Digital Edge

16 April 2015, London


09.00 Chair’s Opening Remarks

Sarah Jordan, Digital Director, MS Society

09.10 Opening Keynote

David Brown, Co-Founder and CEO, Ve Interactive

09.25 Starting From The Top: The Cast Iron Business Case You Need To Drive Your Digital Strategy Forward

The digital age is well and truly here and the importance of digital in engaging supporters and driving donations has never been greater. But, inspiring key stakeholders and decision-makers to fuel your digital strategy with the necessary investment can be a huge challenge. This panel of experts will provide you with the necessary know-how to build a robust business case for your digital strategy, and develop an effective structure internally to support it. You will then have the opportunity to pose your questions to them in a big questions live format, with a chance to submit your questions beforehand.

  • Understanding: How can you get the necessary level of boardroom understanding of the importance of digital and how it can transform your charity?
  • Internal structure: What role should digital play within a charity? How can you convince stakeholders that digital should be a focused strategy and not a bolt-on? How can you build an infrastructure that will facilitate real integration and unleash your digital potential?
  • The business case: How can you persuade the board of the ROI on digital?  How long should your digital strategy take to reap returns? What results are other charities seeing? What is the most effect way to report back the figures?

Smaller Charity:  Damien Austin-Walker, Head of Digital, vInspired    

Rapidly growing charity:  James Corbett, Digital Marketing Manager, Send a Cow

Larger Charity:  Tessa Adelaar, Digital Lead, Mencap

Linda Davidson, Operations Director, Legend Engage

10.05 Rolling With The Punches: Digital Lessons Learnt

You always hear about the great digital success stories…ever wondered about the ones that went wrong? Often the most successful digital campaigns can be a result of trial and error. But with charities’ reputations and budgets being so precious, wouldn’t it be nice if you could learn from others and keep the “error” part to a minimum?!

This session features two unique and punchy case studies that will explore two digital campaigns from different-sized charities. Each one will hone in on where the campaign fell short, the key lessons learnt , and the improvements that were implemented.   

Smaller charity:  Kirsty Stephenson, Digital Strategist and Planner, Child's i Foundation

Larger charity:  James Gadsby Peet, Senior Digital Services Manager,  Cancer Research UK


A chance to pose your questions to our case study representatives.

10.50 Inspire me! The Founders Story: Championing Entrepreneurship In A Digital World’s Co-founder and Brand Director Lloyd Amsdon, shares his inspiring entrepreneurial story of how he co-created an award-winning online business, which now generates an annual turnover of £44 million. Amsdon reveals the challenges along the way and how success was achieved, sharing his lessons learned from his experiences of entrepreneurship and also as a renowned online marketer.

Lloyd Amsdon, Co-Founder and Brand Director, Limited

11.10 Morning Break And Refreshments

11.40 The Rehabilitation Revolution: How Digital Has Helped Former Offenders Transition Back Into The Community

Patrick Nash, CEO of Connect Assist and Penny White, Support Services Manager at St Giles Trust will discuss how, through their partnership, the Trust is planning on growing its capacity to manage enquiries. The charity will offer support to ex-offenders by launching a fully-digital enquiries service run by ex-offenders and prisoners on temporary release.

Over 84,000 people are currently in prison in the UK. Former offenders face a variety of barriers when reintegrating into society, which can include homelessness, mental health issues and substance addiction. The online hub, launched in partnership with Connect Assist, will include a dedicated app to build a peer-to-peer network along with a multi-channel support system staffed by specially trained former offenders.

The project successfully received funding from the Google Impact Challenge UK fund and aims to support 80,000 people with criminal convictions and their families.

Patrick Nash, CEO, Connect Assist

Penny White, Support Services Manager, St Giles Trust

11.55 Going Viral! The New Age Of Fundraising

Has the face of fundraising changed for good?  With the colossal craze of the social #nomakeupselfie, #icebucketchallenge and most recent #wakeupcall campaigns it is evident that charities can never be fully in control again... That’s why, now more than ever, it is extremely important to be prepared to roll with the opportunities. So….

  • How can you identify a good opportunity?
  • Where should the line fall between creating a craze and jumping on one?
  • What plans should you put in place to unleash the full fundraising potential of viral??

