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270 blogs
  • 19 Sep 2016
    How to obtain, train and retain good trustees. Non-profit organisations, as you will know, really struggle to recruit good trustees: trustees who are fully engaged, know how they can make a difference and where they fit into the organisation. Recruiting new trustees is about getting the right people. Training trustees is about growing the right people. Retaining trustees is about engaging the right people. Recruiting A recent figure from the UK governing bodies showed that 47 per cent of organisations have a vacancy for a trustee at any given time. This matches my experience of working with non-profit organisations in general, and trustees in particular. So, how do you recruit a trustee who is the right fit for your organisation? Many organisations naturally look to their supporters, service users, family, friends and colleagues as a first step. However, this can be difficult, especially if the potential trustee is known to you, as they will be expected to question and challenge the status quo! Is that going to be uncomfortable? Organisations which have trustees with long-term involvement who are not prepared to ask those challenging questions will run into problems. You know the famous saying – never work with family and friends! You will, of course, have to consider your networks, but before that, map out and be clear about what skills are missing from your existing trustees, and what is needed to drive your organisation forward, e.g. operations, finance, HR, third sector, communications or legal. Compare your organisation’s priorities with an assessment of your existing  trustees’ skills. Why not ask your existing board members what motivated them to join? Try to create a trustee advert that reflects this feedback. Many people will not understand what a trustee is – help them by explaining in your advert the key skills and responsibilities needed to fulfil the role. Training An induction programme is a clear and simple way to provide your newest trustee with all the information they need to be confident and productive in their role. So make sure you have a role description document which sets out the trustee’s purpose and main duties. Your induction programme can last for a few weeks or months; to find out more about what should be included, click here: http://charitypeeks.com/charity-trustee-induction/ Retaining What would make you stay interested and engaged in an organisation? Here are some points to bear in mind: Good communication – making sure trustees communicate and support one another. Provide papers for board meetings well in advance and take extra time to prepare a new trustee so that they are aware of the background of certain agenda items. Encourage and motivate trustees by thanking them for their support and contribution – they are often the forgotten volunteers! Remember that without trustees you will struggle to drive your organisation forward, and governance will get lost in the ‘to-do’ list. After a few months it is worth reviewing the process – ask your trustee how they are settling in to the role and if there’s any more you can do to support them, and remember to ask their opinions on how things could work better. 8 Top Tips Make sure you have an honest role description. Identify gaps in your current board. Create an advert that promotes those areas of expertise. Sell the role in an honest way – could you do an interview with existing trustees? Create an induction pack that helps trustees to understand their key duties. Make sure they meet the staff, volunteers and beneficiaries to engage with the work of the organisation. Assign a ‘board member buddy’ that they can ask questions to outside of board meetings. Review how your trustees are settling into their role: ask how the process has been for them, and what could be done better or differently in the future.   Caroline is a Charity Leader, Trustee and Consultant. Her passion lies in helping not-for-profit organisations grow. She is the owner of Charity Peeks, an organisation designed to inspire and educate charity and social enterprise leaders. With 25 years of business experience, Caroline helps Trustees and Managers to have clarity on what they need to do in their organisation to deliver results. Her energy for supporting organisations to build trust and be open and transparent shines through in her training seminars, speaking roles and consultancy work. Why not join the Charity Peeks facebook group? It's free and full of hints and tips for manager and trustees, just click here to join   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Why a newsletter?NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving membershipsStorytelling Tips for CharitiesHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity  
    2329 Posted by Caroline Mckenna
  • How to obtain, train and retain good trustees. Non-profit organisations, as you will know, really struggle to recruit good trustees: trustees who are fully engaged, know how they can make a difference and where they fit into the organisation. Recruiting new trustees is about getting the right people. Training trustees is about growing the right people. Retaining trustees is about engaging the right people. Recruiting A recent figure from the UK governing bodies showed that 47 per cent of organisations have a vacancy for a trustee at any given time. This matches my experience of working with non-profit organisations in general, and trustees in particular. So, how do you recruit a trustee who is the right fit for your organisation? Many organisations naturally look to their supporters, service users, family, friends and colleagues as a first step. However, this can be difficult, especially if the potential trustee is known to you, as they will be expected to question and challenge the status quo! Is that going to be uncomfortable? Organisations which have trustees with long-term involvement who are not prepared to ask those challenging questions will run into problems. You know the famous saying – never work with family and friends! You will, of course, have to consider your networks, but before that, map out and be clear about what skills are missing from your existing trustees, and what is needed to drive your organisation forward, e.g. operations, finance, HR, third sector, communications or legal. Compare your organisation’s priorities with an assessment of your existing  trustees’ skills. Why not ask your existing board members what motivated them to join? Try to create a trustee advert that reflects this feedback. Many people will not understand what a trustee is – help them by explaining in your advert the key skills and responsibilities needed to fulfil the role. Training An induction programme is a clear and simple way to provide your newest trustee with all the information they need to be confident and productive in their role. So make sure you have a role description document which sets out the trustee’s purpose and main duties. Your induction programme can last for a few weeks or months; to find out more about what should be included, click here: http://charitypeeks.com/charity-trustee-induction/ Retaining What would make you stay interested and engaged in an organisation? Here are some points to bear in mind: Good communication – making sure trustees communicate and support one another. Provide papers for board meetings well in advance and take extra time to prepare a new trustee so that they are aware of the background of certain agenda items. Encourage and motivate trustees by thanking them for their support and contribution – they are often the forgotten volunteers! Remember that without trustees you will struggle to drive your organisation forward, and governance will get lost in the ‘to-do’ list. After a few months it is worth reviewing the process – ask your trustee how they are settling in to the role and if there’s any more you can do to support them, and remember to ask their opinions on how things could work better. 8 Top Tips Make sure you have an honest role description. Identify gaps in your current board. Create an advert that promotes those areas of expertise. Sell the role in an honest way – could you do an interview with existing trustees? Create an induction pack that helps trustees to understand their key duties. Make sure they meet the staff, volunteers and beneficiaries to engage with the work of the organisation. Assign a ‘board member buddy’ that they can ask questions to outside of board meetings. Review how your trustees are settling into their role: ask how the process has been for them, and what could be done better or differently in the future.   Caroline is a Charity Leader, Trustee and Consultant. Her passion lies in helping not-for-profit organisations grow. She is the owner of Charity Peeks, an organisation designed to inspire and educate charity and social enterprise leaders. With 25 years of business experience, Caroline helps Trustees and Managers to have clarity on what they need to do in their organisation to deliver results. Her energy for supporting organisations to build trust and be open and transparent shines through in her training seminars, speaking roles and consultancy work. Why not join the Charity Peeks facebook group? It's free and full of hints and tips for manager and trustees, just click here to join   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Why a newsletter?NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving membershipsStorytelling Tips for CharitiesHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity  
