I had planned today to write a blog about what I think makes charities thrive – but having seen the tremendous media efforts from the Scouts yesterday about empathy and volunteering I felt compelled to change my blog plan for today.

So, what has moved me to change my plans and write about yesterday’s blanket media coverage?

  1. As a lifelong Scout (Cub, Scout, Venture Scout, Leader and now also a Trustee for the Scouts in St Albans) it is an organisation I have the utmost respect and admiration for. I have a tremendous amount to thank the Scout movement for in helping  to shape me as an individual and give me so many valuable skills for life. Top marks to the Scouts.
  2. As someone who has worked in the voluntary sector for many years I know how difficult and challenging it can be to generate strong media coverage for any issue – cutting through the everyday media clutter and noise is a challenge faced by every charity. Top marks to the Scouts.
  3. It was a text book example of a well co-ordinated and executed marketing and communications campaign –  great use of research, strong news angle, clear messaging, integrated across channels, first class use of digital and video, great use of champions, ambassadors, members and partners to amplify the message (to name just a few). Top marks to the Scouts.
  4. It gave me (as a volunteer) a great sense of pride in an organisation that I support. An organisation that is doing more than its fair share of helping to build a brighter future. It was great to hear that 9 out of 10 people felt that the Scouts help young people to develop empathy. If I can play a tiny part in this, then I find that very motivational. Top marks to the Scouts.
  5. And finally, having been a volunteer for the Scouts for more years than I care to remember I have seen the Scout movement in more recent times really modernise and reinvent themselves. They have achieved this whilst ensuring that the fundamental values and principles have remained core to everything they do. There is so much that so many charities and other organisations could learn from this. Top marks to the Scouts.

So, I am glad that I changed my plans for this morning and focused my blog on the Scouts. I will return to the issue of what I think makes charities thrive at a later date. In the meantime if you want to see an organisation that really is thriving – take a look at the Scouts.


Former charity CEO passionate about helping charities and not for profit organisations across the UK to Thrive. With over 25 years experience I support people and charities to be the very best they can be. I recently set up Thrive Charity Consulting offering a wealth of insight, experience and expert advice. We help people to solve problems, overcome challenges and maximise individual and organisational effectiveness.

Contact us to find out how we could help your charity.


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