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264 blogs
  • 08 Jul 2016
    This article follows on from Natasha’s Roe’s recent blog on how Brand Management can help Small Charities to Raise More Money. Here Natasha explores how small charities can overcome barriers to branding investment.   What are the main barriers to branding that small charities face? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.   As expected, small charities do face barriers to investing in branding. However, there are practical ways of overcoming barriers, including suggestions from CharityComms’ Building a Brand that Delivers conference. The barriers small charities ‘strongly agreed’ with were: We don’t have the money to invest in branding (51.6%) We don’t have the resources (people and time) (39.3%) The barriers they ‘agreed’ with were: We do not have the right expertise (58.8%) Supporters and funders do not welcome us spending on branding (45.9%)     Tips to overcoming your branding barriers 1) Make branding a team responsibility Get people from across your organisation involved in brand management – trustees and volunteers too. Leave branding to a single person or team of senior people and you will experience more barriers. If your charity is short on expertise, read charity branding blogs, visit KnowHowNonProfit and look out for workshops run by CharityComms and Small Charities Coalition. 2) Lack of money: Good brand guidelines Brand guidelines need to cover how you communicate in words and pictures and cover all forms of communication – print, website, social media, photography, video and co-branding. Many larger charity and commercial organisations’ guidelines are online. Use them as templates. Adobe’s Corporate Brand Guidelines is an excellent resource. 3) Lack of expertise and resources: Stick to guidelines Clarity and consistency really help build a brand - don't be tempted to ‘make exceptions’. Establish an annual guidelines review, where brand application can be discussed based on what is best for the whole charity – not on a ‘case by case’ basis. 4) Lack of resources and time: Prioritise spending on templates If you have any brand budget, invest it in a vector copy of your logo and professional templates for external communications – e.g. Word, PowerPoint, e-newsletters, flyers, posters and report covers. Commission as many as you use regularly and insist everyone uses them. Templates mean audiences know all materials are from the same charity and staff and volunteers don’t spend time setting up files for each communication. 5) Resistance to investment: Surveys Use free tools like Survey Monkey and do an annual survey of your beneficiaries, customers, members and supporters. Which brand elements are clear? Which encourage people to engage with your charity? What needs to change? Ask questions that test people’s knowledge, attitude and behaviours. Understanding your audiences’ needs helps build a business case for brand investment and ensures spending is targeted to the greatest needs. 6) Share stories – externally and internally More people in small charities are close to the people they help and their stories. Celebrate your brand by sharing those stories. Our study found that many small charities didn’t see storytelling as part of brand management but it’s where small charities can lead larger ones. There are more opportunities for everyone to be a story collector and teller – any smart phone can capture publishable photos, videos and audio. Apps like Instagram mean you can edit on a phone before posting on social media, your website, newsletters, Localgiving or putting into a presentation.   Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. She is looking for small charities (£1m p/y or less) interested in testing out the branding models. Please email hello@redpencil.co.uk to find out more. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Brand Management can help Small Charities to Raise more Money by Natasha Roe 3 Tips to tell Your Story on Instagram by Nisha Kotecha Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack   
    2321 Posted by Natasha Roe
  • This article follows on from Natasha’s Roe’s recent blog on how Brand Management can help Small Charities to Raise More Money. Here Natasha explores how small charities can overcome barriers to branding investment.   What are the main barriers to branding that small charities face? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.   As expected, small charities do face barriers to investing in branding. However, there are practical ways of overcoming barriers, including suggestions from CharityComms’ Building a Brand that Delivers conference. The barriers small charities ‘strongly agreed’ with were: We don’t have the money to invest in branding (51.6%) We don’t have the resources (people and time) (39.3%) The barriers they ‘agreed’ with were: We do not have the right expertise (58.8%) Supporters and funders do not welcome us spending on branding (45.9%)     Tips to overcoming your branding barriers 1) Make branding a team responsibility Get people from across your organisation involved in brand management – trustees and volunteers too. Leave branding to a single person or team of senior people and you will experience more barriers. If your charity is short on expertise, read charity branding blogs, visit KnowHowNonProfit and look out for workshops run by CharityComms and Small Charities Coalition. 2) Lack of money: Good brand guidelines Brand guidelines need to cover how you communicate in words and pictures and cover all forms of communication – print, website, social media, photography, video and co-branding. Many larger charity and commercial organisations’ guidelines are online. Use them as templates. Adobe’s Corporate Brand Guidelines is an excellent resource. 3) Lack of expertise and resources: Stick to guidelines Clarity and consistency really help build a brand - don't be tempted to ‘make exceptions’. Establish an annual guidelines review, where brand application can be discussed based on what is best for the whole charity – not on a ‘case by case’ basis. 4) Lack of resources and time: Prioritise spending on templates If you have any brand budget, invest it in a vector copy of your logo and professional templates for external communications – e.g. Word, PowerPoint, e-newsletters, flyers, posters and report covers. Commission as many as you use regularly and insist everyone uses them. Templates mean audiences know all materials are from the same charity and staff and volunteers don’t spend time setting up files for each communication. 5) Resistance to investment: Surveys Use free tools like Survey Monkey and do an annual survey of your beneficiaries, customers, members and supporters. Which brand elements are clear? Which encourage people to engage with your charity? What needs to change? Ask questions that test people’s knowledge, attitude and behaviours. Understanding your audiences’ needs helps build a business case for brand investment and ensures spending is targeted to the greatest needs. 6) Share stories – externally and internally More people in small charities are close to the people they help and their stories. Celebrate your brand by sharing those stories. Our study found that many small charities didn’t see storytelling as part of brand management but it’s where small charities can lead larger ones. There are more opportunities for everyone to be a story collector and teller – any smart phone can capture publishable photos, videos and audio. Apps like Instagram mean you can edit on a phone before posting on social media, your website, newsletters, Localgiving or putting into a presentation.   Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. She is looking for small charities (£1m p/y or less) interested in testing out the branding models. Please email hello@redpencil.co.uk to find out more. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Brand Management can help Small Charities to Raise more Money by Natasha Roe 3 Tips to tell Your Story on Instagram by Nisha Kotecha Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack   
    Jul 08, 2016 2321
  • 27 Jun 2016
