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296 blogs
  • 19 Oct 2016
    When talking to smaller, local organisations the same problem seems to come up over and over again – ‘we haven’t got the budget and advantages that the bigger organisations have, and we are limited in what we can do’ Contrary to this, I believe that smaller organisations should stop worrying about what the large brands are doing, and take advantage of their ability to tap into, what is often seen by the public, as ‘the true meaning of charity’. Be personal Identify the specific ways that your supporters help you (this isn’t necessarily financial). Segmenting data by things that actually matter to supporters, and recognising that seemingly small things are special (they took the time, thought and effort to think of me); make sure your supporters know you’ve noticed. An organisation that I worked with made a point of thanking the supporters who provided hand-made gifts for their gift shop. The re-sale value of the gifts wasn’t particularly high, but when writing to this group of supporters at Christmas, the effect of appreciating and recognising the contribution that their hand- made gifts made collectively, saw the number of gifts received (when compared to their response to the previous year’s Christmas mailing) double. The average gift amongst this group was also 60% higher. Extrapolate this effect across all the different groups of supporters on your database, and with a little work on a mail merge you could see a substantial improvement in response to your Christmas mailing. Invest in training volunteers and staff Volunteers and support staff come into contact with your supporters in the everyday context of their work and they can’t be expected to take on fundraising responsibilities without understanding the organisations fundraising goals, and having some investment in how to make fundraising asks. After all, asking for money isn’t easy. Proper training gives not only the fundraising context (breaking down the barriers that often exist between fundraisers and staff in other departments) but also delivers clarity around regulatory requirements, and confidence to know when, how and what to ask for (and equally when not to ask). Not all volunteers and support staff will be suitable, nor indeed want to fundraise -  but those who are, will enthuse supporters and they and their colleagues will feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Share investments If you can’t afford the proportionate cost of taking on a new member of staff, why not get together with other local organisations and share the cost? Choose an organisation geographically close to you, who share similar values and ethics. Sharing an employee can be rewarding and varied for the employee (especially if tasks are repetitive) and will give you the opportunity to attract a better calibre employee. For example, your telephone fundraising aspirations may be too small to use an agency, but a shared employee could make those aspirations a reality. Equally, shared training cost when using outside trainers can make an uneconomic project feasible. Whilst this might at first glance make practical management sense, these are exactly the sort of common sense propositions that appeal to high and major donors. So it may be a scary prospect, but the concept for a supporter helping more than one organisation at a time and funding these kinds of initiatives can also be a distinctive and attractive proposition. From the supporters’ perspective we should not forget that in fundraising terms smaller organisations often offer distinct advantages over larger ones – they can get closer to beneficiary and supporter needs more easily; with appropriate training and guidance they are often more flexible and capable of delivering a ‘real’ tailored supporter experience and they can cooperate with likeminded organisations to offer significant efficiencies in fundraising performance.   Jane Cunningham has been working in the forefront of fundraising for nearly 25 years. Known for the high quality of her fundraising practice and practical experience in segmentation and analysis, she has pioneered many new fundraising initiatives in the UK, Europe and the US.   In everything she develops, she believes that the starting point should be to take the donors perspective, which will ultimately lead to developing the most effective strategic and creative responses; resulting in donor satisfaction and financial success. http://www.janecunninghaminsights.co.uk/   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard BarkerHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment
    6260 Posted by Jane Cunningham
  • When talking to smaller, local organisations the same problem seems to come up over and over again – ‘we haven’t got the budget and advantages that the bigger organisations have, and we are limited in what we can do’ Contrary to this, I believe that smaller organisations should stop worrying about what the large brands are doing, and take advantage of their ability to tap into, what is often seen by the public, as ‘the true meaning of charity’. Be personal Identify the specific ways that your supporters help you (this isn’t necessarily financial). Segmenting data by things that actually matter to supporters, and recognising that seemingly small things are special (they took the time, thought and effort to think of me); make sure your supporters know you’ve noticed. An organisation that I worked with made a point of thanking the supporters who provided hand-made gifts for their gift shop. The re-sale value of the gifts wasn’t particularly high, but when writing to this group of supporters at Christmas, the effect of appreciating and recognising the contribution that their hand- made gifts made collectively, saw the number of gifts received (when compared to their response to the previous year’s Christmas mailing) double. The average gift amongst this group was also 60% higher. Extrapolate this effect across all the different groups of supporters on your database, and with a little work on a mail merge you could see a substantial improvement in response to your Christmas mailing. Invest in training volunteers and staff Volunteers and support staff come into contact with your supporters in the everyday context of their work and they can’t be expected to take on fundraising responsibilities without understanding the organisations fundraising goals, and having some investment in how to make fundraising asks. After all, asking for money isn’t easy. Proper training gives not only the fundraising context (breaking down the barriers that often exist between fundraisers and staff in other departments) but also delivers clarity around regulatory requirements, and confidence to know when, how and what to ask for (and equally when not to ask). Not all volunteers and support staff will be suitable, nor indeed want to fundraise -  but those who are, will enthuse supporters and they and their colleagues will feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Share investments If you can’t afford the proportionate cost of taking on a new member of staff, why not get together with other local organisations and share the cost? Choose an organisation geographically close to you, who share similar values and ethics. Sharing an employee can be rewarding and varied for the employee (especially if tasks are repetitive) and will give you the opportunity to attract a better calibre employee. For example, your telephone fundraising aspirations may be too small to use an agency, but a shared employee could make those aspirations a reality. Equally, shared training cost when using outside trainers can make an uneconomic project feasible. Whilst this might at first glance make practical management sense, these are exactly the sort of common sense propositions that appeal to high and major donors. So it may be a scary prospect, but the concept for a supporter helping more than one organisation at a time and funding these kinds of initiatives can also be a distinctive and attractive proposition. From the supporters’ perspective we should not forget that in fundraising terms smaller organisations often offer distinct advantages over larger ones – they can get closer to beneficiary and supporter needs more easily; with appropriate training and guidance they are often more flexible and capable of delivering a ‘real’ tailored supporter experience and they can cooperate with likeminded organisations to offer significant efficiencies in fundraising performance.   