@stuglen’s take on #BeGoodBeSocial for UK Fundraising

Last night saw the inaugural #BeGoodBeSocial at the fabulous Melting Pot, Edinburgh. The brainchild of Ross McCulloch of Third Sector Lab, #BeGoodBeSocial brought together 50 Third Sector professionals interested in using social media for social good – the tartan equivalent of the #nfptweetup if you like.

The programme consisted of an opening presentation from Martin Keane, Movement Builder with OneKind, a young, dynamic and pioneering charity celebrating the wonder of animals and reconnecting people with animals. Martin is believed to be first full-time social media employee in a Scottish charity and wants to use social media to empower people and build a passionate movement through authentic two-way conversations.

Those present then had the choice of two workshops – either ‘Kicking off a conversation about fundraising through networks’ with Steve Bridger or ‘Social entrepreneurs and technology’ with Snook. Steve, an acclaimed consultant who has worked with various high profile charities across the UK, suggested that Twitter was a vital tool for fundraisers. Snook, the team behind MyPolice, hosted a practical workshop on how social entrepreneurs can embrace social media and how they, Snook, are fermenting the revolution in Scotland!

Rosie McIntosh ended the evening sharing Oxfam Scotland’s plans for a Citizen Journalism network which provoked an interesting reaction and in-depth discussion. Oxfam Scotland hopes the Citizen Journalism programme will offer key supporters a way to engage beyond clicktivism.

What struck me last night, was that this felt different; different to traditional conferences or seminars. Yes, #BeGoodBeSocial combined presentations, case studies, practical workshops and networking opportunities, but it was presented in a relaxed, friendly, collaborative environment. Perhaps the feeling was best summed up in a tweet from Steve Bridger, “Tweetups vs conferences – people actually want to be here, and to share.”

#BeGoodBeSocial undoubtedly whetted the appetite of the Third Sector is Scotland. The demand is there. The event was streamed live on the internet and the Twitter-feed showed the breadth of the audience involved in the conversation [NB. All resources from #BeGoodBeSocial, including all the presentations, are available from the website http://begoodbesocial.org.uk/]

But what now for #BeGoodBeSocial? I, like many of the attendees, would like to see #BeGoodBeSocial evolve into a regular tweet-up; but is it fair that the burden of work should fall on one man? Ross McCulloch deserves an immense amount of respect and admiration for putting together the inaugural event – what we witnessed last was game-changing.

Last night’s event would not have been possible without the support The Melting Pot, Green City Whole Foods and of course, Third Sector Lab.

Stuart Glen (@stuglen) is Director of Fundraising at OneKind