This post is dedicated to Julian Miller from the Gorilla Organization
I met Jilllian at the Third Sector PR and Communications network event in London Last Thursday 19th of Feb. Someone was asking about the impact of working with bloggers, and what was the ratio of effort and related outcome/benefit of engaging. The question was posed by someone who worked in PR/Comms. As an evangelist and fan of virtual volunteer and philanthropist collaboration with artists and creatives I mentioned that getting people involved - crowd sourcing gave positive results.

I met Jillian at the pub bar when she heard me asking the bar maid to tease a Colombian from Cali to mention the word "Barranquilla". She heard the rolled 'r' and repeated it back to me which got the conversation going. Jillian's organization, gorillas, works to help to ensure the well being of gorillas. in Congo. If you can adopt a gorilla and donate.

How the arts council artsjob mailing list can help you connect and co-develop great visual communications
Whilst doing my usual volunteering - prior to working in the sector, I assisted Survivors of Depression in Transition to reach out and transform the group's creative writing into a calendar.
The power of the group's words were re-interpreted into corresponding images by volunteer artists. The result was a fantastic calendar that was laid out, digitally printed, and sold at the venue - Sheffield's winter gardens. In addition the artists were asked if they wished to donate their artwork as originals or digital prints, to help the charity fund-raise. They did. Their artwork was also exhibited nest to the poetry. This happened in the last quarter of 2007.

You too can get artists to help your charity and help them too - here's the sweet recipe
1. go to the arts council website
2. subscribe to the arts council arts job mailing list
3. check out the postings relating to requests for volunteering
4. get a feel for how briefs/appeals are put together
5. write a brief
6. send it out and be ready to receive ;o)

Things to think about (brief, managing artists,managing contributions/content)

  1. are the contributions going to end in print or just on the web? - this has an impact on resolution and dimensions.
  2. have you told your contributors explicitly enough that you want them to donate their work?
  3. can you get a written ok from contributors to continue printing their work - to help you with fundraising after the event? - if you choose to.
  4. have you thought about the fact that you could make that content more flexible and redeploy it in printing on demand products? (no sunk costs, see article here)
  5. have you thought about getting an agreement with the artists so that you can use their work in things such as mugs, mouse pads, umbrellas, t-shirts? (printing on demand)
  6. have you thought about showcasing your artists/contributors in your publications/website? - they have given their time to make a difference!
  7. are you going to ask them for samples of their work to see if it fits with your values or will you visit their portfolios online?
  8. will they send you a low-rez version (if the project is visual) and did you make sure they were aware of final dimensions and resolution?
  9. have you got a friendly printer that will do digital printing and low runs? - if you choose not to go with printing on demand.
  10. have you got colleagues who will help you decide which donated work you will include
  11. has the brief included a short and sweet backgrounder that links to the collaborators values , appeals to their philanthropist values and also demonstrates how they will benefit too?
My experience has shown that as long as you are open, clear and speak from the heart of what you want and why you wish to collaborate - all will go well. Remember some budding collaborators who want to be involved will be doing so for various reasons. If the heart warming feeling can be supplemented by additional benefits where the body of work is recognized, appreciated and showcased to many, all the better.

I leave you with a quick video I prepared for you that has been sped up to quickly show the calendar that was made for Survivors of Depression in Transition.

Crowdsourcing and Arts Council Arts Job mailing list from william doust on Vimeo.

This is a video showing a calendar that was developed thanks to the collaboration of virtual volunteers who were recruited via England's arts council jobs mailing list.

All of the fab artwork was printed onto a calendar that was sold during mental health week in 2007. The artwork was exhibited and auctioned in Sheffield's contemporary winter gardens - right next to the city's gallery and creative industries.

Thanks to all those who participated.

wikis to use for-ever with no strings?

