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264 blogs
  • 07 Dec 2016
    The local voluntary sector consists of thousands of groups with widely varying causes, missions and activities. Local Charities day, taking place on December 16th, will celebrate these amazing groups and draw attention to some of the challenges they are facing.  In this blog we look at what makes the UK’s local voluntary sector so unique and valuable - exploring the characteristics they share and the vital, yet too often overlooked, services that they provide to their communities. In 2015 we produced our first Local charity and community group sustainability Report. In this report we identified a number of characteristics that make the sector so special.   1) Knowledge of local needs Many Local charities are formed as a direct result of a specific local need or cause; be it saving a community centre, conserving a local place of interest etc.  These causes rarely fall into the remit of larger national or international charities as therefore, without these charities such issues would often go unaddressed entirely. A good example of this charity type is Downham Market & District Heritage Society - a group that exists to conserve and display objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Other local charities address wider societal issues (homelessness, disability advice, refugee support, LGBTQ  issues). These groups have a strong crossover with the work of well know national charities and groups. However, in most cases this crossover is complementary.  While more heavily resourced national or international groups excel at wide scale campaigning, infrastructural support etc, the value of grassroots groups lies in their acute knowledge of how these wider issues play out at a local level and how they are best addressed. HERe NI work to combat social exclusion and discrimination among the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland.  Their acute knowledge of the specific issues facing LGBT+ women in Northern Ireland enable them to provide personalised support and bespoke awarenss raising. 2) Strong Trusting Relationships As well as understanding the needs of their community, the fact that local groups are often deeply embeddedness in their local community enables them to foster strong trusting relationships with their beneficiaries.  The value of these relationships, though difficult to quantify, cannot be underestimated. One clear benefit to these close relationships is that it enables these groups to access harder to reach parts of their community. Another advantage is that people often feel a strong attachment, even sense of ownership over local groups. Many local charities are not simply service providers but a key element of the fabric and character of their communities. These informal community bonds would be impossible to replicate.  However, the difference they make to the quality of service provided by groups and the resulting benefit to their service users can be huge. 3) Flexibility and reaction time Local charities and small charities should not be treated as synonymous – for example many hospices have a local or regional remit but have medium to large turnover.  However, given that 95% of local charities have an annual income of under £1 Million there is a strong crossover. One of the benefits of being small is that these groups are often far less bureaucratic and, as a consequence, more flexible and able to react  quickly. When coupled with local charities’ acute knowledge or their local demographics and resources, this often means that local groups are able to provide support quicker, more targeted support than larger, national counterparts. One example is the Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Boxing Day 2015 Flood appeal. On Boxing Day 2016 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks devastating businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded – launching a fundraising appeal that received national attention. Of course,  there are numerous other reasons why the local voluntary  sector is so valuable. This is a sector that continues to amaze us with its resourcefulness, passion and innovation. On Local Charities Day (16th December) make it your mission to find a charity near you and see what you can do to support their cause.   Also keep your eyes open for our 2016 Local Charity and Community Report released on the day.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha   
    3728 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The local voluntary sector consists of thousands of groups with widely varying causes, missions and activities. Local Charities day, taking place on December 16th, will celebrate these amazing groups and draw attention to some of the challenges they are facing.  In this blog we look at what makes the UK’s local voluntary sector so unique and valuable - exploring the characteristics they share and the vital, yet too often overlooked, services that they provide to their communities. In 2015 we produced our first Local charity and community group sustainability Report. In this report we identified a number of characteristics that make the sector so special.   1) Knowledge of local needs Many Local charities are formed as a direct result of a specific local need or cause; be it saving a community centre, conserving a local place of interest etc.  These causes rarely fall into the remit of larger national or international charities as therefore, without these charities such issues would often go unaddressed entirely. A good example of this charity type is Downham Market & District Heritage Society - a group that exists to conserve and display objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Other local charities address wider societal issues (homelessness, disability advice, refugee support, LGBTQ  issues). These groups have a strong crossover with the work of well know national charities and groups. However, in most cases this crossover is complementary.  While more heavily resourced national or international groups excel at wide scale campaigning, infrastructural support etc, the value of grassroots groups lies in their acute knowledge of how these wider issues play out at a local level and how they are best addressed. HERe NI work to combat social exclusion and discrimination among the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland.  Their acute knowledge of the specific issues facing LGBT+ women in Northern Ireland enable them to provide personalised support and bespoke awarenss raising. 2) Strong Trusting Relationships As well as understanding the needs of their community, the fact that local groups are often deeply embeddedness in their local community enables them to foster strong trusting relationships with their beneficiaries.  The value of these relationships, though difficult to quantify, cannot be underestimated. One clear benefit to these close relationships is that it enables these groups to access harder to reach parts of their community. Another advantage is that people often feel a strong attachment, even sense of ownership over local groups. Many local charities are not simply service providers but a key element of the fabric and character of their communities. These informal community bonds would be impossible to replicate.  However, the difference they make to the quality of service provided by groups and the resulting benefit to their service users can be huge. 3) Flexibility and reaction time Local charities and small charities should not be treated as synonymous – for example many hospices have a local or regional remit but have medium to large turnover.  However, given that 95% of local charities have an annual income of under £1 Million there is a strong crossover. One of the benefits of being small is that these groups are often far less bureaucratic and, as a consequence, more flexible and able to react  quickly. When coupled with local charities’ acute knowledge or their local demographics and resources, this often means that local groups are able to provide support quicker, more targeted support than larger, national counterparts. One example is the Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Boxing Day 2015 Flood appeal. On Boxing Day 2016 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks devastating businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded – launching a fundraising appeal that received national attention. Of course,  there are numerous other reasons why the local voluntary  sector is so valuable. This is a sector that continues to amaze us with its resourcefulness, passion and innovation. On Local Charities Day (16th December) make it your mission to find a charity near you and see what you can do to support their cause.   Also keep your eyes open for our 2016 Local Charity and Community Report released on the day.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha   
    Dec 07, 2016 3728
  • 28 Nov 2016
    Thanks to generous funding from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Localgiving has been running a Regional Development Programme in the North West of England which has been supporting local charities who are engaged in projects which benefit the environment, or help people to engage with the natural world. Eligible charities have received a free membership to Localgiving, ongoing one-to-one support in their online fundraising activities, and up to £500 of the money they raise online is matched through funding provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery and their players. This #GivingTuesday (Tuesday 29th November) we’re highlighting some of the fantastic projects and charities who have benefited from the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, without whom none of the below would have been possible. Ruth Hannah, Gorgeous Gorse Hill Gorgeous Gorse Hill is a small community group in Greater Manchester. We’re made up of local residents, who got together to improve our local area through the use of art, planting and flowers. We believe that positive changes to a local area can benefit the health and wellbeing of local people, by making residents feel more connected to their area, more empowered, and that by making positive changes, we can help reduce negative behaviour. Being able to fundraise online, and the match funding that’s been available, have been very useful for our group, and has helped in a number of ways. It’s freed up time for volunteers who would usually try to raise funds through completing grant applications, which can be time consuming, and it has also freed up our use of funds, as a lot of grant applications won't allow charities to funds for core costs, which for us is vital i.e. insurance, or the cost of shed rental. Even hot drinks on a cold winter day during a full day of planting can sometimes not be covered. With our unrestricted income from Localgiving and matched funds from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, we no longer need to worry as much about covering these costs. This has allowed us to focus on what we really want to focus on – making Gorse Hill Gorgeous! The wider support offered from Localgiving has been great. Joe’s suggestions about ways to fundraise have opened our eyes and the amount we have raised and then had match funded has been incredible. Anita Morris, Hack Back Hack Back CIC is a small social enterprise that aims to improve the mental health and well-being of people of all ages throughout the North West. What makes us different is that we combine psychological therapies with interaction and engagement with nature, and specifically with Birds of Prey.  Taking part in the programme has enabled us to raise funds by reaching a much wider audience. We have been able to use social media to inform people about our fundraising and the ease of the process has meant that we have been successful in raising funds. In addition supporters were able to set up their own fundraising page to personalise their support for Hack Back. We have learned that it is important to get your message across succinctly through social media and that it must be easy for people to donate, which was achieved through Localgiving.  The funding, both from our donors and then matched by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, has made a massive difference to us. We have been able to deliver one to one sessions in the home of a child with autism, we have visited a terminally ill lady in her own home, we have been able to visit a young boy with a rare form of bone cancer several times and we have been able to deliver an anti-bullying project in a local school. Without this funding all of this would have been very difficult to achieve, and the real difference the funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has made is that it has enabled us to deliver projects and services we may have had to decline previously, even though there is a clear need.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- These are just two examples among many of the fantastic work done by local charities which the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has helped. This #GivingTuesday, we thought it would be a good time to look back, and to reflect on the real difference this support has helped to make, and to also take the time to say thank you as well. So this one goes out to all the players (of the People’s Postcode Lottery) out there – THANKS! There’s still opportunities to get involved in this programme, so if you are or know of a charity who could benefit, please do look here for further information.   