Jane Cunningham has been working in the forefront of fundraising for nearly 25 years. Known for the high quality of her fundraising practice and practical experience in segmentation and analysis, she has pioneered many new fundraising initiatives in the UK, Europe and the US.   In everything she develops, she believes that the starting point should be to take the donors perspective, which will ultimately lead to developing the most effective strategic and creative responses; resulting in donor satisfaction and financial success. http://www.janecunninghaminsights.co.uk/   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard BarkerHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment
    Oct 19, 2016 6260
  • 14 Oct 2016
    The Grow Your Tenner Awards recognise local charities and community groups that show outstanding creativity and fundraising expertise through our annual Grow Your Tenner match fund campaigns. With Grow Your Tenner 2016 kicking off tomorrow (18th October), what better time to celebrate the fundraising campaigns that moved and motivated us in 2015. With so many campaigns and causes to choose from, deciding our winners was not an easy task.  What ultimately made these groups stand out was the way they used the skills, resources and networks at their disposal to create campaigns that punched well above their weight. The winner of each award will be sent a £50 Amazon gift voucher So, without further ado, the winners of this year's Grow Your Tenner Awards are: Fundraising Innovation : Baby Bank Network Bristol The Fundraising Innovation Award looked for the charity that ran the most effective, unique and inspired fundraising campaign during Grow Your Tenner 2015. Creative strategies to encourage donations can make a real difference to the total raised and we were looking for inspiring stories of how groups approached this challenge. The Baby Bank Network relieves poverty in the Bristol area by providing new and preowned baby items to families in need. What we enjoyed most about the Baby Bank Network’s Campaign was the way they used the core premise of Grow Your Tenner - to give £10 and have it doubled - for their own innovative initiative. Renaming their campaign #TeddyTenner, the Baby Bank Network shaped their communications  to appeal to the needs and interests of their own audience.   Throughout the campaign, they built momentum by encouraging people to donate and share photos of their favourite child’s toy holding a tenner, nominating others to do the same. Some supporters took this a step further, getting their cats and dogs involved! The #TeddyTenner campaign received £2,287.50 (including match funding and gift aid)  in just 11 days from 85 donors, spreading the message about their important cause in the process. Laura Williams, who volunteers as marketing lead for Baby Bank Network, said: "We're fortunate enough to receive hundreds of donations of items to give to people in need, but it can be a struggle to secure monetary donations. Grow Your Tenner was great for us as it gave us a valuable cash injection to help us buy the items we cannot distribute second-hand, such as new mattresses and bottle teats. We combined it with #teddytenner idea to make it a bit more fun on social media - there were some really cute photos, we'll have to get our thinking caps on again for this year's campaign." See the full #Teddytenner story here.     PR Superstar Award: Bishop Auckland Community Partnership (BACP) - Cultivate 4 Life The PR Superstar Award recognises the group that best engaged with the media during Grow Your Tenner 2015. Throughout Grow Your Tenner 2015 BACP - Cultivate 4 Life worked closely with their local and regional press  to ensure that their campaign received widespread coverage, including a front page splash in  Bishops Press and a main feature in the Northern Echo. This enabled them to reach both new supporters and beneficiaries. BACP approached local media (print and radio) at the start of their campaign with a clear angle - “we have just 30 days to save our project from closing”.  They then followed up with personalised thank yous, developing positive relationships with the local media that will put them a strong position for publicising future campaigns and projects. The impact of this funding has been huge: “Grow Your Tenner rescued our project from closure, it helped us to reach out to our Community and further afield, raising awareness about our project and highlighted our desperate need for help, with an amazing response” The campaign received £2,242.50  (including match funding and gift aid) from 30 donors. On receiving the award Julia Costello,  Cultivate 4 Life Coordinator said: “It was a wonderful surprise to open my email from Localgiving informing us that we had been selected as the winner of PR Superstar Award recognising our efforts via Media with 2015 Grow a Tenner Appeal. We look forward to receiving our Certificate which will be framed and have a pride of place and the £50 Amazon Voucher will be used as a Prize for a forthcoming raffle.   Last year was the first time we engaged in this wonderful fundraising opportunity superbly co-ordinated by Localgiving, and received huge support from Northern Echo, Bishops Press, Town Crier and Bishop FM too, the response was amazing almost achieving £3,000 in donations, these funds aided us with a lifeline, our project was on the brink of closure, so all concerned THANK YOU once again. We are most definitely taking part in this year's Grow a Tenner, this time aided with a video, which we hope to launch this week, posting onto all our media pages including Facebook and Localgiving and certainly will be involving local papers & radio too”.   