Claire McArthur, digital media expert will reveal the answers to these questions using the famed Ice Bucket Challenge as an example. During this exclusive session you will find out how MND Association seized a crucial opportunity and raised £7m in just 2 weeks – the equivalent of 6 months income!  

Claire McArthur, Digital Media Manager, Motor Neurone Disease Association

12.15  Tailor your day: Choose between A or B


(A) Social Engagement

The Rules Of Engagement: Social Success Stories

Social media reaches people other fundraising does not.  The first session on the social stream for Digital Edge will delve into how WaterAid and Movember planned and executed their most successful social media campaigns to date.  Through these examples you will gain step-by-step insight on:

  • The must-have DNA of today’s most successful cost and time effective social strategies
  • Reaching your target audience in new ways through social media
  • Engaging your fan base by creating charity champions and influencers and capitalising on two-way dialogue

The ‘To Be A Girl’ Campaign

Alicia Robinson, WaterAid’s Digital Communications Lead will reveal how their ‘To Be A Girl’ campaign - which won silver at the DMA Awards for Best Use of Social Media for Customer Acquisition 2014 - drove profound engagement, traffic and donations among a new audience. 

Alicia Robinson, Digital Communications Lead, WaterAid

The Movember Campaign

Paul Mitcheson, The Movember Foundation's UK MarComms Lead, will talk about the role that social media plays in facilitating and fuelling the annual Movember campaign which is the largest men’s health movement in the world with 4.7m participants since 2003. 

Paul Mitcheson, UK MarComms Lead, Movember


(B) Audience And Reach

Who Are Your Audience? Mapping Behavioural Trends To Understand Your Digital Audience And Tap Into Their Full Fundraising Potential

The most effective digital strategies of today start with a comprehensive understanding of how the audience behave online and like to be engaged with.

  • Gain a clear picture of who your audience are across every channel you interact with them on
  • Make them tick: Understand what your audience wants (and what they don’t want!) from you to help you spark the desired action and avoid any digital clangers!
  • Grow your audience: Engage new supporters outside of your traditional audiences

Jo Kerr, Assistant Director, Digital, Breast Cancer Care



To load you up with as many tangible takeaways to implement back at the office as possible, this is the chance to engage in a facilitated discussion with your peers.

  • Share and gain social success stories
  • Engage in candid discussions about what has and hasn’t worked
  • Brainstorm fresh, stand out social ideas
  • Compile an informed list of today’s top dos and don’ts on social media


With the changing demographic trends constantly shaping the digital landscape, this is a chance to share best practice with your peers.

  • Discuss new segmentation techniques to increase the relevance and results of your messaging
  • Agree what language is most effective when targeting different age cohorts
  • Nail down the channels you should be using to maximise your reach

13.10 Lunch

14.00  Swap streams or stay: Choose between C or D

(C) Conversion and Analytics

#Donate: Proven Techniques To Drive Your Social Supporters To Part With Their Pennies

You’ve built your social community and are engaging with your supporters frequently, building real, long-term relationships. So, what next? This session reveals the winning formula to turn real engagement into real donations. .

  • The approach: How direct can you be on social media when it comes to asking people to part with their cash? Can you embed these asks in general conversations with your supporters?
  • Convert the traffic: What is the most effective way to drive your followers from social media onto your other platforms?
  • Analyse the results: How do you gauge the real value of your social media strategy in generating donations? How does it compare to other charities?

Bob Barbour, Head of Online, Shelter

(D) Website Optimisation

Optimise Your Website For Fundraising: The Ultimate Guide

Last year, online giving grew by 13.5%, and this figure is still on the rise 1 . In order to capitalise on this growing trend towards online fundraising, a charity’s website is key. This session will provide best-practice guidance on how to:

  • Create a website that has the key ingredients to maximise supporter engagement
  • Optimise your website for fundraising: Make the donation process as easy as possible
  • Stay ahead of the game: How has web design evolved? What are the next steps you should be taking to drive engagement and donations?
 Sam Butler, Digital Marketing Manager, Anthony Nolan