    Sep 19, 2016 2329
  • 15 Sep 2016
    Blogging, newsletters, vlogging, online marketing, hashtags, tweeting, snapchatting....connecting with people these days seems to have developed a language of its own. As a small charity it’s easy to feel drowned by the very idea of trying to market your cause, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you need a degree in social media to even start. As a small organisation with a small team, but with a big heart and even bigger aspirations for our work in our community, we decided to launch a newsletter. Why? As a small community group in Manchester passionate about our role, we had over the years built up a core of supporters. We felt a duty to let them know their support was valid and contributed to our ongoing work which continued to be rewarding. It was the simplest way to reach out to our baseline supporters and also, an opportunity for supporters to choose us! Offering individuals and companies to be added to our mailing list means that you give them the choice to find out more and the peace of mind that they are already interested in what you do. And those then receiving your newsletter are more likely to pass it on to like minded people. Since our first newsletter, we have been offered to write guest blogs, approached by local media and increased traffic to our website. So it does work! Here is what to do next. How to start your newsletter Do you know that clipboard of email addresses you collect when you’re networking or holding events? Yes that one that may be a bit dog eared or crying out to be added onto your email account. It starts with that. The people that have given their email addresses are already interested in what you are doing.  So dust it off, switch on your computer and create a list Write. Sounds simple right? The problem is in our brains, maybe we think we’re not great writers or we feel that we don’t have what it takes to engage our audience. Start with a list of what your charity has done in the last month/quarter List what you have planned for the next month/quarter Embellish the lists with your motivations/feelings around your activities. Are you particularly proud of a project/achievement? Did an experience move you emotionally? Are you passionate about any particular aspect? Tell your audience! Acknowledge your supporters. Thank them for their contributions. There’s nothing like feeling valued. Call to action: What is going on in your organisation which needs the further support of your followers? Maybe a fundraising campaign or a callout for volunteers Trust yourself; your work is valid and authentic: get that across in your newsletters and you will connect with the right people As an exercise itself, writing the newsletter is a useful reflective tool and confidence booster. It’s often amazing to actually write down all the great stuff you have done and are yet planning to do to re-affirm your own dedication to your cause. Be positive. When you start, great things happen. Remember if you don’t tell people they won’t know. Be heard! Start today.   Aisha Malik is a medical doctor and co-founder of Capoeira Conviver Community Group and Manchester Capoeira Academy. The group has been offering Brazilian Dance-Martial Arts classes in inner city Manchester since 2007, and has gone strength to strength opening a new space this year and being featured on That's Manchester TV. Capoeira Conviver continues to hold classes and provide outreach work, promoting health, well being, fitness and embracing diversity throughout the arts.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield  
    1935 Posted by Aisha Malik
  • Blogging, newsletters, vlogging, online marketing, hashtags, tweeting, snapchatting....connecting with people these days seems to have developed a language of its own. As a small charity it’s easy to feel drowned by the very idea of trying to market your cause, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you need a degree in social media to even start. As a small organisation with a small team, but with a big heart and even bigger aspirations for our work in our community, we decided to launch a newsletter. Why? As a small community group in Manchester passionate about our role, we had over the years built up a core of supporters. We felt a duty to let them know their support was valid and contributed to our ongoing work which continued to be rewarding. It was the simplest way to reach out to our baseline supporters and also, an opportunity for supporters to choose us! Offering individuals and companies to be added to our mailing list means that you give them the choice to find out more and the peace of mind that they are already interested in what you do. And those then receiving your newsletter are more likely to pass it on to like minded people. Since our first newsletter, we have been offered to write guest blogs, approached by local media and increased traffic to our website. So it does work! Here is what to do next. How to start your newsletter Do you know that clipboard of email addresses you collect when you’re networking or holding events? Yes that one that may be a bit dog eared or crying out to be added onto your email account. It starts with that. The people that have given their email addresses are already interested in what you are doing.  So dust it off, switch on your computer and create a list Write. Sounds simple right? The problem is in our brains, maybe we think we’re not great writers or we feel that we don’t have what it takes to engage our audience. Start with a list of what your charity has done in the last month/quarter List what you have planned for the next month/quarter Embellish the lists with your motivations/feelings around your activities. Are you particularly proud of a project/achievement? Did an experience move you emotionally? Are you passionate about any particular aspect? Tell your audience! Acknowledge your supporters. Thank them for their contributions. There’s nothing like feeling valued. Call to action: What is going on in your organisation which needs the further support of your followers? Maybe a fundraising campaign or a callout for volunteers Trust yourself; your work is valid and authentic: get that across in your newsletters and you will connect with the right people As an exercise itself, writing the newsletter is a useful reflective tool and confidence booster. It’s often amazing to actually write down all the great stuff you have done and are yet planning to do to re-affirm your own dedication to your cause. Be positive. When you start, great things happen. Remember if you don’t tell people they won’t know. Be heard! Start today.   Aisha Malik is a medical doctor and co-founder of Capoeira Conviver Community Group and Manchester Capoeira Academy. The group has been offering Brazilian Dance-Martial Arts classes in inner city Manchester since 2007, and has gone strength to strength opening a new space this year and being featured on That's Manchester TV. Capoeira Conviver continues to hold classes and provide outreach work, promoting health, well being, fitness and embracing diversity throughout the arts.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield  
    Sep 15, 2016 1935
  • 14 Sep 2016
