We’re gearing up for tonight’s event and generous, lovely volunteers will be heading to the supermarket to buy the drinks and nibbles and then to Amnesty to get everything set up. As usual, when it rains, we’re all wondering whether the weather will affect the turn out, or whether the free booze, birthday cake, the chance to catch up with old friends and meet new, and the programme for the evening (yes, we know it’s probably in that order), will be enough to fill all of those places, hard-earned by people watching their Twitter feeds for the ticket releases…
Anyway, if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the programme for tonight:
17:30 Arriving/registering/networking, drinks and nibbles
18:15 Introduction: Rachel Beer, beautiful world
18:20 ‘Cake – and other cheats for internal digital engagement’, Damien Austin-Walker, Head of Digital, vInspired
18:45 ’Can digital and social media change the culture of an organisation?’, Bertie Bosrédon, Digital Engagement and Social Media Expert (formerly Assistant Director of Services (Information and Multimedia), Breast Cancer Care
19:05 Break for birthday cake and networking
19:30 Panel-led discussion: Bertie Bosrédon, Lucy Buck from ChildsiFoundation, Laila Takeh from UNICEF, and Jacqui O’Beirne from Dogs Trust
20:20 Wrap up
20:30 Drinks and socialising at Bar Music Hall for those who’d like to join.
It’s about this time that I always get a bit of stage fright. I think that’s okay, under the circumstances. After all, people really look forward to this, and have often been told good things about it by friends, so there’s a lot to live up to, even though it’s a free event.
Over the years (I never thought I’d be saying that), I’ve tried to keep it fresh by changing the format, including workshop-style sessions, thinking about the campaigns that have been exciting or intriguing that people would like to hear about and could learn from, or which themes have been recurring through our work over the previous quarter that it would be valuable to explore. Mostly, I’m told, it’s worked and the feedback in the post-event survey has always been overwhelmingly positive, as well as constructive and thought-provoking (and thank you if you are one of the people kind enough to provide it).
Tonight, four years on from the first event, it felt like the right time to reflect on how far things have come and how far they’ve yet to go, to discuss how well the charity sector is making use of digital, whether it is yet embedded in the culture of organisations, where it is – how that happened and, where it isn’t – can those insights benefit those still working towards that? As usual, the aim is to put our heads and experiences together and share for the greater good. Or something like that.
You never know how it’s all going to turn out, because NFPtweetup has always been about the collective contribution. All the people that come and present, help and turn up to take part make it what it is and that’s why it’s always so exciting and slightly nerve wracking in the run up. On that note, in case I forget someone later, I wanted to say an enormous thank you to everyone that has helped over the past four years (there really are too many to mention), to tonight’s lovely presenters and volunteers Teri Doubtfire, Ashley Clarke, Lucy Roberts, Sue Sinton-Smith and Rita Batalha.
In our NFPtweetup 16 session preview, we hear from Mark Chandler, Co-founder of Guess2Give, and how a personal fundraising challenge was the inspiration for Guess2Give…
I faced the same challenge many fundraisers face. I had three events lined up and wanted to fundraise for all of them, but knew I’d only get one hit with traditional online sponsorship. So I ran a sweepstake on each of my triathlons, challenging friends to guess my finish time for each … and I couldn’t believe the response.
Everyone loved the challenge of guessing my finish time. They started making multiple guesses as the banter around the office got even more people involved and really spurred me on. I raised over £400 for my charity but I also knew I was on to something much bigger.
The sweepstake brings a whole new dynamic to fundraising – it’s fun, easy and flexible. Each guess is just £3 (the price of a coffee) and of course there’s the chance to win the prize fund, but it’s much more than that. The challenge of guessing the result really appeals to your friends and work colleagues’ competitive nature, it sparks interest and conversation, and importantly for a lot of people you don’t have to run a marathon (unless you really want to)! Anything that can be measured is now a fundraising opportunity using Guess2Give.
At NFPtweetup, I’ll be sharing some of the inspirational (and oddball) sweepstakes, like Helen’s ‘Devastator Eating Challenge’, that are helping provide a genuine new income stream for UK charities. Also how we’re using new technology to really drive giving and long term value especially amongst the elusive younger audience, as 30% of our users are 30 years or under.
Here’s a 60 second animation to whet your appetite:
Zoe Amar, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Lasa, shares her three golden rules for great content – and why she thinks KnowHow NonProfit is an excellent example of an organisation which follows all three…
I talked about the three golden rules of great content for charities, which apply whatever size or type of charity you are. I chose KnowHow NonProfit as I think they are a fantastic example of good content.
KnowHow NonProfit is a website where charities can learn and share what they have learnt with others, so they have a similar mission to ours at Lasa. Much of their content is collaboratively sourced, whether it’s their iKnowHow, a wiki about voluntary sector management, their how to guides, or their e-learning Studyzone, where people can suggest topics that they need training on. It’s by their community for their community, shaped by them to suit their needs. KnowHow shows that great content is user lead.
