Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Magic Arrow

I was asked to do a short blog about my magic arrow.

Your what?

Yes my magic arrow.

When I worked with the Irish Cancer Society I spent a lot of time recruiting volunteers to take join committees and then teaching those volunteers to recruit their own volunteers and supporters.

Now if you've ever had to call people to ask them to do an event, join a committee or even ask them for money the conversation probably went something like...

"Hi, I wanted to ask you a favour

now it's ok if you say no and I completely understand if you don't want to do it.

It's only a really small thing.

and maybe you're not interested 

but we're doing this event 

and we kinda need some people to volunteer

I know you don't really have the time

but is there any way that maybe you might like to, possibly, consider ........"

If I'm polite I'd say we fudge asking

We're afraid to ask somebody to do something that they might really like to do.

So anyway I created the magic arrow to help guide myself and others through asking for support.

It looks like this

I stuck this on my wall and followed it every time I needed to ask somebody to get involved. It goes.

  • I work for Don Bosco Care
  • I care about our work because I believe that every young person in Ireland deserves the right to have a safe home and an opportunity to achieve their potential
  • I believe that we are making a huge difference to the lives of the young people we work with and are giving them a chance for a better future
  • I think you'd enjoy getting involved because I know you're very interested in young people and social justice issues
  • Will you help us organise our event? 

It works for all causes and any ask. It's just about giving you a structure to shape you conversation.

It's not a trick or even a technique.

There are two very important pieces

It starts with I - NOBODY gives a damn about your organisation. Organisations are buildings, with articles of association and boards. People give because they believe in the same thing we do and if if I'm asking then I need to explain my beliefs.

The second part is the You part. This is just about matching my beliefs, the work of the organisation and what the person believes in.

It's really simple and it's definitely better than the fudges method of asking for help.

So there you go.

The magic arrow


Monday, June 16, 2014

The Past. The Present. The Future.

So it's been a while since I blogged.

It's been a busy couple of months really.

First off we had Charity Hack 3 taking place during the +Fundraising Ireland National Conference. It was a completely different type of hack really. It took place in a hotel conference room rather than a beautiful Georgian classroom. It was on a Thursday rather than a weekend and the vibe was just different.
Not different bad but different.
After our 3rd Hack in a little over half a year we were exhausted. Emotionally drained. Energy sapped and in danger of falling out of love with Charity Hack. So we decided to take a hack-ation.

At the same time we've had some illness in our family. Nothing major but lets just say I've spent WAY too much time driving in and out of hospitals in the last couple of months. It's funny how you don't realise what a fine balance your day to day life is in until something unsettles in and chaus ensues.

I've also had an exam looming for the last couple of months which is finally now complete and I'm  happy to day that I passed my Diploma in Fundraising Management  - Phew

and there's been lots of other stuff going on.

So you can see it's been a busy few months.

Oh Yeah and the little boy started in creche too while his Mammy returned to work.

The kevmagic household has been a busy little place.

So that's the recent past. Not really that exciting to read about but it's just by way of saying that I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. I've had plenty of good material but unfortunately the batteries have been flat and I haven't been able to write.

So what about the present.

Well last week I started a new job.

I've spent the last 6 years working for the Irish Cancer Society. It has been my absolute privilage and honour to work for such and amazing organisation and working alongside so many amazing volunteers and dedicated staff  has been a truly inspirational experience. I'd like to write about my time at ICS more sometime but that's more about the past and I'm supposed to be writing about the present.

So where am I working now?

Last Monday I started with Don Bosco Care.

'Who?' You ask.


'I think I've heard of Don Bosco alright, what do they do?'

I had the same questions initially but already, after only 5 shorts days I am in awe of the work that they - sorry We - do.

Don Bosco Care provide homes and support for young people who cannot live in their own homes. Some the countries most at risk young who, along with the normal stresses of being young in a big world, struggle with personal trauma, different levels of neglect and abuse and often addiction.

Young people who are dealing with problems that nobody of any age should have to deal with. At Don Bosco we try to give them not a second chance but the first chance they never had in the first place.

At the centre of all our houses - just like at the centre of every home - is the kitchen table. This is where conversations take place, problems are solved, issues are raised, conflicts resolved and relationships are built. Just like in every home these conversations can be difficult, there can be tears, laughter, shouting and silence but just like in every home no matter what happens the table will still be there in the morning and the kettle will still be there for a cup of tea.

Now I'm just a week here and I realise that I can in no way explain or relect the work being done at Don Bosco. When I know more I'll try to explain but for now all I know is that is a place of healing for young people in pain and I'm trying to raise money for the young people in Don Bosco's care.

I'm happy to be here.

So to the future.

Well I'm going to be working in Don Bosco so that's the work side of things sorted.

My family, thankfully, is doing great.

So what about Charity Hack?

Well it's not gone away. It's coming back.


But maybe not in quite the same format.

This time we want to have a kind of theme for Charity Hack.

It might be that we take on 5 charities with a similar cause.

Or we take on a societal issue that a few organisations want to tackle.

Or maybe its a group of organisations from the same geographical area

Or maybe we just have a cross purposed theme like Hacking Christmas?

I don't know yet but I'd love some suggestions.

We'll be announcing the date for CH4 soon once we get this theme locked down.

Please, please, please  give me soe inspiration.

I'll blog soon in a more detailed and focussed way - I promise.