Communications update: Vicky Browning on the charities opting for a positive approach

Plus: New group discusses how to help the public understand the work that charities do

Vicky Browning
Vicky Browning

A positive vibe is flowing through the sector if two recent brand repositionings are anything to go by. The NSPCC describes its new brand platform "Every childhood is worth fighting for" as "more hopeful and positive – about what we're fighting for, not what we're standing against". Age UK, meanwhile, says its "Love later life" strapline, which was launched in March, reflects "a new, more positive and ambitious approach to encourage people of all ages to get involved".

Individual campaigns are following suit, such as Plan UK's film Because I Am a Girl: I'll Take It From Here, which highlights the importance of education for girls around the world. None of these charities shies away from the real and often extreme need that they tackle. But more positive messages give supporters hope - a counterbalance to more traditional images of despair.

Last month I mentioned the need to create a new narrative for the sector. One such initiative is the Understanding Charities Group. This met in October to kick off discussions about how to improve public, donor and stakeholder understanding of the work that charities do, leading – we hope – to greater public trust, empathy and engagement. It is a coalition of charities, sector bodies, consultants and others, and wants to increase positive media coverage of the sector and create tools for charities to help them tackle negative coverage on many issues. A wider, follow-up meeting is planned for 23 January. If you want to be involved, email me at

Vicky Browning is director of CharityComms

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