In the scramble for attention in digital spaces, nonprofit organizations find themselves facing the daunting task of churning out content that engages audiences at super-human speed — what in the marketing world would be called “owned media.” The tricky part is making content that the audience actually wants to consume and not just broadcasting the institution’s self-selected priorities. For most organizations, doing so requires a radical shift to staffing and process structures.
At the very core of everything we do is building community, and at the core of community is engagement. So when we talk about teams, we’re talking about something deeper than the technicians who flip the switches and crunch the numbers. Those technicians are vital to the digital operation of an organization, but if you want to build the community and shape a culture of engagement inside and outside of your organization you need to think a little differently. An engagement strategy is just another document if you aren’t going to back it up with real people.
When I began my internship at EchoDitto in May, I never would have thought a Hackathon could be a good thing. It sounded illicit and dangerous. I pictured a group of hackers getting together and breaking down firewalls to access data. Why would any group plan an event like this?