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278 blogs
  • 25 Jan 2016
    Since founding Localgiving in 2009, Marcelle Speller OBE, has fought to ensure that grassroots charities and community groups from across the UK are given the recognition and support they need and deserve. We are delighted therefore to see Marcelle’s work once again endorsed through her inclusion in this year’s Debrett’s 500. For almost 250 years Debrett’s has given the spotlight to people of influence and achievement in British society. Each year Debrett’s 500 is compiled by independent panels of specialists. The 2016 list sees Marcelle included in the UK's twenty most influential “Philanthropists and activists” alongside such esteemed and inspirational people as Malala Yousafzai, Lord Sainsbury, Prince Harry and Layla Hussain. Steve Mallinson, Localgiving's Chief Executive, has said:  "It is brilliant to see our founder and Chairman  recognised in  Debrett's 500. It is a privilege to work alongside Marcelle and to witness her drive and passion on a daily basis. We hope that that this will inspire more people to find out about the local charities and causes that Marcelle cares so much about".    
    1702 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Since founding Localgiving in 2009, Marcelle Speller OBE, has fought to ensure that grassroots charities and community groups from across the UK are given the recognition and support they need and deserve. We are delighted therefore to see Marcelle’s work once again endorsed through her inclusion in this year’s Debrett’s 500. For almost 250 years Debrett’s has given the spotlight to people of influence and achievement in British society. Each year Debrett’s 500 is compiled by independent panels of specialists. The 2016 list sees Marcelle included in the UK's twenty most influential “Philanthropists and activists” alongside such esteemed and inspirational people as Malala Yousafzai, Lord Sainsbury, Prince Harry and Layla Hussain. Steve Mallinson, Localgiving's Chief Executive, has said:  "It is brilliant to see our founder and Chairman  recognised in  Debrett's 500. It is a privilege to work alongside Marcelle and to witness her drive and passion on a daily basis. We hope that that this will inspire more people to find out about the local charities and causes that Marcelle cares so much about".    
    Jan 25, 2016 1702
  • 22 Jan 2016
     One of Scotland’s most celebrated sons talked of things, wee, sleekit, cow'rin and tim'rous. But unlike one of Rabbie Burns’ most famous poems, Scottish fundraisers and donors, aren’t at all like the small mouse he described. Those who fundraise and who donate in Scotland, don’t cower away from doing so. Nor do they do it timidly.They certainly don’t seem to do so in ‘wee’ amounts either. Variety and Depth   Localgiving’s members work vigorously to support their communities throughout Scotland, they show the variety and depth of all that is good about us as a country and people - from the young in the North East, such as Brechin Youth Project, to the elderly in the South West, like Cowal Elderly Befrienders.  Even in areas such as sport or culture, there is great variety. In the same city, we have sports groups ranging from Glasgow Girls Football Club to Tir Conaill Harps. One using modern sport, one using traditional celtic sports, both having a huge impact on the community. What I see in the groups in Scotland using Localgiving to fundraise, couldn’t be further from “a panic in thy breastie”. They just seem to get the job done, even if the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley. A Proud Scot While our groups differ in their services, causes and fundraising activities, their reach is always local. As you can imagine, I gain a great sense of pride in seeing new groups joining us and Localgiving’s presence in Scotland grow. As a proud Scot myself, with family spread far and wide across the country - it’s a wonderful feeling to see charity at work.   We’re a nation that has links across the world - people from far a wide have their roots on our shores. I can’t think of a better way to connect back home than to support charities who can do so much with even a little. So this Burns Night, while you raise a glass to your haggis, why not raise one to a local group and donate as well? You can search for a charity near you HERE. Our love for you really would be like a red, red rose!     Image: Statue of Robert Burns in Dumfries town centre. Taken by Ron Waller. Sculpture by Amelia Hill
    1398 Posted by Katie Ford
  •  One of Scotland’s most celebrated sons talked of things, wee, sleekit, cow'rin and tim'rous. But unlike one of Rabbie Burns’ most famous poems, Scottish fundraisers and donors, aren’t at all like the small mouse he described. Those who fundraise and who donate in Scotland, don’t cower away from doing so. Nor do they do it timidly.They certainly don’t seem to do so in ‘wee’ amounts either. Variety and Depth   Localgiving’s members work vigorously to support their communities throughout Scotland, they show the variety and depth of all that is good about us as a country and people - from the young in the North East, such as Brechin Youth Project, to the elderly in the South West, like Cowal Elderly Befrienders.  Even in areas such as sport or culture, there is great variety. In the same city, we have sports groups ranging from Glasgow Girls Football Club to Tir Conaill Harps. One using modern sport, one using traditional celtic sports, both having a huge impact on the community. What I see in the groups in Scotland using Localgiving to fundraise, couldn’t be further from “a panic in thy breastie”. They just seem to get the job done, even if the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley. A Proud Scot While our groups differ in their services, causes and fundraising activities, their reach is always local. As you can imagine, I gain a great sense of pride in seeing new groups joining us and Localgiving’s presence in Scotland grow. As a proud Scot myself, with family spread far and wide across the country - it’s a wonderful feeling to see charity at work.   We’re a nation that has links across the world - people from far a wide have their roots on our shores. I can’t think of a better way to connect back home than to support charities who can do so much with even a little. So this Burns Night, while you raise a glass to your haggis, why not raise one to a local group and donate as well? You can search for a charity near you HERE. Our love for you really would be like a red, red rose!     Image: Statue of Robert Burns in Dumfries town centre. Taken by Ron Waller. Sculpture by Amelia Hill
    Jan 22, 2016 1398
  • 18 Jan 2016
    Myfanwy Nixon is the Marketing and Communications manager at mySociety, a charity that builds digital technologies that open up access to democracy. Starting as a UK concern, the organisation now works globally to help people deploy their software and empower their own citizens. For over a decade, mySociety has been running well-known and much-used websites that empower citizens — but you may be unaware that they all have features that can benefit charities, too. Here are four ways in which charities can use mySociety sites. They’ll all give you a helping hand in your day-to-day work, and they’re all completely free to use. Simple campaigning software If you ever ask your supporters to contact their MP, MEPs, or other elected representatives, you’ll know that that’s much more likely to happen if they don’t have to leave your website to do so. The functionality behind WriteToThem, mySociety’s contact-your-representative site, can be placed right on your own campaign page. Even better, your supporters don’t need to know the name of their representative before they send their message: WriteToThem works it out from their postcode. You can find full details for embedding the WriteToThem technology on your website here. Keep an eye on Parliament   For all sorts of reasons, it’s useful to know when key topics are being debated in Parliament: you can lobby MPs, monitor which representatives are sympathetic to your cause, put out newsletters while public interest is high, or tie activities in with stories in the news. But how do you make sure you’re not taken by surprise? TheyWorkForYou is mySociety’s parliamentary site, which publishes all of Hansard. It also displays forthcoming events. So far so good, but the site really comes into its own with its alerts service. Input the keywords which interest you, and it will send you an email every time they are mentioned in Parliament, or in Parliament’s future schedule. Find out how to set up your