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270 blogs
  • 16 Jun 2016
    What could be more quintessentially British than Fish and Chips, Hampton Court and the Mini? Did you know that all of these were built, designed or brought to the UK by refugees? 20-26th June is Refugee Week - an annual celebration of the incredible contribution that refugees have made, and continue to make to our countries and communities.  This year's theme is 'welcome'. With Europe in the midst of its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, coupled with the dangerously divisive rhetoric circulating in the UK, this has a special significance. Refugee Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, tackle stigma, energise ourselves and take action. There are hundreds of events taking place across the UK on Refugee Week, many of which are run by grassroots charities and community groups, including Localgiving members. Below are just a few. So, go get inspired! Northern Ireland Community of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (NICRAS) is hosting  a series of events throughout Refugee Week 2016 – from music to theatre to food, there’s sure to be something for you to get your teeth stuck into!  Check out their full events calendar.  Tuesday 21st June – Ourmala (London) is running an event called Yoga for Refugees . This fundraising evening includes a very special contribution from Amir Amor Soundscape (Rudimental) and Emma Henry (Yoga).  All proceeds will go towards supporting an additional 250 women and children in crisis. Tuesday 21st June - Reading Refugee Support Group is screening Nicky’s Family and hosting a panel Discussion. Nicky’s Family tells the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Wednesday 22nd June - Fences and Frontiers (London). A night of short films and discussion exploring different aspects of the refugee experience. The night is being run by Lewis (me) and Lou of Localgiving. Free to attend, this event is encouraging donations to a number of refugee groups including Ourmala and The Bike Project. Friday 24th June 2016 - The Harbour Project (Swindon) is collaborating with a host of local theatre groups, dance companies and schools to present  a one-off show: Different Pasts, Shared Future. There will also be the opportunity to view works of art by local artist David Bent. Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support - Maurice Rimes is walking England’s South West Coast Path in support of Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support. He aims to reach Plymouth at the start of Refugee week to celebrate with DCRS. You can read his blog here or donate here.    Interested in finding out more about how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep David Lets the Spokes do the talking in 3000 Mile charity Ride    
    1750 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • What could be more quintessentially British than Fish and Chips, Hampton Court and the Mini? Did you know that all of these were built, designed or brought to the UK by refugees? 20-26th June is Refugee Week - an annual celebration of the incredible contribution that refugees have made, and continue to make to our countries and communities.  This year's theme is 'welcome'. With Europe in the midst of its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, coupled with the dangerously divisive rhetoric circulating in the UK, this has a special significance. Refugee Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, tackle stigma, energise ourselves and take action. There are hundreds of events taking place across the UK on Refugee Week, many of which are run by grassroots charities and community groups, including Localgiving members. Below are just a few. So, go get inspired! Northern Ireland Community of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (NICRAS) is hosting  a series of events throughout Refugee Week 2016 – from music to theatre to food, there’s sure to be something for you to get your teeth stuck into!  Check out their full events calendar.  Tuesday 21st June – Ourmala (London) is running an event called Yoga for Refugees . This fundraising evening includes a very special contribution from Amir Amor Soundscape (Rudimental) and Emma Henry (Yoga).  All proceeds will go towards supporting an additional 250 women and children in crisis. Tuesday 21st June - Reading Refugee Support Group is screening Nicky’s Family and hosting a panel Discussion. Nicky’s Family tells the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Wednesday 22nd June - Fences and Frontiers (London). A night of short films and discussion exploring different aspects of the refugee experience. The night is being run by Lewis (me) and Lou of Localgiving. Free to attend, this event is encouraging donations to a number of refugee groups including Ourmala and The Bike Project. Friday 24th June 2016 - The Harbour Project (Swindon) is collaborating with a host of local theatre groups, dance companies and schools to present  a one-off show: Different Pasts, Shared Future. There will also be the opportunity to view works of art by local artist David Bent. Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support - Maurice Rimes is walking England’s South West Coast Path in support of Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support. He aims to reach Plymouth at the start of Refugee week to celebrate with DCRS. You can read his blog here or donate here.    Interested in finding out more about how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep David Lets the Spokes do the talking in 3000 Mile charity Ride    
