In this ’10 questions with’ post Meltwater had a chat with Joe Saxton, Founder of nfpSynergy. nfpSynergy is a leading UK organisation that provides high-quality market research and consulting services exclusively for charities and non-profits. Meltwater also has the pleasure of calling nfpSynergy a client. Take a look at the findings of our joint UK charity sector report here!

Q1. How long have you been at nfpSynergy and what led you down this path?

I went to join the Future Foundation in 2000 to run their charity division. After a couple of years, it was clear that the fit between the charity work and the rest of the company wasn’t great. So we set up a separate company, nfpSynergy, and bought ourselves with a huge debt on my mortgage.

Q2. What do you wish somebody told you when you were 16?

That my spots would eventually disappear, I would one day be able to grow a beard and to put more money into my pension from an early age. Mind you, I still can’t grow a beard.

Q3. What’s top of your bucket list?

Visiting the Grand Canyon and the Okavango in Botswana.

Q4. How do you see the charity industry landscape changing in the next five years?

I fear it may be really tough. GDPR is going to make fundraising from individuals much harder. Austerity is reducing government income. Brexit = uncertainty. And the sector still hasn’t cracked how to use digital for fundraising. Charities will need to learn how to do more with less income.

Q5. What’s your favourite city and why?

Not a fan of cities, so I would substitute a city with Tortuguero in Costa Rica, watching the green turtles come to lay their eggs under the light of a silvery moon.

Q6. What is your top tip for creating a successful marketing strategy?

Know your audience, never stop experimenting, build in easy ways of monitoring, and be interesting.

Q7. Why do you like using Meltwater and how does it benefit nfpSynergy?

I love using Meltwater to see what part of our social media is working and what isn’t. I can always see, twice a day, which blogs and reports are hitting the spot (or not), for example. I also love following an urge to research which organisations are getting coverage for their work and those who aren’t. I enjoy taking a deep dive into the data!

Q8. What was your favourite project to work on and why?

Starting up CharityComms in 2007 with a group of people passionate was amazing. The importance of charity communications was the focus, and I took on the chair role for the first seven years. Now CharityComms inspires and develops great charity communications across the sector.

Q9. Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

Linkedin is great for looking people up in the world of work. Twitter is much more eclectic and full of the best and worst of humanity, and all in between.

Q10. What advice would you give to somebody just starting their career in the marketing department for a charity?

Learn all you can from bad management as well as good management, suck up lessons from failure and success. I have learnt so much by observing what didn’t work, as well as what did.

Interested in the UK charity landscape? Get your copy of our free charity report in association with nfpSynergy. Take a deep dive into how the top 10 charities in the UK & Ireland stack up against each other. The report covers:

  • Individual and benchmarked charity brand reputations
  • Trending themes around the industry
  • Whether advertising spend correlates to online brand engagement
  • National vs global coverage
  • Biggest stories of the year
  • Recommendations for future PR, marketing and communication strategies based on the analysis of data.
Meltwater and nfpSynergy charity report
UK Charity Industry Report