The challenge of starting a social change movement

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By Tracey Ford, JAGS Foundation

Social Entrepreneur, Tracey FordSocial Enterprise JAGS

One year ago I sat nervously in the offices of School for Social Entrepreneurs – applying for a place on the first ‘Power Up’ course for social entrepreneurs.   I had no idea what was meant by ‘social change makers’, I just knew that I wanted to be part of this exciting new programme.

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5 reasons why your charity or social enterprise needs a social media strategy

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by Zoe Amar

Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe via Compfight cc

Does your organisation have a social media strategy? If not, you’re far from alone. Whilst social media has been widely adopted by many charities and social enterprises, many are either still fine tuning their strategies or wondering how best to get started.

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The Life of an Intern

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Hey everybody, it's Ryan the intern!  I just wanted to take a few minutes and write about my experience here at the SSE so far.

From day one, it has been fantastic working here.  I've never had an office job before, although I do have a bit of other work experience.  What I thought was going to be a month of being bored to death, cooped up in an office with a bunch of old people turned into being one of the most inspiring, exciting jobs with the greatest bunch of people I have ever worked with (and they aren't even old, or at least you can't tell)!!  

Business, for me, has always been something I've studied only because it seemed like a practical way to get a job in one of the worst economies that the USA (yes, I'm American so excuse my different spelling of words) has ever seen.  I don't know whether it's the English charm in this office, the fact that I feel like my work has meaning, or just the overall vibe in the office that we are all helping other people, but whatever it is, coming to work is a great part of my day and I'm sad to say I will have to leave at the end of the month to go back to school for my final semester before heading out into the real world.  That said, I must repeat the first thing I learned in this office and that was where the tea is.  How English! 🙂

Specifically, I'm working under Nick doing things like contacting the press, working back and forth with fellows and current students to finish up certain jobs, and organizing/analyzing (not analysing haha) data from evaluations and such.  It's been great fun as every day is a bit different, so it keeps me interested.  

Finally, it's just really interesting seeing how a non-for-profit works; it's neat how we have to go about different strategies to keep things working like obtaining grants and the like because the SSE doesn't rely on its program as its only source of income.  

Well, that's all from me for now.  I'll be back next Monday with another update of sorts, I'm sure.

Cheers! 

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Hopes and wishes for 2011 for civil society

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Social Investment Business have done an interesting powerpoint which shares the views of various sector leaders' wishes for 2011. Including (Sir) Stephen Bubb, Matthew Taylor from RSA, Rod Schwartz from ClearlySo, Julie McEver from Local Partnerships…and more. Including, first up, our own CEO Alastair Wilson….enjoy.

[You might also be interested in Third Sector's Austerity Panel's advice for the year ahead.]

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New podcasts: leadership, social entrepreneurs and numbers

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Routinenumbness
The benefits of having lost the argument over who should have the long commute with my wife is that I have plenty of time to catch up on podcasts and a bit of work-related listening on the way in (and back). Though the journey itself is routine, it also provides a chance to listen to things that are outside the normal sphere of work stuff, and stretch the brain a bit.

At the moment, there's a few programmes I'd heartily recommend:

1) Guardian Charity Effectiveness Podcast: this time on What makes a good leader? and withan excellent line-up including Debra Allcock-Tyler from DSC and James Partridge from Changing Faces (who is one of the most admired leaders here at SSE). And a bit of SSE representation from SSE Fellow Debbie Ariyo from AFRUCA, phoning in on the lack of diversity in leadership in the sector. All produced by another SSE Fellow Jude Habib's organisation SoundDelivery.  Plenty of nuggets here on leadership, challenges ahead in 2011, and keeping focus whilst retaining a long-term view.

2) Peter Day on Not for Profits: Peter Day is a genius, as far as I'm concerned, and have often mentioned his great podcasts about the world of business here before. This episode includes his recent appearance at the Good Deals conference a few weeks back, and looks at the recurring issue of scale. Does the non-profit sector need to become more like the market? Challenging and valuable listening.

3) More Or Less: There are, of course, geeks in the sector, many of whom are operating in the evaluation field (I was delighted to learn on a recent visit to New Philanthropy Capital that they had a feedback form after their Xmas party: that's devotion to the evaluative cause right there…). My own inner geek loves More Or Less, which is all about looking at the numbers behind the stories: this week it looked at the issue of student debt, and how much people would actually pay. The sanest, most reasoned take on that issue heard all month.

4) An interview with Matthew Taylor: Podcasting in the sector is rare, so also been enjoying this recent initiative from Social Investment Business; Matthew Taylor, Chief Exec of the RSA is a really interesting thinker on a lot of big current issues: Big Society, civil society, engagement + membership, citizen-centred social action, the power of networks and more. Very much worth 10 minutes of your time

Happy listening….

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