Coffee Connections

We're making it easier for people in the charity sector to connect with and learn from each other.

Meet new people in the charity sector

More conversations and sharing in the charity sector can only be a good thing. That’s why we want to make it easier for people to connect with each other.

How does it work?

  • You sign up (below)
  • Every 2 months we’ll match you with another person in the sector
  • You arrange to meet for a coffee and a chat online

Who is this for?

Anyone who works within a social or voluntary organisation and has an interest in digital.

This initiative was started by Nesta in 2012 – you can read more about it here.

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What data do I have to share?

We ask for data that will make Coffee Connections matches possible and to help us monitor impact: 

  • Your first and last name
  • Your email address
  • Your organisation name
  • Your job title
  • A brief description about yourself (this is so that your match has some context about you before you meet)
  • Where you’re based
  • Where you rate your charity with digital

Matches aren’t currently made based on location, but we are collecting this data now so we can do so in the future if it is helpful. 

How long will you keep my data? 

We’ll keep your data as long as the Coffee Connections initiative is running, or until you choose to opt out. 

How do I opt out? 

To opt out, get in touch with Tori Ellaway on and we’ll delete your data. 

Who do you share my data with? 

We will only share your data with the people you are matched with, as part of an automated, random matching process. 

How does the matching process work? 

The matching process is automated and completely random. We’ll send you and your match an email introduction, then it’s over to you to arrange.

If you’ve been matched with the same person more than once, or you haven’t received a match in over 2 months, please let Tori Ellaway know on

How often will I get a new match?

We send out matches every 2 months. We started off with monthly matches, but feedback from people who took part in the trial said it was hard to arrange in such a short space of time with very busy schedules. 

Where will we meet?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings will take place online. We recommend a Skype or Zoom call with video, but telephone works too if your internet connection isn’t great.

What if I can’t make it?

It will be up to you to arrange a time and a method to meet with your match, but if it turns out you can’t make it, just get in touch and try to re-arrange. 

To make Coffee Connections a good experience for everyone involved, we ask that participants make every effort to chat with their matches at some point. 

What if I already know the person? 

If you already know the person, just get in touch with Tori Ellaway on We will try to find you another match, but you may need to wait until the next round of matches.  

What should we talk about? 

Anything and everything! Here are some suggestions for questions to ask?

  • What are you working on at the moment?
  • What’s one problem you’d like help with?
  • What do you find helps you in your role?
  • What are you struggling with in your role?
  • Do you have any contacts who might be good for the other person to talk to? Can you introduce them?
  • Any events/training/reading you can recommend?

Is there something we haven’t answered here? 

Get in touch with Tori Ellaway on to ask a question or give very welcome feedback about Coffee Connections.