Charity Sector | Life

Guest Post: The digital opportunity charities are missing

12th May 2017
Online Influencers new engagement for Charities

This post has been written by a blogger and digital influencer that I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last year or so. John is a huge advocate for volunteering and the charity sector, he brings a fresh and innovative narrative to the forefront. I was very excited when John offered to guest blog for The Sussex Girl and it follows quite nicely on from my recent post about Working in the Charity Sector.  Please do check out John’s own blog and follow him on Twitter, you won’t be disappointed!

When you hear about the struggles internally, you over-analyse data, question your business plan and wonder whether there’s a gap your team are missing.

We’re in 2017, and yet, the sector is struggling. Is there a digital platform charities are missing out on to take their services to the next level? To recruit more volunteers? To generate income through word of mouth and digital fundraising?

Online influencers are the key to increasing awareness in 2017!

Online Influencers new engagement for Charities John Sennet

Online influencers; bloggers and YouTubers to be more precise, are individuals and sometimes groups, who share their story online. A story combining their thoughts and opinions, adding in life experiences to the content.

What even is content? What’s the meaning of an online influencer?

Online Influencers new engagement for Charities

Personally, I see my content as a form of story-telling. My blog is dedicated to my personal story and the content reflects aspects of life struggles, experiences and the glory days. As an online influencer, my content makes others think, consider and react. Influencing is in the tone of voice, the experiences and the relevance of the content.

When we look at what we’re doing in digital teams in the charity sector, are we considering the relevance of our content? Content doesn’t necessarily need to be blog posts or other forms of written content, but in the visuals. How are we gathering photos from our services, how are we using video, GIFs, Facebook and Instagram live streams to create a purposed filled experience for all parties involved in our work.

The digital world is always progressing, and some of what I’ve just mentioned won’t be relevant, but it’s that term ‘relevance’ that I come back to when I share my thoughts on using digital platforms to create a buzz. I feel we’re lacking in ‘creating a buzz’ in the sector, with more focus around the income generated.

Great! Consistent income is needed to deliver services, cover costs of staff and volunteer training and workshops and to build the next project you’ve been wanted to start. Income will come when those within the charity’s circle trust your message. How many of us generate income through event fundraising, yet don’t do much else than collect the statistics?

Statistics are great to spot gaps and also growth trends, but are we showing the value of those supporting the charity? Are we regularly collecting stories of how those fundraisers raised funds? Are we sharing why they decided to fundraise?

This is what online influencers are incredible at! Online influencers spot gaps and notice growth trends and they utilise them. They identify what’s needed to take their content to the next level and they’re aware how to use the gap to their advantage. Well, I do anyway.

So when thinking why collaborating with online influencers would be beneficial for your charity, here are 5 simple reasons I think you should consider the opportunity

1. The online influencer engagement

You know the saying, “Give and Get Back”, normally used in terms of volunteering, it’s a must for collaborating with online influencers. Only thing is, an online influencer already has a considerable community around them, waiting to hear more about your services.

2. The value of time

When I blog, I love spending my time knowing the value of the content. I love knowing the content produced will resonate with someone else’s experiences and isn’t this what charity is all about? Valuing your time as a member of staff or volunteer?

3. Staff and volunteer education

I team up with charities on a regular basis, many wanting to hear my personal story and how I’m using social media to amplify it. When someone spends a majority of their time online, we develop relatively quickly, learning new things on the go. Collaborating with online influencers could provide a future guest speaker or trainer for your internal and external events?

4. A new supporter

Sounds obvious, but by collaborating with an online influencer, you’ll be gaining a new supporter. Who knows whether it’ll be short or long-term, and that’s part of the excitement.

5. An authentic voice

Remember when I spoke about online influencers voicing their opinion earlier in the post? Well, readers react to an authentic voice with a genuine interest in what they’re talking about. If you have a collaboration, where both parties are passionate about the topic, imagine the potential coverage one article or campaign would have?

Have a think about it…are online influencers a potential stream of generating new supporters or is there much more to a collaboration?

I hope you’ve loved today’s post and have taken something away from it. If you’d like to read up more about what I do or would potentially like to collaborate, I’m over at and @JohnRdtoVol.

Massive thanks to Beckie for having me write this guest blog!

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