It's been over a month since my trip to Australia where I presented and facilitated workshops at the ConnectingUp Conference. While the tim-tams are long gone, the fantastic people I connected with are still with me - if only virtually.
Yesterday, I got an email from Anne Housego from Retina Australia give me an update and asked for some advice. Retina Australia is an organization which supports people with blinding retinal eye diseases, as well as raising funds for research into this debilitating condition. Anne notes in her email,
"Research is at the stage of human trials in stem cell treatment. At this point funding becomes urgent. Our goals are now specific and exciting. I am secretary of Retina Australia (Qld) and on the board of directors of Retina Australia. Personally, my goal is to see myself out of a job in 5 years. How do I get others involved?"
She lists some strengths and opportunities:
- There are many thousands of people affected by this condition which is the leading cause of youth blindness
- There is a huge social cost of so many people becoming dependent on others for support
- There is definite and measurable progress being made
- Clearly defined goals in what we need to achieve in terms of fund raising
- National Congress coming up in Oct 2009 will focus attention on the current position of worldwide research
- We have recently set up a website www.retinaqld.org.au
- We have a skilled IT person to maintain and update the website
- We have a concept for a national photography competition in conjunction with the Congress – “if you knew you were loosing your sight, what is the thing you would like to keep as a visual memory – child, partner, scene, place, event”
She asked for a starting point, one or two things that she could start on to begin to bring their cause to the attention of more people. She asks, "How can I get people to feel what it’s like to be touched by blindness, or to be a parent and watch your child loose their sight."
I pointed her to the WeAreMedia Module 1: Should Your Nonprofit Embrace Social Media or Not? and develop an initial plan - perhaps using the soon to be finished template in Module 2. I, of course, loved the flickr competition idea and suggested that she consider a modest outcome and learning experiment. Here's a few steps.
1. Read the TechSoup article "How Nonprofits Can Get the Most Out of Flickr"
2. Come up with a list of questions of what she needs to know or learn about to design a contest that will be successful.
3. Read up on Flickr and look at different examples by nonprofits.
4. Ask other folks from nonprofits who have used Flickr to run contests. Clear guidelines are important - see this interview I did with folks from Nature Conservancy about their contest.
- Creative Commons Swag Contest
- and I won!
- Freedom from Oil Flickr Photo Contest
- March of Dimes Contest (features community voting)
- Nature Conservancy Photo Contest
- Matching Grant for Each Photo Uploaded
5. I'm hoping these flickr mavens will leave their best advice in the comments ..
Steve Bridger, Flickr for Good Evangelist
What advice would you offer Retina Australia?