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264 blogs
  • 21 Nov 2018
    For small charities, every single penny and moment of time counts. Digital work is essential, but tough. It’s time consuming, technical and extremely important. For many small to medium sized charities, managing digital activity means squeezing it in whenever there’s time, and frantically Googling the technical stuff they don’t understand in the hope that we might get a basic grasp of something other people have spent years learning how to do. That’s why we at Platypus Digital created Control R, the world’s first free online training course in digital marketing skills developed solely for non-profits. Here’s why you should sign up. You’ll learn all the basics of everything Ok, we can’t teach you absolutely everything, because even we don’t know it all. But we can teach you the basics of Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, Google Adwords, email campaigns, search engine optimisation and a whole host more. You’ll learn how to set campaigns up correctly, how to monitor them properly, how to optimise them effectively, and how to tie everything together into one amazing, synchronised strategy that achieves your objectives. It’s bitesized If you’re anything like us, 9 to 5 training days just aren’t for you. All too often, we’ve forgotten half the stuff we were taught in the morning by the end of the day. The Control R series is split into really easy to digest sessions that last no longer than 40 mins each. You get emailed a session once a week so you won’t get overwhelmed. You’ll complete the course in seven weeks.  We specialise in charity comms The entire Control R training series was developed on behalf of charities. That means no lengthy sections about ecommerce or branding that don’t apply to you. Platypus Digital specialises in digital marketing for charities, which means we know exactly what you need to achieve, how tightly you have to budget, and how much pressure you’re under to make every penny count. If you work in charity digital comms, you’ll struggle to find a training course that can teach you as much about talking specifically to donors, volunteers and fundraisers as this one will. Thousands of charity comms staff are already benefitting Our Control R series has helped over 1,100 participants so far, and in a variety of roles from Trustees to Coordinators. 75% of them rated the training as a 4 out of 5 when asked how actionable it was against their everyday work, which mean this really is a course that can help everyone. Control R was developed for the 99.9% of charities who will never benefit from an ice bucket challenge or a no-makeup selfie, but we count some really notable names amongst our students, and 100% of our trainees said they would recommend Control R to their charity colleagues. We’re thrilled that the series is helping lots of charity employees, because most of us are working to make the world a better place. By helping you deliver stirling campaigns, we’re helping your beneficiaries, and that’s what Platypus Digital is all about. How do I sign up? You can sign up for the Control R series here We’ll send you a video a week, but you can watch them whenever you like. At the end of our seven week course, you’ll have a much better understanding of charity digital marketing, and how everything ties in together to form complementary campaign activity. See you online!    
    1310 Posted by Matt Collins
  • For small charities, every single penny and moment of time counts. Digital work is essential, but tough. It’s time consuming, technical and extremely important. For many small to medium sized charities, managing digital activity means squeezing it in whenever there’s time, and frantically Googling the technical stuff they don’t understand in the hope that we might get a basic grasp of something other people have spent years learning how to do. That’s why we at Platypus Digital created Control R, the world’s first free online training course in digital marketing skills developed solely for non-profits. Here’s why you should sign up. You’ll learn all the basics of everything Ok, we can’t teach you absolutely everything, because even we don’t know it all. But we can teach you the basics of Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, Google Adwords, email campaigns, search engine optimisation and a whole host more. You’ll learn how to set campaigns up correctly, how to monitor them properly, how to optimise them effectively, and how to tie everything together into one amazing, synchronised strategy that achieves your objectives. It’s bitesized If you’re anything like us, 9 to 5 training days just aren’t for you. All too often, we’ve forgotten half the stuff we were taught in the morning by the end of the day. The Control R series is split into really easy to digest sessions that last no longer than 40 mins each. You get emailed a session once a week so you won’t get overwhelmed. You’ll complete the course in seven weeks.  We specialise in charity comms The entire Control R training series was developed on behalf of charities. That means no lengthy sections about ecommerce or branding that don’t apply to you. Platypus Digital specialises in digital marketing for charities, which means we know exactly what you need to achieve, how tightly you have to budget, and how much pressure you’re under to make every penny count. If you work in charity digital comms, you’ll struggle to find a training course that can teach you as much about talking specifically to donors, volunteers and fundraisers as this one will. Thousands of charity comms staff are already benefitting Our Control R series has helped over 1,100 participants so far, and in a variety of roles from Trustees to Coordinators. 75% of them rated the training as a 4 out of 5 when asked how actionable it was against their everyday work, which mean this really is a course that can help everyone. Control R was developed for the 99.9% of charities who will never benefit from an ice bucket challenge or a no-makeup selfie, but we count some really notable names amongst our students, and 100% of our trainees said they would recommend Control R to their charity colleagues. We’re thrilled that the series is helping lots of charity employees, because most of us are working to make the world a better place. By helping you deliver stirling campaigns, we’re helping your beneficiaries, and that’s what Platypus Digital is all about. How do I sign up? You can sign up for the Control R series here We’ll send you a video a week, but you can watch them whenever you like. At the end of our seven week course, you’ll have a much better understanding of charity digital marketing, and how everything ties in together to form complementary campaign activity. See you online!    