Future Impact Award: The Pennoyer centre The Future Impact Award recognises the group who can best explain how the funding they had raised through the campaign will be used in a way that was demonstrable, quantifiable and emotionally engaging. The Pennoyer Centre is an education and community venue in South Norfolk. The Centre signed up with Localgiving to raise the funds to run a monthly lunch club with the aim of combatting social isolation in their community. Pennoyer Centre’s entry to the Grow Your Tenner awards brilliantly shows the impact that local initiatives, however small, can make to their communities: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the winners of the Future Impact Award for our Grow Your Tenner campaign last year. We found out about the campaign last October via social media and set about enrolling into Localgiving and then promoting the match funding campaign as soon as we could. We were thrilled that our supporters really rose to the challenge and managed to raise  £500 funding” “We are completely self-funding and therefore covering all the bills and licenses is a huge undertaking. “ “The Lunch Club does a great deal to combat loneliness and social isolation in a rural community. For example, Margaret is 79 years old and recently widowed. She can walk down to the centre for company and have a hot drink and some social interaction. Lunch club is one of the highlights  for villagers like Margaret who can use Pennoyer's as a meeting place.Margaret enjoys the monthly lunch club enormously  because she can meet with friends and socialise. This is  a great thing for someone who now finds themselves living on their own in a rural village and does not have their own transport. The great thing about our lunch club is that we have people who are comfortable with going on their own as there are familiar faces there from the centre and others they know from the village. “Our monthly lunch club has really taken off over the last year. Our lunch club now regularly has an attendance of 25-30 people per month and the group enjoy a full roast dinner with homemade pudding for £11. We had to buy a new cooker when our old one broke in autumn last year. So the Grow Your Tenner funding came just at the right time and we were able to replace the cooker. This is an essential piece of equipment for our kitchen and for our lunch club.” “In the future we want to see the club continuing at an affordable price. We want to provide the means for people to get together thus aiding social inclusion in our rural Norfolk community” “This October we are going to run Grow Your Own Tenner again. We have set a target of £600 this time. As with last year we are looking for funding to buy new chairs and also refresh our café table coverings which are worn out and in need of replacement”. In 2015 The Pennoyer centre raised £496.25 from 20 donors.   A huge Congratulations to each of the three winners - a £50 Amazon voucher will be on its way to you very soon! We also want to send a  massive thank you to everyone who took part in the awards by submitting an entry. Sustainability Survey Prize Draw We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who took part in our Local Charity and Sustainability Survey over the summer. We are currently writing up the results and plan to release a report in the coming months.   All participating groups were entered into a draw to win a donation of £500 to their Cause. We are delighted to announce HELP Counselling Centre as the winners of this donation. Help Counselling Centre provides short and long-term affordable counselling for adults in west London.  Helen Stokes, Director, Help Counselling Centre has said: ‘We are delighted to win £500 from Localgiving as a result of taking part in the Sustainability Survey 2016. It’s increasingly important that local charities make their voices heard and we were keen to give our views as part of the survey – winning this prize has been a lovely bonus! It will help us to continue to offer affordable one-to-one counselling to a wide cross-section of the London community across a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, family and relationship issues and bereavement.’ Grow Your Tenner 2016 Grow Your Tenner 2016 will run from 10am on Tuesday the 18th October until the match fund runs out, or 5pm on Thursday the 17th November - whichever comes first. During the campaign one time donations made to local charities via Localgiving will be matched by up to £10; as will Direct Debits by up to £10 a month for the first 3 months. Is your group taking part in Grow Your Tenner 2016? Do you want to find a local charity or community group to support?  Get involved now: www.growyourtenner.org     
  • The Grow Your Tenner Awards recognise local charities and community groups that show outstanding creativity and fundraising expertise through our annual Grow Your Tenner match fund campaigns. With Grow Your Tenner 2016 kicking off tomorrow (18th October), what better time to celebrate the fundraising campaigns that moved and motivated us in 2015. With so many campaigns and causes to choose from, deciding our winners was not an easy task.  What ultimately made these groups stand out was the way they used the skills, resources and networks at their disposal to create campaigns that punched well above their weight. The winner of each award will be sent a £50 Amazon gift voucher So, without further ado, the winners of this year's Grow Your Tenner Awards are: Fundraising Innovation : Baby Bank Network Bristol The Fundraising Innovation Award looked for the charity that ran the most effective, unique and inspired fundraising campaign during Grow Your Tenner 2015. Creative strategies to encourage donations can make a real difference to the total raised and we were looking for inspiring stories of how groups approached this challenge. The Baby Bank Network relieves poverty in the Bristol area by providing new and preowned baby items to families in need. What we enjoyed most about the Baby Bank Network’s Campaign was the way they used the core premise of Grow Your Tenner - to give £10 and have it doubled - for their own innovative initiative. Renaming their campaign #TeddyTenner, the Baby Bank Network shaped their communications  to appeal to the needs and interests of their own audience.   Throughout the campaign, they built momentum by encouraging people to donate and share photos of their favourite child’s toy holding a tenner, nominating others to do the same. Some supporters took this a step further, getting their cats and dogs involved! The #TeddyTenner campaign received £2,287.50 (including match funding and gift aid)  in just 11 days from 85 donors, spreading the message about their important cause in the process. Laura Williams, who volunteers as marketing lead for Baby Bank Network, said: "We're fortunate enough to receive hundreds of donations of items to give to people in need, but it can be a struggle to secure monetary donations. Grow Your Tenner was great for us as it gave us a valuable cash injection to help us buy the items we cannot distribute second-hand, such as new mattresses and bottle teats. We combined it with #teddytenner idea to make it a bit more fun on social media - there were some really cute photos, we'll have to get our thinking caps on again for this year's campaign." See the full #Teddytenner story here.     PR Superstar Award: Bishop Auckland Community Partnership (BACP) - Cultivate 4 Life The PR Superstar Award recognises the group that best engaged with the media during Grow Your Tenner 2015. Throughout Grow Your Tenner 2015 BACP - Cultivate 4 Life worked closely with their local and regional press  to ensure that their campaign received widespread coverage, including a front page splash in  Bishops Press and a main feature in the Northern Echo. This enabled them to reach both new supporters and beneficiaries. BACP approached local media (print and radio) at the start of their campaign with a clear angle - “we have just 30 days to save our project from closing”.  