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264 blogs
  • 23 May 2016
    Kathryn Berry is Head of Member Services at Sported. She has worked in the sport sector for 10 years, having previously worked in the youth and community sector. Having working with clubs from the grass roots up, seeing them achieve what they set out to do and have a positive impact on their local communities is something she is passionate about. It often feels that cherry picking our favourite tasks, or the quickest ones, is the recipe to having a good day in the office. This makes us feel like we have really achieved something. However, in reality what this really means is that we may have left the most important, or tricky thing, until the last minute. For many of us, including myself, this is not an issue of prioritisation. It is more about trying to get as much completed as possible and, in all honesty, sometimes not having the motivation to start something I favour less! For many of the member organisations that we work with at Sported, this is a familiar balancing act. For these community, youth and sports organisations, there are many important tasks to be completed.  In the Sport for Development sector 64% are entirely volunteer led and the asks on their time are often huge. For these groups,  monitoring and evaluation and impact assessments are often at the bottom of the list. Admittedly, this doesn’t sound or look like a particularly sexy task. However, with the competition for funding, commissioning and proving the impact that sport has on society, it is absolutely critical. So how can we make impact measurement jump to the top of the list? There is a work to be done in the Sport for Development sector. We need to show why measuring impact is so important and that it needn’t be an arduous exercise. Impact measurement conjures up an image of data inputting or of analysing spreadsheets. However, we need to start thinking about how effective impact measurement system can benefit our organisations. Changing the way that organisations see the measurement of impact, is not something that will happen overnight - it is about culture change. At Sported, we think that there are some key questions that organisations can ask themselves in order to start this process: How could focusing on impact help you to do your job?  Focusing on your impact will help formulate your organisations strategy, improve the efficiency of your programmes and energise your team of volunteers. How could focusing on impact help you with long-term finances? Funders are increasingly asking for demonstrable results. Is focusing on impact the new normal?  Impact measurement is already the norm, not the exception. By choosing to focus on your impact practice now, you can ensure you are equipped for the future. When is the time to prioritise impact?  The time is now! What could you do today to get you started? A useful focus on impact doesn’t have to cost the earth, and the resources put into it should always be proportionate. But it does require some investment of time and/or money. Think about which areas of your work require improved impact measurement and how to do this in a time/cost effective way. Adapted from: Are You Leading for Impact?, NPC, 2013 Making a start is often the hardest part. However there are lots of tools and support for organisations. Sported has lots of resources and volunteer support for organisations. More information about becoming a member and accessing this support can be found at http://sported.org.uk/become-a-member/    
    1235 Posted by Kathryn Berry
  • Kathryn Berry is Head of Member Services at Sported. She has worked in the sport sector for 10 years, having previously worked in the youth and community sector. Having working with clubs from the grass roots up, seeing them achieve what they set out to do and have a positive impact on their local communities is something she is passionate about. It often feels that cherry picking our favourite tasks, or the quickest ones, is the recipe to having a good day in the office. This makes us feel like we have really achieved something. However, in reality what this really means is that we may have left the most important, or tricky thing, until the last minute. For many of us, including myself, this is not an issue of prioritisation. It is more about trying to get as much completed as possible and, in all honesty, sometimes not having the motivation to start something I favour less! For many of the member organisations that we work with at Sported, this is a familiar balancing act. For these community, youth and sports organisations, there are many important tasks to be completed.  In the Sport for Development sector 64% are entirely volunteer led and the asks on their time are often huge. For these groups,  monitoring and evaluation and impact assessments are often at the bottom of the list. Admittedly, this doesn’t sound or look like a particularly sexy task. However, with the competition for funding, commissioning and proving the impact that sport has on society, it is absolutely critical. So how can we make impact measurement jump to the top of the list? There is a work to be done in the Sport for Development sector. We need to show why measuring impact is so important and that it needn’t be an arduous exercise. Impact measurement conjures up an image of data inputting or of analysing spreadsheets. However, we need to start thinking about how effective impact measurement system can benefit our organisations. Changing the way that organisations see the measurement of impact, is not something that will happen overnight - it is about culture change. At Sported, we think that there are some key questions that organisations can ask themselves in order to start this process: How could focusing on impact help you to do your job?  Focusing on your impact will help formulate your organisations strategy, improve the efficiency of your programmes and energise your team of volunteers. How could focusing on impact help you with long-term finances? Funders are increasingly asking for demonstrable results. Is focusing on impact the new normal?  Impact measurement is already the norm, not the exception. By choosing to focus on your impact practice now, you can ensure you are equipped for the future. When is the time to prioritise impact?  The time is now! What could you do today to get you started? A useful focus on impact doesn’t have to cost the earth, and the resources put into it should always be proportionate. But it does require some investment of time and/or money. Think about which areas of your work require improved impact measurement and how to do this in a time/cost effective way. Adapted from: Are You Leading for Impact?, NPC, 2013 Making a start is often the hardest part. However there are lots of tools and support for organisations. Sported has lots of resources and volunteer support for organisations. More information about becoming a member and accessing this support can be found at http://sported.org.uk/become-a-member/    
    May 23, 2016 1235
  • 16 May 2016
    Pivot tables are a type of data visualisation tool found in many common spreadsheet software packages such as Microsoft Excel.They are a great way to summarise a large amount of data, but they can also help you analyse and explore the data further.   In this blog we will look at how charities can use pivot tables to make the most of their Localgiving data. However, pivot tables can be used to look at any spreadsheet data you have. Localgiving members can use pivot tables to: Find out the total given by each donor Look at the total raised each month Compare the total raised from monthly donations and one-time donations Find out how much is outstanding to you Sound useful? Read on! I will show you some of the basic functions of the PivotTable tool available in MS Excel. I have used Excel 2010, so if you are running a different version some of the options might be in a different place. The first step is to download a report of the information you’d like to look at from your interface.   Go to the “My Donations” tab of your interface.  