On Tuesday 9 July, Tech4Good South West held its latest event for people interested in using digital technology for social good. This session saw a fantastic line up of expert speakers offer free advice on driving online awareness for charities through Search Engine Optimisation, Google advertising and social media. Attendees had the opportunity not only to listen to the talks, but also network and participate in a group discussion where they were able to share their ideas, needs and skills. These activities reflect the aims of the Tech4Good South West network as a whole; to help people in the Bristol, Bath and surrounding areas make connections and create a community around innovating for good.

 
 

The speakers provided clarity on digital tools and resources to drive all-important online presence and awareness. Most attendees were hearing about these tools for the first time, so they were able to take away practical advice to improve awareness of their work. 

Jenny Hearn from Torchbox focused her presentation on how the key is to be discoverable for all queries users are searching for, if you are to rank high on Google. This needn't be a time-consuming or confusing task. When it comes to your website, make sure you adjust your title and description to be attractive and readable, appear on Google My Business with a maps listing and accumulate good reviews to appear trustworthy and effective. 

Ali Vowles from Torchbox illuminated how the Google Ads Grant for charities can fund up to $10,000 of ad space. Many organisations in the room had not heard about this grant before, so it was valuable information for them to take back to their teams. 

Finally, Lou Chudley outlined how Instagram can add value to your charity's voice by telling your story, becoming visual and of-the-moment.

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Part of the Tech4Good network’s power is that they are able to share knowledge by getting two separate sectors in the same room to share ideas. The Tech4Good South West network’s quarterly events bring together local charities, community groups and other not for profit organisations with professionals in digital technology industries who can share their expertise and create solutions for the digital challenges these local not for profits face. Corsham Institute are pleased to support the Tech4SouthWest network as a strategic sponsor because we recognise that these sessions offer a vital opportunity to local charities, as their digital presence becomes increasingly key to their success and delivering their mission, but their digital skills needs keep them from achieving their full potential. There’s great opportunity for technology to enhance the work of organisations pursuing social good, streamlining processes and making their services more readily available. If charities and non-profits want to create connections and spread the word, understanding how web platforms function is essential.

If you’re from a charity, community group or other not for profit organisation and would like to benefit from the support, advice and networking Tech4Good South West can offer, find out more about their upcoming events here. Equally, if you have a tech background or expertise, you can find opportunities to put your skills to social good, as well as the potential for lasting relationships (be they paid or volunteer) with leading organisations in your community.