They then followed up with personalised thank yous, developing positive relationships with the local media that will put them a strong position for publicising future campaigns and projects. The impact of this funding has been huge: “Grow Your Tenner rescued our project from closure, it helped us to reach out to our Community and further afield, raising awareness about our project and highlighted our desperate need for help, with an amazing response” The campaign received £2,242.50  (including match funding and gift aid) from 30 donors. On receiving the award Julia Costello,  Cultivate 4 Life Coordinator said: “It was a wonderful surprise to open my email from Localgiving informing us that we had been selected as the winner of PR Superstar Award recognising our efforts via Media with 2015 Grow a Tenner Appeal. We look forward to receiving our Certificate which will be framed and have a pride of place and the £50 Amazon Voucher will be used as a Prize for a forthcoming raffle.   Last year was the first time we engaged in this wonderful fundraising opportunity superbly co-ordinated by Localgiving, and received huge support from Northern Echo, Bishops Press, Town Crier and Bishop FM too, the response was amazing almost achieving £3,000 in donations, these funds aided us with a lifeline, our project was on the brink of closure, so all concerned THANK YOU once again. We are most definitely taking part in this year's Grow a Tenner, this time aided with a video, which we hope to launch this week, posting onto all our media pages including Facebook and Localgiving and certainly will be involving local papers & radio too”.   Future Impact Award: The Pennoyer centre The Future Impact Award recognises the group who can best explain how the funding they had raised through the campaign will be used in a way that was demonstrable, quantifiable and emotionally engaging. The Pennoyer Centre is an education and community venue in South Norfolk. The Centre signed up with Localgiving to raise the funds to run a monthly lunch club with the aim of combatting social isolation in their community. Pennoyer Centre’s entry to the Grow Your Tenner awards brilliantly shows the impact that local initiatives, however small, can make to their communities: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the winners of the Future Impact Award for our Grow Your Tenner campaign last year. We found out about the campaign last October via social media and set about enrolling into Localgiving and then promoting the match funding campaign as soon as we could. We were thrilled that our supporters really rose to the challenge and managed to raise  £500 funding” “We are completely self-funding and therefore covering all the bills and licenses is a huge undertaking. “ “The Lunch Club does a great deal to combat loneliness and social isolation in a rural community. For example, Margaret is 79 years old and recently widowed. She can walk down to the centre for company and have a hot drink and some social interaction. Lunch club is one of the highlights  for villagers like Margaret who can use Pennoyer's as a meeting place.Margaret enjoys the monthly lunch club enormously  because she can meet with friends and socialise. This is  a great thing for someone who now finds themselves living on their own in a rural village and does not have their own transport. The great thing about our lunch club is that we have people who are comfortable with going on their own as there are familiar faces there from the centre and others they know from the village. “Our monthly lunch club has really taken off over the last year. Our lunch club now regularly has an attendance of 25-30 people per month and the group enjoy a full roast dinner with homemade pudding for £11. We had to buy a new cooker when our old one broke in autumn last year. So the Grow Your Tenner funding came just at the right time and we were able to replace the cooker. This is an essential piece of equipment for our kitchen and for our lunch club.” “In the future we want to see the club continuing at an affordable price. We want to provide the means for people to get together thus aiding social inclusion in our rural Norfolk community” “This October we are going to run Grow Your Own Tenner again. We have set a target of £600 this time. As with last year we are looking for funding to buy new chairs and also refresh our café table coverings which are worn out and in need of replacement”. In 2015 The Pennoyer centre raised £496.25 from 20 donors.   A huge Congratulations to each of the three winners - a £50 Amazon voucher will be on its way to you very soon! We also want to send a  massive thank you to everyone who took part in the awards by submitting an entry. Sustainability Survey Prize Draw We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who took part in our Local Charity and Sustainability Survey over the summer. We are currently writing up the results and plan to release a report in the coming months.   All participating groups were entered into a draw to win a donation of £500 to their Cause. We are delighted to announce HELP Counselling Centre as the winners of this donation. Help Counselling Centre provides short and long-term affordable counselling for adults in west London.  Helen Stokes, Director, Help Counselling Centre has said: ‘We are delighted to win £500 from Localgiving as a result of taking part in the Sustainability Survey 2016. It’s increasingly important that local charities make their voices heard and we were keen to give our views as part of the survey – winning this prize has been a lovely bonus! It will help us to continue to offer affordable one-to-one counselling to a wide cross-section of the London community across a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, family and relationship issues and bereavement.’ Grow Your Tenner 2016 Grow Your Tenner 2016 will run from 10am on Tuesday the 18th October until the match fund runs out, or 5pm on Thursday the 17th November - whichever comes first. During the campaign one time donations made to local charities via Localgiving will be matched by up to £10; as will Direct Debits by up to £10 a month for the first 3 months. Is your group taking part in Grow Your Tenner 2016? Do you want to find a local charity or community group to support?  Get involved now: www.growyourtenner.org     
    Oct 14, 2016 7069
  • 10 Oct 2016
    For those of you who are involved with small charities and groups the idea of running a telephone fundraising campaign probably seems beyond your capabilities but as long as you have a phone, a list of previous donors and some perseverance it can be a great way to directly engage with your audience. For example as part of the Bath City FC Supporters Society "Back the Bid" scheme to buy the club on behalf of the community I set up a makeshift call centre in our Treasurer’s hallway one Friday afternoon in 2015. I had a spreadsheet of all the Society's members, a battered landline phone, and a stool to sit on. I called each member in turn asking if they had heard of the bid, whether they were going to support it and if they had any questions. Many people told me it was the first time they had ever had a phone call from Bath City FC and the response was fantastic with a number saying that this had been a great reminder and they were going to purchase shares immediately. For those that weren't able to support it was still worth taking the time to correct basic details like email address and update them on the latest "Back the Bid" news.  