All things digital
Edition 38 – Wednesday 13 January
Exploring video length best practices
The rise in video content was one of the few positive things to come out of 2020. But like most things – some of it was good and some could be better. Here’s a helpful guide on managing the length of your videos, improving accessibility and a round up of helpful tips.
Click here to view
Edition 37 – Wednesday 8 January
Awesome Tech Training are running a webinar on 8th January at 3pm- How to use Google Tag Manager. Tags are snippets of code that you add to your website in order to collect information and send it to third parties. Common examples include the Google Analytics tracking tag, the Facebook Pixel, the LinkedIn insight tag and Twitter conversion tracking tags but there are many, many others. [Well you learn something new every day]. The webinar costs £30 and you can book here book now
Edition 34 – Wednesday 3 December
The New Rules for Email Deliverability
Internet Service Providers are cracking down on high-volume email senders, such that even legitimate organisations are suffering. The best practices of the past few years are no longer sufficient. To prevent plummeting inbox rates – or to begin recovering from a recent penalty – you will need to quickly embrace the new rules of email deliverability.
Click here to download a paper that will help improve the health of your email list and stop your messages going straight to spam.
Edition 31 – Wednesday 4 November
Inclusive design for social media: tips for creating accessible channels
Several social platforms have made recent accessibility updates. Automatic captioning is available on Facebook Live and Instagram IGTV. After the inaccessible introduction of voice tweets, Twitter established two accessibility teams and plans to roll out automated captions by early 2021. Alt-image description fields are now available across all three platforms, as well as LinkedIn.
This article walks you through the latest developments and how best to use them to ensure your organisation’s social media existence is as inclusive as possible.
25 answers to the most common social media questions
With the social media landscape evolving constantly, there’s always something new to learn for both novice and experienced marketers alike.
So here are some of the most common and important questions about social media. Besides general social media FAQs, there is also platform-specific questions.
Maximising search traffic
A blog by Brittany Berger on How to write SEO title tags that maximise search traffic
How to start a podcast
Thinking of starting a podcast? Well, the folks at Sprout Social have put together six questions you need to answer prior to starting a podcast.
This includes the most important questions of all… what are you going to call your podcast?
Click here to read the other five questions (and find some help with the answers).
Have you tried LinkedIn Stories yet?
LinkedIn made its Stories option available to all users late last month, providing another way to connect with your LinkedIn audience and share relevant updates.
Stories have already become a key consideration on both Instagram and Facebook, and many now people prefer Stories over regular feed posts.
Edition 27 – Wednesday 30 September
Dive into the Charity Digital podcast store
Charity Digital’s free fortnightly podcasts cover the latest digital trends, to help further charities’ digital journeys. Catch up on all episodes so far at the Charity Digital site
When Zoom Is The Workplace: Facts About Remote Work & Mental Health
Edition 25 – Wednesday 16 September
Using Google Analytics
Google Analytics enables you to turbocharge your digital marketing, helping you understand where your website traffic comes from, which of your marketing activities are working and which aren’t, and how well your website generates new customers for your business.
Join Awesome Tech Training for this webinar during which we run through the elements of Google Analytics that are most useful for small businesses.
Introduction to Google Analytics
What is inclusive marketing (and why should charities be doing it)?
As the increased spotlight on inclusion continues to dismantle the barriers affecting people across the population, Charity Digital explores what inclusive marketing is and why charities should be doing it.
This article examines the concept of inclusive marketing to help enrich existing practices and deepen connections with supporters.
Click here to read the full article
6 ways to get more social media traffic to your website in 2020
Are you looking for ways to increase traffic to your business website? Here are six ways to get more traffic to your website, and a handy infographic.
- Add links to social bookmarking sites
- Add calls-to-action on links you share
- Use pinned posts on social media networks
- Make your social media cover images calls-to-actions
- Answer questions on social Q&A sites
- Have employees share content on their social channels
How building a chatbot helped Bipolar UK
Bipolar UK worked with the Tech for Good programme to build a chatbot. They talk about how it freed up staff time and helped them support more people.
