Networked Nonprofit at the Guardian in London | Beth’s Blog

Networked Nonprofit at the Guardian in London

Civil Society 2.0, Networked Nonprofit

I stopped in London on my way back to the US from Kenya for a couple of book events.   This morning I did an interactive session at the Guardian hosted by its new voluntary sector network – a new online space where professionals working in and with the voluntary sector can discuss and debate the issues which affect their professional lives – and get advice and insight from peers and experts.   The audience was a mix of CEOs from the UK’s largest charities and a mix of longtime social media/nonprofit colleagues and new colleagues.   (Steve Bridger, David Wilcox, Rob Dyson, Nick Booth, Howard Lake, Sylwia Presley, David Mills, Anne McCrossan, Mark Charmer, Jaz Cummins, Mark Phillips, Ben MatthewsMark DaviesBertie BosredonJoel Bassuk, Karl Wilding and the team at Just Giving.

I shared an overview of the central thesis in the book, The Networked Nonprofit, and we took a deeper dive into  social culture, learning from mistakes, simplicity, and transparency.   The joyful funeral idea really resonated and promoted a discussion about killing off some less effective projects and activities to make room for social media.   These included less meeting times,  reallocating marketing budgets to spend less on print newsletter and little bit more on social media, and making the intranet a bit more social and open.   Many of the ideas in the book were well received and there was fabulous networking after the event.

Book Giveaways

Jaz Cummins with her copy of the book

Caron Bradshaw with her copy of the book

As is the custom,  I do a book raffle after the event asking folks to write down one idea they can put into practice.   Here’s a sampling of these:

  • Hold joyful funerals to stop doing stuff that doesn’t work well
  • There is nothing to fear about being open unless you have something to hide
  • Engage people in your organization who don’t understand social media
  • Find a free agent who can help our cause
  • Use transparency to kill the myth that we never fail
  • Find ways to incorporate existing workflow in the use of social media, not have it be an add-on
  • Create a social media policy that integrates with HR manual

One of the highlights was to observe David Wilcox’s new technique. These days, he does video blogging with his iphone. Here’s an interview he did with me and Steve Bridger after the session.

Afterwards, we debriefed on the his tool box and techniques.


All in all a fun morning at the Guardian – many thanks to everyone who helped organize this event, particularly my good friend, Steve Bridger, and the kind folks at the Guardian for hosting.

3 Responses

  1. Rob Dyson says:

    *huge like*

    Thanks so much for today Beth – was brilliant and inspiring to a)see and meet your good self, and b)have so many of my peers – creative, socially minded, and tech-experimental – all in one room.

    It really feels like there is a wave of non-profits in the UK expressing really good practice, and we’re far outstripping our corporate peers in terms of our resourcefulness and willingness to adapt. In no small part due to the fact we don’t have big budgets I’m sure…

    Hope to stay in touch. I have the book, but was to shy to get you to “sign it” (!) but it’s a great, accessible and inclusive read. Well done to you and Allison.

    Take care, Rob

  2. Joel Bassuk says:

    I second that emotion!

    Beth — really inspiring…I am sure we’ll all be pushing the boundaries even harder now!

    And I love how you’ve wrapped up so much about/from the event in your blog.

    Your energy and commitment is truly infectious!

Leave a Reply