Posted by: alexswallow | September 26, 2013

The top 30 social charity CEOs- who will you nominate?

Image courtesy of iamharin /

Image courtesy of iamharin /

Here’s an initiative that I’m very happy to support and I have been bursting to tell people about- I think it is so refreshing and exciting and it’s great it is launching in Social Media Week.

Digital experts Zoe Amar and Matt Collins have launched an initiative to find the top 30 social charity CEOs. They’re asking people to nominate charity CEOs who use social media in a personal capacity effectively. A judging panel of voluntary sector opinion leaders will then select the top 30. There is a stellar line up of judges: Simon Blake– CEO of Brook, Lucy Caldicott– Director of Fundraising at Clic Sargent, Damien Austin-Walker– Head of Digital at Vinspired, Danielle Atkinson– Head of Digital and Individual Giving at Merlin and Kirsty Stephenson, Digital Strategist at Child’s i Foundation.

The idea for creating such a list came from when LinkedIn posted a piece on the top 30 CEOs on social media, now expanded to  the top 60 CEOs on social media. The list doesn’t include anyone from the charity/non-profit sector, so Zoe and Matt decided they wanted to draw up a list for our sector to highlight good practice and to inspire people. I think this is something we particularly need more of in the UK- for example of the list of the The World’s most popular Charity blogs I was sad to see that we had very few entrants.

Social media is something that CEOs of charities of all sizes should be involved with, whether big or small.  It should not be an optional extra, it should be part and parcel of your organisation. Engaging should help you become more open to ideas as an organisation and also better able to spread your message. The new generation of leaders are going to need these skills- especially if they want to contribute as part of a global community. When I see how my sister and people her age (currently in VI Form) can be surgically attached to their smartphones- I only think that being able to reach out to people in these ways is going to be more and more important. There is nothing quite like Zoe and Matt’s initiative (covered on the Guardian website here- am so proud that my blog gets a mention!) that I have heard of before, but I think it is long overdue.

Please spread awareness of this initiative as widely as possible. It should be a celebration of Chief Execs who use social media effectively and those who could do with a gentle prompt or who need a bit of a confidence boost to get started. I’ve certainly got a few ideas about who I might nominate!

The top 30 social charity CEOS will be announced in late November when Zoe and Matt will launch a guide to help charity leaders make the most of social media at an event they are running at young people’s sexual health charity Brook. To nominate a Charity CEO please go to Please submit entries by 5pm on Friday 25th October.


  1. […] A key trend I am seeing as a digital communications consultant is that a strong personal social media presence is essential for charity leaders. Done right, it is an empowering tool which can help charity leaders achieve more for their organisations and themselves. Alex Swallow has written a great blog about this. […]

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