    If your local newspaper were to offer your charity a free centre page spread, you’d jump at the chance. Who wouldn’t? Google have been offering charities the online equivalent for over 13 years. If you haven’t already, here’s how to make the most out of this opportunity. So, what is AdWords? When looking to find a service, a club or an activity what is the first thing we do? These days the vast majority of people would start with a Google search. It is therefore essential that your group appears on the first page of a Google search for your activity or services. Google AdWords is an advertising service designed to make this happen. Google Adwords ensures that display ads will appear for people searching for charities or groups like you.   It’s FREE! Through its Ad Grants programme, Google gives non-profit organisations $10,000 (£6,600) worth of free ads per month to promote their mission, services and harness new supporters, volunteers and donors via Google search. For charities that provide exceptional account management and can demonstrate a history of being able to meet account criteria, there is an opportunity for them to apply and receive ‘Google Grants Pro’ status benefiting from $40,000 (£26,500) per month of digital spend to use within Google search. If you already have a Google Grant, Receptional can help you increase your results - scroll down to the end of this article to find out how. How do we get started? It's easy to get started with Google Ad Grants. Firstly, you need to check your eligibility and sign up. Google provide clear instructions as to how to do this HERE. Once you’ve signed up, here are the 4 key steps you need to know: A) Think of the ‘keywords’ that describe your charity – these should be words that describe your cause and activities. Try to think of synonyms, too! B) Decide where people will see your adverts – as a local charity you may choose to restrict your adverts to your specific geographical area to ensure your adverts have maximum impact. A person in Boston, US is unlikely to be able to attend your activity in Boston, Lincolnshire! C) Write some clear, punchy content about your charity with a link to your donation page, website or campaign. D)  Decide how much of the grant money to ‘pay’ each time someone clicks through to your website via the link (a maximum of $2). Of course, the best results are delivered by companies that are Google Qualified. To fully benefit  from Google Adwords it would be recommended to use a resource that understands the more complicated aspects of the service - Bid Capping, Quality Score and how to compete with other charities that are also running the Google Grants programme. Need extra help? Receptional is a digital agency that works with a range of charitable organisations, both small and large for helping set up a Google Grant to assisting with management. They offer: Free advice for those charities that are interested in applying for a Google Grant and for charities that currently run a Google Grant but want to achieve better results, a free no obligation health check that provides clear actionable advice. Want more information? Why not contact Receptional for your Free Google Grant Health check today? Rob Bradley - Benefiting from a broad digital background encompassing start-up, professional services, business management and culminating with running a Digital Agency overseas Rob is a creative analyst at heart that enjoys helping organisations and Charities gain market share, increase their point of difference and improve their digital ROI. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    2810 Posted by Rob Bradley
  • If your local newspaper were to offer your charity a free centre page spread, you’d jump at the chance. Who wouldn’t? Google have been offering charities the online equivalent for over 13 years. If you haven’t already, here’s how to make the most out of this opportunity. So, what is AdWords? When looking to find a service, a club or an activity what is the first thing we do? These days the vast majority of people would start with a Google search. It is therefore essential that your group appears on the first page of a Google search for your activity or services. Google AdWords is an advertising service designed to make this happen. Google Adwords ensures that display ads will appear for people searching for charities or groups like you.   It’s FREE! Through its Ad Grants programme, Google gives non-profit organisations $10,000 (£6,600) worth of free ads per month to promote their mission, services and harness new supporters, volunteers and donors via Google search. For charities that provide exceptional account management and can demonstrate a history of being able to meet account criteria, there is an opportunity for them to apply and receive ‘Google Grants Pro’ status benefiting from $40,000 (£26,500) per month of digital spend to use within Google search. If you already have a Google Grant, Receptional can help you increase your results - scroll down to the end of this article to find out how. How do we get started? It's easy to get started with Google Ad Grants. Firstly, you need to check your eligibility and sign up. Google provide clear instructions as to how to do this HERE. Once you’ve signed up, here are the 4 key steps you need to know: A) Think of the ‘keywords’ that describe your charity – these should be words that describe your cause and activities. Try to think of synonyms, too! B) Decide where people will see your adverts – as a local charity you may choose to restrict your adverts to your specific geographical area to ensure your adverts have maximum impact. A person in Boston, US is unlikely to be able to attend your activity in Boston, Lincolnshire! C) Write some clear, punchy content about your charity with a link to your donation page, website or campaign. D)  Decide how much of the grant money to ‘pay’ each time someone clicks through to your website via the link (a maximum of $2). Of course, the best results are delivered by companies that are Google Qualified. To fully benefit  from Google Adwords it would be recommended to use a resource that understands the more complicated aspects of the service - Bid Capping, Quality Score and how to compete with other charities that are also running the Google Grants programme. Need extra help? Receptional is a digital agency that works with a range of charitable organisations, both small and large for helping set up a Google Grant to assisting with management. They offer: Free advice for those charities that are interested in applying for a Google Grant and for charities that currently run a Google Grant but want to achieve better results, a free no obligation health check that provides clear actionable advice. Want more information? Why not contact Receptional for your Free Google Grant Health check today? Rob Bradley - Benefiting from a broad digital background encompassing start-up, professional services, business management and culminating with running a Digital Agency overseas Rob is a creative analyst at heart that enjoys helping organisations and Charities gain market share, increase their point of difference and improve their digital ROI. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    Jun 27, 2016 2810
  • 20 Jun 2016
    Great photos and good use of hashtags are common tips when it comes to Instagram. But surely it takes more than this to get an engaged following on Instagram? Here are three tips shared at a Social Misfits Media event I attended at Instagram HQ in London recently: What Story Are You Trying To Tell? Instagram is a powerful visual storytelling platform. Before you start posting your photos and telling your story you need to decide what you are actually trying to tell your audience. You can decide on the sort of photos you should share and how you will take them only once you have figured out your story. Engage with Influencers There are a lot of people on Instagram – in the UK there are 14 million people actively using it every month. As with other platforms, it can be difficult to get your posts seen, especially if you do not have a budget to spend on advertising. A good way to get your posts in front of your ideal audience is to engage with influencers. The best way to do this is to send them a direct message via the Instagram App itself. It’s important to remember than an influencer doesn’t necessarily need to have a lot of followers – an engaged smaller audience is much more useful than a large audience who will not respond to any calls to action. Engage with your Instagram Audience Offline Instagram’s Community Team has the aim of ‘connecting people to their passions’. This is an online and offline mission. Instameets - events where Instagrammers meet each other, share photography advice and create content together to post on their personal feeds – are a great way to connect with your community. You don’t need to think of your own event, you can get involved in events that are already being organised, like #WWIM13 (World Wide Instameet). For example, If you have an interesting building to show off, #Empty (where Instagrammers are invited to an empty building and given the opportunity to push their creative boundaries while taking some great shots and thereby creating great publicity for the organisation) is a great movement to get involved in. Instagram have been testing a new algorithm recently, and they have also increased the video lengths allowed on the platform. With social media changing so rapidly it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. By focusing on these three tips you will be able to grow an active, engaged following on Instagram. Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   If you liked this blog post, why not also read: 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha A Picture is worth a thousand characters by Jeanne- Claire MorleyThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   Image: Instagram: ZoboLondon 
