The charity digital conference

20 November 2019
09.00 - 17.55
CharityComms organisational and individual members: £180+vat
Corporate Partners: £225+vat
Small charity (income up to £1m) and freelancers: £200+vat
Medium charity (income £1-5m): £250+vat
Large charity (income £5m - 10m): £285+vat
Super large charity (income £10m+): £315+vat
Corporate/Public sector: £400+vat

This venue is wheelchair accessible.

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

This event is now fully booked. If you would like to be added to the waiting list please email Lauren.

What a difference a year can make in digitalOur annual, sell-out digital conference will convene again this year to explore the latest changes, trends and innovations to help your charity thrive in the ever-evolving digital environment. 

This event is designed for charity digital, marketing and comms professionals at all levels. With six streams running throughout, you’ll have the opportunity to tailor your day 

Therell be the same mix of inspiring talks, practical breakouts and advice surgeries with expert suppliers. We’ll also be offering breaktime activities and restoration spaces to help you relax and refocus in the fast-paced digital world 

We will be having six streams running throughout the day, which are:

  • Digital strategy, culture and skills

  • Content and marketing 

  • Social media and engagement

  • World of work and wellbeing

  • Data and audience

  • Product development and service delivery


9.00 - 10.00
9:00 - 9:50
Digital bytes - breakfast and networking

Start the conversation, meet new contacts and enjoy some delicious pastries, fresh fruit and freshly prepared smoothies and cereals – it’s always worth arriving early!

9:30 - 9:50
The joy of missing out yoga

Put your devices down, turn off your alerts and forget the stresses of your morning commute. Instead, embrace the joy of missing out with this gentle yoga and mindful breathing session. Led by qualified yoga instructor and CharityComms mentoring manager – Lally Wentworth, you’ll come away with some simple selfcare techniques to help you focus your attention on the present moment and relieve tension. What a great way to start your day.

Suitable for: all - no previous experience necessary. We suggest suggest comfortable clothing that you can do gentle stretches in for the session. Spaces are limited - book early to avoid disappointment.

10.00 - 10.15

Adeela Warley
CEO, CharityComms

10.15 - 10.45
Digital through their eyes: online trends and behaviour

From Baby Boomers to Gen Alpha (and everything in between), Matt will look at how different audiences interact with digital today. Based on brand new research from Reason Digital, Matt will outline how charities can tap into this insight in order to provide better digital experiences and scale up outreach and capability. He’ll also be outlining trends for digital communicators to watch out for.

Matt Haworth
co-founder, Reason Digital

10.45 - 11.15
The Joy of Work: the secrets of workplace psychology that can help us feel happier and more productive

We’re thrilled to hear from Bruce Daisley, EMEA vice president at Twitter, author of No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller ‘The Joy of Work’ and producer of popular podcast: ‘Eat Sleep Work Repeat’. From Google to Twitter – Bruce has worked for some of the world’s largest media companies and in his time he’s become fascinated by what makes great organisations tick. In his talk, Bruce will explore some of the ways in which technology impacts our workplaces and how we can make our jobs more enjoyable and productive in the face of the ‘burnout’ epidemic.

Bruce Daisley
author and vice president, EMEA, Twitter

Refreshments, advice surgeries and restoration room

There might be a lot going on but that’s so you can pick what suits youYou can get a cuppa throughout, visit our restoration room for some quiet time, visit our expert suppliers or join our brain dating for digital leaders 

  • At 11.25 we will be having braindating for digital leaders – come along and meet your peers
11.45 - 12.25
Breakout session one

Please choose between one of the talks OR the mini design sprint workshop. Please note the mini design sprint runs throughout breakout sessions one and two. There are limited places at this so please sign up early to avoid disappointment. 

Digital strategy, culture and skills
1a. How do we become the Monzo of the charity sector?

Building a digital-ready culture in a traditional organisation doesn’t mean dumping everything that has made it strong. But what does it take for legacy charities to become more agile and innovative? Since 1911 people with deafness and hearing loss have been supported by the charity that is now known as Action on Hearing Loss (formerly the RNID). Now it is bringing fresh thinking to the way it works, with everything from the brand to culture and from strategy to skills. Come along to this session and hear about its journey plus take away top tips and learnings for your own transformation projects. 