    Nov 21, 2018 1310
  • 13 Nov 2018
    At Localgiving we like to highlight the inspirational challenges individual fundraisers carry out for our amazing charities and community groups. Every month I (Byron,Localgiving’s Membership Coordinator and helpline guy) will be picking out some of the very best active fundraisers on the platform. Here are some of the most inspiring causes and fundraising appeals we have seen this month.     The Upper Room (St Saviour's) Santa 5k fun run If you love dressing up and like moderate exercise, why not combine the two and do the Santa Winter fun run for a great cause. Matthew and Anna are doing exactly that whilst raising money for the Upper Room. Best of luck with it - I am sure you guys will ‘Blitzen’ it!   The Upper Room ( St.Saviour's) served 26,000 meals last year to the homeless. They have also helped 144 ex-offenders obtain a driving licence. In the last 3 years they have helped place over 200 people in full-time employment.   YMCA Manchester  You may have heard of a few big names in the wrestling world - John Cena, Dwayne Johnson and The Undertaker. But nothing compares to John Cooper, who for his 70th Birthday bouted with 70 people to raise money for YMCA Manchester. The YMCA was established in 1846 and is one of the oldest YMCA's in the world. They are proud to advocate the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised young people, and are committed to piloting new projects which engage young people and allow them to find their voice within their communities.     Sleep out 2018- St Petroc’s Society  Ever wanted to swap your comfy, warm and dry house (unless it is a student house) for the cold damp floor! No well, St Petroc’s amazing fundraisers did. This sleep-out raises hundreds of pounds every year. I didn't think it was fair to pick out a single fundraising page. Instead I wanted to say a collective thank you and well done to everyone taking part in the event. St Petroc’s mission is to provide accommodation, support and advice to the single homeless of Cornwall. Often falling outside the responsibility of statutory authorities, the single homeless often are sleeping rough and may have a range of difficulties, including mental ill health, relationship breakdown, drug or alcohol dependency, or an offending lifestyle which contribute to their homelessness and social exclusion. St Petroc's provide a diverse range of services for this particular group.    If these fundraisers have inspired you as much as they have us, why not set up a fundraising page and start fundraising for a local group you love today?
    1176 Posted by Byron Geldard
  • At Localgiving we like to highlight the inspirational challenges individual fundraisers carry out for our amazing charities and community groups. Every month I (Byron,Localgiving’s Membership Coordinator and helpline guy) will be picking out some of the very best active fundraisers on the platform. Here are some of the most inspiring causes and fundraising appeals we have seen this month.     The Upper Room (St Saviour's) Santa 5k fun run If you love dressing up and like moderate exercise, why not combine the two and do the Santa Winter fun run for a great cause. Matthew and Anna are doing exactly that whilst raising money for the Upper Room. Best of luck with it - I am sure you guys will ‘Blitzen’ it!   The Upper Room ( St.Saviour's) served 26,000 meals last year to the homeless. They have also helped 144 ex-offenders obtain a driving licence. In the last 3 years they have helped place over 200 people in full-time employment.   YMCA Manchester  You may have heard of a few big names in the wrestling world - John Cena, Dwayne Johnson and The Undertaker. But nothing compares to John Cooper, who for his 70th Birthday bouted with 70 people to raise money for YMCA Manchester. The YMCA was established in 1846 and is one of the oldest YMCA's in the world. They are proud to advocate the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised young people, and are committed to piloting new projects which engage young people and allow them to find their voice within their communities.     Sleep out 2018- St Petroc’s Society  Ever wanted to swap your comfy, warm and dry house (unless it is a student house) for the cold damp floor! No well, St Petroc’s amazing fundraisers did. This sleep-out raises hundreds of pounds every year. I didn't think it was fair to pick out a single fundraising page. Instead I wanted to say a collective thank you and well done to everyone taking part in the event. St Petroc’s mission is to provide accommodation, support and advice to the single homeless of Cornwall. Often falling outside the responsibility of statutory authorities, the single homeless often are sleeping rough and may have a range of difficulties, including mental ill health, relationship breakdown, drug or alcohol dependency, or an offending lifestyle which contribute to their homelessness and social exclusion. St Petroc's provide a diverse range of services for this particular group.    If these fundraisers have inspired you as much as they have us, why not set up a fundraising page and start fundraising for a local group you love today?
    Nov 13, 2018 1176
  • 23 Oct 2018
    When the spirits rise with ghastly cries, and the maggots crawl from hollow eyes, and the hairy-legged spiders creep and the reaper comes to help you sleep… Halloween is nearly here, but have not fear!  With a little creativity, this can be an excellent fundraising opportunity for your charity or cause. Here are a few ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre!   Hold a creepy costume contest One of the most fun parts of Halloween is the dressing up. Why not ask your supporters to make a small donation to take part in a fancy dress competition or even put on a frightening fashion show? Run a spooky walk in your neighbourhood Every neighbourhood has its haunted houses, rumours of people coming to ghastly ends and lost spirits that still roam the alleys in the dead of night. Run a midnight walk and see if you can raise the dead (or at least raise some funds)? Make your home a haunted house If you’ve got the space, why not convert your home or office into a haunted house. This is a chance to be really creative –cobwebs on the bannisters, skeletons in the closet, fog machines and pumpkin lined walkways. You could even ask people to dress up and jump out at your visitors to give them that extra adrenaline rush! Bake some terrifying treats With a bit of thought, a Halloween themed meal (spicy (be)-devilled potatoes anyone) or creepy cupcake sale will go down a storm.  If you’re feeling really mean you could even add a trick to some of your treats with a pinch of chilli or wasabi! Pumpkin carving competition  We’ve all marvelled at our neighbour’s beautifully carved porch pumpkins. Well, why not make a little cash from their talent! Ask your friends, neighbours and colleagues to take part in a pumpkin carving competition. Ask for a small donation to enter or for people to view the edible exhibit! Here at Localgiving we're always keen to learn about your fundraising actitivities and ideas. Please send us your Halloween images, tweets and posts and we'll be happy to share them - hopefully helping you to hit your fundraising GHOULS!!!  
