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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Scotland’s top social media charity bosses named

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Three charity bosses in Scotland have made a list of the best social media chief executives from across the UK

Three chief executives based on Scotland have been named in a list of the top 30 social media using charity bosses in the UK.

Louise Macdonald of Young Scot, Theresa Shearer of Enable and Lang Banks of WWF Scotland each appear on the list created by digital experts Zoe Amar and Matt Collins.

Over 170 charity bosses were put forward to appear on the list, which was whittled down by a panel of digital leaders chaired by Simon Blake, chief executive of the National Union of Students (NUS).

Macdonald, Shearer and Banks were commended for integrating social media in the way they manage stakeholders, campaign and learn, with Amar saying that they offer hope to others during uncertain times.

We’re living in uncertain times and resources are tight but the work these charity leaders are pioneering online

“This year’s winners show how charity leaders have grown in confidence in how they are using social media,” she said.

“Our judges were very impressed by the way in which they were using social to manage stakeholders and lead from the front.

“We’re living in uncertain times and resources are tight but the work these charity leaders are pioneering online should be a source of hope to the voluntary sector.”

An annual list, this is the fourth time Macdonald has been named but is the first for Shearer and Banks.

For the Young Scot boss it follows on from being named Not for Profit/Third Sector Director of the Year by the UK Institute of Directors in October.

She has led the national youth information and citizenship charity since 2008 and in the past year has overseen the launch of its new digital platform and increased membership to over 680,000 11-26 year olds.

“I’m delighted to say there were a few Scottish CEOs on the list – we’re getting better,” Macdonald said.

“Social media is a fantastic networking tool which allows me to make new connections and share ideas with people.

“The most rewarding part is the direct line it gives me to listen to and have meaningful conversations with young people across the country.

“As well as being able to share opportunities and listen to their concerns and ideas, I get to highlight the fabulous work and the positive impact young people make to Scotland.”

As chief executive of social care charity Enable, Shearer heads up an organisation that employs 1800 staff.

She is a chartered fellow of the CIPD and was the first woman in Scotland to complete a diploma in Corporate Direction via the Institute of Directors.

A member of the Scottish Leadership Forum, and trustee of Impact Arts and Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Shearer was recently invited, on behalf of Scottish Government, to chair the Scottish Fundraising Working Group.

She said: “I’m honoured to have been recognised among some of the most innovative and creative CEOs in the sector.

“Social media has become an integral part of the way we engage with stakeholders and provides us with a platform to ignite a conversation about the key issues related to learning disability.”

Banks, who became Scotland Director at the WWF in 2013, was formerly head of communications and fundraising at the organization.

Previously he was named by Triodos Bank as one of the UK's top 100 social media influencers on sustainability issues.

Of his latest award he said: "It's a great honour to have made this year's list of the UK's top social CEOs.

"I believe it's important that charities, especially their senior staff, make use of social media and digital to achieve their aims.

"I've found social media an invaluable tool in my work trying to make a positive difference for people and nature.

"Whether it's advocacy, fundraising or simply engaging with supporters and stakeholders, social has the potential to deliver for any charity."