Cracking Charity Chat Ep. 18. M. SHERRINGTON

This episode was recorded late January 2020 with Matthew Sherrington (whose name has too many characters for my website to deal with in a blog title!). He’s worked in the sector for 30 years and is now a consultant. He has a fascinating background, which started at Oxfam in 1989 as a volunteer and went on to see him support and lead Oxfam teams across the world throughout the 1990s.

We chat about that, turning around Greenpeace USA in the noughties and some of the similarities and differences between the UK and states, aligning strategy, communications, fundraising and campaigning – a challenge which I feel is just as relevant today. Matthew has some good chat on representation of the people we support and how organisations need to be honest with themselves about the stories they tell and the balance of power.

Key take-aways from the chat:

  • Strategy development is just as much about deciding what not to do as well as what you do and how. This is incredibly important for organisations tackling complex health, social and environmental issues. There are some great examples of organisations in the same area working together but in different ways to work towards a shared, broad goal. In a previous episode, Kate Collins, CEO of Teenage Cancer Trust, talks about how the young people’s cancer charities work together – it’s worth a listen.
  • As we live in an increasingly digital world we need to consider how we use digital tools and techniques to mobilise people to come together and take action in the real world. As Matthew said, it’s worth following Paul de Gregorio as he’s doing some really cool stuff in this area (and a session at Institute of Fundraising Convention this year).
  • Finally, I love Matthew’s ethos of being an optimist about human nature. I think we could all learn something from that.

Thanks so much for listening.

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