One of the guys from emailed me today and said that they are launching free wikis in two weeks! Surprise, shock and horror ;-O I found out about these guys ( accidentally when I went to sign-up for a bloggers event that is taking place in London, very, very soon - for those in the charity sector. The event is being run by the fab gang from charitycomms - see the group on facebook! - share, learn, and join the conversation! So...sign up to the event was via - so, i setup an account in order to add myself to the list. After I couldn't help but have a nosy round. In the sales blurb bit, I saw nothing about charities! - so I dropped them an email and they said thy are to launch a new free service in two weeks! - don't believe me? check out the email they sent (minus personal details).

Wikis are fab - cos they free up knowledge that is locked up in emails, systems, and laptops Information wants to be free and wants to be your helpful friend...but it can't be, when it is caged up in office systems that are not very accessible to remote workers..or when it is in laptops or swimming in a sea of webmail - even with mail search it's a blimmin nightmare!

That's right those of us on the coal face of delivering services to other charities sometimes duplicate efforts
Wikis (wikipedia definition of a wiki) provide an editorial platofrm where we can share knowledge. What ever we want it to be: funding sources, grants, case-studies, best practises, tools, tips, etc.
The perfect web platform for remote collaboration. This is where wikis come in to rescue us. If you are not to comfortable with technology, then check out the fab and accessible video from the nice people at common craft who explain everything in plain english ;D

Common Craft's Wikis in Plain English...

Resources/References Wikipedia's definition of what a wiki is

Benefits & pitfalls of wikis

Wikis at work: benefits & practices

Wikis in higher education: teaching and learning with

Just three major employee benefits?

wiki software - wikipedia compilation

free wikis for life - comin soon

Business Surplus Goods given away to charities

Konnect 9 Charity redistributes unwanted goods to charities via

Konnect9 is arranging the re-disribution of unwanted goods from firms with surplases to charities who register on the site. It is on a first come first serve basis. No costs - absolutely free. So if you're a business or a charity, what are you waiting for ;) go to


About Konnect9

Givingworldonlline website

ThirdSector Magazine artilce on givingworldonline & konnnect9

Online procurement site supplier direct europe features this charity (pdf link)

work, home, community and self: prescribed integration possible according to Harvard Business Review interview

Those who have follow this blog have tended to notice how I gather evidence that lavish praise on fulfillment, passion and happiness as part of your way of being and working. Indeed in a recent blogpost on branding - I embedded a slideshare which had as a headline, happiness as a business model, and another one on research by MTV - relating to happiness, engagement, and connection to peers.

Past re-incarnations of Harvard Business Review Articles (ah those were the days when I was a student) relating to leadership and management always talked about balancing acts, and managing trade-offs. But I guess that the tide has been turning over the years, and thank God they are now talking about "integration" - if Starbucks is about 3 places (home,coffee place,work), new leadership/management is about integrating: work, home, community and self.

Stewart D. Friedman, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, states that addressing these integration of our four physical and psychological places and spaces will enable us to enjoy better: mental health, physical health, spiritual growth & development and leisure.

This is what we learned in the third sector years ago ;)

Check out the video
If you can't see the video then please click on this link

This video interview has practical implementation in the fantastic book and workbook called, "becoming a resonant leader" - (amazon link) - develop your emotional intelligence, renew your relationships, sustain your effectiveness by Annie McKee, Richard Goyatzis, and Frances Johnstone.

Differentiate your organisation through goodness! - be a brand that truly cares!!!
I recently finished reading - i'm with the brand, by Rob Walker (wikipedia profile) who examined how we weave consumerist artifacts into the narrative that externally describes our unique identity, and how these brand interactions create that tension between individuality and belonging. Very fabulous reading, specially when Rob looks deeper at 'fringe' brands who explore greater meaning with us as individuals! The books shows how informatively thinking fringe 'brands' integrate themselves into our lives, by connecting to our passions - via events, eZines, and other ways of creating genuine conversations.

I have heard of individuals in the third-sector receiving consultant services from commercial pundits who are in the old school of "push marketing" (wikipedia) or as Seth Godin (wikipedia profile) would say, interruption based marketing. In a previous post I presented the mounting evidence on the accumulation of user generated opinion that is challenging the advertising model.

