Stoking a conversation

I was recently part of a professionally moderated salon (discussion) on the value of data analysis in deriving customer insights. I suggested that the topic was also interesting in a non-profit perspective if you look at donors or volunteers instead of customers. The moderator was equally interested in this direction and so the two of us are collaborating on a series of salons focused on the non-profit world.

The first salon is a discussion of the role of boards for non-profits. I have invited board members, executives from non profits and relevant consultants in this area. The format is informal with 12 or so people around a table for a couple of hours, with the conversation guided and light snacks provided.

I’ve been surprised at the uptake on this first salon with folks coming from across my city to a central location to be part of the conversation. Big causes and small, experienced board chairs and new board members are represented and I’ve been careful about the mix. Effective boards for non profits is a hot topic. I am hopeful that my follow up topics on volunteerism and donor management will be equally popular.

The interesting thing about working in this field is how fast and wide the invitation spread. It even reached some folks who do something similar and maybe I can just meld into theirs for efficiency.

So I write this not to solicit more attendees but instead to say, “it’s easy to stoke a conversation” and maybe we need more of these informal ways of sharing challenges and exchanging ideas.

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