    1987 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • When the spirits rise with ghastly cries, and the maggots crawl from hollow eyes, and the hairy-legged spiders creep and the reaper comes to help you sleep… Halloween is nearly here, but have not fear!  With a little creativity, this can be an excellent fundraising opportunity for your charity or cause. Here are a few ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre!   Hold a creepy costume contest One of the most fun parts of Halloween is the dressing up. Why not ask your supporters to make a small donation to take part in a fancy dress competition or even put on a frightening fashion show? Run a spooky walk in your neighbourhood Every neighbourhood has its haunted houses, rumours of people coming to ghastly ends and lost spirits that still roam the alleys in the dead of night. Run a midnight walk and see if you can raise the dead (or at least raise some funds)? Make your home a haunted house If you’ve got the space, why not convert your home or office into a haunted house. This is a chance to be really creative –cobwebs on the bannisters, skeletons in the closet, fog machines and pumpkin lined walkways. You could even ask people to dress up and jump out at your visitors to give them that extra adrenaline rush! Bake some terrifying treats With a bit of thought, a Halloween themed meal (spicy (be)-devilled potatoes anyone) or creepy cupcake sale will go down a storm.  If you’re feeling really mean you could even add a trick to some of your treats with a pinch of chilli or wasabi! Pumpkin carving competition  We’ve all marvelled at our neighbour’s beautifully carved porch pumpkins. Well, why not make a little cash from their talent! Ask your friends, neighbours and colleagues to take part in a pumpkin carving competition. Ask for a small donation to enter or for people to view the edible exhibit! Here at Localgiving we're always keen to learn about your fundraising actitivities and ideas. Please send us your Halloween images, tweets and posts and we'll be happy to share them - hopefully helping you to hit your fundraising GHOULS!!!  
    Oct 23, 2018 1987
  • 16 Oct 2018
    Your charity does amazing things. You know this, we know this – but do your potential donors or volunteers know this? While it is true that we live in an increasingly visual world, it is important not to underestimate the enduring power of persuasive writing. It (literally) pays to spend time on crafting your copy. Your browser does not support the video tag. In this blog I give six essential copywriting tips to help you raise awareness and bring in funding for your cause. Know your audience Before you put digit to key, the most important question should always be ‘who am I writing for and why?’ We all care about different causes. In most cases our interests are dictated by our characteristics and life experiences. Think carefully about what demographic you are writing for and how best to engage, gain the trust and motivate this audience. Harness the power of human stories Mastering the art of emotional engagement is vital for any copywriter, none more so than for those of us working with and for charities. One of the most effective ways to do this is through focussing on human stories.  Try to find a simple, memorable story that encapsulates the work that your organisation does and the impact it makes (to a charity marketer this should be the holy grail). Whenever possible, try to include direct quotes from your beneficiaries or clients. This not only makes your copy more emotionally engaging but also helps to build trust with your audience. Choose your stats wisely While an excessive use of numbers may be a turn-off, carefully chosen and positioned statistics can both hook readers in and motivate them to act. Statistics can be used both to show your charity fully understands an issue and to succinctly convey the impact of your own work.   Keep it simple When we are passionate about a cause, it is tempting to tell people everything about the need for our work and the impact we make.  Equally, for lovers of words, it may be frustrating to be told to tone down your language. However, with attention getting shorter, complex arguments and florid prose are better kept for elsewhere. Ask yourself what your reader really needs to know and be ruthless with the rest. Spend time on your subject line We’ve all done it. Worked for hours honing our perfect piece of copy and then quickly cobbled together a subject line or title. However, as the tabloids have proven year on year out, a bold, controversial or catchy headline can make a huge difference. Infact, this is why professional headline writers exist! A good starting point when writing title or headline is to follow the ‘4 R’s’: Urgent, Unique, Useful, and Ultra-specific. Time and tailor your ask Think of each paragraph you write as part of your reader’s  journey, a journey that leads to your call to action. Charities too often describe their groups’ activities and then tag on a quick, loosely related call-to-action at the end. If we want people to donate, volunteer their time, or share our message, you need to consider when the most effective time will be to ask for their support (i.e. at what point your reader will be most motivated to act). Sometimes, this may be at the start to instill a sense of urgency; other times it will come towards the end after having made a robust argument for your cause. And remember, the call-to-action itself should be as  simple, persuasive and specific as possible. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Writing great copy will always be as much about magic as maths. However, following these six tips will go a long way to helping you attract the supporters, donors or fundraisers you need!    Was this blog helpful? Why not check out the following blogs too: 5 of the best free design tools to help your charity shine 3 Charities To Have On Your Radar For Social Media Inspiration
