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How can charities, community groups and other not for profit organisations best embrace and harness the full potential benefits that digital platforms, tools and content offer? We asked digital communications specialist Harry Reid to share his 10 top tips 1,  Become informed – The core of ‘the digital thing’ is developing a sensibility about what each of the range of digital tools, when well deployed, can achieve. Make informed choices about which combination best serves your organisation’s aims. 2,  Operate strategically – Consider which digital channels you have the resources, particularly in staff or volunteers’ time, to exploit well. Don’t,…

By Sophie Mullen A founder partner of Go ON UK – the UK’s Digital Skills Alliance – Lloyds Bank UK has spelt out the ‘state of digital’ in Northern Ireland but it’s latest Business Digital Index makes grim reading. While Northern Ireland in many respects is becoming a leader in its own right in the digital sector, with technology giants making their home here, sadly the opposite seems to be true, according to this year’s Digital Skills Index, looking at SMEs and charities across the UK. It would be easy to mistake Northern Ireland as a digitally skilled nation. Belfast…

By Una Murphy: Images: Kevin Cooper, Photoline NUJ What can a former depressed, homeless, long haired drug dealer tell you about leadership? Paul Schmitz, now sporting a sharp hair cut, beard and natty smart bow tie, has the ear of US President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle. He is no longer a rebellious kid selling drugs to feed his addiction but the Chief Executive of Leading Inside Out and author of ‘Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up’. Mr Schmitz had come to Belfast to speak about building leadership ‘muscle’. It is not good enough, he said, to…

With innovation charity Nesta predicting that crowdfunding could be worth £4.7 billion to UK charities in 2016 and statutory funding stalling or being cut, digital communications consultant Harry Reid examines if it can be a potential lifesaving part of a voluntary organisation’s funding efforts Indiegogo sounded to me like a really bad Eurovision act the first time I came across the moniker about five years ago. Yet rather than a nul points scoring group of Norwegian would-be hipsters, checking it out online I discovered it was something called a crowdfunding platform that had been launched in 2008. Back…

By Barry Adams, Guest editor for VIEW’s Community Goes Digital issue Digital has become the buzzword of this decade. Everything has to be digital, and we all have to become digitally empowered citizens. Few people ever stop to think about what all this digital malarkey actually means. We’re so caught up in the hype surrounding digital technologies, we can’t see the wood from the trees. This is especially true in the community and voluntary sector. “We have to go digital!” some poor board member proclaims, having read an alarmist article in a publication about how lagging behind in digital is…

By Brian Pelan, editor, VIEW It felt like one of the many European cites as Belfast came out to celebrate Culture Night. Hundreds of people ambled through the city with one thought on their minds – to party, enjoy the music and dance the night away. Musicians and artists were out in force on a night when they truly own the city. As darkness fell and it was time to make my way home, I overheard one young woman saying to her friend: “Why can’t it be like this every month?” Amen to that.

By Una Murphy HEALTH, happiness, well being and empowerment are the potential social impact benefits to the community from the growth of social enterprises, a Social Enterprise Means Business With Purpose master class in Belfast has heard. Speakers Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council, Alan Herron, a PlayBoard NI director and Stephen McGarry a manager with Gauge NI addressed the ‘Social Impact Equation’ They were asked by VIEWdigital community media to share one thing they felt social enterprises could make a difference. Ms Wylie said skills development and getting people into jobs was one of the main areas…

The Bounce Arts Festival got off to a bouncy start today at Belfast City Hall thanks to to artist Simon Jones and his big bouncy castle that makes sounds when you jump on it. The Bounce festival takes place from today until September 6  with a mix of music, theatre, comedy, circus, poetry, photography and dance from some of the UK and Ireland’s top disabled and deaf artists. Chris Ledger, Director of the Arts and Disability Forum said the aim of the festival was to showcase the very best work around, all produced by artists who are disabled or deaf. She added:…

Castle Coole, in County Fermanagh is set to be showcased on the big screen as Miss Julie, starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain hits movie houses across the UK from September 4. Filmed solely at National Trust locations in Fermanagh, the movie is based on August Strindberg’s play, and adapted for screen by Liv Ullmann. It stars an award winning cast including Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar), Colin Farrell (True Detective, In Bruges) and Samantha Morton (Control, Minority Report). Miss Julie was filmed in 2013 at the National Trust’s Castle Coole which is widely recognised as one of Ireland’s…

 By Una Murphy, co-founder VIEWdigital At VIEWdigital community media we believe in ‘good stories well  told’. We are passionate about unearthing human stories that contribute to enlighten the public on critical social issues. Through bespoke training we harness individuals’ potentials to tell their own stories in a compelling manner. VIEWdigital was co-founded by two journalists: Una Murphy and Brian Pelan. We publish VIEW digital social affairs magazine on VIEWdigital http://viewdigital.org online news site and distribute printed copies of VIEW magazine free to libraries in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. VIEWdigital also hosts training by seasoned digital and…

Localgiving, a leading membership organisation for local charities and community groups in the UK, has announced two exciting opportunities, exclusively for local Northern Ireland charities and community groups. Localgiving’s mission is to safeguard the sustainability of the local voluntary sector by empowering charitable organisations to connect with supporters, fundraise online and take control of their future. Since the organisation’s inception it has assisted more than 4,000 charities to raise over £10m across the UK. Localgiving is keen to encourage groups from Northern Ireland to become involved with its growing network of community focussed, locally embedded organisations. As part of this…

The average kilometre of beach in Northern Ireland has more than 5,000 pieces of litter on it. This stark assessment has been issued by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, following a three-year survey. The charity has been counting the litter on beaches from Lough Foyle to Carlingford Lough for the past three years, and the 2015 results are the worst yet. On the 14 reference beaches, an average of 1,500 bits of plastic, 425 plastic drinks bottles and 180 cotton buds per kilometre were observed. At least 80 percent of the litter was made of plastic and likely to…

Great turnout in Belfast for our Digital Stories Workshop led by VIEWdigital’s Una Murphy, far left, and Jennifer Jones, far right, from the University of the West of Scotland. Thanks to all those organisations who attended, including Clanmill Housing, Cancer Focus NI, Supporting Communities NI, Voices of Young People In Care and Liveability UK

Full house today at the two VIEWdigital infographics workshops given by trainer Sophie Mullen. They took place in the Midtown Business Centre in Talbot Street, Belfast. Among the organisations who attended were the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Citizens Advice, the NI Chest, Heart and Stroke Association, Clanmill Housing, The Special Educational Needs Advice Centre, Supporting Communities, Cancer Focus and Belfast Healthy Cities

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