    5104 Posted by Joe Burns
  • Thanks to generous funding from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Localgiving has been running a Regional Development Programme in the North West of England which has been supporting local charities who are engaged in projects which benefit the environment, or help people to engage with the natural world. Eligible charities have received a free membership to Localgiving, ongoing one-to-one support in their online fundraising activities, and up to £500 of the money they raise online is matched through funding provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery and their players. This #GivingTuesday (Tuesday 29th November) we’re highlighting some of the fantastic projects and charities who have benefited from the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, without whom none of the below would have been possible. Ruth Hannah, Gorgeous Gorse Hill Gorgeous Gorse Hill is a small community group in Greater Manchester. We’re made up of local residents, who got together to improve our local area through the use of art, planting and flowers. We believe that positive changes to a local area can benefit the health and wellbeing of local people, by making residents feel more connected to their area, more empowered, and that by making positive changes, we can help reduce negative behaviour. Being able to fundraise online, and the match funding that’s been available, have been very useful for our group, and has helped in a number of ways. It’s freed up time for volunteers who would usually try to raise funds through completing grant applications, which can be time consuming, and it has also freed up our use of funds, as a lot of grant applications won't allow charities to funds for core costs, which for us is vital i.e. insurance, or the cost of shed rental. Even hot drinks on a cold winter day during a full day of planting can sometimes not be covered. With our unrestricted income from Localgiving and matched funds from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, we no longer need to worry as much about covering these costs. This has allowed us to focus on what we really want to focus on – making Gorse Hill Gorgeous! The wider support offered from Localgiving has been great. Joe’s suggestions about ways to fundraise have opened our eyes and the amount we have raised and then had match funded has been incredible. Anita Morris, Hack Back Hack Back CIC is a small social enterprise that aims to improve the mental health and well-being of people of all ages throughout the North West. What makes us different is that we combine psychological therapies with interaction and engagement with nature, and specifically with Birds of Prey.  Taking part in the programme has enabled us to raise funds by reaching a much wider audience. We have been able to use social media to inform people about our fundraising and the ease of the process has meant that we have been successful in raising funds. In addition supporters were able to set up their own fundraising page to personalise their support for Hack Back. We have learned that it is important to get your message across succinctly through social media and that it must be easy for people to donate, which was achieved through Localgiving.  The funding, both from our donors and then matched by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, has made a massive difference to us. We have been able to deliver one to one sessions in the home of a child with autism, we have visited a terminally ill lady in her own home, we have been able to visit a young boy with a rare form of bone cancer several times and we have been able to deliver an anti-bullying project in a local school. Without this funding all of this would have been very difficult to achieve, and the real difference the funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has made is that it has enabled us to deliver projects and services we may have had to decline previously, even though there is a clear need.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- These are just two examples among many of the fantastic work done by local charities which the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has helped. This #GivingTuesday, we thought it would be a good time to look back, and to reflect on the real difference this support has helped to make, and to also take the time to say thank you as well. So this one goes out to all the players (of the People’s Postcode Lottery) out there – THANKS! There’s still opportunities to get involved in this programme, so if you are or know of a charity who could benefit, please do look here for further information.   
    Nov 28, 2016 5104
  • 14 Nov 2016
    On October 12th the Open University Business School launched its new Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership in London, where they launched two new free, flexible and open learning courses on voluntary sector leadership. Full details of the launch conference and the courses are here, and some clips of the day will soon be posted on Open University Business School’s Youtube channel. What follows is a brief overview of the themes that emerged on the day, how CVSL is responding, and how people in the sector can get further involved in the debate. These are tough times for the sector – but there is a need to fight back An obvious theme of the day was that these are intimidating, tough times for the voluntary sector. Both our keynote speakers spoke eloquently about the ‘rise and (partial) fall’ of the sector in recent times, at least as far as its place within public policy. Sir Stuart Etherington argued forcefully that the sector is operating under much greater scrutiny on a wide number of fronts: over fundraising, governance, and high salaries. One audience member spoke eloquently about their organisation being almost at ‘breaking point’ due to funding reductions and lack of supports in the local environment. On the other hand, a contrasting theme reflected the sense that times have always been tough and that the sector shouldn’t necessarily accept this dominant ‘crisis’ narrative. It certainly shouldn’t become resigned to it, and should “come out fighting’. As Debra Allcock Tyler cautioned, “everyone is busy complaining there is not enough money but the voluntary sector has stopped asking for money: fewer people are asking for money and they’re asking for less. It’s a negative narrative”. She made a passionate plea for the sector to rediscover its confidence, its spark and campaigning nouse. There was a clear sense at the event that how leaders respond is important. And CVSL’s research and educational resources provide one forum for some of these discussions. But researchers need to recognise the real difficulties at ground level, particularly for the smaller organisations that CVSL is seeking to engage with. Collaboration is part of the answer, but is not a silver bullet Austerity and cuts have been widely seen as increasing the drive for greater collaboration. The voluntary sector is often a sought after partner for collaboration because of their local knowledge and connectedness; although there also be many hidden agendas at play. There is something of a consensus around that collaboration is now the name of the game; linked to doing more for less, reducing duplicative activity, and putting egos to one side. However, Siv Vangen and colleagues’ research strikes a note of caution because it demonstrates that collaboration needs energy: it has to take account of the different partners’ aims, cultures, trust and power imbalances, especially in terms of the leadership challenges and the associated anxiety and rewards. This is explored in more depth in an accompanying Guardian blog that coincided with the event. A ‘realist’ approach to collaboration acknowledges that behind the scenes you may need to: Use stealthy manipulative methods to get consensus Understand the political undercurrents and who needs to be involved But! Collaboration is by nature inefficient. Collaboration needs compromise, energy, commitment and care. Leaders need to nurture collaboration. CVSL thinks of leadership at it’s very simplest as ‘making things happen’, and the first course in particular explores this in depth. The second of the courses explores the dynamics, contexts and practices of collaborative leadership, drawing on a range of contemporary issues and case studies from the voluntary sector, so that learning takes place in an intimate relationship with lived practice. The role of trustees and the importance of diversity A clear theme of the day was the crucial role of trustees and the need to include them in dialogue about leadership development. The issue is undoubtedly complex but includes the difficulties of smaller organizations attracting trustees with a broad enough range of skills,  and the crucial role of chairs. There is a tendency to equate ‘leadership’ only with chief executives or senior managers and CVSL will be developing more work on this in the near future. CVSL is also very interested in the idea that there is a cohort of younger or less experienced leaders who need support and development. This chimes with crucial idea explored in the new courses that leadership happens at different levels of organisations. Closely related, a message that came through loud and clear was the need to work towards greater representativeness of voluntary sector leaderships at all different levels. The panel were pressed on this issue by members of the audience, and there was recognition that in some cases the sector had gone backwards on issues of gender and the presence of ethnic minority leaders at senior levels. Sir Stuart acknowledged that it was difficult to point to leaders from BME leading big charities How CVSL is responding to these issues and engaging with the sector One part of CVSL’s mission is experimenting with how online teaching and learning can be improved and done in a way that benefits the sector in these challenging times. Accessibility, flexibility and responsiveness is part of the answer but we also want to explore through dialogue with the sector the appropriate way to blend more ‘challenging’ and abstract debates around leadership with the practical, ‘day to day’ needs that organisations have for instance on governance, finance and sustainability. Also, as researchers we need to keep tabs about what is going on at ground level, over time; and that is why we are doing grounded research that explores different issues affecting the voluntary sector more broadly – eg on mental health or migration – as well as researching the leadership issues that are specific to the sector. We see this as a great opportunity to explore what works and try out new approaches to leadership development through online learning. So as participants rightly said, academic researchers need to “get out there and speak to the sector and do face to face stuff”, but also to sometimes ensure that the variety of learning resources to be broken down into ‘bite-size chunks’ so that learners can choose what is most useful to them. And we need to keep spreading the message. If you have found the issues discussed here useful and interesting there are a number of ways you can get involved. In particular, CVSL announced at the launch that it is now recruiting a Leadership Panel as a core part of its research activity. They would be delighted if you were willing to take part – the panel is designed to help the sector as well as individual leaders. Please complete this short survey to join the Panel. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha
