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270 blogs
  • 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 
    6418 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 6418
  • 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 
    1537 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 1537
  • 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   
    2546 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 2546
  • 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      
    4267 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 4267
  • 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
    4956 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 4956
  • 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 5293
  • 10 Oct 2016
    For those of you who are involved with small charities and groups the idea of running a telephone fundraising campaign probably seems beyond your capabilities but as long as you have a phone, a list of previous donors and some perseverance it can be a great way to directly engage with your audience. For example as part of the Bath City FC Supporters Society "Back the Bid" scheme to buy the club on behalf of the community I set up a makeshift call centre in our Treasurer’s hallway one Friday afternoon in 2015. I had a spreadsheet of all the Society's members, a battered landline phone, and a stool to sit on. I called each member in turn asking if they had heard of the bid, whether they were going to support it and if they had any questions. Many people told me it was the first time they had ever had a phone call from Bath City FC and the response was fantastic with a number saying that this had been a great reminder and they were going to purchase shares immediately. For those that weren't able to support it was still worth taking the time to correct basic details like email address and update them on the latest "Back the Bid" news.  In September 2016 we had to reconfirm the pledges made in 2015 so that we could relaunch our ultimately successful bid to become a majority shareholder. Four volunteers called over 100 people during the course of 3 hours and we confirmed pledges worth £10,000 in that time. Smaller charities and groups have a great opportunity to build a personal connection with their supporters as the volumes are typically much smaller, they will often know many of the people in person and they have all believed in your cause at some point in the past. Some of the larger charities have lost this personal connection due to their size, outsourcing of operations and the sheer complexity of their business processes. This presents a great opportunity for smaller charities and groups to demonstrate their agility and reach out to people directly. I would recommend you start any call with a simple thank you for previous support, provide an update on any new appeals that you might be running and finish with a pointer to where they can donate online. Do not take card details over the phone, just refer them to your Localgiving page, if you have one. Remember that taking time over each call and really listening might make all the difference to a supporter who receives frequent, more impersonal requests from larger organisations. Follow the legislation and make personal connections Last year, just as I'd started my previous role as Telephone Fundraising Manager for the University of Bristol, the tragic events of the Olive Cooke story were all over the newspapers and many Universities decided not to run their telephone campaigns that academic year. Unfortunately a handful of unscrupulous telemarketing agencies had given the wider telephone fundraising sector a bad name so make sure you follow the new legislation which was issued in response to those complaints. This includes handling each call sensitively, never asking for a donation more than 3 times, use a telephone number which can be identified by the recipient and end the call immediately if requested. Provided you follow the legislation then there is no need to shy away from a channel that allows you to make a personal connection with your donors, is essentially free (other than call charges and your time) and requires significantly less administration than say putting on a fundraising event.  Finally, it is crucial to check that you have permission to call your supporters in future so make sure you explicitly ask for permission to make fundraising calls at some point in the conversation and then record this consent in your spreadsheet, list or database. As a general rule I would avoid calling anyone over 80, anyone who appears to be confused or vulnerable and I would never makes calls after 8pm because many people find this intrusive. Provided you follow these guidelines and the legislation mentioned above then you should find that a telephone call can be a great opportunity to really connect with your most loyal supporters. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  How to make friend with the media by Kay Parris  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar Shining a Bright Light on local charities   Photographer: Karolina Grabowska.
