The Power of Connections: An MNN 2012 Recap

Last week, Jess and I attended the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network annual conference. Though the official theme may have been “Rising Beyond the Challenge,” the buzz in every conversation and workshop was about connectivity.  Here are some of the key highlights:

Connections: Ami Dar put it best in his morning keynote: “How do we collaborate without getting in each others’ way? What can we act on together?” Some of the best ideas for advancing our causes are already out there.  We won’t discover them by staying in our office or sticking to what we’re already doing. The more we connect and share ideas, the more progress we’ll all make.

Integration: When it comes to communication strategies, integration is everything. Joanna Rothman led a great session on how to use social media in fundraising efforts. Little did attendees realize that this workshop was just as much about how to maximize social media by connecting your message across a number of  channels. As Rothman put it, “Social media doesn’t raise money, people raise money.” Think holistically about the ways you have to reach those people, and plan your strategy to use the right tactics at the right time.

In-Real-Life Impact: Our own session on event socialization helped us see the power of in-person connections. Sure, we had a terrific time tweeting insights all day. But our workshop turned into a dynamic conversation with nonprofit leaders about the unique challenges they face using social media. (And why you should consider ditching Facebook.)

Thanks to everyone who attended our workshop, and to the many more people we met over the course of the day. Remember—stay connected, share ideas, and experiment!

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