In September 2016 we had to reconfirm the pledges made in 2015 so that we could relaunch our ultimately successful bid to become a majority shareholder. Four volunteers called over 100 people during the course of 3 hours and we confirmed pledges worth £10,000 in that time. Smaller charities and groups have a great opportunity to build a personal connection with their supporters as the volumes are typically much smaller, they will often know many of the people in person and they have all believed in your cause at some point in the past. Some of the larger charities have lost this personal connection due to their size, outsourcing of operations and the sheer complexity of their business processes. This presents a great opportunity for smaller charities and groups to demonstrate their agility and reach out to people directly. I would recommend you start any call with a simple thank you for previous support, provide an update on any new appeals that you might be running and finish with a pointer to where they can donate online. Do not take card details over the phone, just refer them to your Localgiving page, if you have one. Remember that taking time over each call and really listening might make all the difference to a supporter who receives frequent, more impersonal requests from larger organisations. Follow the legislation and make personal connections Last year, just as I'd started my previous role as Telephone Fundraising Manager for the University of Bristol, the tragic events of the Olive Cooke story were all over the newspapers and many Universities decided not to run their telephone campaigns that academic year. Unfortunately a handful of unscrupulous telemarketing agencies had given the wider telephone fundraising sector a bad name so make sure you follow the new legislation which was issued in response to those complaints. This includes handling each call sensitively, never asking for a donation more than 3 times, use a telephone number which can be identified by the recipient and end the call immediately if requested. Provided you follow the legislation then there is no need to shy away from a channel that allows you to make a personal connection with your donors, is essentially free (other than call charges and your time) and requires significantly less administration than say putting on a fundraising event.  Finally, it is crucial to check that you have permission to call your supporters in future so make sure you explicitly ask for permission to make fundraising calls at some point in the conversation and then record this consent in your spreadsheet, list or database. As a general rule I would avoid calling anyone over 80, anyone who appears to be confused or vulnerable and I would never makes calls after 8pm because many people find this intrusive. Provided you follow these guidelines and the legislation mentioned above then you should find that a telephone call can be a great opportunity to really connect with your most loyal supporters. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  How to make friend with the media by Kay Parris  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar Shining a Bright Light on local charities   Photographer: Karolina Grabowska.
    7561 Posted by James Carlin
  • For those of you who are involved with small charities and groups the idea of running a telephone fundraising campaign probably seems beyond your capabilities but as long as you have a phone, a list of previous donors and some perseverance it can be a great way to directly engage with your audience. For example as part of the Bath City FC Supporters Society "Back the Bid" scheme to buy the club on behalf of the community I set up a makeshift call centre in our Treasurer’s hallway one Friday afternoon in 2015. I had a spreadsheet of all the Society's members, a battered landline phone, and a stool to sit on. I called each member in turn asking if they had heard of the bid, whether they were going to support it and if they had any questions. Many people told me it was the first time they had ever had a phone call from Bath City FC and the response was fantastic with a number saying that this had been a great reminder and they were going to purchase shares immediately. For those that weren't able to support it was still worth taking the time to correct basic details like email address and update them on the latest "Back the Bid" news.  In September 2016 we had to reconfirm the pledges made in 2015 so that we could relaunch our ultimately successful bid to become a majority shareholder. Four volunteers called over 100 people during the course of 3 hours and we confirmed pledges worth £10,000 in that time. Smaller charities and groups have a great opportunity to build a personal connection with their supporters as the volumes are typically much smaller, they will often know many of the people in person and they have all believed in your cause at some point in the past. Some of the larger charities have lost this personal connection due to their size, outsourcing of operations and the sheer complexity of their business processes. This presents a great opportunity for smaller charities and groups to demonstrate their agility and reach out to people directly. I would recommend you start any call with a simple thank you for previous support, provide an update on any new appeals that you might be running and finish with a pointer to where they can donate online. Do not take card details over the phone, just refer them to your Localgiving page, if you have one. Remember that taking time over each call and really listening might make all the difference to a supporter who receives frequent, more impersonal requests from larger organisations. Follow the legislation and make personal connections Last year, just as I'd started my previous role as Telephone Fundraising Manager for the University of Bristol, the tragic events of the Olive Cooke story were all over the newspapers and many Universities decided not to run their telephone campaigns that academic year. Unfortunately a handful of unscrupulous telemarketing agencies had given the wider telephone fundraising sector a bad name so make sure you follow the new legislation which was issued in response to those complaints. This includes handling each call sensitively, never asking for a donation more than 3 times, use a telephone number which can be identified by the recipient and end the call immediately if requested. Provided you follow the legislation then there is no need to shy away from a channel that allows you to make a personal connection with your donors, is essentially free (other than call charges and your time) and requires significantly less administration than say putting on a fundraising event.  Finally, it is crucial to check that you have permission to call your supporters in future so make sure you explicitly ask for permission to make fundraising calls at some point in the conversation and then record this consent in your spreadsheet, list or database. As a general rule I would avoid calling anyone over 80, anyone who appears to be confused or vulnerable and I would never makes calls after 8pm because many people find this intrusive. Provided you follow these guidelines and the legislation mentioned above then you should find that a telephone call can be a great opportunity to really connect with your most loyal supporters. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  How to make friend with the media by Kay Parris  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar Shining a Bright Light on local charities   Photographer: Karolina Grabowska.