Secondly, KnowHow’s content is high quality. They achieve this through clear guidelines for their contributors and by sourcing much of their content from experts in the field.
Finally, their content is multi-channel, using videos, podcast, and e-learning to name but a few, using different channels to meet their users’ needs.
At last week’s NFPtweetup (yes, it was only a week ago!) Mark Morton, Digital Manager at Epilepsy Action, shared his favourite content – and what’s so special about a volunteer called Dave:
My presentation talked about something many social meeja experts say is bad: the auto-posting of updates. In most cases, that sets klaxons off in people’s heads. But I’m going to show you an auto-posting system that works really really well.
Most of us at NFPtweetup are from charities. And most of those have volunteers. But very few us send them out at a moment’s notice into what might be dangerous and life-threatening situations in the middle of the night in the middle of our otherwise-safe and secure communities. Which is why for my site with great content, I’m looking at RNLI launch alerts..
The RNLI was probably the first organisation that I knew was a charity. I understood that when I was spending summers at my grandad’s house on the Lincolnshire coast, if I heard two massive bangs, that would be the flares that would be sent up to tell the volunteer lifeboat crew to leave their homes and jobs and drive as quickly and safely as possible to the lifeboat station and get the boat out on to the North Sea. And I knew they were volunteers. I knew that by me spending my pocket money on a badge at the RNLI gift shop, I was helping to pay for people going out to save lives.
And it was the flares that told all-but-the-most-deaf of the town’s 10,000 inhabitants that there was an emergency off the coast. In the time it took the crew to get to the station, get the boat on to the slipway, onto the beach and into the sea, crowds of holidaymakers would be ready to watch the launch.
Then mobile pagers came along and made the flares obsolete. And so unless you were working next to the butcher-cum-volunteer lifeboat crew member who would have to drop his large knife and run, you’d not really have any idea there’s an emergency occurring.
The fact that the pagers made the process of summoning the lifeboat crew electronic meant that once the internet came along, a website could be updated automatically when a lifeboat had been launched. Then soon the RNLI developed a desktop widget that you alerted you when a boat had been launched. And then they could text you to tell you that too.
And then came Twitter. And open data. And a volunteer called Dave.
Open data these days means organisations providing the public with spreadsheets and databases that people can read and geeks can do fancy things with. Before that came along, screen-scraping was big. Where the best way to get access to a organisation’s data was to write a piece of software to read what was on a web page and then do something with it.
And that what one of the RNLI’s supporters, Dave, did. He wrote something that regularly checks the pages on the RNLI website that listed when a crew were launched and set up @outonashout, which sends a tweet about each launch.
I’ve been looking through the tweets that mention @outonashout over the last few weeks, and there are some really interesting happening with these tweets.
Lots of people use Twitter searches to monitor what’s happening locally. I found radio stations who were doing this, finding an @outonashout tweet about their local crew, and using that as a news story.
I saw a tweet from someone who appeared to be a friend of a lifeboat crew member, wishing them a safe and successful mission.
I saw a tweet from somebody who’d been recently rescued by a lifeboat crew, thanking @rnli and alerting their followers to @outonashout.
And weirdly, it’s the auto-posting that I found quite moving in one way. On Christmas morning, waiting for everybody else to get up so we could open our presents, I checked Twitter. And there, about 3.30am, was an auto-tweet about an lifeboat being launched in Teignmouth in Devon. And it got me thinking about how many families Christmasses were being disrupted because of someone in trouble off the Devon coast in the middle of the night.
And all of these tweets came from something unofficial. Auto-tweeting, screen-scraping and the RNLI letting a volunteer do something really powerful with their data.
Our quick fire presentations were likened to speed dating during this week’s NFPtweetup event… well, Rob Dyson, Public Relations Manager at Whizz Kidz, tries to impress with his love for Living Streets and their take on gamification:
Gamification (awful term, I know) is nothing new; businesses and charities have been employing elements of gameplay, incentivisation, reward and motivation for years.
For example, if you have a Nandos loyalty card you’ll know that if you keep coming back and getting those stamps, soon you’ll have free chicken! Points mean prizes, folks. Social networks like Foursquare personify the element of game (collecting badges, becoming ‘Mayor’ of a location) – a number of businesses are rewarding repeat customers with freebies and discounts. This kind of gameplay means we have fun whilst buying products and we stay loyal.
‘Gamifying’ our supporters’ journeys could be the key to attracting new people, whilst using competitive play to suggest they do more, give more, or get involved in different ways. Can we create a path to convert people from slacktivism to activism?
Living Streets caught my eye this month for having fun with this idea of gameplay. At NFP tweetup 15, I wanted to share why I like the digital content of the charity’s Great British Walking Challenge – and why I now know what it takes to burn off the calories of three large muffins.
Living Streets has clearly invested in a great looking site, with a simple entry-level (sign-up using your Facebook account), but they also employ free tools like Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and Pinterest.