    2560 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Your charity does amazing things. You know this, we know this – but do your potential donors or volunteers know this? While it is true that we live in an increasingly visual world, it is important not to underestimate the enduring power of persuasive writing. It (literally) pays to spend time on crafting your copy. Your browser does not support the video tag. In this blog I give six essential copywriting tips to help you raise awareness and bring in funding for your cause. Know your audience Before you put digit to key, the most important question should always be ‘who am I writing for and why?’ We all care about different causes. In most cases our interests are dictated by our characteristics and life experiences. Think carefully about what demographic you are writing for and how best to engage, gain the trust and motivate this audience. Harness the power of human stories Mastering the art of emotional engagement is vital for any copywriter, none more so than for those of us working with and for charities. One of the most effective ways to do this is through focussing on human stories.  Try to find a simple, memorable story that encapsulates the work that your organisation does and the impact it makes (to a charity marketer this should be the holy grail). Whenever possible, try to include direct quotes from your beneficiaries or clients. This not only makes your copy more emotionally engaging but also helps to build trust with your audience. Choose your stats wisely While an excessive use of numbers may be a turn-off, carefully chosen and positioned statistics can both hook readers in and motivate them to act. Statistics can be used both to show your charity fully understands an issue and to succinctly convey the impact of your own work.   Keep it simple When we are passionate about a cause, it is tempting to tell people everything about the need for our work and the impact we make.  Equally, for lovers of words, it may be frustrating to be told to tone down your language. However, with attention getting shorter, complex arguments and florid prose are better kept for elsewhere. Ask yourself what your reader really needs to know and be ruthless with the rest. Spend time on your subject line We’ve all done it. Worked for hours honing our perfect piece of copy and then quickly cobbled together a subject line or title. However, as the tabloids have proven year on year out, a bold, controversial or catchy headline can make a huge difference. Infact, this is why professional headline writers exist! A good starting point when writing title or headline is to follow the ‘4 R’s’: Urgent, Unique, Useful, and Ultra-specific. Time and tailor your ask Think of each paragraph you write as part of your reader’s  journey, a journey that leads to your call to action. Charities too often describe their groups’ activities and then tag on a quick, loosely related call-to-action at the end. If we want people to donate, volunteer their time, or share our message, you need to consider when the most effective time will be to ask for their support (i.e. at what point your reader will be most motivated to act). Sometimes, this may be at the start to instill a sense of urgency; other times it will come towards the end after having made a robust argument for your cause. And remember, the call-to-action itself should be as  simple, persuasive and specific as possible. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Writing great copy will always be as much about magic as maths. However, following these six tips will go a long way to helping you attract the supporters, donors or fundraisers you need!    Was this blog helpful? Why not check out the following blogs too: 5 of the best free design tools to help your charity shine 3 Charities To Have On Your Radar For Social Media Inspiration
    Oct 16, 2018 2560
  • 08 Oct 2018
    Senior managers and trustees of charities and social enterprises face a myriad of challenges. Managing a business is difficult enough. Running a social enterprise or a charity, which obliges you to search for innovative funding opportunities, deal with budgetary pressures caused by Government policies, put together engaging fundraising campaigns (often on shoe-string budgets), help clients who are suffering from complex issues and a complete a cornucopia of other tasks; can put enormous strain on your personal life, relationships, and mental well-being. Here are a few tips on how to reduce this strain and make your team happier and more productive. Train Your Team To Prepare For All Eventualities No organisation wants a stressed member of their team to slip and break their leg while contributing to an outreach programme. Your team could lose that colleague for months while they recover. In the same way, these organisations should ensure that the emotional challenges experienced by their workers and volunteers every day, by cases involving complex issues like drug addiction and violence, do not leave them feeling forced to withdraw from their roles due to mental ill-health because of these experiences. By training your senior management to give staff the tools to manage stress effectively and recover emotionally from traumatic experiences, you can reduce the risk of losing valuable staff for long periods due to sick leave caused by mental ill-health. Turn Your Work Team Into A Sports Team Exercise provides a fantastic opportunity to reduce stress. The positive endorphins released by the brain whenever you engage in physical activity will help you to put everything into perspective and approach the issue at hand from a different perspective. It’s difficult to stress about Monday’s emails while you’re trying not to get hit in the face by a squash ball. Plus, sports can foster a fantastic team spirit among your staff. What’s not to love? Eat And Sleep Well Being tired and hungry is hardly going to make you feel less stressed. Healthy diets and sleep patterns are essential for your colleagues’ mental well-being. Write Down How You Feel Sometimes you just need to let everything out. Particularly if you have had to deal with eight gruelling hours of difficult situations. Your notepad provides a brilliant outlet for these feelings. Writing can also let you detail the brighter aspects of your role. Writing and reading out funny stories about your job will help everyone to feel less stressed.   How We Can Help At Altruist Enterprises, we can sit down with you and create strategies to help your team manage the stresses involved in their day-to-day responsibilities, so that minor issues do not develop into emotionally draining crises. We have helped organisations across the country to increase their staff’s mental well-being and consequently, their motivation to boost that organisation’s growth. For more information on how we can help your team to eliminate stress, please click here.   Katie Buckingham is the Founder and Director of Altruist Enterprises; a passionate and caring provider of Resilience, Stress Management and Mental Health at Work training to organisations nationally. Find out more here www.altruistuk.com   
    1688 Posted by Katie Buckingham