Click “Reports” from the left hand green menu. Then you can select the data you would like to analyse using either one of the predefined periods or using a custom date range. I decided to look at data from the 1st quarter of this year (01/01/2016 – 31/03/2016). Once the report has downloaded, open it in Excel and select the data to be included in the PivotTable. Then click on the “Insert” tab on the ribbon and click on “PivotTable” on the far left. A pop up should appear showing the data you have selected and asking whether you want to put the PivotTable in a new or existing worksheet – I recommend choosing a new worksheet so that your PivotTable doesn’t get mixed up with other information. Click “OK” and you should be taken to a new worksheet that looks something like this:   On the right hand side of the screen you can see the area where your PivotTable will appear, and the left hand side of the screen has the PivotTable field list where you can choose which data will appear in your PivotTable. You can start to create a PivotTable by dragging the fields listed into one of the 4 quadrants below. Start by dragging “Donation ID” into the “Rows” quadrant and “Amount” into the values quadrant. This will give you a simple PivotTable listing all the donations you have received and the total amount raised from each one (i.e. including the donation, Gift Aid and match funding).     You could alternatively drag “Supporter name” into the “Row Labels” quadrant, rather than “Donation ID” to produce a list of how much each donor has donated (including Gift Aid and match funding).     Analyse your data further using calculated fields So far, this is interesting, but not that much more useful than the original report you downloaded; using calculated fields is one way to analyse your data in more detail. Calculated fields allow you to use a formula incorporating other fields in your data set. For example you might want to find out the net amount received from each donation made to your group (donation + Gift Aid + match funding minus any fees). To start adding a calculated field to your PivotTable; make sure you have selected one of the cells in your existing PivotTable, then click on “Options” in the PivotTable Tools section of the ribbon (far right). Then click on “Fields, Items & Sets”. A drop down menu should appear, select the first option – “Calculated Field”.     The “Insert Calculated Field” pop up should then appear. Here you can name your new field (I’ve called ours “Net amount”) and then create the calculation for your field. To calculate the net amount from each donation put your cursor in the formula box and type "=". Then double click on each of the field you want to include in the calculation – i.e. Amount, Payment Provider Fee, Donation Commission & Gift Aid Commission, adding a "+" sign between each one. Finally, click OK to add your new calculated field. Your new field should now be included in your PivotTable as an extra column. If it doesn’t appear automatically, you can easily add it by dragging and dropping the new field into the Values quadrant. Using Filters to summarise your data You can also use PivotTables to filter your data. For example to see the amounts that are still due to be paid, drag the “Payment Status” field into the “Report Filter” quadrant of the PivotTable Field List. Select the drop down arrow next to the filter and select “Processing” to see just amounts that are still outstanding.   You can also use more than one filter at a time. To see just the donation payments that are outstanding you can also drag the “Type” field to the “Report Filter” quadrant and use the drop down arrow to select donation. You should now be able to perform some basic tasks when it comes to PivotTables: Create a PivotTable in MS Excel Use calculated fields to analyse your data Use filters to summarise your data There are so many more ways to utilise PivotTables, far more than I can fit into one blog post, but hopefully today’s introduction will get you started and from here you can explore more functions, and be a data analysing wizard in no time at all.
    2609 Posted by Louise Boyd
  • Pivot tables are a type of data visualisation tool found in many common spreadsheet software packages such as Microsoft Excel.They are a great way to summarise a large amount of data, but they can also help you analyse and explore the data further.   In this blog we will look at how charities can use pivot tables to make the most of their Localgiving data. However, pivot tables can be used to look at any spreadsheet data you have. Localgiving members can use pivot tables to: Find out the total given by each donor Look at the total raised each month Compare the total raised from monthly donations and one-time donations Find out how much is outstanding to you Sound useful? Read on! I will show you some of the basic functions of the PivotTable tool available in MS Excel. I have used Excel 2010, so if you are running a different version some of the options might be in a different place. The first step is to download a report of the information you’d like to look at from your interface.   Go to the “My Donations” tab of your interface.  Click “Reports” from the left hand green menu. Then you can select the data you would like to analyse using either one of the predefined periods or using a custom date range. I decided to look at data from the 1st quarter of this year (01/01/2016 – 31/03/2016). Once the report has downloaded, open it in Excel and select the data to be included in the PivotTable. Then click on the “Insert” tab on the ribbon and click on “PivotTable” on the far left. A pop up should appear showing the data you have selected and asking whether you want to put the PivotTable in a new or existing worksheet – I recommend choosing a new worksheet so that your PivotTable doesn’t get mixed up with other information. Click “OK” and you should be taken to a new worksheet that looks something like this:   On the right hand side of the screen you can see the area where your PivotTable will appear, and the left hand side of the screen has the PivotTable field list where you can choose which data will appear in your PivotTable. You can start to create a PivotTable by dragging the fields listed into one of the 4 quadrants below. Start by dragging “Donation ID” into the “Rows” quadrant and “Amount” into the values quadrant. This will give you a simple PivotTable listing all the donations you have received and the total amount raised from each one (i.e. including the donation, Gift Aid and match funding).     You could alternatively drag “Supporter name” into the “Row Labels” quadrant, rather than “Donation ID” to produce a list of how much each donor has donated (including Gift Aid and match funding).     Analyse your data further using calculated fields So far, this is interesting, but not that much more useful than the original report you downloaded; using calculated fields is one way to analyse your data in more detail. Calculated fields allow you to use a formula incorporating other fields in your data set. For example you might want to find out the net amount received from each donation made to your group (donation + Gift Aid + match funding minus any fees). To start adding a calculated field to your PivotTable; make sure you have selected one of the cells in your existing PivotTable, then click on “Options” in the PivotTable Tools section of the ribbon (far right). Then click on “Fields, Items & Sets”. A drop down menu should appear, select the first option – “Calculated Field”.     The “Insert Calculated Field” pop up should then appear. Here you can name your new field (I’ve called ours “Net amount”) and then create the calculation for your field. To calculate the net amount from each donation put your cursor in the formula box and type "=". Then double click on each of the field you want to include in the calculation – i.e. Amount, Payment Provider Fee, Donation Commission & Gift Aid Commission, adding a "+" sign between each one. Finally, click OK to add your new calculated field. Your new field should now be included in your PivotTable as an extra column. If it doesn’t appear automatically, you can easily add it by dragging and dropping the new field into the Values quadrant. Using Filters to summarise your data You can also use PivotTables to filter your data. For example to see the amounts that are still due to be paid, drag the “Payment Status” field into the “Report Filter” quadrant of the PivotTable Field List. Select the drop down arrow next to the filter and select “Processing” to see just amounts that are still outstanding.   You can also use more than one filter at a time. To see just the donation payments that are outstanding you can also drag the “Type” field to the “Report Filter” quadrant and use the drop down arrow to select donation. You should now be able to perform some basic tasks when it comes to PivotTables: Create a PivotTable in MS Excel Use calculated fields to analyse your data Use filters to summarise your data There are so many more ways to utilise PivotTables, far more than I can fit into one blog post, but hopefully today’s introduction will get you started and from here you can explore more functions, and be a data analysing wizard in no time at all.
