Members learn to manage their information

31 Oct 2011     Last updated: 4 Jul 2019

On Thursday 27 October, NICVA held their bi-annual members’ session at the Navan Centre, Armagh.  The day was on the subject of managing information, covering the topics of data protection, measuring impact with Social Return on Investments (SRO

Data protection

Nigel Treanor, from the Information Commissioner's Office, started the day discussing data protection issues, particularly those relevant to the voluntary and community sector.  Nigel stated that any organisation holding personal information, for example details of service users or members, needs to adhere to the eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.

Nigel mentioned that it is good practice for organisations collecting personal information to have a privacy statement which:

• Should tell people - who you are, what you are going to do with the information and who it will be shared with. 

• Can go further and include access rights, security arrangements etc.

The full presentation is available here.

Measuring your impact - SROI

The second session of the day was on the subject of ‘telling your story’ from the perspective of measuring your impact.  Karl Leathem, a SROI consultant, spoke about the importance of all charities talking about outcomes, and not just ‘outputs’.  He said few charities talk about the ‘change’, either the direct or indirect impact of their work, and how measuring this is very important for sustainability.

Social Return on Investment (SROI) is only one of the many tools available which helps organisations to track the ‘change’ they make with their work, and to help them tell their story. It gives templates to allow charities to tell their story through case studies and by placing a monetary value on the work they do.

Some highlights of Karls presentation are available here.

Telling your story through traditional and social media

The final session of the day was also around ‘telling your story’, but this time in the context of promoting your work to the traditional media (newspapers and TV/Radio) and also via social media channels like facebook and twitter.  Sean Mag uidhir, an ex-journalist and newspaper editor, kicked off this session with a look at how to get your message across within the media, the importance of building relationships with your local media, or with journalists who have an interest in your field of work.  Sean also gave some top tips on writing press releases, which included:

  • Using PICS!
  • Good photo caption
  • Good title
  • Email subject bar – 3 / 4 words
  • Punchy introduction
  • Plain English
  • NO JARGON!!!
  • Use quotes
  • Short sentences.

Sean’s presentation is available here

The second half of the session was delivered by Fiona Veitch, an avid user of social media, including keeping NICVA’s social media channels up to date.  Fiona gave a basic overview of social media, from the benefits and uses of it, to a couple of good case examples of charities using it well. 

Fiona’s presentation is available here and a number of 'social bookmarks' relating to the content is also available here.

Future training sessions

All the sessions within members' day were short taster sessions.  For full training on any of the above topics, keep an eye on NICVA’s Training Calendar page, or sign up to eNews to hear the latest training and events happening at NICVA.

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