    5717 Posted by James Rees
  • On October 12th the Open University Business School launched its new Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership in London, where they launched two new free, flexible and open learning courses on voluntary sector leadership. Full details of the launch conference and the courses are here, and some clips of the day will soon be posted on Open University Business School’s Youtube channel. What follows is a brief overview of the themes that emerged on the day, how CVSL is responding, and how people in the sector can get further involved in the debate. These are tough times for the sector – but there is a need to fight back An obvious theme of the day was that these are intimidating, tough times for the voluntary sector. Both our keynote speakers spoke eloquently about the ‘rise and (partial) fall’ of the sector in recent times, at least as far as its place within public policy. Sir Stuart Etherington argued forcefully that the sector is operating under much greater scrutiny on a wide number of fronts: over fundraising, governance, and high salaries. One audience member spoke eloquently about their organisation being almost at ‘breaking point’ due to funding reductions and lack of supports in the local environment. On the other hand, a contrasting theme reflected the sense that times have always been tough and that the sector shouldn’t necessarily accept this dominant ‘crisis’ narrative. It certainly shouldn’t become resigned to it, and should “come out fighting’. As Debra Allcock Tyler cautioned, “everyone is busy complaining there is not enough money but the voluntary sector has stopped asking for money: fewer people are asking for money and they’re asking for less. It’s a negative narrative”. She made a passionate plea for the sector to rediscover its confidence, its spark and campaigning nouse. There was a clear sense at the event that how leaders respond is important. And CVSL’s research and educational resources provide one forum for some of these discussions. But researchers need to recognise the real difficulties at ground level, particularly for the smaller organisations that CVSL is seeking to engage with. Collaboration is part of the answer, but is not a silver bullet Austerity and cuts have been widely seen as increasing the drive for greater collaboration. The voluntary sector is often a sought after partner for collaboration because of their local knowledge and connectedness; although there also be many hidden agendas at play. There is something of a consensus around that collaboration is now the name of the game; linked to doing more for less, reducing duplicative activity, and putting egos to one side. However, Siv Vangen and colleagues’ research strikes a note of caution because it demonstrates that collaboration needs energy: it has to take account of the different partners’ aims, cultures, trust and power imbalances, especially in terms of the leadership challenges and the associated anxiety and rewards. This is explored in more depth in an accompanying Guardian blog that coincided with the event. A ‘realist’ approach to collaboration acknowledges that behind the scenes you may need to: Use stealthy manipulative methods to get consensus Understand the political undercurrents and who needs to be involved But! Collaboration is by nature inefficient. Collaboration needs compromise, energy, commitment and care. Leaders need to nurture collaboration. CVSL thinks of leadership at it’s very simplest as ‘making things happen’, and the first course in particular explores this in depth. The second of the courses explores the dynamics, contexts and practices of collaborative leadership, drawing on a range of contemporary issues and case studies from the voluntary sector, so that learning takes place in an intimate relationship with lived practice. The role of trustees and the importance of diversity A clear theme of the day was the crucial role of trustees and the need to include them in dialogue about leadership development. The issue is undoubtedly complex but includes the difficulties of smaller organizations attracting trustees with a broad enough range of skills,  and the crucial role of chairs. There is a tendency to equate ‘leadership’ only with chief executives or senior managers and CVSL will be developing more work on this in the near future. CVSL is also very interested in the idea that there is a cohort of younger or less experienced leaders who need support and development. This chimes with crucial idea explored in the new courses that leadership happens at different levels of organisations. Closely related, a message that came through loud and clear was the need to work towards greater representativeness of voluntary sector leaderships at all different levels. The panel were pressed on this issue by members of the audience, and there was recognition that in some cases the sector had gone backwards on issues of gender and the presence of ethnic minority leaders at senior levels. Sir Stuart acknowledged that it was difficult to point to leaders from BME leading big charities How CVSL is responding to these issues and engaging with the sector One part of CVSL’s mission is experimenting with how online teaching and learning can be improved and done in a way that benefits the sector in these challenging times. Accessibility, flexibility and responsiveness is part of the answer but we also want to explore through dialogue with the sector the appropriate way to blend more ‘challenging’ and abstract debates around leadership with the practical, ‘day to day’ needs that organisations have for instance on governance, finance and sustainability. Also, as researchers we need to keep tabs about what is going on at ground level, over time; and that is why we are doing grounded research that explores different issues affecting the voluntary sector more broadly – eg on mental health or migration – as well as researching the leadership issues that are specific to the sector. We see this as a great opportunity to explore what works and try out new approaches to leadership development through online learning. So as participants rightly said, academic researchers need to “get out there and speak to the sector and do face to face stuff”, but also to sometimes ensure that the variety of learning resources to be broken down into ‘bite-size chunks’ so that learners can choose what is most useful to them. And we need to keep spreading the message. If you have found the issues discussed here useful and interesting there are a number of ways you can get involved. In particular, CVSL announced at the launch that it is now recruiting a Leadership Panel as a core part of its research activity. They would be delighted if you were willing to take part – the panel is designed to help the sector as well as individual leaders. Please complete this short survey to join the Panel. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha
    Nov 14, 2016 5717
  • 09 Nov 2016
      The way we fundraise and give is changing rapidly. As street and phone fundraisers are declining in potency and technology presents us with new possibilities, how do we tell our story most effectively to reach our goals, promote our causes and actively engage our supporters?   Our upcoming workshop will take you through the strategic processes behind running a successful fundraising or marketing campaign using video as a conversation starting tool. It will uncover affordable ways to make regular, engaging content and demystify the process of moving your fundraising and outreach efforts online.       Part 1: 9:30 - 12:30 Light breakfast and introductions Challenges faced by the third sector and the future of fundraising Getting to the heart of your story and needs Why video? Pre production, production, distribution and audience engagement  Turning supporters into evangelists  Lunch (bring your own or choose from local cafes)     Part 2: 13:30 - 15:00 •Creative exercise: facilitated work on your projects using planning tools and methods    Training outcomes: Understanding how charities need to change to stay relevant and visible Tools and progression routes for effective fundraising and marketing  An introduction to the basic process of making and using video for fundraising   Facilitator:    I, Ieva Padagaite, will facilitate the day. I am a filmmaker and communications specialist with a background in fiction storytelling and campaigning. I am  dedicated to effectively communicating stories and voices that make a difference.      Location: CAN Mezzanine, 7-14 Great Dover Street, SE1 4YR Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2016 Time: 09:30 - 15:30   Tickets: £40 per person (-20% for Localgiving members)   Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/LxYXBYa2GYehLvlj2
    4889 Posted by Ieva Padagaite
  •   The way we fundraise and give is changing rapidly. As street and phone fundraisers are declining in potency and technology presents us with new possibilities, how do we tell our story most effectively to reach our goals, promote our causes and actively engage our supporters?   Our upcoming workshop will take you through the strategic processes behind running a successful fundraising or marketing campaign using video as a conversation starting tool. It will uncover affordable ways to make regular, engaging content and demystify the process of moving your fundraising and outreach efforts online.       Part 1: 9:30 - 12:30 Light breakfast and introductions Challenges faced by the third sector and the future of fundraising Getting to the heart of your story and needs Why video? Pre production, production, distribution and audience engagement  Turning supporters into evangelists  Lunch (bring your own or choose from local cafes)     Part 2: 13:30 - 15:00 •Creative exercise: facilitated work on your projects using planning tools and methods    Training outcomes: Understanding how charities need to change to stay relevant and visible Tools and progression routes for effective fundraising and marketing  An introduction to the basic process of making and using video for fundraising   Facilitator:    I, Ieva Padagaite, will facilitate the day. I am a filmmaker and communications specialist with a background in fiction storytelling and campaigning. I am  dedicated to effectively communicating stories and voices that make a difference.      Location: CAN Mezzanine, 7-14 Great Dover Street, SE1 4YR Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2016 Time: 09:30 - 15:30   Tickets: £40 per person (-20% for Localgiving members)   Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/LxYXBYa2GYehLvlj2
    Nov 09, 2016 4889
  • 07 Nov 2016
