all power to you

 

I’m pretty chuffed to be honest. I’ll be doing a turn at the Institute of Fundraising conference on Tuesday 26th October. On hearing about BeGoodBeSocial, it seemed silly not to head over to Edinburgh to join in with what should be a cracking evening at The Melting Pot on Wednesday.

With this in mind, Ross invited me to share something about the session he and Stuart have asked me to facilitate next week. So, I’m having a punt here (I seem to be the last of the ‘speakers’ to do this), with the understanding that I mean precisely that – ‘facilitate’ a free and honest exchange of views (as opposed to me getting on my high horse for the full 45 minutes we will have together). Stop me before I do that.

Having said that, I do intend to lead off with a rather a sweeping monologue, which I hope and trust will provoke you to challenge me, and some of you to even agree with me. By 8 o’clock, I hope that together we can have a pop at identifying some opportunities for action – which we can start practicing from Thursday morning.

I’m often asked by people who work in charities what I think the ‘next big thing’ will be in social media. You may be one of those people. My (current) answer is be that it will not be a technology; we have plenty of that. The most pressing issue for our sector depends on whether your charity can align itself with the conversations your communities are already having by empowering employees (that’s YOU) to identify, understand and speak directly to people in a language they’ll connect with. As Peter Dietz of Social Actions says, “donations will be a consequence of meaningful engagement, not a measure of it.” In short, charities must now reconfigure themselves for participation. It’s an imperative.

Unfortunately, you’re probably too busy to think, let alone connect with these communities, who are doing things at their own speed anyway (which is much faster than most organisations can keep pace with).

So, given that many of you will be in meetings next Thursday morning, I promise to make myself available (via Twitter mostly) to continue with the discussion via the #begoogbesocial hashtag, and we’ll see where it goes. Kudos to the organisers, and l look forward to meeting you in Edinburgh.

I should have said before; this is what I do.

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