    Oct 10, 2016 7561
  • 10 Oct 2016
    Since the inaugural Small Charity CEO Support Network event (must find a catchier name for this – suggestions welcome!), I’ve been considering the feedback of those who joined us, and researching peer support and peer support networks. I’m a firm advocate of the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid), and everything suggests this network should be simply that – a peer support network. We are not alone It quickly became clear from contributions, networking and feedback that what leaders of small charities want and need from this group is the chance to share problems and challenges confidentially, with those in the same boat; to explore potential solutions and develop their knowledge; to get support. As soon as we understand that we are not alone, the load (and the isolation that can come from being at the top of a small organisation) lightens considerably. There are some superb services out there providing lifelines for CEOs who need practical and legal support – such as ACEVO’s CEOs in Crisis service. However, I (and many of you) know from painful experience, that prevention is better than cure. Those who have faced similar challenges and feelings can be better placed to offer the kind of support that prevents crisis. It is critical that the sector galvanizes to support this group of passionate and committed professionals and their charities, to avoid crisis and burnout, and the toll that takes on mental and physical health. Preventing burnout and preserving strong mental health in this valuable group of sector leaders requires more than practical approaches. Peer support offers benefits that are the fundamentals for effectiveness and strong performance As peer support develops as a practice, research is increasingly finding that sharing challenges with peers who have lived experience of the same issues increases knowledge, confidence and effectiveness, and decreases anxiety, isolation, depression and suicidal ideation. Peer support provides hope, helps people make sense of their situations, find meaning in their lives, take control over their destinies, develop their knowledge-base and manage their challenges. The power of social networks has become increasingly apparent over recent years. I believe passionately that a national peer support network of small charity CEOs can not only improve the mental health and effectiveness of leaders in our wonderful, innovative and highly professional sector, but also thereby improve the efficiency of our hundreds of thousands of small charities. I believe passionately that structured support is needed for small charity CEOs. This means support for charities and ultimately better services for our beneficiaries – a goal we should all aspire to. Since its launch, there has been a phenomenal amount of interest in the network from individuals, groups and organisations; this suggests there is an appetite for change in the sector. The CEO network is an influential group of innovative and skilled leaders, committed to peer support, and that’s a step towards change for the better. So, if you’re a small charity CEO and you’re wondering about whether to join the network, please don’t hesitate. It is full of fellow small charity experts who can help you solve your work challenges! It is full of people who are tackling the same issues as you and probably feeling the same way too. It is full of people ready to support you, and that means support for your charity, your beneficiaries, volunteers, staff. Some of you have already suggested topics for discussion, such as managing workload, when to outsource, finding a mentor and many more (we will be exploring your ideas for future sessions during the event!). The group is restricted to charity CEOs, Directors and Leaders – whether a registered charity or informal voluntary organisation, whatever the legal structure – you are welcome. We will observe Chatham House rules – you can speak freely and be heard. At each monthly meeting, someone from the network will present a problem, challenge, solution or simply their thoughts on a topic, and the group will then do their magic! There will be plenty of networking time too. I look forward to seeing you in October, and setting out on this journey with you!   Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org    Follow @jane_ceo    Found this article useful? Why not read more by this contributor?   The loneliness of the Small Charity Chief Executive   
    2460 Posted by Jane Hudson Jones
  • Since the inaugural Small Charity CEO Support Network event (must find a catchier name for this – suggestions welcome!), I’ve been considering the feedback of those who joined us, and researching peer support and peer support networks. I’m a firm advocate of the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid), and everything suggests this network should be simply that – a peer support network. We are not alone It quickly became clear from contributions, networking and feedback that what leaders of small charities want and need from this group is the chance to share problems and challenges confidentially, with those in the same boat; to explore potential solutions and develop their knowledge; to get support. As soon as we understand that we are not alone, the load (and the isolation that can come from being at the top of a small organisation) lightens considerably. There are some superb services out there providing lifelines for CEOs who need practical and legal support – such as ACEVO’s CEOs in Crisis service. However, I (and many of you) know from painful experience, that prevention is better than cure. Those who have faced similar challenges and feelings can be better placed to offer the kind of support that prevents crisis. It is critical that the sector galvanizes to support this group of passionate and committed professionals and their charities, to avoid crisis and burnout, and the toll that takes on mental and physical health. Preventing burnout and preserving strong mental health in this valuable group of sector leaders requires more than practical approaches. Peer support offers benefits that are the fundamentals for effectiveness and strong performance As peer support develops as a practice, research is increasingly finding that sharing challenges with peers who have lived experience of the same issues increases knowledge, confidence and effectiveness, and decreases anxiety, isolation, depression and suicidal ideation. Peer support provides hope, helps people make sense of their situations, find meaning in their lives, take control over their destinies, develop their knowledge-base and manage their challenges. The power of social networks has become increasingly apparent over recent years. I believe passionately that a national peer support network of small charity CEOs can not only improve the mental health and effectiveness of leaders in our wonderful, innovative