We need to talk! (Guest post) » Charity Digital News

We need to talk! (Guest post)

Anna from the CharityConnect team shares her thoughts on why the charity sector needs greater connection and collaboration

Being part of building the CharityConnect community has been an incredible experience so far. Having grown to nearly 6,000 members in six months, I’ve seen an empty site go to one filled with exciting conversations. I have met so many incredible people who love what they do and are passionate about bringing about change. When speaking to these experts in fundraising, digital, marketing, policy and many others the common theme is that they are looking to the future with a sense of anxiety and insecurity.

In the last year, we have seen the trend of heavy criticism of individual charities, and the sector as a whole, continue. As charity people, we know many of these criticisms are unfounded or only apply to a small minority. However, we’re all being painted with the same brush and losing public trust. Like many, I feel angry and saddened that a sector that does so much good and is full of such driven people continues to get its reputation dragged through the mud.

But it isn’t all bad news; speaking to these influencers I have learnt that we could see it as a challenge rather than a problem.

Clare Lucas, Activism Manager at Mencap said: “We seem to be in a period where there is a growing focus on what divides us as opposed to what unites us. As charities, we have an important role to play in challenging this rhetoric by working with one another to tackle common evils and challenges.

“Instead of trying to take on the good fight in isolation, we should partner up with others in the sector and present a united front on those issues where we share common goal. Not only does this help increase the likelihood of success but it also presents a powerful example of what can be gained when we put the collective good above individual gain.”

Mandy Johnson, CEO of Second Gift added: “The charity sector is facing so many challenges and the only way we can face them is together. CharityConnect is a space that is intentionally listening to its users so make sure it is providing what is most useful to us.”

It’s clear that we can either get depressed, or we can see this as an exciting challenge that will bring us together. It’s a chance to change how we do things, no more business as usual! In this difficult time it is vital that we discuss the future of the sector together, rather than continuing to work in our silos.

Our vision at CharityConnect is an online community where people throughout the sector come together in a culture of collaboration, to learn and engage in the conversations that need to be had.

I am excited to see what this vision of working together across the sector could do. Potentially amazing things for individual charities and the sector as a whole. It could save individuals time by sharing knowledge, bringing fresh inspiration and helping to build a valuable network throughout the sector. I truly believe there is so much to be gained by being part of a community and part of the conversations important to the future of the sector.

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