Edition 23 – Wednesday 2 September
Social Media Marketing Examples of What to Stop, Start, and Keep Doing in 2020
If you are in charge of a social media account – both organisational or personal – this is an excellent article to refresh your mind after what has been a very frenetic few months on social media. This gives you space to pause, re-evaluate and think about how to connect with your audience going forward.
How to Create a Winning Video Marketing Strategy in 2020
Here’s a handy reference guide for anyone wanting to create a video to promote their organisation. Whether it’s 20 seconds or 20 minutes long these points are a good way to ensure the right messages are coming across clearly to the right audience. For those who prefer consuming video content, there’s a great video that you can watch with all this information – or you can stick to the traditional reading method. Up to you.
How to make your Facebook Business Page stand out…
There are now more than 90 million active small business pages on Facebook, so it’s important to take the time to think about how to make your page stand out from the rest.
The key tips to consider:
- Entering all the information you can to improve your chances of being found in search engine results
- Make sure your posts are unique and valuable to the people that you are aiming to reach
- Check that the settings of your page allow for your business page to be accessed by the public and not just logged-in users
Edition 21 – Wednesday 19 August
Interesting report from Reason Digital “Radical Accessibility: Research and Recommendations” about disabled people being excluded from digital service provision.
It’s quite a long report, but interesting and well written. The main take-home for me was “Accessibility is usability. They’re the same thing. People need to stop seeing them as separate. It is going to make your product better for everybody. There are so many examples of organisations who have excelled and improved their services because they made accessibility a priority.”
Also a useful list of resources at the end:
Accessibility support and tools:
- Microsoft’s Accessibility Fundamentals free training
- The WebAIM Million: an annual accessibility analysis of the top 1,000,000 home pages
- 5 digital accessibility myths busted
- How charities can meet the new digital accessibility standards
- Making your social media accessible
- How to design a website for someone affected by dementia
- How Scope built inclusion and accessibility into their new website
- Web Disability Simulator plugin for Chrome
- Google Lighthouse: tools for web developers
- Microsoft’s Inclusive Design methodology
- New accessibility for Google and Apple users
Edition 19 – Wednesday 5 August
Build a website in one day!
Online WordPress course for £50. Includes online support from a team of trainers and designed for those with no previous WordPress or web design experience.
More information here
Force for Good Programme matches charities with skilled tech volunteers
Every year, J.P. Morgan invites socially-focused organisations to participate in Force for Good
The programme’s goal is to accelerate the missions of charities and nonprofit organisations and uplift communities around the world, through the power of tech.
Organisations selected to participate in the programme will be aligned with a team of up to 10 highly-skilled technologists who will dedicate approximately 4 hours per week over an 8 month period to the project. They will be working to deliver a technical solution to a problem your organisation is facing in a way that will add value to both your project and the wider social sector.
The support is tailored to help charities with a variety of obstacles. The aim is to help them find and implement technology that’s not only going to help them better tackle their challenges, but also enable them to sustain and maintain the solution after the project has been completed.
If your organisation would benefit from the support and partnership of J.P. Morgan and the Force for Good programme, you can apply here
The deadline for applications is 14 August
Seven key findings from the Charity Digital Skills Report
Report author Zoe Amar outlines her key findings, explains what they mean for the sector – and shares some actions we can all take as a result.
Seven pearls of wisdom from charity digital old-timers
Catalyst talk to charities who’ve been through a digital transformation process about what they learned, and what lessons others can take away.
Best tools for creating graphics and editing photos
Using great graphics to tell compelling stories helps to increase your reach and engages audiences. With graphic and editing software, charities can also build a resource bank of content at little to no cost.
In this article Charity Digital assesses some of the best free and paid for graphic design tools and editing software available to charities. Click here to read their review
Listen again: How to optimise digital momentum created during Covid-19
Recently, Charity Digital held a webinar looking at ‘How to optimise digital momentum created during Covid-19’. It involved speakers from charities who had adopted a ‘internal digital mindset’ as a way to ensure their digital transformation was successful.