    We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new partnership programme with the FSI, NCVO, Sported, and the Small Charities Coalition.  Local charities and community groups that are members of these organisations are now able to claim their first year membership of Localgiving for free. This offer is initially running until the end of 2016.  This collaboration will give thousands of local groups across the UK the opportunity to benefit from regular match funding campaigns, fundraising skills training and digital resources at zero cost. Those groups that join up before October 18th will be able to take part in our upcoming national match fund campaign, Grow Your Tenner. In 2015, Grow Your Tenner raised £631,245 for 899 local charities and is set to be even bigger this year. Our partners are equally enthusiastic about the opportunity that this collaboration presents to their members: Amber Shotton, Head of Membership and Learning at The FSI has said: “Localgiving is a fantastic resource for small, local charities and we at the FSI are delighted to offer our members free membership with Localgiving. This gives access to match fund initiatives like the Grow Your Tenner campaign as well as resources and support with online fundraising.”   Kathryn Berry, Head of Member Services for Sported said: “The opportunity that Localgiving provides for community organisations is fantastic! Sported members have accessed a huge amount of funding through Localgiving already, enabling them to strengthen their organisations and offer more opportunities for disadvantaged young people to get involved in sport for development activities. To be able to offer free memberships to all our members is invaluable and something that we hope that they will take up.”   Felicity Christensen, Communications & Events Manager at Small Charities Coalition said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Localgiving to reach more small charities across the UK and provide them with training that will strengthen their fundraising activity. It's fantastic that our members will be able to benefit from free Localgiving membership and all the opportunities that this will afford them."   Gillen Knight, Head of Marketing & Membership at NCVO said: “These are tight times for small and local charities, so we are very pleased to support this new partnership. NCVO provides a whole package of support to our members and it’s great to be able to give them even more so they can really develop their digital fundraising skills to help them make a bigger difference.”   If you are a member of the FSI, Small Charities Coalition, Sported or NCVO then why not become a member today!
  • We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new partnership programme with the FSI, NCVO, Sported, and the Small Charities Coalition.  Local charities and community groups that are members of these organisations are now able to claim their first year membership of Localgiving for free. This offer is initially running until the end of 2016.  This collaboration will give thousands of local groups across the UK the opportunity to benefit from regular match funding campaigns, fundraising skills training and digital resources at zero cost. Those groups that join up before October 18th will be able to take part in our upcoming national match fund campaign, Grow Your Tenner. In 2015, Grow Your Tenner raised £631,245 for 899 local charities and is set to be even bigger this year. Our partners are equally enthusiastic about the opportunity that this collaboration presents to their members: Amber Shotton, Head of Membership and Learning at The FSI has said: “Localgiving is a fantastic resource for small, local charities and we at the FSI are delighted to offer our members free membership with Localgiving. This gives access to match fund initiatives like the Grow Your Tenner campaign as well as resources and support with online fundraising.”   Kathryn Berry, Head of Member Services for Sported said: “The opportunity that Localgiving provides for community organisations is fantastic! Sported members have accessed a huge amount of funding through Localgiving already, enabling them to strengthen their organisations and offer more opportunities for disadvantaged young people to get involved in sport for development activities. To be able to offer free memberships to all our members is invaluable and something that we hope that they will take up.”   Felicity Christensen, Communications & Events Manager at Small Charities Coalition said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Localgiving to reach more small charities across the UK and provide them with training that will strengthen their fundraising activity. It's fantastic that our members will be able to benefit from free Localgiving membership and all the opportunities that this will afford them."   Gillen Knight, Head of Marketing & Membership at NCVO said: “These are tight times for small and local charities, so we are very pleased to support this new partnership. NCVO provides a whole package of support to our members and it’s great to be able to give them even more so they can really develop their digital fundraising skills to help them make a bigger difference.”   If you are a member of the FSI, Small Charities Coalition, Sported or NCVO then why not become a member today!
    Sep 14, 2016 3443
  • 20 Sep 2016
    Welsh electro-pop musician Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas, recently became an ambassador for Localgiving. It has been an exciting and hectic few months for Rod including an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, a support slot for Take That and the release of his third album, Choreography. While in London, Rod swung by for a chat. During our conversation Rod explained why he feels so passionately about grassroots charities, how his friendship with Elton John has influenced his desire to ‘give back’ and his experience of growing up in South Wales as a young artist. Can you sum your incredible year up in 3 words? “Amazing, Brilliant and Exhausting” What makes you so passionate about grassroots charities and community groups? “It’s really cool to be involved in something that isn’t just music based – as well as music based. Getting involved with Localgiving is really nice because you get to think about the real world outside of music which is a really refreshing change. Nobody knows what a community needs more than the people within that community, so grassroots charities are very important. It is people addressing specific needs within a specific location and trying to improve things from the bottom up When I was growing up I didn’t feel connected to places like London or New York or even really Britain generally because it felt like such a small part of the world. It was south Wales and a lot of the talk of what was happening in culture or education or finance was very localised. So I think that having charities that really focus on localised operations and localised problems is important”. You  are friends with Elton John, one of Music’s leading philanthropists. How has he influenced you? “It is really inspiring seeing someone who is one of the busiest musicians in the world and one of the most successful musicians in the world also finding as much time as he possibly can to raise awareness and raise money for charities. I think this is so incredible and I think that’s something that very very few people make the time to do when potentially they’ve got a platform to do that.” If you could set up a charity in your home town of Neath what would it do? “It would probably be something quite arts based, particularly focussing on business skills. When I was growing up people weren’t really taught about ways they could make the arts into a sustainable career or even an option. I always thought that music would be alongside a job and be a labour of love. I think being taught younger about how to make long-term plans would really help a lot of people to have a feeling that there is support and possibility for their ambitions because a lot of talent goes to waste because people just don’t know how to translate that talent into success.” Why should people support local charities? “Whether you like it or not you are always thinking about your locale and your neighbourhood, you town, your city, your friends… or at least you should be. So whatever you can do to support people within that immediate network is really important Localgiving is an excellent opportunity to do something small that makes a big difference!” Find out more about Bright Light Bright Light, including his music and his work with Localgiving by following him on twitter @Brightlightx2 and facebook.  And why not take this opportunity to find a charity near you?    
