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278 blogs
  • 17 Sep 2015
    Ten tips for writing a press release This week Kay Parris follows up her excellent blog, How to make friends with the media - Part 1, with ten top tips for writing an informative and effective press release. A press release (also known as a news or media release) should be short, striking and informative. 1. Begin with a compelling headline that tells a journalist the crux of the matter. Don’t be obscure. If the story is: “Ed Sheeran to open new community shop”, then that’s your headline – not “Guess who’s coming to town”. 2. Make sure your opening sentences answer the essential questions about your story: Who? When? What? Where? And Why? 3. Avoid jargon and acronyms – your members might know what you’re talking about, but no one else will bother to find out. 4. Use (and attribute) great quotes where possible, to bring your story to life. 5. Write simply, clearly and accurately. A hard-pressed journalist will often run a good press release more or less verbatim as a story. 6. Keep it short – ideally 300 words max for the main story, 600 only if necessary. 7. Include a named contact person, with their email and phone number. 8. Don’t bog your story down with background details. Add them to the end of the press release under the heading: ‘Notes for editors’. Always include key points here about your charity and its mission. 9. Check your work very carefully for errors. 10. Use email to send out your press release, with the headline or a brief description of the story in the email subject box. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.  Image by NS Newsflash   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris Don't save you pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    2302 Posted by Kay Parris
  • Ten tips for writing a press release This week Kay Parris follows up her excellent blog, How to make friends with the media - Part 1, with ten top tips for writing an informative and effective press release. A press release (also known as a news or media release) should be short, striking and informative. 1. Begin with a compelling headline that tells a journalist the crux of the matter. Don’t be obscure. If the story is: “Ed Sheeran to open new community shop”, then that’s your headline – not “Guess who’s coming to town”. 2. Make sure your opening sentences answer the essential questions about your story: Who? When? What? Where? And Why? 3. Avoid jargon and acronyms – your members might know what you’re talking about, but no one else will bother to find out. 4. Use (and attribute) great quotes where possible, to bring your story to life. 5. Write simply, clearly and accurately. A hard-pressed journalist will often run a good press release more or less verbatim as a story. 6. Keep it short – ideally 300 words max for the main story, 600 only if necessary. 7. Include a named contact person, with their email and phone number. 8. Don’t bog your story down with background details. Add them to the end of the press release under the heading: ‘Notes for editors’. Always include key points here about your charity and its mission. 9. Check your work very carefully for errors. 10. Use email to send out your press release, with the headline or a brief description of the story in the email subject box. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.  Image by NS Newsflash   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris Don't save you pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    Sep 17, 2015 2302
  • 17 Sep 2015
      Effective communication is vital to any charity’s chances of survival. After all, few people support causes they know little or nothing about – and why should they? Charities use all kinds of channels to tell their stories – from websites, social media and email, to newsletters, phone calls and meetings. Yet, despite their best efforts, many small groups find their messages fail to reach far beyond an existing supporter base. Fortunately, this is where formal media – newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and media websites – can help. Community-based charities often sit on news that local, regional, specialist and sometimes even national media would love to run, if they only got to hear about it. The first trick is to spot when you have a potential media story. After that, the ABC of dealing with the media is to tell the right people your news, in the right way, at the right time. So first, check whether your story is really news: News stories must be new. “Teen addiction helpline takes record number of calls” is news. “Teen addiction helpline exists to support vulnerable young people” is not news. The launch of an appeal to keep a toddler group open may be news. An “ongoing” appeal is not. And neither is a launch that happened three weeks ago. News means that something out of the ordinary has happened. “Young offenders grow veg for homeless shelter” is news. “Community gardeners get busy sewing marrow seeds” is not news. A decent picture, if you have one, creates extra interest. Remember that any story you are aiming at the media must resonate with a target group of readers, listeners or viewers beyond your charity. “Sue Brown wins volunteer of the month” won’t qualify. Then go about things properly: A. Tell the right people Get to know your target media so you can aim your story at the right slot and the right journalist. A regional newspaper might split its news into: Business, Health, Education, Community and other areas. An ethical gardening magazine might have a Local Groups page. Approach the relevant section editor with an email, by name. B. In the right way Having familiarised yourself with your target media, tailor your story to the appropriate slot. If you are holding a barn dance in your village hall, a small notice will suffice to help you attract punters – and aiming for anything bigger would be unrealistic. Check the usual notices format, and email a couple of lines, in the correct format, to the notices editor or contact person. Similarly, try to recognise when your story is, say, not so much news as something for a letters’ column or listeners’ comment slot. Again, learn the formats for those slots – lengths, tones and types of piece – and stick to them. For news stories, the best approach is a press release (I will look at this in detail in 'How to make friends with the media - Part 2'). This is straightforward to write, but you need it to be perfect. Don’t follow up your press release with a “just checking you got my email” phone call. You will only irritate a journalist. They will contact you if they are interested. If you really need to follow up, send an email with new material – links to related photos, a reminder to RSVP if press are invited to your event. That way you get to issue a gentle prod, without becoming a pain. C. At the right time If your harvest story misses the September issue deadline for a community magazine, it won’t get saved for the Halloween edition. Too often, a great story gets wasted because a press release arrives too late to fit a production or programming schedule. Bear in mind that copy deadlines for a monthly publication will often arise two months before the publication date. News isn’t news for long. If you are targeting daily or weekly media, report on what has happened within 24 hours if you can. Where you want to invite the media along to an event, give at least two weeks notice. Exercise timing restraint. There is no point firing off press releases every five minutes. You will make it harder for a journalist to notice when a newsworthy item finally lands in their inbox.   Look out for How to make friends with the media- Part 2- coming soon! This will look at how to write an effective Press Release. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.        Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  How to make friend with the media (part 2) by Kay Parris How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina    Image copyright of Lewis Clarke    
    4143 Posted by Kay Parris
  •   Effective communication is vital to any charity’s chances of survival. After all, few people support causes they know little or nothing about – and why should they? Charities use all kinds of channels to tell their stories – from websites, social media and email, to newsletters, phone calls and meetings. Yet, despite their best efforts, many small groups find their messages fail to reach far beyond an existing supporter base. Fortunately, this is where formal media – newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and media websites – can help. Community-based charities often sit on news that local, regional, specialist and sometimes even national media would love to run, if they only got to hear about it. The first trick is to spot when you have a potential media story. After that, the ABC of dealing with the media is to tell the right people your news, in the right way, at the right time. So first, check whether your story is really news: News stories must be new. “Teen addiction helpline takes record number of calls” is news. “Teen addiction helpline exists to support vulnerable young people” is not news. The launch of an appeal to keep a toddler group open may be news. An “ongoing” appeal is not. And neither is a launch that happened three weeks ago. News means that something out of the ordinary has happened. “Young offenders grow veg for homeless shelter” is news. “Community gardeners get busy sewing marrow seeds” is not news. A decent picture, if you have one, creates extra interest. Remember that any story you are aiming at the media must resonate with a target group of readers, listeners or viewers beyond your charity. “Sue Brown wins volunteer of the month” won’t qualify. Then go about things properly: A. Tell the right people Get to know your target media so you can aim your story at the right slot and the right journalist. A regional newspaper might split its news into: Business, Health, Education, Community and other areas. An ethical gardening magazine might have a Local Groups page. Approach the relevant section editor with an email, by name. B. In the right way Having familiarised yourself with your target media, tailor your story to the appropriate slot. If you are holding a barn dance in your village hall, a small notice will suffice to help you attract punters – and aiming for anything bigger would be unrealistic. Check the usual notices format, and email a couple of lines, in the correct format, to the notices editor or contact person. Similarly, try to recognise when your story is, say, not so much news as something for a letters’ column or listeners’ comment slot. Again, learn the formats for those slots – lengths, tones and types of piece – and stick to them. For news stories, the best approach is a press release (I will look at this in detail in 'How to make friends with the media - Part 2'). This is straightforward to write, but you need it to be perfect. Don’t follow up your press release with a “just checking you got my email” phone call. You will only irritate a journalist. They will contact you if they are interested. If you really need to follow up, send an email with new material – links to related photos, a reminder to RSVP if press are invited to your event. That way you get to issue a gentle prod, without becoming a pain. C. At the right time If your harvest story misses the September issue deadline for a community magazine, it won’t get saved for the Halloween edition. Too often, a great story gets wasted because a press release arrives too late to fit a production or programming schedule. Bear in mind that copy deadlines for a monthly publication will often arise two months before the publication date. News isn’t news for long. If you are targeting daily or weekly media, report on what has happened within 24 hours if you can. Where you want to invite the media along to an event, give at least two weeks notice. Exercise timing restraint. There is no point firing off press releases every five minutes. You will make it harder for a journalist to notice when a newsworthy item finally lands in their inbox.   Look out for How to make friends with the media- Part 2- coming soon! This will look at how to write an effective Press Release. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.        Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  How to make friend with the media (part 2) by Kay Parris How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina    Image copyright of Lewis Clarke    
