Author: Esther Foreman

How to Create a Community of Practice

When you’re building big movements for social impact, it helps to provide a safe space for the leaders in the network to come together positively (think appreciative inquiry, rather than ‘stitch and bitch’). And one of the most exciting things we’re doing right now is convening the #peoplesCOP – a Community of Practice (CoP) of 13 experts who run peer networks supporting community businesses across the land. So what are CoPs, why do they work and how do you create one? Well, since you ask – we’ve put together a handy how-to guide.

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Can organisations build movements?

Over the past century, the world has experienced sweeping social change in many areas; gender equality, environmentalism, human rights.  Those successful efforts were led not by individual organisations, but by movements of people from all walks of life influencing institutions, policies and social norms. But these days it seems like everyone, from Nike to Citizens UK, WWF to Delivering Happiness are building a movement for change. What has been really interesting is how so many institutions and people are choosing movement building language to describe a journey for reaching social impact together. We find ourselves pondering whether or not this is the shift into the new reality where we realise we cannot do it alone and the strive to build change, capturing something about the mood of the moment – or whether is it a reflection that our old membership models are broken and these new kinds of movements are just the new membership organisations? We like to think it is a mixture of both. With the acknowledgement that the digital revolution has changed the way the public interact with organisations to create change, organisations are starting to realise that, if they want to create the impact they were set up to achieve, there has to be a shift in the way they deploy their own assets, energy and resources to create change. Movements are about more than just campaigning. They are...

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Campaigners – Are you ready for the next level?

Everyone from SSIR, to NCVO says that Campaigning generally needs to be more innovative. So how do we fix this? The first step is to enable honest and real conversations between campaigns leads. We need a safe space to explore common challenges and deepen our practice together in a way that will benefit campaigners, the sector as a whole and the wider impact we all desire. So we have teamed up with CharityComms to create The Campaigns Network – a face to face opportunity for Campaign Peers to meet to discuss important issues at a strategic level across causes.

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Introducing the UK’s First Ever Crowdfunding Academy!

We’re excited to announce the launch of the UK’s first ever Crowdfunding Academy at Nesta on the 19th September 2016. The Academy is for people and organisations looking to learn about the best ways to use crowdfunding to increase their social impact. It will cover best practice in digital fundraising along with cutting edge movement building techniques, enabling participants to get the most out of this fast-growing area.

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change.org is dead, long live change.org

Last week saw quite a substantial shake-up in technology and civil society in the UK, and I don’t mean Brexit. change.org the investor backed American public petition site, has pivoted its business from lead generation tools for non profits to digital fundraising tools, like crowdfunding for non-profits.  You can read a post on it from Ben Rattray – founder and CEO of change.org – here. The platform has over 150 million users globally and some of these users have created 1,000 petitions in this country alone since Brexit.  So the fact that it is moving out of primarily generating...

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GetRaising! “How can we increase fundraising governance skills and leadership in trustee boards?”

Today sees the launch of our report, GetRaising! Increasing Fundraising Skills on Trustee Boards. From the rise of digital fundraising, the impact of Olive Cook, to Kids Company and to the recent new Fundraising Regulations, the past few years has bought a unique set of challenges for the fundraisers and trustees in the charity sector. We teamed up with Peridot Partners, the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and Hubbub to explore fundraisers and trusteeship in greater detail, and look to see if we could increase the skills, experience, and confidence of trustee boards by embedding fundraising expertise within them, and by doing...

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