Vicky Browning on the value of strong communications

The director of CharityComms praises charity chiefs who get it right

Communicators often complain that it's tougher than ever to get cut-through for charity messages. And here's the proof: a study by the market research firm nfpSynergy shows that, in 1999, the largest charity advertiser was the NSPCC, whose multi-million-pound spend represented 15.4 per cent of the top 50 UK charities' total spend on advertising. Ten years on, Macmillan Cancer Research spent more than twice as much to come top, but had only a 5.5 per cent share, showing that communications are more competitive and expensive than ever.

Good to see that momentum is building in the UK behind #GivingTuesday, a celebration of the amazing acts of generosity performed throughout the year. It culminates in a day of giving on 2 December, after the shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I had some concerns at first – do we need another dedicated day? Won't charities have other plans at that time of year? But with 120 partners in the UK, and 10,000 globally, already signed up, this is a powerful opportunity to get people engaging with charities.

I've enjoyed nominating chief executives for Third Sector's Britain's Most Admired Charities awards this year. The ones I've picked are all effective communicators.Too few charity chiefs fully understand the value of strong communications, but those that do really stand out.

Vicky Browning is director of CharityComms

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