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July 2011
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Defining PCM services - On the Ground

I'm creative a series of 'in perspective' short presentation to help everyone understand what PCM has to offer. The real-time presence at events support availible is ecclectic and all PCM clients are unique. This is the first looking at the real-time event presence offered called On the Ground. What do you think?

This is early days, a work in progress. The URL in the presentation is not yet live and the QR code resolves to the PCM main website. Eventually the QR will take you to the On the Ground page with resourses and case studies, the current 'On the Ground' project and latest PCM & activity.

Institute of Fundraising - Resources and Reflection

I often research a topic before meeting a client. Not every seed germinates. But I figure the infomation will come in hand, especially if its a secor or industry I'd like to work within. Primarily I'm a resource provider and project facilitator so I guess fundraising is a niche I'm attracted to. I've never really done any direct campaigning but I've taken part in a fair few sponsored events, supported Red Nose Day, Children in Need and regualarly donate to Green Peace and NSPCC. I do avoid on the street charity subscription teams in the same way I give Big Issue sellers and market researchers a wide birth. When I'm in town I'm more often than not passing through on a work erands.

Ok the point! After a day at the Institute of Fundraising's 2011 National Convention I remembered some research I'd done for a client the year before. At this years convention there was an interest in the potential of social media, it's associated technology, platforms and tools to compliment and support fundraising activity with some great examples. Mobile in particular encouraging what I come to call 'ambient participation' was of interest to many, the most potent and easy to adopt being QR codes. A QR code opens up the opportunity for printed media and digital displays to connect directly to a donation page via a mobile devise. Intergrated with a mobile payment mechanism this 'ambient participation' (catching people at a moment of engagement while out and about) has great value. 

Being 'on the ground' for this event as a blogger was quite liberating as a practitioner. I got to make media. As PCM's organiser I spend much of my time at events serveying the crowd, maintaining a schedule and liasing with the venue or event team. Having a second blogger, a highly capable one (@philcampbell) has made the PCM 'on the ground' events and projects I have been engaged with possible. I had a great time at #IOFNC. 

I loved NFP Voice's use of QR codes. Voice's Head of Client Servcies and Strategy, Sylwia Presley invited Phil and I to cover the event. Here are their t-shirts, postcards and exhibition stand. The stand was inspired. I've never known how to tackle delivering a stand for PCM but now I know. Breathtakingly simple.



A selection of fundraising-online resources and articles from previous research.

Social Networks (and widgets) for Community Building, Taking Action and/or Fundraising - 

Raise Money on Facebook: Four Fundraising Applications You Need to Know About - 

Video Tutorial: How To Embed A Social Or Fundraising Widget Into Your Facebook Page 

Online Platforms
Fundraising widgets for webs, blogs and social networking sites. - About Just Giving 

When we created the company in 1999, our dream was to enable any charity, however small, to use the web to raise money at very low cost. Almost no one believed it could be done. Nearly ten years later, we are proud to have become the leading online platform for charity giving, helping over 8,000 member charities raise more than £450 million.

A central hub for charities to post information about themselves and get donations. All listed charities are certified.

Providing the leading technology platform for Chief Philanthropic Officers to engage and inspire ~ Helping corporations and charities achieve their philanthropic goals  Donate to the charity of your choice in Canada, USA, UK and Australia; put the power of giving on your organization's website; create a peer to peer fundraising campaign or access millions of dollars in grant money.  ALL in the currency of your choice.

Kickstarter is a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers...

ChipIn’s mission is to make it easy to collect money. We enable users to organize group payments and fundraisers (”ChipIns”) in a quick, easy, and secure way. We also make it simple for organizers to publicize their ChipIns, by providing powerful fundraising widgets that can be embedded in social media.

Start raising money with a fundraising page. You can make your own fundraising page on Firstgiving to raise money for any nonprofit organization. Email your page to friends, family and colleagues, who donate by credit or debit card in an easy, secure online transaction.