alerts for forthcoming business here. And this post explains how to receive an alert every time your chosen keyword has been mentioned in the day’s proceedings. A powerful research tool If your campaigning depends on facts, figures and maybe even previously-buried information, then the Freedom of Information Act could be a very useful tool. It gives everyone the right to ask for information from publicly-funded bodies. WhatDoTheyKnow makes the perhaps-daunting process of submitting an FOI request very simple indeed. It also publishes the responses in a vast online archive, so you can search through information that has already been released, too. Here is a step-by-step guide to making a request via the site. Improving communities FixMyStreet makes it really easy to report problems like broken paving, potholes or rubbish to the people responsible for getting them fixed. If you are a charity working within a local community, input your postcode for a quick browse of the site: this can be an immediate way to find out what the main issues are in your own neighbourhood. if you’d like this information to drop right into your inbox, sign up to receive an alert every time someone makes a report in your chosen area. FixMyStreet also provides an excellent way of keeping track of the improvements and repairs you have requested - reports are published online as well as being sent to the council. And if you’re a charity campaigning on behalf of people with poor mobility, sight impairment, et cetera, FixMyStreet can also be a useful resource for your supporters: they can use it to campaign in their own local area, against unsafe streets, unlit byways or inadequate parking spaces, and so on. mySociety If you’d like to find out more about our work, visit www.mysociety.org, where you can see lots more about what we do.     Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha  How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar    
    2757 Posted by Myf Nixon
  • Myfanwy Nixon is the Marketing and Communications manager at mySociety, a charity that builds digital technologies that open up access to democracy. Starting as a UK concern, the organisation now works globally to help people deploy their software and empower their own citizens. For over a decade, mySociety has been running well-known and much-used websites that empower citizens — but you may be unaware that they all have features that can benefit charities, too. Here are four ways in which charities can use mySociety sites. They’ll all give you a helping hand in your day-to-day work, and they’re all completely free to use. Simple campaigning software If you ever ask your supporters to contact their MP, MEPs, or other elected representatives, you’ll know that that’s much more likely to happen if they don’t have to leave your website to do so. The functionality behind WriteToThem, mySociety’s contact-your-representative site, can be placed right on your own campaign page. Even better, your supporters don’t need to know the name of their representative before they send their message: WriteToThem works it out from their postcode. You can find full details for embedding the WriteToThem technology on your website here. Keep an eye on Parliament   For all sorts of reasons, it’s useful to know when key topics are being debated in Parliament: you can lobby MPs, monitor which representatives are sympathetic to your cause, put out newsletters while public interest is high, or tie activities in with stories in the news. But how do you make sure you’re not taken by surprise? TheyWorkForYou is mySociety’s parliamentary site, which publishes all of Hansard. It also displays forthcoming events. So far so good, but the site really comes into its own with its alerts service. Input the keywords which interest you, and it will send you an email every time they are mentioned in Parliament, or in Parliament’s future schedule. Find out how to set up your alerts for forthcoming business here. And this post explains how to receive an alert every time your chosen keyword has been mentioned in the day’s proceedings. A powerful research tool If your campaigning depends on facts, figures and maybe even previously-buried information, then the Freedom of Information Act could be a very useful tool. It gives everyone the right to ask for information from publicly-funded bodies. WhatDoTheyKnow makes the perhaps-daunting process of submitting an FOI request very simple indeed. It also publishes the responses in a vast online archive, so you can search through information that has already been released, too. Here is a step-by-step guide to making a request via the site. Improving communities FixMyStreet makes it really easy to report problems like broken paving, potholes or rubbish to the people responsible for getting them fixed. If you are a charity working within a local community, input your postcode for a quick browse of the site: this can be an immediate way to find out what the main issues are in your own neighbourhood. if you’d like this information to drop right into your inbox, sign up to receive an alert every time someone makes a report in your chosen area. FixMyStreet also provides an excellent way of keeping track of the improvements and repairs you have requested - reports are published online as well as being sent to the council. And if you’re a charity campaigning on behalf of people with poor mobility, sight impairment, et cetera, FixMyStreet can also be a useful resource for your supporters: they can use it to campaign in their own local area, against unsafe streets, unlit byways or inadequate parking spaces, and so on. mySociety If you’d like to find out more about our work, visit www.mysociety.org, where you can see lots more about what we do.     Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha  How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar    
    Jan 18, 2016 2757
  • 07 Jan 2016
    Bob Porter is Artistic Director of the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London. Now in its seventh year, the Festival organises over 120 concerts a year in a range of iconic central London venues. Many of you will be scratching your heads and wondering what original and exciting fundraising event you can offer your supporters in 2016 which doesn't require any financial commitment, is easy to organise and allows you some important face-to-face contact with your supporters. A fundraising concert can be relatively cheap to organise if you can source a free or discounted venue and you know of an amateur music group or choir. However, if you don't have the necessary contacts or the time to organise your own concert, or maybe you want something a bit more special than a concert in your local church, another route is to explore partnerships with concert promoters in your nearest large town or city. Fundraising choral concerts - the Brandenburg model For the past two years, the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London has been running a fundraising initiative which enables small charities to raise funds by selling tickets to one of our London choral concerts and retaining a share (up to 50%) of the value of tickets sold. Over 100 charities have chosen to partner with us. Why? Because we are offering them a quality fundraising event which doesn't require any event management or financial commitment. And it's not just the fundraising aspect which interests them. The concerts have also provided charities with: low-cost reception opportunities, enabling trustees and staff to thank supporters; a special event to form part of a charity's anniversary celebrations; and the chance to promote awareness of their work to a new audience via a free advert in the concert programme and by having their logo on our flyers and website. Our charity partners are a huge asset to the Festival and we are proud to be associated with them. They value our partnership as it provides them with a unique opportunity to offer a high-quality fundraising event to their supporters which would otherwise be beyond their reach. There is a burgeoning enthusiasm for choral music in this country and I hope that what we're doing at Brandenburg will inspire small charities and community groups to tap in to the myriad of excellent choral, and indeed other music, concerts taking place around the country in 2016. If you are thinking of organising a fundraising concert in your area and would like some advice, please get in touch by emailing bob@brandenburg.org.uk or calling:07770 937328. For info about Brandenburg's fundraising opportunities, visit www.brandenburg.org.uk/charities/   Headshot by Mark Thomas, Main image by Marc Gascoigne.    
