With ArtezInterAction 2012 in the rear-view mirror, we take a look at some of the highlights through the eyes of our attendees!
We're just starting to catch our breaths after the phenomenal ArtezInterActon 2012 conference held last Thursday, October 18th!
In case you weren't able to attend or want to re-live the highlights, we're working on uploading videos of all the incredible sessions. In the meantime, thanks to our fantastic attendees using social media, we were able to catch up on some of the fascinating takeaways attendees have been buzzing about!
Blue State Digital's Executive Director of Social Innovation, Ryan Davis, provided the thought-provoking and laughter-inducing closing keynote at ArtezInterAction 2012. Speaking about engaging Digital Natives - the generation born after 1980 who find today's technology second-nature, Davis offered his five tips, as have proved effective on major campaigns like Obama for America and the It Gets Better Project. The recommendations included being social in two-way discussions, using images which are more likely to be shared and passed along, offering actions for supporters to take, being honest and authentic, and keeping references current in the fast-moving social media world.
Ben Zifkin, CEO of Toronto-based startup Hubba, had a unique suggestion for nonprofits at ArtezInterAction.
Zifkin argued that using a "selling" approach would be more successful for nonprofits than traditional "fundraising." This means focusing the message on how the supporter will benefit from donating to your cause, rather than explaining just how the cause could use their donation. Whether or not everyone in the audience agreed with the strategy, it was certainly one of the most thought-provoking ideas shared throughout the day.
Facebook's Steve Irvine offered the knowledge that the value from social media comes from the number of times your message is shared - not just with your supporters, but with their friends, and friends of friends. When something truly goes viral, the message is shared with friends many connections away and can have enormous - mostly free- marketing value for your organization.
In his session, Irvine explained Facebook's insights on the reasons people share content on social media. By understanding this, nonprofits can be better equipped to provide the content that supporters will be encouraged to spread.
We were treated to a tag team of fundraising expertise in a session from Amy Milne and Lynn Wilson from the SickKids Foundation. They had a simple message - third party events can be a major source of funds for your nonprofit.
The pair discussed the difference between solicited and unsolicited events. Solicited events are those nonprofits should seek, as they can approve of them and provide assistance to assure the best results. By contrast, unsolicited events - that the organization does not know about until a donation comes in - can be risky. Messaging can be inconsistent and confusing to supporters, and sometimes, the means used to raise funds may not reflect values that the nonprofit stands for. For example, the SickKids Foundation does not allow funds to be raised for them through beauty pageants, with the belief that they encourage unhealthy attitudes and behaviour and can lead to eating disorders.
The morning started out with a passionate and energetic session from Dave Simms of the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia. His main message was simple: "Be bold!" The Leukaemia Foundation has a ton of great examples of this approach, finding incredible success with unique and fun campaigns for a serious cause, such as 'talking chin' commercials for its annual 'World's Greatest Shave' event.
Consistent with this, Simms urged nonprofits to spend money to make money. Whether on TV advertising or online campaigns, Simms has found that being willing to spend and not just seek free support can have many benefits. His belief is that supporting organizations want to support nonprofits, but aren't always comfortable giving away value for free. When getting a financial incentive, those supporting organizations can provide major return for nonprofits.
These are just of a few of the major takeaways from ArtezInterAction 2012! If you attended, feel free to share some of the others that have left an impression with you!