Kate with Matt, Zoe and Simon Blake

Statement on the future of Social CEOs

What we’ve decided

After 8 years of amazing support from the charity sector, we’ve decided to stop running the Social CEOs awards in their traditional form. 

Why we’ve made this decision

When we began the awards in 2013, too few charity leaders had their own social media presence. We knew from the leaders who did that it was a valuable way for them to champion their causes, to be transparent about what they were doing and why, to build relationships with policy makers and funders and above all to learn from each other. 

During the time we have run the awards, we have seen charity and other social sector leaders embrace a personal social media presence, run with it and make it their own. It’s now much more of an expectation for leaders to do it, and to do it well. 

Much of this is due to the standards that have been set by the charity leaders who pioneered use of social media. As this has grown further we feel that the awards have achieved what they set out to do. 

We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us

We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has contributed to the awards over the years. So many people have given their time to them, whether that was by supporting the awards on social media or by helping us make the awards happen. All of them helped make the awards what they became. 

We will always be proud of all the amazing winners, from Dr Wanda Wyporksa to Polly Neate and Matthew Hodson and many more, who taught everyone, including us, so much about how to have a bold, brave and authentic voice on social media. 

We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to nominate all the nominees. We’d like to thank all the organisations who sponsored our awards, including JustGiving, Lightful, Trillium, and TPP Recruitment. 

We also very much appreciate the support from our judging panels over the years. In particular, huge thanks go to Simon Blake, who has been our chair of judges since 2013. Simon has done so much to champion the awards, continually challenge us to make them better and to inspire us with his own social media presence. The awards would not have succeeded without him. 

What happens next?

As part of the awards, we’ve always highlighted digital trends across the sector, and there are three things we’d encourage social sector organisations to think about now. 

1. Play a role in larger campaigns

The last couple of years have seen much needed campaigns which began on social media, from #CharitySoWhite to #ShowTheSalary and #NotJustNCVO. These campaigns are coming from the grassroots, pushing for vital changes that will help the sector reach the next stage of its evolution.  

The question now for leaders is how they support these conversations, and what role they want to play in them. 

2. Campaign for safer social media

We also recognise that whilst the charity community on social media is a warm, welcoming and supportive one, the overall environment on these platforms is not always safe. We hope that charities will continue to lobby for the changes the social media companies need to make via initiatives such as the Charities Against Hate campaign, who are doing important work to address this. 

3. Supporting other digital awards

We’ve seen some great digital adoption and innovation across the sector during the pandemic. One of the signs that this has become embedded is when digital  is recognised and adopted more broadly by other awards across the sector. We are happy to talk to any award organisers who would like to do this. 

We will always be ready and willing to champion social sector leaders who are fighting the good fight for their causes on social media. To that end we will be recording a special episode of the Starts At The Top podcast in November to discuss the latest trends and highlight leaders who are examples of good practice. 

We will also be reviewing all of the content we have produced since the awards began and looking at how we can open this up to everyone across the sector, so that these skills continue to grow. 

It’s been an absolute privilege to work on the awards and we will always be proud to have created them. 

Thank you again for being part of Social CEOs. 

Zoe Amar and Matt Collins

Kate with Matt, Zoe and Simon Blake
Long time chair of judges and Social CEOs champion Simon Blake, Former overall winner Kate Collins, with Social CEOs founders, Zoe Amar and Matt Collins