Michael Wilkinson
digital director, Action on Hearing Loss

Suitable for: anyone from medium to large charities working on transformation in older organisations.

Content and marketing
1b. Growing your channels and engagement on a budget

Focusing on Instagram, Shirin will show us how the tiny team at Young Minds has used an audience-insight driven approach to grow their channels and engagement exponentially over the past year. From how they’ve built a team of influencers to producing a social content strategy and running low-budget ad campaigns – Shirin will give us the inside story and offer her tips for your charity.

Shirin Zaid
digital communications manager, YoungMinds

Suitable for: people from smaller charities who are managing social channels with an interest in growing them.

Social media and engagement
1c. An influencer's perspective: in conversation with the Collyer twins

Influencer marketing has grown massively in recent years with top social influencers commanding huge audiences. In this session, we’ll be interviewing social influencers – the Collyer twins – to find out more about how social influencers like to work with charities. From what makes an appealing partner and approach to how best to brief and build trust. There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask their burning questions too.  

Jordan and Loanne Collyer
DJs, bloggers and presenters

Suitable for: anyone interested in hearing directly from influencers about how best to work with them. 

World of work and wellbeing
1d. How to tackle Imposter Syndrome and thrive in the digital world  

Do you feel like a fraudster who doesn’t deserve their job? Then you could be experiencing Impostor Syndrome. This is where (despite evidence to the contrary) you get a persistent feeling of self-doubt or fraudulence. Come to this talk and find out how some very surprising people feel exactly the same way and learn how to stop feeling impostor syndrome and start thriving in the digital world. 

Adam Waters
director of digital content, British Forces Broadcasting Service

Suitable for: anyone wishing to explore Imposter Syndrome – whether it’s affecting your digital leadership experience or your social media management.

Data and audience
1e. Using data to understand trust: how AI and cognitive psychology are transforming what's possible    

In a world where trust is in free fall, this talk will explore the psychology of trust and what it means for charities today. You’ll hear how state-of-the-art AI, alongside breakthrough academic discovery can offer us new ways to see, measure and understand what impacts trust. Through tangible examples Stuart and James will reveal how trust performs on a daily basis and what interventions have the most impact in the sector.

Dr James Carney
psycholinguist and wellcome trust fellow in medical humanities, Brunel University London

Stuart Youngs
creative director, Studio Texture

Suitable for: medium to large charities that are interested in brand performance and marketing/content strategies in the digital age

Hack 2.0. – Lego Agile workshop

Take a break from listening and let’s get hands on with this interactive LEGO workshop. Led by the team at Reason Digital, this 1.5 hour session will consist of a fast-paced, Lego SCRUM workshop. You’ll have fun whilst we teach you Agile techniques you can use in your everyday roles to help make you more productive and to create better products.

We’ll start by giving you a quick intro to agile methodology, then get straight into the LEGO! This is where you’ll learn hands-on techniques such as user stories, estimation and prioritisation, and how these relate to your everyday roles – it’s all hands on deck here! No previous experience necessary.

This workshop will run throughout breakout sessions one and two. 

Lucy Bushby
digital partner, Reason Digital

Christian Shannon
senior designer , Reason Digital

12.35 - 13.20
Breakout session two
Digital strategy, culture and skills
2a. Finding, growing and retaining your in-house digital marketing talent

We are seeing an increased demand across the charity sector for in-house digital marketing skills, which can present significant challenges. In this session, we’ll be exploring the core issues– from finding digital talent to retaining valuable people (a significant problem in our sector). Nate will share where organisations are struggling and give advice on how to improve recruitment and retention rates. If this is an issue in your organisation, then this session is a must.

Nate Wood
strategy director, Fresh Egg

Suitable for: Suitable for: all anyone responsible for recruiting and nurturing digital marketing talent.

Content and marketing
2b. The evolving supporter journey: content trends to look out for

In 2019, we’ve seen the merge of content marketing and marketing funnels, with charities putting more emphasis on creating content that directly links to a stage in their supporter’s journey. Increasing trends in personalisation, AI, dark social, podcasts and video are set to impact and improve every stage of this journey – so how do you ensure you’re not left behind? In this session, we’ll explore some of the key trends marketing, digital and social media managers need to look out for and share our advice for setting yourself up for success.

