Baby charity’s digital-first strategy wins Charity Governance Award

Awards judges impressed by baby charity’s concerted adoption of digital media to bring quantifiable improvements across a range of activities.

James Hayes | 30th May 18
Image shows representatives from premature babies' charity Bliss, winners of a 2018 Charity Governance Award thanks to their digital-first strategy.

Premature and sick baby charity Bliss has won the Embracing Digital category at the 2018 Charity Governance Awards, including an unrestricted grant for £5,000, for it’s digital-first strategy.

The event’s judges reported that they were impressed by Bliss’s ‘online overhaul’ which resulted in great results for  the organisation’s public engagement and income.

“Launching an ambitious digital-first strategy has transformed the way Bliss champions the right for every baby born premature or sick to receive the best possible care,” said the judges. “Supporting parents with essential information is at the heart of the charity’s life-saving work. And to make it more accessible to more people, Bliss decided to ask service-users and supporters exactly what they wanted to see on the charity website.”

Bliss’s digital-first makeover has delivered quantifiable results, the judges found. Website visitor numbers, for instance, have risen by more than 30% in a year (2016-2017), and 92% of parents polled said that they found the content useful.

Better targeting and richer content of its social media strategy has helped Bliss gather vital data on its supporters. This has boosted a 54% increase in likes and 14% more followers on Facebook (compared to the previous year’s figures).

“The Bliss board ensured that the charity invested in digital skills to make the strategy sustainable,” said Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive at Bliss. “Technically-minded trustees also got hands-on to share their knowledge with staff.”

Income from branded events has increased by more than 25% year-on-year (2016-2017), Bliss reported. A new digital-only event, Go the Distance for Bliss, raised £25,000 in its debut year, and attracted hundreds of new supporters.

“It was clear that digital is something that has been embraced across Bliss, driven and supported from board level,” added the Charity Governance Awards judges. “Data and insight from their beneficiaries informed the strategy, and their level of engagement went above and beyond oversight – they committed time and expertise to add real value and support to the executive team.”

“I’d like to extend thanks to everyone at Bliss who contributed to making our digital-first strategy a success, and to our trustees for challenging and encouraging us to be bold in how we make best use of digital technology to reach our audiences,” added Caroline Lee-Davey. “The award will inspire us to continue with the next phases of this work.”

Bliss was founded in 1979 by a group of parents who discovered that no hospital had all the equipment nor the trained staff it needed to safely care for premature and sick babies.

The runners-up to Bliss in the Embracing Digital category were Hestia and NAVCA.