I've always found Karl Wilding and Megan Griffith at the NCVO Third Sector Foresight unit full of wisdom about UK nonprofits - insightful about the here-and-now, as well as thoughtful about the future**. I was impressed when they let me know about their new website which provides a very understandable route into strategic planning for nonprofits, offering among other things a database of the main drivers for change likely to impact on organisations. It's a pretty comprehensive list of everything from multiculturalism and multinationals, to human rights, the rise of radicalism, the long tail, work/life balance, climate change, volunteering ... Umm. A bit daunting on second look.
What's needed in these circumstances, of course, is some interpretation ... a bit of news, chat, comment ... just the sort of thing a blog can provide. And, surprise! it's there. Karl and Megan profess to be reluctant techies, so I didn't expect a lot of activity when I revisited the news section. But not only are they busy adding to content produced by Natalie Williams (whose main job it is), they've also pulled in Veronique Jochum with an item on "Is the information society a community catalyst or community liability?" This picks up on a publication by Edward Andersson of Involve on ICT and localism, and particularly the issue of bridging online and offline participation.
In case this seems a bit "welcome to the blogosphere" patronising, I'd say that I think it is really quite tough to be motivated to blog in the UK nonprofit sector. It's probably not seen as a priority by senior staff, and there aren't many general purpose nonprofit blogs out there yet, so you don't get much attention and reward from comments or links.
So how appropriate for the Foresight team to be exploring how to use social media in practice, as well as in their excellent publications on the subject.
** Disclosure: the Foresight team did fund me to write an A-Z of social media, but I'd say it anyway.
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