Published: 17 January 2018

Firing up the engines for 2018

2017 certainly lived up to the acronym VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, some of the many themes we explored in our report Whatever next? Public engagement in 2022.

We’ve certainly lived through much social, economic and political uncertainty and the work of our members has provided critical support in almost every section of society, from befriending the elderly and excluded, responding to terrorism here at home, getting humanitarian aid to where it’s most needed or funding pioneering science to save and transform lives.

At CharityComms, we’re proud and privileged to be working with you to help navigate uncertain times, predict trends in supporter behaviour, content and media and to help you tell your stories to inspire many more supporters.

We’ve seen the amazing work you’ve done. A look at the passionate and talented winners of the 2017 Inspiring Communicators Awards points the way for 2018.

This year we marked our 10 year anniversary and we reunited founders and friends, we delivered more events than ever, revamped our digital benchmark, matched mentees and mentors to support professional development and tested new event formats and venues in response to your feedback.

Our free media training for small charities buildt skills and confidence for working with the media. We tracked salaries in the sector and harnessed your knowledge to produce the Communications Benchmark 2017, which made for heartening reading, showing that CharityComms members are:

  • 17% more likely to value and invest in brand
  • 14% more likely to plan and deliver comms with an integrated approach
  • 16% more likely to see digital as essential to business strategy
  • 25% more likely to have the CEO on Twitter

THANK YOU

Our work and successes are impossible without your positive engagement, so a huge thank you for:

  • Speaking at our events
  • Sharing your case studies and best practice with honesty and openness
  • Throwing yourselves into speed networking
  • Testing Open Space to set your own agenda
  • Sustaining our special interest groups and regional networks
  • Feeding into our reports and best practice guides
  • Nominating award winners and helping us find the very best trustees
  • Taking the time to tell us what we can do better and identifying the gaps and opportunities for 2018.

Thanks also to you and the splendid CharityComms team for welcoming me as new CEO, for showing me the ropes and keeping me on my toes.

Optimistic outlook

The resilience, creativity and bravery of communicators in 2017 should stand us in good stead this year. CharityComms will be working hard to improve your membership experience with a fantastic programme of events and plan to create tools and templates to extend the value of this content.

A new edition of Make it Matter – our popular guide to creating communications strategies is on its way and we’re developing a guide to innovation.

We’ll also be exploring training partnerships to help support your career development.

If you’re not part of our incredible network – make joining CharityComms a New Year’s resolution to keep. It’s money well spent, but don’t just take it from me:

“A year ago, Just for Kids Law joined CharityComms. I am so glad we did. Our comms team barely adds up to one full time person and taking on the web redesign this year, in particular, was daunting. The CharityComms Knowledge Hub was invaluable when I was looking for inspiration on brand architecture. Whatever the comms issue, you will find helpful tips and advice there. The small charities conference in July couldn’t have been better organised, more inspiring or more useful. CharityComms is focused exclusively on this amazing sector of ours as we try to make a difference to people’s lives and bring about social change. As well as having access to all that expertise the team there are helpful, friendly and brimming with enthusiasm – it’s a great network to be part of.”

Caroline Dwyer, Just for Kids

Tell us what you want to see this year in the comments below.

Image: NordWood Themes on Unsplash


Adeela Warley, chief executive, CharityComms

Adeela has over 20 years’ experience in charity communications across multiple skills and functions: strategic planning, market research, media, PR, events, brand, publishing and digital. Before joining CharityComms, she led the development of organisational communications, brand and audience strategies for Friends of the Earth, putting them at the heart of the charity's campaigning success and supporter engagement.