    2396 Posted by Bob Porter
  • Bob Porter is Artistic Director of the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London. Now in its seventh year, the Festival organises over 120 concerts a year in a range of iconic central London venues. Many of you will be scratching your heads and wondering what original and exciting fundraising event you can offer your supporters in 2016 which doesn't require any financial commitment, is easy to organise and allows you some important face-to-face contact with your supporters. A fundraising concert can be relatively cheap to organise if you can source a free or discounted venue and you know of an amateur music group or choir. However, if you don't have the necessary contacts or the time to organise your own concert, or maybe you want something a bit more special than a concert in your local church, another route is to explore partnerships with concert promoters in your nearest large town or city. Fundraising choral concerts - the Brandenburg model For the past two years, the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London has been running a fundraising initiative which enables small charities to raise funds by selling tickets to one of our London choral concerts and retaining a share (up to 50%) of the value of tickets sold. Over 100 charities have chosen to partner with us. Why? Because we are offering them a quality fundraising event which doesn't require any event management or financial commitment. And it's not just the fundraising aspect which interests them. The concerts have also provided charities with: low-cost reception opportunities, enabling trustees and staff to thank supporters; a special event to form part of a charity's anniversary celebrations; and the chance to promote awareness of their work to a new audience via a free advert in the concert programme and by having their logo on our flyers and website. Our charity partners are a huge asset to the Festival and we are proud to be associated with them. They value our partnership as it provides them with a unique opportunity to offer a high-quality fundraising event to their supporters which would otherwise be beyond their reach. There is a burgeoning enthusiasm for choral music in this country and I hope that what we're doing at Brandenburg will inspire small charities and community groups to tap in to the myriad of excellent choral, and indeed other music, concerts taking place around the country in 2016. If you are thinking of organising a fundraising concert in your area and would like some advice, please get in touch by emailing bob@brandenburg.org.uk or calling:07770 937328. For info about Brandenburg's fundraising opportunities, visit www.brandenburg.org.uk/charities/   Headshot by Mark Thomas, Main image by Marc Gascoigne.    
    Jan 07, 2016 2396
  • 30 Dec 2015
    Heavy rain and gale-force winds are expected again today to hit parts of North and West Yorkshire, including the Calder Valley, which experienced severe flooding on Boxing Day. While the community gather to begin the clean up, others are bracing for more damage from Storm Frank.  In West Yorkshire, thousands of homes were affected after the Calder river banks burst, with more than 550 homes still without power. Many bussinesses have also been affected having to throw away spoiled stock and expensive equipment.  Residents, unable to return to their homes need emergency accommodation. To help fund the flood relief, Community Foundation for Calderdale have set up an appeal. Over £180,000 has already been generously donated to help with the costs of cleaning up after the flood water falls. The money raised will also be given out as small grants to help people in West Yorkshire rebuild their homes and businesses.  Steve Duncan, Chief Executive of Community Foundation for Calderdale today said, “The Community response to the flooding has been phenomenal, we have had volunteers from across the UK helping us to clean up and prepare for Storm Frank. People have lost so much, at least 2000 homes have been flooded in Calderdale many of whom could not get flood insurance. We started our Localgiving appeal page on the afternoon of the flooding to enable us to help people with immediate effect. It is this flexibility that allows Community Foundation to respond so quickly and make a substantial impact when it is most needed. We have been overwhelmed by the response and have already raised £181,000, however we know we need a lot more to be able to help those who have been affected.” Please give generously to the Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal ---- More appeals: Tadcaster Albion Amateur Football Club are appealing for donations to help them repair damage made to the pitch and clubhouse. Click here to listen to the owner James Gore talk about the impact of the floods. Wales Community Foundation have also set up a Flood Recovery Fund for those affected to help local people with recovery, rebuilding, and community initiatives. A warehouse used by Bike Rescue Project in York was flooded, damaging many essential tools for recycling bikes. This has also affected their training and outreach programmes.  If your charity has also been affected, please get in touch via our help desk.        