As we have all had to move towards a new digital way of working to varying degrees recently (see the Charity Digital Skills Report above), it is worth taking some time to listen to these experiences and see if there is any techniques or considerations that could be useful.
Click here to listen again
What to do when your content stalls
As the tidal wave of digital engagement begins to reduce as we come out of our lockdown states, social media bods across the country are starting to feel the last few months catching up with them.
So this is for all of you who feel like that – a handy look at reviewing and planning new content going forward.
Click here and enjoy
Charity Learning Consortium guides
A series of “little books” on charity digital subjects has been produced by the Charity Learning Consortium.
Small charity webinars
A series of webinars, including one from CAST, have been put together by the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales. Useful for charities tackling a broad range of problems.
Writing about digital exclusion
Here’s an interesting and worrying piece about the impact of digital exclusion during lockdown. Useful for anyone working with those at risk of exclusion.
Digital accessibility report
Reason Digital have produced a new report on the accessibility of charity digital services. Useful for anyone thinking about how to make sure everyone can access their work.
How to start a podcast
If you are considering starting a podcast, reading this article is a great place to start.
Should you start a podcast? And how to do it
Edition 17 – Wednesday 17 July
How to manage negative social media comments
At some point if you are on social media, you will encounter a negative comment or two directed your way.
The temptation is to respond in a similar manner and explain why they are wrong, however this is not usually the best approach.
Digital Giants has put together an infographic showing the seven steps to responding to a negative comment. We highly recommend adopting these as a strategy so you and your colleagues are prepared should you encounter such negativity.
Click here for the infographic
How to master Facebook Groups
Many of us are using Facebook Groups to reach out to our audiences. However, like most things out there, in order to grow these groups you need to invest time and energy. This handy guide shares a few ways you can build and engage your audience through Facebook Groups.
New ‘The Curve’ workshops coming up…
‘The Curve’ is a series of free, 90-minute workshops for third sector organisations. These online workshops aim to build knowledge around best digital practices, raise awareness of digital tools and ultimately help increase impact with digital.
The next workshops will be:
- How to support your team when working remotely – 20th July
- Introduction to Google Analytics – 24th July
- Data visualisaton – exploring Microsoft Excel – 29th July
How to run your own charity webinars
As we now have entered the World of Webinars, folks at Charity Digital have put together a guide to hosting a charity webinar including choosing the right platform, the build up to the event and how to follow up with your attendees post-meet. Click here to view the guide
[My advice would be to run away screaming “you can’t make me, you’re not my mum”, but perhaps it’s better to read the guide]
21 features you probably didn’t know about YouTube
This guide from Hootsuite talks you through creating links to start your video at a certain point, generating a transcript and blurring objects within your video, plus much much more. See all 21 tips on using YouTube
[I refer you to my previous advice]
Service delivery assessment tool
Lou Downe, one of the sector’s experts on good digital practice, has developed a tool to look at service quality. Useful to anyone trying to understand the value of their online services.
Digital trusteeship guide
A new guide to digital trusteeship from accountants Baldwins looks at the key competencies of the digital trustee. Useful to all charities interested in getting their board more engaged with digital.
Do you need a digital reset?
A blog from Rachel Coldicutt looks hard at charity digital practice. Useful for any charity considering whether the changes wrought by lockdown have got them to exactly the right place, and thinking about what happens next.
Edition 15 – Wednesday 1 July
An event focused on answering charities’ questions about digital. Useful for charities because it brings together a variety of experts to answer the most pressing questions. There are a selection of dates – every third Wednesday of the month at 11am
17 engaging ideas for what to post on Twitter
Sprout Social has some good ideas which can help change your approach, thinking or just give you that spark of creativity that you need – especially when you are having to come up with fresh content daily. Click here for the full list.
[Does anyone else feel like social media is another rod for our backs? Or is it just me being old and inept?]
Digital trustee recruitment
Resources are available at Trustees UnLtd and Reach Volunteering to help charities find digital trustees and other volunteers. Useful because digital starts at the top, and this is expertise you need on your board.
How to guides
SCVO have started a series of how-to guides. Useful because they’re a handy set of guides to help you get to grips with some of the basics of digital.
