ECF 2014: learn and share with other experts

NGOs. Digital. Campaigning. Fundraising. Leadership. Future.

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.

Overview: The four streams of ECF 2014

  1. eCampaigning (ECF): This stream is a must-attend for anybody doing campaigning since digital is now essential for most campaigns. Whether that’s using mobile in developing countries, setting up online petitions for the first time or joining their data from paper petitions, direct mail, SMS and the web.
  2. eFundraising (EFF): Learn what really works and what doesn’t for online giving. We’ll be taking a look at new techniques for fundraising in the digital age by people who’ve been there, tried them out, and know what works.
  3. Digital leadership (DLF): It’s tough being a digital manager in an organisation out-of-sync with digital realities and evolution. This stream is a must for anybody striving to bring their organisation the full benefits of the digital age. Learn from others’ experiences of ‘influencing upwards and outwards’ to drive change internally and externally.
  4. Future Forum (FF): Inspired by the relentlessly popular session ‘The Next Big Thing’ requested every year by participants, the Future stream will give us more space to discuss what’s around the corner, including how to run a hackday, curating content that influences, latest developments in design and code, going beyond petitions, crowd-sourcing, what you need to know about privacy and security and more.

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.



Training Day: Tue. Apr. 8, London, UK

09:30-17:30 eCampaigning Overview
Duane Raymond, FairSay
More info. | Book now
Campaigning Master Class
Chris Rose, Campaign Strategy
More info. | Book now

Arrival: Wed. Apr 9, Oxford, UK

09:30-19:30 Non-ECF Oxford Events:
19:30-20:30 Dinner: Kick-start connections and conversations (Keble College dining room)
20:30-21:30 ECF Community Leadership workshop: discussion and guidance for repeat ECF event participants to help develop their leadership skills and profile at the event and in the community by taking a more prominent role in the running of open space sessions at ECF 2014. Keble College bar
(if not involved in workshop)
21:30+ Connect to kick-start connections and conversations (Keble College pub)

ECF 2014 Day One: Thu. Apr 10, Oxford, UK

Sponsored by
Engaging Networks Care2 Blue State Digital More Onion Wagtail by Torchbox GatherFairSay
Time Digital Leadership Campaigning Fundraising Future Forum
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 2014 Opening Speakers (Room: O'Reilly Theatre):
  1. Rethinking Change and NGOs as Social Labs,  Zaid Hassan, Reos Partners
  2. Winning a long-haul campaign: Arms Trade Treaty, Anna MacDonald, Oxfam

Digital Leadership Forum
(Room: Music Room)
Introduction: Overview of the programme and aims.
Group exercises.

Failures and lessons learned Tracy Frauzel, Greenpeace Mobilisation Lab

Open Space Introduction and speed meeting
11:00 Coffee/tea break

Group discussion and exercises

Open Space agenda setting (Room: O'Reilly Theatre)
11:45 Group discussion and exercises

Open Space session 1: Peer-to-peer discussions Suggested topics have come from input. Actual topics depend on what people 'claim' (see methodology).

Pre-allocated sessions:

Input into the development of a 'surveillance society' theatre experience with Double Blink

12:45 Lunch (dining room)
Time Digital Leadership Campaigning Fundraising Future Forum
13:45 Presentation: Why hasn’t Digital transformed the social sector? Joe Saxton, nfpSynergy
(Room: Douglas Price)
Panel: Engaging Politicians
(Room: O'Reilly Theatre)
Panel: Digital Fundraising Strategy
(Room: Seminar 3)
  • Katherine Segal (UK Labour Party),
  • Rachel Collinson (Engaging Networks),
  • Lucy Gower (Lucy Innovation)

From Consumer to Citizen: by Jon Alexander, New Citizenship project
(Room: Seminar 2)

14:45 Leading change, theory of quick wins
Group work, preparation for a presentation
(Room: Music Room)
Panel: Preparing for Elections
(Room: O'Reilly Theatre)
  • Chair: Sarah Allan, Friends of the Earth
  • Kirsty McNeill (former No. 10 Advisor),
  • Jonathan Purchase (Engaging Networks),
  • Tim Norton (Essential Media, Australia)
Digital social giving experiences - can they revitalise fundraising? How did Acorn Overseas benefit?
with Natasha Whiting (Acorn Overseas) and David Erasmus (Givey)
(Room: Douglas Price)
Snowden 101: Mike Harris (Don't Spy on Us), Matt Rogerson (Guardian) Update & implications
(Room: Seminar 2)
16:00 Coffee/tea break
16:15 Groups present their strategies for managing change in their organisations. Summary of the day (Room: Music Room)

Open Space session 2see methodology

Pre-allocated sessions:

Workshop: Communicating achievements and value, Andy Schofield, Transformational Index

17:30 Optional mentoring session Ignite-Style Talks (7 min. each) (Room: O'Reilly Theatre)
18:15 Day one formal agenda ends
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) & Care2 Europe Impact Awards
21:00+ Keble College Pub

