E173 - Roundup Of The Year By The Charity Chat Team
“The pandemic has taught us that playing safe is not the answer. We need to push boundaries, positively challenge each other, work in partnership with other organisations rather than in silos and to re-think what we thought was/is possible. " - Usman Mughal
In this episode the Charity Chat team reflects on the past year and what the next year might hold for Charity Chat.
1. Introduction to the year and welcome from the team
It has been another difficult year, and we still find ourselves living through a pandemic. A lot of people are struggling in our society, and we’ve spoken to many who are doing what they can in their charities to help. We're sure we have all had difficulties ourselves over the past year, but we have also heard inspiring accounts of individuals and charities working together to make a positive difference.
We have seen charities continue to pivot and adapt in the way they provide support to those whom they serve. Historically our sector, quite rightly, has been criticised for being risk averse, and as a sector, we think it is fair to say, we tend to follow this way of working.
However, speaking to numerous people across our sector in the last year, we have found many organisations ripping up the rule book, doing things differently and shaping a new way to deliver their support and services. I hope this is a sign of things to come - as a sector, to truly solve or at least be part of the solution to some of the most pressing issues our society faces, we need to be more proactive, to take more risks and yes to be more innovative.
The pandemic has taught us that playing safe is not the answer. We need to push boundaries, positively challenge each other, work in partnership with other organisations rather than in silos and to re-think what we thought was/is possible.
2. What the Charity Chat podcast teaches us
This year we’ve learned and experienced how enjoyable it is to record a podcast. From researching the organisations to chatting with/to our guest contributors - we’ve found every conversation enlightening- and come away with even more questions and moments to reflect.
We found the Difficult conversations series really insightful and beneficial to be a part of. The series created space to dive deeper into some of the topics that have been at the fore of the charity sector in the past 18 months. There’s so much to explore around race, equity and diversity - all areas the podcast has touched on previously. What the series did was bring a range of voices to 3 different areas that focused on the EDI space. Starting difficult conversations, allyship and getting things wrong. We’ve definitely realised we have only scratched the surface in this area and we look forward to developing these areas further.
3. We have been inspired by our contributors
We’ve had some thoughtful, useful, and inspiring quotes from contributors this year. Our listeners can see these on the pages of our website. One of our favourites is from Ndidi Okezie OBE, who we spoke to way back in January. Ndidi was speaking about her route to becoming CEO of UK Youth. One thing she said was:
“...there is this sense that the reality we all live in, the society we all live in, is determined by people and their decisions. And so, if we can make better collective decisions we can create a better world. I don’t think that’s naive. I honestly believe that everything that we take as given - someone has decided that that’s the way it’s going to be, and nothing demonstrates that more than 2020.”
We find Ndidi’s comments so inspiring. And that is one of the things we love about being involved in Charity Chat. When would we normally have the headspace to have a conversation with someone where this was said? We feel that the podcast genre and Charity Chat specifically gives us all that headspace to think about some of the larger questions and themes that lie beneath the actions that we are taking on a daily basis.
4. Key learnings from our AGM
We want to thank all of you, our listeners, contributors, sponsors, for supporting Charity Chat by listening, sharing, joining us in discussion and feeding back to us. This year we surpassed 50,000 listens, which is huge for us!
We have also continued to have support from corporate sponsors throughout the year, which has meant that we could make the quality of the podcast better than ever before, and reach more people than ever before.
If you love podcasts and you work in the third sector, we would love to hear from you! We are looking for volunteers to contribute to our weekly episodes, researchers and comms professionals.
5. What do we want from the upcoming year?
The pandemic is still here and even without it we know that there are unprecedented societal issues that we must all face, such as the climate catastrophe. We are also bearing witness to a seeming increase in culture wars, fuelled by the echo chambers that are helped by social media and tailored news. Over the coming year, one priority is to explore the role of our charity sector in bringing people together to affect change.
Throughout the pandemic charities have been inspiring, resilient and dedicated - they have really shown, well reestablished the vital role they play in society. We hope to explore this and the ways in which we can hold this space. In different conversations we can see that value is being placed on these relationships and a collaborative way of working is vital. We think there are still areas to be developed and would love to speak to others about this and the connection to the public.
We’d like to listen and learn more from the diversity of our sector - whether that be niche causes, grassroots organisations, or completely new and innovative ways to tackle some of the most pressing issues we as a society face.
We are also interested in understanding how can we more meaningfully engage and support each other - whether that be individuals, teams or organisations - and work in partnership to support and serve our beneficiaries.
This episode of Charity Chat has been brought to you by our platinum sponsor Work for Good, a fundraising platform which helps charities streamline and unlock small business sales fundraising, via a supporter-friendly digital Commercial Participation solution. So that small but mighty businesses can fundraise for causes they love and charities can maximise this awesome sustainable source of income. Head to www.workforgood.co.uk to sign-up for free!
We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.
Related episodes that you may be interested in:
E160 - Difficult Conversations part 1 with Jon Cornejo and Lily Lewis -
E156 - The Sustainable Office Guide With Lauren Wiseman -
E154 - Ensuring the best beginning with Alison Baum -