14.40  Swap streams or stay: Choose between E or F


(E) Social Media Platforms

Social Platforms In The Spotlight: Going Beyond Facebook And Twitter

Get up to speed with what’s new in social media and ensure you have hit on the right social platform mix. This interactive session, featuring a host of social media experts who have driven impressive results on key platforms including Pinterest , Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat  and Vine, will help you:

  • Gain a cast iron list of platform pros and cons
  • Hear platform-by-platform best practice on engaging supporters, raising awareness and driving donations.
  • Tailor the platform mix to your charity by putting your burning questions to our expert panel

Bernard Muscat, Senior Social Media Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support

Martin Carter, Communications Manager,  Comic Relief






(F) Channel Engagement

Email, Mobile and Search In The Spotlight: The Inside Track On Driving Results Through The Big 3

Some of the most successful digital experts of the last year will sum up their top tips on using email, mobile or search to drive maximum engagement. You will then have the chance to pose your burning questions and gain clarity on the best way to make use of each of these channels.

EMAIL: How do you drive people to open your emails? What is the best way to design your emails in order to grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to act? How do you integrate the email journey for your supporters across every department within your organisation?

Chloe Rickard, Communications Executive, Cool Earth

MOBILE:  How can a text start and then grow a supporter journey? What makes a good SMS? When might SMS be the idea channel to use and what are the variables? Is there an optimum time to send or a perfect place to promote? What can you expect the output to be? Examples from Oxfam's work with mobile marketing.

Matt Jerwood, Digital Fundraising Lead, Oxfam GB

SEARCH: How do you increase your charity’s visibility through both paid and unpaid efforts? What are the most effective ways to use paid search and how do you structure these campaigns internally?

Chris Terry, Head of Digital Acquisition , Oxfam GB

15.20 JOINT Q&A

An opportunity to pose your questions to our social media experts.

15.35 Lessons That Scale From One To Many: The Switch From A Decade In Digital For Individual Charities To Working With Nearly 100 Charities At Once!

Our speaker, Laila Takeh from Raising IT, has been around the block a bit, she's led digital teams at Unicef UK, British Heart Foundation, Action on Hearing Loss and more. She's now jumped the fence and is working with up to 100 charities at once with Raising IT. Hear what's she's learnt from over a decade of charity digital and the truths that seem to hold true no matter what scale you're working at.

Laila Takeh, CMO, Raising IT

15.50 Afternoon Break And Refreshments

16.10 #LowBudget: Social Media Excellence On A Shoestring

This exclusive session addresses a key question for many charities; how can you use social media effectively, to get maximum reach and engagement, when you haven’t got bucket loads of cash to splurge...? Well, who better to answer this, than two of the leading social platforms themselves? Through two punchy presentations, Twitter and Facebook reveal how you can make the best use of their hugely popular platforms, to grow your fan base, engage your supporters and drive donations, all whilst keeping a tight hold on the purse strings.

Erinn Walsh, Facebook

Georgina Parnell, Sales Lead, Twitter UK

16.50 The Supporter Experience: Integrating Your Digital Campaigns Across Every Channel To Craft A Seamless, Lucrative Supporter Journey

In order to not only engage your supporters but also convert and retain them, nailing the supporter experience is key. This practical session will explore how you can craft integrated multichannel digital campaigns that deliver first-class experiences for your supporters.

  • Online to offline: Align your digital campaigns with offline activity to ensure consistent storytelling throughout
  • Digital into direct marketing: Embed digital into traditional direct marketing channels to create a seamless journey for your supporters
  • Acquisition to post-donation: Integrate your campaign from acquisition right through to after your supporters have donated, to drive supporter loyalty and minimise attrition

Laura Townsend, Communications Director, 38 Degrees

17.15 The Digital Future: What Should You Be Preparing For?

If you had a crystal ball, and knew what the digital landscape would look like in 5 years time, what would that be worth in extra funds to your charity…? A famed media forecaster, shares the findings of the exclusive research they conducted for Digital Edge, which reveals the key digital trends we’ll see as we move towards 2020. This forwarding-thinking keynote will provide you with exclusive insights to help you to stay ahead of the curve at every step - ensuring you retain that vital digital edge.

Ian Maude, Analyst of Online Media, Ender Analysis

17.40 Chair’s Closing Remarks And Close Of Digital Edge 2015

1 - The Chronicle of Philanthropy

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