"From Slacktivist to Activist" Session Highlights (#SMWTOslacktivist)

"From Slacktivist to Activist: Partners in change, one small act at a time" was held as part of Social Media Week Toronto on February 13, 2012.


  1. How does a Facebook “like” or a retweet on Twitter move your cause forward? The impact of these impulse actions can seem almost insignificant. But could these same people be among your non-profit organization’s strongest advocates? "From Slacktivist to Activist" looked at how these small acts can strengthen relationships and lead to greater collaboration with supporters.

    Speakers included:

    Kirstin Beardsley, Canada Helps

    Tierney Smith, TechSoup Canada 

    George Irish, Amnesty International 

    Boyd Neil, Hill and Knowlton Canada


    Karen Luttrell of Luttrell Communications

    Amy Sept of Nimbyist Communications 

  2. The panel speakers from yesterday's #SMWTOslacktivist event
    The panel speakers from yesterday's #SMWTOslacktivist event
  3. Non-profits facilitate collaboration (Karen Luttrell)

  4. Non-profit organizations empower change through collaboration; most of us are natural connectors who facilitate collaboration all the time in the course of our work. We create a vision, and then we sell that vision to different groups and bring them together to create change.

    Social media makes collaboration easier - not just to build awareness, but also to raise funds, recruit more volunteers, gather and empower communities, and bring activists together online and offline. 

    It’s our job to offer a series of real, practical and achievable steps that our potential supporters and allies can take. Steps to help them connect and to progress through a continuum of engagement.
  5. The process that leads to action (Amy Sept)

  6. There is a process people go through before they will take action for a cause:
    "I know" (awareness) >> "I understand" (understanding) >> "I believe" (belief) >> "I do" (action)

    Traditionally, we've relied on strong tactics like earned media (TV/radio/newspaper), internal tactics (newsletter,website.email list), and advertising and collateral materials -- if you had the resources to produce them. Today, we increasingly turn to social media, which enables small acts of support. How do you make these small actions count, and do they matter?

    From a Blackbaud/Hartsooke Institutes for Fundraising report: "There is an emerging body of evidence that those individuals who do ineract through two or more channels can be significantly more loyal." 
  7. Building Relationships - From Slacktivist to Activist

  8. Kirstin Beardsley of CanadaHelps spoke about CanadaHelps and their role in the non-profit community. She also shared some interesting information from a recent donor study, conducted by CanadaHelps and McMaster University.
  9. Tierney Smith of TechSoup Canada focused on two key messages: Build the activist, celebrate the slacktivist! TechSoup Canada helps non-profit organizations navigate tech resources and knowledge.