and highly professional sector, but also thereby improve the efficiency of our hundreds of thousands of small charities. I believe passionately that structured support is needed for small charity CEOs. This means support for charities and ultimately better services for our beneficiaries – a goal we should all aspire to. Since its launch, there has been a phenomenal amount of interest in the network from individuals, groups and organisations; this suggests there is an appetite for change in the sector. The CEO network is an influential group of innovative and skilled leaders, committed to peer support, and that’s a step towards change for the better. So, if you’re a small charity CEO and you’re wondering about whether to join the network, please don’t hesitate. It is full of fellow small charity experts who can help you solve your work challenges! It is full of people who are tackling the same issues as you and probably feeling the same way too. It is full of people ready to support you, and that means support for your charity, your beneficiaries, volunteers, staff. Some of you have already suggested topics for discussion, such as managing workload, when to outsource, finding a mentor and many more (we will be exploring your ideas for future sessions during the event!). The group is restricted to charity CEOs, Directors and Leaders – whether a registered charity or informal voluntary organisation, whatever the legal structure – you are welcome. We will observe Chatham House rules – you can speak freely and be heard. At each monthly meeting, someone from the network will present a problem, challenge, solution or simply their thoughts on a topic, and the group will then do their magic! There will be plenty of networking time too. I look forward to seeing you in October, and setting out on this journey with you!   Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org    Follow @jane_ceo    Found this article useful? Why not read more by this contributor?   The loneliness of the Small Charity Chief Executive   
    Oct 10, 2016 2460
  • 03 Oct 2016
    You wake at 5am, bleary eyed, from a troubled night, the alarm saving you from sinking back into sleep. You don’t feel rested today. Around 3am you were surreptitiously whispering into your phone’s audio recorder. Your partner heard you anyway, and so your work disrupted their sleep once again. Yes, that’s right – you were working. Adding to your to-do list – operational tasks you’ve remembered that slipped under the radar earlier on. An exciting idea for fundraising that you really must explore. A difficult staff appraisal to prepare for. Inspiration for solving a common problem a beneficiary told you about over coffee. Worrying about covering the budget without any statutory funding. Wondering how much more you can ask your heroic staff to take on, over and above the 45 hours a week they already work, for a salary that is modest to say the least. Wondering how you will cope with tomorrow’s challenges without a decent night’s sleep yet again, and feeling overwhelmed…   Yes, I feel your pain, because I’ve been there. I’ve been a new small charity Chief Executive and I’ve been a seasoned one – and I know it doesn’t feel much easier either way. Feeling overwhelmed can dampen all the passion in the world. Why is this peculiar to small charities? Because conventional organisation structure – Board, CEO, staff – applies to small charities too, but doesn’t fit. Four or five key, but junior people staff the majority of small charities. So the small charity Chief Executive is also the Director of Finance. Director of HR too. And Director of Fundraising. Yes, and Service Director. Oh, and Facilities Manager and PA. And don’t forget they’re the Chief Executive, responsible for strategy, ambassadoring, leading and thinking – those exciting and wonderful aspects of the role that they rarely get time to do. I know of small charity Chief Execs who literally work round the clock, sending emails at 1am on Monday morning, just to be able to keep up with a workload that is Herculean in breadth and volume. I know some live on the verge of breakdown. All Chief Executives, in any sector or organization, expect a heavy workload, but this is a real structural problem for which there seems to be no impetus to change. There’s no time for that, and perhaps there are appearances to keep up. There are no peers for the small charity Chief Exec – no one within the organisation you can talk to for support. This is a long distance runner who carries a whole organisation on their back. Can this really be acceptable? And how does this segment of the wider sector find the time to fight back against the current charity-bashing trend (which could actually be one manifestation of a paradigm change for the sector, but that’s another blog!). Trustees of small charities can often be found feeling depleted – they generally take a far more hands-on role than their colleagues in big organisations. But it is the Chief Executives who are paid to run the show, and – given the current structure - there’s a huge amount of pressure to perform. All of this usually with ever decreasing resources. Of course Chairs can and should be a strong source of support and partnership for the small charity Chief Exec, though in reality it doesn’t always work out that way. I’ll talk about working relationships in small charities more in a forthcoming blog. 97% of registered charities are defined as ‘small’ – that means there are up to 155,000 small charity Chief Execs in the UK (Small Charities Coalition, 2016). I have begun to wonder why this ill-fitting structure exists for the majority of the sector. I don’t have answers yet, but I hope to find them in partnership with sector leaders. So I’ve taken the plunge and gone freelance to unleash my passion for supporting charity leaders and their teams. With a fellow former small charity Chief Exec (who calls herself a ‘reformed Chief Executive’) I’m setting up a peer support system for this dynamic and dedicated, but beleaguered group. We’re not sure exactly how it will look yet – we want your steer on that, but we know from our networks that it is much needed. We know that it will be a supportive group, but also an expert group that comes up with solutions to common problems. Hopefully we can work together to find support and innovations. Watch this space! Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org  Follow @jane_ceo  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity Shining a Bright Light on local charities NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving memberships  
    4680 Posted by Jane Hudson Jones
