NFP Tweet Up – getting lost & being inspired

I’m a relative newcomer to the world of social media; at easyfundraising we started using Facebook and Twitter to communicate with and about our members and causes just over a year ago. It’s been a steep and incredibly rewarding learning curve but I’m aware of the vast potential to do even more.

So being a bit of a newbie and keen to know more, I jumped at the chance to venture down to the big smoke and pick the brains of the terrifically talented social people who organise and attend the #NFPtweetup.

#NFPtweetup is a community of people who work at or with charities and non-profit organisations who are interested in harnessing the power of digital and social media and other new technologies.

They are part learning, part sharing, part social, collaborative, casual and very friendly.  The events are free to charities and nonprofits.

I first heard about the #NFPtweetup last year from fundraising expert Graham Richards and was lucky enough to get a ticket to the first event of 2011, being held at Amnesty International’s HQ in Shoreditch. I had a few specific aims in mind:

1. Get there without getting lost

Didn’t get off to a great start with this one but fortune smiled on me and the first person I asked for directions turned out to be the lovely Lucy from tweetup organisers, beautiful world, who kindly escorted me to Amnesty International – and without laughing at my poor map reading skills either.

2. Make some new friends – and meet some old ones

This turned out much better than aim number one. Within minutes of arriving, I met Janet Stollery of Calvert Trust – a meeting I know I found incredibly useful and I hope she did too.

A brief glance at the name stickers we all wore allowed me to put more faces to names and I was pleased to meet my long-standing ‘virtual’ friend Howard Lake of UK Fundraising in the flesh. I’m happy to report he is every bit as nice in real life!

I was also pleased to make the acquaintance of @ycharity, @chasecare, @thenspcc to name just a few.

3. Learn

The evening was split into two speakers, Jonathan Waddingham from Just Giving and Fiona Mclaren from Amnesty International UK, plus three break-out groups for further discussion and finally a panel debate.

Jonathon’s talk focussed on donation apps and how fundraisers can make best use of them, while Fiona showed us how Amnesty engaged their supporters to play a part in the Egyptian Crisis.

Both speakers were fantastic and for me I think the most interesting fact of the evening came from Fiona – during the Egyptian Crisis, for the first time, Amnesty recorded more referrals to its site from social media platforms than anywhere else.

I was torn between the three break- out groups and would happily have attended all of them but plumped for Rachel Beer discussing developments in the social world – which ended up ranging from the new updates to Facebook to how choosing an engaging Twitter avatar is not as easy as it seems!

Lastly the panel debate – the main focus was whether fundraising via social platforms could be classed as ‘slacktivism’, the general consensus being ‘no – any action taken by a fundraiser or supporter is valid and useful in its right’.

4. Be inspired

Well the event certainly succeeded on this point too. It was hugely enjoyable as well as being massively stimulating and I’ve taken so many ideas away with me that will enable us to help our causes do and raise more.

Throughout the evening, live streaming of tweets tagged #NFPtweetup kept the discussion lively but this one from Chance UK really stood out for me.

Well said.

If you would like to attend the next NFPtweetup (and you should!), you can find everything you need to know here – http://www.nfptweetup.org/

*This blog was first posted on the NFP tweetup site – thanks to them for their kind permission to reproduce it here!

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