Journalists' frequently asked questions
1. What is AskCharity?
It's a free online charity contacts book and case study finder for journalists. We have thousands of charities signed up.
2. What is the Answer Service?
The Answer Service lets media professionals send out their requests for case studies, spokespeople and subject specialists to hundreds of charities at a time, through a quick online form.
3. How does the Answer Service work and what can I do to get the best response?
When a charity contact signs up to the service they can choose to receive ‘general’ requests, ‘category’ requests or both.
Since Covid-19, we’ve seen recent stories on charities unable to fundraise fast enough to meet the growing demand, those self-isolating because of underlying health conditions, and expert advice on mental health management. If your request is related to a particular theme, such as mental health or homelessness, please pick the category option and select the relevant categories. This means your request will get sent out to the people best placed to help you. The ‘general’ option is intended for general calls for stories or new research where it isn’t limited to a particular cause or group.
Please do have a think about which option to use and which categories are best for your request so charities aren’t overwhelmed with irrelevant requests, but we recognise that more and more stories are cutting across issues as we face Covid-19.
The best requests make it clear what it is they are after, how that is relevant to what charities do and how the charity can benefit (ie from a mention in the resulting story). And please make sure that you leave your contact details so that people can respond to your request!
4. Can I send the same request out more than once?
5. How do I find the charity I'm looking for?
If you want to find the contact details of charities working in a particular sector, you can use the AskCharity search facility which allows you to search by keyword and category.
6. Who can sign up as a media professional on AskCharity?
You must be a media professional. Please only send out requests related to stories you plan to place in the media (eg no personal requests or requests on behalf of non-media organisations). Sorry, but we don’t allow students to use the service.
7. How do I sign up?
Just fill out the quick online form.
8. Who runs AskCharity?
AskCharity is operated by CharityComms, the membership body for charity communicators.
9. Why am I limited to two requests per day?
Many of the categories overlap - meaning that charities receive your request multiple times. Also the service is very popular and we need to ensure that charities don't feel overwhelmed by the number of requests they receive. If you feel you need to send more than this then please contact us and we will be able to assess the situation. In exceptional circumstances we may allow you to send more.
10. My question wasn’t answered or I want to speak to someone about AskCharity!
You can call us on 020 7426 8880, or email Sarah: firstname.lastname@example.org.