    You cannot be an expert in everything, but staff and volunteers at small charities often feel like they need to be, as they don’t have the budget to hire experts when they need them. Getting pro-bono support can be a huge help to a campaign or project, but finding the time to actually find this free expertise can be off-putting.   Here are three organisations providing pro-bono support that you should bookmark, so when the time comes you will know exactly where to look: LawWorks LawWorks is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice. Their Not-For-Profits Programme gives free legal advice to small not-for-profit organisations on a wide range of issues. These can include drafting a contract, reviewing a lease, updating a constitution/articles, or clarifying rights in a commercial dispute. The application process is simple: check your organisation is eligible, if it is you then need to fill in an online application form and send over your accounts. Once an application is approved, LawWorks try to find a volunteer to help you within a few weeks. Pimp My Cause Pimp my Cause is a web based platform bringing good causes in need of professional marketing support together with professional experts who are able to contribute this expertise for free. “Kay did a fantastic technical graphic for our small charity to use on the new website we are designing. Hughes syndrome is a blood clotting disorder that can affect any part of the body, so we wanted to have a clear image to show patient possible danger areas. Kay came to our rescue and produced a brilliant, clear graphic which our web designers are very happy to use. She also did it in record time and I feel a bit guilty that we won't be in a position to use it until the website launch in autumn. Our charity and, no doubt, patients in the future are truly grateful for Kay's expertise and time - thank you :) ” - Hughes Syndrome Foundation Whether you would like help on a new website design, a marketing campaign or a new logo, Pimp My Cause can help you find the expert you need. The process is simple – Register for free on the Pimp My Cause website, create a profile for your cause, then create an advert for the help you want. You can then search for volunteer experts and send them a message to see if they can help you, and you might even get experts getting in touch with you to offer their support. Jolly Good Causes Jolly Good Causes is a social enterprise offering pro-bono marketing support to small charities through their Pay It Forward scheme. “Jolly Good Causes responded to our request for help in filling charity marathon places at very short notice. They quickly got a press release together… hugely increasing the exposure we got for this important fundraising event.” - Simon Halsey, Founder of Little Gems. Individuals, businesses and larger charities cover the cost of one of the Jolly Good Causes stand alone services, ranging in price from £120 to £740. Once purchased, the service will be listed on the ‘notice board’ page on their website, and will remain available until it is redeemed by a qualifying charity (those with an income of less than £100,000 per year). Do you (or an organisation you know of) offer small charities pro-bono support? Let us know the details in the comments below! Found this blog post useful? Why not try these by the same author  3 Tips on How To Tell Your Charity Story on Instagram5 free tools to use to share your organisation's story 
    6192 Posted by Nisha Kotecha
  • You cannot be an expert in everything, but staff and volunteers at small charities often feel like they need to be, as they don’t have the budget to hire experts when they need them. Getting pro-bono support can be a huge help to a campaign or project, but finding the time to actually find this free expertise can be off-putting.   Here are three organisations providing pro-bono support that you should bookmark, so when the time comes you will know exactly where to look: LawWorks LawWorks is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice. Their Not-For-Profits Programme gives free legal advice to small not-for-profit organisations on a wide range of issues. These can include drafting a contract, reviewing a lease, updating a constitution/articles, or clarifying rights in a commercial dispute. The application process is simple: check your organisation is eligible, if it is you then need to fill in an online application form and send over your accounts. Once an application is approved, LawWorks try to find a volunteer to help you within a few weeks. Pimp My Cause Pimp my Cause is a web based platform bringing good causes in need of professional marketing support together with professional experts who are able to contribute this expertise for free. “Kay did a fantastic technical graphic for our small charity to use on the new website we are designing. Hughes syndrome is a blood clotting disorder that can affect any part of the body, so we wanted to have a clear image to show patient possible danger areas. Kay came to our rescue and produced a brilliant, clear graphic which our web designers are very happy to use. She also did it in record time and I feel a bit guilty that we won't be in a position to use it until the website launch in autumn. Our charity and, no doubt, patients in the future are truly grateful for Kay's expertise and time - thank you :) ” - Hughes Syndrome Foundation Whether you would like help on a new website design, a marketing campaign or a new logo, Pimp My Cause can help you find the expert you need. The process is simple – Register for free on the Pimp My Cause website, create a profile for your cause, then create an advert for the help you want. You can then search for volunteer experts and send them a message to see if they can help you, and you might even get experts getting in touch with you to offer their support. Jolly Good Causes Jolly Good Causes is a social enterprise offering pro-bono marketing support to small charities through their Pay It Forward scheme. “Jolly Good Causes responded to our request for help in filling charity marathon places at very short notice. They quickly got a press release together… hugely increasing the exposure we got for this important fundraising event.” - Simon Halsey, Founder of Little Gems. Individuals, businesses and larger charities cover the cost of one of the Jolly Good Causes stand alone services, ranging in price from £120 to £740. Once purchased, the service will be listed on the ‘notice board’ page on their website, and will remain available until it is redeemed by a qualifying charity (those with an income of less than £100,000 per year). Do you (or an organisation you know of) offer small charities pro-bono support? Let us know the details in the comments below! Found this blog post useful? Why not try these by the same author  3 Tips on How To Tell Your Charity Story on Instagram5 free tools to use to share your organisation's story 
    Nov 07, 2016 6192
  • 03 Nov 2016
    After a successful inaugural year, the Charity Governance Awards returns with a call for entries, a larger prize pot and a new additional prize category. Entry is now open to charities of all sizes in seven categories recognising outstanding governance, including the new category of ‘Embracing Digital’. Charities from all sectors can be in with a chance of winning one of seven £5,000 prizes of an unrestricted grant. The new category Embracing Digital recognises charity boards who have successfully embraced the opportunities that digital offers, and harnessed them to innovate or improve its activities. Other award categories reward charities who have dramatically turned around their fortunes; those that have created inclusive and diverse boards; and those who have significantly improved their impact. (See full category list below) The awards are totally free to enter and shortlisted entrants will receive a complimentary invitation to the official awards ceremony in London on 24th May 2017. Case studies of the shortlisted charities will also be featured in a special ebook available as a free resource for charities. The Charity Governance Awards are organised by The Clothworkers’ Company – a City Livery company that supports trusteeship initiatives – in partnership charity think thank and consultancy NPC (New Philanthropy Capital), volunteer matching charity Reach, and recruitment specialists Prospectus. Michael Howell, Chair of The Trusteeship Committee, The Clothworkers’ Company, said: “We all learnt a lot in judging the first Charity Governance Awards – it gave us an inspiring and, sometimes surprising, picture of what great governance looks like today. I am looking forward immensely to beginning this process again and hearing about exceptional charity boards, without whom charities are simply unable to make a positive difference. “There is still more to be done in rebuilding public trust in charities, but these Awards are one way for charities to demonstrate what great work they do, often behind closed doors. Let’s open those doors, reward great practice and help raise the bar for good governance across the whole sector.” To enter, a charity must have been established before 31 December 2013 and be registered in the UK. A charity may submit a single entry into only one of the following categories: • Board Diversity & Inclusivity• Embracing Digital• Embracing Opportunity & Harnessing Risk• Improving Impact - charities with 3 paid staff or fewer (including charities with no paid staff)• Improving Impact - charities with 4–25 paid staff• Improving Impact - charities with 26 paid staff or more• Managing Turnaround Entries must cover activities undertaken in the last five years (2011 – 2016); focus on the work of the main board, not sub-committees; and be made by a trustee, employee or volunteer of the charity. The deadline for entries is 23.59, Friday 13th January 2017. The 14-strong judging panel boasts a wealth of experience in charity governance and the voluntary sector. The judges include Dawn Austwick (Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund), Stephen Greene (CEO and co-founder, RockCorps), Sara Llewellin (Chief Executive, Barrow Cadbury Trust), Dan Corry (Chief Executive, New Philanthropy Capital), Janet Thorne (CEO, Reach volunteering) and Vinay Nair (CEO & co-founder of Lightful) among many other notable names. (See website for a full list of judges). For full details, including an entry form, details of the judging panel and stories from the 2016 award winners, visit www.charitygovernanceawards.co.uk. You can follow the awards on Twitter using hashtag #charitygov17. Andy is Head of Business Development at charity recruitment specialists Prospectus. A member of the Senior Leadership Team, Andy works closely with the CEO and Directors on business development, operational projects, marketing and maintaining and developing client relationships. He has also project managed some of the more innovative schemes that Prospectus is involved with, such as the Beyond Profit Internship scheme and their role in the Do-it partnership. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 
    1346 Posted by Andy Tonnor
