This is worth reading #6
I ended my recent unintended blogging silence last week, so in the spirit of continuity - which is apparently a must for charities who want to build an audience - I thought I would continue by highlighting some of the interesting stuff I have found via Twitter recently.*
Here's the deal: Twitter is an excellent sharing tool. You don't have to tweet. And to prove my point, here are some of the interesting things people have shared with me on Twitter whilst I have been in listening mode. Where possible I've highlighted who shared so you can follow them for their wisdom.
*Other social networks are available.
1. 100 social enterprise truths. This came via a fine man called Nick Temple, ex School for Social Entrepreneurs. It's rather good. My favourites include: 37. A 3-year government contract is no more sustainable than a 3-year grant and 57. It is possible to go to a social enterprise conference or seminar every working day of the year.
2. Open Philanthropy. Lucy Bernholz has been a big influence on my thinking and her latest article informs, challenges and inspires anyone who is interested in how data - and specifically opening up the data foundations hold - can drive change in our sector. I wonder how many foundations in the UK would rise to this challenge? For what its worth, I think these ideas are getting traction. Anyway, this one came to me via Nell Edgington, whose own Social Velocity blog is well worth keeping tabs on.
3. The role of charity boards in fundraising. OK, so this article is from the US, where the culture of Give, Get, or Get Off means boards are much more involved in fundraising. But it's written by the excellent Alexandra Peters, a US governance expert who is always worth reading. I particularly liked "A frequent complaint of board members is that they are smiled at too often, in a somewhat patronizing way...If you want them to take your work seriously, take them seriously." Hat tip to Alison Rapping for the spot.
4. Social Impact Bonds: early lessons from the Peterborough Prison pilot. This was spotted by James McHugh of Skills-Third Sector. Its early days still for SIBs, and this report highlights that a lot of hard work has been needed to get where we are. It highlights challenges in relation to the payment model, devising outcome measurement systems and the availability of evidence, whilst indicating a success: the SIB has brought new money to a social problem. Over on the other side of the pond, my good friend Mark Rosenman challenges the whole notion of SIBs with a piece called 'Commercializing the Public Good'. Even if you don't agree, engage in the debate and wallow in the luxury of some quality writing from a craftsman. (By the way, Mark highlighted a related article on SIBs in the US here.)
5. When will social media be perceived as mainstream? In case you didnt know, there's a rather big social media conference for charities going on this week (Declaration: NCVO is supporting the event). Anyway, soon after presenting to my fellow board members on why we should engage with social media - and feeling like I didnt do a very good job - I came across this piece by Rachel Beer, written for the aforementioned conference. I wish I had read it before I talked to the board of which I am a member.
6. And finally... My favourite quote of the week is from Beth Breeze, who during the week remarked "You don’t get milk out of a cow by sending it a letter". I felt obliged to look this up afterwards and the full quote from Si Seymour, a scion of US fundraising in the 20th cntury, is: “You won’t get milk from a cow by sending a letter. And you won’t get milk by calling on the phone. The only way to get milk from a cow is to sit by its side and milk it.” Excellent quote, but one which is sadly too long to tweet.
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Karl Wilding, Head of Policy, Research, and Foresight discusses the research reports that land on his desk and other research related topics.