Category Archives: Charity

It’s A Wonderful ‘Social’ Life

The kindness of strangers

For most of us, Christmas is a time for giving. But for a small minority whose selfish actions make us all a little smaller, it is a time to take. And not simply take from those who perhaps enjoy too much, but from those who have very little to begin with. It is these individuals who broke into a charities headquarters during the night and stole Christmas from the struggling families of Merton.

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Caring is King! Third Sector leads the charge in the field of social.

Caring is King

There is often a feeling that the Third Sector is inexorably doomed to chase the tail of the Private Sector when it comes to online innovation and best practice, but my recent conference experience and industry gut feeling tell me that when it comes to social media the worm has turned.

One of the key factors in this observation was the latest who’s who in social, the Social Brands 100. This year’s list contained an unprecedented number of charities (almost 25% of the Top 100) and the research undertaken led the custodians of this report to state that; “It was long thought that content was king. This was replaced by the mantra that curation is king. But our findings suggest a new idiom… Caring is King”

Charities are built upon caring and it is this foundation that is leading to the successes being seen within social media. Traditional business techniques are failing in the social world and after years of trying it seems that the Private Sector is finally waking up to this new way of working.

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Mr @aRobertWebb, @MarieCurieUK and a Yellow Bowler Hat #lovemyhat

Robert Webb's Hat

When people ask me about Twitter and say “What’s the point?”, I always reply with one word… Serendipity

Never has anything come along that has provided people with so many “happy accidents”. I have spoken about many of these pleasant surprises myself and met countless others who have experienced similar, but these events occur exactly how they are named.

These are not things that you can plan or schedule. Serendipity can’t be engineered. It is its very spontaneity that makes it so special.

This is the essence of Twitter.

It is all of human life, both good and bad. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry. It can tell you what someone has had for breakfast and then go off and change the very world in which we live.

Oh, and it can also solve a celebrities hat problem…

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The ROI of Thieving Scum!

A couple of weeks ago, a full Marie Curie Cancer Care collection box was taken from The Village Café in Stanstead Abbotts High Street, leaving owner Jill Lovegrove distraught.

Thankfully these sort of events that erode your faith in humanity are not commonplace, despite what the media might tell you, and are simply a sad reminder that not everyone has a working moral compass.

This could well have been all that was ever heard about this particular incident, a few short paragraphs in a local newspaper. But one local resident decided that something needed to be done, and so began #stolencharitybox.

Steve Berry (@unloveablesteve) turned to the people that he knew just wouldn’t stand for this sort of thing and encouraged them to chuck in whatever they could afford to replace the £200 that had been stolen.

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Day 2 in the Big #NFPSM House

Third Sector Projection - Day 2

Firstly I’d like to say thank you to everyone (some of whom I met today) who retweeted, liked and commented on yesterdays post. I’d also like to extend a special hello to Shirley Ayres, CEO of Aspire Knowledge and Conference Organiser, who caught me before I left today to exchange a few words*

So, day 2. Another sweaty trip to Waterloo, although I’m pretty sure I only lost a pint this time, and pleasant walk along the South Bank. No navigation issues today, but I was disappointed to have missed the bacon butties due to my inability to catch the early train.

I made my way to the tea and coffee room for some pre-conference fuel and was immediately pounced upon by the lovely Tamasine from the National Trust, who, unfortunately for her, was to become my sounding board throughout the entire day. We discussed yesterday’s sessions and our thoughts on social media generally as we made our way to today’s Welcome Address.

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#NFPSM Day 1

Third Sector Projection

Today I found myself taking the sweat express to London Waterloo for day 1 of the Third Sector Digital Communications & Social Media Convention 2011.

After a pleasant walk down the South Bank to Blackfriar’s Bridge and a little bit of chaotic navigation I found my way to the Mermaid Conference Centre for the start of this two day exploration of the dark arts of social networking for the non-profit.

First impressions were good, I very quickly bumped into Rob Dyson from Whizzkids and we discussed how the event seemed very professional and grown-up. Today’s chair was veteran journalist and broadcaster Jon Snow, whose opening remarks were most entertaining. He ran the mornings proceedings at a swift pace and kept the discussions moving, albeit with a hint of cynicism, but as a HUGE fan of Twitter he gets my forgiveness.

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Won’t somebody think of the supporters?

Facebook becomes SPECTRE

So Facebook will soon be rolling out their new layout for Pages as well and on the face of it, everything looks good.

Design is much cleaner and feels more intuitive, the top row of photographs definitely give it a more visual appeal and, finally, as a Page admin you can travel forth and engage amongst the profiles of others and comment as the voice of the brand. Although as Spiderman mused, “With great power comes great responsibility”.

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Can hope be delivered in 140 characters?

I truly believe that Twitter will bring about the next great renaissance in human civilisation. I REALLY do!

Whatever you might think about that statement, it cannot be denied that every single second of every single day we see a deluge of tweets about people doing good and that is why I get SO frustrated when I see opportunities to amplify those positive emotions wasted. And my public enemy number one for wastage is the official account from Twitter highlighting the forces of good… @hope140
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Who's with me?

Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty... For tonight, we dine in hell!

Social media has the capacity to be the great leveller.

There are many stories of heroic Davids defeating mighty Goliaths, although not quite cutting off their heads, through the use of connections made possible by services such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube etc. But a recent campaign from eBay for Charity has left me feeling that maybe the Goliaths need to take some moral responsibility and stop fighting altogether.

“The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a god-king can bleed.” – King Leonidas

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