    6095 Posted by James Carlin
  • For those of you who are involved with small charities and groups the idea of running a telephone fundraising campaign probably seems beyond your capabilities but as long as you have a phone, a list of previous donors and some perseverance it can be a great way to directly engage with your audience. For example as part of the Bath City FC Supporters Society "Back the Bid" scheme to buy the club on behalf of the community I set up a makeshift call centre in our Treasurer’s hallway one Friday afternoon in 2015. I had a spreadsheet of all the Society's members, a battered landline phone, and a stool to sit on. I called each member in turn asking if they had heard of the bid, whether they were going to support it and if they had any questions. Many people told me it was the first time they had ever had a phone call from Bath City FC and the response was fantastic with a number saying that this had been a great reminder and they were going to purchase shares immediately. For those that weren't able to support it was still worth taking the time to correct basic details like email address and update them on the latest "Back the Bid" news.  In September 2016 we had to reconfirm the pledges made in 2015 so that we could relaunch our ultimately successful bid to become a majority shareholder. Four volunteers called over 100 people during the course of 3 hours and we confirmed pledges worth £10,000 in that time. Smaller charities and groups have a great opportunity to build a personal connection with their supporters as the volumes are typically much smaller, they will often know many of the people in person and they have all believed in your cause at some point in the past. Some of the larger charities have lost this personal connection due to their size, outsourcing of operations and the sheer complexity of their business processes. This presents a great opportunity for smaller charities and groups to demonstrate their agility and reach out to people directly. I would recommend you start any call with a simple thank you for previous support, provide an update on any new appeals that you might be running and finish with a pointer to where they can donate online. Do not take card details over the phone, just refer them to your Localgiving page, if you have one. Remember that taking time over each call and really listening might make all the difference to a supporter who receives frequent, more impersonal requests from larger organisations. Follow the legislation and make personal connections Last year, just as I'd started my previous role as Telephone Fundraising Manager for the University of Bristol, the tragic events of the Olive Cooke story were all over the newspapers and many Universities decided not to run their telephone campaigns that academic year. Unfortunately a handful of unscrupulous telemarketing agencies had given the wider telephone fundraising sector a bad name so make sure you follow the new legislation which was issued in response to those complaints. This includes handling each call sensitively, never asking for a donation more than 3 times, use a telephone number which can be identified by the recipient and end the call immediately if requested. Provided you follow the legislation then there is no need to shy away from a channel that allows you to make a personal connection with your donors, is essentially free (other than call charges and your time) and requires significantly less administration than say putting on a fundraising event.  Finally, it is crucial to check that you have permission to call your supporters in future so make sure you explicitly ask for permission to make fundraising calls at some point in the conversation and then record this consent in your spreadsheet, list or database. As a general rule I would avoid calling anyone over 80, anyone who appears to be confused or vulnerable and I would never makes calls after 8pm because many people find this intrusive. Provided you follow these guidelines and the legislation mentioned above then you should find that a telephone call can be a great opportunity to really connect with your most loyal supporters. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  How to make friend with the media by Kay Parris  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar Shining a Bright Light on local charities   Photographer: Karolina Grabowska.
    Oct 10, 2016 6095
  • 10 Oct 2016
    Since the inaugural Small Charity CEO Support Network event (must find a catchier name for this – suggestions welcome!), I’ve been considering the feedback of those who joined us, and researching peer support and peer support networks. I’m a firm advocate of the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid), and everything suggests this network should be simply that – a peer support network. We are not alone It quickly became clear from contributions, networking and feedback that what leaders of small charities want and need from this group is the chance to share problems and challenges confidentially, with those in the same boat; to explore potential solutions and develop their knowledge; to get support. As soon as we understand that we are not alone, the load (and the isolation that can come from being at the top of a small organisation) lightens considerably. There are some superb services out there providing lifelines for CEOs who need practical and legal support – such as ACEVO’s CEOs in Crisis service. However, I (and many of you) know from painful experience, that prevention is better than cure. Those who have faced similar challenges and feelings can be better placed to offer the kind of support that prevents crisis. It is critical that the sector galvanizes to support this group of passionate and committed professionals and their charities, to avoid crisis and burnout, and the toll that takes on mental and physical health. Preventing burnout and preserving strong mental health in this valuable group of sector leaders requires more than practical approaches. Peer support offers benefits that are the fundamentals for effectiveness and strong performance As peer support develops as a practice, research is