  • After a successful inaugural year, the Charity Governance Awards returns with a call for entries, a larger prize pot and a new additional prize category. Entry is now open to charities of all sizes in seven categories recognising outstanding governance, including the new category of ‘Embracing Digital’. Charities from all sectors can be in with a chance of winning one of seven £5,000 prizes of an unrestricted grant. The new category Embracing Digital recognises charity boards who have successfully embraced the opportunities that digital offers, and harnessed them to innovate or improve its activities. Other award categories reward charities who have dramatically turned around their fortunes; those that have created inclusive and diverse boards; and those who have significantly improved their impact. (See full category list below) The awards are totally free to enter and shortlisted entrants will receive a complimentary invitation to the official awards ceremony in London on 24th May 2017. Case studies of the shortlisted charities will also be featured in a special ebook available as a free resource for charities. The Charity Governance Awards are organised by The Clothworkers’ Company – a City Livery company that supports trusteeship initiatives – in partnership charity think thank and consultancy NPC (New Philanthropy Capital), volunteer matching charity Reach, and recruitment specialists Prospectus. Michael Howell, Chair of The Trusteeship Committee, The Clothworkers’ Company, said: “We all learnt a lot in judging the first Charity Governance Awards – it gave us an inspiring and, sometimes surprising, picture of what great governance looks like today. I am looking forward immensely to beginning this process again and hearing about exceptional charity boards, without whom charities are simply unable to make a positive difference. “There is still more to be done in rebuilding public trust in charities, but these Awards are one way for charities to demonstrate what great work they do, often behind closed doors. Let’s open those doors, reward great practice and help raise the bar for good governance across the whole sector.” To enter, a charity must have been established before 31 December 2013 and be registered in the UK. A charity may submit a single entry into only one of the following categories: • Board Diversity & Inclusivity• Embracing Digital• Embracing Opportunity & Harnessing Risk• Improving Impact - charities with 3 paid staff or fewer (including charities with no paid staff)• Improving Impact - charities with 4–25 paid staff• Improving Impact - charities with 26 paid staff or more• Managing Turnaround Entries must cover activities undertaken in the last five years (2011 – 2016); focus on the work of the main board, not sub-committees; and be made by a trustee, employee or volunteer of the charity. The deadline for entries is 23.59, Friday 13th January 2017. The 14-strong judging panel boasts a wealth of experience in charity governance and the voluntary sector. The judges include Dawn Austwick (Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund), Stephen Greene (CEO and co-founder, RockCorps), Sara Llewellin (Chief Executive, Barrow Cadbury Trust), Dan Corry (Chief Executive, New Philanthropy Capital), Janet Thorne (CEO, Reach volunteering) and Vinay Nair (CEO & co-founder of Lightful) among many other notable names. (See website for a full list of judges). For full details, including an entry form, details of the judging panel and stories from the 2016 award winners, visit www.charitygovernanceawards.co.uk. You can follow the awards on Twitter using hashtag #charitygov17. Andy is Head of Business Development at charity recruitment specialists Prospectus. A member of the Senior Leadership Team, Andy works closely with the CEO and Directors on business development, operational projects, marketing and maintaining and developing client relationships. He has also project managed some of the more innovative schemes that Prospectus is involved with, such as the Beyond Profit Internship scheme and their role in the Do-it partnership. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 
    Nov 03, 2016 1346
  • 01 Nov 2016
    In July, thanks to generous funding and support from Big Lottery Wales, we launched our new Development Programme for Wales. Through the programme, Localgiving will work with 250 local community groups across Wales. It is an entirely free opportunity and includes free Localgiving membership for a  year, gift aid claimed on each group’s behalf, free training in online fundraising, 1:1 support from a locally based member of staff, £200 matchfunding for every group that signs up and further matchfunding campaigns throughout the year. We now have the pleasure of working with groups across Wales... One of the groups that has already made a great start is Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Gardens. They are run by a large group of volunteers who are working to develop 3 public parks in Swansea.  As part of their work, they are creating a Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden in Singleton Park - to achieve this they need funds. Localgiving has been working with them to create both their group’s main fundraising page and a specific appeal for their wildflower project. They began this appeal at the start of October and have already raised £2780.75, which includes the £200 matchfunding that they have now earned as a successful participant in the Wales Development Programme. It also includes £271.25 gift aid that we have accessed and processed for them with no worry or admin time needed from them. Furthermore, during  our Grow Your Tenner campaign they have unlocked a further £370 matchfunding. How it works... After they expressed their interest in working with Localgiving, I went out to meet the group face-to-face at their base in one of the parks. I  worked through all of the basics of how to set up with Localgiving and how to get started with developing and promoting their cause. Since that point we have had much communication, they have attended a training session, Introduction to Online Fundraising, and are soon to attend a second session on Developing an Online Fundraising Campaign. This is the typical journey of a Wales group once they show interest in our year of free help. Hear from the group itself... Jane Terrett, volunteer: “One of the huge advantages of being associated with Localgiving is that you never feel you are on your own, there is always someone or somewhere you can go for help. Online fundraising enables us to reach people who are sympathetic to our cause who we didn’t even know existed. The online tips, advice and poster templates are invaluable. Donations are automatically paid into the bank account and the admin surrounding gift aid is taken care of. Fundraising isn’t easy and you do need to put in the work setting up the site and getting the message across to the local community so they know about your page. As an organisation, we weren’t sure whether online fundraising was to way to go as most of our supporters are 70+. However the publicity surrounding the webpage has resulted in many online donations - and also gifts of cash and cheques that we wouldn’t have secured without the online campaign. We are delighted with the progress, but checking the website is getting addictive!” Have a look at their brilliant appeal: localgiving.org/appeal/wildflowers   
    2433 Posted by Lauren Swain
  • In July, thanks to generous funding and support from Big Lottery Wales, we launched our new Development Programme for Wales. Through the programme, Localgiving will work with 250 local community groups across Wales. It is an entirely free opportunity and includes free Localgiving membership for a  year, gift aid claimed on each group’s behalf, free training in online fundraising, 1:1 support from a locally based member of staff, £200 matchfunding for every group that signs up and further matchfunding campaigns throughout the year. We now have the pleasure of working with groups across Wales... One of the groups that has already made a great start is Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Gardens. They are run by a large group of volunteers who are working to develop 3 public parks in Swansea.  As part of their work, they are creating a Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden in Singleton Park - to achieve this they need funds. Localgiving has been working with them to create both their group’s main fundraising page and a specific appeal for their wildflower project. They began this appeal at the start of October and have already raised £2780.75, which includes the £200 matchfunding that they have now earned as a successful participant in the Wales Development Programme. It also includes £271.25 gift aid that we have accessed and processed for them with no worry or admin time needed from them. Furthermore, during  our Grow Your Tenner campaign they have unlocked a further £370 matchfunding. How it works... After they expressed their interest in working with Localgiving, I went out to meet the group face-to-face at their base in one of the parks. I  worked through all of the basics of how to set up with Localgiving and how to get started with developing and promoting their cause. Since that point we have had much communication, they have attended a training session, Introduction to Online Fundraising, and are soon to attend a second session on Developing an Online Fundraising Campaign. This is the typical journey of a Wales group once they show interest in our year of free help. Hear from the group itself... Jane Terrett, volunteer: “One of the huge advantages of being associated with Localgiving is that you never feel you are on your own, there is always someone or somewhere you can go for help. Online fundraising enables us to reach people who are sympathetic to our cause who we didn’t even know existed. The online tips, advice and poster templates are invaluable. Donations are automatically paid into the bank account and the admin surrounding gift aid is taken care of. Fundraising isn’t easy and you do need to put in the work setting up the site and getting the message across to the local community so they know about your page. As an organisation, we weren’t sure whether online fundraising was to way to go as most of our supporters are 70+. However the publicity surrounding the webpage has resulted in many online donations - and also gifts of cash and cheques that we wouldn’t have secured without the online campaign. We are delighted with the progress, but checking the website is getting addictive!” Have a look at their brilliant appeal: localgiving.org/appeal/wildflowers   
    Nov 01, 2016 2433
  • 27 Oct 2016