  • Senior managers and trustees of charities and social enterprises face a myriad of challenges. Managing a business is difficult enough. Running a social enterprise or a charity, which obliges you to search for innovative funding opportunities, deal with budgetary pressures caused by Government policies, put together engaging fundraising campaigns (often on shoe-string budgets), help clients who are suffering from complex issues and a complete a cornucopia of other tasks; can put enormous strain on your personal life, relationships, and mental well-being. Here are a few tips on how to reduce this strain and make your team happier and more productive. Train Your Team To Prepare For All Eventualities No organisation wants a stressed member of their team to slip and break their leg while contributing to an outreach programme. Your team could lose that colleague for months while they recover. In the same way, these organisations should ensure that the emotional challenges experienced by their workers and volunteers every day, by cases involving complex issues like drug addiction and violence, do not leave them feeling forced to withdraw from their roles due to mental ill-health because of these experiences. By training your senior management to give staff the tools to manage stress effectively and recover emotionally from traumatic experiences, you can reduce the risk of losing valuable staff for long periods due to sick leave caused by mental ill-health. Turn Your Work Team Into A Sports Team Exercise provides a fantastic opportunity to reduce stress. The positive endorphins released by the brain whenever you engage in physical activity will help you to put everything into perspective and approach the issue at hand from a different perspective. It’s difficult to stress about Monday’s emails while you’re trying not to get hit in the face by a squash ball. Plus, sports can foster a fantastic team spirit among your staff. What’s not to love? Eat And Sleep Well Being tired and hungry is hardly going to make you feel less stressed. Healthy diets and sleep patterns are essential for your colleagues’ mental well-being. Write Down How You Feel Sometimes you just need to let everything out. Particularly if you have had to deal with eight gruelling hours of difficult situations. Your notepad provides a brilliant outlet for these feelings. Writing can also let you detail the brighter aspects of your role. Writing and reading out funny stories about your job will help everyone to feel less stressed.   How We Can Help At Altruist Enterprises, we can sit down with you and create strategies to help your team manage the stresses involved in their day-to-day responsibilities, so that minor issues do not develop into emotionally draining crises. We have helped organisations across the country to increase their staff’s mental well-being and consequently, their motivation to boost that organisation’s growth. For more information on how we can help your team to eliminate stress, please click here.   Katie Buckingham is the Founder and Director of Altruist Enterprises; a passionate and caring provider of Resilience, Stress Management and Mental Health at Work training to organisations nationally. Find out more here www.altruistuk.com   
    Oct 08, 2018 1688
  • 08 Oct 2018
    Keeping your social media feeds fresh can be challenging when you work for a small charity where time and resources are often stretched. However, by following a few other organisations that are nailing social media, you can have a source of ideas and inspiration to apply to your charity. Here are three organisations that are doing social media really well, and worth checking out if you’re struggling to engage with and grow your networks online. The list below consists of a small, medium and large charity from different cause areas, which have all managed to create entertaining, educational and engaging social media presences using methods which can be replicated with little to no budget, by any organisation. Young Women’s Trust Young Women's Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 struggling to live on low or no pay in England and Wales and who are at risk of being trapped in poverty. The organisation is active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and is doing great things across all platforms, however their Instagram in particular stands out from the crowd. Through their bright, catchy, branding and informative yet accessible tone-of-voice, it’s clear that the Young Women’s Trust understand their target audience and know how to talk to them through social. On Instagram, they use a number of different ways to engage with their audience through user-generated content.  User-generated content allows you to use images, videos, quotes, etc from beneficiaries, volunteers, staff, and any other brand ambassadors, to showcase the work of your charity, and is a great way to create eye-catching content for free. The Young Women’s Trust use Instagram takeovers and quotes to do just this, and are worth taking a look at for inspiration on how to do this well. The Old Vic The Old Vic is an independent not-for-profit theatre based in London, and a world leader in creativity and entertainment. As an organisation based on creativity, they understand the power of visuals. On Twitter, The Old Vic includes eye-catching media in the form of images, videos or GIFs with every single post. On Twitter, people who view videos are 50% more likely to be aware of a brand or organisation, and videos on Twitter are twice as memorable than videos viewed on other premium platforms. The Old Vic also demonstrates a strong understanding of the fact that 93% of Twitter video views take place on mobile devices, by keeping their videos short and snappy (the optimum length of a Twitter video is 45 seconds). To create video you don’t need any expensive equipment either - capturing video on your phone is a great way to show authenticity and build sentiment towards your organisation. National Trust The National Trust is a conservation charity protecting everything from historic houses, coastline, and gardens through to World Heritage Sites. They use a number of different social media channels to reach and engage with their audience, but in particular their use of Facebook is worth checking out. At the start of the year, Facebook announced they were changing the way we approach social media marketing on the platform. The new algorithm prioritises quality over quantity, to encourage sharing content your audience will find interesting. ‘Edutainment’ (educational + entertaining) content is the optimum way to ensure you’re doing this, by making sure that every post is either educational, entertaining, or ideally, both. The National Trust has really taken onboard the Facebook algorithm and posts a great mix of highly appealing ‘edutainment’ content, including ‘how to’ videos, seasonal advice, and amusing photos. By striking the balance of educating and entertaining they have built a strong and highly active Facebook audience whilst sharing the great work of their organisation. So, with a little forward planning and inspiration you can take a look at what other organisation’s are doing well, and apply their methods to your own organisation’s social media presence. Don’t be afraid to try new things and get creative - social media should be fun, and charities have such compelling stories to share. Hannah is Community Manager at Social Misfits Media, specialising in helping charities and social enterprises better use social media and digital to reach their goals. Follow Hannah and Social Misfits Media @HannahDonald20 and @MisfitsMedia.    