    3145 Posted by Nisha Kotecha
  • Great photos and good use of hashtags are common tips when it comes to Instagram. But surely it takes more than this to get an engaged following on Instagram? Here are three tips shared at a Social Misfits Media event I attended at Instagram HQ in London recently: What Story Are You Trying To Tell? Instagram is a powerful visual storytelling platform. Before you start posting your photos and telling your story you need to decide what you are actually trying to tell your audience. You can decide on the sort of photos you should share and how you will take them only once you have figured out your story. Engage with Influencers There are a lot of people on Instagram – in the UK there are 14 million people actively using it every month. As with other platforms, it can be difficult to get your posts seen, especially if you do not have a budget to spend on advertising. A good way to get your posts in front of your ideal audience is to engage with influencers. The best way to do this is to send them a direct message via the Instagram App itself. It’s important to remember than an influencer doesn’t necessarily need to have a lot of followers – an engaged smaller audience is much more useful than a large audience who will not respond to any calls to action. Engage with your Instagram Audience Offline Instagram’s Community Team has the aim of ‘connecting people to their passions’. This is an online and offline mission. Instameets - events where Instagrammers meet each other, share photography advice and create content together to post on their personal feeds – are a great way to connect with your community. You don’t need to think of your own event, you can get involved in events that are already being organised, like #WWIM13 (World Wide Instameet). For example, If you have an interesting building to show off, #Empty (where Instagrammers are invited to an empty building and given the opportunity to push their creative boundaries while taking some great shots and thereby creating great publicity for the organisation) is a great movement to get involved in. Instagram have been testing a new algorithm recently, and they have also increased the video lengths allowed on the platform. With social media changing so rapidly it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. By focusing on these three tips you will be able to grow an active, engaged following on Instagram. Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   If you liked this blog post, why not also read: 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha A Picture is worth a thousand characters by Jeanne- Claire MorleyThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   Image: Instagram: ZoboLondon 
    Jun 20, 2016 3145
  • 16 Jun 2016
    This summer David Charles and his girlfriend, Caz, are cycling an astonishing 3000 Miles across Europe, raising funds for London based refugee charity, The Bike Project. Starting in London and finishing at the town of Gaziantep on the Syria-Turkey border, this journey retraces the route taken by the thousands of refugees who have fled the war-torn country in recent years. Along the way they will be exploring how life has changed, both for refugees and also for communities living along the migration route. Localgiving recently took the chance to chat to David about his inspiration – and perspiration! What inspired you to take on this challenge? “The inspiration for this trip came directly from the volunteer work we've been doing with The Bike Project in London. The Bike Project takes second hand bikes, fixes them up and donates them to refugees so that they can travel around the city”. “Last year, we were part of a mass cycle ride to the migrant camp in Calais, donating more than 80 bikes to refugees there. That gave me the idea to cycle onwards, through France and Germany, across the Balkans to Greece and beyond, from where hundreds of thousands of people are trying to make a new life for themselves in Europe”. “I have been lucky enough in my life to be able to travel freely throughout the world, and have always received wonderful hospitality from everyone I have met, from Europe and the Americas to the Middle East and Asia. My support for charities like The Bike Project comes from a desire to return the generous hospitality that I have received to newcomers in my country, particularly to those who have been forced from their homes without the freedom of a passport and a ticket home”. What difficulties do you think you may face along the way? “The main challenges of the trip so far have been incredibly mundane: where to refill our water bottles, how to eat enough good food without spending too much money, when to stop for the night. Then yesterday I got bitten by a tick and now I'm panicking that I've got Lyme Disease! But in truth the only real challenge was committing to the ride, giving up our flats and leaving. Everything else is just logistics. What training have you done for the trip? “We both cycle a lot in London because public transport is so expensive. While I have done some bike touring before, Caz had never cycled more than 20 miles for two days in a row before this trip!” “Neither of us are what you'd call ‘serious cyclists’ - for us, it's just the easiest way of getting around. I believe that if you can cycle a mile to the shops, then you can probably cycle two and three miles. Keep turning your pedals, put those miles together and you've got a 2,500 mile tour across the continent!” What would you say to persuade or inspire other people to fundraise? “I've only ever fundraised like this a couple of times in my life - it simply must be a cause that you passionately believe in. “The Bike Project makes a really positive, visible difference to people's lives - not just for the refugees who come to the workshop and go home with what the suffragettes called 'freedom machines', but also for people like me, who come to help fix up the bikes and learn so much from both mechanics and refugees.” How can people follow your journey and donate? You can follow our journey on www.davidcharles.info or @dcisbusy on Instagram. People can donate to David here: CyclingSyria   Interested in finding out how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep A Week of Welcome: Refugee Week 2016    
    1790 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • This summer David Charles and his girlfriend, Caz, are cycling an astonishing 3000 Miles across Europe, raising funds for London based refugee charity, The Bike Project. Starting in London and finishing at the town of Gaziantep on the Syria-Turkey border, this journey retraces the route taken by the thousands of refugees who have fled the war-torn country in recent years. Along the way they will be exploring how life has changed, both for refugees and also for communities living along the migration route. Localgiving recently took the chance to chat to David about his inspiration – and perspiration! What inspired you to take on this challenge? “The inspiration for this trip came directly from the volunteer work we've been doing with The Bike Project in London. The Bike Project takes second hand bikes, fixes them up and donates them to refugees so that they can travel around the city”. “Last year, we were part of a mass cycle ride to the migrant camp in Calais, donating more than 80 bikes to refugees there. That gave me the idea to cycle onwards, through France and Germany, across the Balkans to Greece and beyond, from where hundreds of thousands of people are trying to make a new life for themselves in Europe”. “I have been lucky enough in my life to be able to travel freely throughout the world, and have always received wonderful hospitality from everyone I have met, from Europe and the Americas to the Middle East and Asia. My support for charities like The Bike Project comes from a desire to return the generous hospitality that I have received to newcomers in my country, particularly to those who have been forced from their homes without the