    Most people spend a good few weeks, months sometimes, looking forward to Christmas - buying presents, planning menus, and generally getting into the festive spirit. Unfortunately though, not everybody gets to enjoy the Christmas period. For many who are living on the streets or are on very low incomes Christmas is an extremely difficult time of year. According to a report by the charity Crisis almost one in ten people say they have been homeless at some point. Crisis also points out that all forms of homelessness have risen due to the effects of the economic recession of recent years as well as the continuing shortage of housing in the UK. It became obvious to us at Jack’s beans that providing help and support to the homeless people in the UK is more important than ever. So, this year the Jack’s beans Coffee Company has partnered with Localgiving to bring some festive cheer to the very people that need it the most. Jack’s beans is getting festive and our first ever Christmas Cup will be on sale across the UK in independent newsagents and convenience stores from 1st November 2016. The best bit is that 5 pence from every cup of Jack’s beans that is sold will be donated to a selection of regional charities that are part of the Localgiving network. Jack’s beans and Localgiving have identified fourteen charities to share the proceeds from the Christmas Cup campaign Each of the charities will use the funds to provide a hot meal, warm jacket or simply somewhere for a homeless person to sleep during this Christmas period. Every little bit helps and by selling as many Christmas cups of Jack’s beans delicious coffee or hot chocolate we can really make a difference to homeless people this Christmas time. Jack’s beans is a barista style, self-serve coffee that uses only fair trade beans. Jack’s beans is proud to be served by independent retailers across the country. We are keen to unite local communities through the Jack’s beans brand and working the Localgiving on our Christmas Cup Campaign really helps us to this.    Look out for your nearest Jack’s beans machine and join in with our festive giving. We really want to make a difference to as many people as we can this Christmas. The more cups we sell, the more people we can help. Go on, grab a Jack’s beans! List of charities: Launchpad Reading CHAS (Bristol) Housing Advice Service Churches Housing Action Team (CHAT) Mid-Devon Ltd 1625 Independent People Camrose Quaker Homeless Action The Northampton Hope Centre Doorstep Homeless Families Project The House of Bread Open Door Stoke-on-Trent Big Breakfast +  Milton Keynes YMCA Step by Step The Vine Centre Natalie Waters is Digital Marketing Executive for Smiths News. UWE graduate & CIPR diploma holder who loves all things social media. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:      The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment      
    4119 Posted by Natalie Waters
  • Most people spend a good few weeks, months sometimes, looking forward to Christmas - buying presents, planning menus, and generally getting into the festive spirit. Unfortunately though, not everybody gets to enjoy the Christmas period. For many who are living on the streets or are on very low incomes Christmas is an extremely difficult time of year. According to a report by the charity Crisis almost one in ten people say they have been homeless at some point. Crisis also points out that all forms of homelessness have risen due to the effects of the economic recession of recent years as well as the continuing shortage of housing in the UK. It became obvious to us at Jack’s beans that providing help and support to the homeless people in the UK is more important than ever. So, this year the Jack’s beans Coffee Company has partnered with Localgiving to bring some festive cheer to the very people that need it the most. Jack’s beans is getting festive and our first ever Christmas Cup will be on sale across the UK in independent newsagents and convenience stores from 1st November 2016. The best bit is that 5 pence from every cup of Jack’s beans that is sold will be donated to a selection of regional charities that are part of the Localgiving network. Jack’s beans and Localgiving have identified fourteen charities to share the proceeds from the Christmas Cup campaign Each of the charities will use the funds to provide a hot meal, warm jacket or simply somewhere for a homeless person to sleep during this Christmas period. Every little bit helps and by selling as many Christmas cups of Jack’s beans delicious coffee or hot chocolate we can really make a difference to homeless people this Christmas time. Jack’s beans is a barista style, self-serve coffee that uses only fair trade beans. Jack’s beans is proud to be served by independent retailers across the country. We are keen to unite local communities through the Jack’s beans brand and working the Localgiving on our Christmas Cup Campaign really helps us to this.    Look out for your nearest Jack’s beans machine and join in with our festive giving. We really want to make a difference to as many people as we can this Christmas. The more cups we sell, the more people we can help. Go on, grab a Jack’s beans! List of charities: Launchpad Reading CHAS (Bristol) Housing Advice Service Churches Housing Action Team (CHAT) Mid-Devon Ltd 1625 Independent People Camrose Quaker Homeless Action The Northampton Hope Centre Doorstep Homeless Families Project The House of Bread Open Door Stoke-on-Trent Big Breakfast +  Milton Keynes YMCA Step by Step The Vine Centre Natalie Waters is Digital Marketing Executive for Smiths News. UWE graduate & CIPR diploma holder who loves all things social media. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:      The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment      
    Oct 27, 2016 4119
  • 19 Oct 2016
    When talking to smaller, local organisations the same problem seems to come up over and over again – ‘we haven’t got the budget and advantages that the bigger organisations have, and we are limited in what we can do’ Contrary to this, I believe that smaller organisations should stop worrying about what the large brands are doing, and take advantage of their ability to tap into, what is often seen by the public, as ‘the true meaning of charity’. Be personal Identify the specific ways that your supporters help you (this isn’t necessarily financial). Segmenting data by things that actually matter to supporters, and recognising that seemingly small things are special (they took the time, thought and effort to think of me); make sure your supporters know you’ve noticed. An organisation that I worked with made a point of thanking the supporters who provided hand-made gifts for their gift shop. The re-sale value of the gifts wasn’t particularly high, but when writing to this group of supporters at Christmas, the effect of appreciating and recognising the contribution that their hand- made gifts made collectively, saw the number of gifts received (when compared to their response to the previous year’s Christmas mailing) double. The average gift amongst this group was also 60% higher. Extrapolate this effect across all the different groups of supporters on your database, and with a little work on a mail merge you could see a substantial improvement in response to your Christmas mailing. Invest in training volunteers and staff Volunteers and support staff come into contact with your supporters in the everyday context of their work and they can’t be expected to take on fundraising responsibilities without understanding the organisations fundraising goals, and having some investment in how to make fundraising asks. After all, asking for money isn’t easy. Proper training gives not only the fundraising context (breaking down the barriers that often exist between fundraisers and staff in other departments) but also delivers clarity around regulatory requirements, and confidence to know when, how and what to ask for (and equally when not to ask). Not all volunteers and support staff will be suitable, nor indeed want to fundraise -  but those who are, will enthuse supporters and they and their colleagues will feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Share investments If you can’t afford the proportionate cost of taking on a new member of staff, why not get together with other local organisations and share the cost? Choose an organisation geographically close to you, who share similar values and ethics. Sharing an employee can be rewarding and varied for the employee (especially if tasks are repetitive) and will give you the opportunity to attract a better calibre employee. For example, your telephone fundraising aspirations may be too small to use an agency, but a shared employee could make those aspirations a reality. Equally, shared training cost when using outside trainers can make an uneconomic project feasible. Whilst this might at first glance make practical management sense, these are exactly the sort of common sense propositions that appeal to high and major donors. So it may be a scary prospect, but the concept for a supporter helping more than one organisation at a time and funding these kinds of initiatives can also be a distinctive and attractive proposition. From the supporters’ perspective we should not forget that in fundraising terms smaller organisations often offer distinct advantages over larger ones – they can get closer to beneficiary and supporter needs more easily; with appropriate training and guidance they are often more flexible and capable of delivering a ‘real’ tailored supporter experience and they can cooperate with likeminded organisations to offer significant efficiencies in fundraising performance.   Jane Cunningham has been working in the forefront of fundraising for nearly 25 years. Known for the high quality of her fundraising practice and practical experience in segmentation and analysis, she has pioneered many new fundraising initiatives in the UK, Europe and the US.   In everything she develops, she believes that the starting point should be to take the donors perspective, which will ultimately lead to developing the most effective strategic and creative responses; resulting in donor satisfaction and financial success. http://www.janecunninghaminsights.co.uk/   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard BarkerHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment
    4799 Posted by Jane Cunningham
