Reflecting on Strengthening Relationships at the Charity Meetup Bucks – Guest Blog by Tony Barr

14th November 2018

I think the best words of greeting you can possibly get when going to a Charity Network meeting is “help yourself to the buffet!”. Certainly an excellent start and had my attention from the outset. I had first met Dawn at the Community Impact Bucks meeting in Aylesbury and really enjoyed her TED talk and Mexican wave (yes really) so when I received an invite to the meeting concerning “Strengthening Relationships” I was keen to go and understand how using your data could help the Redbourn Care Group where I am helping out with the IT and Social Media.

Having got my badge and plate of food from the buffet I settled down to the introduction from Dawn who gave a short overview of what to expect from the evening and then we moved swiftly into the presentation from Caroline Bennett from the Pace Centre.

Using Data to Strengthen Supporter Relationships Talk

Caroline gave a very interesting presentation about the use of a database to capture and analyse data. Coming from a system background it was very interesting to understand more about the business end of database and systems technology and how it can be used more effectively to ensure consistent and relevant communication with your various people i.e. volunteers, donors, clients etc. There was an interesting discussion with participation from the audience about various database options from the very simple up to some more sophisticated options that can be implemented but that comes with more complexity and implementation challenges.

Data Presentation Slides - Caroline Bennett

Activity – Mastermind Groups

We moved into a short break with the opportunity to go back to the buffet again (oh okay if you insist…) and then onto a networking game where we were broken into small groups, by Dawn our host and got a chance to sample the format of the new Mastermind Groups which are launching in January, we were able to discuss some of the groups data and systems challenges and offer help and guidance or at least suggest where people could find it if we didn’t know.

Marketing Automation Talk

Moving onto the next session which was a really good presentation from Keira Roth from Engaging Networks. Keira talked about the opportunities to automate some of the interactions with users such they are focussed and targetted i.e. follow up on the Welcome emails and making sure that they are appropriate. She backed up her talk with statistics showing how effective automation can be from the results of charities using these tactics.



Certainly, from the Care Group perspective, we will be doing some more detailed work on the Volunteer and Client communications and map that journey so we can ensure that the communications are relevant and timely and also think about some out of the box ideas in order to engage those groups.

Overall I really enjoyed the evening. There were lots of opportunities to meet and chat with people from other charities, really interesting presentations and did I mention the buffet? Thanks to Dawn and her team and to the presenters and to the audience who also got to contribute and give some really good ideas as well.

Looking forward to the next meet. Read more about the Charity Meetup

Guest Blog by Tony Barr:

Tony is a senior manager and has been responsible for major implementations such as the IT implementation of the McDonald’s Olympic programme, the demerger of Jaguar Landrover from Ford and the financial systems upgrade for Tesco. He worked in senior positions with Tesco, Nestle and the Financial Conduct Authority as well as working for charities such as Rennie Grove Hospice and currently working with Redbourn Care Group on their IT and social media marketing.

Tony’s has a Doctorate in Computer Science specifically researching the implementation of ERP and integrated systems and an MBA from Henley Management college.

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