    Sep 17, 2015 4143
  • 07 Sep 2015
    With Grow Your Tenner fast approaching it’s important for charities to look for new potential donors and fundraisers within their local community in order to make the most of the campaign. The extra incentive of having a donation of up to £10 doubled makes Grow Your Tenner a great time to reach out to new groups that you may not have thought to contact or felt comfortable contacting before. Focusing on groups rather than individuals is a time effective way to find new donors or fundraisers. For every one person contacted within a particular group, you are opening your charity up to multiple, potential donors who you would have never interacted with before. Groups also make fantastic fundraisers. When contacting groups don’t just think about approaching them as donors but suggest some team fundraising. You could even make the most of some healthy team competition! On Localgiving, each fundraiser on average brings 10 new online donors to their charity that, on average, raised £400 per charity. So, reaching out to groups as fundraisers is certainly worth considering. Below are 4 key types of community group who you should be reaching out to: 1. Local Businesses Local businesses are often keen to find charitable activities for their staff so why not approach them and suggest a fundraising competition within the office? When approaching local businesses always think of what you can offer them in return, whether it be publicity at a fundraising event or a day of volunteering for their staff.    2.  Sports Groups These groups will be more willing to take on physical challenges and will enjoy the competition of team fundraising. Ask if you can put up posters around your local sports clubs or ask to talk about your cause at an event.   3. Schools Kids make great fundraisers as they are often full of energy and enthusiastic about local causes. Approaching schools opens your donor base up to a parents and teachers as well. Why not suggest talking about your cause as an assembly or host a fundraising event that will be more appealing to kids.   4. Community Groups This can be anything from a book club to a dance class. Do your research on the groups that exist in your local area and approach them about donating to, or fundraising for, your cause. Ask to be invited to their next meeting so you can interact with as many new potential donors as possible. Whenever you are reaching out to new donors or fundraising make sure you have a clear ask based around Grow Your Tenner and think in advance about what you would like from each group. Also make sure to scale your ask depending on who you speak to. Any donation up to £10 will be matched during the campaign - people could donate £2 or £5 and still have their donation doubled. Always try your best to meet the groups in person. This way they will see your passion for the cause first hand and you will be able to make the experience more personal. You can also use this as an opportunity to hand out promotional material surrounding the campaign. Click here for our downloadable poster with the 4 key groups to target within your community. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Localgiving help desk on 0300 111 2340.
    2817 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • With Grow Your Tenner fast approaching it’s important for charities to look for new potential donors and fundraisers within their local community in order to make the most of the campaign. The extra incentive of having a donation of up to £10 doubled makes Grow Your Tenner a great time to reach out to new groups that you may not have thought to contact or felt comfortable contacting before. Focusing on groups rather than individuals is a time effective way to find new donors or fundraisers. For every one person contacted within a particular group, you are opening your charity up to multiple, potential donors who you would have never interacted with before. Groups also make fantastic fundraisers. When contacting groups don’t just think about approaching them as donors but suggest some team fundraising. You could even make the most of some healthy team competition! On Localgiving, each fundraiser on average brings 10 new online donors to their charity that, on average, raised £400 per charity. So, reaching out to groups as fundraisers is certainly worth considering. Below are 4 key types of community group who you should be reaching out to: 1. Local Businesses Local businesses are often keen to find charitable activities for their staff so why not approach them and suggest a fundraising competition within the office? When approaching local businesses always think of what you can offer them in return, whether it be publicity at a fundraising event or a day of volunteering for their staff.    2.  Sports Groups These groups will be more willing to take on physical challenges and will enjoy the competition of team fundraising. Ask if you can put up posters around your local sports clubs or ask to talk about your cause at an event.   3. Schools Kids make great fundraisers as they are often full of energy and enthusiastic about local causes. Approaching schools opens your donor base up to a parents and teachers as well. Why not suggest talking about your cause as an assembly or host a fundraising event that will be more appealing to kids.   4. Community Groups This can be anything from a book club to a dance class. Do your research on the groups that exist in your local area and approach them about donating to, or fundraising for, your cause. Ask to be invited to their next meeting so you can interact with as many new potential donors as possible. Whenever you are reaching out to new donors or fundraising make sure you have a clear ask based around Grow Your Tenner and think in advance about what you would like from each group. Also make sure to scale your ask depending on who you speak to. Any donation up to £10 will be matched during the campaign - people could donate £2 or £5 and still have their donation doubled. Always try your best to meet the groups in person. This way they will see your passion for the cause first hand and you will be able to make the experience more personal. You can also use this as an opportunity to hand out promotional material surrounding the campaign. Click here for our downloadable poster with the 4 key groups to target within your community. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Localgiving help desk on 0300 111 2340.
    Sep 07, 2015 2817
  • 04 Sep 2015
    It is impossible not to be moved by the tragic scenes taking place in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – the crammed trains and boats, hauntingly reminiscent of our not-too-distant history. Images of desperate people, making treacherous journeys to escape war-torn regions. Many of us want to do our bit in this time of great human need. However, we can’t all be handing out provisions in Budapest, Kos or Calais. So, how then can we help? There are many larger charities, national and international, that have a proven track record in supporting refugees - UNHCR, Refugee Action and the  British Red Cross to name a few. These organisations provide exceptional emergency support and advocacy. However, much of the long term support required by asylum seekers and refugees is provided by small, locally-based community groups and solidarity organisations. Once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face multiple, complex issues – be it trauma, exploitation or social isolation. These grassroots organisations provide the essential support needed to empower refugees and enable them to fully integrate and flourish. Support local groups As a member organisation for local charities and community groups, Localgiving is proud to work with many of these amazing groups from across the country. To highlight just a few: RETAS provide education and training to refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire to help them rebuild their lives in the UK Embrace, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provide a drop-in service for female asylum seekers and their children across Staffordshire who are experiencing hardship and social isolation NNRF work with and for refugees and asylum seekers across Nottinghamshire, offering practical advice, information, support and friendship CLEAR provide advice and education to both settled and developing refugee communities in Southampton Slough Immigration Aid Unit empower people by ensuring they know, and can access their legal rights under immigration law Ourmala support refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to find strength and hope through yoga These groups all rely on their local communities – for both volunteering and financial support. To find out more about how you can get involved with groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities here. You don’t have to be in Calais to play your part  sometimes the biggest difference you can make, even in times of international crises, is on your own doorstep.     Update (07/09/15): A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or offered  support to any of the charities above so far. I am just updating this blog to let you know about a new member of Localgiving, The Bike Project. This group receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them up at their community workshops, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers in London.       