    Jun 16, 2016 1750
  • 13 Jun 2016
    Small Charity Week is here!  Over 95% of Localgiving’s members are small or micro charities.  We know better than anyone the inherent value of grassroots groups.   We are in the privileged position of hearing and seeing the positive impact that these groups make on their communities – every day in countless ways.   This morning alone I have been talking to a Darlington based group set up to save their local bowling green, a Swindon charity using theatre to change attitudes to refugees and a fans-owned football club in Scarborough. These are hugely different initiatives, with hugely different missions. What they all have in common however is an acute understanding of the needs of their communities and a genuine passion for improving the lives of those around them. Small Charity Week is about getting these small, local groups the exposure and acclaim they deserve.   So, how can you get involved? 1)      Find a small charity near you and spread the word about their cause and services.  Its easy to find a group in your area on Localgiving.org. Once you’ve found a group that inspires you, why not inspire your friends or colleagues too. Search for a Charity  2)      Donate! We’re running a #GiveMe5 match fund on Fundraising Day - Thursday the 16th June. We will be doubling 1,000 x £5 donations made through localgiving.org on the day. Our last #GiveMe5 campaign, held on Giving Tuesday 2015, raised over £36k for 548 charities in 24 hours.  Can you spare a fiver to support that inspirational group you just found? Small charities need your support. 3)      Look ahead -  Small charity week is about far more than 7 fun filled days. Think about what you can do to help grassroots charities in future. Can you offer your skills through volunteering? Could you provide ongoing financial support by setting up a direct debit? Do you know other people who would be interested in the work of the charity?   Our advice for small charity week is simple: discover, donate, and inspire!    Image (top SNAP- Special Needs and Parents, bottom  North Wilts Holiday Club for Children & Young People with Special Needs)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    1289 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Small Charity Week is here!  Over 95% of Localgiving’s members are small or micro charities.  We know better than anyone the inherent value of grassroots groups.   We are in the privileged position of hearing and seeing the positive impact that these groups make on their communities – every day in countless ways.   This morning alone I have been talking to a Darlington based group set up to save their local bowling green, a Swindon charity using theatre to change attitudes to refugees and a fans-owned football club in Scarborough. These are hugely different initiatives, with hugely different missions. What they all have in common however is an acute understanding of the needs of their communities and a genuine passion for improving the lives of those around them. Small Charity Week is about getting these small, local groups the exposure and acclaim they deserve.   So, how can you get involved? 1)      Find a small charity near you and spread the word about their cause and services.  Its easy to find a group in your area on Localgiving.org. Once you’ve found a group that inspires you, why not inspire your friends or colleagues too. Search for a Charity  2)      Donate! We’re running a #GiveMe5 match fund on Fundraising Day - Thursday the 16th June. We will be doubling 1,000 x £5 donations made through localgiving.org on the day. Our last #GiveMe5 campaign, held on Giving Tuesday 2015, raised over £36k for 548 charities in 24 hours.  Can you spare a fiver to support that inspirational group you just found? Small charities need your support. 3)      Look ahead -  Small charity week is about far more than 7 fun filled days. Think about what you can do to help grassroots charities in future. Can you offer your skills through volunteering? Could you provide ongoing financial support by setting up a direct debit? Do you know other people who would be interested in the work of the charity?   Our advice for small charity week is simple: discover, donate, and inspire!    Image (top SNAP- Special Needs and Parents, bottom  North Wilts Holiday Club for Children & Young People with Special Needs)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    Jun 13, 2016 1289
  • 08 Jun 2016
