Social media lessons from a 5 year old boy – what small charities can learn from George

The article below was written by Nicola Dawes, Founder and General Manager of Stripey Stork.  It is reproduced with Nicola’s permission and with thanks to Vicki and Woody for allowing her to use their story.

Last week I was interviewing for the Communications Manager vacancy we have at the small charity I lead in Surrey. We know that social media is integral to the work we do, and we were lucky to have some experienced professionals to talk to. As part of the interview we asked the candidates to name some charities that we should be watching and learning from. One candidate mentioned ‘George and the Giant Pledge’ and the social media presence set up to support the Woodall family’s aim to raise £1m for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

I had to agree that she was right. When George Woodall, then four years old, was diagnosed with a Ewing’s PNET Sarcoma tumour in January 2017 his parents, Vicki and Woody set themselves a significant challenge. As well as supporting George through the gruelling treatment that continued throughout the year, they embarked on this incredible fundraising challenge.

At the time of writing they have raised £735k.

I have followed the campaign closely – George goes to the same school as my children – and from the time he was diagnosed I’ve joined a growing community who care deeply for the Woodall family and want to know what they can do to help to ensure that no other child has to go through the same experience.

As someone who runs a small charity I’ve also looked at what it is that they have done which has made them so successful. Their campaign is so well known and ‘George’, and what he stands for, is common parlance in our community now. They have been chosen as headline charity for big events like Run Reigate and chosen as the Mayoral Charity of the Year for Reigate & Banstead.

What has made their cause so well supported? I think there are a number of factors that serve as lessons to any small charity trying to achieve their aims with the support of social media….

To read the full article and the lessons we can learn from George see Nicola’s post on Linked In here