whatCharity has recently started collaborating with University of Surrey in order to help improve voluntary sector communication skills. Charities face many challenges having to tailor communication and messages to various audiences, including beneficiaries, donors, volunteers and corporate partners. As always, we would like to help and have teamed up with the university to offer an easy to participate in “Communication with Diverse Audiences” course, which is being developed by academics led by Senior Lecturer Doris Dippold.

If you would like to develop your communication or someone else’s in your organisation, we are offering free participation in the online course, starting in Spring 2019. All you need to do to qualify, is to complete a short questionnaire which helps to fine-tune the course content and make it relevant to charities. Please note that places are limited and in order to confirm the participation of your charity, please complete the survey by 7th December. HERE is a link to the questionnaire, which will take roughly 6-8 minutes to complete.

About the course

“Communicating with diverse audiences” provides participants with the linguistic techniques and tools to communicate effectively in interpersonal interactions within diverse environments relevant to the charity sector. Participants work through the course over a period of four weeks. Whilst engagement with course content is self-guided, participants are supported through moderated discussion forums.

The course explores the following topics:

How can I use language to establish better relationships with people from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds?

How can I use English as a common language of communication with speakers of different languages?

How do I avoid ‘unconscious bias’ to act fairly and non-judgmentally in communication with others?

The course encourages reflection on personal communicative practices. The course content is delivered online, through a combination of video lectures and written content, animations, interactive exercises and two interactive discussion forums. Roleplays provide participants with a realistic and engaging way to work through examples and relate them to their own practice.

The course provides participants with a unique opportunity to learn about communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries without resorting to stereotypes.


Doris Dippold, the course leader, is Senior Lecturer Intercultural Communication at the University of Surrey (School of Literature and Languages). Her research and teaching interests focus on interpersonal communication in business, professional and educational settings.