    The streets and pubs are abuzz with talk of tactics and hat-tricks. Wives are busy explaining the offside rule to their bored husbands and kids in the park are emulating the goal celebrations of their gods...Alli passes to Bale, chipped over to Conor McLaughlin, who rifles it in to the top left hand corner! What makes this year’s European Championships special is that, for the first time since 1982, three of the home nations have qualified for a major tournament – Northern Ireland, England and Wales. When painting our faces ready to support our national teams, red, white or blue or green, we should all also add a dash of colour in honour of our local clubs. No, I don’t mean the big brand, big money teams. I mean the 1000s of grassroots clubs across the country - the colts, wanderers and hawks training on your local common. These clubs not only give us something to cheer on a Saturday afternoon but play a vital part in our local communities. Many of these teams have charitable goals, working with disadvantaged or disabled people or on issues such as social inclusion and promoting healthy lifestyles. Below are just a few of the teams that we support on Localgiving. Why not find a club near you?  Search HERE to find a club near you! Street Football Wales - A social inclusion charity that  improve the lives  for socially excluded people in Wales. SFW aims to: (1) contribute to an end in homelessness and poverty (2) Help to facilitate the integration of socially excluded people back into their community and (3) facilitate healthier, more physically active and mentally well members of society. Northend United Youth FC -  Northern Irish club that is actively involved in promoting cross community integration via the medium of sport. Based in an area of high social deprivation, they target disadvantaged young people from different communities and ethnicities and foster teamwork in all our activities. The Club endorses the fact that sport changes the life of these young people from an early age. Hounslow Hawks -  provides support for people who experience mental illness, live in the London Borough of Hounslow and are in receipt of specialist mental health services. They use football to assist with the individual's recovery journey by aiming to increase self-esteem and confidence, social interaction, reduce social isolation, improve players structure and routines and aid personal development.  Glasgow Girls Football Club - Offer football and coaching to girls aged 7 years of age to our two Woman's team in a fun & safe environment while offering the pathway to a career in playing or coaching. We also offer the chance for girls to lead a healthy lifestyle through sport which benefits them and the community. Mytchatt ‘Football for All’ - Mytchett Athletics FC's "Football for All" project provides physical activities for boys and girls excluded from participation in sport by virtue of their special needs and disabilities. Bangladesh Football Assocation - (London) Using football BFA engages with over 3,000 disavantaged and marginalised children, young people, adults and gives them positive activities to do which keeps them off the street, away from anti-social behaviour, crime, gang violence, vandalism and drugs & alcohol. It then uses its other projects to support the development of young people, inspire and motivate them and supports them into further education, employment and training. St. Matthews Project  - (London) Offers free football and coaching sessions to young people aged 6-21 in the south Brixton (London) area. The majority of participants live on deprived local estates -  67% of members are  receipt of free school meals. The project delivers a wide range of activities, offering support and development opportunities beyond the football pitch. FC United of Manchester - Semi-famous these days, FC United are a community football club owned and democratically run by its members, FC United seeks to change the way that football is owned and run, putting supporters at the heart of everything.  Tadcaster Albion Amature Football Club - Over the winter Tadcaster were hit by the worst flood in the clubs history seeing the Pitch, Clubhouse, Clubshop, Kitchen and the Groundsmans Building all under water, along with thousands of pounds worth of damage which has left the club unable operate on or off the field. The club is at the heart of the community - visiting schools and getting involved in charity projects.  Scarborough Athletic FC - Emerging from the ashes of the 128 year old Scarborough FC, this fans owned football club run teams from age 11 to Seniors, ensuring that all age groups, genders and ethnicities have the chance to play football.    Liked this blog post? You may also be interested in: The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroThe Refugee Crisis: Make a difference on your doorstep  
    2889 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The streets and pubs are abuzz with talk of tactics and hat-tricks. Wives are busy explaining the offside rule to their bored husbands and kids in the park are emulating the goal celebrations of their gods...Alli passes to Bale, chipped over to Conor McLaughlin, who rifles it in to the top left hand corner! What makes this year’s European Championships special is that, for the first time since 1982, three of the home nations have qualified for a major tournament – Northern Ireland, England and Wales. When painting our faces ready to support our national teams, red, white or blue or green, we should all also add a dash of colour in honour of our local clubs. No, I don’t mean the big brand, big money teams. I mean the 1000s of grassroots clubs across the country - the colts, wanderers and hawks training on your local common. These clubs not only give us something to cheer on a Saturday afternoon but play a vital part in our local communities. Many of these teams have charitable goals, working with disadvantaged or disabled people or on issues such as social inclusion and promoting healthy lifestyles. Below are just a few of the teams that we support on Localgiving. Why not find a club near you?  