    May 16, 2016 2609
  • 16 May 2016
    Matt Moorut is the head of marketing for Technology Trust and volunteers at two local charities. He has written extensively on digital improvements in the charity sector and has been published in The Guardian newspaper and Charity Digital News among others. If you work for a small, local charity or community group, there’s a good chance IT won’t be the top item on your agenda. Sometimes you do need to set up an email address to reply to enquiries about your charity, or have the option to keep a database so you can monitor your impact, or have a website (and drive traffic to it) to reach more supporters and beneficiaries. The good news is that if you’re a charity, you can get a lot of the best stuff for free, or at least for next to nothing. Actually, there’s a charity plan for most software you’ll need. Self-promotion warning! It’s a little bit of a shameless plug (sorry), but seeing as it’s a plug for the charity I work for, which is there to help other charities with IT, hopefully you’ll excuse me – the first resource I’d recommend is the software donation programme we run, called tt-exchange. To be eligible for the programme, we’d just need you to supply a couple of details to prove you have HMRC charitable status. We can always help along the way if you get stuck with that. Once you’ve registered for the programme (which is free to do), we’ll look to see which of our tech partners’ donations you’re eligible for, which might be Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec or loads of others. To keep the programme going, we do charge a small admin fee per donation request – it’s usually only about 5% of the normal cost of the product though. Day-to-day essentials For the majority of small organisations, getting a server is a bad decision. Instead, you’re usually better off utilising cloud computing, which means no setup costs, easier maintenance, more flexible working and (importantly) no worries about someone breaking in and running off with your server! If you aren’t familiar with cloud computing, all it means is that rather than storing all of your files locally – whether that be for emails or your website or anything else – they’re stored and secured by someone else. An example would be if you have Gmail or Hotmail email account. It goes further than that these days though. For instance, if you want to create a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, you can also use cloud-based versions of those products through Office 365. Google offer something very similar called Google Apps. If you’re eligible for tt-exchange, you’ll be able to access entirely free versions of both. There’s a brilliant comparison of the two offerings here. Of course, if you like desktop-based versions better, you can always get a donated Office desktop licence from £21+VAT through tt-exchange, which is the cheapest legal version you’ll find. Some of the best offerings Even if you end up using Microsoft Office or Office 365 programmes, I’d recommend you sign up for Google for Nonprofits anyway, because you get loads of stuff for free, like $10,000 credit per month towards advertising your website on Google search, as well as other goodies like the ability to add ‘donate’ buttons to your YouTube videos. If you want to set up a website, I’d recommend either: a) visit the Transform Foundation, which offers grants and expertise to do so, or if that fails b) take up a GoDaddy discount through tt-exchange to host your site, and then build it using a free platform like WordPress.org (or find a friend who can help you to do that). I’d also recommend getting in touch with an organisation called CITA, as they offer free, 2-hour strategic consultations for charities, which might well be useful to you. If you want to send emails to your supporters or beneficiaries, the best options are MailChimp, which is free up to a point, or our own offering, tt-mail, which sadly always costs at least a little bit, but is cheaper and more flexible when you start growing. The hard part - hardware If you’re in need of hardware, that can be a bit trickier. Companies aren’t as inclined to give it away as they are with software, because software is essentially free, but hardware costs money for all the bits. If you can, I’d suggest it’ll be cheaper in the long run to get a new computer rather than a refurb, because refurbs become obsolete quicker. If you can’t make the budget stretch that far, you can find many of the best refurbishers for charities on Microsoft’s refurbisher directory. InKind Direct also offer discounted, refurbished hardware, which is worth investigating – you can check that out here. I hope that’s all useful! We regularly post advice and guidance on our own website, so join our newsletter or just peruse the articles if you’d like any charity-tech-specific nuggets.   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 How to make friends with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker    
    2203 Posted by Matthew Moorut
  • Matt Moorut is the head of marketing for Technology Trust and volunteers at two local charities. He has written extensively on digital improvements in the charity sector and has been published in The Guardian newspaper and Charity Digital News among others. If you work for a small, local charity or community group, there’s a good chance IT won’t be the top item on your agenda. Sometimes you do need to set up an email address to reply to enquiries about your charity, or have the option to keep a database so you can monitor your impact, or have a website (and drive traffic to it) to reach more supporters and beneficiaries. The good news is that if you’re a charity, you can get a lot of the best stuff for free, or at least for next to nothing. Actually, there’s a charity plan for most software you’ll need. Self-promotion warning! It’s a little bit of a shameless plug (sorry), but seeing as it’s a plug for the charity I work for, which is there to help other charities with IT, hopefully you’ll excuse me – the first resource I’d recommend is the software donation programme we run, called tt-exchange. To be eligible for the programme, we’d just need you to supply a couple of details to prove you have HMRC charitable status. We can always help along the way if you get stuck with that. Once you’ve registered for the programme (which is free to do), we’ll look to see which of our tech partners’ donations you’re eligible for, which might be Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec or loads of others. To keep the programme going, we do charge a small admin fee per donation request – it’s usually only about 5% of the normal cost of the product though. Day-to-day essentials For the majority of small organisations, getting a server is a bad decision. Instead, you’re usually better off utilising cloud computing, which means no setup costs, easier maintenance, more flexible working and (importantly) no worries about someone breaking in and running off with your server! If you aren’t familiar with cloud computing, all it means is that rather than storing all of your files locally – whether that be for emails or your website or anything else – they’re stored and secured by someone else. An example would be if you have Gmail or Hotmail email account. It goes further than that these days though. For instance, if you want to create a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, you can also use cloud-based versions of those products through Office 365. Google offer something very similar called Google Apps. If you’re eligible for tt-exchange, you’ll be able to access entirely free versions of both. There’s a brilliant comparison of the two offerings here. Of course, if you like desktop-based versions better, you can always get a donated Office desktop licence from £21+VAT through tt-exchange, which is the cheapest legal version you’ll find. Some of the best offerings Even if you end up using Microsoft Office or Office 365 programmes, I’d recommend you sign up for Google for Nonprofits anyway, because you get loads of stuff for free, like $10,000 credit per month towards advertising your website on Google search, as well as other goodies like the ability to add ‘donate’ buttons to your YouTube videos. If you want to set up a website, I’d recommend either: a) visit the Transform Foundation, which offers grants and expertise to do so, or if that fails b) take up a GoDaddy discount through tt-exchange to host your site, and then build it using a free platform like WordPress.org (or find a friend who can help you to do that). I’d also recommend getting in touch with an organisation called CITA, as they offer free, 2-hour strategic consultations for charities, which might well be useful to you. If you want to send emails to your supporters or beneficiaries, the best options are MailChimp, which is free up to a point, or our own offering, tt-mail, which sadly always costs at least a little bit, but is cheaper and more flexible when you start growing. The hard part - hardware If you’re in need of hardware, that can be a bit trickier. Companies aren’t as inclined to give it away as they are with software, because software is essentially free, but hardware costs money for all the bits. If you can, I’d suggest it’ll be cheaper in the long run to get a new computer rather than a refurb, because refurbs become obsolete quicker. If you can’t make the budget stretch that far, you can find many of the best refurbishers for charities on Microsoft’s refurbisher directory. InKind Direct also offer discounted, refurbished hardware, which is worth investigating – you can check that out here. I hope that’s all useful! We regularly post advice and guidance on our own website, so join our newsletter or just peruse the articles if you’d like any charity-tech-specific nuggets.   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 How to make friends with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker    