    2850 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Heavy rain and gale-force winds are expected again today to hit parts of North and West Yorkshire, including the Calder Valley, which experienced severe flooding on Boxing Day. While the community gather to begin the clean up, others are bracing for more damage from Storm Frank.  In West Yorkshire, thousands of homes were affected after the Calder river banks burst, with more than 550 homes still without power. Many bussinesses have also been affected having to throw away spoiled stock and expensive equipment.  Residents, unable to return to their homes need emergency accommodation. To help fund the flood relief, Community Foundation for Calderdale have set up an appeal. Over £180,000 has already been generously donated to help with the costs of cleaning up after the flood water falls. The money raised will also be given out as small grants to help people in West Yorkshire rebuild their homes and businesses.  Steve Duncan, Chief Executive of Community Foundation for Calderdale today said, “The Community response to the flooding has been phenomenal, we have had volunteers from across the UK helping us to clean up and prepare for Storm Frank. People have lost so much, at least 2000 homes have been flooded in Calderdale many of whom could not get flood insurance. We started our Localgiving appeal page on the afternoon of the flooding to enable us to help people with immediate effect. It is this flexibility that allows Community Foundation to respond so quickly and make a substantial impact when it is most needed. We have been overwhelmed by the response and have already raised £181,000, however we know we need a lot more to be able to help those who have been affected.” Please give generously to the Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal ---- More appeals: Tadcaster Albion Amateur Football Club are appealing for donations to help them repair damage made to the pitch and clubhouse. Click here to listen to the owner James Gore talk about the impact of the floods. Wales Community Foundation have also set up a Flood Recovery Fund for those affected to help local people with recovery, rebuilding, and community initiatives. A warehouse used by Bike Rescue Project in York was flooded, damaging many essential tools for recycling bikes. This has also affected their training and outreach programmes.  If your charity has also been affected, please get in touch via our help desk.        
    Dec 30, 2015 2850
  • 15 Dec 2015
    It’s 9 days until Christmas and the festive shopping frenzy is upon us. On Black Friday alone, Amazon sold more than 7.4 million items in the UK. John Lewis said that it was its biggest ever day of trading. When consumerism flourishes, our spending habits express agency; what we spend our money on impacts on what is produced, who benefits from profit and the direction of innovation. Why not put down that glossy catalogue and take a look around your community to see what’s on offer? You can double down on your Christmas giving by buying a gift from a charity whereby the profits are reinvested in the community. Many of our members are working hard to diversify their income streams and produce products that are attractive to Christmas shoppers. These purchases that make great gifts and will leave you feeling positively angelic about your spending choices. Here’s a list of 16 of our members who are selling their wares this festive season:  1. See a show at Brentwood Theatre, Essex The Wind in the Willows, a family-friendly show, runs until the start of January. Brentwood have a good variety of shows to break the New Year blues. On 10 January, Brentwood Philharmonic are playing a special performance, in the presence of The Mayor of Brentwood who has selected them as one of his charities for the year. Later in the month, there are two magic shows in The Audrey Longman Studio. For details of these, and all other shows, please call the Box Office on 01277 200305 or book online here 2. Craft works from Camphill MK, Milton Keynes Camphill MK is a living and working community where people with learning disabilities and those who support them may reach their full potential in the spirit of lifelong learning. Visit the shop in MK to see their range of craft works by renowned local makers, including books, pottery and a variety of environmentally-friendly household products here  3. Turned wood artifacts from Camden Town Shed, London Camden Town Shed not only provides missing facilities but replaces elements of a workplace that some people miss. These include:  a  role or purpose, workmates, problem solving, learning from or helping your peers, opportunities for creativity  creative and even the work itself! Check out their Etsy store for skillfully made wooden gifts here 4. Vegetable boxes from Bosavern Community Farm, Cornwall Bosavern Community Farm is situated near St Just at the very western tip of Cornwall near Land’s End and overlooking the sea toward the Scilly Isles. It is a not-for-profit Social Enterprise run on Wholesome Food Association principles by a community of employees, members and volunteers. If you live in the area, check out their vegetable boxes that are available for weekly delivery here 5. Homeware from Designs In Mind, Shropshire Designs In Mind is a leader in health innovation and arts for social change. It is a competitive business with a creative & social purpose working with adults in touch with Mental Health Services Take a look at their online store for handmade homeware and bags here 6. Tickets to an event at An Droichead An Droichead is an Irish language organisation that promotes the development of Irish language and culture through education, arts, family & community services, and outreach work. Focusing in particular on our immediate area of inner city south Belfast and our urban hinterland of greater south and east Belfast, the aim of An Droichead is to build the largest and most diverse community of Irish speakers in Ireland. Browse events and buy tickets here 7. A bike or bike accessories from The Bike Shop, London The Bike Shop isn’t any old shop - it formed out of The Bike Project, a charity getting refugees cycling in London. They do this by fixing and donating second-hand bikes. The fixing takes place at their workshop, where refugees learn the basics in bike mechanics, before fixing a bike up for themselves.  For refugee women that are new to cycling, they run cycling lessons. Whether you need a bike lock, or a whole bike, this website has it all. Click here to see. 8. Paintings from ArtFreeDome, Berkshire ArtFreeDome in Berkshire uses art therapy for the relief of sickness and distress in mind body and soul. They support people to explore and resolve day to day issues. Their art therapy activities include making teddy bears, painting and creating children's picture story books. Buy from their range of paintings here 9. Craft materials from Art4Space, London Art4Space in Stockwell gives people creative experiences and puts high quality art work into the public realm. Art4Space brings diverse groups together with a common creative focus, improving their sense of well-being. These groups include: pupils, older peoples groups, tenants of housing estates, corporate teams, youth offenders. The Art4Space workshops have therapeutic benefits; build confidence and self-esteem, encourage team building and problem solving and develop creativity and imaginative thinking. If you’d like to buy Mosaic kits, handmade products and much more, their shop is located in their studio in Stockwell, email jewels@art4space.co.uk if you’d like to visit. 10. A Gift for a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide, National Localgiving works with local Girl Guiding groups to help them to fundraise in their communities. We are delighted to see that they have an online shop with a great selection of goodies. Buy from the online shop here 11. Odds and ends from Revive Leeds, Leeds Revive Leeds is Yorkshire’s first reuse shop on a household waste site. Not only do they recycle but they also help the local community by selling donations at affordable prices. Visit the shop at East Leeds Household Waste Site, Limewood Road, LS14 1LU or shop online here 12. Craft materials from Little Miracles, Peterborough Little Miracles is a parent led support group and Charity for families that have children with additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions. You can buy craft materials here 13. Tickets for Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, Dorset The original building on the site was a sea water baths, opened in 1806 by Mr Giles Davies. The first of its kind in Lyme Regis, it pumped water directly from the ocean below. On the same site now sits a community hub, Lyme Regis Marine Theatre. Take your pick from It’s a Wonderful Life, Jazz, Brian Ferry and a Celilidh here 14. A dance class from Montage Theatre Arts, London Montage Theatre Arts is a charity in south-east London providing performing arts opportunities in the community for all ages. Classes, workshops, holiday courses, a volunteer programme, shows and events - suitable for all to take part in and enjoy, whatever your age or ability. Book a class or workshop here 15. A ticket for a Red Ladder production, Leeds Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 45 years of history. The company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre, contributing to social change and global justice. Get tickets for an upcoming show here 16. Monster gifts from Ministry of Stories, London The Ministry of Stories is a local writing and mentoring centre in east London, where anyone aged eight to 18 can come and discover their own gift for writing. Are you a monster, or of a monstrous persuasion? Partial to a daub of Thickest Human Snot on your morning toast? Running low on Fang Floss? Whether you’re a Vampire, Werewolf, Sasquatch or Something Else Entirely, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies has everything you need. Shop online here or visit the shop at 159 Hoxton Street, London N1 6PJ.