Twitter Automation Lessons

Meet @contentasaurus...brain child of Andrew Hanelly (@hanelly on Twitter). I am engaged in a battle of the bots. Not because I'm infested and plagued by then but because social media should be, or should have, a social element. It is why this social web environment has emerged. As human beings it is in our nature to reach out and connect with the world around us. Andrew Hanely's experiment and resulting blog post "Lessons Learnt from a Twitter Bott" asks the question, Can it be automated?, details the experiment and measures the results. The opening line "A robot didn’t write this post" illustrating right away that some things need a human touch.

Looking for work-arounds and time saving methodology is essential online and offline. Wouldn't it be cool if you didn't have to look after Twitter? What if it could look after its self? If you could set it up and let it run would you? Would you automate a customer facing aspect of your business? Banks offer us automated services, the "Hole in the Wall" but still we choose to visit the counter. Why is that?

A Twitter account can successfully be assigned an element of autonomy using automation with a reasonable quantifiable success but it has no soul and it has no intellegence.

Some statistics from the 43-day life of @contentasaurus:

  • The account posted more than 2,500 Tweets (about 60 Tweets per day)
  • Which generated 443 clicks
  • Which resulted in about 80 @mentions and 19 Retweets
  • And a Klout score of 43 (for whatever that’s worth)

Taken from Andrew Hanelly's post these stats demonstrate that is a short time and with well selected content it is possible to generate twitter activity. For him the down side and an touch of futility was not being able to add the human element and resond when comments and good wishes came in.

I do recommend you go and read his post "Lessons Learnt from a Twitter Bott" as the consequent comments are an interesting read also. What interested me was the foundation. I think there is room for scheduling informative content but I am hearted by the increased emphasis I see around the social web for the curation of content. It's important to understand the web around you in terms for your audience and twitter is a good resource for doing this but must be done appropriately. With automation you can get a result but with any success there has to be the satisfation of a job well done or an idea reached for. There are no quick wins or we'd all be rich! After all being social is about conversation and engagement.


Before Treshnish - IOFNC : 'on the ground'

Sometime I wish I could paint. I have just returned from the most serene escape on the Isle of Mull. It wasn't easy to blog... see my Extreme Blogging post.

I wrote: No wifi, No phone signal, a sheep bleats in the distant, the sea swells, the birds chirp. The last rays of the sun pierce the clouds falling on the sea creating a pool of gold as mist rolls in. 8.50pm and I sit at the picnic table to write. Alone with my LiveScribe pen and notebook. My week leading up to my holiday was not so serene.

Monday 4th July I was in London at the IOFNC Institute of Fundraising National Convention. 


Sylwia Presley who I followed on twitter before listening to an Ethics of the Web talk she delivered at MCL2 (Media Camp London 2) invited PCM to blog at this event. PCM projects (currently Phil Campbell @philcampbell and myself Caron Lyon @pcmcreative) are hoping to develop an 'on the ground' real time media making service for events so this opportunity to do what we excel at, capturing expectation, experience, the buzz 'on the ground' that makes an event so special. We interact with the people coming together to learn from and meet with like-minded professionals before they scattering to apply new knowledge to the organisation they have come from.

Over the 3 days around 2,000 (estimate) charity and fundraisers came together at London's Metropol Hotel with over 200 seminars and keynotes delivered by a congregation of speakers excelling in there this fields.


View more presentations from JustGiving


IOFNC - How to Optimise Online Fundraising

There were session firing off all around the convention centre. I took the opportunity to catch this one delivered by Joanne Warner and Jamie Parkins. Essentially fundraising using social tools. They kindly uploaded the slide presentation to SlideShare. I also captured a snippit of the audio while I was in the room. It is the last 10 mins before the Q&A.

It covered

  • Twitter bucket lists
  • Getting developers on board early
  • Thinking of the end user
  • Multiple channels of engagement
  • Accept and be prepared for change
  • API-control of the user experience
  • Optimizing sign in and sign up
  • SMS technology
  • Mobile participation
  • Apps are expensive
  • Take part in the conversation

...and that was just the big I notated!

More 'on the ground' media

37 IOFNC AudioBoos


66 IOFNC Instagrams

831 IOFNC pictures shared on Flickr


Bloggers corner was real treat having a spot to call homebase. Great to be 'on the ground'.