ECF 2014 Day Two: Fri. Apr 11, Oxford, UK

Time Digital LeadershipCampaigning Fundraising Future Forum
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 Day two welcome, agenda review & Open Space agenda setting (O'Reilly Theatre)
09:30 Presentation: Digital Strategies Blue State Digital presentation and discussion 09:30 eCampaigning on the inside: social media for organisational change
Liam Barrington-Bush, More Like People
(Room: O'Reilly Theatre)
09:30 Fundraising via Campaigning
Glyn Thomas, WDM
(Room: Douglas Price)
09:30 Digital Risks and Security for Activists: Cases and Tips, Dirk Slater, Fabriders
(Room: Seminar 2)
10:15 Open Space session 3: see methodology
11:15 Coffee/tea break

11.15 start Feedback - giving and receiving:

  • Theory
  • Body language
  • Exercises

Managing others - up, sideways and down

  • Theory
  • Exercise

Open Space session 4: see methodology


12:30 Lunch (dining room)
Time Digital Leadership Campaigning Fundraising Future Forum

Presentation + Q&A: Building stronger relationships between Digital and Senior management, Matt Wright, Deputy Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns at Shelter.

Group discussion and personal action planning

14.30 Discussion and exercises on influencing, feedback, communication style.

15.30 Summary of the day

Campaigns in Africa
(Room: Seminar 2)

Infographics for Fundraising and Campaigning
Lindsay Noble, Designer
(including on Information is Beautiful)

Going mobile - How MSF learned from experience in 2013 and increased digital giving by 91% James Kliffen, MSF UK Head of Fundraising

(Room: Douglas Price)

Crowdsourcing for NGOs - How lightweight digital volunteers can support NGO campaigning and service delivery. Case studies from the UK and Uganda, and general principles to consider. by Chris Preist, University of Bristol

(Room: O'Reilly Theatre)
14:30 Open Space session 5: see methodology
15:45 Coffee/tea break
16:00 Digital Leadership Forum closing Group Activity
16:15 Panel: Digital Civil Society in 2024 and beyond
16:45 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 streams

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

A long recession and the rise of digital has means that fundraisers are struggling to sustain and increase donations from traditional channels and to bring in new generations of donors. Participants in the eFundraising stream 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

Future Forum: Trends, technology, threats

The Future Forum is to explores the emerging issues facing NGOs and prepare participants for facing the future. It organised around three areas

Trends and Ideas

  1. Future gazing
  2. Speed pitch your idea / product /technique
  3. 6 things to attract attention to your blog
  4. Social change and innovation: continuous learning

Technology and Design

  1. What are the skills that staff need to have in 2015?
  2. What is missing? Where is the tool that does X?
  3. Why won't Facebook stop fiddling with it platform?
  4. Big data: what does it mean for civil society?
  5. Internet of Things: is it relevant to civil society?
  6. DIY Hardware: what is possible?
  7. Drones and micro satellites: risks and opportunities

Threats and Challenges (led by Open Rights Group)

  1. Big Brother Surveillance 2014: what it means for you, your organisation and what you can do about it.
    • Snowden 101: complete update on state surveillance and what it means for e-campaigners
    • US internet services: problems, alternatives, limitations of alternatives, where is the balance?
    • Mobile campaigning, data collection, location, sensors, and other specific issues
    • Information security for campaigners and organisations operating in developing / international/ hostile context (Tactical Technology)
    • Information security for campaigning organisations (supporters data, monitoring of campaign activities, security for partners abroad)
    • Privacy around development projects (Engine Room and Privacy International are working on this, separately)
    • Showcase of practical creative examples and tools (e.g.
    • Crypto party
    • Supporting the surveillance campaign and coalition

  2. Recurring Challenges
    • Defamation
    • Copyright, spoofing and parody
    • Handling supporting data (inc. Facebook custom data)

  3. Emerging Threats and Challenges
    • Lobbying in a democracy: UK 'Gagging' law vs. US Super PACs
    • Can large NGOS compete again new platforms and single issue campaigns?
    • Are we too reliant on petitions and emails with over emotive headlines?
    • Where should NGO efforts need to go: challenges from beyond the sector
    • Do we need mainstream media anymore?

Accepted Participants

Open Space Topics

Most open space topics are proposed (by you and others) at ECF. A few are proposed and scheduled in advance due to the proposer's availability.

  1. Make Poverty History Australia: Still going strong: how and why. Tim Norton, Essential Media Australia

ECF History

ECF started as the eCampaigning Forum event in 2002 organised by Duane Raymond, then Oxfam's eCampaigning Manager. It evolved into not only a highly anticipated and influential annual event, but also 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 2014 is organised around key aspects of modern organisations: digital leadership, campaigning, fundraising and the looking to the emerging future. 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,