    3790 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • It is impossible not to be moved by the tragic scenes taking place in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – the crammed trains and boats, hauntingly reminiscent of our not-too-distant history. Images of desperate people, making treacherous journeys to escape war-torn regions. Many of us want to do our bit in this time of great human need. However, we can’t all be handing out provisions in Budapest, Kos or Calais. So, how then can we help? There are many larger charities, national and international, that have a proven track record in supporting refugees - UNHCR, Refugee Action and the  British Red Cross to name a few. These organisations provide exceptional emergency support and advocacy. However, much of the long term support required by asylum seekers and refugees is provided by small, locally-based community groups and solidarity organisations. Once in the UK, refugees and asylum seekers face multiple, complex issues – be it trauma, exploitation or social isolation. These grassroots organisations provide the essential support needed to empower refugees and enable them to fully integrate and flourish. Support local groups As a member organisation for local charities and community groups, Localgiving is proud to work with many of these amazing groups from across the country. To highlight just a few: RETAS provide education and training to refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire to help them rebuild their lives in the UK Embrace, based in Stoke-on-Trent, provide a drop-in service for female asylum seekers and their children across Staffordshire who are experiencing hardship and social isolation NNRF work with and for refugees and asylum seekers across Nottinghamshire, offering practical advice, information, support and friendship CLEAR provide advice and education to both settled and developing refugee communities in Southampton Slough Immigration Aid Unit empower people by ensuring they know, and can access their legal rights under immigration law Ourmala support refugee and asylum-seeking women living in London to find strength and hope through yoga These groups all rely on their local communities – for both volunteering and financial support. To find out more about how you can get involved with groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers in your area, you can search for relevant charities here. You don’t have to be in Calais to play your part  sometimes the biggest difference you can make, even in times of international crises, is on your own doorstep.     Update (07/09/15): A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or offered  support to any of the charities above so far. I am just updating this blog to let you know about a new member of Localgiving, The Bike Project. This group receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them up at their community workshops, and donate them to refugees and asylum seekers in London.       
    Sep 04, 2015 3790
  • 01 Sep 2015
    Localgiving’s response to the case of Samuel Rae Today’s newspaper headlines make uncomfortable reading for all involved in the voluntary sector in the UK and will have serious implications for data protection practice for charities. Various media sources have reported that Mr Samuel Rae, who has dementia, lost £35,000 through scams after his details were passed on to third parties by charities he supported. As a membership organisation for local charities and community groups across the UK, Localgiving is deeply troubled by these findings and their potential implications. Firstly, we are appalled by what has happened to Mr Rae, his family and any other vulnerable people who may have had similar experiences.  We are particularly concerned by the suggestion that some of the charities implicated did not adhere to basic data protection laws or best practice. We are also concerned about the potential damage that this news may have on an already fragile charity sector. Supporters and their generosity are the lifeblood of Localgiving’s member groups. Their services, and indeed survival, are dependent on the thousands of individuals who give their time and money to these causes.  It is absolutely essential therefore that those who donate through our online giving platform can trust that the data they provide is fully protected. Our current practice Localgiving has procedures in place, intended to minimise the chance of any breaches or misuse of data. We do not provide any personal information to charities relating to donations unless we have specific and informed consent to do so (or where we are required to do so by applicable law). You can view our Privacy Policy here. Localgiving is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office in the United Kingdom which means our own processing and retention of personal information is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998. We are a member of the FRSB (Fundraising Standards Board) which allows us to remain in touch with fundraising standards that are relevant to our own charity members. Concerned donors Any donor who is  concerned or unsure about the  details they have shared with Localgiving when donating to a member group, can call our Help Desk on 0300 111 2340 or via email help@localgiving.com. We will update their  preferences, restricting the personal information accessible to the group they donated to. If donors wish to stop receiving communication from a member charity they have chosen to share  details with, we recommend that they contact the group directly. We believe that the general public needs to be made more aware of the procedure for lodging a complaint about charity behaviour, particularly around data protection and fundraising. Complaining to the FRSB is straightforward, and will enable appropriate  action to be taken to ensure that all charities  implement up-to-standard data control and fundraising practices. Moving forward In the light of this case, we understand that the industry standards will themselves come under scrutiny and may require tightening.  We will follow these discussions closely, participate where our input is relevant, and change our practice accordingly to ensure people donating through our platform will have the safest experience possible. As a membership organisation with a fundraising platform, we are looking at ways to ensure that all of our member organisations are fully aware of their own data protection responsibilities.   At present, we encourage our member charities to engage with donors who have opted to receive communications from them -  to thank them for their support and inform them about future activities.  In the light of today's news, we are compiling an information sheet on the subject of donor privacy for all of our member organisations that we will distribute shortly. Those who are involved in fundraising cannot afford to be complacent. We understand that, in order to maintain donor confidence both in Localgiving and our members, we must continue to observe best practice, while seeking improvements to our data protection measures wherever possible and appropriate.  If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  
    1657 Posted by Steve Mallinson
  • Localgiving’s response to the case of Samuel Rae Today’s newspaper headlines make uncomfortable reading for all involved in the voluntary sector in the UK and will have serious implications for data protection practice for charities. Various media sources have reported that Mr Samuel Rae, who has dementia, lost £35,000 through scams after his details were passed on to third parties by charities he supported. As a membership organisation for local charities and community groups across the UK, Localgiving is deeply troubled by these findings and their potential implications. Firstly, we are appalled by what has happened to Mr Rae, his family and any other vulnerable people who may have had similar experiences.  We are particularly concerned by the suggestion that some of the charities implicated did not adhere to basic data protection laws or best practice. We are also concerned about the potential damage that this news may have on an already fragile charity sector. Supporters and their generosity are the lifeblood of Localgiving’s member groups. Their services, and indeed survival, are dependent on the thousands of individuals who give their time and money to these causes.  It is absolutely essential therefore that those who donate through our online giving platform can trust that the data they provide is fully protected. Our current practice Localgiving has procedures in place, intended to minimise the chance of any breaches or misuse of data. We do not provide any personal information to charities relating to donations unless we have specific and informed consent to do so (or where we are required to do so by applicable law). You can view our Privacy Policy here. Localgiving is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office in the United Kingdom which means our own processing and retention of personal information is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998. We are a member of the FRSB (Fundraising Standards Board) which allows us to remain in touch with fundraising standards that are relevant to our own charity members. Concerned donors Any donor who is  concerned or unsure about the  details they have shared with Localgiving when donating to a member group, can call our Help Desk on 0300 111 2340 or via email help@localgiving.com. We will update their  preferences, restricting the personal information accessible to the group they donated to. If donors wish to stop receiving communication from a member charity they have chosen to share  details with, we recommend that they contact the group directly. We believe that the general public needs to be made more aware of the procedure for lodging a complaint about charity behaviour, particularly around data protection and fundraising. Complaining to the FRSB is straightforward, and will enable appropriate  action to be taken to ensure that all charities  implement up-to-standard data control and fundraising practices. Moving forward In the light of this case, we understand that the industry standards will themselves come under scrutiny and may require tightening.  We will follow these discussions closely, participate where our input is relevant, and change our practice accordingly to ensure people donating through our platform will have the safest experience possible. As a membership organisation with a fundraising platform, we are looking at ways to ensure that all of our member organisations are fully aware of their own data protection responsibilities.   At present, we encourage our member charities to engage with donors who have opted to receive communications from them -  to thank them for their support and inform them about future activities.  In the light of today's news, we are compiling an information sheet on the subject of donor privacy for all of our member organisations that we will distribute shortly. Those who are involved in fundraising cannot afford to be complacent. We understand that, in order to maintain donor confidence both in Localgiving and our members, we must continue to observe best practice, while seeking improvements to our data protection measures wherever possible and appropriate.  If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  