Search HERE to find a club near you! Street Football Wales - A social inclusion charity that  improve the lives  for socially excluded people in Wales. SFW aims to: (1) contribute to an end in homelessness and poverty (2) Help to facilitate the integration of socially excluded people back into their community and (3) facilitate healthier, more physically active and mentally well members of society. Northend United Youth FC -  Northern Irish club that is actively involved in promoting cross community integration via the medium of sport. Based in an area of high social deprivation, they target disadvantaged young people from different communities and ethnicities and foster teamwork in all our activities. The Club endorses the fact that sport changes the life of these young people from an early age. Hounslow Hawks -  provides support for people who experience mental illness, live in the London Borough of Hounslow and are in receipt of specialist mental health services. They use football to assist with the individual's recovery journey by aiming to increase self-esteem and confidence, social interaction, reduce social isolation, improve players structure and routines and aid personal development.  Glasgow Girls Football Club - Offer football and coaching to girls aged 7 years of age to our two Woman's team in a fun & safe environment while offering the pathway to a career in playing or coaching. We also offer the chance for girls to lead a healthy lifestyle through sport which benefits them and the community. Mytchatt ‘Football for All’ - Mytchett Athletics FC's "Football for All" project provides physical activities for boys and girls excluded from participation in sport by virtue of their special needs and disabilities. Bangladesh Football Assocation - (London) Using football BFA engages with over 3,000 disavantaged and marginalised children, young people, adults and gives them positive activities to do which keeps them off the street, away from anti-social behaviour, crime, gang violence, vandalism and drugs & alcohol. It then uses its other projects to support the development of young people, inspire and motivate them and supports them into further education, employment and training. St. Matthews Project  - (London) Offers free football and coaching sessions to young people aged 6-21 in the south Brixton (London) area. The majority of participants live on deprived local estates -  67% of members are  receipt of free school meals. The project delivers a wide range of activities, offering support and development opportunities beyond the football pitch. FC United of Manchester - Semi-famous these days, FC United are a community football club owned and democratically run by its members, FC United seeks to change the way that football is owned and run, putting supporters at the heart of everything.  Tadcaster Albion Amature Football Club - Over the winter Tadcaster were hit by the worst flood in the clubs history seeing the Pitch, Clubhouse, Clubshop, Kitchen and the Groundsmans Building all under water, along with thousands of pounds worth of damage which has left the club unable operate on or off the field. The club is at the heart of the community - visiting schools and getting involved in charity projects.  Scarborough Athletic FC - Emerging from the ashes of the 128 year old Scarborough FC, this fans owned football club run teams from age 11 to Seniors, ensuring that all age groups, genders and ethnicities have the chance to play football.    Liked this blog post? You may also be interested in: The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroThe Refugee Crisis: Make a difference on your doorstep  
    Jun 08, 2016 2889
  • 07 Jun 2016
      “Pragmatically, branding should be a critical issue for charities because it has been shown to impact dramatically on income generation.” (Hudson, 2008) In the commercial world, a company’s brand is given a monetary value. In the UK last year, Shell topped the league tables at a whopping £30,716m. Larger charities have recognised the benefits of branding and rebranding – “Shelter’s repositioning helped land more corporate partners”, “Macmillan’s rebrand helped increase donors by 27% and raised additional £5m” and “Save the Children’s brand refresh helped integrated fundraising appeals raise over 50% more than target of £500,000.” (Civil Society, 2011) I was intrigued to find out whether smaller charities were also seeing a correlation between branding  and income generation? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.  