freedom of a passport and a ticket home”. What difficulties do you think you may face along the way? “The main challenges of the trip so far have been incredibly mundane: where to refill our water bottles, how to eat enough good food without spending too much money, when to stop for the night. Then yesterday I got bitten by a tick and now I'm panicking that I've got Lyme Disease! But in truth the only real challenge was committing to the ride, giving up our flats and leaving. Everything else is just logistics. What training have you done for the trip? “We both cycle a lot in London because public transport is so expensive. While I have done some bike touring before, Caz had never cycled more than 20 miles for two days in a row before this trip!” “Neither of us are what you'd call ‘serious cyclists’ - for us, it's just the easiest way of getting around. I believe that if you can cycle a mile to the shops, then you can probably cycle two and three miles. Keep turning your pedals, put those miles together and you've got a 2,500 mile tour across the continent!” What would you say to persuade or inspire other people to fundraise? “I've only ever fundraised like this a couple of times in my life - it simply must be a cause that you passionately believe in. “The Bike Project makes a really positive, visible difference to people's lives - not just for the refugees who come to the workshop and go home with what the suffragettes called 'freedom machines', but also for people like me, who come to help fix up the bikes and learn so much from both mechanics and refugees.” How can people follow your journey and donate? You can follow our journey on www.davidcharles.info or @dcisbusy on Instagram. People can donate to David here: CyclingSyria   Interested in finding out how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep A Week of Welcome: Refugee Week 2016    
    Jun 16, 2016 1790
  • 16 Jun 2016
    What could be more quintessentially British than Fish and Chips, Hampton Court and the Mini? Did you know that all of these were built, designed or brought to the UK by refugees? 20-26th June is Refugee Week - an annual celebration of the incredible contribution that refugees have made, and continue to make to our countries and communities.  This year's theme is 'welcome'. With Europe in the midst of its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, coupled with the dangerously divisive rhetoric circulating in the UK, this has a special significance. Refugee Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, tackle stigma, energise ourselves and take action. There are hundreds of events taking place across the UK on Refugee Week, many of which are run by grassroots charities and community groups, including Localgiving members. Below are just a few. So, go get inspired! Northern Ireland Community of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (NICRAS) is hosting  a series of events throughout Refugee Week 2016 – from music to theatre to food, there’s sure to be something for you to get your teeth stuck into!  Check out their full events calendar.  Tuesday 21st June – Ourmala (London) is running an event called Yoga for Refugees . This fundraising evening includes a very special contribution from Amir Amor Soundscape (Rudimental) and Emma Henry (Yoga).  All proceeds will go towards supporting an additional 250 women and children in crisis. Tuesday 21st June - Reading Refugee Support Group is screening Nicky’s Family and hosting a panel Discussion. Nicky’s Family tells the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Wednesday 22nd June - Fences and Frontiers (London). A night of short films and discussion exploring different aspects of the refugee experience. The night is being run by Lewis (me) and Lou of Localgiving. Free to attend, this event is encouraging donations to a number of refugee groups including Ourmala and The Bike Project. Friday 24th June 2016 - The Harbour Project (Swindon) is collaborating with a host of local theatre groups, dance companies and schools to present  a one-off show: Different Pasts, Shared Future. There will also be the opportunity to view works of art by local artist David Bent. Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support - Maurice Rimes is walking England’s South West Coast Path in support of Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support. He aims to reach Plymouth at the start of Refugee week to celebrate with DCRS. You can read his blog here or donate here.    Interested in finding out more about how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep David Lets the Spokes do the talking in 3000 Mile charity Ride    
    1586 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • What could be more quintessentially British than Fish and Chips, Hampton Court and the Mini? Did you know that all of these were built, designed or brought to the UK by refugees? 20-26th June is Refugee Week - an annual celebration of the incredible contribution that refugees have made, and continue to make to our countries and communities.  This year's theme is 'welcome'. With Europe in the midst of its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, coupled with the dangerously divisive rhetoric circulating in the UK, this has a special significance. Refugee Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, tackle stigma, energise ourselves and take action. There are hundreds of events taking place across the UK on Refugee Week, many of which are run by grassroots charities and community groups, including Localgiving members. Below are just a few. So, go get inspired! Northern Ireland Community of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (NICRAS) is hosting  a series of events throughout Refugee Week 2016 – from music to theatre to food, there’s sure to be something for you to get your teeth stuck into!  Check out their full events calendar.  Tuesday 21st June – Ourmala (London) is running an event called Yoga for Refugees . This fundraising evening includes a very special contribution from Amir Amor Soundscape (Rudimental) and Emma Henry (Yoga).  All proceeds will go towards supporting an additional 250 women and children in crisis. Tuesday 21st June - Reading Refugee Support Group is screening Nicky’s Family and hosting a panel Discussion. Nicky’s Family tells the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Wednesday 22nd June - Fences and Frontiers (London). A night of short films and discussion exploring different aspects of the refugee experience. The night is being run by Lewis (me) and Lou of Localgiving. Free to attend, this event is encouraging donations to a number of refugee groups including Ourmala and The Bike Project. Friday 24th June 2016 - The Harbour Project (Swindon) is collaborating with a host of local theatre groups, dance companies and schools to present  a one-off show: Different Pasts, Shared Future. There will also be the opportunity to view works of art by local artist David Bent. Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support - Maurice Rimes is walking England’s South West Coast Path in support of Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support. He aims to reach Plymouth at the start of Refugee week to celebrate with DCRS. You can read his blog here or donate here.    Interested in finding out more about how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep David Lets the Spokes do the talking in 3000 Mile charity Ride    
    Jun 16, 2016 1586
  • 13 Jun 2016
