The Blog of Daniel Francavilla

Design. Charity. Life.

Speaking at Be Good Be Social Toronto #BGBS13 0

Posted on September 26, 2013 by Daniel Francavilla

Be Good Be Social Toronto is taking place on October 17. It’s all about Social Media for Social Good.

Now in its third year, the conference will focus on intermediate and advanced strategies, from selecting partners to work with, balancing internal and external communication demands, recognizing corporate partners, and taking risks with new platforms.

I will be one of the speakers at this year’s event in my role as Executive Director of ACCESS, on the topic, Tweet by Example: When Non-Profit Leaders Get Social.

Everyone is welcome to attend Be Good Be Social Toronto. This year specifically, sessions will be focused on more intermediate topics, since more strategic discussions are not happening elsewhere in this sector. Sessions are suitable for fundraisers, communications staff, and executive staff looking to advance their social media thinking, and hear from leading and innovative nonprofits in the city.

Previously hosted at CSI, this year’s event is at a tech-enabled space at CI Financial right by Maple Leafs Square. George Brown College Continuing Education is the leader sponsor, providing nonprofit peers the chance to attend for FREE.

Join us for a range of talks, a Q&A panel session and of course drinks and food.

You can Order Tickets online here. For more, follow @BeGoodToronto or connect to their Facebook page.

Be Good Be Social Toronto is organised by non-profits and for non-profits in Canada. Thanks to the awesome committee members including Claire and Clare! It’s an honour to be part of this event.

Where Canada’s Business and Technology Students Connect and Compete: NBTC 2013 0

Posted on March 07, 2013 by Daniel Francavilla

There are a ton of business and technology events popping up everywhere – competitions, conferences, networking opportunities, workshops, panels discussions, award shows and more. But Nspire Innovation Network’s National Business and Technology Conference combines them all in one weekend-long event.

The organizers invite you to “catalyze your potential” Canada’s largest business and technology conference, National Business and Technology Conference. (I will be attending the conference to Blog from the event, which also ties in with the Digital Strategy & Communications Management program I’m in at U of T).

The entrepreneurship community is the focus and theme of this year’s NBTC conference, which will provide attendees with perspectives of what it is like to be part of the next generation of disruptive start-ups.

As part of the conference, NBTC13 will be featuring an Entrepreneurship Competition offering $80,000 in prizes, along with a Case Competition and NBTCtalks with 8 successful start-ups.

About 300 young innovators from universities across North America are expected to attend. Nspire says that their delegates are driven, innovative and passionate individuals that understand the benefits of having a diverse skill set, networking and professional development.

“Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and realize them.”

Featured Speakers include a Marketing Director from Facebook Canada along with several others, like Bobby Umar and Drew Dudley who I have met and seen speak in the past. Bobby will be speaking about networking in his session “Shaping Leaders: Networking as Gateway to Growth” and Drew will be speaking about how his doctrine on business and leadership can alter your views of the world in “Thriving in the Leadership Economy”.

Workshops include topics like Innovating the Customer Experience, How Entrepreneurial DNA Works, Agile Business Development and more (descriptions here). There will also be Talks on creating a Personalized Brand Experience, and Customer Service in a Social World, both highly relevant to today; along with tips on Building a Mobile Venture, Collaboration in the Entrepreneurial Field, and even Healthcare and Technology.

Follow this blog for more on the NBTC on March 8 and 9, 2013 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The National Business and Technology Conference (NBTC) has been Nspire’s annual flagship event since it started in 2001 by a group of University of Toronto students with the goal of merging the fields of business and technology. This prestigious event brings together 400 young leaders and numerous industry professionals from across North America to participate in interactive workshops, listen to inspiring speakers, compete in the Consulting Case and the Entrepreneurship Competitions, and enrich their networks. Since its inauguration, Nspire’s presence has spread to university and college campuses all across North America. NBTC 2013 will be an amazing experience and a conference not to be missed for tomorrow’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders.