Our study looked at whether small charities are managing their brands and whether they gain the same benefits from this as large charities. The results were fascinating. The small charities agreed that brand management did deliver the same benefits seen by larger organisations. They also identified practical examples of these benefits. Benefits of brand management Raised income – “through unifying banner and consistent management of brand” Rise in supporters – “by being better able to manage new and existing supporter expectations” Efficiency savings – “by linking vision and values to internal and external brand management” More partnerships – “by having clear values and messages” Supports strategic growth – “through long-term planning aligned to the vision” Distinguishes us in difficult times – “clarity is attractive to funders and donors”   How can you get the same benefits? 1) Define what you mean by brand If brand is viewed purely as ‘the logo’ then you will not realise the benefits of brand management, no matter what size of organisation you are. Grounds (2005)  writing on non-profit branding argues: “A brand is quite simply – who you are, what you say and what you do, and the set of relationships that are built on that.”  2) Manage your brand A strong brand needs active management. We worked with small charities to identify the most common activities required to see strategic benefits of branding. Most activities do not need significant resources. Clarity and consistency go a long way. 3)Brands are not static Charities are about social change and that takes time. One brand is unlikely to see a non-profit through its lifetime. All organisations will need to periodically update brands to stay relevant.  4) Brand management is a team sport The charities where the brand is managed by a team from across the organisation are better able to reap the rewards of branding and manage resource barriers. Charities where the brand was left to a single person or the “senior team” struggled to see the benefits. Teams should include volunteers and trustees. Turning your team into brand ambassadors can be a real strength for smaller organisations. Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. In Part 2 of this guest blog she will share the barriers to investing in branding that her research identified and the ideas small charities came up with to overcome them. Illustration by Alec Leggat Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarCorporate Fundraising for local charities   
    2312 Posted by Natasha Roe
  •   “Pragmatically, branding should be a critical issue for charities because it has been shown to impact dramatically on income generation.” (Hudson, 2008) In the commercial world, a company’s brand is given a monetary value. In the UK last year, Shell topped the league tables at a whopping £30,716m. Larger charities have recognised the benefits of branding and rebranding – “Shelter’s repositioning helped land more corporate partners”, “Macmillan’s rebrand helped increase donors by 27% and raised additional £5m” and “Save the Children’s brand refresh helped integrated fundraising appeals raise over 50% more than target of £500,000.” (Civil Society, 2011) I was intrigued to find out whether smaller charities were also seeing a correlation between branding  and income generation? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.  Our study looked at whether small charities are managing their brands and whether they gain the same benefits from this as large charities. The results were fascinating. The small charities agreed that brand management did deliver the same benefits seen by larger organisations. They also identified practical examples of these benefits. Benefits of brand management Raised income – “through unifying banner and consistent management of brand” Rise in supporters – “by being better able to manage new and existing supporter expectations” Efficiency savings – “by linking vision and values to internal and external brand management” More partnerships – “by having clear values and messages” Supports strategic growth – “through long-term planning aligned to the vision” Distinguishes us in difficult times – “clarity is attractive to funders and donors”   How can you get the same benefits? 1) Define what you mean by brand If brand is viewed purely as ‘the logo’ then you will not realise the benefits of brand management, no matter what size of organisation you are. Grounds (2005)  writing on non-profit branding argues: “A brand is quite simply – who you are, what you say and what you do, and the set of relationships that are built on that.”  2) Manage your brand A strong brand needs active management. We worked with small charities to identify the most common activities required to see strategic benefits of branding. Most activities do not need significant resources. Clarity and consistency go a long way. 3)Brands are not static Charities are about social change and that takes time. One brand is unlikely to see a non-profit through its lifetime. All organisations will need to periodically update brands to stay relevant.  4) Brand management is a team sport The charities where the brand is managed by a team from across the organisation are better able to reap the rewards of branding and manage resource barriers. Charities where the brand was left to a single person or the “senior team” struggled to see the benefits. Teams should include volunteers and trustees. Turning your team into brand ambassadors can be a real strength for smaller organisations. Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. In Part 2 of this guest blog she will share the barriers to investing in branding that her research identified and the ideas small charities came up with to overcome them. Illustration by Alec Leggat Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarCorporate Fundraising for local charities   