    1573 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • It’s 9 days until Christmas and the festive shopping frenzy is upon us. On Black Friday alone, Amazon sold more than 7.4 million items in the UK. John Lewis said that it was its biggest ever day of trading. When consumerism flourishes, our spending habits express agency; what we spend our money on impacts on what is produced, who benefits from profit and the direction of innovation. Why not put down that glossy catalogue and take a look around your community to see what’s on offer? You can double down on your Christmas giving by buying a gift from a charity whereby the profits are reinvested in the community. Many of our members are working hard to diversify their income streams and produce products that are attractive to Christmas shoppers. These purchases that make great gifts and will leave you feeling positively angelic about your spending choices. Here’s a list of 16 of our members who are selling their wares this festive season:  1. See a show at Brentwood Theatre, Essex The Wind in the Willows, a family-friendly show, runs until the start of January. Brentwood have a good variety of shows to break the New Year blues. On 10 January, Brentwood Philharmonic are playing a special performance, in the presence of The Mayor of Brentwood who has selected them as one of his charities for the year. Later in the month, there are two magic shows in The Audrey Longman Studio. For details of these, and all other shows, please call the Box Office on 01277 200305 or book online here 2. Craft works from Camphill MK, Milton Keynes Camphill MK is a living and working community where people with learning disabilities and those who support them may reach their full potential in the spirit of lifelong learning. Visit the shop in MK to see their range of craft works by renowned local makers, including books, pottery and a variety of environmentally-friendly household products here  3. Turned wood artifacts from Camden Town Shed, London Camden Town Shed not only provides missing facilities but replaces elements of a workplace that some people miss. These include:  a  role or purpose, workmates, problem solving, learning from or helping your peers, opportunities for creativity  creative and even the work itself! Check out their Etsy store for skillfully made wooden gifts here 4. Vegetable boxes from Bosavern Community Farm, Cornwall Bosavern Community Farm is situated near St Just at the very western tip of Cornwall near Land’s End and overlooking the sea toward the Scilly Isles. It is a not-for-profit Social Enterprise run on Wholesome Food Association principles by a community of employees, members and volunteers. If you live in the area, check out their vegetable boxes that are available for weekly delivery here 5. Homeware from Designs In Mind, Shropshire Designs In Mind is a leader in health innovation and arts for social change. It is a competitive business with a creative & social purpose working with adults in touch with Mental Health Services Take a look at their online store for handmade homeware and bags here 6. Tickets to an event at An Droichead An Droichead is an Irish language organisation that promotes the development of Irish language and culture through education, arts, family & community services, and outreach work. Focusing in particular on our immediate area of inner city south Belfast and our urban hinterland of greater south and east Belfast, the aim of An Droichead is to build the largest and most diverse community of Irish speakers in Ireland. Browse events and buy tickets here 7. A bike or bike accessories from The Bike Shop, London The Bike Shop isn’t any old shop - it formed out of The Bike Project, a charity getting refugees cycling in London. They do this by fixing and donating second-hand bikes. The fixing takes place at their workshop, where refugees learn the basics in bike mechanics, before fixing a bike up for themselves.  For refugee women that are new to cycling, they run cycling lessons. Whether you need a bike lock, or a whole bike, this website has it all. Click here to see. 8. Paintings from ArtFreeDome, Berkshire ArtFreeDome in Berkshire uses art therapy for the relief of sickness and distress in mind body and soul. They support people to explore and resolve day to day issues. Their art therapy activities include making teddy bears, painting and creating children's picture story books. Buy from their range of paintings here 9. Craft materials from Art4Space, London Art4Space in Stockwell gives people creative experiences and puts high quality art work into the public realm. Art4Space brings diverse groups together with a common creative focus, improving their sense of well-being. These groups include: pupils, older peoples groups, tenants of housing estates, corporate teams, youth offenders. The Art4Space workshops have therapeutic benefits; build confidence and self-esteem, encourage team building and problem solving and develop creativity and imaginative thinking. If you’d like to buy Mosaic kits, handmade products and much more, their shop is located in their studio in Stockwell, email jewels@art4space.co.uk if you’d like to visit. 10. A Gift for a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide, National Localgiving works with local Girl Guiding groups to help them to fundraise in their communities. We are delighted to see that they have an online shop with a great selection of goodies. Buy from the online shop here 11. Odds and ends from Revive Leeds, Leeds Revive Leeds is Yorkshire’s first reuse shop on a household waste site. Not only do they recycle but they also help the local community by selling donations at affordable prices. Visit the shop at East Leeds Household Waste Site, Limewood Road, LS14 1LU or shop online here 12. Craft materials from Little Miracles, Peterborough Little Miracles is a parent led support group and Charity for families that have children with additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions. You can buy craft materials here 13. Tickets for Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, Dorset The original building on the site was a sea water baths, opened in 1806 by Mr Giles Davies. The first of its kind in Lyme Regis, it pumped water directly from the ocean below. On the same site now sits a community hub, Lyme Regis Marine Theatre. Take your pick from It’s a Wonderful Life, Jazz, Brian Ferry and a Celilidh here 14. A dance class from Montage Theatre Arts, London Montage Theatre Arts is a charity in south-east London providing performing arts opportunities in the community for all ages. Classes, workshops, holiday courses, a volunteer programme, shows and events - suitable for all to take part in and enjoy, whatever your age or ability. Book a class or workshop here 15. A ticket for a Red Ladder production, Leeds Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 45 years of history. The company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre, contributing to social change and global justice. Get tickets for an upcoming show here 16. Monster gifts from Ministry of Stories, London The Ministry of Stories is a local writing and mentoring centre in east London, where anyone aged eight to 18 can come and discover their own gift for writing. Are you a monster, or of a monstrous persuasion? Partial to a daub of Thickest Human Snot on your morning toast? Running low on Fang Floss? Whether you’re a Vampire, Werewolf, Sasquatch or Something Else Entirely, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies has everything you need. Shop online here or visit the shop at 159 Hoxton Street, London N1 6PJ.
