How will open data change your organisation and what you can do about it?

I’m stupidly excited about one of the workshops at the NCVO Annual Conference next week on open data. It will be a really exciting opportunity to explore what the open data agenda means for the voluntary sector but also what opportunities it brings.

Session description:

“The move by local and central government to put all of the information that they store about us, finances, projects and services online is set to radically transform the way in which the UK is governed and the way in which our services our delivered.

This may be a bold claim, but the opening up of government-held data is a central aspect of the Big Society agenda and is already shaping the way we interact with services and how civil society holds government to account. This is an agenda with implications for the short and long term: transparency, accountability and co-production are just some of the issues.”

The speakers include NCVO’s Head of Research Karl Wilding, charity data guru David Kane, one of Government’s leading open data exponents Hadley Beeman and Rich Watts, who has been leading the way in the voluntary sector by opening up his own charity’s data.

EVENT: Data protection seminar

The words data protection can scare people who don’t really understand what it means, what it allows you to do and the implications.  This seminar aims to demystify data protection and help you to feel confident in your communications. 

Data Protection and Communications for the Voluntary Sector (24 September 2009, London)

“Is your organisation Data Protection compliant in its fundraising and marketing activity? Not understanding this legislation can put your organisation at reputational and financial risk. You will learn about all the rules that apply to your emails, direct marketing, telemarketing, websites and more.”

For more and to book visit or call Matt on 020 7520 3160.

EVENT: Marketing conference

Sharpen your marketing theory and practice – NCVO Summer Marketing Conference (7 July 2009, London)

“Get the tools you need to ensure that your organisation stands out in a crowded marketplace and that you are engaging with a range of audiences. One of the worlds most recognised and highly respected marketers Drayton Bird will give the keynote address and show you how direct marketing can make a real difference to your organisation.”

The conference also includes a session on how to make the most of new media:

New media can be used as more than just an extension of your fundraising and awareness raising activities. By using their website as a service delivery tool, Breast Cancer Care, have put the supporter back at the centre of their activities. Find out how you can use new media techniques such as online discussion forums to keep your stakeholders at the heart of your work.

For more and to book visit or call Matt on 020 7520 3160.

EVENT: CiviCRM usergroup meet up

If you are either using or planning to invest in a CRM (customer relationship management tool) then you may have heard of CiviCRM.  CiviCRM is open source and free to download and is designed to meet the needs of the voluntary/public sectors.  If you want to find out more about it then why not check out this event coming up in London …

We’ll be holding the fifth UK CiviCRM user group meet up in London on Thursday 25th June, and we’ll be joined by a few members of the core team visiting from Poland, India and the USA.

It’s an all-day practical event and is aimed at non profits, advocacy organisations, and political groups and is a great opportunity to find out if CiviCRM is right for you, improve your CiviCRM skills, and to find out more about the CiviCRM community.

We’ll finalise the agenda based on participants interests and skill levels, but topics we’re imagining that we’ll cover include:

  • introduction to CiviCRM – what does it do and how can it help you?
  • installing, configuring and making the most of CiviCRM at your organisation
  • CiviCRM surgery – answering questions and helping with specific problems
  • getting more involved with CiviCRM community
  • how you can help improve CiviCRM

The session is hands on so please bring a laptop if you can. If you’re using CiviCRM already, bring a laptop that will let you access that installation. If you aren’t a current user (but are technically minded) you should install a working copy of CiviCRM in preperation for this meeting.

You can also read the new book Understanding CiviCRM in preparation for this event.

This is a non-profit event. The costs go toward event and travel expenses and any surpluses will go toward funding improvements to CiviCRM.

More information and registration available here:

There is more about CRM (and databases in general) on the Knowledgebase

EVENT: Connected Generation unConference

If  you work with young people then this unconference (organised by Tim Davies) is “an opportunity to explore big ideas, and practical realities of weaving the web into work with young people”.

Where and when? Saturday 11th July, London

What’s all this unconference business about?

As an unConference, the exact programme is created on the day by the participants, who will convene conversations, provide demonstrates and share their insights.

However, themes that are likely to be explored include:

  • Communicating with young people online – from promoting youth services and positive activities, through to hosting two-way dialogues with young people in online spaces.
  • Social networks & youth participation – how can Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and Ning be part of the participation workers toolbox? And how does social networking have the power to change the face of participation?
  • Digital inclusion for young people – making sure that all young people have the access to technology and the skills they need to get on in the digital age;
  • Practical action – how to make sure online engagement is based on safe-and-sound foundations; getting policies in place; and making sure the technology and staff skills are available to make the most of online engagement;
  • Hands-on learning – exploring different social media tools that you can use in your work, and sharing tips with other participants about the best way to use them;

Find out more about the event and book your place online at