NFPtweetup social and getting back to work

On Thursday, I had a day that felt pretty much like I had never had a baby. Okay, it began with dropping the littleun off at nursery, and I did pick her up and say a quick goodbye, but I spent the morning doing grown up things like, erm, cleaning house. Then I headed into the office to do some catching up, and was answering email queries within five minutes of stepping through the door.

I then headed over to the NFPtweetup social with my manager, Jacqui, but we didn’t end up being all that sociable, at least for the first couple of hours! Though I got to chat babies with the wonderful Rachel, Jacqui and I spent most of the time talking about work… and it was brilliant! We were bouncing around a few ideas, talking about things that have changed in the last year, talking about how we could develop one thing or another. Nothing concrete and certainly nothing I could talk about here, but it just generated this exciting atmosphere of Things To Be Done. And it made me go from happy to be going back to work to itching to get started. I was all set to start brainstorming some ideas for Monday today, but had to remind myself to enjoy my weekend and spend my last few free days soaking up as many Ramona cuddles as possible!

And those cuddles are wonderful. I will miss them. But I know from that swell of positivity and surge of determination that work is exactly where I’m meant to be.

Having said a quick hello to the lovely Steve Bridger and got a chance to meet my husband’s newest colleague, Rochelle, I then got a delicious dinner bought for me at Moshi Moshi (my first visit; quite pricey but excellent – I recommend the soft shell crab).

Thank heaven for grandparents who agree to put a squirmy little baby to bed. And thank heaven for squirmy little babies who start the next morning by giving you a just-beginning-to-be-toothy smile and a hug that melts hearts at fifty paces.

Okay, working world. Make some room: I’m ba-ack!

NFPTweetup: Tweeting for social change

Last night I pottered along to the second NFPTweetup. This event, masterminded by The Charity Place‘s Rachel Beer and given a firm shove along by social media “Buzz Director” Steve Bridger among others, was the successor to a small meetngreet that took place in Soho late last year. That gathering saw many of the people I now think of as the “usual suspects” – a group of us in the UK working hard to make digital marketing through social media succeed – all of whom I respect and admire in droves: Jonathan Waddingham of JustGiving (who sponsored the event), Howard Lake of UK Fundraising, Paul Henderson and Amy Sample Ward among others.

If the last event had been a quiet chat with a collaborative presentation that sort of quietly tailed off, this event had definitely learned from its predecessor. NFPTweetup is shaping up to be a considerably useful resource for UK charities, and I was really glad to be there. Aside from coming away with a list of web tools to check out, I also got the chance to shake a few hands and exchange a few words with the people behind the feed I follow, like Jo of Diabetes UK and Citizensheep Michael. That personal connection is invaluable for a number of reasons:

1. It’s just nice to know there’s someone else out there doing what you do.

2. When it’s time to ask for advice or an idea, it’s great to have properly introduced yourself.

3. There’s no chance of any of that isolationist Bad Science crap happening!

This time, the collaborative presentation was done first, which got people thinking. I blushed as I realised just how many of the people in the room are watching what Jacqui and I are doing at Dogs Trust and think we’re good at it! A warm glow of job satisfaction is no bad thing to have once in a while, especially when the feedback is external to the organisation.

Thereafter we formed groups covering topics such as Fundraising, Integration, Reputation Management and things like that. I joined the Fundraising and Integration topics as they’re the most difficult for most of us: raising money in one big swoop like Twestival or Beth Kanter have done is possible, but how do you keep the goodwill going over the long time? And is it really okay to ask for money over a social medium (so far, I think no and I’m strict about that, although there are ways to kinda sorta break that rule which I’ll go into another time)? Ben Matthews, who was behind Twestival in the UK, was very helpful in suggesting some donation tools – if we integrate them I’ll talk about these some more.

It’s nice to see NFPTweetup grow from a chat to a masterclass, and I’m keen to see how it develops in the future. To see a blow-by-blow account of the discussion, check out tweets hashtagged #nfptweetup.