    2067 Posted by Hannah Donald
  • Keeping your social media feeds fresh can be challenging when you work for a small charity where time and resources are often stretched. However, by following a few other organisations that are nailing social media, you can have a source of ideas and inspiration to apply to your charity. Here are three organisations that are doing social media really well, and worth checking out if you’re struggling to engage with and grow your networks online. The list below consists of a small, medium and large charity from different cause areas, which have all managed to create entertaining, educational and engaging social media presences using methods which can be replicated with little to no budget, by any organisation. Young Women’s Trust Young Women's Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 struggling to live on low or no pay in England and Wales and who are at risk of being trapped in poverty. The organisation is active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and is doing great things across all platforms, however their Instagram in particular stands out from the crowd. Through their bright, catchy, branding and informative yet accessible tone-of-voice, it’s clear that the Young Women’s Trust understand their target audience and know how to talk to them through social. On Instagram, they use a number of different ways to engage with their audience through user-generated content.  User-generated content allows you to use images, videos, quotes, etc from beneficiaries, volunteers, staff, and any other brand ambassadors, to showcase the work of your charity, and is a great way to create eye-catching content for free. The Young Women’s Trust use Instagram takeovers and quotes to do just this, and are worth taking a look at for inspiration on how to do this well. The Old Vic The Old Vic is an independent not-for-profit theatre based in London, and a world leader in creativity and entertainment. As an organisation based on creativity, they understand the power of visuals. On Twitter, The Old Vic includes eye-catching media in the form of images, videos or GIFs with every single post. On Twitter, people who view videos are 50% more likely to be aware of a brand or organisation, and videos on Twitter are twice as memorable than videos viewed on other premium platforms. The Old Vic also demonstrates a strong understanding of the fact that 93% of Twitter video views take place on mobile devices, by keeping their videos short and snappy (the optimum length of a Twitter video is 45 seconds). To create video you don’t need any expensive equipment either - capturing video on your phone is a great way to show authenticity and build sentiment towards your organisation. National Trust The National Trust is a conservation charity protecting everything from historic houses, coastline, and gardens through to World Heritage Sites. They use a number of different social media channels to reach and engage with their audience, but in particular their use of Facebook is worth checking out. At the start of the year, Facebook announced they were changing the way we approach social media marketing on the platform. The new algorithm prioritises quality over quantity, to encourage sharing content your audience will find interesting. ‘Edutainment’ (educational + entertaining) content is the optimum way to ensure you’re doing this, by making sure that every post is either educational, entertaining, or ideally, both. The National Trust has really taken onboard the Facebook algorithm and posts a great mix of highly appealing ‘edutainment’ content, including ‘how to’ videos, seasonal advice, and amusing photos. By striking the balance of educating and entertaining they have built a strong and highly active Facebook audience whilst sharing the great work of their organisation. So, with a little forward planning and inspiration you can take a look at what other organisation’s are doing well, and apply their methods to your own organisation’s social media presence. Don’t be afraid to try new things and get creative - social media should be fun, and charities have such compelling stories to share. Hannah is Community Manager at Social Misfits Media, specialising in helping charities and social enterprises better use social media and digital to reach their goals. Follow Hannah and Social Misfits Media @HannahDonald20 and @MisfitsMedia.    
    Oct 08, 2018 2067
  • 18 Sep 2018
    Hi, I’m Alex from Localgiving's Development Team. I’m delighted to announce a series of major updates and improvements to our fundraising product. Sometimes you need more than just a new lick of paint. This is why we’ve looked at our current fundraising pages and thought hard how we could make these pages more feature rich, easier to use and more pleasing to look at from various devices, desktop to mobile. We hope that this will help local charities and their fundraisers to better engage donors - bringing in more funding for local causes across the UK. These changes will provide a better user experience both for fundraisers and their supporters - improving both functionality, design and putting more control in the hands of fundraisers. This marks a significant upgrade to Localgiving’s core product and helps us stand out as a forward looking, value for money fundraising platform. Here are just some of the improvements we’ve made to the fundraising pages, hope you’ll like them: Fresh, friendly and accessible design Quick sign up process where you can save and come back to finish it at any time Tips at each stage to help you maximise the impact of your fundraising page Integrated social media buttons to improve communication with supporters Intuitive user interface and fundraiser page layout Ability to upload videos and up to 8 images Ability to send updates to your supporters through images and videos Optimised for smartphones and tablets Ability to choose from a range of set events or input your own activity   We hope that these improvements not only provide our valued fundraisers with a more enjoyable experience, but ultimately help them bring in even more donations for our groups. We look forward to hearing your feedback soon!
    1777 Posted by Alex Kirillov
  • Hi, I’m Alex from Localgiving's Development Team. I’m delighted to announce a series of major updates and improvements to our fundraising product. Sometimes you need more than just a new lick of paint. This is why we’ve looked at our current fundraising pages and thought hard how we could make these pages more feature rich, easier to use and more pleasing to look at from various devices, desktop to mobile. We hope that this will help local charities and their fundraisers to better engage donors - bringing in more funding for local causes across the UK. These changes will provide a better user experience both for fundraisers and their supporters - improving both functionality, design and putting more control in the hands of fundraisers. This marks a significant upgrade to Localgiving’s core product and helps us stand out as a forward looking, value for money fundraising platform. Here are just some of the improvements we’ve made to the fundraising pages, hope you’ll like them: Fresh, friendly and accessible design Quick sign up process where you can save and come back to finish it at any time Tips at each stage to help you maximise the impact of your fundraising page Integrated social media buttons to improve communication with supporters Intuitive user interface and fundraiser page layout Ability to upload videos and up to 8 images Ability to send updates to your supporters through images and videos Optimised for smartphones and tablets Ability to choose from a range of set events or input your own activity   We hope that these improvements not only provide our valued fundraisers with a more enjoyable experience, but ultimately help them bring in even more donations for our groups. We look forward to hearing your feedback soon!
