Have you heard? Glass Digital have pledged to offer free marketing advice to charities…
The North East-based digital marketing agency has announced a new charity partnership with voluntary initiative Connected Voice to share their digital marketing expertise with local charities for free
A Newcastle-based digital marketing agency has announced a new charity partnership to benefit charitable organisations in the area. Glass Digital, based in Ouseburn, has partnered with Connected Voice to share their digital marketing expertise with local charities for free.
Connected Voice is an initiative in Newcastle and Gateshead that works with charities to improve their business knowledge and boost their profiles. They partner with successful businesses in the area and ask them to provide useful skills and insights to small charities, such as marketing, accounting, HR, and event organising.
This connects the charities with experts who can either raise their profile or provide services and education free of charge, which they may not have the budget for otherwise.
‘Connected Voice has a new arm – “Sector Connector, Newcastle” – in hopes to support local Newcastle charities by pairing them with local businesses who are willing to offer pro-bono advice and support,’ explains India Gerritsen, Volunteering Development Officer at Connected Voice. ‘Marketing and social media is an area that many charities are in need of support with. We approached Glass Digital on the basis that they have skills in this area, and a portfolio to prove it!
The team at Connected Voice got in touch with Glass Digital — which specialises in organic search, technical SEO, and other kinds of digital marketing — to ask if they’d be able to provide training to charities in the region that need assistance with their online visibility. This training could be over the phone, face-to-face, or during a workshop, and Glass Digital have committed to spending one hour per month with various charities in the region to develop their marketing skills.
‘The first charity we paired them with initially wanted to know more about them, and after sharing their portfolio was keen to work with Glass Digital,’ says India. ‘The experience has been very positive so far – they met face-to-face with the charity, took photographs for their socials, and also provided written advice on how to market their events in a way that would be more successful.
‘From Connected Voice’s perspective, it was lovely to have a business keen to support a local charity and, in turn, support our newest venture. We plan to stay in touch and see how this relationship progresses.’
CASE STUDY: JESMOND LIBRARY
The first charity Glass Digital assisted was Friends of Jesmond Library, part of the Community Libraries Network – a nationwide organisation sharing advice and help for community-run libraries. The group must raise £30,000 a year to keep Jesmond Library open, so an effective marketing strategy is crucial for getting the word out and bringing in donations.
Glass Digital advised Friends of Jesmond Library on their website and social media efforts, including reviewing their existing work, identifying shortcomings, and highlighting opportunities to generate more organic traffic.
‘I was delighted when Connected Voice got in touch to ask if we would help charities in the local area,’ says Jennifer Macdonald, Glass Digital’s Head of Marketing. ‘It’s something I had already been looking into, as I think it is really important to help businesses in the region — especially charities, who would otherwise struggle to obtain our kind of services.
‘My first meeting with Friends of Jesmond Library was a huge success, and I received great feedback from them and Connected Voice. During the session, I tried to give the charity advice that would be affordable, efficient, and effective by sharing information about Google tools, PR, social media, and organic search. I provided Chris, their Founder, with a document to enable him to share my tips with the wider team and national Board, which seems to have been well received.
‘I’m looking forward to doing more of these projects in the future, as it not only feels like Glass Digital are helping charities, but also like we’re benefiting the region. The North East has some amazing charitable organisations which are crying out for free expertise, so if we can help even a handful of them it will be a worthwhile achievement.’
Very worthwhile indeed. Especially if the effusive praise from Chris Clarke, Director/Trustee of Friends of Jesmond Library, is anything to go by.
‘The first thing that I would emphasise is that the Board was very grateful for Glass Digital’s independent, expert advice,’ says Chris. ‘We were relieved that they found our efforts to date reasonably good, and that we can implement their suggestions without unaffordable expenditure or even unachievable technical expertise.
‘There is quite a shopping list of specific action points. Personally, I will be stepping up my efforts on Facebook, and I will make myself more aware of events such as World Book Day. I was particularly interested in Jennifer’s explanations of how Google works, and I’ve also looked at Google analytics with more interest since our meeting!’
Glass Digital is looking forward to meeting and helping other charities through their new partnership with Connected Voice.
If you know of a charity which might benefit from Glass Digital’s free advice, get in touch with Connected Voice on their website.