    1494 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Welsh electro-pop musician Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas, recently became an ambassador for Localgiving. It has been an exciting and hectic few months for Rod including an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, a support slot for Take That and the release of his third album, Choreography. While in London, Rod swung by for a chat. During our conversation Rod explained why he feels so passionately about grassroots charities, how his friendship with Elton John has influenced his desire to ‘give back’ and his experience of growing up in South Wales as a young artist. Can you sum your incredible year up in 3 words? “Amazing, Brilliant and Exhausting” What makes you so passionate about grassroots charities and community groups? “It’s really cool to be involved in something that isn’t just music based – as well as music based. Getting involved with Localgiving is really nice because you get to think about the real world outside of music which is a really refreshing change. Nobody knows what a community needs more than the people within that community, so grassroots charities are very important. It is people addressing specific needs within a specific location and trying to improve things from the bottom up When I was growing up I didn’t feel connected to places like London or New York or even really Britain generally because it felt like such a small part of the world. It was south Wales and a lot of the talk of what was happening in culture or education or finance was very localised. So I think that having charities that really focus on localised operations and localised problems is important”. You  are friends with Elton John, one of Music’s leading philanthropists. How has he influenced you? “It is really inspiring seeing someone who is one of the busiest musicians in the world and one of the most successful musicians in the world also finding as much time as he possibly can to raise awareness and raise money for charities. I think this is so incredible and I think that’s something that very very few people make the time to do when potentially they’ve got a platform to do that.” If you could set up a charity in your home town of Neath what would it do? “It would probably be something quite arts based, particularly focussing on business skills. When I was growing up people weren’t really taught about ways they could make the arts into a sustainable career or even an option. I always thought that music would be alongside a job and be a labour of love. I think being taught younger about how to make long-term plans would really help a lot of people to have a feeling that there is support and possibility for their ambitions because a lot of talent goes to waste because people just don’t know how to translate that talent into success.” Why should people support local charities? “Whether you like it or not you are always thinking about your locale and your neighbourhood, you town, your city, your friends… or at least you should be. So whatever you can do to support people within that immediate network is really important Localgiving is an excellent opportunity to do something small that makes a big difference!” Find out more about Bright Light Bright Light, including his music and his work with Localgiving by following him on twitter @Brightlightx2 and facebook.  And why not take this opportunity to find a charity near you?    
    Sep 20, 2016 1494
  • 31 Aug 2016
    Alex Swallow is The Influence Expert, helping you to grow your influence to increase the impact that you have on the world. He is also the Founder of Young Charity Trustees and the owner of the Social Good Six interview series. He is the previous Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition and maintains a keen interest in the work of small charities. Having only worked in the charity sector at small charities and having been the Chief Executive of a support organisation for small charities, I know the pressure that you are under. Pressure to gain supporters behind your cause, get in enough money and cope in a challenging environment. There are three things that I’d recommend: Don’t fight alone, value your work and grow your influence.   Don’t fight alone I hope that you are already getting help from other people. This post that I wrote for Small Charity Week last year explains some of the help that you can get. You need to get all the support that you can, including bringing in new Trustees and other volunteers if you feel that you need new skills, experience or ideas. Trustees’ Week is coming up in November and is an ideal time to recruit. Value your work I hope that you are proud of the work that you do. However, it is likely that you don’t get enough recognition for it. Many small charities are not in the public spotlight despite doing amazing things for parts of society where no-one else really helps. I’m a supporter of Good News Shared- you can send them your stories if you would like to get a bit of attention! However you do it, you need to find a way to make sure that you are proud of your work because then you will be able to engage other people in what you are doing. Plus, being proud will be good motivation for you in those lonely hours when you are slogging away trying to make the world a better place. Also, this talk that I gave for The Media Trust shows why small charities should be excited about some of the opportunities that the online world now provides. Remember, among all the challenges there are lots of possibilities to take advantage of too. Grow your influence This article gives a comprehensive discussion of what I mean by influence. As a small charity you might not always be able to compete with the big boys all the time, but you can certainly punch above your weight. To have the impact that you want you need to find the appropriate ways to influence the world around you. In this speech that I gave earlier this year at an international charity conference, I outline some of those ways. Using a model called the LEAPS Model, featured in the video, I show how you can grow your influence as an individual, or apply the same concepts to an organisation. If you can effectively grow your influence you have the chance to achieve all of the things that you need to make sure that your charity not only survives, but thrives. I thank you for your important work and hope that the three principles I have outlined help you get to where you want to be. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston  
    22609 Posted by Alex Swallow
  • Alex Swallow is The Influence Expert, helping you to grow your influence to increase the impact that you have on the world. He is also the Founder of Young Charity Trustees and the owner of the Social Good Six interview series. He is the previous Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition and maintains a keen interest in the work of small charities. Having only worked in the charity sector at small charities and having been the Chief Executive of a support organisation for small charities, I know the pressure that you are under. Pressure to gain supporters behind your cause, get in enough money and cope in a challenging environment. There are three things that I’d recommend: Don’t fight alone, value your work and grow your influence.   