Ed Hardy
creative lead, Raw London

Suitable for: senior content, brand, marketing and social media managers

Social media and engagement
2c. Building a bloody good content calendar for social

Bloody Good Period started as a personal whip-round on Facebook, asking for donations of period supplies for women living in poverty. Since then it’s grown into a charitable project partnered with 32 centres and a vision to end period poverty. Growing up in the digital era means this tiny organisation has digital baked into its DNA, with social media continuing to be at the heart of its growth. Its volunteer team of digital natives help produce a steady flow of humorous and meaningful content, while artists create thought-provoking art to cut through the noise and grab attention. Come along and learn how to build a calendar of content for social. Rachel will also cover how humour can help you engage and build a like-minded community.

Rachel Grocott
social media consultant , Happy Social

Suitable for: smaller charities wishing to use social to build and engage a tribe of supporters, and for those looking for ideas to plan and produce content for social success with limited budget.

World of work and wellbeing
2d. Wellbeing in the world of digital communications: top tips and discussions

We know that working in charity communications can be emotionally challenging. Whether it’s dealing with trolls, managing a crisis on social, creating sensitive content or listening to stories from supporters and beneficiaries that are upsetting or disturbing. Often there seems to be little awareness from the top, and lack of support for PR, social and comms teams, when dealing with sensitive issues. In this session, Kirsty and Helen will offer tips to help you manage your mental wellbeing and make suggestions for how managers can support colleagues. This will be a safe space to discuss any issues you may have. During the session, you’ll have the opportunity to start a wellbeing framework to take away with you. 

Kirsty Marrins
copywriter, trainer and consultant, freelance

Helen Breakwell
qualified counsellor and founder , Wellspring Therapy Service

Suitable for: everyone no matter your budget or role.

Data and audience
2e. Data driven decisions: leadership for a digital age

World Vision is transforming its whole organisation using data.  Learn from Martin and Ben how data-driven decision making is accelerating change, how “leading indicators” are improving performance and how new approaches to leadership and management are revolutionising accountability and changing the culture of this 70-year-old organisation. Martin and Ben will show you case studies and practical examples of how to collect, process and present data in dashboard form to teams, managers and senior leadership, and how to drive change throughout your organisation.
Ben Nolan, head of supporter growth, World Vision

Martin Campbell
director of innovation and strategy, World Vision

Suitable for: digital leaders (from all charity sizes) interested in how data can and should guide strategic decision making.

Two-course networking lunch, advice surgeries and restoration room

There’s a lot going on throughout the lunch break – that’s so you can pick what suits you. Please don’t feel you have to go to everything and if all you want is a quiet break – just head to the restoration room.

During lunch we will also be having:

  • Charity film showcase
  • Lunch and learn talk: staying private online       
  • Brain-dating for those who are ‘new to digital’ – come along and meet your peers 
14.20 - 14.25
Welcome back

Adeela Warley
CEO, CharityComms

Breaking down barriers – using digital for change

Greg Owen is co-founder of iwantPrEPnow, a website which not only facilitates the safe purchase of genuine PrEP (the HIV prevention drug) but a website which generated a 40% drop in HIV diagnoses in London in one year. Working from his bedroom with no digital expertise, Greg has never let a fear of tech prevent him from making change. Now working with Terrence Higgins Trust as Activism Coordinator, he recently starred in the critically acclaimed, landmark BBC documentary The People vs The NHS: Who Gets The Drugs? Greg will be sharing his journey and how digital has empowered him to change lives. He shares the experience of the battle for PrEP in the UK and the mindset you need to have a real impact with digital.

Greg Owen
Co- founder, iwantPrEPnow

Looking after your team in challenging digital environments

There’s an increasing concern about trolling and bullying on social media of charities and their individual staff. From having to read hurtful and hateful comments to more serious astroturfing and doxing – just what are our digital comms colleagues having to deal with and what impact is it having on them? In this session, James will give us an overview of what can happen and the landscape out there as well as offering his top tips for looking after colleagues during challenging times.