    May 16, 2016 2203
  • 11 May 2016
    Emma Beeston is an experienced grant maker and philanthropy advisor. She advises funders and philanthropists on how best to donate their funds to effect social change. The 3-minute pitch is a fundraising classic Everyone involved in a charity, whether a fundraiser or not, should have their compelling ‘case for support’ ready to go at a moment’s notice. You never know who you will meet at a conference, on the train, or even in a lift, who may be in a position to donate to your charity if you just get the pitch right. However, time and time again, at funding fairs, workshops and events and even when visiting a charity to conduct an assessment, this is a common exchange: Q: Tell me about your charity? A: We were founded in 2006 and became a charity in 2007... I appreciate that I am a funding officer and not a major donor, so you don’t need to persuade me to hand over my own money. But I am a person who, alongside all the questions about finances and governance, really wants to know why you do what you do and the difference it makes. Once you have told me that, then you can go on and tell me about your background and how long you have been established. Or even better, just tell me that when I ask. The same rule applies as for all effective communication: be led by the audience. Don’t tell me what you want to say, tell me what I need to hear. And more importantly I have also facilitated meetings and network events where charities get to meet with MPs or other such high profile people and the same thing commonly happens. The charity representative starts with the history of the charity. If this is you and your staff, you need to break this habit and start talking about the purpose of your work. And even though they are unlikely to donate, that is exactly what an MP wants to hear too. In fact that really should be the first thing you tell pretty much everyone you meet. So next time you meet a funder, MP, neighbour, friend at a party and they ask what you do, please be ready: Q: Tell me about your charity? A: We work towards the eradication of slavery wherever it is found. We provide survivors with safety, hope and choice (from Unseen UK).   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha      
    1787 Posted by Emma Beeston
  • Emma Beeston is an experienced grant maker and philanthropy advisor. She advises funders and philanthropists on how best to donate their funds to effect social change. The 3-minute pitch is a fundraising classic Everyone involved in a charity, whether a fundraiser or not, should have their compelling ‘case for support’ ready to go at a moment’s notice. You never know who you will meet at a conference, on the train, or even in a lift, who may be in a position to donate to your charity if you just get the pitch right. However, time and time again, at funding fairs, workshops and events and even when visiting a charity to conduct an assessment, this is a common exchange: Q: Tell me about your charity? A: We were founded in 2006 and became a charity in 2007... I appreciate that I am a funding officer and not a major donor, so you don’t need to persuade me to hand over my own money. But I am a person who, alongside all the questions about finances and governance, really wants to know why you do what you do and the difference it makes. Once you have told me that, then you can go on and tell me about your background and how long you have been established. Or even better, just tell me that when I ask. The same rule applies as for all effective communication: be led by the audience. Don’t tell me what you want to say, tell me what I need to hear. And more importantly I have also facilitated meetings and network events where charities get to meet with MPs or other such high profile people and the same thing commonly happens. The charity representative starts with the history of the charity. If this is you and your staff, you need to break this habit and start talking about the purpose of your work. And even though they are unlikely to donate, that is exactly what an MP wants to hear too. In fact that really should be the first thing you tell pretty much everyone you meet. So next time you meet a funder, MP, neighbour, friend at a party and they ask what you do, please be ready: Q: Tell me about your charity? A: We work towards the eradication of slavery wherever it is found. We provide survivors with safety, hope and choice (from Unseen UK).   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha      
    May 11, 2016 1787
  • 05 May 2016
    
Ieva Padagaite is a co-founder and director of Blake House Filmmakers Cooperative and is involved in various social and environmental campaigns. Using Video for Effective Fundraising By working with people and organisations who make a real difference, I have had a chance to measure successful use of video in crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve been alert to how films foster empathy when working with vulnerable adults, children, and making videos for fundraisers, Corporate Social Responsibility and marketing projects. A third of all online activity is spent watching video and according to Cisco VNI™ forecast - 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019 will be via video. It’s a critical time for the third sector to embrace this powerful medium to amplify causes, increase impact, widen reach and stay visible.   Get into the habit of recording your work on camera We are bombarded with all sorts of content every day, but videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster then text.To avoid demanding cognitive strain, we are drawn to information that is easy to process and more importantly, we are more likely to get emotionally attached to a story we see in a video than a story we read in an article. I recently worked with children's entertainment charity, The Flying Seagull Project, which was fundraising to provide mental relief for refugee children facing trauma on the borders of the EU. The charity came to me with some footage filmed on simple pocket cameras and mobile phones and a three week fundraising deadline. We shot a simply structured message to the camera in our office about the project, the problem, the solution and a call to action. Two days later, the video was released. By the second week, the charity surpassed its fundraising targets, gaining huge momentum and following for the campaign. Reflecting on this experience, it seems obvious that any group using fundraising in their organisation should start recording their work wherever the impact is visible, if it is appropriate to do so (noting ethical considerations). The content could come in handy not only when working on a fundraising video to back up your words and provide evidence for your work, but also enhancing your staff and volunteer engagement and morale.   Have a fundraising strategy and a team in place to effectively engage your audience So, video content is great, but it doesn’t work by itself. You need fundraising and marketing strategies in place to work out how to get the video in front of your target audience, plan their journey in supporting you as well as ways to get them to fundraise for you by sharing your campaign. Think about having a team to write engaging copy to support the video and an easy-to-follow call to action; keeping the conversation active with your supporters during and after the campaign is a key part of any campaign. I attended one of Localgiving’s workshops on fundraising strategy and highly recommend it to anybody wanting to learn more.   Collaborate The filming process doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive: plan ahead and gradually embed it into your work culture. It’s all about getting into the habit and finding a way to do it that suits your cause, capacity and budget. One way to do it is by finding a local filmmaker or video company that works on the same wavelength as you. Have a lookout for social enterprises, cooperatives and media charities using film to make a difference or start experimenting and utilising the wealth of knowledge stored online. Either way, you can’t afford to be camera shy!       Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    2326 Posted by Ieva Padagaite