Don’t fight alone I hope that you are already getting help from other people. This post that I wrote for Small Charity Week last year explains some of the help that you can get. You need to get all the support that you can, including bringing in new Trustees and other volunteers if you feel that you need new skills, experience or ideas. Trustees’ Week is coming up in November and is an ideal time to recruit. Value your work I hope that you are proud of the work that you do. However, it is likely that you don’t get enough recognition for it. Many small charities are not in the public spotlight despite doing amazing things for parts of society where no-one else really helps. I’m a supporter of Good News Shared- you can send them your stories if you would like to get a bit of attention! However you do it, you need to find a way to make sure that you are proud of your work because then you will be able to engage other people in what you are doing. Plus, being proud will be good motivation for you in those lonely hours when you are slogging away trying to make the world a better place. Also, this talk that I gave for The Media Trust shows why small charities should be excited about some of the opportunities that the online world now provides. Remember, among all the challenges there are lots of possibilities to take advantage of too. Grow your influence This article gives a comprehensive discussion of what I mean by influence. As a small charity you might not always be able to compete with the big boys all the time, but you can certainly punch above your weight. To have the impact that you want you need to find the appropriate ways to influence the world around you. In this speech that I gave earlier this year at an international charity conference, I outline some of those ways. Using a model called the LEAPS Model, featured in the video, I show how you can grow your influence as an individual, or apply the same concepts to an organisation. If you can effectively grow your influence you have the chance to achieve all of the things that you need to make sure that your charity not only survives, but thrives. I thank you for your important work and hope that the three principles I have outlined help you get to where you want to be. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston  
    Aug 31, 2016 22609
  • 23 Aug 2016
    Localgiving has recently released Striking a Match: Incentivised Giving Report 2016. In recent years we have been exploring incentivisation as a way to engage people with their local charities and community groups. In 2015 we gathered these ideas into a coherent calendar programme for the first time. Over the year we ran six match fund campaigns featuring a range of different incentives to encourage donations. These included 1:1 match funding, ‘randomised’ match funding and fundraiser competitions. Striking a Match compares and contrasts these Incentivised Giving Campaigns. Using donation data and donor feedback, this report looks at the impact of each campaign on the overall amount raised; charity and donor participation rates; donation size and frequency; donor sentiment and retention.  This report provides an insight into how financial incentives affect people’s donation decisions. The findings show that different incentives – ranging from match funding to competition prizes – can be used to engage supporters in charitable causes, as well as stimulating higher, more frequent donations. The report finds that: The vast majority of donor survey respondents see campaign incentives as a crucial factor in their decision to donate. In the February 2015 #GiveMe5 survey 83.4% of respondents said that match funding had influenced their decision “a lot” or was the “only reason” that they had donated. Donor surveys show a clear, positive correlation between the likelihood of a donation being matched and the amount donors are willing to donate. Deterministic match funds (in which donations are guaranteed to be matched) see the highest participation levels, but require substantial initial investment in terms of match funding.  Competitions increase the average donation size and provide the best leverage for campaign funders, but show lower participation rates amongst charities. Download the full PDF report Our next national match fund campaign, Grow Your Tenner 2016, will be launching on 18th October and will run for a month or until the match fund runs out. During this campaign Localgiving will be matching monthly donations of up to £10 given to our members for up to three months. Why not take a look at our campaign page to find out how you and your charity can benefit.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investmentHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity
    1373 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Localgiving has recently released Striking a Match: Incentivised Giving Report 2016. In recent years we have been exploring incentivisation as a way to engage people with their local charities and community groups. In 2015 we gathered these ideas into a coherent calendar programme for the first time. Over the year we ran six match fund campaigns featuring a range of different incentives to encourage donations. These included 1:1 match funding, ‘randomised’ match funding and fundraiser competitions. Striking a Match compares and contrasts these Incentivised Giving Campaigns. Using donation data and donor feedback, this report looks at the impact of each campaign on the overall amount raised; charity and donor participation rates; donation size and frequency; donor sentiment and retention.  This report provides an insight into how financial incentives affect people’s donation decisions. The findings show that different incentives – ranging from match funding to competition prizes – can be used to engage supporters in charitable causes, as well as stimulating higher, more frequent donations. The report finds that: The vast majority of donor survey respondents see campaign incentives as a crucial factor in their decision to donate. In the February 2015 #GiveMe5 survey 83.4% of respondents said that match funding had influenced their decision “a lot” or was the “only reason” that they had donated. Donor surveys show a clear, positive correlation between the likelihood of a donation being matched and the amount donors are willing to donate. Deterministic match funds (in which donations are guaranteed to be matched) see the highest participation levels, but require substantial initial investment in terms of match funding.  Competitions increase the average donation size and provide the best leverage for campaign funders, but show lower participation rates amongst charities. Download the full PDF report Our next national match fund campaign, Grow Your Tenner 2016, will be launching on 18th October and will run for a month or until the match fund runs out. During this campaign Localgiving will be matching monthly donations of up to £10 given to our members for up to three months. Why not take a look at our campaign page to find out how you and your charity can benefit.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investmentHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity
    Aug 23, 2016 1373
  • 11 Aug 2016
    The new Fundraising Regulator was launched on 7th July 2016. The Fundraising Regulator will set and maintain the standards for charitable fundraising in the United Kingdom – ensuring that fundraising is respectful, open, honest and accountable to the public. This regulator has been formed in the wake of the fundraising scandals that hit the third sector in 2015. It has been tasked with strengthening regulation following widespread public and media concern about how charities contact potential donors. The regulator’s role includes: Setting and promoting the standards for fundraising practice (‘the code’ and associated rulebooks) Investigateing cases where fundraising practices have led to significant public concern Adjudicating complaints from the public about fundraising practice Operate a fundraising preference service In the case of poor fundraising practice, recommending best practice guidance and taking remedial action. At Localgiving we are proud of the high fundraising standards that we set and of the conduct of our members.   Despite trust issues in the wider charity sector, confidence in local, grassroots charities has remained high. To ensure that these high standards are maintained,  we strongly recommend that all Localgiving members: Register with the Fundraising Regulator from Autumn 2016. Although this is voluntary, registering signals commitment to good practice Make sure that you are aware and up to date with the Fundraising Code of Practice. All charities that engage in fundraising come under the remit of the new fundraising regulator and are expected to adhere to the Code of Practice.
