Author: Carol Beaumont

Lose Control with us

Where should the power lie in social movements? What are the challenges to traditional thinking about institutional infrastructure? Just couple of the questions we’ll be getting to grips with alongside Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Lankelly Chase, Power to Change, Friends of the Earth, Suma Wholefoods, Quakers and many more at our 2 day hack.

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Tony Blair’s Own Goal

We’ve been having a bit of fun lately using our Movement Building Canvas to predict the staying power of movements, using the three fundamentals of shared identity, meaningful journey and empowering enablers. Prepare for sporting analogies galore as we pitch Team Blair against This Girl Can.

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Control issues

A movement masterclass with Amy Varle, Founder of Social Property Investment.

Whether we’re coaching Founders who are scaling social ventures, or movement builders from large organisations, one the most common things we work on is how to comfortably loosen their grip on control. Amy Varle, the Founder of Social Property Investment, is planning to build out a movement of housing innovators to tackle homelessness and there’s something for everyone to learn from her lessons on letting go.

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The Mission-Led Movement looking for meaning at work

Earlier this month, the Mission-Led Business Review published its recommendations on supporting the ‘emerging movement’ of for-profits who identify positive social impact as central to their purpose. It spans a pretty eclectic bunch of organisations but what the Review doesn’t set out to do is to look at the individuals who will drive and sustain the movement. So we thought we’d have a go because all movements are made up of people.

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Sport as social movement: playing the long game

A movement masterclass with James Mathie, Club Development Manager at Supporters Direct.

The shared purpose, values and experiences of ‘your people’ are at the very core of our Movement Building Canvas. So, when we met a man with eight years experience of helping sports supporters influence the running and ownership of their club, we thought we might have a thing of two to learn from him about putting ‘fans first’ in movements for change. Here’s what he got us thinking about.

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Social movements: it’s all about impact

An indepth interview with Joe Jenkins, Director of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement at The Children’s Society. We caught up with Joe fresh from his presentation at this year’s International Fundraising Congress to find out more about what was behind his assertion that the traditional charity model is broken, his call for charities to focus on building social movements, and what this means for The Children’s Society. Can you tell us what’s informed your approach to movement building? In my previous role as Director of Engagement at Friends of the Earth I oversaw FoE’s communications, activism and engagement.   FoE was conceived as a very grassroots, international movement from the outset to deliberately combine local power with national and global impact. At The Children’s Society, I had to ask how ideas about movements and social change might relate to a 135 year old Victorian charity with a wide direct service base.  Well, I quickly discovered we’re not starting with a blank sheet of paper. Over 135 years we’ve built up a pretty strong movement already. We have a really strong community network supported through groups, churches and people across the UK.   We have people who’ve been supporters for 50-60 years, like the lady I met in her late 80s who’s been a part of The Children’s Society for almost all her life and remembers getting involved as a child. So we’re...

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GetRaising! Let’s get this started.

On 7th June over 50 fundraisers, Trustees and CEOs will be at GetRaising!, talking about why more professional fundraisers don’t sit on Trustee boards, the impact this is having on the sector and what we can do about it. So, in the spirit of stoking the discussion, I’ve been reflecting on my own journey from fundraiser to trustee and wondering if part of the problem is a lack of appreciation of the high functioning fundraiser’s broader skill set. As a corporate fundraiser in a large national charity, I remember being told that I would be judged by the amount of time my desk was empty. Face time with donors, spent building relationships and closing deals, was prized above all else. My focus was on building strategic partnerships with corporates, which were about more than money and required me to bring the donor into the heart of the cause to give their money, skills, time, knowledge, expertise and influence. And, more often than not, what took up most of my time and energy was getting the charity to articulate what it really wanted to raise money for (beyond ‘meeting our fundraising targets’) and selling what my supporters could give back into the organisation. The real skill was in negotiating donors’ wishes with beneficiaries’ needs and organisational mission, purpose and objectives, and this required as much attention to the internal relationships...

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How not to end up on the shelf

When I joined forces with The Social Change Agency earlier this year, we spent as much time talking about the kind of work we didn’t want to do, as much as the work we did. We decided we didn’t want to become our clients’ superficial new best friends, providing a sympathetic and supportive ear over an informal cuppa without really helping them move forward. We didn’t want to be greedy, grabbing more work than our clients were ready for, or needed. And we really didn’t want to be the people whose work suffers the fate of the last consultants in before them, gathering dust on a shelf, unwanted and unloved. Then we designed how we work to make sure we are creating genuine, lasting value – after we’re gone. No advice without action. First off, we said no advice without action.  We love taking time out with our brilliant clients, reassuring them that they’re on the right track and helping them think problems through.  But we should also be contracting properly for those sessions, making and securing commitments to action, and holding to account.  So we decided to offer blocks of ‘spot consulting’ with individuals and small teams, booked in advance, to create staging posts for purposeful reflection and adjustment. Then, we decided it was our responsibility to accurately assess the stage our clients are at, their existing in-house...

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