Social tech for social change: Connecting non-profits with Technology at MyCharityConnects 3

Posted on June 10, 2011 by Daniel Francavilla

The web is changing. Society is changing. And people are coming together to do something good about it. Net Change Week is full of events that explore how social innovation and social technology are changing our society. The week on “social tech for social change” exists because of this rapid change, and I believe it’s key for social causes to get on board! This is where the MyCharityConnects conference comes in, the sold-out event which I had the opportunity to attend this year.

Over 200 charities and non-profits from across Canada gathered at the well-designed MaRS Centre for this exciting social media and online fundraising learning opportunity, on June 6 and 7 in Toronto. There were opportunities to learn about social media platforms, trends in technology, mobile giving, community building, online fundraising and video, movement marketing, and a lot more. As CanadaHelps describes it, the conference was “by the sector for the sector; it was just the attendees and the experts, including the charities that have done it right”.

By the name of this website alone, you can understand how relevant MyCharityConnects is! For a brief intro to the conference itself, watch this video:

The conference included some incredible presentations, and for someone like me who is constantly online with social media and active in the non-profit world, it was challenging narrowing down which ones to attend.

One seminar that caught my eye was called #Fail – Biggest Online Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Presenter Lee Rose made the session interactive, and displayed the many tweets coming from the conference and its outside followers. Rose posted his presentation online, which you can click-through in full here:

Being really interested in design and branding personally, I found the session on Reaching the Next Generation of Supporters Through Integrated Branding Programs eye-opening. Sheetal Persaud and Matt Barr of a company called HJC lead this session, which included executing branded programs and campaigns for non-profits. The complexity of Passion Branding is very interesting.

“Let’s get real – social media is only one complementary channel for your online programs,” says Claire Kerr, Director of Digital Fundraising at Artez Interactive. I had a great conversation with Kerr during a break and am a fan of her down-to-earth presentation topic, “Oops! You Raised Awareness Without Raising Money (Whatcha gonna do about it?)“.

But what is the real relationship between technology – the online world – and charities? I found a comment by Katya Andresen fascinating when she answered the question of why people contribute to causes: “Technology when used right helps people be generous. People have to feel compelled to give.”

To gain some insight on the conference from an organizer’s perspective, I asked CanadaHelps‘ Fundraising & Business Development Coordinator Katelyn McKeown, and Marketing & Communications Manager Kirstin Beardsley their thoughts.

Of course there’s a huge conference about it, but those who did not attend may wonder how important technology is for non-profits today.

“Technology is hugely important to non-profits for many reasons: donors/volunteers/clients and other constituencies are using technology and non-profits/charities need to be able to communicate with these groups where they are. Technology is a low-cost communications options compared to many traditional communications tactics. Technology tools allow charities to publish their own interactive content without needing to wait for a media outlet to be interested in the cause.”

I also asked how the CanadaHelps’ team feels that a conference like MyCharityConnects benefits the non-profit community overall. They shared that it “levels the playing field in terms of building knowledge about how to use technology effectively.” They added that MyCharityConnects is cost-effective, which isn’t always the case for other tech conferences, and that the content is geared specifically to a non-profit audience.

Since the conference featured so much great content, it’s easy to miss some great presentations. I asked CanadaHelps’ McKeown and Beardsley what they found most memorable, and it was was a case study presented by Sara Falconer.

“Sara provided the audience with some great examples as to how organizations such as World Wildlife Fund-Canada are taking its online communities to the next level. Throughout the presentation Sara highlighted the importance of creating a strategy by looking at three main areas: Goals, Tactics and Metrics. As the audience shared their experiences and ideas we were able to learn as a group the importance of defining what we want to accomplish, how we want to accomplish it and the most effective way of measuring our success in social media.”


All of the 2011 MyCharityConnects Conference presentation slides have been conveniently posted online here.

Thank you to to the teams at CanadaHelps, SiG@MaRS, PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation, and the many other supporters and sponsors, who put on an inspiring event.

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