James Barker
associate head of digital , NSPCC

15.15 - 15.45
Afternoon refreshments, advice surgeries, brain-dating and restoration room

During this break, there will also be:

  • Brain-dating for social media managers. Come along and meet your peers.
15.45 - 16.15
Breakout session three
Digital strategy, culture and skills
3a. Digital innovation: commercialising programmes to strengthen and scale

Over the last 40 years The Prince’s trust has helped ensure positive outcomes for one million young people. But an ambitious organisational strategy set the challenge for the charity to reach one million more in just 10 years. To do this, the charity established a culture that embraces innovation – inviting staff to submit viable, desirable and disruptive ideas that will drive positive change. The biggest idea The Prince’s Trust committed to this year was taking a successful recruitment matching service, that unites talented young people with employers, and commercialising it in a bid to create an online jobs board which values people over paper (CVs) – while investing profits back into the charity. In this session, delegates will get insights on digital youth trends, as well as learn from this brilliant example of digital change and how it was embedded into the heart of a corporate strategy.


Vicky Yorke
innovation project lead, The Prince's Trust

Donna White
senior head of digital marketing, The Prince's Trust

Suitable for: Senior digital marketers and product designers, third sector innovators and anyone who wants to be inspired by charities creating new revenue streams

Content and marketing
3b. Content Psychology 101

Have you ever wanted to get into the minds of your customers and understand the best way to connect with them? If so, Psychology may hold the key. Let Karla Rivershaw take you on a journey through the human brain and discover what happens when we read, how different formats can influence engagement and why creating unique digital experiences is key in a competitive environment.

Karla Rivershaw
head of marketing, Turtl

Suitable for: marketing directors, heads of marketing, content creators and marketing managers from mid to large sized charities.

Social media and engagement
3c. Building an online campaign with Facebook ads to drive real world action

Over the last year Dignity in Dying has built a movement to accelerate its campaign for law change. In this session, Dave will talk through how they used a test-and-learn approach to Facebook advertising and email to recruit 90,000 new supporters, drive tens of thousands of pounds in donations, and mobilise supporters to influence their MPs through local activism. In this session, attendees will learn how to use Facebook ads and “handraisers” to rapidly and cost-effectively grow supporter bases and run effective email fundraising programmes.

David Pearce
director of fundraising and marketing, Dignity in Dying & Compassion in Dying

Alex Lloyd
co-executive director, Forward Action

Suitable for - Digital Campaigners & Fundraisers / Campaigns/Fundraising Directors & Managers

World of work and wellbeing
3d. Using digital in the workplace to break down internal silos and drive collaboration

The workplace is changing. A new generation of workers expect to be informed, inspired and engaged by both their organisation and its mission. But with investment in the back office a constant struggle, what can charities do to make sure they aren’t left behind? In this session we’ll hear from Tia from Facebook’s Workplace – a communications and collaborative platform which is provided free for charities and used to drive social impact. She’ll outline the challenges charities must tackle to overcome silos and build a thriving and collaborative culture.

Tia Jeewa
workplace for good program manager, Facebook

Suitable for: anyone interested in culture change, internal and external communications in charities.

Data and audience
3e. “Can we have it on the home page?” Introducing personalised user experiences for varied audiences

If your organisation has multiple priorities and needs to talk to different audiences via one website (at one time), you may be in a similar position to VSO. VSO’s audiences are extremely varied. From high-level funders working internationally, to potential volunteers from Africa, Europe and the US, to supporter groups in counties over the UK. The audiences are different. The messaging is different. The asks are very different. This year, they are addressing the issue through real-time personalisation. Breaking down audience segments by location, source and behaviour, in order to bring the right content and asks to the user – without them having to search for it. So, if you too would like to stop explaining why everything can’t go on the home page – come along to this session to hear about what’s possible, the lessons and the successes. 

Nick Adie
digital communications manager, VSO International

Lee Batchelor
digital project manager, VSO International

Suitable for: digital, communication and content managers looking to explore website personalisation at an application level (rather than a CRM-level solution).

