Your Connections Are Your Resources

So You Think You Can’t Network supports people to develop the power to involve their communities in the things that matter to them. You can experience this live in action at the buzzing #SYTYCN workshops, for example at The American Book Center in Amsterdam and at company events around the world.

In November, #SYTYCN was part of a two-day IT event, where we delivered six 45 minute workshops. Our job was to support the people in the organization to let each other know what they are up to and need. The workshop is all about practicing – practicing formulating a need, practicing letting people know what you need, practicing asking who others may know who may be of value to you. Some people initially find it difficult to think of a need. But once the groups of four colleagues start talking together, there is no stopping them and there are needs galore. Anything from work-related needs, to how to renovate a sailing boat. The participants love asking and being asked.

In that same week Netsheila delivered a fundraising workshop to an international non-profit organization. We created a base for the workshop using key exercises from the book, and explored the intricate links between networking and fundraising. As someone who is often engaged by organizations in fundraising activities I have asked many activists and lobbyists what they think the purpose of fundraising is.  Most people, I discovered, think the purpose of fundraising is to generate grants. This is a misconception. Fundraising, like networking, is a transformational and not a transactional activity. It is about meeting each other’s needs. A grant-giving organization has needs often similar to the needs of the non-profit organization and whatever the subject matter, the needs can be boiled down to ‘making the world a better place’. To make the world a better place we need to work together. With this approach, all the colleagues quickly understood that they all had the potential to be fundraisers, and that many networks they belong to can contribute to the fund-generating activities of their organization. As one participant said: “It was an eye-opener for many colleagues, to realize just how many networks they participate in. The exercises were simple, and very useful.”

And there are many workshops to come

#SYTYCN is about developing yourself as someone who can get what you need, with the help of the people you know and the people they know. This month Netsheila will start delivering network training to refugees in the city of Zaanstad, as they embark on the road to becoming fully-documented residents of the Netherlands. We hope to quickly expand this training to many more refugees in many more cities in the coming months. There is urgency: the time for people to develop the capacity to live fulfilled lives is now, and networks support them in that pursuit.

We at Netsheila know a lot about communities and how communities can transform the world. Communities can make a difference in large corporations, in internationally operating non-profit organizations, in schools, in cities. Nothing delights us more than to support you in becoming great at involving your communities in the things that you find important.

Lin McDevitt-Pugh

Lin McDevitt-Pugh is principle of Netsheila and available as a speaker. For speaking inquiries please contact ZijSpreekt. If you would like a workshop with your organization or company, call Lin on +31 6 150 48468.

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