This is my first blog on this site – and it’s an important one. If you are a digital professional who relishes building digital products then the best job in the charity sector has just become available. I’m leaving Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to move on to a new challenge, but the opportunity I am leaving behind is unique. The cause is a great one but that’s a different blog post. Let me tell you why, professionally, Head of Digital & ICT is such a special role:
Think startup not digital comms
Digital at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is more exciting than any other digital role I’ve come across in the sector because it’s not digital communications – it’s building digital products that engage with users and deliver. The team and the setup is such that a real programme of developing, producing and iterating upon digital products is now possible. While of course they play an important part, this isn’t a job for someone who gets really excited about digital copy or the latest social media campaign – the real excitement comes from building things and making things happen. So the role is closer in substance to a web startup CTO than a Head of Comms (Digital).
A fundraising platform
We’ve just launched a fundraising platform built on our CMS and CRM which will allow us to create and test fundraising products which are intrinsically integrated into our systems – which means we can do it fast and we can improve on it quickly. For example, we built fundraising pages on this platform – and they are great (here being used by supporters, being used by corporates) – and then quickly integrated them in to our largest event registration process. And that’s just the beginning – all sorts of products become possible on this platform.
A patient services platform
We’re also using the same system to power our online patient services, to provide a platform for people affected by blood cancer. So similarly, it means we can build digital products and services for patients and offer them in one place. Both these and the fundraising platform are at early release stages – so the potential in upcoming releases is huge.
You don’t need to fight IT – it’s in digital
There have been too many roles I’ve had where IT or ICT have been a constant thorn in the side of a digital team keen to take advantage of the incredible technologies that are available to them. At Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research the ICT team is part of the wider Digital team, which is where it should be. ICT is about empowering people to do things, and in many ways that’s what Digital should be about too.
You build everything – openly
Not only is IT in Digital, but all the organisation’s technologies sit with Digital. Our CMS is Drupal, our CRM is CiviCRM (easily the best CMS/CRM combination I’ve encountered), but we have a range of other technologies and we develop many of them ourselves. We’re open source where possible by philosophy, and look to work with other charities as much as we can (for example Open Charity which took place just yesterday). We get the pleasure of being the people who empower everyone else – and by everyone I mean patients, supporters, researchers, staff and many more…
It’s an organisation that is doing things differently
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research has transformed in the last five years – and is still on a path of transformation. How it does Digital is just one example, but the drive to spend its money differently and the incredible brand journey it is on are others.
One hell of a team
There has been a lot of investment in digital recently in comparison to before, however, it’s still a fledging digital team with four developers, four producers, two digital engagement folks and a couple in IT. But, boy do they punch above their weight. The digital products they’ve built over the last couple of years are incredible and you’d be sitting pretty on their giant shoulders as I have been.
I could go on and on and on… but I wanted to finish with:
You’ll have the incredible support of the finest Marketing Director you could hope to work for
This is the killer app (I’m sorry I just used that tired phrase but it fits). Emma Whelan would be your boss, and that’s a USP nowhere else has.
Whether you’re a charity professional, or have led startups to exit – this is the place to work if you want to have an impact not just for the incredible cause, but on the way the sector does things. Apply here: http://leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk/about-us/careers/head-digital-ict