    Small Charity Week is here!  Over 95% of Localgiving’s members are small or micro charities.  We know better than anyone the inherent value of grassroots groups.   We are in the privileged position of hearing and seeing the positive impact that these groups make on their communities – every day in countless ways.   This morning alone I have been talking to a Darlington based group set up to save their local bowling green, a Swindon charity using theatre to change attitudes to refugees and a fans-owned football club in Scarborough. These are hugely different initiatives, with hugely different missions. What they all have in common however is an acute understanding of the needs of their communities and a genuine passion for improving the lives of those around them. Small Charity Week is about getting these small, local groups the exposure and acclaim they deserve.   So, how can you get involved? 1)      Find a small charity near you and spread the word about their cause and services.  Its easy to find a group in your area on Localgiving.org. Once you’ve found a group that inspires you, why not inspire your friends or colleagues too. Search for a Charity  2)      Donate! We’re running a #GiveMe5 match fund on Fundraising Day - Thursday the 16th June. We will be doubling 1,000 x £5 donations made through localgiving.org on the day. Our last #GiveMe5 campaign, held on Giving Tuesday 2015, raised over £36k for 548 charities in 24 hours.  Can you spare a fiver to support that inspirational group you just found? Small charities need your support. 3)      Look ahead -  Small charity week is about far more than 7 fun filled days. Think about what you can do to help grassroots charities in future. Can you offer your skills through volunteering? Could you provide ongoing financial support by setting up a direct debit? Do you know other people who would be interested in the work of the charity?   Our advice for small charity week is simple: discover, donate, and inspire!    Image (top SNAP- Special Needs and Parents, bottom  North Wilts Holiday Club for Children & Young People with Special Needs)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    1202 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Small Charity Week is here!  Over 95% of Localgiving’s members are small or micro charities.  We know better than anyone the inherent value of grassroots groups.   We are in the privileged position of hearing and seeing the positive impact that these groups make on their communities – every day in countless ways.   This morning alone I have been talking to a Darlington based group set up to save their local bowling green, a Swindon charity using theatre to change attitudes to refugees and a fans-owned football club in Scarborough. These are hugely different initiatives, with hugely different missions. What they all have in common however is an acute understanding of the needs of their communities and a genuine passion for improving the lives of those around them. Small Charity Week is about getting these small, local groups the exposure and acclaim they deserve.   So, how can you get involved? 1)      Find a small charity near you and spread the word about their cause and services.  Its easy to find a group in your area on Localgiving.org. Once you’ve found a group that inspires you, why not inspire your friends or colleagues too. Search for a Charity  2)      Donate! We’re running a #GiveMe5 match fund on Fundraising Day - Thursday the 16th June. We will be doubling 1,000 x £5 donations made through localgiving.org on the day. Our last #GiveMe5 campaign, held on Giving Tuesday 2015, raised over £36k for 548 charities in 24 hours.  Can you spare a fiver to support that inspirational group you just found? Small charities need your support. 3)      Look ahead -  Small charity week is about far more than 7 fun filled days. Think about what you can do to help grassroots charities in future. Can you offer your skills through volunteering? Could you provide ongoing financial support by setting up a direct debit? Do you know other people who would be interested in the work of the charity?   Our advice for small charity week is simple: discover, donate, and inspire!    Image (top SNAP- Special Needs and Parents, bottom  North Wilts Holiday Club for Children & Young People with Special Needs)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    Jun 13, 2016 1202
  • 08 Jun 2016
    The streets and pubs are abuzz with talk of tactics and hat-tricks. Wives are busy explaining the offside rule to their bored husbands and kids in the park are emulating the goal celebrations of their gods...Alli passes to Bale, chipped over to Conor McLaughlin, who rifles it in to the top left hand corner! What makes this year’s European Championships special is that, for the first time since 1982, three of the home nations have qualified for a major tournament – Northern Ireland, England and Wales. When painting our faces ready to support our national teams, red, white or blue or green, we should all also add a dash of colour in honour of our local clubs. No, I don’t mean the big brand, big money teams. I mean the 1000s of grassroots clubs across the country - the colts, wanderers and hawks training on your local common. These clubs not only give us something to cheer on a Saturday afternoon but play a vital part in our local communities. Many of these teams have charitable goals, working with disadvantaged or disabled people or on issues such as social inclusion and promoting healthy lifestyles. Below are just a few of the teams that we support on Localgiving. Why not find a club near you?  Search HERE to find a club near you! Street Football Wales - A social inclusion charity that  improve the lives  for socially excluded people in Wales. SFW aims to: (1) contribute to an end in homelessness and poverty (2) Help to facilitate the integration of socially excluded people back into their community and (3) facilitate healthier, more physically active and mentally well members of society. Northend United Youth FC -  Northern Irish club that is actively involved in promoting cross community integration via the medium of sport. Based in an area of high social deprivation, they target disadvantaged young people from different communities and ethnicities and foster teamwork in all our activities. The Club endorses the fact that sport changes the life of these young people from an early age. Hounslow Hawks -  provides support for people who experience mental illness, live in the London Borough of Hounslow and are in receipt of specialist mental health services. They use football to assist with the individual's recovery journey by aiming to increase self-esteem and confidence, social interaction, reduce social isolation, improve players structure and routines and aid personal development.  Glasgow Girls Football Club - Offer football and coaching to girls aged 7 years of age to our two Woman's team in a fun & safe environment while offering the pathway to a career in playing or coaching. We also offer the chance for girls to lead a healthy lifestyle through sport which benefits them and the community. Mytchatt ‘Football for All’ - Mytchett Athletics FC's "Football for All" project provides physical activities for boys and girls excluded from participation in sport by virtue of their special needs and disabilities. Bangladesh Football Assocation - (London) Using football BFA engages with over 3,000 disavantaged and marginalised children, young people, adults and gives them positive activities to do which keeps them off the street, away from anti-social behaviour, crime, gang violence, vandalism and drugs & alcohol. It then uses its other projects to support the development of young people, inspire and motivate them and supports them into further education, employment and training. St. Matthews Project  - (London) Offers free football and coaching sessions to young people aged 6-21 in the south Brixton (London) area. The majority of participants live on deprived local estates -  67% of members are  receipt of free school meals. The project delivers a wide range of activities, offering support and development opportunities beyond the football pitch. FC United of Manchester - Semi-famous these days, FC United are a community football club owned and democratically run by its members, FC United seeks to change the way that football is owned and run, putting supporters at the heart of everything.  Tadcaster Albion Amature Football Club - Over the winter Tadcaster were hit by the worst flood in the clubs history seeing the Pitch, Clubhouse, Clubshop, Kitchen and the Groundsmans Building all under water, along with thousands of pounds worth of damage which has left the club unable operate on or off the field. The club is at the heart of the community - visiting schools and getting involved in charity projects.  Scarborough Athletic FC - Emerging from the ashes of the 128 year old Scarborough FC, this fans owned football club run teams from age 11 to Seniors, ensuring that all age groups, genders and ethnicities have the chance to play football.    Liked this blog post? You may also be interested in: The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroThe Refugee Crisis: Make a difference on your doorstep  
