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GuideStar Blog

Maximize Your Time Connecting Offline

Close-up of a person looking a smartphone at a conferenceI love the internet. It’s a weird and wondrous place that’s made my life better. I’ve met some of my best friends on the internet. I found my career (including my job at Candid) on the internet. I’ve learned so much online, whether informally through blogs and media channels or in more structured ways through online trainings and on-demand courses. I’m also thrilled to know you’ve found our particular corner of the internet on Candid’s grantspace.org.

As much as I love to point out our online content, which include knowledge base articles; on-demand, self-paced courses; podcasts; and videos, I wanted to send a reminder to all of you (and myself) of the value of in-person connections.

As I shared in my last post, Candid isn’t just an online resource. We have in-person locations across the country (and even a few locations globally). Many of our Funding Information Network (FIN) sites, especially our Training sites, are offering robust in-person training opportunities. These trainings are about more than quality content and all-star facilitation. These are your chances to meet colleagues in the field—your neighbors working to problem-solve challenges for your shared community, potential collaborators, and even potential funders. You never know who might sit in the chair next to you or join your small group breakout discussion. What’s certain is that the unique spark of a successful face-to-face meeting cannot be replicated online.

Look ahead through our calendar of trainings and special events, hosted at Candid locations or at FIN partner locations. Commit to a time to attend an in-person session next month, or even next quarter. And when you’re there, be intentional about how you’re showing up:

  • Practice a brief (a minute or less) elevator pitch about you or your work. There will likely be some opportunity for introductions, but don’t be that person who takes up all the allotted icebreaker time.

  • Keep that smartphone close by. There’s no need to disconnect completely. If your hosting organization, facilitator, or colleagues share their social media information, look them up, and give them a follow on the spot. That’s an easy way to stay connected after the event.

  • Own your experience—or lack thereof. You might have a knack for marketing, or hold some helpful insider knowledge on working with local corporate sponsors in your area. Sharing some tidbits of introductory knowledge can go far to support others as they look to learn. If you’re new to the scene, don’t hold back your questions.

Attending an in-person upcoming event at one of our locations? Tweet us at @GrantSpace to let us know! Happy learning, and happy connecting.

This post is reprinted from the GrantSpace Blog.

Kate TkacikKate Tkacik leads the direction, growth, and deeper engagement of the Funding Information Network, a network of more than 400 local resource centers that support their nonprofit and social entrepreneurs with access to Candid resources. She also oversees the GrantSpace website and Ask Us Online Librarian service. In her role, Kate channels her experience as a librarian, focused on connecting social sector professionals with the quality information and training resources they need to thrive.

Topics: Conferences In-Person Meetings In-Person Trainings Networking
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