    Jun 07, 2016 2312
  • 03 Jun 2016
    Film plots, tend to have an interesting structure, which when broken down aren’t so far away from the journey a charitable group goes on - from fundraising to delivery. In films, it’s usually fairly evident from the outset what it is our heroes are trying to achieve. It’s usually something specific and tangible. What the film will usually do is have you leave the cinema, or finish watching the film, feeling uplifted - you have witnessed and been moved by the impact of the hero's actions. The great privilege of working for Localgiving, is that I have the opportunity to see and understand the impact that our groups have. Not only the difference that they make to the people who come into contact with them for a specific service, but the lasting impact and the domino effect it can have on those around who the group are serving. It is easy to become so involved in our day to day tasks, from paperwork to online tasks, that we lose sight of our goals. It is essential that charities take the time to remember what they’ve achieved and what they’ll achieve in the future - and then take the time to remind supporters. Many groups do not even realise the long-term impact that they’re having. It is always useful for charitable groups to make sure that their donors are aware of the impact, both long and short term, that their donations are having. Their donation could have provided one counselling session, a befriender, a football field or an essential piece of school equipment. It could have provided the one thing that changes someone’s life forever - it could be start of something really incredible. If you keep sight of your goals and the impact you have, in what can sometimes be a long process, then from my experience, you will never lose motivation.   Image: Katie carries the Olympic flame through Camden, London in 2012
    617 Posted by Katie Ford
  • Film plots, tend to have an interesting structure, which when broken down aren’t so far away from the journey a charitable group goes on - from fundraising to delivery. In films, it’s usually fairly evident from the outset what it is our heroes are trying to achieve. It’s usually something specific and tangible. What the film will usually do is have you leave the cinema, or finish watching the film, feeling uplifted - you have witnessed and been moved by the impact of the hero's actions. The great privilege of working for Localgiving, is that I have the opportunity to see and understand the impact that our groups have. Not only the difference that they make to the people who come into contact with them for a specific service, but the lasting impact and the domino effect it can have on those around who the group are serving. It is easy to become so involved in our day to day tasks, from paperwork to online tasks, that we lose sight of our goals. It is essential that charities take the time to remember what they’ve achieved and what they’ll achieve in the future - and then take the time to remind supporters. Many groups do not even realise the long-term impact that they’re having. It is always useful for charitable groups to make sure that their donors are aware of the impact, both long and short term, that their donations are having. Their donation could have provided one counselling session, a befriender, a football field or an essential piece of school equipment. It could have provided the one thing that changes someone’s life forever - it could be start of something really incredible. If you keep sight of your goals and the impact you have, in what can sometimes be a long process, then from my experience, you will never lose motivation.   Image: Katie carries the Olympic flame through Camden, London in 2012
    Jun 03, 2016 617
  • 23 May 2016
    Joe Burns is the North West regional development manager for Localgiving. Before that he was a corporate fundraiser for a national charity, and worked with firms in the FTSE 100 as well as small family run businesses. Gone are the days when a company might simply pick a Charity of the Year, run a few events, and then send off a cheque in the post at year’s end, almost as an afterthought. Corporate supporters are now far more interested in mutually beneficial partnerships, where a company gets some sort of value out of donating to your charity. This may sound daunting, but corporate fundraising is an area that is rich in rewards, and a strong corporate partnership can bring in guaranteed income for many years; and this is before you consider the skills a corporate might bring, the in-kind donations available, and the potential pool of staff volunteers they can provide you with as well! So, how do you go about finding and then persuading a company to support you? Well, here are the key steps you need to consider. Which companies might work with you? The first thing you need to consider is the type of companies who your charity would appeal to. Broadly speaking, there are three ways you might appeal to a corporate supporter. Is there a clear link