    2642 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The streets and pubs are abuzz with talk of tactics and hat-tricks. Wives are busy explaining the offside rule to their bored husbands and kids in the park are emulating the goal celebrations of their gods...Alli passes to Bale, chipped over to Conor McLaughlin, who rifles it in to the top left hand corner! What makes this year’s European Championships special is that, for the first time since 1982, three of the home nations have qualified for a major tournament – Northern Ireland, England and Wales. When painting our faces ready to support our national teams, red, white or blue or green, we should all also add a dash of colour in honour of our local clubs. No, I don’t mean the big brand, big money teams. I mean the 1000s of grassroots clubs across the country - the colts, wanderers and hawks training on your local common. These clubs not only give us something to cheer on a Saturday afternoon but play a vital part in our local communities. Many of these teams have charitable goals, working with disadvantaged or disabled people or on issues such as social inclusion and promoting healthy lifestyles. Below are just a few of the teams that we support on Localgiving. Why not find a club near you?  Search HERE to find a club near you! Street Football Wales - A social inclusion charity that  improve the lives  for socially excluded people in Wales. SFW aims to: (1) contribute to an end in homelessness and poverty (2) Help to facilitate the integration of socially excluded people back into their community and (3) facilitate healthier, more physically active and mentally well members of society. Northend United Youth FC -  Northern Irish club that is actively involved in promoting cross community integration via the medium of sport. Based in an area of high social deprivation, they target disadvantaged young people from different communities and ethnicities and foster teamwork in all our activities. The Club endorses the fact that sport changes the life of these young people from an early age. Hounslow Hawks -  provides support for people who experience mental illness, live in the London Borough of Hounslow and are in receipt of specialist mental health services. They use football to assist with the individual's recovery journey by aiming to increase self-esteem and confidence, social interaction, reduce social isolation, improve players structure and routines and aid personal development.  Glasgow Girls Football Club - Offer football and coaching to girls aged 7 years of age to our two Woman's team in a fun & safe environment while offering the pathway to a career in playing or coaching. We also offer the chance for girls to lead a healthy lifestyle through sport which benefits them and the community. Mytchatt ‘Football for All’ - Mytchett Athletics FC's "Football for All" project provides physical activities for boys and girls excluded from participation in sport by virtue of their special needs and disabilities. Bangladesh Football Assocation - (London) Using football BFA engages with over 3,000 disavantaged and marginalised children, young people, adults and gives them positive activities to do which keeps them off the street, away from anti-social behaviour, crime, gang violence, vandalism and drugs & alcohol. It then uses its other projects to support the development of young people, inspire and motivate them and supports them into further education, employment and training. St. Matthews Project  - (London) Offers free football and coaching sessions to young people aged 6-21 in the south Brixton (London) area. The majority of participants live on deprived local estates -  67% of members are  receipt of free school meals. The project delivers a wide range of activities, offering support and development opportunities beyond the football pitch. FC United of Manchester - Semi-famous these days, FC United are a community football club owned and democratically run by its members, FC United seeks to change the way that football is owned and run, putting supporters at the heart of everything.  Tadcaster Albion Amature Football Club - Over the winter Tadcaster were hit by the worst flood in the clubs history seeing the Pitch, Clubhouse, Clubshop, Kitchen and the Groundsmans Building all under water, along with thousands of pounds worth of damage which has left the club unable operate on or off the field. The club is at the heart of the community - visiting schools and getting involved in charity projects.  Scarborough Athletic FC - Emerging from the ashes of the 128 year old Scarborough FC, this fans owned football club run teams from age 11 to Seniors, ensuring that all age groups, genders and ethnicities have the chance to play football.    Liked this blog post? You may also be interested in: The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroThe Refugee Crisis: Make a difference on your doorstep  
    Jun 08, 2016 2642
  • 07 Jun 2016
      “Pragmatically, branding should be a critical issue for charities because it has been shown to impact dramatically on income generation.” (Hudson, 2008) In the commercial world, a company’s brand is given a monetary value. In the UK last year, Shell topped the league tables at a whopping £30,716m. Larger charities have recognised the benefits of branding and rebranding – “Shelter’s repositioning helped land more corporate partners”, “Macmillan’s rebrand helped increase donors by 27% and raised additional £5m” and “Save the Children’s brand refresh helped integrated fundraising appeals raise over 50% more than target of £500,000.” (Civil Society, 2011) I was intrigued to find out whether smaller charities were also seeing a correlation between branding  and income generation? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.  Our study looked at whether small charities are managing their brands and whether they gain the same benefits from this as large charities. The results were fascinating. The small charities agreed that brand management did deliver the same benefits seen by larger organisations. They also identified practical examples of these benefits. Benefits of brand management Raised income – “through unifying banner and consistent management of brand” Rise in supporters – “by being better able to manage new and existing supporter expectations” Efficiency savings – “by linking vision and values to internal and external brand management” More partnerships – “by having clear values and messages” Supports strategic growth – “through long-term planning aligned to the vision” Distinguishes us in difficult times – “clarity is attractive to funders and donors”   How can you get the same benefits? 1) Define what you mean by brand If brand is viewed purely as ‘the logo’ then you will not realise the benefits of brand management, no matter what size of organisation you are. Grounds (2005)  writing on non-profit branding argues: “A brand is quite simply – who you are, what you say and what you do, and the set of relationships that are built on that.”  2) Manage your brand A strong brand needs active management. We worked with small charities to identify the most common activities required to see strategic benefits of branding. Most activities do not need significant resources. Clarity and consistency go a long way. 3)Brands are not static Charities are about social change and that takes time. One brand is unlikely to see a non-profit through its lifetime. All organisations will need to periodically update brands to stay relevant.  4) Brand management is a team sport The charities where the brand is managed by a team from across the organisation are better able to reap the rewards of branding and manage resource barriers. Charities where the brand was left to a single person or the “senior team” struggled to see the benefits. Teams should include volunteers and trustees. Turning your team into brand ambassadors can be a real strength for smaller organisations. Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. In Part 2 of this guest blog she will share the barriers to investing in branding that her research identified and the ideas small charities came up with to overcome them. Illustration by Alec Leggat Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarCorporate Fundraising for local charities   
    2140 Posted by Natasha Roe