  • When talking to smaller, local organisations the same problem seems to come up over and over again – ‘we haven’t got the budget and advantages that the bigger organisations have, and we are limited in what we can do’ Contrary to this, I believe that smaller organisations should stop worrying about what the large brands are doing, and take advantage of their ability to tap into, what is often seen by the public, as ‘the true meaning of charity’. Be personal Identify the specific ways that your supporters help you (this isn’t necessarily financial). Segmenting data by things that actually matter to supporters, and recognising that seemingly small things are special (they took the time, thought and effort to think of me); make sure your supporters know you’ve noticed. An organisation that I worked with made a point of thanking the supporters who provided hand-made gifts for their gift shop. The re-sale value of the gifts wasn’t particularly high, but when writing to this group of supporters at Christmas, the effect of appreciating and recognising the contribution that their hand- made gifts made collectively, saw the number of gifts received (when compared to their response to the previous year’s Christmas mailing) double. The average gift amongst this group was also 60% higher. Extrapolate this effect across all the different groups of supporters on your database, and with a little work on a mail merge you could see a substantial improvement in response to your Christmas mailing. Invest in training volunteers and staff Volunteers and support staff come into contact with your supporters in the everyday context of their work and they can’t be expected to take on fundraising responsibilities without understanding the organisations fundraising goals, and having some investment in how to make fundraising asks. After all, asking for money isn’t easy. Proper training gives not only the fundraising context (breaking down the barriers that often exist between fundraisers and staff in other departments) but also delivers clarity around regulatory requirements, and confidence to know when, how and what to ask for (and equally when not to ask). Not all volunteers and support staff will be suitable, nor indeed want to fundraise -  but those who are, will enthuse supporters and they and their colleagues will feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Share investments If you can’t afford the proportionate cost of taking on a new member of staff, why not get together with other local organisations and share the cost? Choose an organisation geographically close to you, who share similar values and ethics. Sharing an employee can be rewarding and varied for the employee (especially if tasks are repetitive) and will give you the opportunity to attract a better calibre employee. For example, your telephone fundraising aspirations may be too small to use an agency, but a shared employee could make those aspirations a reality. Equally, shared training cost when using outside trainers can make an uneconomic project feasible. Whilst this might at first glance make practical management sense, these are exactly the sort of common sense propositions that appeal to high and major donors. So it may be a scary prospect, but the concept for a supporter helping more than one organisation at a time and funding these kinds of initiatives can also be a distinctive and attractive proposition. From the supporters’ perspective we should not forget that in fundraising terms smaller organisations often offer distinct advantages over larger ones – they can get closer to beneficiary and supporter needs more easily; with appropriate training and guidance they are often more flexible and capable of delivering a ‘real’ tailored supporter experience and they can cooperate with likeminded organisations to offer significant efficiencies in fundraising performance.   Jane Cunningham has been working in the forefront of fundraising for nearly 25 years. Known for the high quality of her fundraising practice and practical experience in segmentation and analysis, she has pioneered many new fundraising initiatives in the UK, Europe and the US.   In everything she develops, she believes that the starting point should be to take the donors perspective, which will ultimately lead to developing the most effective strategic and creative responses; resulting in donor satisfaction and financial success. http://www.janecunninghaminsights.co.uk/   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard BarkerHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment
    Oct 19, 2016 4799
  • 14 Oct 2016
    The Grow Your Tenner Awards recognise local charities and community groups that show outstanding creativity and fundraising expertise through our annual Grow Your Tenner match fund campaigns. With Grow Your Tenner 2016 kicking off tomorrow (18th October), what better time to celebrate the fundraising campaigns that moved and motivated us in 2015. With so many campaigns and causes to choose from, deciding our winners was not an easy task.  What ultimately made these groups stand out was the way they used the skills, resources and networks at their disposal to create campaigns that punched well above their weight. The winner of each award will be sent a £50 Amazon gift voucher So, without further ado, the winners of this year's Grow Your Tenner Awards are: Fundraising Innovation : Baby Bank Network Bristol The Fundraising Innovation Award looked for the charity that ran the most effective, unique and inspired fundraising campaign during Grow Your Tenner 2015. Creative strategies to encourage donations can make a real difference to the total raised and we were looking for inspiring stories of how groups approached this challenge. The Baby Bank Network relieves poverty in the Bristol area by providing new and preowned baby items to families in need. What we enjoyed most about the Baby Bank Network’s Campaign was the way they used the core premise of Grow Your Tenner - to give £10 and have it doubled - for their own innovative initiative. Renaming their campaign #TeddyTenner, the Baby Bank Network shaped their communications  to appeal to the needs and interests of their own audience.   Throughout the campaign, they built momentum by encouraging people to donate and share photos of their favourite child’s toy holding a tenner, nominating others to do the same. Some supporters took this a step further, getting their cats and dogs involved! The #TeddyTenner campaign received £2,287.50 (including match funding and gift aid)  in just 11 days from 85 donors, spreading the message about their important cause in the process. Laura Williams, who volunteers as marketing lead for Baby Bank Network, said: "We're fortunate enough to receive hundreds of donations of items to give to people in need, but it can be a struggle to secure monetary donations. Grow Your Tenner was great for us as it gave us a valuable cash injection to help us buy the items we cannot distribute second-hand, such as new mattresses and bottle teats. We combined it with #teddytenner idea to make it a bit more fun on social media - there were some really cute photos, we'll have to get our thinking caps on again for this year's campaign." See the full #Teddytenner story here.     PR Superstar Award: Bishop Auckland Community Partnership (BACP) - Cultivate 4 Life The PR Superstar Award recognises the group that best engaged with the media during Grow Your Tenner 2015. Throughout Grow Your Tenner 2015 BACP - Cultivate 4 Life worked closely with their local and regional press  to ensure that their campaign received widespread coverage, including a front page splash in  Bishops Press and a main feature in the Northern Echo. This enabled them to reach both new supporters and beneficiaries. BACP approached local media (print and radio) at the start of their campaign with a clear angle - “we have just 30 days to save our project from closing”.  They then followed up with personalised thank yous, developing positive relationships with the local media that will put them a strong position for publicising future campaigns and projects. The impact of this funding has been huge: “Grow Your Tenner rescued our project from closure, it helped us to reach out to our Community and further afield, raising awareness about our project and highlighted our desperate need for help, with an amazing response” The campaign received £2,242.50  (including match funding and gift aid) from 30 donors. On receiving the award Julia Costello,  Cultivate 4 Life Coordinator said: “It was a wonderful surprise to open my email from Localgiving informing us that we had been selected as the winner of PR Superstar Award recognising our efforts via Media with 2015 Grow a Tenner Appeal. We look forward to receiving our Certificate which will be framed and have a pride of place and the £50 Amazon Voucher will be used as a Prize for a forthcoming raffle.   Last year was the first time we engaged in this wonderful fundraising opportunity superbly co-ordinated by Localgiving, and received huge support from Northern Echo, Bishops Press, Town Crier and Bishop FM too, the response was amazing almost achieving £3,000 in donations, these funds aided us with a lifeline, our project was on the brink of closure, so all concerned THANK YOU once again. We are most definitely taking part in this year's Grow a Tenner, this time aided with a video, which we hope to launch this week, posting onto all our media pages including Facebook and Localgiving and certainly will be involving local papers & radio too”.   Future Impact Award: The Pennoyer centre The Future Impact Award recognises the group who can best explain how the funding they had raised through the campaign will be used in a way that was demonstrable, quantifiable and emotionally engaging. The Pennoyer Centre is an education and community venue in South Norfolk. The Centre signed up with Localgiving to raise the funds to run a monthly lunch club with the aim of combatting social isolation in their community. Pennoyer Centre’s entry to the Grow Your Tenner awards brilliantly shows the impact that local initiatives, however small, can make to their communities: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the winners of the Future Impact Award for our Grow Your Tenner campaign last year. We found out about the campaign last October via social media and set about enrolling into Localgiving and then promoting the match funding campaign as soon as we could. We were thrilled that our supporters really rose to the challenge and managed to raise  £500 funding” “We are completely self-funding and therefore covering all the bills and licenses is a huge undertaking. “ “The Lunch Club does a great deal to combat loneliness and social isolation in a rural community. For example, Margaret is 79 years old and recently widowed. She can walk down to the centre for company and have a hot drink and some social interaction. Lunch club is one of the highlights  for villagers like Margaret who can use Pennoyer's as a meeting place.Margaret enjoys the monthly lunch club enormously  because she can meet with friends and socialise. This is  a great thing for someone who now finds themselves living on their own in a rural village and does not have their own transport. The great thing about our lunch club is that we have people who are comfortable with going on their own as there are familiar faces there from the centre and others they know from the village. “Our monthly lunch club has really taken off over the last year. Our lunch club now regularly has an attendance of 25-30 people per month and the group enjoy a full roast dinner with homemade pudding for £11. We had to buy a new cooker when our old one broke in autumn last year. So the Grow Your Tenner funding came just at the right time and we were able to replace the cooker. This is an essential piece of equipment for our kitchen and for our lunch club.” “In the future we want to see the club continuing at an affordable price. We want to provide the means for people to get together thus aiding social inclusion in our rural Norfolk community” “This October we are going to run Grow Your Own Tenner again. We have set a target of £600 this time. As with last year we are looking for funding to buy new chairs and also refresh our café table coverings which are worn out and in need of replacement”. In 2015 The Pennoyer centre raised £496.25 from 20 donors.   A huge Congratulations to each of the three winners - a £50 Amazon voucher will be on its way to you very soon! We also want to send a  massive thank you to everyone who took part in the awards by submitting an entry. Sustainability Survey Prize Draw We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who took part in our Local Charity and Sustainability Survey over the summer. We are currently writing up the results and plan to release a report in the coming months.   All participating groups were entered into a draw to win a donation of £500 to their Cause. We are delighted to announce HELP Counselling Centre as the winners of this donation. Help Counselling Centre provides short and long-term affordable counselling for adults in west London.  Helen Stokes, Director, Help Counselling Centre has said: ‘We are delighted to win £500 from Localgiving as a result of taking part in the Sustainability Survey 2016. It’s increasingly important that local charities make their voices heard and we were keen to give our views as part of the survey – winning this prize has been a lovely bonus! It will help us to continue to offer affordable one-to-one counselling to a wide cross-section of the London community across a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, family and relationship issues and bereavement.’ Grow Your Tenner 2016 Grow Your Tenner 2016 will run from 10am on Tuesday the 18th October until the match fund runs out, or 5pm on Thursday the 17th November - whichever comes first. During the campaign one time donations made to local charities via Localgiving will be matched by up to £10; as will Direct Debits by up to £10 a month for the first 3 months. Is your group taking part in Grow Your Tenner 2016? Do you want to find a local charity or community group to support?  Get involved now: www.growyourtenner.org     
