Amy Sample Ward will conduct a workshop 10 am - 5 pm, June 6, at the Friday Center on Using Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage Your Community, which will help nonprofit staff members understand how to utilize and integrate email communications, social media, and mobile devices to promote community engagement and achieve social change.
Amy is an excellent speaker with vast knowledge of nonprofit needs, technology tools, and how to create websites, build community, and engage supporters. Attendees will have the chance to learn as a full group, participate in small group interactive exercises, as well as develop personalized resources and plans for their own organization. The workshop will cover the basics for engaging your community online, review social media policies, and even get attendees started with strategic planning for a new project or campaign.
Additional benefits of attending the pre-conference workshop:
- A complimentary copy of the book Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to Implement Online Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money and Engage your Community (Wiley and Sons; 2013), co-authored by Amy and Allyson Kapin.
- Workshop participants may apply 6 hours toward the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management. More information.
Here’s what a few people in the know say about the book:
- The pervasive nature of the Internet makes action a possibility anywhere, from the streets and homes in your nearest city to the tractors and woods of rural life. Social Change Anytime Everywhere authors Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward offer a needed new look at how mobility and social tools impact the business of change. Geoff Livingston, author, public speaker, and strategist.
- If you are looking for a recipe book for tips and tactics to integrate mobile and social media to round out your nonprofit’s marketing plan, look no further than this book. Beth Kanter, master trainer, blogger, and coauthor of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit
- People are more impatient, busy, and distracted than ever, but they still want to help causes like yours – and they will, if you follow the advice Amy and Allyson are handing you in this book. No more excuses about how hard it is to get people’s attention these days. You have the manual now. Read it, and go for it! Kivi Leroux Miller, president, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com: author, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide:High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause
Also check out philanthropyjournal.org, featuring interviews with Amy. The articles are: Tips for starting, fine-tuning your cross-platform communications and Nonprofits must use multiplatform conversations to engage with donors, constituents.
The cost of the workshop is $75 through May 31; $125 after.
Many thanks to Google for sponsoring the Workshop!
With social events, workshops, and tons of resources, the NCTech4Good Conference is sure to give you the tools needed to use technology to further your mission. Join us June 6-7, 2013 at the William & Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill.
We received dozens of amazing session proposals and are grateful to those who voted. Your votes are in and the session schedule is now available.
Have a session you’d like to see added? Let us know! We’ve reserved spots for Design-Your-Own Sessions so you can pitch your idea the day of Conference. Simply share it during the opening session and participants will vote. Top ideas will be added to the schedule.
New this year! Amy Sample Ward will lead us in a Pre-Conference Workshop, Using Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage your Community, on June 6 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Additional fee applies.
Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are still available, but they're going fast. If you’re interested, firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pitch an idea during the opening session to have it voted on and added to the program.
This conference is a hybrid of a conventional conference with an "unconference." During January and February, many very interesting session ideas were submitted. Then folks in the NCTech4Good community voted, selecting some sessions that clearly should be on the program. But several slots were reserved for Design-Your-Own sessions that will happen alongside the scheduled sessions. Participants will pitch their session ideas and vote on ones they would like added to the conference schedule. Ruby Sinreich describes how this works in her blog post.
Here's some great advice about unconferences from Kaliya Hamlin:
You do not need to do preparation in order to convene a session. If you get an idea the day of the event, call a session.
There is no ‘right way’ to lead a session. However there is a bias towards interaction and discussion.
Choose a format for your session will help you achieve your vision.
Following are a few ideas about different session types to get you thinking about possibilities.
- The longer formal presentation
This is tricky, because it’s difficult to make a formal presentation interactive. But if you have a big, well-developed idea you can pull it off.
- A short presentation to get things started
5-15 minutes of prepared material/comments by the session leader followed by an interactive discussion
- Group discussion
Someone identifies a topic they are interested in, others come to join the conversation and an interesting discussion happens
- My Big (or Little) Question
You have a question you want to know the answer to, and you think others in the group could help you answer it. This format could also just be the seed of a conversation.
