Why ENCC London Conference is really useful for newbies in the charity space

Written By :

Category :



Engaging Networks



Posted On :

Share This :

As a newcomer to the charity sector, my ongoing priority is to understand the goals, processes, and challenges of non-profit organisations in the UK. Discovering how fundraisers, campaigners and analysts work together is important, as it leads to new ways I can improve making ADRFM even more accessible. This is why I attended this year’s ENCC London, the annual conference hosted by our partners at Engaging Networks filled with case studies, workshops and panels on the best practices for charity fundraising and campaign success – all centred around Engaging Networks’ fundraising tools. My hope was to learn how charities and agencies work together to create effective campaigns.

What quickly struck me was how friendly and supportive the organisers and attendees were. Across the numerous sessions and workshops that took place throughout ENCC London, people were offering advice and finding solutions together. The breakout sessions that facilitated discussion between attendees are a great example of this in action, but even during the breaks throughout the day, people were excitedly talking about useful information they had learned.

In particular, I found the Versus Arthritis session on integrated welcome journeys interesting and relevant to my work. As I begin the process of refining our email journeys for new clients here at Actually Data Analytics, learning about audience-focused content and the use of narrative to be personal and conversational was insightful.

ENCC London 2024

I also found both sessions presented by Humane League UK and 54 Degrees useful in different ways. The first session detailed their Matched Giving campaign and how the boost to Major Gifts inspired donations from others. It illustrated the ways fundraisers use data analysis and benchmarking to improve results. Meanwhile, the second session on their donation page redesign was incredibly relevant given I had recently launched our new website.

It was also great to see so many people at the talk by our own Anthony Fawkes about Data Integration on the Engaging Networks platform. Topics such as Hybrid Reports and customising link structure had attendees feverishly taking down notes, but a personal highlight was when he explained how to Import Financial Transactions. The audible gasp at realising such a process would improve their workflow was a delight to see in person.

Two underlying themes throughout ENCC London were the upcoming General Election and the cost-of-living crisis. Such challenges are felt across the entire sector – with uncertainty over the political landscape making things more unpredictable – but watching as attendees helped each other find solutions to their problems was inspiring. I was particularly impressed by Jonathan Ako from Mind, who explained how their charity is focusing its messaging on the positive results of mental health schemes instead of how services had been cut.

ENCC London 2024

The session I had the most interest in was Modern Change discussing AI ethics. While I was already aware of copyright issues regarding art online, I found the discussions on societal bias in datasets and how helpful AI tools were replacing human interaction fascinating. As someone who has used services such as ChatGPT for writing prompts, I agree with the mentality that users should proofread and edit anything that AI generates. Doing so ensures that you imprint your own style upon the work, but allows you to check for errors. As AI becomes more mainstream, I feel charities must ensure they use such online tools responsibly, avoiding potential headaches in the future!

Other highlights from ENCC London included:

  • Forward Action on the importance of Benchmarking (and how it was best to have a live test than to endlessly chase the perfect test. Good advice in general!)
  • Unlock Democracy on using the EN platform for its crowdfunder to overcome donor fatigue.
  • Cats Protection on the challenges of contacting MPs and influencing policy change, and how timing with debates in parliament is key (they also caused a large amount of animal pictures to swarm social media, which I greatly appreciated!)
  • The Wildlife Trusts’ approach to managing supporter fatigue by trusting supporters with their “letters to the editor” campaign.
  • Engaging Networks and Which? discussing supporter retention, how third-party validation is key, and that saying thank you is effective!

My biggest concerns going into ENCC London were feeling out of place and overwhelmed by information, but those anxieties disappeared when others patiently shared their insights and advice on the sector. I quickly drew parallels with this scenario after being asked about my role with Actually Data Analytics, and how I aim to remove barriers between users and their data, empowering their results. By making me feel welcome and answering my questions, I became more at ease engaging in discussions and even recognised ways to improve my workflow. It is this mentality that I want to bring to everyone who feels analytics is unapproachable because, with the right guidance, anyone can find meaning in their data.

A big thank you to Paul Hayward and Jo Warner of Engaging Networks for their advice navigating my first day; Eugene Flynn of 54 Degrees, Adam Dustagheer of Datnexa, Rhiannan Sullivan of Care2 and Rebecca Turner of Root Cause Collective for their friendly insights; and Ana Guzman and Marina Navarro Lins of Center for Countering Digital Hate for the enjoyable discussion on social media.