A random photo to go with a random topic. Well, this one is sparked by an evening that I spent at Raleigh International all about trying to mobilise their 44,000 alumni. 37 attended the event which is suppose is better than none. It all starts with the meet and greet over a great quarter sandwich, followed by an introduction as to where the charity is and then the awkward splitting into teams. Followed by an even more awkward introduce yourself circle but then the fun began. People were cold at first but then it hit them. We are Raleigh Alumni. We. Want. To. Help.
So here we go. Lets dive in. The major limitation to this is that the Alumni are not connected. Connected to each other, connected to Raleigh or connected to their past projects that they worked on. Alumni want to know what happened in their communities, what happened to the 5 year old boy that loved like a brother and what became of the project that they worked on. People felt that the personal touch of going to that effort of being updated on their expedition would mean they would go the extra mile. Quarterly email there is say an expedition 13A Costa Rica and Nicaragua update?
That Raleigh feeling, its too hard to explain what it is so just think of that time you and a group of mates lived, worked, helped people and you felt on top of the world. Got it? Good. These people wanted to remain connected so that this feeling is still alive and they want to continue that through their lives. All they need is too be connected. So this all begs the interesting question, how do you connect 44,000 people who’s only connection is that they volunteered for a charity for 10 weeks or less.
How do they meet other alumnus, start projects, create their own form of Raleigh. Is it pub meet ups or formal events organised by Raleigh. Or is there a space and a time that the Alumni could come together in a Raleigh space so they could be a productive unit. These ideas start flowing back and forth throughout the room, round and round the circle they go. Until. They realise it needs to start with actually being able to contact all the relevant people. It turns out that there are only 13,000 email addresses. How do you find the remaining 31,000 remaining people? Social Media #findthe44000? The alumni challenge, am impossible challenge to mobilise people? Something that they can do every day to help out? Identifying key alumni in selected geographical locations to bring alumni together? Most people still keep in contact with their expedition/ICS teams from the 80s to the 2000s why cant they use there own contacts to mobilise these people. Again, people want to help.
However, with all of these ideas flying around there was a feeling that they didn’t know how to help and to a certain extent that Raleigh doesn’t know how they want them to help either. Could it be inspiring the next generation of venturers, passing on that Raleigh feeling to the next generation.
Now to separate the problem from one organisation. Is this a problem across the third sector, do people believe that one they have volunteered for an organisation that is it. Is there a willingness across the sector to help these limited funds organisations out by giving your time and knowledge. Finally now I will let you know what I think. I think people are lazy, whoops yes I said that. In general, people want how they help to fit around there own busy schedule, the question becomes what can I do to help in my spare 5 minuets here and there. Im going to take a roughly paraphrased quote from Arnie;
‘’Only sleep for 8 hours in every 24. You work for another 8. You travel for another 1 and you eat for another 2. This gives you 6 hours in every 24 to do what you are passionate about. Thats 144 hours a week. What you do with that time will define you as a person.’’
So you get the jist. When people say they have no time to help they definitely do. To bring this all back to Raleigh, how do you get 44,000 people to spend there 144 free hours a week not watching Netflix and starting to make a difference in the world?
Well that is a question for the higher ups at Raleigh, but what I know is; People. Want. To. Help.