  • The Grow Your Tenner Awards recognise local charities and community groups that show outstanding creativity and fundraising expertise through our annual Grow Your Tenner match fund campaigns. With Grow Your Tenner 2016 kicking off tomorrow (18th October), what better time to celebrate the fundraising campaigns that moved and motivated us in 2015. With so many campaigns and causes to choose from, deciding our winners was not an easy task.  What ultimately made these groups stand out was the way they used the skills, resources and networks at their disposal to create campaigns that punched well above their weight. The winner of each award will be sent a £50 Amazon gift voucher So, without further ado, the winners of this year's Grow Your Tenner Awards are: Fundraising Innovation : Baby Bank Network Bristol The Fundraising Innovation Award looked for the charity that ran the most effective, unique and inspired fundraising campaign during Grow Your Tenner 2015. Creative strategies to encourage donations can make a real difference to the total raised and we were looking for inspiring stories of how groups approached this challenge. The Baby Bank Network relieves poverty in the Bristol area by providing new and preowned baby items to families in need. What we enjoyed most about the Baby Bank Network’s Campaign was the way they used the core premise of Grow Your Tenner - to give £10 and have it doubled - for their own innovative initiative. Renaming their campaign #TeddyTenner, the Baby Bank Network shaped their communications  to appeal to the needs and interests of their own audience.   Throughout the campaign, they built momentum by encouraging people to donate and share photos of their favourite child’s toy holding a tenner, nominating others to do the same. Some supporters took this a step further, getting their cats and dogs involved! The #TeddyTenner campaign received £2,287.50 (including match funding and gift aid)  in just 11 days from 85 donors, spreading the message about their important cause in the process. Laura Williams, who volunteers as marketing lead for Baby Bank Network, said: "We're fortunate enough to receive hundreds of donations of items to give to people in need, but it can be a struggle to secure monetary donations. Grow Your Tenner was great for us as it gave us a valuable cash injection to help us buy the items we cannot distribute second-hand, such as new mattresses and bottle teats. We combined it with #teddytenner idea to make it a bit more fun on social media - there were some really cute photos, we'll have to get our thinking caps on again for this year's campaign." See the full #Teddytenner story here.     PR Superstar Award: Bishop Auckland Community Partnership (BACP) - Cultivate 4 Life The PR Superstar Award recognises the group that best engaged with the media during Grow Your Tenner 2015. Throughout Grow Your Tenner 2015 BACP - Cultivate 4 Life worked closely with their local and regional press  to ensure that their campaign received widespread coverage, including a front page splash in  Bishops Press and a main feature in the Northern Echo. This enabled them to reach both new supporters and beneficiaries. BACP approached local media (print and radio) at the start of their campaign with a clear angle - “we have just 30 days to save our project from closing”.  They then followed up with personalised thank yous, developing positive relationships with the local media that will put them a strong position for publicising future campaigns and projects. The impact of this funding has been huge: “Grow Your Tenner rescued our project from closure, it helped us to reach out to our Community and further afield, raising awareness about our project and highlighted our desperate need for help, with an amazing response” The campaign received £2,242.50  (including match funding and gift aid) from 30 donors. On receiving the award Julia Costello,  Cultivate 4 Life Coordinator said: “It was a wonderful surprise to open my email from Localgiving informing us that we had been selected as the winner of PR Superstar Award recognising our efforts via Media with 2015 Grow a Tenner Appeal. We look forward to receiving our Certificate which will be framed and have a pride of place and the £50 Amazon Voucher will be used as a Prize for a forthcoming raffle.   Last year was the first time we engaged in this wonderful fundraising opportunity superbly co-ordinated by Localgiving, and received huge support from Northern Echo, Bishops Press, Town Crier and Bishop FM too, the response was amazing almost achieving £3,000 in donations, these funds aided us with a lifeline, our project was on the brink of closure, so all concerned THANK YOU once again. We are most definitely taking part in this year's Grow a Tenner, this time aided with a video, which we hope to launch this week, posting onto all our media pages including Facebook and Localgiving and certainly will be involving local papers & radio too”.   Future Impact Award: The Pennoyer centre The Future Impact Award recognises the group who can best explain how the funding they had raised through the campaign will be used in a way that was demonstrable, quantifiable and emotionally engaging. The Pennoyer Centre is an education and community venue in South Norfolk. The Centre signed up with Localgiving to raise the funds to run a monthly lunch club with the aim of combatting social isolation in their community. Pennoyer Centre’s entry to the Grow Your Tenner awards brilliantly shows the impact that local initiatives, however small, can make to their communities: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the winners of the Future Impact Award for our Grow Your Tenner campaign last year. We found out about the campaign last October via social media and set about enrolling into Localgiving and then promoting the match funding campaign as soon as we could. We were thrilled that our supporters really rose to the challenge and managed to raise  £500 funding” “We are completely self-funding and therefore covering all the bills and licenses is a huge undertaking. “ “The Lunch Club does a great deal to combat loneliness and social isolation in a rural community. For example, Margaret is 79 years old and recently widowed. She can walk down to the centre for company and have a hot drink and some social interaction. Lunch club is one of the highlights  for villagers like Margaret who can use Pennoyer's as a meeting place.Margaret enjoys the monthly lunch club enormously  because she can meet with friends and socialise. This is  a great thing for someone who now finds themselves living on their own in a rural village and does not have their own transport. The great thing about our lunch club is that we have people who are comfortable with going on their own as there are familiar faces there from the centre and others they know from the village. “Our monthly lunch club has really taken off over the last year. Our lunch club now regularly has an attendance of 25-30 people per month and the group enjoy a full roast dinner with homemade pudding for £11. We had to buy a new cooker when our old one broke in autumn last year. So the Grow Your Tenner funding came just at the right time and we were able to replace the cooker. This is an essential piece of equipment for our kitchen and for our lunch club.” “In the future we want to see the club continuing at an affordable price. We want to provide the means for people to get together thus aiding social inclusion in our rural Norfolk community” “This October we are going to run Grow Your Own Tenner again. We have set a target of £600 this time. As with last year we are looking for funding to buy new chairs and also refresh our café table coverings which are worn out and in need of replacement”. In 2015 The Pennoyer centre raised £496.25 from 20 donors.   A huge Congratulations to each of the three winners - a £50 Amazon voucher will be on its way to you very soon! We also want to send a  massive thank you to everyone who took part in the awards by submitting an entry. Sustainability Survey Prize Draw We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who took part in our Local Charity and Sustainability Survey over the summer. We are currently writing up the results and plan to release a report in the coming months.   All participating groups were entered into a draw to win a donation of £500 to their Cause. We are delighted to announce HELP Counselling Centre as the winners of this donation. Help Counselling Centre provides short and long-term affordable counselling for adults in west London.  Helen Stokes, Director, Help Counselling Centre has said: ‘We are delighted to win £500 from Localgiving as a result of taking part in the Sustainability Survey 2016. It’s increasingly important that local charities make their voices heard and we were keen to give our views as part of the survey – winning this prize has been a lovely bonus! It will help us to continue to offer affordable one-to-one counselling to a wide cross-section of the London community across a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, family and relationship issues and bereavement.’ Grow Your Tenner 2016 Grow Your Tenner 2016 will run from 10am on Tuesday the 18th October until the match fund runs out, or 5pm on Thursday the 17th November - whichever comes first. During the campaign one time donations made to local charities via Localgiving will be matched by up to £10; as will Direct Debits by up to £10 a month for the first 3 months. Is your group taking part in Grow Your Tenner 2016? Do you want to find a local charity or community group to support?  Get involved now: www.growyourtenner.org     
    Oct 14, 2016 5112