    Sep 01, 2015 1657
  • 25 Aug 2015
    The likelihood is that you have heard of Social Impact Bonds (SIBS) at some time over the last couple of years. Some hail SIBs as an innovative, even revolutionary way to bring together the distinct expertise of different sectors - improving government efficiency while better addressing complex social issues. Others are more cautious, highlighting the potential risks of giving financial incentives to investors for achieving public goods. As is often the case with these things, the majority of us quickly become mired in jargon and leave it for later. The reality is that, wherever you stand, SIBS are a rapidly growing source of funding for not-for-profits. For this reason we felt it would be useful for you to have an outline of SIBs, enabling you (small, local charities and community groups) to decide whether, and if so how, you may be able to participate. What exactly are Social Impact Bonds? Social Impact Bonds are Pay-by-Performance contracts in which the financial risks (and potential profits) lie entirely with private investors, rather than with the government or civil society. A private investor initially pays for a commissioned project (Commissioners are public sector organisation’s such as local authorities or government departments). The investor then works alongside their chosen partner civil society organisations to achieve specific, measurable outcomes that are agreed upon at the start of the bond. The investors are only repaid by the commissioner if the outcomes are attained. If the agreed outcomes are achieved the investors are repaid by the commissioner and are also given a return for the financial risks they took.   What is the idea behind SIBS? The idea is to bring in private investment to tackle complex and expensive social challenges. The theory is that well-funded early intervention will prevent greater long-term problems and will, ultimately, reduce the public sector’s costs. For example, the first ever SIB, The Peterborough Social Impact Bond, was intended to reduce reoffending. Another ongoing SIB commissioned by Manchester Council is aimed at supporting young people transitioning between residential care to foster care (young people in Residential Care are statistically more likely to have low school attendance, substance abuse problems,  enter the criminal justice system and  become NEET- Not in Education, Employment or Training) Accountability and transparency - SIBs have clearly defined outcomes that must be achieved if investors are to ensure a return on their investment. Consequently, it is in the interests of all parties to ensure that the impact of the project is accurately monitored and evaluated. In the long term, this would mean a shift towards a more evidence based approach to government spending. How do SIBS work in practice? SIBS are still in their infancy and as a result there are relatively few case studies to draw upon. Moreover, those that do exist differ considerably in structure and practice.  The most frequently cited case study is the Peterborough Pilot. The Peterborough SIB, launched in March 2010, was aimed at reducing reoffending by prisoners released from Peterborough prison. Re-offending is an area where prevention has been proven to save the taxpayer money. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) worked in collaboration with 17 investors - mostly charitable trusts and foundations. As this was a “proof of concept” pilot,  this contract was not put out for competitive tender. However, competitive tendering is expected to become the norm for SIBs.   Service providers, together known as the One Service included: St Giles Trust; Ormiston Children and Families Trust (Ormiston); SOVA; YMCA, Peterborough and Fenland Mind (Mind) The contract agreed that the MOJ would make payments to investors if re-offending was reduced by at least 7.5%.  The greater the drop in reoffending beyond this threshold, the more the investors would receive The SIB offered support to 3,000 prisoners both inside prison and after release. The One Service offered a range of support including help with accommodation, low-level mental health needs and training and employment opportunities. In August 2014 the results for the first group of 1,000 prisoners on the Peterborough  SIB were announced - these showed an 8.4% reduction in reconviction rates relative to the national baseline. Peterborough SIB was cut short due after the MoJ announced they would be restructuring the probation service in April 2014. Are small/local charities  able to become service providers in Social Impact bonds? Unlike other pay-by-performance contracts, small charities are more likely to be able to participate in SIBS because the financial risk does not lie with them but with the investor. The government have been keen to highlight this point, claiming that SIBs enable service providers with a ‘deep understanding of the target group that they are trying to support and expertise in the types of intervention that are effective’ but that ‘lack both working capital and evaluation expertise’ to participate in interventions. Strictly speaking, any charity or social enterprise with a proven track record of delivering high social impact  is eligible to become a service provider - plenty of small, local charities meet this definition. However, since investors are carrying the initial financial burden, they are unlikely to be willing to take big risks when choosing which civil society organisations to work with. In practice, most service providers have been working with recognised,  medium to large, charities. Service providers involved in SIBS at present include: Action for children, Thames Reach, St Mungo’s and YMCA. For smaller charities considering participating in a SIB, one potential option would be to work collaboratively with a larger, lead charity. Flexibility, Monitoring and Evaluation One key point for smaller charities to consider when looking at whether they want to become involved in SIBs is whether they have (or see themselves as being able to gain) the capacity for wide scale data-collection and the flexibility to change their methods if goals are not being met. In order for investors to ensure a return on their investment they must provide solid evidence that they have achieved their outcomes. This involves rigorously monitoring and evaluating their programmes. A lot of the feedback  from charities involved in SIBS so far has directly referenced the high volume of data-collection required. For example, Teens and Toddlers, who have recently been supported by a SIB to deliver an educational and social training programme for 14-15 year olds in Manchester, have stated: “We had to be ready for the data demands that come weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly…This can be tough. I report monthly to our board of investors. Every bit of data is reported on and scrutinised, and although our investors are a great bunch, I still get a tad nervous. A bit like first night nerves on a monthly basis!” Whilst monitoring and evaluation demands are particularly high for SIBS, in truth this is reflective of a general trend towards demanding accountability for funds. For some charities, involvement with a SIB may give them the impetus and resources to better survive in this new era of funding conditionality. Publicity As SIBS are still a relatively new initiative they continue to attract a comparatively high level of media attention. If involved in a SIB, this attention may be used to increase public awareness of your charity and cause, potentially driving up demand for services and even bringing in opportunities for further investment. Teens and Toddlers claimed that they gained “fantastic media coverage” that has “ensured (their) name is recognised much more widely”. Of course, increased attention will always come with reputational risks as well as rewards. Can charities propose SIBS themselves? Theoretically anyone, be it a commissioner, investor, politician or service provider can propose a SIB. There is nothing preventing charities and community organisations developing SIB proposals. In fact, in many cases local charities are likely to have the best understanding of both the needs of their communities and the type of intervention that may be required to address them. However, the difficulty for smaller charities, with limited resources –  or, importantly, contacts – may come in approaching other actors (potential commissioners and investors) about implementation. For smaller charities interested in developing a SIB proposal, the best option would almost certainly be to work in partnership with other potential service providers and sound-out potential investors (using the contacts they have in businesses, trusts or foundations)as early as possible. To find out more about Social Impact Bonds you can visit: http://data.gov.uk/sib_knowledge_box/ https://www.gov.uk/social-impact-bonds http://knowhownonprofit.org/funding/social-investment-1/investment-types/social-impact-bonds http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/blog/anyone-social-impact-bondyes-please#sthash.VgtnT6Sp.dpuf http://www.i-for-change.co.uk/resources/sib-market.html http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Case-Studies.pdf    