  •   “Pragmatically, branding should be a critical issue for charities because it has been shown to impact dramatically on income generation.” (Hudson, 2008) In the commercial world, a company’s brand is given a monetary value. In the UK last year, Shell topped the league tables at a whopping £30,716m. Larger charities have recognised the benefits of branding and rebranding – “Shelter’s repositioning helped land more corporate partners”, “Macmillan’s rebrand helped increase donors by 27% and raised additional £5m” and “Save the Children’s brand refresh helped integrated fundraising appeals raise over 50% more than target of £500,000.” (Civil Society, 2011) I was intrigued to find out whether smaller charities were also seeing a correlation between branding  and income generation? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.  Our study looked at whether small charities are managing their brands and whether they gain the same benefits from this as large charities. The results were fascinating. The small charities agreed that brand management did deliver the same benefits seen by larger organisations. They also identified practical examples of these benefits. Benefits of brand management Raised income – “through unifying banner and consistent management of brand” Rise in supporters – “by being better able to manage new and existing supporter expectations” Efficiency savings – “by linking vision and values to internal and external brand management” More partnerships – “by having clear values and messages” Supports strategic growth – “through long-term planning aligned to the vision” Distinguishes us in difficult times – “clarity is attractive to funders and donors”   How can you get the same benefits? 1) Define what you mean by brand If brand is viewed purely as ‘the logo’ then you will not realise the benefits of brand management, no matter what size of organisation you are. Grounds (2005)  writing on non-profit branding argues: “A brand is quite simply – who you are, what you say and what you do, and the set of relationships that are built on that.”  2) Manage your brand A strong brand needs active management. We worked with small charities to identify the most common activities required to see strategic benefits of branding. Most activities do not need significant resources. Clarity and consistency go a long way. 3)Brands are not static Charities are about social change and that takes time. One brand is unlikely to see a non-profit through its lifetime. All organisations will need to periodically update brands to stay relevant.  4) Brand management is a team sport The charities where the brand is managed by a team from across the organisation are better able to reap the rewards of branding and manage resource barriers. Charities where the brand was left to a single person or the “senior team” struggled to see the benefits. Teams should include volunteers and trustees. Turning your team into brand ambassadors can be a real strength for smaller organisations. Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. In Part 2 of this guest blog she will share the barriers to investing in branding that her research identified and the ideas small charities came up with to overcome them. Illustration by Alec Leggat Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarCorporate Fundraising for local charities   
    Jun 07, 2016 2140
  • 03 Jun 2016
    Film plots, tend to have an interesting structure, which when broken down aren’t so far away from the journey a charitable group goes on - from fundraising to delivery. In films, it’s usually fairly evident from the outset what it is our heroes are trying to achieve. It’s usually something specific and tangible. What the film will usually do is have you leave the cinema, or finish watching the film, feeling uplifted - you have witnessed and been moved by the impact of the hero's actions. The great privilege of working for Localgiving, is that I have the opportunity to see and understand the impact that our groups have. Not only the difference that they make to the people who come into contact with them for a specific service, but the lasting impact and the domino effect it can have on those around who the group are serving. It is easy to become so involved in our day to day tasks, from paperwork to online tasks, that we lose sight of our goals. It is essential that charities take the time to remember what they’ve achieved and what they’ll achieve in the future - and then take the time to remind supporters. Many groups do not even realise the long-term impact that they’re having. It is always useful for charitable groups to make sure that their donors are aware of the impact, both long and short term, that their donations are having. Their donation could have provided one counselling session, a befriender, a football field or an essential piece of school equipment. It could have provided the one thing that changes someone’s life forever - it could be start of something really incredible. If you keep sight of your goals and the impact you have, in what can sometimes be a long process, then from my experience, you will never lose motivation.   Image: Katie carries the Olympic flame through Camden, London in 2012
    561 Posted by Katie Ford
  • Film plots, tend to have an interesting structure, which when broken down aren’t so far away from the journey a charitable group goes on - from fundraising to delivery. In films, it’s usually fairly evident from the outset what it is our heroes are trying to achieve. It’s usually something specific and tangible. What the film will usually do is have you leave the cinema, or finish watching the film, feeling uplifted - you have witnessed and been moved by the impact of the hero's actions. The great privilege of working for Localgiving, is that I have the opportunity to see and understand the impact that our groups have. Not only the difference that they make to the people who come into contact with them for a specific service, but the lasting impact and the domino effect it can have on those around who the group are serving. It is easy to become so involved in our day to day tasks, from paperwork to online tasks, that we lose sight of our goals. It is essential that charities take the time to remember what they’ve achieved and what they’ll achieve in the future - and then take the time to remind supporters. Many groups do not even realise the long-term impact that they’re having. It is always useful for charitable groups to make sure that their donors are aware of the impact, both long and short term, that their donations are having. Their donation could have provided one counselling session, a befriender, a football field or an essential piece of school equipment. It could have provided the one thing that changes someone’s life forever - it could be start of something really incredible. If you keep sight of your goals and the impact you have, in what can sometimes be a long process, then from my experience, you will never lose motivation.   Image: Katie carries the Olympic flame through Camden, London in 2012
    Jun 03, 2016 561
  • 23 May 2016
    Joe Burns is the North West regional development manager for Localgiving. Before that he was a corporate fundraiser for a national charity, and worked with firms in the FTSE 100 as well as small family run businesses. Gone are the days when a company might simply pick a Charity of the Year, run a few events, and then send off a cheque in the post at year’s end, almost as an afterthought. Corporate supporters are now far more interested in mutually beneficial partnerships, where a company gets some sort of value out of donating to your charity. This may sound daunting, but corporate fundraising is an area that is rich in rewards, and a strong corporate partnership can bring in guaranteed income for many years; and this is before you consider the skills a corporate might bring, the in-kind donations available, and the potential pool of staff volunteers they can provide you with as well! So, how do you go about finding and then persuading a company to support you? Well, here are the key steps you need to consider. Which companies might work with you? The first thing you need to consider is the type of companies who your charity would appeal to. Broadly speaking, there are three ways you might appeal to a corporate supporter. Is there a clear link between the work you do and the corporate’s own work? When working at the road safety charity Brake, I arranged a number of partnerships with insurance firms, who shared our aims of reducing the numbers of crashes on the roads (as this would mean they would pay out less in claims!). Is there a local link? Does this company work in the same region or area as you? Companies are increasingly keen to be supporting their local communities, and here being small and local group can actually be a benefit compared to larger national or international charities. Have you got any personal connections? Does a trustee know the MD of a local firm? Have employees of a local firm used your charity? These kinds of connections can be very powerful when persuading a corporate to support you. What can you bring to the table? And what do you want from a corporate? So, you’ve got your list of potential corporate supporters to contact. Your next step is to ask yourself, what can I offer the corporates in question? Can I offer them volunteering opportunities for their staff? Can I arrange for a local press campaign, or can someone from my charity visit their offices to give a talk to their staff? Can I give them a shout out on social media? Are there capital costs they can sponsor and get their name on, such as a new building? There are lots of ways you can ‘add value’ to a corporate as a charity, if given a bit of thought. The next question to then ask, is what do I want from a corporate supporter – am I after financial donations, in-kind support, volunteers, or all of the above? What support can a corporate give, and would be comfortable to provide you with? If you can answer these two questions, then you can pull together a package that is very attractive to a local business.  