increasingly finding that sharing challenges with peers who have lived experience of the same issues increases knowledge, confidence and effectiveness, and decreases anxiety, isolation, depression and suicidal ideation. Peer support provides hope, helps people make sense of their situations, find meaning in their lives, take control over their destinies, develop their knowledge-base and manage their challenges. The power of social networks has become increasingly apparent over recent years. I believe passionately that a national peer support network of small charity CEOs can not only improve the mental health and effectiveness of leaders in our wonderful, innovative and highly professional sector, but also thereby improve the efficiency of our hundreds of thousands of small charities. I believe passionately that structured support is needed for small charity CEOs. This means support for charities and ultimately better services for our beneficiaries – a goal we should all aspire to. Since its launch, there has been a phenomenal amount of interest in the network from individuals, groups and organisations; this suggests there is an appetite for change in the sector. The CEO network is an influential group of innovative and skilled leaders, committed to peer support, and that’s a step towards change for the better. So, if you’re a small charity CEO and you’re wondering about whether to join the network, please don’t hesitate. It is full of fellow small charity experts who can help you solve your work challenges! It is full of people who are tackling the same issues as you and probably feeling the same way too. It is full of people ready to support you, and that means support for your charity, your beneficiaries, volunteers, staff. Some of you have already suggested topics for discussion, such as managing workload, when to outsource, finding a mentor and many more (we will be exploring your ideas for future sessions during the event!). The group is restricted to charity CEOs, Directors and Leaders – whether a registered charity or informal voluntary organisation, whatever the legal structure – you are welcome. We will observe Chatham House rules – you can speak freely and be heard. At each monthly meeting, someone from the network will present a problem, challenge, solution or simply their thoughts on a topic, and the group will then do their magic! There will be plenty of networking time too. I look forward to seeing you in October, and setting out on this journey with you!   Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org    Follow @jane_ceo    Found this article useful? Why not read more by this contributor?   The loneliness of the Small Charity Chief Executive   
    1168 Posted by Jane Hudson Jones
  • Since the inaugural Small Charity CEO Support Network event (must find a catchier name for this – suggestions welcome!), I’ve been considering the feedback of those who joined us, and researching peer support and peer support networks. I’m a firm advocate of the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid), and everything suggests this network should be simply that – a peer support network. We are not alone It quickly became clear from contributions, networking and feedback that what leaders of small charities want and need from this group is the chance to share problems and challenges confidentially, with those in the same boat; to explore potential solutions and develop their knowledge; to get support. As soon as we understand that we are not alone, the load (and the isolation that can come from being at the top of a small organisation) lightens considerably. There are some superb services out there providing lifelines for CEOs who need practical and legal support – such as ACEVO’s CEOs in Crisis service. However, I (and many of you) know from painful experience, that prevention is better than cure. Those who have faced similar challenges and feelings can be better placed to offer the kind of support that prevents crisis. It is critical that the sector galvanizes to support this group of passionate and committed professionals and their charities, to avoid crisis and burnout, and the toll that takes on mental and physical health. Preventing burnout and preserving strong mental health in this valuable group of sector leaders requires more than practical approaches. Peer support offers benefits that are the fundamentals for effectiveness and strong performance As peer support develops as a practice, research is increasingly finding that sharing challenges with peers who have lived experience of the same issues increases knowledge, confidence and effectiveness, and decreases anxiety, isolation, depression and suicidal ideation. Peer support provides hope, helps people make sense of their situations, find meaning in their lives, take control over their destinies, develop their knowledge-base and manage their challenges. The power of social networks has become increasingly apparent over recent years. I believe passionately that a national peer support network of small charity CEOs can not only improve the mental health and effectiveness of leaders in our wonderful, innovative and highly professional sector, but also thereby improve the efficiency of our hundreds of thousands of small charities. I believe passionately that structured support is needed for small charity CEOs. This means support for charities and ultimately better services for our beneficiaries – a goal we should all aspire to. Since its launch, there has been a phenomenal amount of interest in the network from individuals, groups and organisations; this suggests there is an appetite for change in the sector. The CEO network is an influential group of innovative and skilled leaders, committed to peer support, and that’s a step towards change for the better. So, if you’re a small charity CEO and you’re wondering about whether to join the network, please don’t hesitate. It is full of fellow small charity experts who can help you solve your work challenges! It is full of people who are tackling the same issues as you and probably feeling the same way too. It is full of people ready to support you, and that means support for your charity, your beneficiaries, volunteers, staff. Some of you have already suggested topics for discussion, such as managing workload, when to outsource, finding a mentor and many more (we will be exploring your ideas for future sessions during the event!). The group is restricted to charity CEOs, Directors and Leaders – whether a registered charity or informal voluntary organisation, whatever the legal structure – you are welcome. We will observe Chatham House rules – you can speak freely and be heard. At each monthly meeting, someone from the network will present a problem, challenge, solution or simply their thoughts on a topic, and the group will then do their magic! There will be plenty of networking time too. I look forward to seeing you in October, and setting out on this journey with you!   Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org    Follow @jane_ceo    Found this article useful? Why not read more by this contributor?   The loneliness of the Small Charity Chief Executive   
    Oct 10, 2016 1168
  • 03 Oct 2016
    You wake at 5am, bleary eyed, from a troubled night, the alarm saving you from sinking back into sleep. You don’t feel rested today. Around 3am you were surreptitiously whispering into your phone’s audio recorder. Your partner heard you anyway, and so your work disrupted their sleep once again. Yes, that’s right – you were working. Adding to your to-do list – operational tasks you’ve remembered that slipped under the radar earlier on. An exciting idea for fundraising that you really must explore. A difficult staff appraisal to prepare for. Inspiration for solving a common problem a beneficiary told you about over coffee. Worrying about covering the budget without any statutory funding. Wondering how much more you can ask your heroic staff to take on, over and above the 45 hours a week they already work, for a salary that is modest to say the least. Wondering how you will cope with tomorrow’s challenges without a decent night’s sleep yet again, and feeling overwhelmed…   Yes, I feel your pain, because I’ve been there. I’ve been a new small charity Chief Executive and I’ve been a seasoned one – and I know it doesn’t feel much easier either way. Feeling overwhelmed can dampen all the passion in the world. Why is this peculiar to small charities? Because conventional organisation structure – Board, CEO, staff – applies to small charities too, but doesn’t fit. Four or five key, but junior people staff the majority of small charities. So the small charity Chief Executive is also the Director of Finance. Director of HR too. And Director of Fundraising. Yes, and Service Director. Oh, and Facilities Manager and PA. And don’t forget they’re the Chief Executive, responsible for strategy, ambassadoring, leading and thinking – those exciting and wonderful aspects of the role that they rarely get time to do. I know of small charity Chief Execs who literally work round the clock, sending emails at 1am on Monday morning, just to be able to keep up with a workload that is Herculean in breadth and volume. I know some live on the verge of breakdown. All Chief Executives, in any sector or organization, expect a heavy workload, but this is a real structural problem for which there seems to be no impetus to change. There’s no time for that, and perhaps there are appearances to keep up. There are no peers for the small charity Chief Exec – no one within the organisation you can talk to for support. This is a long distance runner who carries a whole organisation on their back. Can this really be acceptable? And how does this segment of the wider sector find the time to fight back against the current charity-bashing trend (which could actually be one manifestation of a paradigm change for the sector, but that’s another blog!). Trustees of small charities can often be found feeling depleted – they generally take a far more hands-on role than their colleagues in big organisations. But it is the Chief Executives who are paid to run the show, and – given the current structure - there’s a huge amount of pressure to perform. All of this usually with ever decreasing resources. Of course Chairs can and should be a strong source of support and partnership for the small charity Chief Exec, though in reality it doesn’t always work out that way. I’ll talk about working relationships in small charities more in a forthcoming blog. 97% of registered charities are defined as ‘small’ – that means there are up to 155,000 small charity Chief Execs in the UK (Small Charities Coalition, 2016). I have begun to wonder why this ill-fitting structure exists for the majority of the sector. I don’t have answers yet, but I hope to find them in partnership with sector leaders. So I’ve taken the plunge and gone freelance to unleash my passion for supporting charity leaders and their teams. With a fellow former small charity Chief Exec (who calls herself a ‘reformed Chief Executive’) I’m setting up a peer support system for this dynamic and dedicated, but beleaguered group. We’re not sure exactly how it will look yet – we want your steer on that, but we know from our networks that it is much needed. We know that it will be a supportive group, but also an expert group that comes up with solutions to common problems. Hopefully we can work together to find support and innovations. Watch this space! Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org  Follow @jane_ceo  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity Shining a Bright Light on local charities NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving memberships  
    2946 Posted by Jane Hudson Jones