Edition 14 – Wednesday 24 June
Google offers £160m in advertising grants
Google has pledged $200m (£160m) in advertising grants for not-for-profit organisations that tackle “pressing” issues such as responding to Covid-19 and racial injustice. Google has said that qualifying not-for-profit organisations would be able to access $10,000 (£8,000) a month in in-kind Google ads to promote their organisations and reach new audiences. They have reduced the application process from 14 steps to two and introduced a virtual training session.
Click here for more information
The best online fundraising platforms for charities
Charity Digital have pulled together an up-to-date list of some of the best free and cheap online fundraising platforms for charities.
Edition 13 – Wednesday 17 June
School for Social Entrepreneurs are running a range of online workshops, including: Digital marketing and press for charities and social enterprise
30 June, 2020 (limited places available)
What you will learn:
- Content Marketing – How to engage your customers
- PR – How to get press online and offline
- Paid digital advertising – How to make the most of them
Find out more and book
Edition 12 – Wednesday 10 June
Which digital marketing channels are the most effective?
Just one of the questions answered in Empower’s new blog, exploring ways in which charities can reach existing and new audiences via digital channels.
What can fast food teach us about digital service design?
Why most assumptions are wrong, what this means for service design – and how you can fix your assumptions to deliver better digital services.
Elderly people and digital
Short and interesting blog from Charity Digital looking at how charities are supporting their older beneficiaries to connect digitally.
The Explore programme will help charities to scope a digital solution to improve outcomes for the people they support, and to build the skills to develop a strong, user-led approach to digital service delivery.
The programme will allow charities to engage in a 12-week learning journey to scope out the kinds of digital services they might provide and to explore how digital technology could transform the ways they work. The programme includes grants of £5,000 for individual organisations or £7,500 for collaborations.
The application process is open to UK charities and not-for-profit orgs with incomes over £75,000 and should address one of Comic Relief’s core issue areas. More information is available here. Applications close on 22nd June 2020.
Cyber Security – a how to guide By SCVO
- It’ll help you feel more confident in finding the balance between supporting your staff and volunteers to access your systems, and securing them against cyber attack.
- It shows how cyber security is not just an IT issue
How charities are reaching out to tech-averse service users By Charity Digital
- It’ll help you think about how to reach any of your users who don’t have tech or are tech-averse
- It includes some good examples to stimulate your thinking
What is Service Design and what does it mean for charities? From Lightful’s archive
- It gives a quite interesting, granular insight into what service design through the eyes of the Service Design Lead at Cancer Research UK
- It covers principles, differences to other methods and links to other useful resources
Edition 11 – Wednesday 3 June
Free digital communications support for charities
Media and marketing experts are offering their time and expertise for free to help charities meet the digital communications challenges they are facing during the Covid-19 outbreak. The support is being offered through the Media Trust’s Volunteer Platform, which matches communications experts with charities in need of help.
The Media Trust has also made a digital resource hub available to offer further help. The Media Trust’s guide to volunteering helps those in the media and creative industry learn more about employer supported skills based volunteering initiatives.
Edition 10 – Thursday 28 May
The small charity guide to increasing Twitter engagement
Charity Digital has put together a useful guide on how small charities can get more out of their Twitter account. This is really useful if you are new to social media management or want to refresh your thinking and approaches.
Keep checking those analytics – daily! It gives you a good idea what works with your audience. What was your top tweet? And why?
How digital is helping Mind support their network
How two weeks of questions, ideas and speedy testing changed the way Mind is working locally and nationally.
New digital funding and online support for charities and non-profits
Three top tips for organisations applying to Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s new £230,000 Explore programme.
New service recipe: Knaresborough Connectors
How the charity used a variety of Google tools to connect residents who are self-isolating, with those able to support them.
Ten young people’s charities using digital in cool ways
Quick overview of how ten charities have taken their young people’s services online
- It’ll give you a glimpse of what’s possible. Could you copy that?
