I’ve just had a remarkable two days working with Tech Soup volunteers in the “Tech Soup Kitchen” at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault Leadership event in Sacramento.
Our mission: Help attendees understand how they can use social media for outreach, education, fundraising and branding.
We worked hands on with members on a one-on-one basis, setting up user accounts and walking through the tools and techniques to enrich their networks and reach more people.
Most were relative newbies, but there were also quite a few who had more advanced questions and I think I can say we all learned from each other as we problem solved and shared tips and tricks as well as trusted resources and tools.
Some issues an organization like this faces are beyond what most of us bloggers have to deal with. For example several people were concerned that they had been involved in court cases and other actions that resulted in jail time and fines. Privacy of the personal details of beneficiaries, volunteers, staff, and their loved ones is crucial.
Because they deal with government agencies they need to document everything carefully, so creating a data trail is important as well.
Time is the most obvious barrier for many, but when we showed the potential for expanding their reach and funding opportunities balanced with how to use alerts and scheduling to work more efficiently the benefits were obvious.
Working with these people (mostly women) was a treat, and experiencing the passion they have for outreach is exciting and moving. We truly felt we were making a difference and we’ll be watching and helping as they flex their social media muscles and the inevitable questions come up. I want to do more of this!
I owe the team at Tech Soup a huge thank you for inviting me to take part, and the team (Susan Tenby, Evonne Hening, Megan Keene, Scott Moore, Saki Bailey ) for their help and camaraderie over the last couple of days, and of course to the amazing CalCasa team.
Here’s a quick video of Evonne Heyning working with a participant. If you were at the event add your links in the comments so we can see what you’ve been up to!