The next and final step, at last, is The Ask. The Ask It’s at this point that many groups lose heart, as the idea of approaching a corporate can seem a little daunting. But don’t be put off – if you don’t ask you don’t get! The first thing you need to do is find someone within an organisation who would be right to approach. If you already know or have links with someone in a company, that’s a good place to start, but if not you’ll need to do some digging. Here LinkedIn can be invaluable, allowing you to search for individuals with specific job titles within an organisation. Many larger companies have dedicated CSR (corporate social responsibility) teams, who are an ideal first port of call. Marketing, communications and PR teams are also good people to contact, as working with a charity is also often a classic way for a corporate to portray themselves in a positive light. Finally, for smaller, really local companies like local solicitor or accountancy firms, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to partners or MDs! So, we now have a contact to approach. But how should we ask? Generally, corporate contacts are busy people – you can’t just ring and get through to them cold, especially if you don’t have any pre-existing connections. As such, the best approach is usually to either send them an email (where you have their address) or a message through LinkedIn (when you don’t). Keep the pitch simple and short, and focus on who you are, why you’ve got in touch, and the benefits you can offer a corporate in return for their support. Try to see things from their point of view – the work you do may well be vital and praiseworthy, but ultimately a corporate will need to see how they benefit too. Highlight any unique selling points you have, what they can get from working with you that no one else can provide, and again keep it brief. A corporate contact often has only a limited amount of time available to them, and it can never hurt to leave someone wanting more information. Ask if your contact would be interested in a meeting or phone call to discuss any partnership in more depth – you can give them all the details then. Don’t be put off if you don’t hear back straight away, and at the same time don’t be afraid of chasing your email with another one a week or two later if you don’t hear anything at all. If you have a large enough pool of potential supporters who you are contacting, it only takes one corporate to get back to you with an offer of support, and all your hard work will have potentially paid off! 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 Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    2255 Posted by Joe Burns
  • Joe Burns is the North West regional development manager for Localgiving. Before that he was a corporate fundraiser for a national charity, and worked with firms in the FTSE 100 as well as small family run businesses. Gone are the days when a company might simply pick a Charity of the Year, run a few events, and then send off a cheque in the post at year’s end, almost as an afterthought. Corporate supporters are now far more interested in mutually beneficial partnerships, where a company gets some sort of value out of donating to your charity. This may sound daunting, but corporate fundraising is an area that is rich in rewards, and a strong corporate partnership can bring in guaranteed income for many years; and this is before you consider the skills a corporate might bring, the in-kind donations available, and the potential pool of staff volunteers they can provide you with as well! So, how do you go about finding and then persuading a company to support you? Well, here are the key steps you need to consider. Which companies might work with you? The first thing you need to consider is the type of companies who your charity would appeal to. Broadly speaking, there are three ways you might appeal to a corporate supporter. Is there a clear link between the work you do and the corporate’s own work? When working at the road safety charity Brake, I arranged a number of partnerships with insurance firms, who shared our aims of reducing the numbers of crashes on the roads (as this would mean they would pay out less in claims!). Is there a local link? Does this company work in the same region or area as you? Companies are increasingly keen to be supporting their local communities, and here being small and local group can actually be a benefit compared to larger national or international charities. Have you got any personal connections? Does a trustee know the MD of a local firm? Have employees of a local firm used your charity? These kinds of connections can be very powerful when persuading a corporate to support you. What can you bring to the table? And what do you want from a corporate? So, you’ve got your list of potential corporate supporters to contact. Your next step is to ask yourself, what can I offer the corporates in question? Can I offer them volunteering opportunities for their staff? Can I arrange for a local press campaign, or can someone from my charity visit their offices to give a talk to their staff? Can I give them a shout out on social media? Are there capital costs they can sponsor and get their name on, such as a new building? There are lots of ways you can ‘add value’ to a corporate as a charity, if given a bit of thought. The next question to then ask, is what do I want from a corporate supporter – am I after financial donations, in-kind support, volunteers, or all of the above? What support can a corporate give, and would be comfortable to provide you with? If you can answer these two questions, then you can pull together a package that is very attractive to a local business.  The next and final step, at last, is The Ask. The Ask It’s at this point that many groups lose heart, as the idea of approaching a corporate can seem a little daunting. But don’t be put off – if you don’t ask you don’t get! The first thing you need to do is find someone within an organisation who would be right to approach. If you already know or have links with someone in a company, that’s a good place to start, but if not you’ll need to do some digging. Here LinkedIn can be invaluable, allowing you to search for individuals with specific job titles within an organisation. Many larger companies have dedicated CSR (corporate social responsibility) teams, who are an ideal first port of call. Marketing, communications and PR teams are also good people to contact, as working with a charity is also often a classic way for a corporate to portray themselves in a positive light. Finally, for smaller, really local companies like local solicitor or accountancy firms, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to partners or MDs! So, we now have a contact to approach. But how should we ask? Generally, corporate contacts are busy people – you can’t just ring and get through to them cold, especially if you don’t have any pre-existing connections. As such, the best approach is usually to either send them an email (where you have their address) or a message through LinkedIn (when you don’t). Keep the pitch simple and short, and focus on who you are, why you’ve got in touch, and the benefits you can offer a corporate in return for their support. Try to see things from their point of view – the work you do may well be vital and praiseworthy, but ultimately a corporate will need to see how they benefit too. Highlight any unique selling points you have, what they can get from working with you that no one else can provide, and again keep it brief. A corporate contact often has only a limited amount of time available to them, and it can never hurt to leave someone wanting more information. Ask if your contact would be interested in a meeting or phone call to discuss any partnership in more depth – you can give them all the details then. Don’t be put off if you don’t hear back straight away, and at the same time don’t be afraid of chasing your email with another one a week or two later if you don’t hear anything at all. If you have a large enough pool of potential supporters who you are contacting, it only takes one corporate to get back to you with an offer of support, and all your hard work will have potentially paid off! 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 Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    May 23, 2016 2255