    2575 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The likelihood is that you have heard of Social Impact Bonds (SIBS) at some time over the last couple of years. Some hail SIBs as an innovative, even revolutionary way to bring together the distinct expertise of different sectors - improving government efficiency while better addressing complex social issues. Others are more cautious, highlighting the potential risks of giving financial incentives to investors for achieving public goods. As is often the case with these things, the majority of us quickly become mired in jargon and leave it for later. The reality is that, wherever you stand, SIBS are a rapidly growing source of funding for not-for-profits. For this reason we felt it would be useful for you to have an outline of SIBs, enabling you (small, local charities and community groups) to decide whether, and if so how, you may be able to participate. What exactly are Social Impact Bonds? Social Impact Bonds are Pay-by-Performance contracts in which the financial risks (and potential profits) lie entirely with private investors, rather than with the government or civil society. A private investor initially pays for a commissioned project (Commissioners are public sector organisation’s such as local authorities or government departments). The investor then works alongside their chosen partner civil society organisations to achieve specific, measurable outcomes that are agreed upon at the start of the bond. The investors are only repaid by the commissioner if the outcomes are attained. If the agreed outcomes are achieved the investors are repaid by the commissioner and are also given a return for the financial risks they took.   What is the idea behind SIBS? The idea is to bring in private investment to tackle complex and expensive social challenges. The theory is that well-funded early intervention will prevent greater long-term problems and will, ultimately, reduce the public sector’s costs. For example, the first ever SIB, The Peterborough Social Impact Bond, was intended to reduce reoffending. Another ongoing SIB commissioned by Manchester Council is aimed at supporting young people transitioning between residential care to foster care (young people in Residential Care are statistically more likely to have low school attendance, substance abuse problems,  enter the criminal justice system and  become NEET- Not in Education, Employment or Training) Accountability and transparency - SIBs have clearly defined outcomes that must be achieved if investors are to ensure a return on their investment. Consequently, it is in the interests of all parties to ensure that the impact of the project is accurately monitored and evaluated. In the long term, this would mean a shift towards a more evidence based approach to government spending. How do SIBS work in practice? SIBS are still in their infancy and as a result there are relatively few case studies to draw upon. Moreover, those that do exist differ considerably in structure and practice.  The most frequently cited case study is the Peterborough Pilot. The Peterborough SIB, launched in March 2010, was aimed at reducing reoffending by prisoners released from Peterborough prison. Re-offending is an area where prevention has been proven to save the taxpayer money. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) worked in collaboration with 17 investors - mostly charitable trusts and foundations. As this was a “proof of concept” pilot,  this contract was not put out for competitive tender. However, competitive tendering is expected to become the norm for SIBs.   Service providers, together known as the One Service included: St Giles Trust; Ormiston Children and Families Trust (Ormiston); SOVA; YMCA, Peterborough and Fenland Mind (Mind) The contract agreed that the MOJ would make payments to investors if re-offending was reduced by at least 7.5%.  The greater the drop in reoffending beyond this threshold, the more the investors would receive The SIB offered support to 3,000 prisoners both inside prison and after release. The One Service offered a range of support including help with accommodation, low-level mental health needs and training and employment opportunities. In August 2014 the results for the first group of 1,000 prisoners on the Peterborough  SIB were announced - these showed an 8.4% reduction in reconviction rates relative to the national baseline. Peterborough SIB was cut short due after the MoJ announced they would be restructuring the probation service in April 2014. Are small/local charities  able to become service providers in Social Impact bonds? Unlike other pay-by-performance contracts, small charities are more likely to be able to participate in SIBS because the financial risk does not lie with them but with the investor. The government have been keen to highlight this point, claiming that SIBs enable service providers with a ‘deep understanding of the target group that they are trying to support and expertise in the types of intervention that are effective’ but that ‘lack both working capital and evaluation expertise’ to participate in interventions. Strictly speaking, any charity or social enterprise with a proven track record of delivering high social impact  is eligible to become a service provider - plenty of small, local charities meet this definition. However, since investors are carrying the initial financial burden, they are unlikely to be willing to take big risks when choosing which civil society organisations to work with. In practice, most service providers have been working with recognised,  medium to large, charities. Service providers involved in SIBS at present include: Action for children, Thames Reach, St Mungo’s and YMCA. For smaller charities considering participating in a SIB, one potential option would be to work collaboratively with a larger, lead charity. Flexibility, Monitoring and Evaluation One key point for smaller charities to consider when looking at whether they want to become involved in SIBs is whether they have (or see themselves as being able to gain) the capacity for wide scale data-collection and the flexibility to change their methods if goals are not being met. In order for investors to ensure a return on their investment they must provide solid evidence that they have achieved their outcomes. This involves rigorously monitoring and evaluating their programmes. A lot of the feedback  from charities involved in SIBS so far has directly referenced the high volume of data-collection required. For example, Teens and Toddlers, who have recently been supported by a SIB to deliver an educational and social training programme for 14-15 year olds in Manchester, have stated: “We had to be ready for the data demands that come weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly…This can be tough. I report monthly to our board of investors. Every bit of data is reported on and scrutinised, and although our investors are a great bunch, I still get a tad nervous. A bit like first night nerves on a monthly basis!” Whilst monitoring and evaluation demands are particularly high for SIBS, in truth this is reflective of a general trend towards demanding accountability for funds. For some charities, involvement with a SIB may give them the impetus and resources to better survive in this new era of funding conditionality. Publicity As SIBS are still a relatively new initiative they continue to attract a comparatively high level of media attention. If involved in a SIB, this attention may be used to increase public awareness of your charity and cause, potentially driving up demand for services and even bringing in opportunities for further investment. Teens and Toddlers claimed that they gained “fantastic media coverage” that has “ensured (their) name is recognised much more widely”. Of course, increased attention will always come with reputational risks as well as rewards. Can charities propose SIBS themselves? Theoretically anyone, be it a commissioner, investor, politician or service provider can propose a SIB. There is nothing preventing charities and community organisations developing SIB proposals. In fact, in many cases local charities are likely to have the best understanding of both the needs of their communities and the type of intervention that may be required to address them. However, the difficulty for smaller charities, with limited resources –  or, importantly, contacts – may come in approaching other actors (potential commissioners and investors) about implementation. For smaller charities interested in developing a SIB proposal, the best option would almost certainly be to work in partnership with other potential service providers and sound-out potential investors (using the contacts they have in businesses, trusts or foundations)as early as possible. To find out more about Social Impact Bonds you can visit: http://data.gov.uk/sib_knowledge_box/ https://www.gov.uk/social-impact-bonds http://knowhownonprofit.org/funding/social-investment-1/investment-types/social-impact-bonds http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/blog/anyone-social-impact-bondyes-please#sthash.VgtnT6Sp.dpuf http://www.i-for-change.co.uk/resources/sib-market.html http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Case-Studies.pdf    
    Aug 25, 2015 2575
  • 03 Aug 2015
    Our members consistently tell us that lack of time and resource is a major barrier to fundraising, as the provision of core services and other aspects involved in running a charity take priority. This is a feeling that is also felt by other small charities in the sector, as reported in The FSI’s ‘UK Small Charity Sector Skills Survey’ last month. Our aim is to help members engage with fundraising in a way that doesn’t detract from the important services they deliver to their communities. In order to do this, we have developed a calendar of ready-made fundraising campaigns, designed to provide an easy way for even the smallest organisations to start building connections with supporters and raising money. We’re happy to say that many groups have reported success through engaging with our campaigns in this way. However, there are some groups that have taken things to the next level, building upon the concept of a campaign to make it their own  – with inspiring results. To explain further what I mean, I’m going to use an example from our recent campaign, #LocalHero, and the activities of a community group in Wiltshire, HEALS of Malmesbury, with the help of Alison Cross-Jones, the group's volunteer general manager. The campaign - #LocalHero We wanted to run a new style of campaign which would benefit our members and incentivise giving in a new way. The concept of “fundraisers competing for prizes” was something we hadn’t tried before, but we felt it had the potential to appeal to all our users, as well as the wider public. For supporters who wanted to fundraise, it would be a compelling opportunity to  provide extra support to a local cause. Charity and community group members would benefit from the money and awareness raised and the campaign would provide a  platform for us to deliver advice about how to secure and support fundraisers – a vital income channel for many charities. The group - HEALS of Malmesbury HEALS of Malmesbury is a community group dedicated to helping local people. As a community organisation (not a registered charity), they have been unable to make use of other online fundraising tools – making engaging with fundraisers difficult. #LocalHero appealed to the group because they felt the ethos resonated with their own mission. “We saw the #LocalHero campaign as a great way of inspiring and enabling people in the community to do brave things, to help us help each other is the spirit of the #LocalHero campaign and our group.” The group organised a skydive and asked their supporters to sign up - committing to raising a minimum of £350 to ensure costs were covered and a 50% donation level achieved. 