    Dec 15, 2015 1573
  • 15 Dec 2015
    Catherine Raynor is Director of Mile 91, a story gathering team for charities and changemakers. Mile 91 helps charities capture stories that inspire action and encourage giving. We are all used to seeing household names profiled in big fundraisers like Text Santa and Children in Need or seasonal national newspaper appeals. These charities have big fundraising and communications departments with money to spend on professional filmmakers and copywriters. It is easy to feel daunted in the face of their storytelling might, but don’t be – local charities have stories that are just as powerful. Here’s some advice on capturing and telling great stories on a budget: Feel confident! The first thing to remember is to feel confident. You are operating right in the heart of your community. This means you see the impact of your work both firsthand and instantly. Unlike global or national organisations that often have head offices far away from their work, your stories are easy to access- they are right in front of you every day. Think about the ‘because’.  Stories don’t come from the ‘what’, they come from the ‘because’. What inspires people to volunteer or give is understanding the change and improvement their contribution can make. It is far more inspiring to read ‘Because of our meal service 68 old people in Wakefield will enjoy Christmas dinner with company this year’ than ‘we will deliver 68 meals on Christmas Day this year.’ Start thinking in terms of impact not intervention. Understand story structure. Storytelling is actually pretty formulaic and we learn story structure from a very early age. Good stories have a beginning, middle and end and more often than not they have a hero and a villain. For charity storytelling the beginning is the problem you are solving, the middle is what you are doing and the end is the change. The villain is the problem, the hero is you. If your stories have all three components and clearly show how the hero is conquering the villain you are doing well. Use free tools. There are many free storytelling tools and apps that can help you bring your work to life. Set up an Instagram account to share photo stories, use Audioboo for short interviews or Vine for short films. These are all really simple to use and can be connected to Twitter and Facebook so you can easily share your stories. Don’t miss the obvious. There are likely to be stories around you all the time that can bring your work to life. What does the 8-year-old enjoy about coming along to the community allotment on a Saturday? Ask them and snap a picture of them digging. What motivates that busy Mum to volunteer once a week? Ask her and you might uncover a really heartwarming story. Look for local expertise. You almost certainly have professional writers and filmmakers living in your area. Why not see if they want to volunteer a few hours or a day here and there to help you make professional films or to write some stories for your website or grant application forms.  Mile 91 uses words, pictures and film to help charities show the impact of their work on individuals, communities and the environments they live in. For regular tips on charity storytelling sign up to our blog: www.mile91.co.uk/blog/   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 Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar    
    1296 Posted by Catherine Raynor
  • Catherine Raynor is Director of Mile 91, a story gathering team for charities and changemakers. Mile 91 helps charities capture stories that inspire action and encourage giving. We are all used to seeing household names profiled in big fundraisers like Text Santa and Children in Need or seasonal national newspaper appeals. These charities have big fundraising and communications departments with money to spend on professional filmmakers and copywriters. It is easy to feel daunted in the face of their storytelling might, but don’t be – local charities have stories that are just as powerful. Here’s some advice on capturing and telling great stories on a budget: Feel confident! The first thing to remember is to feel confident. You are operating right in the heart of your community. This means you see the impact of your work both firsthand and instantly. Unlike global or national organisations that often have head offices far away from their work, your stories are easy to access- they are right in front of you every day. Think about the ‘because’.  Stories don’t come from the ‘what’, they come from the ‘because’. What inspires people to volunteer or give is understanding the change and improvement their contribution can make. It is far more inspiring to read ‘Because of our meal service 68 old people in Wakefield will enjoy Christmas dinner with company this year’ than ‘we will deliver 68 meals on Christmas Day this year.’ Start thinking in terms of impact not intervention. Understand story structure. Storytelling is actually pretty formulaic and we learn story structure from a very early age. Good stories have a beginning, middle and end and more often than not they have a hero and a villain. For charity storytelling the beginning is the problem you are solving, the middle is what you are doing and the end is the change. The villain is the problem, the hero is you. If your stories have all three components and clearly show how the hero is conquering the villain you are doing well. Use free tools. There are many free storytelling tools and apps that can help you bring your work to life. Set up an Instagram account to share photo stories, use Audioboo for short interviews or Vine for short films. These are all really simple to use and can be connected to Twitter and Facebook so you can easily share your stories. Don’t miss the obvious. There are likely to be stories around you all the time that can bring your work to life. What does the 8-year-old enjoy about coming along to the community allotment on a Saturday? Ask them and snap a picture of them digging. What motivates that busy Mum to volunteer once a week? Ask her and you might uncover a really heartwarming story. Look for local expertise. You almost certainly have professional writers and filmmakers living in your area. Why not see if they want to volunteer a few hours or a day here and there to help you make professional films or to write some stories for your website or grant application forms.  Mile 91 uses words, pictures and film to help charities show the impact of their work on individuals, communities and the environments they live in. For regular tips on charity storytelling sign up to our blog: www.mile91.co.uk/blog/   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 Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar    
    Dec 15, 2015 1296
  • 08 Dec 2015
