How Charity Digital’s digital marketing team is tackling the digital divide
We sat down with the marketing team at Charity Digital for the inside story on how the organisation is expanding its services for charities in 2019, plus what life is like as a digital marketer at the UK’s foremost charity tech partner.
Charity Digital has been helping charities make the most of digital technology for over 17 years, providing millions in savings through its software donation and payments processing services, supporting them through its charity email platform and keeping charities abreast of the latest digital trends through Charity Digital News.
We heard from Charity Digital’s three marketing team staff members for the inside scoop about life at Charity Digital, and how digital and marketing for charities is changing, and what the Trust has in store for charities in 2019.
Matt Moorut is Head of Digital and Marketing for Charity Digital. He started as an intern four years ago, and has since grown Charity Digital’s relationships with the charity and tech communities working across a range of key business areas including sales, consultancy and management.
CDN: How have you seen digital change in the last few years?
Matt Moorut: When I first joined Charity Digital, the biggest issue we were addressing was the lack of access that charities had to affordable, best-of-breed technology, but we’ve changed as the digital economy has changed. Now, we’re giving more information, teaching charities where to turn to for tech, how to use it, and more (as well as still providing access). That’s based on what we know about the needs of the sector, which is really cool.
We have a pretty huge contact list in the UK charity sector – almost 40,000 charities. From that, we can understand the sector in terms of digital adoption, better than almost any other organisation.
Beyond that, we’ve been running free events for charities around the UK since before I started at Charity Digital. They’re fantastic things to get involved with because you get to teach valuable skills to charities who need them, but actually I’ve loved running them because they give you a chance to learn about a whole range of different charities and the problems they face.
CDN: Which TT services do you think will make the biggest difference next year?
MM: It depends on how you measure the impact of things. The tech donation programme we run has saved UK charities more than £230 million now, which is pretty huge. On the other hand, Charity Digital Jobs, which we’ve set up this year, will let charities recruit better candidates to their roles – and that can make a huge difference. You can even see the Marketing and Communications Manager role at Charity Digital there!
We’re setting up some other cool projects just now, like an online advice service for charities, that will match volunteers to people in need of help. What’s great is that we can launch that out to thousands of charities really easily, so we can hopefully keep prices low by covering costs across more organisations.
Beyond that, we’re working with more, bigger tech companies now, which means we can do more to improve their offerings to charities. We’ll be running a conference and a webinar series, which again, should have great scale, so that’s exciting too.
Chloe Green is Copywriter within Charity Digital’s marketing team and has been at the organisation just over a year. Her role is a mix of writing for and managing Charity Digital News, writing content for Charity Digital News’ advertising clients, and producing and managing content to promote Charity Digital’s other services.
CDN: What resonates the most with charities when it comes to content?
Coming from a business technology background, I’d say understanding the charity audience has been one of the most interesting, and tricky, aspects of my job. There’s a difference between producing content that a CIO of a massive financial company wants to read, and that of a small charity CEO or senior manager.
Over the last year I feel I’ve come to understand a little bit of what resonates with our audience. Our charity readers mostly want content that they can easily pull apart for useful information, whether it’s a resource, a new digital grant or competition, some vital news on regulation or data risk to share with their trustees, a product comparison or a high-level tech concept simply explained.
But it’s a continuous process to refine our content to make it as useful as possible for readers, and I’ve been learning so much about analysing the data that we collect to build that bigger picture of what works and what doesn’t. Data analytics for inbound marketing is not an area I’ve had much experience in, but I was given the chance to do some training through Charity Digital and the support I’ve received from my team has helped grow my confidence in that whole area.
CDN: What are you looking forward to achieving in the near future?
I’m proud of how much we’ve achieved and especially how much Charity Digital News has grown in 2018, but I’m equally excited about the busy 2019 ahead. I’m especially looking forward to expanding out into the world of online and offline events with the hiring of our first ever Events Manager who’ll be joining us right after Christmas, the launch of our new webinar programme for small charities, and our first ever Charity Digital Conference in February.
It absolutely feels like a natural progression of where Charity Digital News has been heading as a hub for advice and support for charities looking to make the most of digital. We know from talking to our readers that they’re really keen to learn more about how to drive their impact with digital, but that it can be a difficult balancing act to strike when faced with so many other demands.
So we’re opening up more avenues for them to learn from experts and peers cost-effectively, in their own time and in ways that are focused specifically at the challenges they face as small-medium sized charities.
Emelia Goodall has been Marketing Executive at Charity Digital for just over two years, focusing on outbound messaging to raise awareness and engagement with Charity Digital’s services.
CDN: What do you think other charities might learn from the way TT works?
EG: Charity Digital is a small and mighty charity in my eyes, and I think that is down to the way we co-operate both as a team and with digital. We are an organisation that embraces change and adapts well, whether that be to the adoption of new platforms or new management. I think this is important for charities of any size as time is precious – being able to accommodate change quickly and with a good attitude makes everything run more smoothly, freeing up time for service delivery.
Our management team make a good effort to look into new platforms – like internal collaboration tools – that can help us work more efficiently, and also listen to feedback when certain programmes simply aren’t working for the organisation. This keeps our organisation current and keeps the team learning and improving as we collaborate in new ways.
CDN: What are you looking forward to achieving in the near future?
EG: We’ve got some exciting projects lined up for next year and it’s great to be a part of (hopefully) making these a success. We’re carrying a number of services into the new year including our latest addition, Charity Digital Jobs. This is the job portal we’ve created in collaboration with Prospectus.
It’s a fitting new addition as it complements our overall mission to encourage and improve the use of digital among charities. Building Charity Digital Jobs up to a well-known brand would be an amazing achievement for 2019, as I believe there really is a need for more digital-focused recruitment within the sector.