13 people signed up, including 3 volunteer firefighters from the local fire station (“Real life heroes” as Alison referred to them), a Town Councillor, plus more doing other fundraising events. The group heavily promoted each hero through their social media accounts and encouraged the "Heroes" to do the same. This created a buzz giving the local press something to write about, while also opening the campaign to a wider audience. “There is a real mix of people and it’s great that the communities of Malmesbury and the surrounding villages have come out to support us. Through this campaign we’ve already had more people wanting to fundraise for us. The ability to have a fundraising page through Localgiving and the additional materials offered, will go a long way in helping us in the future.” “We’re encouraging them to tell their stories and in doing so they are helping us to tell ours. We’ve designed posters and leaflets, we’ve used lots of the resources available from Localgiving. The local press have covered various aspects of the campaign, which has meant a number of press releases.” To support their fundraisers, the group set up a page on their website showcasing each #LocalHero and directing sponsors to their pages. Click below to see it.  Although our #LocalHero campaign only included online donations, HEALS of Malmesbury didn’t have the same conditions. After publicity from the press, they contacted local businesses, too - 40 of which pledged to either make a donation or have a collection pot. The group ran a Quiz Night and the three firefighters taking part in the skydive also organised two charity car washes. These initiatives enabled everyone in the community to take part in the fundraising initiative – not just those interested in throwing themselves out of a plane! The group set themselves a target of £3,000 and have almost doubled that, raising over an incredible £5,000 in total! HEALS run a high street drop-in support, advice and information centre (run by volunteers) which costs £7,500 a year to run, plus a programme of events and support making their annual budget over £19,000. The success of this campaign will be able to fund the centre for the rest of 2015 and covered more than 25% of the total cost. It has also helped the group build a wider supporter base to ensure its future funding. “Sustaining our centre is key to our work because this is the main way we engage with people.” Use the fundraising calendar and do the same! What we love about the HEALS of Malmesbury is that it built a campaign on top of ours. They used our materials and platform as a stepping stone to reach their own fundraising objectives - and it’s definitely paid off! Firstly, they recognised an avenue they hadn’t yet explored with their supporters and wanted to give it a try. Secondly, they piggy-backed on a campaign we laid out for them, maximising the press opportunities and gaining support from their local community. And finally, they helped to promote the fundraisers taking part, ensuring the campaign was a success! We’ve just released a fundraising calendar which gives dates and details of the next three campaigns we’re running. If you’re inspired by HEALS of Malmesbury, why not check it out and see whether you can create a plan to build more connections with supporters and reach your targets too! Click here to see details of upcoming campaigns on our fundraising calendar!      
    2078 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Our members consistently tell us that lack of time and resource is a major barrier to fundraising, as the provision of core services and other aspects involved in running a charity take priority. This is a feeling that is also felt by other small charities in the sector, as reported in The FSI’s ‘UK Small Charity Sector Skills Survey’ last month. Our aim is to help members engage with fundraising in a way that doesn’t detract from the important services they deliver to their communities. In order to do this, we have developed a calendar of ready-made fundraising campaigns, designed to provide an easy way for even the smallest organisations to start building connections with supporters and raising money. We’re happy to say that many groups have reported success through engaging with our campaigns in this way. However, there are some groups that have taken things to the next level, building upon the concept of a campaign to make it their own  – with inspiring results. To explain further what I mean, I’m going to use an example from our recent campaign, #LocalHero, and the activities of a community group in Wiltshire, HEALS of Malmesbury, with the help of Alison Cross-Jones, the group's volunteer general manager. The campaign - #LocalHero We wanted to run a new style of campaign which would benefit our members and incentivise giving in a new way. The concept of “fundraisers competing for prizes” was something we hadn’t tried before, but we felt it had the potential to appeal to all our users, as well as the wider public. For supporters who wanted to fundraise, it would be a compelling opportunity to  provide extra support to a local cause. Charity and community group members would benefit from the money and awareness raised and the campaign would provide a  platform for us to deliver advice about how to secure and support fundraisers – a vital income channel for many charities. The group - HEALS of Malmesbury HEALS of Malmesbury is a community group dedicated to helping local people. As a community organisation (not a registered charity), they have been unable to make use of other online fundraising tools – making engaging with fundraisers difficult. #LocalHero appealed to the group because they felt the ethos resonated with their own mission. “We saw the #LocalHero campaign as a great way of inspiring and enabling people in the community to do brave things, to help us help each other is the spirit of the #LocalHero campaign and our group.” The group organised a skydive and asked their supporters to sign up - committing to raising a minimum of £350 to ensure costs were covered and a 50% donation level achieved. 13 people signed up, including 3 volunteer firefighters from the local fire station (“Real life heroes” as Alison referred to them), a Town Councillor, plus more doing other fundraising events. The group heavily promoted each hero through their social media accounts and encouraged the "Heroes" to do the same. This created a buzz giving the local press something to write about, while also opening the campaign to a wider audience. “There is a real mix of people and it’s great that the communities of Malmesbury and the surrounding villages have come out to support us. Through this campaign we’ve already had more people wanting to fundraise for us. The ability to have a fundraising page through Localgiving and the additional materials offered, will go a long way in helping us in the future.” “We’re encouraging them to tell their stories and in doing so they are helping us to tell ours. We’ve designed posters and leaflets, we’ve used lots of the resources available from Localgiving. The local press have covered various aspects of the campaign, which has meant a number of press releases.” To support their fundraisers, the group set up a page on their website showcasing each #LocalHero and directing sponsors to their pages. Click below to see it.  Although our #LocalHero campaign only included online donations, HEALS of Malmesbury didn’t have the same conditions. After publicity from the press, they contacted local businesses, too - 40 of which pledged to either make a donation or have a collection pot. The group ran a Quiz Night and the three firefighters taking part in the skydive also organised two charity car washes. These initiatives enabled everyone in the community to take part in the fundraising initiative – not just those interested in throwing themselves out of a plane! The group set themselves a target of £3,000 and have almost doubled that, raising over an incredible £5,000 in total! HEALS run a high street drop-in support, advice and information centre (run by volunteers) which costs £7,500 a year to run, plus a programme of events and support making their annual budget over £19,000. The success of this campaign will be able to fund the centre for the rest of 2015 and covered more than 25% of the total cost. It has also helped the group build a wider supporter base to ensure its future funding. “Sustaining our centre is key to our work because this is the main way we engage with people.” Use the fundraising calendar and do the same! What we love about the HEALS of Malmesbury is that it built a campaign on top of ours. They used our materials and platform as a stepping stone to reach their own fundraising objectives - and it’s definitely paid off! Firstly, they recognised an avenue they hadn’t yet explored with their supporters and wanted to give it a try. Secondly, they piggy-backed on a campaign we laid out for them, maximising the press opportunities and gaining support from their local community. And finally, they helped to promote the fundraisers taking part, ensuring the campaign was a success! We’ve just released a fundraising calendar which gives dates and details of the next three campaigns we’re running. If you’re inspired by HEALS of Malmesbury, why not check it out and see whether you can create a plan to build more connections with supporters and reach your targets too! Click here to see details of upcoming campaigns on our fundraising calendar!      