- Show and tell
You have a cool project, a demo, or just something to show and let people play with that is the springboard for all the conversation in the session. Alternatively, you can invite others to bring their own items to show and tell (perhaps with a theme), and everyone takes a turn sharing.
- Learn how to do X
If you’re inclined to teach, this can be simple and effective. Bring the equipment that you need, and have a plan that will let you teach five, ten, or 15 people how to do something all at the same time.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, this year's NCTech4Good Conference uses a method called Open Space Technology which invites participants to shape and help lead the event. In addition to the speakers that are already listed on the schedule, you are encouraged bring your own ideas about additional sessions that you would be willing to lead or co-facilitate.
At the beginning of the day, all participants including the scheduled speakers will be invited to make a brief "pitch" for their topic to the group. Then cards for each session will be arranged on the schedule grid to ensure that everyone gets time to follow their interests.
Your session can be formal or informal - an organized presentation, a conversation between a panel of experts, a hands-on how-to-do-it, or simply a structured discussion on a topic you want to learn more about. (See more on how to prepare to attend an unconference.) If you have an idea in mind, please post it in our wiki, but don't feel you need to have planned it to pitch a session at the conference. We really do welcome your ideas, be they big or small.
We're trying something new this year at the N.C. Tech for Good Conference. Last year, I helped facilitate the North Carolina nonprofit community's first experiment with an unconference! It went pretty well, but many NCT4G attendees were not convinced to spend a second day on this strange new format - or maybe they just understandably didn't want to work on a Saturday.
Unconferences are a great way to do more with less! This year, the conference organizers have worked to develop a hybrid format. I think we have come up with a structure that is truly the best of both worlds. This new approach gives us some reassurance in advance that there will be some great sessions to attend, but also allows the attendees to shape the event into whatever they want and need. Many participants don't think of themselves as leaders but just as everyone has something to learn, everyone has something to share as well. This event allows all of us to do both.
So check out the schedule. Do you see something you'd like to learn? Do have an idea about what is missing? Add it on the wiki. Once we get the conference started, both the pre-selected speakers and the people thinking up emerging proposals will all have the opportunity to "pitch" or explain their session the participants and get added to "the grid." What happens next is up to us! (For more about this process, see my blog post from last year: What's an "unconference" and why am I so excited about it.)
Come on out May 4th - register by Friday April 27th to get the $75 early bird rate - and help us make this the event that you want and need!
You might have gotten an e-mail or a tweet recently about something called the "NCTech4Good Unconference." Or perhaps you are attending the NCTech4Good's Conference on Friday and have heard people mention Saturday's complementary event. You are probably wondering whether it is worth your time on a pretty Saturday to sit inside with a bunch of nerds, especially if (like me) this is how you already spent most of your week.
Well, let me tell you why I'll be there.
As a geek, I'll get to learn about some of the newest tools and interesting ideas percolating up. I'll also get an opportunity to hear how my skills can be used to serve the community and make connections that might lead to my Next Big Project.
As a nonprofit professional, I'll get to hear about some of the emerging technologies that I need to use in my work, and even form personal relationships with the experts in my field. I'll also get a chance to tell my story to people who can commiserate and/or learn how to better serve organizations like mine.
As an activist, I'll get a chance to evangelize. I can tell people why I think a certain technology or strategy is the very best, and help them see how it can be useful in their own work. I might even recuit new allies and advocates for my cause!
On some subjects I am a newbie, and I will learn from experts. On others, I am the pro and will show off my knowledge. One of the guiding rules of unconferences is this:
Whoever comes are the right group of people.
So please be one of the right people and make this the wonderful event that YOU envision! Please visit http://nctech4good.org/wiki to learn more.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, HASTAC is hosting and facilitating the first-ever NCTech4Good Unconference on April 16th. I've found that there is a lot of (understandable) confusion about what an "unconference" (or "Barcamp") is, especially among those who have not experienced them - but sometimes even with those who have.