    Sep 18, 2018 1777
  • 17 Sep 2018
    Few would deny that Adobe still lead the way in all things graphic design. Unfortunately, Adobe products (Illustrator, indesign, Photoshop etc) are prohibitively expensive for many people, including most small, local charities. Furthermore, not all of us require the vast array of functions offered by adobe programs. Luckily, there are some fantastic free alternatives out there for those of us who want to produce professional looking designs but are a little short on time, resources and/or design skills. Here are five few of our current favourites: Canva Canva is a simple, intuitive graphic design tool. It is excellent for creating professional looking designs for all sorts of content –from presentations, to social media posts. Canva offers a straight forward drag-and drop- interface, with a huge resource library of templates and images. This makes it the perfect starting point for those without much design experience, or who are short on time.   GIMP GIMP is one of the most sophisticated free tools for visual artists. Many argue that this open-source software offers capabilities that rival those offered by Adobe software. GIMP has an abundance of tools from colour correction to cloning, enabling  you to create refined, professional designs  for any design project. However, it can take considerable time to learn and s not the most suitable tool for those wanting simple, quick designs.   Gravit Designer Gravit designer is an  ideal halfway house between Canva and Gimp.  Gravit offers far more flexibility and opportunities for customisation than Canva but without the incredible (but somewhat intimidating) array of options offered by GIMP.     Piktochart Piktochart allows you to make engaging, interactive infographics in no time.  Infographics are an incredibly powerful tool for engaging your audience and data sharing. Piktochart requires no previous design skills and has a good range of free templates and library of icons.   Pablo Pablo is perfect for those looking to create quick, instantly shareable social media content. Its beauty lies in its simplicity – visual content can be created and posted on your social media channels in just a couple of minutes.   There are plenty of other free design tools that your charity or community  group may benefit from -  please do share these with us!
    1831 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Few would deny that Adobe still lead the way in all things graphic design. Unfortunately, Adobe products (Illustrator, indesign, Photoshop etc) are prohibitively expensive for many people, including most small, local charities. Furthermore, not all of us require the vast array of functions offered by adobe programs. Luckily, there are some fantastic free alternatives out there for those of us who want to produce professional looking designs but are a little short on time, resources and/or design skills. Here are five few of our current favourites: Canva Canva is a simple, intuitive graphic design tool. It is excellent for creating professional looking designs for all sorts of content –from presentations, to social media posts. Canva offers a straight forward drag-and drop- interface, with a huge resource library of templates and images. This makes it the perfect starting point for those without much design experience, or who are short on time.   GIMP GIMP is one of the most sophisticated free tools for visual artists. Many argue that this open-source software offers capabilities that rival those offered by Adobe software. GIMP has an abundance of tools from colour correction to cloning, enabling  you to create refined, professional designs  for any design project. However, it can take considerable time to learn and s not the most suitable tool for those wanting simple, quick designs.   Gravit Designer Gravit designer is an  ideal halfway house between Canva and Gimp.  Gravit offers far more flexibility and opportunities for customisation than Canva but without the incredible (but somewhat intimidating) array of options offered by GIMP.     Piktochart Piktochart allows you to make engaging, interactive infographics in no time.  Infographics are an incredibly powerful tool for engaging your audience and data sharing. Piktochart requires no previous design skills and has a good range of free templates and library of icons.   Pablo Pablo is perfect for those looking to create quick, instantly shareable social media content. Its beauty lies in its simplicity – visual content can be created and posted on your social media channels in just a couple of minutes.   There are plenty of other free design tools that your charity or community  group may benefit from -  please do share these with us!
    Sep 17, 2018 1831
  • 22 Aug 2018
    Although many small charities work within a local community, you’ll recognise the importance of communicating your impact across as vast a landscape as possible. Increased awareness of your work fosters increased support, from the public, other political stakeholders and policy makers themselves. Increased support gives rise to boosted influence, better funding and stronger opportunities to continue your core efforts. Yet, when you’re concentrating on doing what you do best in the local community, it can be difficult to understand where your audience can be found, and how to encourage them to support your cause. Perhaps the true difficulty is entirely within that second part: thanks to social media, locating potentially sympathetic individuals has become easier. The problem is it has become easier for everyone, and getting the public to support you, specifically you, is a more nuanced challenge than ever before. With 90% of MPs active on Twitter, charities and campaigning bodies are rightfully heading to social media to communicate their messaging. Online, however, social media visitors aren’t settling down at a desk for the long read, ready to pay full attention: they’re scrolling through, passing by, stopping to get off the train, pausing to unpack a hurried lunch on a bench. You’ve got seconds to get people interested, to make them remember you, and you’ve got to do this knowing that they’re not reading but skimming. They’re glancing your way, and you need to make them look. This is why short animated videos work: they give us something to look at and remember. 65% of us identify as visual learners, meaning we want to see what you mean, not read it, and with videos performing on Twitter six times better than images, we want to see something that can keep up with our impatient attention spans. With videos on social media autoplaying by default, the animation arrives on screen before the viewer has decided to scroll on, the message is shown, not told, and by finishing with a link to your website or campaign, the viewer is encouraged to learn more about the cause you’ve dangled intriguingly before them. Plus once you’ve got someone’s attention, you can pack much more information into a 20-30 second video than in a static image, or in a paragraph of text - at least in a paragraph that someone is going to finish reading. Animated content stands out in the jostling social media sphere, and utilises the best ways to achieve engagement. Such clips take care of engaging the larger crowd, and you can focus on the crucial local work. Joy Dempsey is a Sales Development Representative at Senate Media, helping charities and campaigning bodies to increase engagement with their key messages, using animation. Get in touch: visualcontent@senatemedia.co.uk   
    2016 Posted by Joy Dempsey