Product development and service delivery
3f. Building as you go – digital product design for smaller charities

Hear from MQ about their work embedding agile service design methods in a small team and with limited budgets. Head of digital Kat will share tips on how they started small and scaled, building the business case for investment as they went. From identifying the issues to tackle, to developing quick Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) that can be tested and validated – Kat will talk you through how digital product design can work in practice at smaller organisations and be used to leverage all-important funding.

Kathryn Excell
head of digital, MQ: Transforming Mental Health

Suitable for: anyone interested in how digital product design can work in practice at smaller organisations.

16.25 - 16.55
Breakout session four
Digital strategy, culture and skills
4a. Digital change in fundraising and comms - how to do it and take people with you

Last year, the Brooke action for working horses and donkeys, embarked on a digital marketing strategy development process responding to the ambition to diversify their audiences, offer greater online stewardship and future-proof their income. In this session, they’ll talk through the process of selling-in the need for change to the top team (including securing the budget), the strategy development process and steps they took to implement the recommendations. A key element of their success was how they supported and empowered colleagues throughout the Fundraising and Communication directorate to develop new digital skills and put them into practice. Come along and find out about the journey plus takeaways and lessons learnt.

Branislava Milosevic
director, Digital Leadership Ltd

Rachel Bhageerutty
head of communications, Brooke action for working horses and donkeys

Suitable for: larger organisations

Content and marketing
4b. The most powerful story a charity can tell 

Throughout human history there has been one meta-story which has proved the most powerful and successful.  It crosses time, space, culture, genre, and medium and can be found everywhere from Twitter to Titanic. Whether you’re telling a fictional tale, documenting the truth or inspiring people to join your cause, this common theme has the power to move your audience greatly, both emotionally and to action. Stephen Follows, creative director of third-sector story agency Catsnake, will provide a crash course in this story arc and how charities can use it to open hearts, minds and wallets.

Stephen Follows
creative director, Catsnake

Suitable for: all budgets and levels of experience. For anyone producing content and who is interested in using storytelling in this process.

Content and marketing
4c. Thirteen Moments with your donor in one day

For many of us our daily engagement with ‘digital’ is so much a natural part of our existence that our interactions with it become autonomic. To identify, understand and harness these daily digital moments is to learn a language that can speak to a donor in the right place, at the right time, in the right mindset. To illustrate Jody introduces millennial Karen and her typical day full of diverse digital consumption. The session provides ideas and inspiration and is an accessible short cut to fluency in the fundraising potential of paid digital media.

Jody Appleton
head of digital and social, Root Media

Suitable for: marketeers of all levels. For all budgets - from smaller charities running city level digital campaigns to larger charities looking to take a controlled risk in a test environment.

Social media and engagement
4d. Reactive marketing with purpose: how one tweet lead to worldwide impact

Earlier this year #AmazonRainforest trended on Twitter due to the increased fires the Amazon was facing. WWF UK shared a tweet that went viral and broke into mainstream press. We know that reactive marketing is effective for increased engagement, but how can you use this engagement to create worldwide impact and make sure it’s not engagement for engagement’s sake? In this session Nicola will share her experience of how WWF UK used the engagement generated from their social media activity to launch the charity’s first emergency appeal and petition – and the incredible impact this had on donations, brand awareness and political change. She’ll also be sharing insights on what impact this social media activity had in mobilising supporters and the whole organisation, and why WWF UK are now shifting their future efforts to focus on more shareable content.

Nicola Gee
senior social media manager , WWF UK

Suitable for all but particularly managers in social media and media as we’ll be covering tips on ensuring credibility in times of fake news.

Product development and service delivery
4e. Streamlining service-user experiences across channels

Often when we talk about ‘fixing’ homelessness or the housing crisis, solutions are small and practical. This session will show how something as abstract as redesigning the information architecture of a housing law website could end up having a substantially positive impact. In this discussion, Matteo will present the various methods explored by Shelter to help streamline their advice seekers’ experiences across different channels.

Matteo Remondini
senior service designer, Shelter UK

Suitable for: medium to large budgets and for anyone interested in how to map and develop service user experiences across channels.

16.55 - 17.55
Fear of missing out – drinks, networking and close

Don’t miss out on one last chance to come together and make those all-important peer connections. Just before you dash off, we’ll be enjoying some refreshing drinks.

Sponsored by:


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.