Tencil Talks: William Bull

William Bull is the founder of the CovHead-19 challenge.

The CovHead-19 Challenge wants to help raise funds for NHS Charities Together. The NHS Charities Together help allocate the funding and supplies to over 250 Charities that support the NHS across the UK.

Their target is £100,000. https://justgiving.com/fundraising/covhead-19challenge

Earlier this month, CovHead-19 Challenge and Tencil began working together on their digital strategies.

Today we caught up with Will on how it is all going…

Q. Talk us through your project – what are you trying to achieve?

WB: Quite simple really-we just wanted to raise as much money and support as possible for The NHS Charities Together, which distributes funds and supplies to NHS staff and localised NHS charities. We wanted to create a fun and easy way to bring friends and family together by getting them to shave their heads, donate to the charity, and nominate their friends to get involved.

Q. Describe your digital strategies, what has it been like working with Tencil?

WB: Working with Tencil has been great fun and really effective. The founder reached out which was a nice personal touch and the company has always made time for us.

In terms of digital strategies, I just started off pushing the initiative by asking anyone who knew anyone with a good social media presence to get involved which kicked us off. However, at about the £20K mark momentum started to slow down, which is where Tencil really pushed us forward using more targeted social media advertising campaigns that have attracted people I could never hope to reach within my own personal sphere.

Q. Do you think having a sporting background has helped to push the challenge at all?

WB: Absolutely. Being able to connect with old teammates has been the most important driver of the challenge by far, as I found people are more likely to do it if everyone else in their club/team is wanting to get involved and this personifies what this challenge is really about-we’re all in this situation together so we might as well have a laugh and try to support the people who need it most.

Furthermore, it allows you to access far more influential people to raise awareness, were it not for an old friend we would never have got the Exeter Chiefs and some of the England Rugby boys involved, who were the main reason the challenge kicked off.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone looking to do their own sort of challenge or charitable event?

WB: It might sound a bit cliché, but I think the most important thing is that if you have an idea that you think could genuinely work and be done in the right spirit of things, then just back yourself and throw everything at it. For example, when I first mentioned I wanted to do this challenge to my family, all but one of them said that it wouldn’t work or that there were better ways to do it, but I knew that it could be done properly-so I ignored them and did it anyway.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to ask anyone for a favour-more often than not they will be more than willing to help!

Q. In your opinion, is there really no such thing as bad publicity?

WB: Great question. I think charities are lucky in that they rarely receive bad publicity, however, when they do it is often far more damaging than negative commercial publicity for example. We’ve actually had to refuse articles from certain publications because although getting the word out there is essential to us, keeping the right image of the challenge is the priority. Overall, the publicity that we’ve had has been fantastic.

Q. Challenges like these can often lose momentum quickly-how do you ensure that the ball is kept rolling?

WB: The most important thing is to keep it diverse. Although we have a very simple message-shave your head for charity, it can be applied to pretty much everyone. We have altered our campaign pretty much every week to target people in different spheres-for example we started with sports teams, then moved to teachers, then asked businesses to do it etc.

Q. What can charities learn from the Covhead_19Challenge?

WB: I think that the importance of social media can never be underestimated-it is by far the easiest way to target your intended audience. Having worked with charities before, I think too many of them focus on the older demographic for donations for instance. This is effective of course, but I truly believe that you need to keep your campaigns attractive to younger people as well-there are far too many charities (and businesses for that matter) that completely overlook the importance of driving their initiatives using younger generations. Focus on gaining awareness and support first, then the donations will follow, not the other way around.

Q. What are your plans for the project?

WB: My plans initially were to raise £10K, which at the start seemed a bit far out of reach. However, at the start, it just took off and we’ve raised over £40K in 4 weeks. I think the main goal is to let the NHS staff know that we’re behind them and doing our bit to say thank you, then the money raised is a bonus!

Q. I know you like to Brunch – but where is your favourite place to brunch?

WB: This fake news, I have brunched once, so by default I think the Early Bird in Cardiff is the winner for that one!

Finally, we would like to wish Will all the best with his endeavors with the CovHead-19 Challenge.

If you would like to hear more about how Tencil can help your business or charity, feel free to reach out to Joel.Williams@tencil.co.uk

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