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Nonprofit Heroes: Matt Collins, Marketer in the third sector

Welcome to our Nonprofit Heroes series, where the Donorfy team interviews industry experts, successful proven fundraisers, and nonprofit heroes with stories and tips to inspire your charity to use technology to your advantage and do good, better. Enjoy!

The third interviewee in our new series is Matt Collins, who has worked for over 10 years in the sector as a digital marketer, communicator, and manager.

Matt runs Platypus Digital, a digital marketing and social media consultancy working for charities.  They deliver digital campaigns, training and consultancy that help charities raise more money and reach more people. This includes email marketing lead conversion campaigns, social media advertising and PPC campaigns, conversion rate optimisation, as well as training in Analytics and digital marketing.

Matt also run meetups for digital charity professionals like SLAMDUNC, co-founded the awards for the best charity CEOs on social media, and has spoken at sector events like NFP Tweetup, Media Trust conferences and CharityComms conferences.

We asked Matt a few questions about his career and how he sees the future of digital fundraising.

Let’s start with some background information - who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Matt (just as often known as CharityChap it seems). I run Platypus Digital, a digital marketing agency helping charities raise more money and reach more people online.

What was your first job?

I was a waiter at a hotel. I was terrible at it. But there were free desserts.

How did you get into the charity sector?

When I was 10, my dad said if I was going to do have a job, it should help people in some small way. That stuck with me. So my first charity job was with ChildLine in Manchester. I've been working with charities ever since.

You’re well-known for your love of digital. What is it about it that you love?

Its immediacy and scale. It connects people who want to change the world with the organisations that can help them. And it does it in real time.

Plus, comedy reaction gifs from 30 Rock.

When it comes to digital campaigns you must have seen good, bad and ugly. Any particular cases come to mind?

The recent BHF #Restartaheart campaign was excellent. Just click on the heart on Twitter and you're struck with an emotive graphic about your chances of surviving a heart attack. The heart connection, the message that actually helped you, and the immediacy were all great.

You get to work with lots of charities. If you had to give a shout out to one, which one would it be, and why?

On the proviso that they're all brilliant of course, I'll give Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity a shout out. Everyone knows the pioneering work the hospital does with sick children. But they're also a genuinely committed and highly skilled team. They just have a real sense of determination to do even better that I honestly find inspiring.

Matt featured in The Guardian

Matt featured in The Guardian

What are the next digital trends we should care about?

I'm a big believer that there are long established trends that you should care about more than you do. For example, working hard to capture the attention of the *billions* of people searching on Google each day would have a bigger impact for your charity than any other digital activity, hands down.

That said, I also think the power of micro-communities on WhatsApp to get things done can't be underestimated.

Here at Donorfy we’re all about making fundraising easier for charities. If you got your wish, what would you make easier than it is today?

Getting rid of the huge number of online donation providers, and replacing it with a single, open source platform that's incredibly easy to use, modify and integrate with other platforms. There are so many providers out there that are hard for donors to use. And they're stopping people donating to causes that desperately need support.

What would your digital super-power be?

To resist the lure of Twitter when I'm supposed to be working.

And finally, the tech questions:

  • Mac or PC?

Neither - Chromebook! But if pushed, Mac.

  • iPhone or Android?

Android. Everything at Platypus Digital is on Google Apps, from our email and calendar to documents and spreadsheets, so Android just makes sense.

  • Favourite app?

Google Maps. How did any of us get places we hadn't been before without it?

Huge thanks Matt for joining us for our Nonprofit Heroes interview!

If you’d like to nominate an industry expert or non-profit hero to be featured on our blog, contact us or tweet us @DonorfyFollow us on LinkedIn and Twitter so you don’t miss the next interview, and be sure to sign up for a free 2-week trial of Donorfy for your charity if you haven’t already.