    Aug 03, 2015 2078
  • 29 Jul 2015
    Supporters of Bath Abbey have a huge task ahead. They are currently trying to raise £4.5 million for their Footprint project, a development programme to repair Bath Abbey's collapsing floor, install an Eco-friendly heating system using Bath's hot springs and create additional space and improved facilities for the half a million people who use the Abbey every year. One fundraising activity that took place was a 140 mile walk from Bath Abbey to Lambeth Palace, The Footprint Walk. The team set off on Sunday the 5th July and arrived in London 6 days later. Katie McGill, Development Officer from Bath Abbey explained that the #LocalHero campaign came at the right time to help promote their sponsored walk.   "#LocalHero seemed like a great way to encourage people to support the walk. It was nice that it didn’t matter how much people gave, just that the more supporters, the better chance we had of winning one of the prizes on offer. It was also perfect timing as the walk was due to start five days after the end of the #Localhero campaign. We had a rush of donations in the last days of the #Localhero competition as people really wanted their donation to count towards our score. It was very exciting to keep checking where we were on the leaderboard, wondering if we would make it into the top 5! It was also inspiring to see all the other brilliant fundraisers raising money for charities all across the country too." Strolling into 2nd Place The team, including the Rector, Edward Mason, Footprint Project Director Charles Curnock, Footprint Appeal Director Laura Brown & Churchwarden Emeritus Jeremy Key-Pugh managed to receive 103 points in the #LocalHero campaign landing them in 2nd place and winning them a £500 prize.  Currently, the team have raised over triple their original target and the total currently stands at £16,537.75, including offline donations, Gift Aid and their prize money. What's the secret to their success? Local support! "We’ve been spreading the word about the walk on our website, chatting to people about it on Twitter and Facebook using our hashtag #footprintwalk and via local media. The team of walkers were interviewed on BBC Radio Bristol, appeared in the local paper (twice!), in local magazines and blogs. We’ve also had lots of encouragement from local businesses, and the walkers friends, family and colleagues." See the team's fundraising page here or find out more about The Footprint Project.
    2424 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Supporters of Bath Abbey have a huge task ahead. They are currently trying to raise £4.5 million for their Footprint project, a development programme to repair Bath Abbey's collapsing floor, install an Eco-friendly heating system using Bath's hot springs and create additional space and improved facilities for the half a million people who use the Abbey every year. One fundraising activity that took place was a 140 mile walk from Bath Abbey to Lambeth Palace, The Footprint Walk. The team set off on Sunday the 5th July and arrived in London 6 days later. Katie McGill, Development Officer from Bath Abbey explained that the #LocalHero campaign came at the right time to help promote their sponsored walk.   "#LocalHero seemed like a great way to encourage people to support the walk. It was nice that it didn’t matter how much people gave, just that the more supporters, the better chance we had of winning one of the prizes on offer. It was also perfect timing as the walk was due to start five days after the end of the #Localhero campaign. We had a rush of donations in the last days of the #Localhero competition as people really wanted their donation to count towards our score. It was very exciting to keep checking where we were on the leaderboard, wondering if we would make it into the top 5! It was also inspiring to see all the other brilliant fundraisers raising money for charities all across the country too." Strolling into 2nd Place The team, including the Rector, Edward Mason, Footprint Project Director Charles Curnock, Footprint Appeal Director Laura Brown & Churchwarden Emeritus Jeremy Key-Pugh managed to receive 103 points in the #LocalHero campaign landing them in 2nd place and winning them a £500 prize.  Currently, the team have raised over triple their original target and the total currently stands at £16,537.75, including offline donations, Gift Aid and their prize money. What's the secret to their success? Local support! "We’ve been spreading the word about the walk on our website, chatting to people about it on Twitter and Facebook using our hashtag #footprintwalk and via local media. The team of walkers were interviewed on BBC Radio Bristol, appeared in the local paper (twice!), in local magazines and blogs. We’ve also had lots of encouragement from local businesses, and the walkers friends, family and colleagues." See the team's fundraising page here or find out more about The Footprint Project.
    Jul 29, 2015 2424
  • 17 Oct 2013
    Online charity fundraising platform Localgiving is about to embark on its first ever TV advertising campaign after partnering with Sky to trial new tailored advertising service Sky AdSmart. Sky AdSmart Sky AdSmart is a brand new service that improves TV ad breaks by tailoring the line-up of adverts according to a household’s profile. The technology works by sending a library of adverts via satellite to the Sky+HD set-top box and then selects the adverts which are inserted into the live ad break. The choice of adverts is based on information provided by Sky households, such as postcode, and the range of Sky products they take. This information is supplemented by additional insight from third-party providers including the data services company Experian. Localgiving is an online fundraising website which provides a platform to small local charities and community groups to raise money and awareness. Since Sky AdSmart can serve different adverts to different Sky households, Localgiving is able to use the service to run a campaign which focuses only on the areas in which their charity partners operate, enabling the not-for-profit website to advertise on TV for the first time. This effectively eliminates the waste that had previously made TV advertising prohibitive, when local charities would have needed to invest in advertising inventory nationwide. Our first TV campaign Localgiving’s first Sky AdSmart campaign will be broadcast to homes in and around Brighton and Hove. The campaign will encourage people in the Brighton and Hove area to find out about and support charities and voluntary groups in their local area. Localgiving will also use Sky AdSmart to roll out further campaigns to Bristol, Birmingham and Newcastle. Jamie West, Director, Sky AdSmart, comments: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Localgiving on this exciting trial. Sky AdSmart’s tailored advertising approach provides Localgiving with a unique opportunity to support charities within the Brighton and Hove area. As this trial demonstrates, Sky AdSmart can help those brands who’ve previously thought TV too broad a medium as well as local advertisers that have been priced out of TV until now. We’re looking forward to seeing the results and to rolling out the trial to other major cities across the UK.” Marcelle Speller OBE, Founder and Executive Chairman, Localgiving, adds: “This is a marvellous opportunity for Localgiving.com to connect local charities and community groups in a targeted area with the people who want to support them. In an environment where 85% of charitable income goes to just 5% of charities, Localgiving has a unique role to play in supporting the small groups and unsung heroes that work at the grass roots and we are delighted to be working with Sky Media as we look to use TV advertising to build stronger local communities.” --- Marcelle Speller will announce the partnership at the launch of Localgiving’s Grow Your Tenner 2013 campaign turning £500,000 from the Cabinet Office into over £1 million for grass roots charities across England. The Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP, will attend a launch event for Grow Your Tenner 2013 on Thursday, October 17th at The Westminster Hub, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE. Media wishing to attend are requested to email team@localgiving.com.