  • Although many small charities work within a local community, you’ll recognise the importance of communicating your impact across as vast a landscape as possible. Increased awareness of your work fosters increased support, from the public, other political stakeholders and policy makers themselves. Increased support gives rise to boosted influence, better funding and stronger opportunities to continue your core efforts. Yet, when you’re concentrating on doing what you do best in the local community, it can be difficult to understand where your audience can be found, and how to encourage them to support your cause. Perhaps the true difficulty is entirely within that second part: thanks to social media, locating potentially sympathetic individuals has become easier. The problem is it has become easier for everyone, and getting the public to support you, specifically you, is a more nuanced challenge than ever before. With 90% of MPs active on Twitter, charities and campaigning bodies are rightfully heading to social media to communicate their messaging. Online, however, social media visitors aren’t settling down at a desk for the long read, ready to pay full attention: they’re scrolling through, passing by, stopping to get off the train, pausing to unpack a hurried lunch on a bench. You’ve got seconds to get people interested, to make them remember you, and you’ve got to do this knowing that they’re not reading but skimming. They’re glancing your way, and you need to make them look. This is why short animated videos work: they give us something to look at and remember. 65% of us identify as visual learners, meaning we want to see what you mean, not read it, and with videos performing on Twitter six times better than images, we want to see something that can keep up with our impatient attention spans. With videos on social media autoplaying by default, the animation arrives on screen before the viewer has decided to scroll on, the message is shown, not told, and by finishing with a link to your website or campaign, the viewer is encouraged to learn more about the cause you’ve dangled intriguingly before them. Plus once you’ve got someone’s attention, you can pack much more information into a 20-30 second video than in a static image, or in a paragraph of text - at least in a paragraph that someone is going to finish reading. Animated content stands out in the jostling social media sphere, and utilises the best ways to achieve engagement. Such clips take care of engaging the larger crowd, and you can focus on the crucial local work. Joy Dempsey is a Sales Development Representative at Senate Media, helping charities and campaigning bodies to increase engagement with their key messages, using animation. Get in touch: visualcontent@senatemedia.co.uk   
    Aug 22, 2018 2016
  • 20 Aug 2018
    On September 16th, I will swim 10K down the River Dart to raise money for Womankind, an amazing organisation supporting women in the Bristol area to improve their mental health and well-being so they can experience a better quality of life. It's a long way to swim and this summer amidst the sun and fun, I’ve been fitting in long training swims. I thought it would be a nice thing to share reflections of the training process, which could be applied to all sorts of physical challenges…here are my 5 top tips for taking on a physical challenge! Planning and recording your progress can be a real motivator. I follow a training plan and make enough time in my week to do the training session fully! I write down what I’ve done and looking back at this is a good psychological boost. Take snacks. I don’t know about you but swimming makes me peckish! If I’m doing a long session, a handful of nuts here and there makes it more manageable. I forgot to bring anything one session and by the end of it I was basically doing doggy paddle with jelly arms! All the gear can be a good idea! Buy equipment and training gear to make it more comfortable and easier. It took me weeks to find the right wetsuit, and a neck protector has helped prevent painful friction burns on the neck. Raise money for a cause you believe in- it will motivate you and help you push through those tricky training milestones. It’s amazing the number of excuses ‘that voice’ comes up with for shortening a training session or not doing it at all, but for me the stronger voice that overrides is the one saying ‘think of why you are doing it’- Womankind is an organisation I believe in, and this gives me strength. Have fun and enjoy the scenery along the way! It’s easy to start obsessing over distance and taking it too seriously, but it’s important to have a sense of humour and make it into a positive experience. Outdoor training, especially with others can be a wonderful activity so embrace this as well as the more serious task of ticking off training swims. With this physical challenge, I’m aiming to raise £1000 for Womankind and it would be great if you could support me to complete the swim! You can read more about my challenge at the link below: https://localgiving.org/fundraising/10kfor1kforwomankind/. Thanks in advance and good luck with your physical challenge!  
    2004 Posted by Elizabeth Spencer
  • On September 16th, I will swim 10K down the River Dart to raise money for Womankind, an amazing organisation supporting women in the Bristol area to improve their mental health and well-being so they can experience a better quality of life. It's a long way to swim and this summer amidst the sun and fun, I’ve been fitting in long training swims. I thought it would be a nice thing to share reflections of the training process, which could be applied to all sorts of physical challenges…here are my 5 top tips for taking on a physical challenge! Planning and recording your progress can be a real motivator. I follow a training plan and make enough time in my week to do the training session fully! I write down what I’ve done and looking back at this is a good psychological boost. Take snacks. I don’t know about you but swimming makes me peckish! If I’m doing a long session, a handful of nuts here and there makes it more manageable. I forgot to bring anything one session and by the end of it I was basically doing doggy paddle with jelly arms! All the gear can be a good idea! Buy equipment and training gear to make it more comfortable and easier. It took me weeks to find the right wetsuit, and a neck protector has helped prevent painful friction burns on the neck. Raise money for a cause you believe in- it will motivate you and help you push through those tricky training milestones. It’s amazing the number of excuses ‘that voice’ comes up with for shortening a training session or not doing it at all, but for me the stronger voice that overrides is the one saying ‘think of why you are doing it’- Womankind is an organisation I believe in, and this gives me strength. Have fun and enjoy the scenery along the way! It’s easy to start obsessing over distance and taking it too seriously, but it’s important to have a sense of humour and make it into a positive experience. Outdoor training, especially with others can be a wonderful activity so embrace this as well as the more serious task of ticking off training swims. With this physical challenge, I’m aiming to raise £1000 for Womankind and it would be great if you could support me to complete the swim! You can read more about my challenge at the link below: https://localgiving.org/fundraising/10kfor1kforwomankind/. Thanks in advance and good luck with your physical challenge!  
    Aug 20, 2018 2004