taking a user-centred approach to integrating face-to-face and digital services

Scope’s mission is to drive social change so disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. As part of that mission, Scope has been taking a customer centred approach to the redesign of its services. In this case study, you’ll hear from Scope’s head of growth and its service design team on how an iterative approach helped mitigate some of the risks and identify opportunities. Hear honest feedback around what worked as well as some of the challenges in redesigning services.

Harry Wilkinson, head of growth, Scope

Sam Menter
director and co-founder, Mace and Menter

Suitable for: strategists and directors looking at how to integrate services with digital, service directors and managers thinking about how they can re-design services in a way that is most valuable to users

New tech and digital trends
2b. New trends in charity video

Keeping up-to-date with the latest video trends can be time consuming. In this session, Gaby and Jeremy will round up some of the latest charity video trends and share examples of great work from the sector. They’ll analyse how and why these films have been successful and what charities can learn. There will also be a chance for discussion and questions throughout. This session will be lively and interactive and will offer practical top tips to take away.

Gaby Jeffs
director and producer, Magneto

Jeremy Jeffs
director and producer, Magneto

Suitable for: all budgets and for anyone interested in video, for people producing or commissioning videos for charities

Tools and channels
2c. Website content – keeping out the ‘meh’

As part of a website rebuild, the team at Mind has been reviewing how it develops content. In this session, we’ll explore how we can give ownership of webpages to colleagues outside of communications while making sure our content is user-centred and effective. Emma and Gareth will share some practical models they’ve found helpful and there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions, so come armed with your challenges!

Emma Dalby Bowler
digital content and marketing manager, Mind

Gareth John
digital development manager, Mind

Suitable for: anyone responsible for content strategy and production. For all budgets and experience

Data and insight
2d. Collecting audience data and developing usable insights for staff and volunteers

With 100,000 members and 50,000 volunteer-led walks a year, the Ramblers had a huge undertaking in gathering data and developing useful audience insight for staff and volunteers. In this case study, we’ll hear how the Ramblers is learning more about its audiences – from apps which capture data about group walks, to an insight hub that gives all volunteers and staff key insights about walker behaviour, comms performance, volunteering activity and much more. Laura will offer top tips and key lessons from working on this project. Using her experience from this and other projects at The Guardian and National Trust, she’ll address your questions and challenges in this area.

Laura Scarlett
director of data and digital transformation, Ramblers

Suitable for: all budgets and for anyone looking for new ideas to better understand their audiences

The Hack
2e. The Hack: sketching solutions

If you’re tired of sitting back and want to get your hands dirty, this stream is for you. Our hack runs throughout the day in four workshops that are perfect for the person who learns by ‘doing’. A problem will be our focus, with the intention of creating a prototype digital solution by the end of the day. It’s not necessary to attend all four, simply decide which title you’d like to gain experience in.

In this second workshop, we’ll be looking at the user journey and solving the problems identified in breakout one. This session is about diverging and sketching out competing solutions onto paper. We’ll use a variety of ideation exercises to storyboard various approaches. We’ll then review, critique and choose which elements to take into the prototype.

Facilitated by the Reason Digital team.

Lunch, sector networking, advice surgeries, film screenings, self-care and yoga

Time to grab some lunch and reflect on the day so far with your peers. You’ll also have the chance to:

  • explore ‘self-care and creativity’ in a short talk and exercise with Hannah Massarella from Bird
  • sit back and escape into the darkness of our film room where we’ll be showing a collection of creative storytelling techniques in action
  • stretch out the stress through gentle workplace yoga with trained yoga teacher (and our mentoring manager), Lally Wentworth
  • visit a sector expert in our pre-bookable advice surgeries
  • network with your peers in our sector corners
14.15 - 15.15
Breakout three: workshops
Digital leadership
3a. Why digital leadership has nothing to do with tech skills

Over the last few years, ‘digital transformation’ has been a buzzword in our sector. We have talked about digitising our services, adopting agile and lean methods, and becoming more user-centric. But we haven’t really talked about what this means for leaders. So how does your management style need to change to fit the new ways of working? And what is stopping you from changing it?

Giulia Merlo
lead proposition manager, CRUK Technology

Suitable for: leaders and managers thinking about digital transformation and psychological safety, and anyone who’d like to influence their leadership team

New tech and digital trends
3b. The resurgence in 'emotional' design

With the rise of chatbots and voice interfaces, we’re being forced to consider what our organisation’s digital personality is more than ever before. ‘How do we talk?’ and ‘What voice do we use?’ are just the beginning. But can we apply this thinking more broadly to our websites and digital products? By going beyond purely functional and usable design and looking towards the resurgence in ’emotional’ design, we can start to break away from generic online experiences, bring personality back to the web and create a deeper emotional connection with our users. Find out more in this interactive workshop.

Peter Larkin
creative director, Nice and Serious

Suitable for: content, digital, comms, marketing and design leads and for all budgets

Tools and channels
3c. Form optimisation for online campaigning and fundraising

An online form may well be a supporter’s first interaction with your organisation – getting it right may determine whether there will be a second.  Great user experience is crucial to your conversion rate and even small changes can make a big difference to your chance to develop an ongoing relationship with new supporters and to your bottom line. In this session, Claire will offer best practice insights, practical top-tips and opportunities to work through the theory. You’ll leave this workshop with stacks of new ideas and a list of tangible take-aways and to-dos.

