The Digital Charity Lab 5 Minute Guides are intended to give you the basics on a particular digital platform or project. They are collaborative documents and we welcome your feedback and further suggestions in the comments.
Working in digital for non profits means constant learning. If you don’t have an appetite for continued learning, you might be in the wrong job! The various tech platforms add new features all the time, change their algorithms, and get bought out by each other – and that’s just the tech. The weaponisation of social media messaging and advertising by right wing campaigners just happened in the last couple of years, and caught a lot of people by surprise. It’s really important to stay up to date with what’s happening with the technology, and also to know when there’s a shift in online attitudes and behaviours.
Make sure you build time and budget into your year for digital learning, and remember also that digital staff can’t work in a vacuum – everyone contributing to and signing off digital projects should know best practice.
Personally, I’ve found that the most flexible and accessible places to learn are:
- Conferences (as long as they’re really good!)
- Online networks
- Local communities and meetups
- Online courses
Some recommendations for each below!
A good conference is a fantastic way to learn – it’s hard to beat a good mix of expert speakers and meeting peers. However, it can be disappointingly hard to find good conferences that justify the time and cost of attending. A few that I would feel confident in recommending are:
Ecampaigning Forum – my personal favourite, they have events in Oxford in the Spring and Berlin in the Autumn. I have a blog post about ECF on this site with the details, including all the reasons I love it.
Online networks, communities & meetups
A great way to connect with peers, start discussions and ask for help. Some of the ones I like are:
- ECF Community (Mailing List)
– global list, very active, huge amount of expertise
- Digital Charities Community on Slack (Slack Community)
– mostly UK based members but many from the EU as well
- Irish Charity Web community (Google Group)
– for Irish charities and non-profits
- Third Sector PR & Comms Network (Facebook Group)
– mostly UK based members, with broad focus on communications, PR and digital
- Irish Fundraisers Network (Facebook Group and meetups in Dublin)
- Facebook Fundraising for Non-Profits – Community Support Group (unofficial) (Facebook Group)
– Peer support group for charities using Facebook’s giving tools.
- Progressive Exchange (Mailing list, mostly US based organisations)
If there’s any more you know of, comment below and I’ll add them to the list. If there isn’t one in your area, start your own and tell us about it 🙂
Online courses can be a good way to get the kind of specialised training that is hard to find for non-profits. You have to find a bit of discipline to carve out the time, but when you do they’re great for learning at your own pace.
Digital Charity Lab has three online courses in core digital skills – a digital marketing overview, email marketing and Google Grant Ads. These courses are all fully online and are affordably priced, so they’re accessible to charities of all sizes.
A few more that I can personally recommend:
- Google Analytics Academy – free courses in Analytics, Tag Manager and Data Studio from Google
- Fundraising Everywhere – a membership service for fundraisers that provides a huge range of webinars and online conferences covering all areas of fundraising
- Fairsay (organisers of the ECF conference) run regular online courses in Ecampaigning
Any to add?
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Great info, Thanks so much Charity Lab 🙂