Image courtesy of chrisroll at

Image courtesy of chrisroll at


I’ve set up a new group on LinkedIn called ‘Global Connections for Charities and Charity Supporters’.

It is a group for people who work for, volunteer for, or support charitable/non-profit organisations all over the world (including social enterprise and any other organisation with a social purpose). By connecting globally we can make a greater difference for the causes we care about.

If we truly want to make a difference we can’t be limited by national borders. If someone has a solution we are looking for, a project we could support, or who wants to hold out a hand and work with us, distance and location shouldn’t get in the way.

These two articles of mine might give a bit of an explanation of the potential I think there is for better global collaboration between charities and between the people who support them:

1- ‘Why British Charities Need to take a more International Perspective’

2- ‘How Charities Can Use LinkedIn and Have A Global Impact’

I hope you find the group useful and I look forward to jointly building charity connections all over the world.


Posted by: alexswallow | October 18, 2014

Today’s Youth- Architects Of Peace? Free Event 22nd October


A guest message from a friend of mine, the inspirational John Loughton:

‘I wanted to let you know about an event I’m involved in on 22nd October (this coming Wednesday) – its on Youth and Peace.

Its following 18 yo friend of mine, and youth activist Tawfik being shot dead in Libya on 19th of last month. He believed in peace, democracy and youth getting involved in politics. He was seen as a threat to the terrorists so paid with his life. A powerful reminder of the importance of youth in this country getting involved for peaceful change!

We will have a night to be inspired by youth empowerment, learn more about peace and international affairs, and also having a Q & A – including with former First Minister of Scotland and Special Peace Envoy to the Prime Minister Lord McConnell’.


john loughton peace





Posted by: alexswallow | October 17, 2014

Driving Change, Unlocking Potential- Launching My New Website


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My new website is taking shape- please sign up on the launch page to find out more. It will be launching on the 24th of November.

As a very short preview, the introductory text is:

‘I’m a Social Entrepreneur, Governance expert and passionate advocate of widening access to power. I’m on a journey to find the best ways to unlock potential in others, so that we can collectively make a lasting difference to the world we live in’.

You can also watch a video promoting my website launch here. Thanks again to Ayath Ullah for all the help.






Trustees’ Week is less than a month away. Every year it gets bigger and better.

To show your support please sign up to this Thunderclap which will launch on the morning of the first day of Trustees’ Week. It will take you mere seconds to do but will help the Week start with a bang! Please sign your charities up and please sign up as individuals too. It already has a social reach of tens of thousands of people but I know we can do so much more.

If you speak to anyone who is interested in being a Trustee, in the run up to the Week or the Week itself, please direct them to this helpful link which will give them more details.

Posted by: alexswallow | October 13, 2014

Please Vote For Nisha Kotecha For The Asian Professional Awards

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My wonderful wife Nisha Kotecha, (also my brilliant colleague at Good News Shared!) has been nominated for the ‘Public Service Award’ at the Asian Professional Awards.

Please vote for her here– you have to give a short reason as well as clicking.

Despite being an incredibly humble person she has already made such a difference in her life to so many people- whether by highlighting important causes that few people know about with Good News Shared; supporting vulnerable older people with the National Benevolent Fund for the Aged; being President of her local Rotaract Club; being past National Publicity Officer for Rotaract; or all the other amazing things she has supported and given her time, inspiration and talent to.

If you’d like to find out more about her, here she is on Twitter and here on LinkedIn.

So, please vote for her and please spread the word about the Awards, there are many brilliant people nominated across a broad range of categories. They are on Twitter themselves here.



Posted by: alexswallow | October 11, 2014

How Charities Can Have A Global Impact Through LinkedIn

How can charities have a greater impact on the world by using LinkedIn?

Have a look at my latest Publisher post to find out more.

Personally, Linkedin has made a major difference for the causes I care about and ideas that I want to share with other people. A lot of people don’t use it to its full advantage- it’s worth checking out if it can help you achieve your goals for your charity and for yourself.

If you read my blog but we aren’t yet connected on LinkedIn, please say hello on there!

Posted by: alexswallow | October 8, 2014

How To Have A Career In The Charity Sector

Do you want a career in the charity sector?

Are you a volunteer who would like a paid job in the sector?

Or perhaps you work in another sector and are thinking about trying to move to the charity sector?

If any of these things relate to you, you might find this podcast helpful, which is an interview conducted by career expert Devi Clark.


Posted by: alexswallow | October 7, 2014

Two Trustee Events In The Run Up To #trusteesweek

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In the run up to Trustees’ Week, I am speaking at two events on behalf of Young Charity Trustees.