between the work you do and the corporate’s own work? When working at the road safety charity Brake, I arranged a number of partnerships with insurance firms, who shared our aims of reducing the numbers of crashes on the roads (as this would mean they would pay out less in claims!). Is there a local link? Does this company work in the same region or area as you? Companies are increasingly keen to be supporting their local communities, and here being small and local group can actually be a benefit compared to larger national or international charities. Have you got any personal connections? Does a trustee know the MD of a local firm? Have employees of a local firm used your charity? These kinds of connections can be very powerful when persuading a corporate to support you. What can you bring to the table? And what do you want from a corporate? So, you’ve got your list of potential corporate supporters to contact. Your next step is to ask yourself, what can I offer the corporates in question? Can I offer them volunteering opportunities for their staff? Can I arrange for a local press campaign, or can someone from my charity visit their offices to give a talk to their staff? Can I give them a shout out on social media? Are there capital costs they can sponsor and get their name on, such as a new building? There are lots of ways you can ‘add value’ to a corporate as a charity, if given a bit of thought. The next question to then ask, is what do I want from a corporate supporter – am I after financial donations, in-kind support, volunteers, or all of the above? What support can a corporate give, and would be comfortable to provide you with? If you can answer these two questions, then you can pull together a package that is very attractive to a local business.  The next and final step, at last, is The Ask. The Ask It’s at this point that many groups lose heart, as the idea of approaching a corporate can seem a little daunting. But don’t be put off – if you don’t ask you don’t get! The first thing you need to do is find someone within an organisation who would be right to approach. If you already know or have links with someone in a company, that’s a good place to start, but if not you’ll need to do some digging. Here LinkedIn can be invaluable, allowing you to search for individuals with specific job titles within an organisation. Many larger companies have dedicated CSR (corporate social responsibility) teams, who are an ideal first port of call. Marketing, communications and PR teams are also good people to contact, as working with a charity is also often a classic way for a corporate to portray themselves in a positive light. Finally, for smaller, really local companies like local solicitor or accountancy firms, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to partners or MDs! So, we now have a contact to approach. But how should we ask? Generally, corporate contacts are busy people – you can’t just ring and get through to them cold, especially if you don’t have any pre-existing connections. As such, the best approach is usually to either send them an email (where you have their address) or a message through LinkedIn (when you don’t). Keep the pitch simple and short, and focus on who you are, why you’ve got in touch, and the benefits you can offer a corporate in return for their support. Try to see things from their point of view – the work you do may well be vital and praiseworthy, but ultimately a corporate will need to see how they benefit too. Highlight any unique selling points you have, what they can get from working with you that no one else can provide, and again keep it brief. A corporate contact often has only a limited amount of time available to them, and it can never hurt to leave someone wanting more information. Ask if your contact would be interested in a meeting or phone call to discuss any partnership in more depth – you can give them all the details then. Don’t be put off if you don’t hear back straight away, and at the same time don’t be afraid of chasing your email with another one a week or two later if you don’t hear anything at all. If you have a large enough pool of potential supporters who you are contacting, it only takes one corporate to get back to you with an offer of support, and all your hard work will have potentially paid off! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    2425 Posted by Joe Burns
  • Joe Burns is the North West regional development manager for Localgiving. Before that he was a corporate fundraiser for a national charity, and worked with firms in the FTSE 100 as well as small family run businesses. Gone are the days when a company might simply pick a Charity of the Year, run a few events, and then send off a cheque in the post at year’s end, almost as an afterthought. Corporate supporters are now far more interested in mutually beneficial partnerships, where a company gets some sort of value out of donating to your charity. This may sound daunting, but corporate fundraising is an area that is rich in rewards, and a strong corporate partnership can bring in guaranteed income for many years; and this is before you consider the skills a corporate might bring, the in-kind donations available, and the potential pool of staff volunteers they can provide you with