  • The new Fundraising Regulator was launched on 7th July 2016. The Fundraising Regulator will set and maintain the standards for charitable fundraising in the United Kingdom – ensuring that fundraising is respectful, open, honest and accountable to the public. This regulator has been formed in the wake of the fundraising scandals that hit the third sector in 2015. It has been tasked with strengthening regulation following widespread public and media concern about how charities contact potential donors. The regulator’s role includes: Setting and promoting the standards for fundraising practice (‘the code’ and associated rulebooks) Investigateing cases where fundraising practices have led to significant public concern Adjudicating complaints from the public about fundraising practice Operate a fundraising preference service In the case of poor fundraising practice, recommending best practice guidance and taking remedial action. At Localgiving we are proud of the high fundraising standards that we set and of the conduct of our members.   Despite trust issues in the wider charity sector, confidence in local, grassroots charities has remained high. To ensure that these high standards are maintained,  we strongly recommend that all Localgiving members: Register with the Fundraising Regulator from Autumn 2016. Although this is voluntary, registering signals commitment to good practice Make sure that you are aware and up to date with the Fundraising Code of Practice. All charities that engage in fundraising come under the remit of the new fundraising regulator and are expected to adhere to the Code of Practice.
    Aug 11, 2016 1483
  • 11 Aug 2016
    James  Ellis, a young rapper from Nottingham who was born with cerebral palsy, has a dream to perform at Bestival… and you could help him get there! The 26-year-old has been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a 30 minute set at the popular four day music festival which draws a 60,000 strong crowd to the Isle of Wight. The offer came direct from festival founder Rob Da Bank after a campaign film which James made with Fixers, the charity which gives young people a voice, was tweeted to the renowned DJ. Bestival organisers are paying for James’ return ferry trip across the Solent but James is looking to fund the rest of the 420 mile round trip to play a set on September 9th. He needs to raise £855.20 to cover travel, including hiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle and one night’s accommodation for himself and a small team of three who will drive, support and care for him. In James’ poignant film, called ‘Self Belief’, James – who cannot walk unaided and uses a wheelchair - says he pushes himself to achieve challenging goals because he is determined not to be held back by his disabilities. James says: “When I step out of my comfort zone, I do think people are going to judge me. I’m the guy in a wheelchair, I’m going to be seen as different. But when I’m on stage rapping, whether it’s for one song for three minutes or six songs for 25 minutes, I’m free for that amount of time. I’m no longer the guy in the wheelchair. I’m the guy that’s rapping. The biggest dream that I would like to achieve is to play Bestival in my wheelchair. He who controls the dancefloor, controls the world!” You can watch James’ film here James says: "Having the opportunity to perform at Bestival shows that anything is possible with the right amount dedication and self-belief. I really hope people in Nottingham will support me to create a moment in history I’ll never forget." Adding: “I think a lot of disabled people don’t have confidence in themselves. It’s always important to have an end goal, even if it’s very small. My disability has never held me back. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside – what matters is your passion on the inside.” James’ local Member of Parliament, Graham Allen MP, commented: “This is a fantastic and deserving cause. James has demonstrated that having a disability does not mean you can’t participate in life to the full. I would urge everyone to donate whatever they can to help James perform at Bestival and make his dream a reality.” You can listen to James’ music here. Donate to James' campaign today: https://localgiving.org/appeal/getjamestobestival/ If James raises more than his target, funds will be used to support other young people to have the opportunity to become a Fixer and campaign on issues they feel strongly about. The charity has helped more than 19,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Rio 2016 Olympics: Podiums & Playing FieldsKeeping Art Alive in CoventryHealthy giving for Healthy Living!  
    2043 Posted by Meg Lawrence
  • James  Ellis, a young rapper from Nottingham who was born with cerebral palsy, has a dream to perform at Bestival… and you could help him get there! The 26-year-old has been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a 30 minute set at the popular four day music festival which draws a 60,000 strong crowd to the Isle of Wight. The offer came direct from festival founder Rob Da Bank after a campaign film which James made with Fixers, the charity which gives young people a voice, was tweeted to the renowned DJ. Bestival organisers are paying for James’ return ferry trip across the Solent but James is looking to fund the rest of the 420 mile round trip to play a set on September 9th. He needs to raise £855.20 to cover travel, including hiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle and one night’s accommodation for himself and a small team of three who will drive, support and care for him. In James’ poignant film, called ‘Self Belief’, James – who cannot walk unaided and uses a wheelchair - says he pushes himself to achieve challenging goals because he is determined not to be held back by his disabilities. James says: “When I step out of my comfort zone, I do think people are going to judge me. I’m the guy in a wheelchair, I’m going to be seen as different. But when I’m on stage rapping, whether it’s for one song for three minutes or six songs for 25 minutes, I’m free for that amount of time. I’m no longer the guy in the wheelchair. I’m the guy that’s rapping. The biggest dream that I would like to achieve is to play Bestival in my wheelchair. He who controls the dancefloor, controls the world!” You can watch James’ film here James says: "Having the opportunity to perform at Bestival shows that anything is possible with the right amount dedication and self-belief. I really hope people in Nottingham will support me to create a moment in history I’ll never forget." Adding: “I think a lot of disabled people don’t have confidence in themselves. It’s always important to have an end goal, even if it’s very small. My disability has never held me back. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside – what matters is your passion on the inside.” James’ local Member of Parliament, Graham Allen MP, commented: “This is a fantastic and deserving cause. James has demonstrated that having a disability does not mean you can’t participate in life to the full. I would urge everyone to donate whatever they can to help James perform at Bestival and make his dream a reality.” You can listen to James’ music here. Donate to James' campaign today: https://localgiving.org/appeal/getjamestobestival/ If James raises more than his target, funds will be used to support other young people to have the opportunity to become a Fixer and campaign on issues they feel strongly about. The charity has helped more than 19,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Rio 2016 Olympics: Podiums & Playing FieldsKeeping Art Alive in CoventryHealthy giving for Healthy Living!  