  • You wake at 5am, bleary eyed, from a troubled night, the alarm saving you from sinking back into sleep. You don’t feel rested today. Around 3am you were surreptitiously whispering into your phone’s audio recorder. Your partner heard you anyway, and so your work disrupted their sleep once again. Yes, that’s right – you were working. Adding to your to-do list – operational tasks you’ve remembered that slipped under the radar earlier on. An exciting idea for fundraising that you really must explore. A difficult staff appraisal to prepare for. Inspiration for solving a common problem a beneficiary told you about over coffee. Worrying about covering the budget without any statutory funding. Wondering how much more you can ask your heroic staff to take on, over and above the 45 hours a week they already work, for a salary that is modest to say the least. Wondering how you will cope with tomorrow’s challenges without a decent night’s sleep yet again, and feeling overwhelmed…   Yes, I feel your pain, because I’ve been there. I’ve been a new small charity Chief Executive and I’ve been a seasoned one – and I know it doesn’t feel much easier either way. Feeling overwhelmed can dampen all the passion in the world. Why is this peculiar to small charities? Because conventional organisation structure – Board, CEO, staff – applies to small charities too, but doesn’t fit. Four or five key, but junior people staff the majority of small charities. So the small charity Chief Executive is also the Director of Finance. Director of HR too. And Director of Fundraising. Yes, and Service Director. Oh, and Facilities Manager and PA. And don’t forget they’re the Chief Executive, responsible for strategy, ambassadoring, leading and thinking – those exciting and wonderful aspects of the role that they rarely get time to do. I know of small charity Chief Execs who literally work round the clock, sending emails at 1am on Monday morning, just to be able to keep up with a workload that is Herculean in breadth and volume. I know some live on the verge of breakdown. All Chief Executives, in any sector or organization, expect a heavy workload, but this is a real structural problem for which there seems to be no impetus to change. There’s no time for that, and perhaps there are appearances to keep up. There are no peers for the small charity Chief Exec – no one within the organisation you can talk to for support. This is a long distance runner who carries a whole organisation on their back. Can this really be acceptable? And how does this segment of the wider sector find the time to fight back against the current charity-bashing trend (which could actually be one manifestation of a paradigm change for the sector, but that’s another blog!). Trustees of small charities can often be found feeling depleted – they generally take a far more hands-on role than their colleagues in big organisations. But it is the Chief Executives who are paid to run the show, and – given the current structure - there’s a huge amount of pressure to perform. All of this usually with ever decreasing resources. Of course Chairs can and should be a strong source of support and partnership for the small charity Chief Exec, though in reality it doesn’t always work out that way. I’ll talk about working relationships in small charities more in a forthcoming blog. 97% of registered charities are defined as ‘small’ – that means there are up to 155,000 small charity Chief Execs in the UK (Small Charities Coalition, 2016). I have begun to wonder why this ill-fitting structure exists for the majority of the sector. I don’t have answers yet, but I hope to find them in partnership with sector leaders. So I’ve taken the plunge and gone freelance to unleash my passion for supporting charity leaders and their teams. With a fellow former small charity Chief Exec (who calls herself a ‘reformed Chief Executive’) I’m setting up a peer support system for this dynamic and dedicated, but beleaguered group. We’re not sure exactly how it will look yet – we want your steer on that, but we know from our networks that it is much needed. We know that it will be a supportive group, but also an expert group that comes up with solutions to common problems. Hopefully we can work together to find support and innovations. Watch this space! Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org  Follow @jane_ceo  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity Shining a Bright Light on local charities NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving memberships  
    Oct 03, 2016 2946
  • 29 Sep 2016
    Huge congratulations go to Community Foundation for Calderdale for winning both best fundraising campaign at the Third Sector Awards 2016 and Fundraising Team of the Year: with an income under £5 million at the Charity Times Awards 2016.  On Boxing Day 2015 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks – the subsequent flooding had a devestating impact on businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded by launching its Calderdale Flood Fund to help rebuild the community.  Working closely with both local and national media, corporates and voluntary goups, CFFC raised over £2.5 million to support the community in its recovery - £250,000 of which came through its Localgiving appeal page. It was truly inspiring to witness the creativity and hard-work put into this campaign, and to have had the opportunity to play a role in its success.  In March we spoke to Emma Bolger of CFFC about the lessons that other local charities and community groups could take from their extraordinary campaign. Why not read more here!    
    1671 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Huge congratulations go to Community Foundation for Calderdale for winning both best fundraising campaign at the Third Sector Awards 2016 and Fundraising Team of the Year: with an income under £5 million at the Charity Times Awards 2016.  On Boxing Day 2015 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks – the subsequent flooding had a devestating impact on businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded by launching its Calderdale Flood Fund to help rebuild the community.  Working closely with both local and national media, corporates and voluntary goups, CFFC raised over £2.5 million to support the community in its recovery - £250,000 of which came through its Localgiving appeal page. It was truly inspiring to witness the creativity and hard-work put into this campaign, and to have had the opportunity to play a role in its success.  In March we spoke to Emma Bolger of CFFC about the lessons that other local charities and community groups could take from their extraordinary campaign. Why not read more here!    
    Sep 29, 2016 1671