Recap: Days 1 and 2 of Third Sector Digital Leaders

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Last week I facilitated the first block of our Third Sector Digital Leaders course with the super Zoe Amar (of Zoe Amar Communications). It was a cracking couple of days; we knew it was going to be a good course when we put it together but it managed to be even better than we could have imagined! Huge thanks to all of the speakers, each of whom put in a huge amount of preparation and effort. Here’s some of what we covered…

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Social Media for Social Enterprises

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media-998990_960_720Social media is becoming an ever more important tool for engaging with supporters, funders and customers. In light of this, we’ve collated a number of resources that can help you, your social enterprise or charity, get the most out of social media.

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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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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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Social enterprise and entrepreneurship links from August

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Card2028-376x230 Lots to do, lots to read, lots more to do….

My last post-holiday round-up seemed to go down well, so thought I'd do the same for August as I did for July. No particular rationale, just stuff I've found interesting or think might be relevant. Hope it is. Enjoy:

– The big hairy article of the month was in the Economist (I assume by Matthew Bishop), titled "Social innovation: let's hear those ideas" which covers how the US and UK governments are seeking to encourage social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Also includes cogent round-up of Big Society agenda to date.

– If you're interested in working out what the hell is happening with Local Enterprise Partnerships (*entire readership switches blogs*), then this round-up is the best place STILL to do so.

– Some interesting stuff written about the Big Society. Dai Powell of HCT's ("The clock is ticking on the Big Society") and Geoff Mulgan of Young Foundation's ("Can the Big Society be more than a slogan?") stood out for me, along with Craig Dearden-Phillips call for a constructive, engaged response See http://del.icio.us/SSE/bigsociety for more

Twenty by Twenty: twenty essays on future of social enterprise, charity et al by good (as well as big) names

– Great social media decision-making guide for social entrepreneurs / non-profits from US experts Idealware

– Good piece in the New York Times about a social entrepreneur (don't be put off by the title): What Exactly Is A Social Entrepreneur?

Giving is no longer a government preserve: interesting piece in the Telegraph touching on social entrepreneurship + big society

Amanda Jones of RedButtonDesign in Director magazine on the trials and tribulations of raising funding/investment as a social enterprise

– Nice (Canadian) round-up of summer reading for social entrepreneurs which of course you can buy in the SSE bookstore

Social enterprise start-up: 3 lessons to learn….by Involver

Worry isn't work: Don't be Anxious! wise words from Dan Pallotta in Harvard Business Review; now if I could just follow his advice…

– Happy tale of a women's social enterprise (minicabs for women only) struggling, thriving and becoming the subject of a BBC comedy show

Ten tips on elevator pitches; I think the Brits aren't as good at this stuff (myself included); I think we do escalator pitches….so will try and read 5 lessons from 150 start-up pitches as well

Merger advice for small and medium orgs + collaboration advice from Bassac and others….

– ….and, for balance, an argument on DSC against merger: Total efficiency is the enemy of freedom

Pollgate: the results of the storm in our own particular UK #socent teacup; but gratifying nonetheless!

Freeing the Social Entrepreneur: a piece in Stanford Social Innovation Review well worth reading, covering founder syndrome, leadership and much more

– Great video on the Homeless World Cup and its impact: warms the cockles and all that

The Social Intrapreneur: a field guide for corporate changemakers…. ; well, those MBA-ers had to come up with something :0)

– Alex Nicholls says Social Entrepreneurship Is Growing Up on Dowser.org. Which I would heartily endorse. So I'll end with the good professor's words. Cheers:

”We're moving into a period of much more critical analysis of social entrepreneurship. We've ridden a wave of consensus; we're all hugging each other and patting ourselves on the back. There's been lots of money pouring into this and support from governments. I think all that's changing. We've had an economic calamity, governments are looking at austerity, foundations are pulling back, the media and others are getting more critical. I think we're going to have a critical decade for social entrepreneurship, and that's great. It's high time we looked at the stuff that's useful and does have impact and the stuff that has no impact at all, and I think we're going to have a big reality check. The hero-worshiping, self-congratulatory period's over. I don't see that as a challenge; I see it as a sign that we're growing up.”

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