  • 
Ieva Padagaite is a co-founder and director of Blake House Filmmakers Cooperative and is involved in various social and environmental campaigns. Using Video for Effective Fundraising By working with people and organisations who make a real difference, I have had a chance to measure successful use of video in crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve been alert to how films foster empathy when working with vulnerable adults, children, and making videos for fundraisers, Corporate Social Responsibility and marketing projects. A third of all online activity is spent watching video and according to Cisco VNI™ forecast - 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019 will be via video. It’s a critical time for the third sector to embrace this powerful medium to amplify causes, increase impact, widen reach and stay visible.   Get into the habit of recording your work on camera We are bombarded with all sorts of content every day, but videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster then text.To avoid demanding cognitive strain, we are drawn to information that is easy to process and more importantly, we are more likely to get emotionally attached to a story we see in a video than a story we read in an article. I recently worked with children's entertainment charity, The Flying Seagull Project, which was fundraising to provide mental relief for refugee children facing trauma on the borders of the EU. The charity came to me with some footage filmed on simple pocket cameras and mobile phones and a three week fundraising deadline. We shot a simply structured message to the camera in our office about the project, the problem, the solution and a call to action. Two days later, the video was released. By the second week, the charity surpassed its fundraising targets, gaining huge momentum and following for the campaign. Reflecting on this experience, it seems obvious that any group using fundraising in their organisation should start recording their work wherever the impact is visible, if it is appropriate to do so (noting ethical considerations). The content could come in handy not only when working on a fundraising video to back up your words and provide evidence for your work, but also enhancing your staff and volunteer engagement and morale.   Have a fundraising strategy and a team in place to effectively engage your audience So, video content is great, but it doesn’t work by itself. You need fundraising and marketing strategies in place to work out how to get the video in front of your target audience, plan their journey in supporting you as well as ways to get them to fundraise for you by sharing your campaign. Think about having a team to write engaging copy to support the video and an easy-to-follow call to action; keeping the conversation active with your supporters during and after the campaign is a key part of any campaign. I attended one of Localgiving’s workshops on fundraising strategy and highly recommend it to anybody wanting to learn more.   Collaborate The filming process doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive: plan ahead and gradually embed it into your work culture. It’s all about getting into the habit and finding a way to do it that suits your cause, capacity and budget. One way to do it is by finding a local filmmaker or video company that works on the same wavelength as you. Have a lookout for social enterprises, cooperatives and media charities using film to make a difference or start experimenting and utilising the wealth of knowledge stored online. Either way, you can’t afford to be camera shy!       Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    May 05, 2016 2326
  • 04 May 2016
    Isabelle Neumand is Communications Coordinator for Business in the Community (BITC). She is coordinating communications content around Give & Gain Day, the largest celebration of employee volunteering globally. BITC is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, a business-led charity that mobilises businesses to tackle issues that are essential to creating a fairer society and a more sustainable future. What is Give & Gain Day? Business in the Community’s Give & Gain Day is the only global day of employee volunteering and it’s coming up soon. Give & Gain Day will happen on 20th May 2016 where it will see thousands of people from hundreds of companies volunteering. Employees from businesses will take some time out of work to volunteer for charities and community organisations. The big day is on 20th of May, but activity is also welcomed throughout the week of the 16th.   Skills Exchange Give & Gain Day activity varies from volunteers helping to refurbish a community centre, to running a sports day, or even bringing a disused green space back to life. Business in the Community is also seeing a growing number of activities focusing on skills exchange. Corporate employees offer their professional skills and experience to charities. Examples of previous skills based volunteering range from organising an employability workshop to mentoring ESOL students.   Start of a partnership between business and charity? Give & Gain Day is more than just a single day of volunteering. Every year partnerships between businesses and charities begin on Give & Gain Day. For example, last Give & Gain, a Community Conversation event was hosted at Waitrose George Street in Croydon. Waitrose are sponsors of Give & Gain Day.  The aim of a Community Conversation is for representatives from local businesses, charities, voluntary organisations and local government to come together and see how they can collaborate to improve their community. Businesses included Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and local accountancy company Owadally & King. Charities were represented by Pathfinders and Lives Not Knives. They spoke about skills shortages in Croydon and the wider problems of long-term and youth unemployment in the area. The event generated four monthly meetings to set out a delivery strategy!   What have charities from previous years said about Give & Gain? Last year, we ran a post-Give & Gain Day Community partner survey, in which 100% of Community Partners said they would work with business volunteers again, highlighting the importance of the time and skills volunteers give to community organisations. Half of the respondents also said that Give & Gain Day helped to raise the profile of their organisation. Stephanie Harvey from Providence Row, a homelessness charity described Give & Gain Day as an opportunity to “bring people on site to breakdown perceptions of homelessness and for our clients to mix with a wide range of people.” A quarter of respondents believed that the activities carried out on the day raised service users’ aspirations. Linda Trew, from the Parent House, a charity that offers guidance to parents through training, one-to-one support and work placements, said: “The direct contact that our beneficiaries were able to experience with the world of work made all our efforts behind the scenes very worthwhile.”   Celebrate your volunteers this Give & Gain Day Whether you’ve registered for this year’s Give & Gain Day or have only just heard of it now, we would encourage you to take a moment during the week of the 16th May to celebrate the volunteers that support you. If you currently are engaging with corporate volunteers outside of Give & Gain Day, why not tell them about it and organise something with them the week of the 16th of May. You could also use Give & Gain Day as a perfect excuse to organise a meet up with your existing volunteers, reflecting on and celebrating their achievements and contributions to your charity! Whatever you end up doing, share you stories and pictures on Twitter and Instagram using #giveandgain Still got questions? Get in touch and let’s talk about how Give & Gain Day can support your work. Email: giveandgain@bitc.org.uk   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha    
    1582 Posted by Isabelle Neumand