- It includes links for more info on the services you are inspired by
An Accessible UX (user experience) checklist for charities. By Charity Digital
- It’ll give you a basic understanding of what UX, or user experience is
- It’ll show you how to think about using UX principles to make your digital services and content more accessible to your users
How the Scouts went through ‘digital transformation by pandemix’
The Scouts had to ramp up their digital activities overnight when lockdown started. Find out how it got on
The rise of ‘No Code’. The future of charity digital services?
No Code is already making it easier for charities to begin building digital services. We’ve got an article coming about this.
In the meantime, this article is useful because:
- It explains what ‘No Code’ is (yeah, it’s probably what you think it is)
- It shows, with examples, how services can be built without code
[I haven’t got a clue what this all means, but I’m sure somebody out there will]
Edition 9 – Wednesday 20 May
How to select the right digital tool for your charity, and feel good about how you chose it
Assemble is a new step-by-step process to take the pain out of choosing third party tools and software. For charities and social enterprises who want to make good tech decisions, in the right way.
A guide to staying connected
Local Trust has produced a guide to staying connected and a digital toolkit to help those of us who maybe aren’t as confident in the big wide world of digital. See the full guide here
Miro – realtime whiteboard for remote collaboration
Introduction to an online collaboration tool many charities are beginning to use across their remote teams. Miro is useful for charities because it:
- Acts like an office whiteboard with extra features, while also being faster, neater and more flexible
- Has a free package but also offers charity discounts on paid packages
What is essential? – TNL’s Digital Fund May Learning Event
Monday, May 18th, 15.30 – 17.00 (free)
Useful because it:
- Will stimulate your reflections on what has become essential for your charity since the pandemic started
- Will help you think about what you don’t want to continue with as your charity moves into the pandemic’s next phases
DigiShift Zoom call: Digital Content and User Needs
Thursday 14th May, 14.00-15.30 (free)
- It’ll give you real examples of how using the right words and content can make your digital services work better
- It’ll give you some hands on techniques you can go away and try
Replacing live events and face to face contact in the Covid-19 pandemic
Article by Outlandish, about a new platform they built for the European Union Youth Orchestra.
- Shows how easy and quick it can be to build an integrated online community platform using common web tools
- Includes clear descriptions of the end result with screenshots showing online events, downloadable resources and discussion forums
See how they did it
Digital Safeguarding Resource Pack 40 page guide published by Against Violence and Abuse.
Useful because it:
- Describes online safeguarding principles and implementation steps better than anything we’ve seen so far
- Lots of situation specific advice relevant to different types of online service delivery
Get the pack
Edition 8 – Wednesday 13 May
Media Trust puts together guide on accessible technology and communications
The Media Trust writes: “With more of us working remotely than ever before, it is so important that our disabled colleagues are not left out and locked out by inaccessible communications.
“Fortunately, the digital platforms and technology we use for work is at its most accessible ever, and this is only being developed further as the weeks under lockdown go by.” The guide covers the available tools and resources. To download the guide, click here
How Samaritans are using digital and mobile to respond to lockdown
Samaritans have faced a host of challenges as a result of lockdown.
Find out how they’re overcoming them
How to plan your next steps during lockdown
Catalyst and Zoe Amar Digital are jointly offering two free ‘what next?’ webinars, designed to help charities work out next digital steps during Covid-19.
Take Five: the best content from around the Catalyst network
Read some key learning and advice from our charity partners.
Creating empathy in online services
Read part one of our series about maintaining the human connection as services move rapidly online.
Edition 7 – Wednesday 6 May
Taking an inclusive approach to remote working
Business in the Community have produced a toolkit offering insight and advice on how employers can take an inclusive approach to support employees likely to be working from home during the pandemic.
It has identified four key areas for employers:
- How to take an informed and people-centered approach to the crisis;
- How to ensure the basics are in place;
- Suggestions on how to adjust communication styles to reflect new working practices;
- How to help carers care.
Online on a shoestring
SSE Fellow Hannah Broughton has created a free Virtual Workbook designed to support small to medium social enterprises who are looking at taking their services online with a limited budget. It covers everything from putting together an online offer, to safeguarding, online adaptations and impact collection.