    Mike Zywina is an experienced fundraiser and the founder of Lime Green Consulting, providing affordable consultancy to smaller charities specialising in fundraising strategy, events management and individual giving. He is also a trustee for AbleChildAfrica and an ambassador for Good News Shared.  Did you know that the average email open rate in the charity sector is around 20%? This means that for every five people that you write to, four of them won't read it – and for many charities the numbers are worse than that. In the age of online content, we read things quickly in a spare moment and are accustomed to punchy and engaging information, otherwise we switch off. People tend to be on several charity mailing lists, so trying to make your charity newsletter get noticed can be a real challenge. The problem As my day job involves providing fundraising support to small charities, I have a natural interest in charity news. However, many smaller charities rely on the old-fashioned method of sending newsletters as a mass email with a PDF attachment, which can be really ineffective. If you’re doing this then not only are you missing an easy opportunity to engage your supporters better, you may not be aware of how little they are engaging. PDF newsletters tend to look flat, dated and uninspiring. If you have a lot to say, it’s difficult to present it in a way that is friendly for the reader – newsletters running across five or more pages can be daunting! They can also fail to create that important call to action – the reader simply reads a couple of stories then either deletes the newsletter or files it away. Manually sending out mass emails with a PDF attachment can take ages, especially if you have to do it in batches of 50 or 100 to avoid issues with your email provider. This is also a sure-fire way to trigger spam filters, so many emails won’t ever reach your supporters' inboxes. Yet you’ll be working in the dark because it’s impossible to know how many people are opening them, what they’re reading and what they like to see. The solution If all this sounds rather familiar to you, it’s time to start using email marketing software. There’s no need to worry, a lot of this software is cheap, quick and easy to set up. This little technology upgrade will enable you to manage your email subscribers, design newsletter templates and send them out in one click. There are many advantages: Design an engaging email template to use quickly every time. This will give your newsletters a much more consistent and professional feel. Send mailings at the touch of a button. They're gone in seconds, there's no need to send them in batches and there's far less risk of getting caught in any spam filters. Manage content between your newsletter and website. Including shorter stories in your newsletter with links to full articles on your website will make your mailings more engaging and digestible. You can also see how popular your content is by monitoring which stories people click through to read fully (see below). Your best content will achieve more as it will be seen by both your newsletter subscribers and website visitors. See crucial statistics at a glance. This software lets you easily see how many people opened your mailings, who clicked on links and how many email addresses bounced. You can start to build a picture of what type of content is most popular and follow up with individual supporters who, for example, click through to an events sign-up page. Save time. People can unsubscribe with one click and are removed from your mailing list automatically. New subscribers will automatically join your list ready for your next mailing (bear in mind that you may still need to update any separate database/CRM).   If you’re worried about the time and cost involved, you shouldn’t be. There are many great email marketing packages which are cheap or even free. For instance, Mailchimp - which I use myself for our Lime Green Consulting mailings - is completely free if you have less than 2,000 contacts, and prices start at £6 per month after that. If you can design a PDF newsletter or do basic web page editing, you’ll be capable of using the software. The small amount of time that you invest up front in getting to grips with it will be outweighed by the ongoing time and efficiency savings. There really is no excuse for persisting with PDF mailings – it’s time to get out of the dark ages!   For further advice on supporter communication and fundraising, please visit limegreenconsulting.co.uk or download our free fundraising helpsheets.   Found this blog post 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 Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay Parris How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar      
    2262 Posted by Mike Zywina
  • Mike Zywina is an experienced fundraiser and the founder of Lime Green Consulting, providing affordable consultancy to smaller charities specialising in fundraising strategy, events management and individual giving. He is also a trustee for AbleChildAfrica and an ambassador for Good News Shared.  Did you know that the average email open rate in the charity sector is around 20%? This means that for every five people that you write to, four of them won't read it – and for many charities the numbers are worse than that. In the age of online content, we read things quickly in a spare moment and are accustomed to punchy and engaging information, otherwise we switch off. People tend to be on several charity mailing lists, so trying to make your charity newsletter get noticed can be a real challenge. The problem As my day job involves providing fundraising support to small charities, I have a natural interest in charity news. However, many smaller charities rely on the old-fashioned method of sending newsletters as a mass email with a PDF attachment, which can be really ineffective. If you’re doing this then not only are you missing an easy opportunity to engage your supporters better, you may not be aware of how little they are engaging. PDF newsletters tend to look flat, dated and uninspiring. If you have a lot to say, it’s difficult to present it in a way that is friendly for the reader – newsletters running across five or more pages can be daunting! They can also fail to create that important call to action – the reader simply reads a couple of stories then either deletes the newsletter or files it away. Manually sending out mass emails with a PDF attachment can take ages, especially if you have to do it in batches of 50 or 100 to avoid issues with your email provider. This is also a sure-fire way to trigger spam filters, so many emails won’t ever reach your supporters' inboxes. Yet you’ll be working in the dark because it’s impossible to know how many people are opening them, what they’re reading and what they like to see. The solution If all this sounds rather familiar to you, it’s time to start using email marketing software. There’s no need to worry, a lot of this software is cheap, quick and easy to set up. This little technology upgrade will enable you to manage your email subscribers, design newsletter templates and send them out in one click. There are many advantages: Design an engaging email template to use quickly every time. This will give your newsletters a much more consistent and professional feel. Send mailings at the touch of a button. They're gone in seconds, there's no need to send them in batches and there's far less risk of getting caught in any spam filters. Manage content between your newsletter and website. Including shorter stories in your newsletter with links to full articles on your website will make your mailings more engaging and digestible. You can also see how popular your content is by monitoring which stories people click through to read fully (see below). Your best content will achieve more as it will be seen by both your newsletter subscribers and website visitors. See crucial statistics at a glance. This software lets you easily see how many people opened your mailings, who clicked on links and how many email addresses bounced. You can start to build a picture of what type of content is most popular and follow up with individual supporters who, for example, click through to an events sign-up page. Save time. People can unsubscribe with one click and are removed from your mailing list automatically. New subscribers will automatically join your list ready for your next mailing (bear in mind that you may still need to update any separate database/CRM).   If you’re worried about the time and cost involved, you shouldn’t be. There are many great email marketing packages which are cheap or even free. For instance, Mailchimp - which I use myself for our Lime Green Consulting mailings - is completely free if you have less than 2,000 contacts, and prices start at £6 per month after that. If you can design a PDF newsletter or do basic web page editing, you’ll be capable of using the software. The small amount of time that you invest up front in getting to grips with it will be outweighed by the ongoing time and efficiency savings. There really is no excuse for persisting with PDF mailings – it’s time to get out of the dark ages!   For further advice on supporter communication and fundraising, please visit limegreenconsulting.co.uk or download our free fundraising helpsheets.   Found this blog post 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 Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay Parris How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar      
