members vs volunteers

May 4th, 2008

I wonder if the RSA's vision doesn't make things even more complicated.  In one respect I am sure they are happy to remain as  subscription/member organisation for some, while for others they are encouraging volunteering in RSA projects.... but more vitally they are also encouraging and supporting members to volunteer outside of the organisation - in society more widely.

 In this way isn't the RSA embedding itself more effectively within society, rather than standing on its edge? Held together by the network of Fellows....

 When people ask me what the £130 is for I usually say 'to support the future'.

For nearly all the more charitable or interest based organisations membership as a rule includes generosity, in whatever form: support, money, time, effort, loyalty.

Thanks Laura for such an interesting discussion post! 


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members vs volunteers

May 2nd, 2008

It's interesting, I think some groups might prefer membership as it connotes support and ownership by those so labeled. Member supported radio, etc.

But in a way it also suggests a strange possesion of that person by the organization. These are OUR members. That exclusivity seems to be more focused on who we can capture and mange. It's a strange dynamic. To what extent is our work about supporting people, citizens trying to create impact in areas of great need and how much is our need (rightfully or otherwise) to be able to capture, count and mobilize them to support OUR work.

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why join a social network?

April 29th, 2008

Hello again,

 Just wanted to add that I chaired a panel debate at a conference last Friday that was hosted by the disability technology charity AbilityNet

The subject was disabled people's access to and participation in social networking.  Many social networks and social utilities are not very accessible to disabled people and as a result many of those who could benefit most are left out in the cold.

I'm also chair of a BSI technical committee that's about to produce a new British Standard for web accessibility. Given the times in which we live, access to social networking must be an essential theme within this (though we've yet to decide on the content of the standard at time of writing).  Do keep an eye on those developements as whatever RSA decides to do, access for disabled people should be considered a crucial element.


Julie Howell

Director of Accessibility, Fortune Cookie

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Leadership .... anyone?

April 25th, 2008

Thanks Michael for your response - big fan of your model.


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Leadership .... anyone?

April 24th, 2008

This is interesting stuff, and we need a framework for thinking about the nature of different relationships. Fascinating cross-overs. Some brands command strong affinity - e.g. Apple "customers" feel more like a club and community. Some organisations just treat members as consumer/subscribers.

I'm particularly interested in what attitude organisations have in making their "offer". Is it marketing or engagement? 

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