More than ever we need to keep a clear conversation and dialogue with our service users to sign post, energize and facilitate their personal transformations. Removing barriers and opening opportunities - This can only really happen through clarity and stewardship, because we are here to serve the needs of our communities we represent. By becoming enablers, we strengthen a rippling effect that scatters throughout our emotional connections and conversations.

We therefore need to fearlessly let our genuine voices cut through the marketing clutter and business speak - like in the call to arms so well presented in the clue train manifesto.

This can only lead to truly focusing on a nonprofit business model that nurtures happiness and well being. Our impetus has to be heart centred commitment, and to paraphrase Tim Sanders (wikipedia profile), let our love be the killer app (Tim is author of: Love the Killer App)

Let me sign post you on a journey of discovery that will present fresh ways of being and thinking, and conversations, and true engament are right in the middle of it all. I feel that we need to truly care for our client/user base - and if you have to call them customers, then we need to embrace logic + emotion.

I leave you with a question, how much of an individual's personality impacts on services?

Enjoy ;D this short journey ;D

Inspirational community building and conversation starters...
See different, think different. I hope that the following slide shows and embedded material will convince you of building ongoing relationships with figures of authority, so that you can better serve the communities which you support.

Goodness And Happiness - Why Generosity Is The Future Of Marketing Strategy

Happiness as Your Business Model

Happiness - MTV: young people, connecting and engaging


Are you your organisation's brand?

Watch Personal Branding, David Armano, Critical Mass in Chicago Convergence | View More Free Videos Online at

Crucial Conversations In Social Media

Amazon relatd books widget

Related links/resources

Conversation by Design

Social Media Measurement

Social Media Strategy

Word of Mouth - A Prescription for a Bad Economy

Why branding matters in a world of so much clutter

Can children be negatively affected by family environment, TV, Internet and too much individualism?

Yes - according to a recent report by "The Children's society". Report released on Feb 2nd 09.

"The Children's society" has released a report demonstrating how children are being affected by family environment, TV, Internet and individualism - to name but a few.It examines the darker side of these elements and the impact on well being.

The research was spearheaded under the banner of - making childhood better. The bbc has some video testimonials reflecting children & young people's perspectives.

It's funny how this report seemed to look at the dark side of Internet time, I wonder how much credibility they gave to the MacArthur report, which I blogged about recently - stating the positives (Internet)?

lovely links...

Children's society press release

bbc children's related videos - childhood, well being, society, etc.

Pupils' well-being to be measured -bbc

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)Social and emotional well being in primary education

MacArthur Foundation dishes out the reality of truckloads of skills kids picking up online
This results of this fab and extensive research conducted by MacArthur foundation into how time spend online was important for youth development. The paper titled: Living and Learning with New Media raised the following:

Major Findings:

  • youth use online media to extend friendships and interests
  • youth engage in peer-based, self-directed learning online
  • virtual presence enable youth to become experts based on interests
  • youth become more independent in seeking and deepening knowledge based on interests
  • develop status & identity
  • kids and young adults set their time - and when it is convenient
  • informal, more relaxed way of learning, empowering and motivating
  • adults should facilitate young people’s engagement with digital media
  • given the diversity of digital media, it is problematic to develop a standardized set of benchmarks against which to measure young people’s technical and newmedia literacy
  • in interest-driven participation, adults have an important role to play
  • to stay relevant in the 21st century, education institutions need to keep pace with the rapid changes introduced by digital media.

800 youths and young adults were involved in the study for a period of over 5000 hours of online observation. This research came out in Nov. 2008, but I was so snowed under, didn't get a chance to post about it ;(

Check out the video...

if you can't see the video below then check it out here.

Related links...

new york times article - Teenagers’ Internet Socializing Not a Bad Thing

MacArthur main page for research report

MacArthur's digitallearning portal

Download the 30-page white paper

australian government online safety for children & young people

practical safety programmes by charity called childnet international

resources for teachers on newmedia - conference proceedings

thinkuknow - new media, mobiles and resources for carers/parents, teacher/trainer

netzmartz workshops - teen and young people newmedia safety for young people

Amazon related books...