    Aug 11, 2016 2043
  • 11 Aug 2016
    Hi, I’m Mollie, I’m 17 and I am Chair of EGO’s Youth Management team!                                                    This year EGO Performance is celebrating 10 years of working with hundreds of the most amazing people. People of all ages, from all walks of life, with different abilities and different needs.  We’ve had the greatest pleasure in offering them many opportunities and a creative space that has allowed them to find their confidence and discover their talents as well as making great friends along the way.  We have seen first hand how this work truly changes peoples lives and how it can bring communities together, and we plan to continue to develop our work for many more years to come.   At EGO we’re not scared of a challenge, but this one is  pretty massive!  We need to raise £1.1 million to purchase the building that we currently occupy.  We are in danger of being forced out of our home, an arts centre that the members, volunteers and staff have worked so hard to create. So we’ve decided there’s only one way forward, we need to buy it! EGO Arts Venue was a concept imagined by young people - that is now a reality.  It was created because there was a huge need for creative space in the city. Since we’ve been here we have worked with many different community organisations. It is now needed more than ever. Please help us keep our arts venue. It means a whole lot more to people than just a building; it’s a safe, caring environment where people are entertained and have fun. It is also a venue where they can get a hot meal, a hug, free wifi to speak to their family, even just to get out of the rain - all the things that make our city a better place. You can really help by making a cash donation, ideas, enthusiasm and contacts and sharing our story with your friends and family. Want to find out more? come and visit us! To donate, visit our EGO 1.1 appeal page to make a donation: www.localgiving.org/appeal/EGO/ Or donate monthly via credit or debit card visit on our Localgiving page: www.localgiving.com/charity/egoperformance Spread the word, join us on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and, best of all, speak to people you know and tell them why EGO matters. Without the kind and generous support from people like you, we simply wouldn’t exist. Thank you! Mollie Smith, Chair of EGO’s Youth Management team:  "As the Chair of EGO's Youth Management Team I have the opportunity to work with all members from our various groups, along with the Board of Trustees to make important decisions about EGO's future- one of which being to purchase our building! I have never met a more diverse or interesting group of people than I have here at EGO and I can honestly say that they are like my second family. My life without EGO would be infinitely different: it has increased my confidence tenfold, given me lifelong friends and has taught me things school never could. I hope EGO continues for many more years to come so that other people can benefit from EGO's inspirational work, like I have.  I really hope that everyone reading this believes that EGO 1.1 is as important as I do, not only to the members, but also to the community and Coventry as a whole!" Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   Rio 2016 Olympics: Podiums & Playing FieldsHealthy giving for Healthy Living!4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment How Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity  
    2253 Posted by Molly Smith
  • Hi, I’m Mollie, I’m 17 and I am Chair of EGO’s Youth Management team!                                                    This year EGO Performance is celebrating 10 years of working with hundreds of the most amazing people. People of all ages, from all walks of life, with different abilities and different needs.  We’ve had the greatest pleasure in offering them many opportunities and a creative space that has allowed them to find their confidence and discover their talents as well as making great friends along the way.  We have seen first hand how this work truly changes peoples lives and how it can bring communities together, and we plan to continue to develop our work for many more years to come.   At EGO we’re not scared of a challenge, but this one is  pretty massive!  We need to raise £1.1 million to purchase the building that we currently occupy.  We are in danger of being forced out of our home, an arts centre that the members, volunteers and staff have worked so hard to create. So we’ve decided there’s only one way forward, we need to buy it! EGO Arts Venue was a concept imagined by young people - that is now a reality.  It was created because there was a huge need for creative space in the city. Since we’ve been here we have worked with many different community organisations. It is now needed more than ever. Please help us keep our arts venue. It means a whole lot more to people than just a building; it’s a safe, caring environment where people are entertained and have fun. It is also a venue where they can get a hot meal, a hug, free wifi to speak to their family, even just to get out of the rain - all the things that make our city a better place. You can really help by making a cash donation, ideas, enthusiasm and contacts and sharing our story with your friends and family. Want to find out more? come and visit us! To donate, visit our EGO 1.1 appeal page to make a donation: www.localgiving.org/appeal/EGO/ Or donate monthly via credit or debit card visit on our Localgiving page: www.localgiving.com/charity/egoperformance Spread the word, join us on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and, best of all, speak to people you know and tell them why EGO matters. Without the kind and generous support from people like you, we simply wouldn’t exist. Thank you! Mollie Smith, Chair of EGO’s Youth Management team:  "As the Chair of EGO's Youth Management Team I have the opportunity to work with all members from our various groups, along with the Board of Trustees to make important decisions about EGO's future- one of which being to purchase our building! I have never met a more diverse or interesting group of people than I have here at EGO and I can honestly say that they are like my second family. My life without EGO would be infinitely different: it has increased my confidence tenfold, given me lifelong friends and has taught me things school never could. I hope EGO continues for many more years to come so that other people can benefit from EGO's inspirational work, like I have.  I really hope that everyone reading this believes that EGO 1.1 is as important as I do, not only to the members, but also to the community and Coventry as a whole!" Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   Rio 2016 Olympics: Podiums & Playing FieldsHealthy giving for Healthy Living!4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment How Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity  
    Aug 11, 2016 2253
  • 08 Aug 2016
