The idea for #FRtweets came about for two reasons.
The first was a conversation on twitter about whether there was a regular twitter chat about fundraising. There are many now across different sectors and common interest groups – either taking place as regular events or one-offs. @fundraisinisfun drew our attention to #fundchat which is North America-based and scheduled for 12 noon on a Wednesday EST or 5pm UK time. Unfortunately the timing coincides with home time in the UK.
So Lesley Pinder (@skipinder) from Breakthrough Breast Cancer and I thought we’d have a go at creating something towards the middle of the day in Europe which might be accessible to more people in more countries.
The second reason was that I’d been feeling for some time that I was missing the thing that I’d enjoyed about twitter when I started using it – connecting with new people and exchanging ideas. It all seemed to have become a bit serious, a bit cliquey and, dare I say it, a bit dull. I was keen to do something to get my Twitter mojo back.
I’m very conscious that many fundraisers are based in different places so may not be able to attend sector events and many are the sole fundraiser in their organisation. Twitter chats are ideal to help people make professional connections and share their experiences, both in the UK and beyond.
The Twitter chat model
We bounced around a few ideas for hashtags before coming up with #FRtweets and then shamelessly copied the #fundchat model. We set the time and broad topic a few days in advance and then during the hour pose the questions Q1, Q2, Q3 which people answer with A1, A2, A3, always remembering to include the hashtag #FRtweets. This will help us Storify the conversation afterwards for those who missed it.
So far we’ve found it pretty intense during the hour of the chat itself and it’s very important to curate the chat to keep the conversation moving. I also found this article quite useful with several hints about hosting a twitter chat.
We’d be very keen to have feedback – particularly topic suggestions – and I’m very keen for people to feel comfortable contributing or asking their own questions.
The next #FRtweets is scheduled for Friday 23 May at 12 noon BST – topic ideas welcome!
Lucy Caldicott is Director of Fundraising at CLIC Sargent
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