as well! So, how do you go about finding and then persuading a company to support you? Well, here are the key steps you need to consider. Which companies might work with you? The first thing you need to consider is the type of companies who your charity would appeal to. Broadly speaking, there are three ways you might appeal to a corporate supporter. Is there a clear link between the work you do and the corporate’s own work? When working at the road safety charity Brake, I arranged a number of partnerships with insurance firms, who shared our aims of reducing the numbers of crashes on the roads (as this would mean they would pay out less in claims!). Is there a local link? Does this company work in the same region or area as you? Companies are increasingly keen to be supporting their local communities, and here being small and local group can actually be a benefit compared to larger national or international charities. Have you got any personal connections? Does a trustee know the MD of a local firm? Have employees of a local firm used your charity? These kinds of connections can be very powerful when persuading a corporate to support you. What can you bring to the table? And what do you want from a corporate? So, you’ve got your list of potential corporate supporters to contact. Your next step is to ask yourself, what can I offer the corporates in question? Can I offer them volunteering opportunities for their staff? Can I arrange for a local press campaign, or can someone from my charity visit their offices to give a talk to their staff? Can I give them a shout out on social media? Are there capital costs they can sponsor and get their name on, such as a new building? There are lots of ways you can ‘add value’ to a corporate as a charity, if given a bit of thought. The next question to then ask, is what do I want from a corporate supporter – am I after financial donations, in-kind support, volunteers, or all of the above? What support can a corporate give, and would be comfortable to provide you with? If you can answer these two questions, then you can pull together a package that is very attractive to a local business.  The next and final step, at last, is The Ask. The Ask It’s at this point that many groups lose heart, as the idea of approaching a corporate can seem a little daunting. But don’t be put off – if you don’t ask you don’t get! The first thing you need to do is find someone within an organisation who would be right to approach. If you already know or have links with someone in a company, that’s a good place to start, but if not you’ll need to do some digging. Here LinkedIn can be invaluable, allowing you to search for individuals with specific job titles within an organisation. Many larger companies have dedicated CSR (corporate social responsibility) teams, who are an ideal first port of call. Marketing, communications and PR teams are also good people to contact, as working with a charity is also often a classic way for a corporate to portray themselves in a positive light. Finally, for smaller, really local companies like local solicitor or accountancy firms, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to partners or MDs! So, we now have a contact to approach. But how should we ask? Generally, corporate contacts are busy people – you can’t just ring and get through to them cold, especially if you don’t have any pre-existing connections. As such, the best approach is usually to either send them an email (where you have their address) or a message through LinkedIn (when you don’t). Keep the pitch simple and short, and focus on who you are, why you’ve got in touch, and the benefits you can offer a corporate in return for their support. Try to see things from their point of view – the work you do may well be vital and praiseworthy, but ultimately a corporate will need to see how they benefit too. Highlight any unique selling points you have, what they can get from working with you that no one else can provide, and again keep it brief. A corporate contact often has only a limited amount of time available to them, and it can never hurt to leave someone wanting more information. Ask if your contact would be interested in a meeting or phone call to discuss any partnership in more depth – you can give them all the details then. Don’t be put off if you don’t hear back straight away, and at the same time don’t be afraid of chasing your email with another one a week or two later if you don’t hear anything at all. If you have a large enough pool of potential supporters who you are contacting, it only takes one corporate to get back to you with an offer of support, and all your hard work will have potentially paid off! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    May 23, 2016 2425
  • 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/    
    1372 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 1372
  • 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.
    2814 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 2814
  • 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    
    2282 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 2282
  • 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      
    1950 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 1950