ECF 2015: NGO Peer Knowledge Exchange

Digital. Campaigning. Fundraising. Volunteering. Leadership. Where thought leaders come to learn.

At ECF, you set your agenda and we help you find others who share it. The few speakers and panels help provoke thought. The result: you learn more and connect with more people. This is the way events should be.

Participant Profile

  1. Campaigners now depend on digital as an integral part of their campaigning. Whether that’s using mobile in developing countries, influencing decision makers via email or online petitions, combining data to identify visualise issues or crowd-sourcing research or donations. Outreach led by Duane Raymond of FairSay.

  2. Fundraisers are increasingly realising that combining fundraising with campaigning provides new fundraising possibilities, new campaigning capabilities and excellent returns. While digital fundraising still makes a secondary contribution to most organisations, it is growing fast, engaging younger supporters and seen as increasingly important. By connecting and sharing with other fundraisers and people in other roles, people are learning how to work together to achieve shared goals. Outreach led by Lucy Gower of Lucy Innovation.

  3. Digital leaders are digital managers/innovators who provide digital expertise across the organisation. To bring the full benefits and opportunities of the digital age to their organisation, they need to learn from others’ experiences of managing change internally and externally. Outreach led by Branislava Milosevic of Digital Leadership Ltd.

  4. Volunteer coordinators/managers are the latest addition to ECF. Volunteering is a key supporter activity in the same way as activism and donating with substantial common ground. In addition, since volunteer managers work to recruit and coordinate highly involved supporters, campaigners and fundraisers need to work with them while volunteer managers need to learn how to engage and mobilise digitally. So there is an opportunity for a great exchange at ECF 2015. Outreach led by A.S. Mani of Reach Volunteering UK.

ECF runs on ‘Chatham House Rules’ (= nothing is attributed without permission) so everybody can freely talk about their failures and successes.

Have we missed something that you’re itching to hear about? Come along and suggest the session you want.




19:30 Dinner: Kick-start connections and conversations with workshop/training participants (Location TBC)

Training Day: Wed. Apr. 8, Oxford, UK


ECF Leadership Briefing: This informal pre-dinner session will offer those with experience of ECF or other peer-exchange or Open Space type events

  • A chance to share ideas and tips on successful Open Space groups
  • Review the potential agenda topics and themes that emerge from the participant questionnaires with a fun topic-sorting exercise
  • Help start to shape the ECF agenda.
Open to all, though a working knowledge of Open Space methodology will be assumed.
19:30-20:30 Dinner: Kick-start connections and conversations with ECF participants (Keble College dining room)
21:00+ Connect to kick-start connections and conversations (Keble College pub)

ECF 2015 Day One: Thu. Apr 9, Oxford, UK

Sponsored by
Engaging Networks Care2 FairSay
Time Summary
07:30 Morning walk or run for early risers in beautiful Oxford or Oxford University Parks. Meet at Keble College main reception
08:00 Participants in on-site accommodation: Breakfast & registration & discussion (dining room)
08:45 Participants in off-site accommodation: registration, coffee/tea, informal discussions
09:00 Welcome, introduction and agenda review (Room: O'Reilly Theatre)
09:15 ECF 2015 Opening Speakers (Room: O'Reilly Theatre):
  1. TBC
  2. TBC

Introduction to Open Space

10:30 Coffee/tea break
11:00 Open Space Agenda Setting

Open Space Knowledge Exchange A

12:30 Lunch (dining room)
13:30 Peer Presentations
14:00 Open Space Knowledge Exchange B
15:15 Coffee/tea break
15:45 Open Space Knowledge Exchange C
17:00 Open Space Knowledge Exchange D
18:00 Ignite Talks and Care2 Impact Awards Winner Presentation
18:30 Speed Pitching & Apero
Service providers and consultants tell you what they offer, answer your questions and/or take your feedback. 5 minutes per table then rotate. Free drinks (wine, beer, soft drinks)
19:30 Dinner (Dining room)
20:30+ Keble College Pub

ECF 2015 Day Two: Fri. Apr 10, Oxford, UK

Time Summary
07:30 Morning walk or run for early risers in beautiful Oxford or Oxford University Parks. Meet at Keble College main reception
08:00 Participants in on-site accommodation: Breakfast & registration & discussion (dining room)
08:45 Participants in off-site accommodation: registration, coffee/tea, informal discussions
09:00 Day two agenda review, pulse check and agenda setting
09:45 Open Space Knowledge Exchange E
11:00 Coffee/tea break