You can download it here
Replacing drop-in services with an online chat
Catalyst provides a seven step guide to setting up an online chat for your beneficiaries
New platform showing how other charities are delivering their services
A collaboration of organisations has created a platform that collects practical examples of services charities have delivered digitally, which other charities can reuse and learn from. More information can be found here
Edition 6 – Wednesday 29 April
For quick advice on all things digital…
For quick advice from over 1,600 charity folk, go to Digital Charities Slack. Sign up is easy and you can ask about literally any charity digital subject.
Deep, structured and supported
If you’re wrestling with a service delivery challenge, or trying to work out what type of online help your users need, or how they might access it, then Online Design Hops will guide you through the process from start to finish. The difference from training courses is that Hops are experiential. So by the end of your Hop you’ll have moved forward with your challenge and learnt about digital service design. Sign up here
Shifting services online
A case study of how SafeLives adapted its services to tackle domestic abuse during COVID-19. How one charity shifted more services online while experiencing a surge in demand and a drop in income.
In-depth and tailored
For in-depth advice from an expert, go to Digital Candle. You submit a request, get introduced to one of 170 experts then arrange a 1hr call. You can ask about any charity digital subject. Or you could try #CrisisConnections, a similar free service set-up as a direct COVID-19 response.
How to make digital content and influence people
Lloyds Bank Foundation has produced a series of downloadable guides which can help you share strong, impactful communications when maybe you don’t have a lot of time. It covers building your brand, video content, social media, web design and influencing.
Edition 5 – Wednesday 22 April
How do you maintain a sense of team remotely?
An article on CharityComms’ website canvasses opinion from the sector on how to maintain team spirit during the lockdown.
There are a variety of ideas on the website, but our primary mode of ‘togetherness’ at Action Hampshire seems to be via a very, ahem, wide ranging Whatsapp group. Posts in the last week have covered such high-brow topics as: baking, Supervet, baking, silly Do Not Disturb signs, baking, pets doing household chores, baking, not eating carrots, baking and origami. Love my team!
Catalyst have produced 6 useful tips on how to move your training services from face-to-face to online.
Superhighways has put together five top tips to avoid being ‘Zoom bombed’ i.e. letting people into your Zoom meetings who really shouldn’t be there, and possibly have something quite unsavoury to contribute… Take a look at the blog to keep your Zoom meetings secure
Digitising therapeutic services
Catalyst have also produced a case study showing how Young Somerset digitised their one-to-one therapy service in just one week.
Edition 2 – Wednesday 1 April
The Small Charities Coalition has a page on remote working, with links to these publications by CAST (Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology).
- How to stay connected when working remotely
- Getting started with Zoom
- Getting started with Skype Video
- Getting started with Google Hangouts
- CAST practical guide to remote meetings. Includs participation, running the meeting, hand gestures, tools we use, and technical setup
Coping practically and emotionally during the Covid-19 outbreak
Only partly about homeworking, but with practical ideas about how to deal with what is going on around you while you are working (or trying to).
From desk jockey to badass remote worker in a few easy steps
Shelly Palmer, 8 March 2020. Produces a daily newsletter on advertising, marketing and technology. He starts this article with “The sociology of productive remote working is much more difficult to master than the technology. Said differently, learning to work by yourself is harder than you think it is. Here are a few tips that will unlock your inner badass remote worker skills.”
How to work remotely in a time of coronavirus
Looks at “the technological solutions which enable distributed working, and the adaptations to culture and ways of working that are involved”, based on the experience of a real organisation.
Working from home during the coronavirus pandemic
Covid-19 working from home risk assessment
Cyber risk warning as coronavirus spurs remote working
HR has a critical role in these remote working times
“Remote working does not mean people are sent home to fend for themselves.”
Edition 1 – Thursday 26 March
Working Families are offering their “Managing remote/home workers” resources free of charge. Download here
There are masses of resources on offer to support you with remote working. Amongst them:
- The Catalyst is providing digital guidance and support for charities
- Digital Candle is offering a free one hour of digital guidance for charities