First, on the 16th of October I am speaking at a ‘Becoming a Young Trustee’ Event, a collaboration between JCI and Getting on Board. As a JCI Award winner I look forward to sharing the importance of Trusteeship with some of their members. I will speaking alongside the brilliant Katherine Sparkes, who is always a person worth listening to. You can book here, hope to see you there.

Then, on the 21st of October I am speaking at a ‘Charity Chairs Conference’, a half day conference for Chairs and potential Chairs of charities. Part of the Lord Mayor’s Charity Leadership Programme, (organised by Nicholas Woolf, the Lord Mayor’s Consort 2014), the Conference is supported by the Association of Chairs, the Financial Times Non Executive Directors’ Club, Mazars, Macquarie and Cass Business School. I will be speaking on a panel debate about the Diversity of Boards, with Alice Maynard, and Ian Edwards. It will be Chaired by Lord Gus Macdonald. If you would like to come along, you can book here.

For Trustees’ Week I will be producing a few materials to support young people who want to be Trustees, I look forward to sharing them with you.



Getting on Board

Getting on Board has set up an excellent campaign in the run up to Trustees’ Week. There is more information here on the website, but essentially they want people to use the hashtag #nominateatrustee to nominate friends, family, colleagues and contacts to be Trustees. In my own experience, a lot of people don’t think they are ‘good enough’ to be Trustees until someone else recommends they should- I have told lots of people over the years that they should be Trustees!

So please- get nominating! Pay some good people a compliment and help charities into the bargain.

Getting on Board also recently released new research which shows the link between Trusteeship and improved professional prospects. There is an associated helpful infographic, you can click on the link below to see it:


Some stand out stats for me are:

– 100% of 18-24 year olds surveyed said that the skills they learned as a Trustee helped with their professional career. This positivity about Trusteeship from young people chimes with the research of Young Charity Trustees.

– 74% of women surveyed improved in confidence thanks to being a Trustee.

– 22% of respondents said they got a promotion as a result of being a Trustee!

Hope you find the research interesting and good luck with the #nominateatrustee campaign!



Posted by: alexswallow | October 1, 2014

Are You a Charity Leader Who Wants a Better Personal Brand?

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If you are, you should consider coming to this event that I am chairing on the 14th of October.

I will be joined by a specialist from Buzzacott,  Jan Carrington and two prominent charity Chief Executives whose personal brand I admire, Debra Allcock Tyler and Simon Blake.

Personal branding is an area I am fascinated by. As someone whose career has spanned a number of different sectors so far, I am very conscious of the need to properly communicate who I am, what I do and what I believe in. It’s one of the things that I hope my upcoming new website will help me with. My online efforts have helped me to try to build a personal brand via social media, including blogging, and helping to set the agenda for issues I care about. I’ve found certain tools more useful than others- chiefly for me LinkedIn and Twitter– and everyone will have their own portfolio of things that they find helpful. For example, I’ve recently discovered podcasting and look forward to learning more about making videos one day too.

Of course your personal brand is not just about how you come across online. You have to think about what you are like in real life: do you come across as confident, convincing, considered and cooperative, to name just a few positive qualities? Perhaps most importantly, do you seem authentic? Have you bothered to develop your knowledge in the areas you care about? Do you think deeply about the causes you support? Is there a match between your virtual persona and your living, breathing one?

As a charity leader, or an aspiring charity leader it is worth you asking yourself a number of questions around your personal brand, some of which we will look at during the seminar:

– Am I effectively communicating the things I want to stand for?

– Am I developing the personal brand of the people I lead?

– Is anything damaging my personal brand?

– What is the interplay between my own brand and that of the organisation that I lead?

– How will my personal brand  help me get my next job?

– How will my personal brand develop throughout my career and help me to have the career (and life) that I want?

I would argue that there are two main things that make personal branding for charity leaders a particular challenge as distinct from other sectors. The first is that as a sector we don’t invest enough in the training and development of our staff- and that includes training or support around personal branding for our leaders. The second is that our work in the sector is very brand led- people support charities specifically because they identify with a brand/cause- so the interplay between that and your own brand is a complex one.

If you would like to learn more about personal branding and investigate the topic further, the best and most thought-provoking website I have found is this one.

I will also be producing a paper in the run-up to the event that looks as the issue of personal branding for charity leaders and provides some backrground, tips and guidance, look out for that too!

Please spread the word and share the event information page with friends and colleagues who you think might be interested.

This video on personal branding is worth watching- it’s good to see the story of how someone built his personal brand:


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