Open Space Knowledge Exchange F

12:30 Lunch (dining room)

Peer Presentations

14:00 Open Space Knowledge Exchange G
15:15 Coffee/tea break
15:45 Open Space Knowledge Exchange H
17:00 Closing Session (Room: O'Reilly Theatre)
17:30 Event formally ends
19:00+ Dinner and drinks in Oxford: Self-organised for those staying around

How the agenda works

Many times when you reflect on the conference you realise that the best bits were chatting to people during the coffee break or in a pub. So at ECF, slots (time and room) are provided to have your own discussions with other people at the conference without feeling that you are missing scheduled sessions. In fact, that is the majority of the event. Its called open space (see the methodology).

ECF Themes

Digital Leadership: Making change happen when you're not the CEO

NGOs are struggling tp apply digital in ways that advance their purpose and objectives. Digital managers have the expertise but not the authority and resources. Senior managers don't have the vision or expertise. The Digital Leadership Forum aims to bridge this gap and usher in 21st century-ready organisations.

Direct the Rider, motivate the Elephant & shape the Path

The title of the 2014 Digital Leadership Forum is taken from a book by Chip and Dan Heath “Switch: How to change things when change is hard” because it truthfully represents the task facing many digital leads in non-for-profit organisations today.

With the development and mainstreaming of Digital across organisations and the increased investment and activity in this area, many digital leads have found themselves in a situation where they are spearheading the process of organisational change. Neither skilled nor positioned in the organisational hierarchy to do this, digital leads have ended up on the wrong side of the traditional guardians of IT, data, finance and supporter care processes and technology.

The Digital Leadership Forum (DLF) provides digital leads with tools for dealing with change from their position of (at best) a middle manager in an organisation. It’s about equipping you, digital leaders, (the Rider) with the tools which will help you understand how other people in an organisation (the Elephant) see your vision (the Path), and what you need to do to ensure their buy-in.

Each day will comprise of one or more of the following elements:

  • Peer exchange: your fellow digital leaders share their change challenge and how they have been dealing with it/have dealt with it
  • Open space discussion: when participants are able to choose topics they want to discuss/seek advice about/crowdsource a solution
  • Challenge: A guest presenter in a senior management position will challenge you as digital leads by talking about what in their experience works/doesn’t work with achieving organisation’s digital vision
  • Practical sessions: Facilitator(s) who help organisations manage change will provide you with tools and advice on how to manage and participate in this process

eCampaigning: Innovations in change strategies and tactics

Campaigning is as important as ever - if not more so. Meanwhile the digital revolution is transforming the way we work and play. So it is only natural it will change the way we campaign.

While the principles stay the same, digital tools and networks create new campaigning possibilities. Campaigners have always used the technology available to them, so come and connect and share with campaigners using todays technologies.

eFundraising: New opportunities for growing income

The dramatic adoption of digital technology has changed people expectations and behaviours. Fundraisers are struggling to sustain and increase donations from traditional channels and to bring in new generations of donors. Participants interested in fundraising will explore how to reverse this trend, including:

  • Glimpses of the future: success and failure stories of digital fundraising
  • Integrating fundraising with campaigning to help achieve everyones goals
  • Digital fundraising strategies
  • New channels: digital platforms, social media and mobile - what is worth the effort?
  • Trends in the shifting patterns and expectations of donors
  • Structural challenges within organisations

ECF 2014 Participants (2015 list added shortly)

ECF History

ECF started as the eCampaigning Forum event in 2002 organised by Duane Raymond, then Oxfam's eCampaigning Manager. It evolved a highly anticipated and influential annual event plus a dynamic and highly active ECF global community that grows daily and has inspired similar events around the world like re:campaign in Berlin and Fwd in Australia.

Over the last decade, digital has shifted from a specialist role and an essential tool in campaigning and organisations. ECF has constantly been ahead of this shift, and in 2015 is organised around key aspects of modern organisations: digital leadership, campaigning, fundraising, volunteering and looking to the emerging trends. The aim is to bring together increasing diverse participants who share broadly similar goals around improving our world and connect them, help them learn from one another and inspire them to think beyond their current practices, roles and plans.

by Duane Raymond published Feb 04, 2014,