Claire Donner
strategy consultant and director, more onion

Suitable for: anyone with some practical experience of online campaigning or fundraising

Data and insight
3d. Using Empathy Maps to unlock audience insights and improve CX

This workshop will introduce you to the ‘empathy map’ – a collaborative tool that can be used to gain deeper insights into your audiences. This simple, but effective tool, is a brilliant first step mechanic to help you fully understand your end-to-end customer experience (CX). Within this interactive workshop you will also have the opportunity to carry out collaborative exercises to complete empathy maps for a selection of audience groups.

David Somerville
strategy director, Fresh Egg

Suitable for: digital, marketing and comms managers interested in using empathy maps to become more user-focused to improve customer experience

The Hack
3e. The Hack: developing a prototype

If you’re tired of sitting back and want to get your hands dirty, this stream is for you. Our hack runs throughout the day in four workshops that are perfect for the person who learns by ‘doing’. A problem will be our focus, with the intention of creating a prototype digital solution by the end of the day.

It’s in this workshop that we create a prototype and a test script for the user testing. We’ll also make sure that the practicalities of the user testing are in order. We’ll only have a short time to create a testable prototype, so it will be rough and ready. Essentially the goal is to validate the assumptions we’ve made and to test the viability of the product as quickly and with as little expense as possible.

Facilitated by the Reason Digital team

15.25 - 16.10
Breakout four: peer-to-peer learning sessions
Digital leadership
4a. Small charity focus: developing and implementing a digital-first strategy

Earlier this year, small charity Bliss, won the Charity Governance Awards’ Embracing Digital category at for its digital-first strategy. In this session, Gemma and Sarah discuss the charity’s digital-first journey and the huge difference it has made. They’ll share some of the key ways of working and changes to culture as well as how they got buy-in from colleagues. Attend this session if you’d like to explore what a digital-first strategy might look like at your small charity – please come armed with challenges to discuss with your peers.

Gemma Collins-Ellis
communications manager, Bliss

Sarah Rughoonundon
digital lead, Bliss

Suitable for: people from small charities looking to develop a digital-first strategy

New tech and digital trends
4b. Five digital trends to follow (and five to avoid)

Working in digital can be like being a kid in a toy shop – so many shiny toys to play with. But which ones are worth your precious time, and which ones should you avoid? In this interactive session, Matt will guide you through the trends that mean anything, the trends that are a dangerous waste of time, and the mindset you need to know the difference. Following his talk there will be peer discussions, so come armed with your challenges in this area.

Matt Collins
managing director, Platypus Digital

Suitable for: heads of digital and anyone interested in digital trends. For all budgets

Tools and channels
4c. How to find, engage and work with social influencers

Influencers have become a key part of marketing and communications with organisations of all sizes and from all sectors realising the power of building relationships with the right people. In this session, Kathryn and Nikki will give a short talk about how mental health charity MQ has built an influencer outreach programme designed to raise awareness of its work and mental health issues. They will explore how you can identify the right people for your brand, what the different levels of engagement are and how relationship management differs between celebrities and “micro-influencers”. They will then lead breakout discussions where you can discuss your own specific challenges.


Kathryn Excell
head of digital, MQ: Transforming Mental Health

Nikki Peters
campaign manager, MQ: Transforming Mental Health

Suitable for: people who are relatively new to working with social influencers or for anyone that would like to explore their own challenges in this area. For all budgets

Data and insight
4d. Embedding measurement and insight into digital service design

IE Digital will talk about how education charity Career Ready, embedded measurement and insight at every stage of the project to develop a new website and programme management system. Since Career Ready works closely with corporate partners, it was important to be able to measure and communicate the social impact each partner has made through CSR activities. Taking an agile approach to designing the charity’s transformative new digital system, IE considered data collection at every stage, and built in automated communications to share insights with key stakeholders, including corporate partners/employers and schools. Following this short case study, IE will lead delegates in discussions to identify the steps involved in putting insight and measurement front and centre in any digital project.

James Marsh, senior digital consultant and Ollie Leggett, managing director, IE Digital

Suitable for: digital, comms and marketing leads from medium to large charities

The Hack
4e. The Hack: testing and iteration

If you’re tired of sitting back and want to get your hands dirty, this stream is for you. Our hack runs throughout the day in four workshops that are perfect for the person who learns by ‘doing’. A problem will be our focus, with the intention of creating a prototype digital solution by the end of the day.

Crunch time is here, as we turn the prototype over to real users to get their feedback, so we can see what real people think of our idea for solution, the design, and watch how they interact with it.

Facilitated by the Reason Digital team

16.10 - 16.40
Refreshments, sector networking, advice surgeries and self-care

During the last break of the day, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • explore ‘self-care and energy’ in a short talk and exercise with Hannah Massarella from Bird (ideal for this time of the day!)
  • visit a sector expert in our pre-bookable advice surgeries
  • network with your peers in our sector corners
16.40 - 16.50
Results from The Hack

In this short talk, Matt will take us through the results of The Hack which will have been running throughout the day. There will be lots to learn as the process and prototype is revealed.

Matt Haworth
co-founder, Reason Digital

16.50 - 17.30
The current and imagined state of AI

The growing influence of AI on our lives can’t be ignored – it’s being seen almost everywhere including in the charity world. In this panel discussion, we’ll explore AI’s many applications looking at how different organisations can and are taking advantage of its current capabilities and where this might lead in future – including a more sinister side that must not be ignored.

Rhodri Davies
head of policy and programme leader, Giving Thought, Charities Aid Foundation

Brhmie Balaram
senior researcher, economy, enterprise and manufacturing, RSA

Akil Benjamin
head of research and founder, Comuzi

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