The woman who brings you good news
I caught up with Nisha Kotecha, who is the founder and Editor in Chief of Good News Shared, a website started in 2014, featuring positive charity news from around the world.
Nisha worked for UK charities for over 10 years and is on a mission to show how important charities are in today's world. Good News Shared is not only a website packed with uplifting stories but also a successful podcast created to inspire listeners with a new topic every week. You can subscribe to the podcast via Itunes.
Apart from her role as a social entrepreneur, Nisha is a member at the Institute of Directors, was elected National Publicity Officer for Rotaract in Great Britain and Ireland and also Club President at her local Rotaract club, and took part in the Hub Launchpad Programme and the Community Links Enterprise Programme.
In this interview, Nisha talks about how her past charity work inspired her to start the website, how she finds new stories, pitching for a scholarship, becoming a digital nomad and what she is most proud of.
What inspired you to start Good News Shared and what is your vision for the website?
I was working for a small national charity supporting older people at the time. I was frustrated that very few people knew about the incredible opportunities available for isolated older people through the services we provided.
I saw that this was an issue for so many charities so I started Good News Shared to help people learn about the work charities are doing, the services and opportunities they offer, and the impact they are having.
I hope the website will show people what help and support is available to them, their friends and family. I also hope people will leave the site feeling happier, inspired and energised to give back within their community.
How do you find stories? Do you use your contacts from the charity sector?
There are so many incredible things happening around the world all the time so finding stories has not really been a problem for us. We are on quite a few charity PR lists which means they email us their press releases. Also we use sites such as Pressat to find press releases. The Charity Comms Ask Charity Service is fantastic and has helped us find incredible stories.
You write articles, tweet, post on Facebook, make a weekly podcast with a guest…How do you manage being active on various social media channels?
This is all possible thanks to a lot of help and hard work. At Good News Shared we have had an incredible 84 people write at least one article for the site. There is no way we would have been able to consistently feature 5 stories a week every week without the support of the writers.
Social media used to take up a lot of my time initially, especially Twitter (which I love!). Now we have a great volunteer who manages our Instagram account, and we use Edgar now to schedule our tweets which saves us a huge amount of time.
Over 50 authors have contributed to the website at the start of 2015. How can people get involved?
Anyone interested in writing for the site just needs to send over a message to me via the website with some information about their experience and why they would like to get involved.
Can you share some of the feedback from your readers and podcast followers?
We have had really lovely feedback from our readers and listeners. People are so happy to be able to read something uplifting for a change. A recent podcast review left on iTunes was: “In a world full of negativity this podcast is a breath of fresh air. Let’s share good news and let that news inspire us to be better ourselves!”
What are some of the ways people and small businesses can give back to the community apart from financial help?
There are so many ways that people can – and do – give back to their community. I love the story about a hair stylist in the USA who spends his only day off giving free haircuts to homeless people.
Then there’s the guy, also in the USA, who makes robots using tin cans. He sells those robots to fund what he does with the ingredients – making food for homeless people.
Last Christmas there was a lovely example of a business helping their community when a local pub offered a free Christmas meal to people in need.
You and your husband Alex have embarked on a new journey as digital nomads. Your first stop was Gran Canaria and now you live in Berlin. How long will you be away and what does life of a modern-day nomad look like?
Yes that’s right, we stayed in Las Palmas in a lovely place just two minutes from the beach, and now we are enjoying living and working in Berlin! I am working for a small company in Berlin as part of the Erasmus Entrepreneurial Programme.
I can run Good News Shared from anywhere that has a decent Internet connection so we are working as normal and then spend our free time exploring the city.
While we are living abroad I am keeping my eyes open for any potential local stories as we cover stories from around the world on Good News Shared.
What’s the one thing you are most proud of since the launch of Good News Shared?
I am proud of the fact that we have consistently featured at least five stories a week. Also I have always sent out an email to our newsletter subscribers once a fortnight, even on the morning of my wedding (I’d written it and scheduled it in advance!).
There are so many good news stories out there and people are really interested in reading and sharing them so hopefully this year we will be able to feature even more stories each week.