  • You wake at 5am, bleary eyed, from a troubled night, the alarm saving you from sinking back into sleep. You don’t feel rested today. Around 3am you were surreptitiously whispering into your phone’s audio recorder. Your partner heard you anyway, and so your work disrupted their sleep once again. Yes, that’s right – you were working. Adding to your to-do list – operational tasks you’ve remembered that slipped under the radar earlier on. An exciting idea for fundraising that you really must explore. A difficult staff appraisal to prepare for. Inspiration for solving a common problem a beneficiary told you about over coffee. Worrying about covering the budget without any statutory funding. Wondering how much more you can ask your heroic staff to take on, over and above the 45 hours a week they already work, for a salary that is modest to say the least. Wondering how you will cope with tomorrow’s challenges without a decent night’s sleep yet again, and feeling overwhelmed…   Yes, I feel your pain, because I’ve been there. I’ve been a new small charity Chief Executive and I’ve been a seasoned one – and I know it doesn’t feel much easier either way. Feeling overwhelmed can dampen all the passion in the world. Why is this peculiar to small charities? Because conventional organisation structure – Board, CEO, staff – applies to small charities too, but doesn’t fit. Four or five key, but junior people staff the majority of small charities. So the small charity Chief Executive is also the Director of Finance. Director of HR too. And Director of Fundraising. Yes, and Service Director. Oh, and Facilities Manager and PA. And don’t forget they’re the Chief Executive, responsible for strategy, ambassadoring, leading and thinking – those exciting and wonderful aspects of the role that they rarely get time to do. I know of small charity Chief Execs who literally work round the clock, sending emails at 1am on Monday morning, just to be able to keep up with a workload that is Herculean in breadth and volume. I know some live on the verge of breakdown. All Chief Executives, in any sector or organization, expect a heavy workload, but this is a real structural problem for which there seems to be no impetus to change. There’s no time for that, and perhaps there are appearances to keep up. There are no peers for the small charity Chief Exec – no one within the organisation you can talk to for support. This is a long distance runner who carries a whole organisation on their back. Can this really be acceptable? And how does this segment of the wider sector find the time to fight back against the current charity-bashing trend (which could actually be one manifestation of a paradigm change for the sector, but that’s another blog!). Trustees of small charities can often be found feeling depleted – they generally take a far more hands-on role than their colleagues in big organisations. But it is the Chief Executives who are paid to run the show, and – given the current structure - there’s a huge amount of pressure to perform. All of this usually with ever decreasing resources. Of course Chairs can and should be a strong source of support and partnership for the small charity Chief Exec, though in reality it doesn’t always work out that way. I’ll talk about working relationships in small charities more in a forthcoming blog. 97% of registered charities are defined as ‘small’ – that means there are up to 155,000 small charity Chief Execs in the UK (Small Charities Coalition, 2016). I have begun to wonder why this ill-fitting structure exists for the majority of the sector. I don’t have answers yet, but I hope to find them in partnership with sector leaders. So I’ve taken the plunge and gone freelance to unleash my passion for supporting charity leaders and their teams. With a fellow former small charity Chief Exec (who calls herself a ‘reformed Chief Executive’) I’m setting up a peer support system for this dynamic and dedicated, but beleaguered group. We’re not sure exactly how it will look yet – we want your steer on that, but we know from our networks that it is much needed. We know that it will be a supportive group, but also an expert group that comes up with solutions to common problems. Hopefully we can work together to find support and innovations. Watch this space! Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org  Follow @jane_ceo  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity Shining a Bright Light on local charities NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving memberships  
    Oct 03, 2016 4680
  • 29 Sep 2016
    Huge congratulations go to Community Foundation for Calderdale for winning both best fundraising campaign at the Third Sector Awards 2016 and Fundraising Team of the Year: with an income under £5 million at the Charity Times Awards 2016.  On Boxing Day 2015 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks – the subsequent flooding had a devestating impact on businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded by launching its Calderdale Flood Fund to help rebuild the community.  Working closely with both local and national media, corporates and voluntary goups, CFFC raised over £2.5 million to support the community in its recovery - £250,000 of which came through its Localgiving appeal page. It was truly inspiring to witness the creativity and hard-work put into this campaign, and to have had the opportunity to play a role in its success.  In March we spoke to Emma Bolger of CFFC about the lessons that other local charities and community groups could take from their extraordinary campaign. Why not read more here!    
    3689 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Huge congratulations go to Community Foundation for Calderdale for winning both best fundraising campaign at the Third Sector Awards 2016 and Fundraising Team of the Year: with an income under £5 million at the Charity Times Awards 2016.  On Boxing Day 2015 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks – the subsequent flooding had a devestating impact on businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded by launching its Calderdale Flood Fund to help rebuild the community.  Working closely with both local and national media, corporates and voluntary goups, CFFC raised over £2.5 million to support the community in its recovery - £250,000 of which came through its Localgiving appeal page. It was truly inspiring to witness the creativity and hard-work put into this campaign, and to have had the opportunity to play a role in its success.  In March we spoke to Emma Bolger of CFFC about the lessons that other local charities and community groups could take from their extraordinary campaign. Why not read more here!    
    Sep 29, 2016 3689
  • 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  
    3805 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 3805
  • 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  
    3226 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 3226
  • 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 5813
  • 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?    
    3482 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 3482