Posts By: Helen Barrett

Groundbreaking, impactful initiatives deliver transformative outcomes. Or do they?

What do the following have in common: a senior member of staff at a leading children’s charity, charity accounting systems and a website for disabled people? The answer is that all three were described as “innovative” in the last three weeks. The word has become a charity cliché, according to the US’s Chronicle of Philanthropy…. Read more »

The clothes collection scammers have a new tactic

They have strange, fragmented names, such as Hope For Ever or Light And Love. They often claim to be raising cash for orphans in Eastern Europe. The bags and leaflets have weird fluorescent lettering and cheap print that rubs off on your fingers. And there’s always a charity number that can be duly checked and… Read more » faces an uphill struggle launched this week with a healthy dose of press coverage, including this prominent article in the Daily Telegraph. In case you missed it, it’s a music download site that promises to donate half its net profits to charity – they call it “feel-good downloading”. The British Heart Foundation, Centrepoint, NSPCC and Friends of the… Read more »

Grandmentors is an eye-catching ‘big society’ idea, but its funding looks fragile

It was difficult to miss the launch yesterday of Grandmentors. The 3-year pilot project aims to match what the press release from CSV calls “troubled teenagers” from deprived parts of London with grandparent-style volunteer mentors. Grandmentors cropped up on the Today programme, in the Daily Telegraph – ‘granny knows best’ – and in The Times… Read more »

Depaul UK’s iHobo app sets a new standard

Charity iPhone apps have until now been like buses: you wait ages, then two come at once. Last week saw the launches of “iHobo” from homelessness charity Depaul UK, and Marie Curie Cancer Care’s “Blooming Great Tea Party”. iHobo, as you may have read, is an “interactive video embedded experiential” application, where iPhone users take… Read more »

Charities should respect scheduling restrictions on their television ads

The full report explaining the decision by the ASA this week not to uphold five complaints from television viewers about an advert by Care International shines some light on behind-the-scenes to-ing and fro-ing that goes on over scheduling restrictions applied to charity advertising. The watchdog’s report explains how advertising clearance company Clearcast initially approved the… Read more »

Because It’s Good is rather good for charities looking for digital media tips

Should charities tackle malicious groups created by Facebook users? How do online mentors keep professional boundaries in place? And are elaborate email templates worth the effort? Such digital media quandaries are tackled in a series of articles on Because It’s Good, a newish community blog that functions as an online salon for charity digital media… Read more »

Gravity could make virtual chugging a reality

Gravity is a new social networking site that could prove extremely useful for charity campaigning and fundraising. A number of charities and sector organisations, such as Whizz-Kidz and UK Fundraising, are already there. The site allows users to start conversations on any subject, and to “orbit worlds” and one another based around their interests, rather… Read more »

Digitial media: put someone senior in charge

News online doesn’t just travel fast – it’s live. Twitter and other social media mean stories are published and read as they happen, which presents charities with a problem if they want to react quickly to events. When news of the earthquake in Haiti broke on January 12, the American Red Cross didn’t hang around;… Read more »

Parkinson’s UK’s online woes show charities are still struggling with social media

Charities are still floundering with social media. A robust debate that broke out last month on the Parkinson’s UK website forums among its feisty and outspoken members proves the point. Many of them are expressing dissatisfaction about the charity in more than 230 posts on its public-facing website, and it’s clearly causing embarrassment because chief… Read more »