Posted in Blog News, This is VCSSCamp

Where did July go?

Was it really a month ago when we were making the final preparations for the fourth VCSSCamp? Yes it was and since then July seems to have flown by!

Anyway, we opened the lid on the ‘social media stockpot’ to see what had been captured from the event in the various on-line spaces … and were pleasantly surprised by all the tweets, pictures, blogs and even video from the day.

We’ve pulled together all those we can find in this blog post, but if anything has been missed (or you still have a blog in draft you keep meaning to post!) then please add the links in the comments and we’ll update the post as a record of YOUR day.

VCSSCamp Four Group Photograph
VCSSCamp Four Group Photograph (by Sasha Taylor)


The many Tweets and Pictures from Flickr have been assembled into a Storify page – – and in roughly the correct order from the day too!


Thank you to those who have blogged on their websites about the day.

Kate from Superhighways shares here thoughts about Open Data –

Matt from CVAT reflects not on the ‘geeky stuff’, but on how the Unconference approach to running an event worked for him –

Throughout VCSSCamp was live blogging the day. You can read the summary he created here


Our photographer for the day was the wonderful @sasha_taylor who did a fine job of capturing a record of the day in pictures. The full gallery is here


A separate blog post is to follow listing your feedback from the Post-Its in the final wrap-up session.

If you have any other content you’d like to add please let us know in the comments.

Posted in This is VCSSCamp

Using digital tools to support our sector – #VCSSCamp 2015

Good point Becky.
“respond and help charities and voluntary organisations use digital tools to achieve their mission.”
Yes, surely that’s something each of us can do.

Dudley CVS blog

I’m really excited to be involved in this year’s VCSSCamp, a place for people who work in local infrastructure organisations that support the voluntary and community sector (CVSs, Volunteer Centres, Voluntary Actions, etc.), to come together and talk about the ways they use digital technology in their work.

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Posted in This is VCSSCamp

Reflections on the General Election and the new Conservative Government

I’ve recently started following Duncan Shrubsole, Director of Policy, Partnerships and Communications for Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales. You can follow him on Twitter: @duncanshrubsole


Never has the phrase “a week is a long time in politics” seemed so apt with the fallout from the 2015 election, the surprise election of a majority Conservative government and the impact on the other parties (and their leaders) still dominating the airwaves, twitter and newsprint. Amidst a sea of insight and analysis here are three reflections on what this might mean for the voluntary sector and three suggestions for how we should respond:

A. Everything changes, everything stays the same: for all the speculation as to what a majority Conservative Government means for an EU referendum, the Human Rights Act, the union or even the BBC, the reality of David Cameron being re-elected means that the core issue for this Parliament will be the same as that of the last one – the public finances. The Conservatives plans to turn a deficit of £75bn this year into a…

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Posted in This is VCSSCamp

Open Data and the voluntary sector, revisited

A post about Open Data and the voluntary sector from 2010 – good to see people were thinking about our role in relation to open data a few years ago, and longer if you read the comments!

arbitrary constant

I posted on the topic of Open Data and the voluntary sector earlier today, and I’m very grateful for the time people have taken to respond. I thought I’d jot down a response to their response in the hope of continuing the conversation.

My original post boiled down to 4 propositions:

  1. Given the novelty of Open Data in the public sector, I didn’t think people would be that interested in voluntary sector Open Data.
  2. The motivation for public sector organisations to publish their data (transparency) doesn’t necessarily hold for why a voluntary sector organisation would publish their data.
  3. The power dynamic between voluntary sector organisations and their funders means that Open Data could be used as a resource for undermining the voluntary sector.
  4. Voluntary sector organisations are extremely well placed to benefit from the publication of Open Data by public agencies.

On point 1, my commenters rightly note that I’m…

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Posted in Blog News, This is VCSSCamp

How to become a social CEO

BlooIt really helps if, as the CEO, you’re actually in the room at the beginning or in the early stages of an event to promote the voluntary sector use of digital and tech, which might sound a bit odd when so much of being social these days can be done virtually i.e. from somewhere else besides the place where the event is happening, but in this case, I think being face to face can really help to lay down good foundations.

We’ve been fortunate with VCSSCamp in that the infrastructure organisation RAWM (Regional Action West Midlands) was the main sponsor of the first one in 2013, and their CEO, Sharon Palmer, was able to be there for the early part of the event. Sharon was also there for most of VCSSCamp 2 in June 2014, and we also had our second CEO, Andy Gray from Dudley CVS (who also sponsored both VCSSCamp 1 and 2) at that one. Neither of these CEOs would claim to be social media, or digital, experts, but they knew enough to want to be there, and it was clear that they both appreciate the staff and volunteers they have who do know and use digital a bit more regularly.

And so we came to VCSSCamp 3 in Barnsley. The venue was ace – accessible, light-filled and plenty of room to move around in. The Voluntary Action Barnsley staff were warm and welcoming and the CE of Community Services, Nigel Middlehurst, was present from the start, working on his iPad until we began the intros. He explained that he would have to leave during the morning to attend another event, and we didn’t really expect him back. But he did come back, and he also went to several of the day’s sessions. He also took part, as did everyone else at VCSSCamp 3, in a Happy Birthday Vine (6-second video) shot by unconference veteran John Popham.

My point in referencing these 3 CEOs is that they made the time to come to VCSSCamp, and they stayed in the room, listening, learning and participating. They may become more social themselves, they may not, but they are demonstrating a fundamental quality of being a good leader, that they understand the importance of social and that they are supporting their staff, volunteers and trustees to be so. Isn’t that a key part of becoming a social CEO?

More reading including this year’s list of top charity #socialCEOs:

The Top 30 Social CEOs 2014

‘Social Media: A Briefing for Charity CEOs’ PDF by Zoe Amar and Matt Collins

Six ways charity chief executives are using social media for good by Zoe Amar, Nov 7 2014

How Your Organization’s CEO Can Use Social Media for Thought Leadership – by Beth Kanter