What might we learn about ‘nudging’ our own supporters to take action? What could they do, where might we take them? Let’s get playful!
At Tuesday’s NFPtweetup we asked Lesley Pinder what charity content she loved and why. Here she tells us why she chose Charity:Water:
There are few charities in the world better than Charity:Water when it comes to creating compelling content that drives fundraising and makes the donor feel good.
All of their content is united by some key themes – personality, transparency and the breaking down of the barriers between donor, charity and beneficiaries. The way they communicate with you, the donor, makes you feel part of the (very good looking and achingly right on) Charity:Water gang.
But it is video where Charity:water is head and shoulders above the rest.
This was one of the first videos that Charity:water made – to launched the first of their now annual ‘September Birthday Campaign.’
So far so normal. Most charities are great at showing people the need. Quite a lot are really good at offering a simple solution but few are any good at following up and showing the donors just what they have made possible.
Charity: Water is excellent. That first video raised $60k. This video shows the drilling of the well that that $60k paid for.
This simple format has been followed ever since, with increasing sophistication in the filmmaking but with the very simple premise at the heart of it: Show people the need, give them a solution and then show them exactly where the money has gone. And it works. The September 2011 campaign raised $1.2m in a matter of months.
Join me on the Bridge started on International Women’s Day 2010 when women from the organisation’s programmes in The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, two neighbouring countries that have been torn apart by the worst atrocities of war, joined together on the bridge connecting their two countries, showing that they could build the bridges of peace and hope for the future. This action sparked a massive global movement, and in 2011 and 2012 they were joined by thousands of people on hundreds of bridges worldwide.
Join me on the Bridge is now a campaign for peace and women’s equality. The beauty of the campaign lies in it’s broadness, in how easy it is for people to connect to in a way that is relevant to them. The difficulty of the campaign is highlighting the pockets of distinctiveness that people create in a way that’s coherent and clear (and putting it all back into two months of campaigning and now a ten minute presentation).
From people joining together for ‘Bridge Flashmob’ in Poland to a group of women in England who got together to play bridge, each event had a purpose, theme or defining characteristic. This produced tidal wave of photos, videos, blog posts and other online coverage that truly blew everyone in the office away.
The microsite was built on Ning, a platform for creating social networks, and whilst it presented certain challenges (more of that in the presentation), it allowed for this really free flowing exchange of ideas and we were able to simultaneously highlight and encouraging this broad, user driven content.
We’ll be discussing the importance of user driven content, the challenges it presented and the results it achieved.
The next NFPtweetup event is all about content so we asked Kirsty Marrins, Communications Manager at Aspire, to tell us which charity (which isn’t her own!) produced content she loved. Unfortunately, Kirsty can no longer make it next week but we asked her to share her would-be presentation as blog post instead:
When NFPtweetup approached me to do a five minute presentation at their next event, not only was I delighted and honoured, I didn’t hesitate for a moment when choosing which charity to speak about.
For me, this charity is a shining example of how we should all be producing content. Their content is visually appealing and stimulating, interesting and informative and they have a great mix of content – from celebrity videos to animation. Most importantly their content inspires action and, at the end of the day, is that not what we are all trying to achieve?
Anthony Nolan is a charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer by matching donors who are willing to donate their blood stem cells to people who desperately need lifesaving transplants. It’s no easy task; how do you engage the public to sign up to a donor register where they may have to undergo a bone marrow donation for someone they’ve never even met before? You do it by producing brilliant content of course; content that speaks to the individual in language that is easy to understand and that inspires action.
Their Fit to Spit campaign is a fantastic example of using appropriate language for their target audience (18 -30 year old men): More of a vodka tonic than an isotonic kinda guy? More a ready meal than a wholemeal kinda guy? You’re fitter than you think.
When they’re not writing up great copy, they’re producing great videos. Back in June 2011 Charlie Brooker approached Anthony Nolan after seeing fifteen year old Alice Pyne’s Bucket List and her appeal for more people to join the register. He decided to film a YouTube video where he (un)appeals to people, particularly young men between 18 and 30 and ethnic minorities, to come forward and potentially save a life. Of course, being Charlie Brooker, there is a fair amount of swearing but considering the target audience, this works well. The video on YouTube led to 17,500 views on their website in one day, normally they average around 1,000 visits per day .They had 2,134 sign-ups to the donor register in two days, which is the equivalent of one month’s worth of sign-ups and 35% of those were their target audience.
A really important factor in creating content is that it is timely and newsworthy. The day after the London Marathon, Anthony Nolan posted a video on Facebook featuring some of their London Marathon runners during the race being cheered on by staff, supporters and their loved ones and after the race talking about why they chose to run for the Charity. It is such an emotional and inspiring video and it immediately makes you want to pick up the phone and ask for a place in the 2013 marathon! I dare you to watch this video and not have a lump in your throat…
There are so many more examples of fabulous content I could share with you, but this is a blog post after all so check it out for yourself.