    Dec 08, 2015 2262
  • 03 Dec 2015
    This Tuesday marked the UK’s second ever Giving Tuesday, and to celebrate the occasion we ran our #GiveMe5 campaign to double 1,000 x £5 donations made to local charities on the day. We're pleased to announce that the campaign was a runaway success, with more than 1,500 individuals choosing to support a local cause, raising over £36,000 for 550 local charities and community groups! In addition, we saw amazing support from a wide range of partner organisations, from leading law firms to award winning restaurants. Tasty office ‘bake offs’, front page banners on company websites, encouraging tweets and featured news stories all helped to raise awareness and support for local charities. So from everyone at Localgiving, we’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who got involved this Giving Tuesday, whether by donating, baking, tweeting or generally just shouting about local causes - every single action contributed to a fantastic result! Read more about our results and other success stories from across the UK in the Guardian.  Philanthropy in the news This week also saw CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan announce that they would be donating 99% of their Facebook shares - with a current value of $45bn - to advance a mission of “advancing human potential and promoting equality for all children in the next generation”, following the birth of their daughter. The announcement sparked a flurry of media attention around the subject of philanthropy, with our founder, Marcelle Speller, adding her expertise to the discussion. See a video of Marcelle talking to John Humprys about philanthropy and the importance of local charities on Radio 4’s the Today Programme here. With special thanks to the Office for Civil Society for providing funding for our #GiveMe5 campaign this #GivingTuesday
    1955 Posted by Lou Coady
  • This Tuesday marked the UK’s second ever Giving Tuesday, and to celebrate the occasion we ran our #GiveMe5 campaign to double 1,000 x £5 donations made to local charities on the day. We're pleased to announce that the campaign was a runaway success, with more than 1,500 individuals choosing to support a local cause, raising over £36,000 for 550 local charities and community groups! In addition, we saw amazing support from a wide range of partner organisations, from leading law firms to award winning restaurants. Tasty office ‘bake offs’, front page banners on company websites, encouraging tweets and featured news stories all helped to raise awareness and support for local charities. So from everyone at Localgiving, we’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who got involved this Giving Tuesday, whether by donating, baking, tweeting or generally just shouting about local causes - every single action contributed to a fantastic result! Read more about our results and other success stories from across the UK in the Guardian.  Philanthropy in the news This week also saw CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan announce that they would be donating 99% of their Facebook shares - with a current value of $45bn - to advance a mission of “advancing human potential and promoting equality for all children in the next generation”, following the birth of their daughter. The announcement sparked a flurry of media attention around the subject of philanthropy, with our founder, Marcelle Speller, adding her expertise to the discussion. See a video of Marcelle talking to John Humprys about philanthropy and the importance of local charities on Radio 4’s the Today Programme here. With special thanks to the Office for Civil Society for providing funding for our #GiveMe5 campaign this #GivingTuesday
    Dec 03, 2015 1955
  • 02 Dec 2015
    On 8th December we will be launching our Christmas Top 40 appeal campaign, so this is the perfect opportunity for your group to create your first appeal page! How to create an appeal page Appeal pages work in a similar way to fundraising pages. They include target bars and the facility for your supporters to leave comments. Funds raised through these pages are defined within your reports, making tracking your donations quick and simple. Please click here for our 'How to create an Appeal page' resource with an easy step-by-step guide to help you set up your first appeal.   How to run a successful appeal campaign You can also click here for our 13 tips for running a successful appeal which takes you through everything from making your ask to thanking your supporters.   Christmas Top 40 campaign Our Christmas Top 40 campaign will be running between 8th December and 8th January and we will be awarding £100 to the first 40 groups to raise £100 through a Localgiving Appeal page. In addition to 40 prizes of £100, the appeal to raise the most money between the campaign start and end dates will win our bonus Top Spot Prize of £1,000! So, even if you aren’t ready to set up your page from the 8th December, you could still win the top prize over the month that the campaign is running. Please click here for our more information about the campaign.  Contact Us If you have any further questions or need any assitance please give us a call on 0300 111 2340 or email us on help@localgiving.com.
    1934 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • On 8th December we will be launching our Christmas Top 40 appeal campaign, so this is the perfect opportunity for your group to create your first appeal page! How to create an appeal page Appeal pages work in a similar way to fundraising pages. They include target bars and the facility for your supporters to leave comments. Funds raised through these pages are defined within your reports, making tracking your donations quick and simple. Please click here for our 'How to create an Appeal page' resource with an easy step-by-step guide to help you set up your first appeal.   How to run a successful appeal campaign You can also click here for our 13 tips for running a successful appeal which takes you through everything from making your ask to thanking your supporters.   Christmas Top 40 campaign Our Christmas Top 40 campaign will be running between 8th December and 8th January and we will be awarding £100 to the first 40 groups to raise £100 through a Localgiving Appeal page. In addition to 40 prizes of £100, the appeal to raise the most money between the campaign start and end dates will win our bonus Top Spot Prize of £1,000! So, even if you aren’t ready to set up your page from the 8th December, you could still win the top prize over the month that the campaign is running. Please click here for our more information about the campaign.  Contact Us If you have any further questions or need any assitance please give us a call on 0300 111 2340 or email us on help@localgiving.com.
    Dec 02, 2015 1934