    If your local charity doesn’t send a regular email newsletter, you’re probably missing a trick. And did you know that email newsletters can also help you with your local promotion and publicity? The importance of email Email is used by over 75% of UK adults, with the vast majority using it every week. This makes it still more popular than all social media platforms put together (60-65% of adults). Although we may complain about getting too many emails, we do appreciate hearing from organisations we like. If you’re able to collect a supporter’s email address, it’s better for you than if they ‘like’ you on Facebook or ‘follow’ you on Twitter. Email gives you permission to get your message directly into their inbox. Your subscribers are likely to see your email (even if they choose not to open it). In contrast, they may well not see your Facebook post as Facebook doesn’t always show your post to everyone who likes your page. Your Twitter followers are also likely to miss your tweets if they’re not using Twitter around the time you tweet. Businesses regularly report that email gives them the highest payback out of all the marketing methods they use. Writing a great email newsletter Write a good subject title and compose a couple of ‘stories’ for your email newsletter. Start with the story that is likely to be the most relevant and interesting. Good subject titles are titles which make people want to open your email. Avoid titles such as 'March e-newsletter' as this isn't compelling. Use titles such as '3 things that inspired us this month'. Because an email newsletter tool allows people to unsubscribe if they’re not enjoying your newsletter, you can relax. You know that you’re writing for people who want to hear from you. So write your emails as you would write to a friend. Using an email newsletter tool I recommend using an email newsletter tool that's designed for bulk emailing, instead of using your personal email account. An email newsletter tool will make your emails look better, allowing you to include images in-line with the text. It will allow you to send all your emails at once, make sure they all get safely delivered, and show you statistics on who has opened your emails. It will also make it easy for people to sign up to your emails and, just as importantly, to unsubscribe.  But email newsletter tools can sometimes be hard to use. Most have been designed for marketing professionals, rather than for volunteers or those of us for whom digital marketing is only a tiny fraction of our role.  That’s why we’ve built one that’s as easy to use as your own email account. Our email tool is for small charities and community groups who don’t have a dedicated marketing person. We've made it simple, stripping out all the unnecessary advanced features. We’ve also made it easy to re-use and share whatever you write for your email newsletter instantly on social media. This means you don’t need to write anything twice, and you’re always encouraging people to subscribe to your email list. Joining an email newsletter network An email newsletter network such as interests.me can help you get extra local publicity and awareness. Your charity joins an email newsletter network together with other local groups and charities. Then, any stories you want to share become available for other groups to use in their own emails. Local networks have their own website, where local charities can share stories. An example is Woking.interests.me in Surrey. You can also share other groups’ stories in your emails. If you're worried that you might not have enough to say in your emails, this helps you build up your content and collaborate with other local groups. If there isn’t an interests.me newsletter network in your area, email me at helen@interests.me to find out how to create one! Our networks are often co-ordinated and promoted by Councils for Voluntary Service or Libraries in a local area. Helen Cammack is one of the founders of interests.me, after she found herself frustrated with spending too much time on managing the communications for local non profit organisations. She believes every organisation, no matter how small, deserves great digital tools. Previously Helen worked at Virgin Media and founded a deals email business called Buyometric. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment    
    1217 Posted by Helen Cammack
  • If your local charity doesn’t send a regular email newsletter, you’re probably missing a trick. And did you know that email newsletters can also help you with your local promotion and publicity? The importance of email Email is used by over 75% of UK adults, with the vast majority using it every week. This makes it still more popular than all social media platforms put together (60-65% of adults). Although we may complain about getting too many emails, we do appreciate hearing from organisations we like. If you’re able to collect a supporter’s email address, it’s better for you than if they ‘like’ you on Facebook or ‘follow’ you on Twitter. Email gives you permission to get your message directly into their inbox. Your subscribers are likely to see your email (even if they choose not to open it). In contrast, they may well not see your Facebook post as Facebook doesn’t always show your post to everyone who likes your page. Your Twitter followers are also likely to miss your tweets if they’re not using Twitter around the time you tweet. Businesses regularly report that email gives them the highest payback out of all the marketing methods they use. Writing a great email newsletter Write a good subject title and compose a couple of ‘stories’ for your email newsletter. Start with the story that is likely to be the most relevant and interesting. Good subject titles are titles which make people want to open your email. Avoid titles such as 'March e-newsletter' as this isn't compelling. Use titles such as '3 things that inspired us this month'. Because an email newsletter tool allows people to unsubscribe if they’re not enjoying your newsletter, you can relax. You know that you’re writing for people who want to hear from you. So write your emails as you would write to a friend. Using an email newsletter tool I recommend using an email newsletter tool that's designed for bulk emailing, instead of using your personal email account. An email newsletter tool will make your emails look better, allowing you to include images in-line with the text. It will allow you to send all your emails at once, make sure they all get safely delivered, and show you statistics on who has opened your emails. It will also make it easy for people to sign up to your emails and, just as importantly, to unsubscribe.  But email newsletter tools can sometimes be hard to use. Most have been designed for marketing professionals, rather than for volunteers or those of us for whom digital marketing is only a tiny fraction of our role.  That’s why we’ve built one that’s as easy to use as your own email account. Our email tool is for small charities and community groups who don’t have a dedicated marketing person. We've made it simple, stripping out all the unnecessary advanced features. We’ve also made it easy to re-use and share whatever you write for your email newsletter instantly on social media. This means you don’t need to write anything twice, and you’re always encouraging people to subscribe to your email list. Joining an email newsletter network An email newsletter network such as interests.me can help you get extra local publicity and awareness. Your charity joins an email newsletter network together with other local groups and charities. Then, any stories you want to share become available for other groups to use in their own emails. Local networks have their own website, where local charities can share stories. An example is Woking.interests.me in Surrey. You can also share other groups’ stories in your emails. If you're worried that you might not have enough to say in your emails, this helps you build up your content and collaborate with other local groups. If there isn’t an interests.me newsletter network in your area, email me at helen@interests.me to find out how to create one! Our networks are often co-ordinated and promoted by Councils for Voluntary Service or Libraries in a local area. Helen Cammack is one of the founders of interests.me, after she found herself frustrated with spending too much time on managing the communications for local non profit organisations. She believes every organisation, no matter how small, deserves great digital tools. Previously Helen worked at Virgin Media and founded a deals email business called Buyometric. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment    
    Aug 08, 2016 1217