  • Isabelle Neumand is Communications Coordinator for Business in the Community (BITC). She is coordinating communications content around Give & Gain Day, the largest celebration of employee volunteering globally. BITC is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, a business-led charity that mobilises businesses to tackle issues that are essential to creating a fairer society and a more sustainable future. What is Give & Gain Day? Business in the Community’s Give & Gain Day is the only global day of employee volunteering and it’s coming up soon. Give & Gain Day will happen on 20th May 2016 where it will see thousands of people from hundreds of companies volunteering. Employees from businesses will take some time out of work to volunteer for charities and community organisations. The big day is on 20th of May, but activity is also welcomed throughout the week of the 16th.   Skills Exchange Give & Gain Day activity varies from volunteers helping to refurbish a community centre, to running a sports day, or even bringing a disused green space back to life. Business in the Community is also seeing a growing number of activities focusing on skills exchange. Corporate employees offer their professional skills and experience to charities. Examples of previous skills based volunteering range from organising an employability workshop to mentoring ESOL students.   Start of a partnership between business and charity? Give & Gain Day is more than just a single day of volunteering. Every year partnerships between businesses and charities begin on Give & Gain Day. For example, last Give & Gain, a Community Conversation event was hosted at Waitrose George Street in Croydon. Waitrose are sponsors of Give & Gain Day.  The aim of a Community Conversation is for representatives from local businesses, charities, voluntary organisations and local government to come together and see how they can collaborate to improve their community. Businesses included Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and local accountancy company Owadally & King. Charities were represented by Pathfinders and Lives Not Knives. They spoke about skills shortages in Croydon and the wider problems of long-term and youth unemployment in the area. The event generated four monthly meetings to set out a delivery strategy!   What have charities from previous years said about Give & Gain? Last year, we ran a post-Give & Gain Day Community partner survey, in which 100% of Community Partners said they would work with business volunteers again, highlighting the importance of the time and skills volunteers give to community organisations. Half of the respondents also said that Give & Gain Day helped to raise the profile of their organisation. Stephanie Harvey from Providence Row, a homelessness charity described Give & Gain Day as an opportunity to “bring people on site to breakdown perceptions of homelessness and for our clients to mix with a wide range of people.” A quarter of respondents believed that the activities carried out on the day raised service users’ aspirations. Linda Trew, from the Parent House, a charity that offers guidance to parents through training, one-to-one support and work placements, said: “The direct contact that our beneficiaries were able to experience with the world of work made all our efforts behind the scenes very worthwhile.”   Celebrate your volunteers this Give & Gain Day Whether you’ve registered for this year’s Give & Gain Day or have only just heard of it now, we would encourage you to take a moment during the week of the 16th May to celebrate the volunteers that support you. If you currently are engaging with corporate volunteers outside of Give & Gain Day, why not tell them about it and organise something with them the week of the 16th of May. You could also use Give & Gain Day as a perfect excuse to organise a meet up with your existing volunteers, reflecting on and celebrating their achievements and contributions to your charity! Whatever you end up doing, share you stories and pictures on Twitter and Instagram using #giveandgain Still got questions? Get in touch and let’s talk about how Give & Gain Day can support your work. Email: giveandgain@bitc.org.uk   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha    
    May 04, 2016 1582
  • 04 May 2016
    On the outskirts of the small Norfolk village I grew up in, Kenninghall, there is a large earth mound. Some locals claimed that this was the burial site of Boudicca (every village in East Anglia stakes their claim to the Iceni queen, however tenuous), others claim it was an 18th century cool storage facility. At the other end of the village stands a large farm house that was once part of a Tudor palace. Elizabeth I and her sister, Mary, lived here in their younger years. These walls bore witness to many a plot under the Machiavellianism 4th Duke of Norfolk. After his execution for high treason in 1572 the house fell into the hands of the crown before being demolished in 1603 – all apart from the 'servant' wing that still stands today. The village is also scattered with the remains of non-conformist chapels, an eerie work-house and a crumbling World War II air raid shelter. As a child, each of these places fired my imagination– I was filled with who, what, where, when, whys. Today, these places have taken on an extra meaning; they are not only the history of my village but of my own life – each place now comes with its own memory. It is this link between ourselves and our surroundings that makes local and community history so important.   May (1st-31st) is local and community History Month Across the country hundreds of events will take place to bring our local histories to life, be it talks, walks to re-enactments. Localgiving believe it is important that, in this time, we recognise the thousands of local groups who give their time to preserve our community history and help bring it to life. We are proud to have many local heritage and history groups as members, some of whom are highlighted below. So, why not search HERE to find a group near you? Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust - protects and raises awareness of the heritage of the Causeway Coast & Glens area Cambo Heritage Trust - creates opportunities for learning in Heritage, Environment, Arts, Culture and Horticulture at Cambo Estate, Fife. Celtic Harmony - Uses Celtic culture as an unusual and memorable hook on which to hang a bigger understanding of Ancient Britain and the natural environment Downham Market & District Heritage Society - Conserves and displays objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Durham Cathedral - For over 900 years Durham Cathedral has sat at the heart of the local community welcoming locals and visitors alike to share in its worship and music and to discover its magnificent heritage Historic Ryde Society - To create a permanent space for memories of Ryde, Isle of Wight.  Living Archive –Milton Keynes - Collects preserves, shares and celebrates the history and heritage of Milton Keynes. Culture Coventry (Lunt Roman Fort)  - Tells the story of the Roman struggle to re-assert its dominance after the Iceni rebellion led by Boudicca Northamptonshire Black History Association - Advance the education of the public in the subject of Black history in Northamptonshire The Norris Museum -The Norris Museum, 80 years old last year, tells the story of Huntingdonshire and its people with a fascinating collection of 30,000 artefact Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre - Preserves and displays artefacts, photographs, books on Scarborough dating back 2 centuries. The Town Mill - This ancient watermill in Lyme Regis was rescued and brought to working order by local volunteers. Through volunteers and donations, the mill, its galleries and artisan workshops are open to the public all year with the aim of promoting the town's milling heritage, supporting arts, education and the environment.   Images- Top- Celtic Harmony, Centre -Cambo Stables Project, Bottom - Living Archives   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep    
    1843 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • On the outskirts of the small Norfolk village I grew up in, Kenninghall, there is a large earth mound. Some locals claimed that this was the burial site of Boudicca (every village in East Anglia stakes their claim to the Iceni queen, however tenuous), others claim it was an 18th century cool storage facility. At the other end of the village stands a large farm house that was once part of a Tudor palace. Elizabeth I and her sister, Mary, lived here in their younger years. These walls bore witness to many a plot under the Machiavellianism 4th Duke of Norfolk. After his execution for high treason in 1572 the house fell into the hands of the crown before being demolished in 1603 – all apart from the 'servant' wing that still stands today. The village is also scattered with the remains of non-conformist chapels, an eerie work-house and a crumbling World War II air raid shelter. As a child, each of these places fired my imagination– I was filled with who, what, where, when, whys. Today, these places have taken on an extra meaning; they are not only the history of my village but of my own life – each place now comes with its own memory. It is this link between ourselves and our surroundings that makes local and community history so important.   May (1st-31st) is local and community History Month Across the country hundreds of events will take place to bring our local histories to life, be it talks, walks to re-enactments. Localgiving believe it is important that, in this time, we recognise the thousands of local groups who give their time to preserve our community history and help bring it to life. We are proud to have many local heritage and history groups as members, some of whom are highlighted below. So, why not search HERE to find a group near you? Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust - protects and raises awareness of the heritage of the Causeway Coast & Glens area Cambo Heritage Trust - creates opportunities for learning in Heritage, Environment, Arts, Culture and Horticulture at Cambo Estate, Fife. Celtic Harmony - Uses Celtic culture as an unusual and memorable hook on which to hang a bigger understanding of Ancient Britain and the natural environment Downham Market & District Heritage Society - Conserves and displays objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Durham Cathedral - For over 900 years Durham Cathedral has sat at the heart of the local community welcoming locals and visitors alike to share in its worship and music and to discover its magnificent heritage Historic Ryde Society - To create a permanent space for memories of Ryde, Isle of Wight.  Living Archive –Milton Keynes - Collects preserves, shares and celebrates the history and heritage of Milton Keynes. Culture Coventry (Lunt Roman Fort)  - Tells the story of the Roman struggle to re-assert its dominance after the Iceni rebellion led by Boudicca Northamptonshire Black History Association - Advance the education of the public in the subject of Black history in Northamptonshire The Norris Museum -The Norris Museum, 80 years old last year, tells the story of Huntingdonshire and its people with a fascinating collection of 30,000 artefact Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre - Preserves and displays artefacts, photographs, books on Scarborough dating back 2 centuries. The Town Mill - This ancient watermill in Lyme Regis was rescued and brought to working order by local volunteers. Through volunteers and donations, the mill, its galleries and artisan workshops are open to the public all year with the aim of promoting the town's milling heritage, supporting arts, education and the environment.   Images- Top- Celtic Harmony, Centre -Cambo Stables Project, Bottom - Living Archives   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep    
    May 04, 2016 1843
  • 29 Apr 2016
    "I want to be at the top with my sister, my brother-in- law and friends - I may not have this opportunity again" - Dawn Prior When Dawn Prior was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer in December 2015, few would have blamed her for reneging on her promise to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  But Dawn is different.  In May, despite still going through a course chemotherapy, Dawn will be making the 5 day, 6000m trek up Africa’s highest peak. Dawn and her fellow intrepid trekkers will be climbing Kilimanjaro in support of the Bath based charity, Sporting Family Change. Sporting Family Change use sports to empower and inspire local families. Dawn first agreed to make the climb last September. “My brother-in-law runs Sporting Family Change, he was trying to get a group of people to go up Kilimanjaro. My sister was doing it and it seemed like a great opportunity, so I thought, “Let’s give it a go”. However, just two months later Dawn received her shattering news. “Obviously I was devastated... It really didn't sink in at first - people began talking to me about critical life insurance, cutting down work etc. Then I thought, let’s get on with it! bang- wallop- let’s get it sorted and let’s get on with life!” When Dawn told the medical professionals that she had made her mind up to continue with the climb they were amazed. “They look at me as if I was mad! The Doctors say 'go for it!'; The cancer nurse looks at me as if I was crazy.” Dawn is realistic about the huge challenges ahead – both in terms of her health and her climb. “I am worried about my breathing – this is concerning me for Kilimanjaro. Whether I make 2 days or I make the full 5 days, you can be sure I’ll be giving it a go – I understand a lot of (the challenge) is mental and I am  quite mentally strong.” “My life in some ways is on hold, but in some ways it is not because I am determined to go off and do Kilimanjaro. I want to be at the top with my sister, my brother-in- law and friends - I may not have this opportunity again.” Dawn hopes that her positive attitude and determination can be an inspiration to other people : “I accept the diagnosis but I don’t accept the verdict, once you accept the verdict you’re on a downhill slope. I didn't want to use the cancer card but this is going to be a huge challenge for me because I am undergoing chemo while doing it. I hope I can inspire other people". You can donate to Dawn here and to find out more about her cause, Sporting Family Change, here.       Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha  The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep The Sky is the limit for daring Granny Wendy    
    1874 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • "I want to be at the top with my sister, my brother-in- law and friends - I may not have this opportunity again" - Dawn Prior When Dawn Prior was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer in December 2015, few would have blamed her for reneging on her promise to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  But Dawn is different.  In May, despite still going through a course chemotherapy, Dawn will be making the 5 day, 6000m trek up Africa’s highest peak. Dawn and her fellow intrepid trekkers will be climbing Kilimanjaro in support of the Bath based charity, Sporting Family Change. Sporting Family Change use sports to empower and inspire local families. Dawn first agreed to make the climb last September. “My brother-in-law runs Sporting Family Change, he was trying to get a group of people to go up Kilimanjaro. My sister was doing it and it seemed like a great opportunity, so I thought, “Let’s give it a go”. However, just two months later Dawn received her shattering news. “Obviously I was devastated... It really didn't sink in at first - people began talking to me about critical life insurance, cutting down work etc. Then I thought, let’s get on with it! bang- wallop- let’s get it sorted and let’s get on with life!” When Dawn told the medical professionals that she had made her mind up to continue with the climb they were amazed. “They look at me as if I was mad! The Doctors say 'go for it!'; The cancer nurse looks at me as if I was crazy.” Dawn is realistic about the huge challenges ahead – both in terms of her health and her climb. “I am worried about my breathing – this is concerning me for Kilimanjaro. Whether I make 2 days or I make the full 5 days, you can be sure I’ll be giving it a go – I understand a lot of (the challenge) is mental and I am  quite mentally strong.” “My life in some ways is on hold, but in some ways it is not because I am determined to go off and do Kilimanjaro. I want to be at the top with my sister, my brother-in- law and friends - I may not have this opportunity again.” Dawn hopes that her positive attitude and determination can be an inspiration to other people : “I accept the diagnosis but I don’t accept the verdict, once you accept the verdict you’re on a downhill slope. I didn't want to use the cancer card but this is going to be a huge challenge for me because I am undergoing chemo while doing it. I hope I can inspire other people". You can donate to Dawn here and to find out more about her cause, Sporting Family Change, here.       Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha  The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep The Sky is the limit for daring Granny Wendy    
    Apr 29, 2016 1874
  • 25 Apr 2016
    Wendy Richmond, 80, is no ordinary granny.  Far from the TV and slippers, Wendy prefers to spend her time proving that age is not barrier. To celebrate her 80th birthday Wendy carried out a zip-wire descent among the snowy mountains of South Wales, raising funds for The Acorn Cancer Support Group . This zip-line challenge was a birthday present from Wendy’s family, who have gotten very used to her thrill seeking birthday requests. In recent years Wendy has been wing-walking, parachuting, outdoor and indoor ballooning and zip-lining. Each time she has been raising funds for charities that are close to her heart. What made Wendy start taking these challenges? “I’ve always been interested in planes. I saw a film a long time ago about wing walking and I remember thinking “I want to do that” but I never ever thought I’d be able to do it. Then, my family bought me this as a present for my 70th – They know what I like!” “I loved wing-walking – it’s the freedom – it was as if I had the will to fly.   You couldn’t see the plane as you were standing on the wing.  It was just an amazing feeling!  It’s absolutely out of this world, more than I ever expected it to be.” Why Acorn Cancer Support Group? Acorn Cancer Support Group, a small charity in St. Ives,  has made a big difference to Wendy’s life. Wendy sees this as a great way of giving back: “I had breast cancer 7 years ago.  A friend of my sons persuaded me to go. You don’t talk about cancer unless you want to. They take us out for meals and trips down the river – it’s just a beautiful place to go.  So relaxing – I love it”. A very proud family Wendy says that her family are “very proud” of her for her age-defying escapades.  Infact, the adventurous gene seems to have been passed down. Wendy’s son, Karn, was happy to take up the challenge when Wendy was too ill to complete the higher zip-wire in Wales.  Morever, Wendy’s grandchild is currently planning to walk over the 02 in London!     Has the time come for Wendy to put her feet up? “Well, I’m 80 now… but If I see a challenge I like, and I think I can do it, then maybe I will!” To donate to Wendy please go HERE,  and to find out more about Acorn Cancer Support Group  HERE   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroStorytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep    