The history of this idea is less important than how it's done, but it's quite interesting and worth mentioning here. This idea was first conceived in the 1980's as Open Space Technology - a way for participants to organize and conduct their own conferences. The first BarCamp (essentially an unconference for geeks) was held in 2005 in response to the elite FOOCamp that was hosted by tech media mogul Tim O'Reilly. I believe BarCamps were also inspired by the BloggerCons of the early 2000's which aimed to bring a blog-like dialog into real-life meetings. So that's enough history, see this Wikipedia entry for lots more fascinating background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Space_Technology.
There are a few specific things that I think are key to a successful unconference...
- There is no agenda before the meeting, but there is a schedule. Some unconferences do kick off with a speaker or panel to spark discussion. It is important to begin the day with someone who can clearly explain the process and lay out the goal of the gathering.
- Broad participation is key. After kicking things off, anyone who would like to hold a session stands in front of the room and gives a very short "pitch" for their topic. These can be as formal as presentations or as information as a conversation. The proposer does not need to be an expert on the subject, but has to be willing to facilitate the conversation if no-one else wants to. It's not uncommon for half the people in the room to offer some kind of session.
- All of these session ideas are written on cards and posted on The Grid. This is a chart showing your available meeting spaces on one axis and time slots on the other. After all the pitches are posted (or while they are being made) the participants should be prompted to show a general sense of interest (applause, dots, whatever) to help indicate which sessions need bigger or smaller rooms. Then everyone who cares to can have at The Grid - moving and combining (or separating) sessions until everyone's varying needs are met.
In the sessions, The Law of Two Feet is in effect. That is "If at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing: use your two feet and go someplace else."
- Another principle is to strongly encourage public documentation of the event. This can be done via blogs, wikis, Twitter, Flickr, etc. This varies depending on the group, but it's very common that an unconference will have already posted a wiki to collect ideas before the event, so this is a great place to post notes from the sessions.
- Oh, make sure to provide lots of food and coffee, and have fun!
Registration for the NCTech4Good Conference and Unconference has been held open so please sign up now!
If you haven't heard enough about unconferences, I strongly recommend the blog of facilitator Kaliya Hamlin. Start here: http://www.unconference.net/unconferencing-how-to-prepare-to-attend-an-u...
I have a long history working to help North Carolina nonprofits better use communication technology to advance their missions. But even when I started doing this work in 1996, there was one person who was already the "old guard" of nonprofit tech in North Carolina. Her name is Judy Hallman. In 1989, Judy helped to create local, public tech resources through PIN, Inc. PIN spawned NC Communities and RTPnet, the latter of which provided e-mail and web hosting as well as support to nonprofits way back when their only options were AOL and Compuserve. (anyone remember HandsNet?) Two weeks ago, Judy was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Nonprofit Technology Network at their conference in Washington, DC.
Not content to rest on her pioneer laurels, Judy has continued to create and organize for the past two decades. The newest of her endeavors is NCTech4Good, a network that ties together the growing nonprofit tech community in North Carolina, and also hosts the annual NCTech4Good Conference. After last year's conference, a number of people (including myself) suggested the addition of an unconference after the formal one-day conference. After careful consideration, Judy and other organizers agreed.
All of the above is my longish way of telling you how excited I am that HASTAC is hosting and helping to lead the first-ever NCTech4Good Unconference! We will be using the wonderful facilities here in Duke's Franklin Humanities Institute (where we also hosted THATCampRTP last fall) and I will be serving as the facilitator, working to make order out of the chaos!
I am huge fan of unconferences. In addition to the above-mentioned THATCampRTP, I also used this structure to lead a gathering of our Digital Media and Learning Competition's 2010 Learning Lab winners, and also employed it at HASTAC's innovative Peer-to-Peer Pedagogies Workshop last year. In a future post, I hope to write more about what unconferences are (and aren't), and how they can form what the professor Ann Balsamo calls "scaffolding" that can support the small or quiet voices that sometimes get drowned out by the crowd.
For now, please check out the web site nctech4good.org (if you live in or near North Carolina) where you can register for the conference, reception, and/or unconference. I hope to see you here!