There are two free on-line events coming up in the next few days (Thursday 12/11 and Thursday 19/11) that you could consider attending as they happen, or making use of on-demand availability.

One is very much specific to the work of Charities, the other a major event about every aspect of e-mail.

Next week, on 19th November, there is an hour long presentation by Salsa about End-Of-Year-Fundraising strategies and techniques.All the details are HERE – the presenters are Amy Shellenberger, Director of Development and Outreach Strategies, Polar Bears International and Michael Kelly, Communications Director, Clean Water Action and they will cover which channels to use for the ‘ask’, be detailed about using e-mail and when and how often to ask – plus there will be specific case-studies 

This event is free because it provides a commercial company (Salsa) with an opportunity to introduce themselves to prospective new clients and to build a relationship with those who already know of them and they work they do in the Charity and Community Sectors.

This is slightly different to say where you might attend a grant funder (and funded) presentation where the host is mandated to try and reach as many people/groups as possible and to offer that support a no or a very low cost.

The quality of what will be offered at any of this kind of webinar or event can vary and as this presentation hasn’t happened, VASA cannot offer any sort of recommendation bar saying that Salsa should try to offer good practical advice (if not a bit more) so that you really do appreciate the event – so that you have them at least to mind when you could consider the services and products they offer.

If you attend an event in person, it is a bit difficult to just walk out if you feel that the presentations aren’t what you want, or even if you are bored. You may be a paid member of staff or a volunteer but in either case, you have taken time out of your working day to attend. If you register and go to an event such as this, you can simply log off and go and find something else to do.

The event hosts (Salsa) will know this but won’t have any idea of why you have left. Your feedback or your subsequent actions (responding to any e-mail they send etc) will give them a better idea.In return for this (and other events – see below) being ‘free’, you will be asked to provide some basic details about yourself and your group/charity. This isn’t anything like the list collection and then re-sale that some Charities have been indulging in. If you start to receive communication you don’t want you can (and should) immediately unsubscribe and that will be the end of that.

The other event, this Thursday, is a series of presentations about e-mail. It is really a day long conference which actually starts around 4pm UK time (as it is based from the US) so with around 6 presentations (usually every hour) you could ‘attend’ through to 10pm and have worked well beyond your nominal finish of 5.30pm.

All the details of how to attend are HERE    

The Salsa event will almost certainly be on-demand for a long period – and if you register and are unable to attend, you will receive notification of the recording becoming available. This conference will be on-demand for 90 days (through till mid Feb 2016) so to be able to view ‘late (UK) night’ sessions that you missed (when the conference is live), you can plan to go back to the conference site as you have time.  

The presentations will cover everything from e-mail technology, design, campaigns, case-studies etc and will be predominantly examples of commercial business use. But, much of how e-mail is used ‘for a profit’ does apply to how community groups and charities can benefit from what it offers.

At an event like this, there is also a substantial ‘Resources’ section where you will be able to find guides and support about e-mail use and development, and on several other related topics such as web sites and social media. This is all free and you can download and use at your leisure.Another webinar you may want to watch is HERE

It is a niche area – design of web sites for inclusive and accessible on-line learning – ie if you are going to offer training via your web site, how to make the whole package as accessible and usable by anyone. Having watched it, it is a thorough look at what you would need to do to achieve the best access for all.

Some other on-line resources that you may find useful:

How to write a very good Blog Post – or know that you have done so and that people have shared it 

Everyone has a story to tell – you can find stories everywhere, stories that will inspire and bring people to you 

Why User Generated Content is really important – and what it is 

How to create a Customer/Client/Supporter journey – how to develop and use personas