    1845 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Wendy Richmond, 80, is no ordinary granny.  Far from the TV and slippers, Wendy prefers to spend her time proving that age is not barrier. To celebrate her 80th birthday Wendy carried out a zip-wire descent among the snowy mountains of South Wales, raising funds for The Acorn Cancer Support Group . This zip-line challenge was a birthday present from Wendy’s family, who have gotten very used to her thrill seeking birthday requests. In recent years Wendy has been wing-walking, parachuting, outdoor and indoor ballooning and zip-lining. Each time she has been raising funds for charities that are close to her heart. What made Wendy start taking these challenges? “I’ve always been interested in planes. I saw a film a long time ago about wing walking and I remember thinking “I want to do that” but I never ever thought I’d be able to do it. Then, my family bought me this as a present for my 70th – They know what I like!” “I loved wing-walking – it’s the freedom – it was as if I had the will to fly.   You couldn’t see the plane as you were standing on the wing.  It was just an amazing feeling!  It’s absolutely out of this world, more than I ever expected it to be.” Why Acorn Cancer Support Group? Acorn Cancer Support Group, a small charity in St. Ives,  has made a big difference to Wendy’s life. Wendy sees this as a great way of giving back: “I had breast cancer 7 years ago.  A friend of my sons persuaded me to go. You don’t talk about cancer unless you want to. They take us out for meals and trips down the river – it’s just a beautiful place to go.  So relaxing – I love it”. A very proud family Wendy says that her family are “very proud” of her for her age-defying escapades.  Infact, the adventurous gene seems to have been passed down. Wendy’s son, Karn, was happy to take up the challenge when Wendy was too ill to complete the higher zip-wire in Wales.  Morever, Wendy’s grandchild is currently planning to walk over the 02 in London!     Has the time come for Wendy to put her feet up? “Well, I’m 80 now… but If I see a challenge I like, and I think I can do it, then maybe I will!” To donate to Wendy please go HERE,  and to find out more about Acorn Cancer Support Group  HERE   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroStorytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep    
    Apr 25, 2016 1845
  • 19 Apr 2016
    Well, what a week it’s been for our Local Heroes!  Just as the leading pack seemed to be breaking away, we saw a sudden surge of support for new fundraisers.  Still lighting the way is Jordan Ignatius with his 5k per day challenge.  Jordan has so far accumulated 87 unique sponsors – quite a feat! Will our top prize be going to Jordan’s Reaching Higher Football Academy? Racing into second place is Tracey Avey who spent the night of 15th April sleeping rough for Street2Homes.  Just behind Tracey, in third place, is Laura Runham who is raising funds for Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue in memory of her late grandfather. With so much changing on the leaderboard in the last week alone, it’s difficult to make any real predictions.  So, it’s all to play for as as we enter the final stretch of the race to be our Local Hero 2016 champion. With so many heroes to highlight, choosing who to feature is becoming harder and harder.  Here are four fundraisers who have raised the office cheer this week:   And it burns, burns, burns! The walk of fire  On April 14th, the members of Imara walked an impressive six metres for their cause.  Six metres that is on hot coals burning at 1236 degrees fahrenheit!   Walking the wall Foster Morton has recently followed an 84 mile walk along a roman wall up with a 2 day cycle home. Inspired by his grandson, who was recently born with severe epilepsy, all funds will be going to Smile for Life Children’s charity. A love of the Open water  Louise Eaton will be taking part in the Great East Swim at Alton Water Reservoir on 18th June. Louise is raising money for Suffolk Accident Rescue service. SARS supported her during a tragic accident 20 years ago this year. Dreams of para-para Parachutes Dayne Britten suffered a brain trauma at 23 which saw him spend 30 days in Hospital.  His passion for supporting other brain trauma survivors has  inspired him to take this leap, through which he will be raising funds for Headway Milton Keynes.   Bern-t food Bernie Lally and his family are buying no food for a fortnight! Dont' worry though - they'll still be getting-their fill. They'll be eating food that would otherwise go uneaten, supplied by Elsie's cafe (pay-what-you-feel. rescued food specialists). Bernie & co will be cooking creatively and sharing pictures of their rescued food creations. Donations will go to Fruitful Abundance, the charity that runs Elsie's cafe.  We’re want to hear your stories! If you have a fundraising tale that needs telling get in touch today! Happy fundraising local heroes!     Found this Blog useful? You may also like:      The Sky is the limit for daring Granny Wendy   Dawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    1495 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Well, what a week it’s been for our Local Heroes!  Just as the leading pack seemed to be breaking away, we saw a sudden surge of support for new fundraisers.  Still lighting the way is Jordan Ignatius with his 5k per day challenge.  Jordan has so far accumulated 87 unique sponsors – quite a feat! Will our top prize be going to Jordan’s Reaching Higher Football Academy? Racing into second place is Tracey Avey who spent the night of 15th April sleeping rough for Street2Homes.  Just behind Tracey, in third place, is Laura Runham who is raising funds for Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue in memory of her late grandfather. With so much changing on the leaderboard in the last week alone, it’s difficult to make any real predictions.  So, it’s all to play for as as we enter the final stretch of the race to be our Local Hero 2016 champion. With so many heroes to highlight, choosing who to feature is becoming harder and harder.  Here are four fundraisers who have raised the office cheer this week:   And it burns, burns, burns! The walk of fire  On April 14th, the members of Imara walked an impressive six metres for their cause.  Six metres that is on hot coals burning at 1236 degrees fahrenheit!   Walking the wall Foster Morton has recently followed an 84 mile walk along a roman wall up with a 2 day cycle home. Inspired by his grandson, who was recently born with severe epilepsy, all funds will be going to Smile for Life Children’s charity. A love of the Open water  Louise Eaton will be taking part in the Great East Swim at Alton Water Reservoir on 18th June. Louise is raising money for Suffolk Accident Rescue service. SARS supported her during a tragic accident 20 years ago this year. Dreams of para-para Parachutes Dayne Britten suffered a brain trauma at 23 which saw him spend 30 days in Hospital.  His passion for supporting other brain trauma survivors has  inspired him to take this leap, through which he will be raising funds for Headway Milton Keynes.   Bern-t food Bernie Lally and his family are buying no food for a fortnight! Dont' worry though - they'll still be getting-their fill. They'll be eating food that would otherwise go uneaten, supplied by Elsie's cafe (pay-what-you-feel. rescued food specialists). Bernie & co will be cooking creatively and sharing pictures of their rescued food creations. Donations will go to Fruitful Abundance, the charity that runs Elsie's cafe.  We’re want to hear your stories! If you have a fundraising tale that needs telling get in touch today! Happy fundraising local heroes!     Found this Blog useful? You may also like:      The Sky is the limit for daring Granny Wendy   Dawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    Apr 19, 2016 1495