    1464 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Online charity fundraising platform Localgiving is about to embark on its first ever TV advertising campaign after partnering with Sky to trial new tailored advertising service Sky AdSmart. Sky AdSmart Sky AdSmart is a brand new service that improves TV ad breaks by tailoring the line-up of adverts according to a household’s profile. The technology works by sending a library of adverts via satellite to the Sky+HD set-top box and then selects the adverts which are inserted into the live ad break. The choice of adverts is based on information provided by Sky households, such as postcode, and the range of Sky products they take. This information is supplemented by additional insight from third-party providers including the data services company Experian. Localgiving is an online fundraising website which provides a platform to small local charities and community groups to raise money and awareness. Since Sky AdSmart can serve different adverts to different Sky households, Localgiving is able to use the service to run a campaign which focuses only on the areas in which their charity partners operate, enabling the not-for-profit website to advertise on TV for the first time. This effectively eliminates the waste that had previously made TV advertising prohibitive, when local charities would have needed to invest in advertising inventory nationwide. Our first TV campaign Localgiving’s first Sky AdSmart campaign will be broadcast to homes in and around Brighton and Hove. The campaign will encourage people in the Brighton and Hove area to find out about and support charities and voluntary groups in their local area. Localgiving will also use Sky AdSmart to roll out further campaigns to Bristol, Birmingham and Newcastle. Jamie West, Director, Sky AdSmart, comments: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Localgiving on this exciting trial. Sky AdSmart’s tailored advertising approach provides Localgiving with a unique opportunity to support charities within the Brighton and Hove area. As this trial demonstrates, Sky AdSmart can help those brands who’ve previously thought TV too broad a medium as well as local advertisers that have been priced out of TV until now. We’re looking forward to seeing the results and to rolling out the trial to other major cities across the UK.” Marcelle Speller OBE, Founder and Executive Chairman, Localgiving, adds: “This is a marvellous opportunity for Localgiving.com to connect local charities and community groups in a targeted area with the people who want to support them. In an environment where 85% of charitable income goes to just 5% of charities, Localgiving has a unique role to play in supporting the small groups and unsung heroes that work at the grass roots and we are delighted to be working with Sky Media as we look to use TV advertising to build stronger local communities.” --- Marcelle Speller will announce the partnership at the launch of Localgiving’s Grow Your Tenner 2013 campaign turning £500,000 from the Cabinet Office into over £1 million for grass roots charities across England. The Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP, will attend a launch event for Grow Your Tenner 2013 on Thursday, October 17th at The Westminster Hub, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE. Media wishing to attend are requested to email team@localgiving.com.
    Oct 17, 2013 1464
  • 14 Aug 2014
    Chris Dormer and I travelled to Berkshire yesterday to meet 4 groups and see first hand what the money raised through Localgiving does to support their community. We were guests of Berkshire Community Foundation (motto: “Connecting people who care with causes that matter”), and were being ferried hither and thither around the countryside by BCF’s online development worker, Dave Soper.  Dave’s job title doesn’t really do him justice – not only does he deeply understand what makes local charities and community groups tick, but he has a fascinating perspective on the fundraising dynamic, and, for the day, we were treated to a master class on how local charities can be successful. Our first meeting - Swallowfield Community Responders It was another bright sunny August day in Berkshire: the air was warming up nicely as Chris and I met with Swallowfield Community Responders team Gary and Ian. On show was their smart BMW X1 in its unmissable ambulance livery. Swallowfield Community Responders is run by South Central Ambulance Service, and whenever a 999 call is made in the local area, an ambulance will be dispatched, and if appropriate, a first responder will also be sent to the scene. Community First Responders are trained by the Ambulance Service to deal with a variety of medical emergencies until the ambulance arrives, and their equipment includes a defibrillator to reset the heart in the event of a cardiac arrest. A special kind of volunteer First Responders are a special kind of volunteer – their lives are on hold while they’re on duty and they never know when they’ll be called upon to provide assistance, perhaps saving a life or providing emergency care. Their kit has to be paid for (although the NHS replenishes it for free), and there are considerable startup and running costs, provided by grants, fundraising events and generous donors. Hear what Gary has to say about the role Localgiving has played in helping their organisation:   Local groups deserve our gratitude As I learn more about some of the groups that look to Localgiving to help raise funds for their work, I am in awe of their dedication, expertise and commitment. Not all groups are as visible as Swallowfield Community Responders, nor are all of them engaged so directly in life-critical work, but I’m discovering that they share this common purpose and determination to do what they can to make our communities better places for the rest of us. They more than deserve our gratitude and support.  Next up - Bradfield Cricket Club Leaving Swallowfield, we whizzed off to meet Dave at Bradfield Cricket Club. In 2011 the club’s pavilion was burned down in an arson attack, and its entire future was at risk had it not been able to build a new pavilion quickly. Insurance didn’t cover the entire amount and so the club got motivated and raised £17,000 from its friends and members, including nearly £40,000 using Localgiving. Looking around their smart new building, I was impressed by the evident involvement of many, many people – folks who value the role the cricket club plays in the local community. Then on to Hurst Bowling Club Next on the agenda was Hurst Bowling Club (est. 1747) with the unforgettable Ronnie – a lady with a twinkle in the eye and a huge heart. Here, in this idyllic corner of Berkshire, nestled next to the Castle Inn, the Bowls Club has big ambitions for its clubhouse. After sourcing a new mower to tend its impeccable lawns, Ronnie is determined that the club will achieve its goals, widen its membership base and provide facilities for more people to enjoy this most social and gentle game. After being awarded the emblem of the club – a bunch of grapes badge - we were off again, to The Link Visiting Scheme in Wokingham. Our final visit - The Link Visiting Scheme Michael and Heather welcomed us with a much-needed cup of tea and we heard of the huge difference local volunteers can make in the lives of elderly people. The Link Visiting Scheme aims to befriend and support anyone who is isolated or lonely and who would benefit from receiving a regular visitor. The majority of those visited are older people, but there are no age restrictions applied. On one wall was an array of photographs of beaming older folk with their new friends. It was gratifying to hear that The Link has teamed up with Hurst Bowls Club who provide sessions for befriended and befrienders. I was left with the strong impression that running through the Link team is a strong cord of care and concern. And yet, like many small local groups, their services come at a cost, and so they have also turned to Localgiving to help them raise the funds to keep their services going. So many lives touched and changed Chris and I would like to thank all the groups we met for their warm hospitality, BCF’s Chief Executive Andrew Middleton for his encouragement and help in making this happen, and of course, to Dave Soper for his wisdom, wit and sheer enthusiasm.Our day ended with a trip back to Reading station and we reflected on what we’d seen with Dave, our host. So many lessons, so many initiatives, so many lives touched and changed. It’s clear to me that when it comes to voluntary organisations, normal rules and expectations do not necessarily apply. Volunteers will go above and beyond, but it will, in all likelihood, happen outside the normal 9 ‘til 5. We do well to remember that as we configure our services to support them.
    2013 Posted by Steve Mallinson
  • Chris Dormer and I travelled to Berkshire yesterday to meet 4 groups and see first hand what the money raised through Localgiving does to support their community. We were guests of Berkshire Community Foundation (motto: “Connecting people who care with causes that matter”), and were being ferried hither and thither around the countryside by BCF’s online development worker, Dave Soper.  Dave’s job title doesn’t really do him justice – not only does he deeply understand what makes local charities and community groups tick, but he has a fascinating perspective on the fundraising dynamic, and, for the day, we were treated to a master class on how local charities can be successful. Our first meeting - Swallowfield Community Responders It was another bright sunny August day in Berkshire: the air was warming up nicely as Chris and I met with Swallowfield Community Responders team Gary and Ian. On show was their smart BMW X1 in its unmissable ambulance livery. Swallowfield Community Responders is run by South Central Ambulance Service, and whenever a 999 call is made in the local area, an ambulance will be dispatched, and if appropriate, a first responder will also be sent to the scene. Community First Responders are trained by the Ambulance Service to deal with a variety of medical emergencies until the ambulance arrives, and their equipment includes a defibrillator to reset the heart in the event of a cardiac arrest. A special kind of volunteer First Responders are a special kind of volunteer – their lives are on hold while they’re on duty and they never know when they’ll be called upon to provide assistance, perhaps saving a life or providing emergency care. Their kit has to be paid for (although the NHS replenishes it for free), and there are considerable startup and running costs, provided by grants, fundraising events and generous donors. Hear what Gary has to say about the role Localgiving has played in helping their organisation:   Local groups deserve our gratitude As I learn more about some of the groups that look to Localgiving to help raise funds for their work, I am in awe of their dedication, expertise and commitment. Not all groups are as visible as Swallowfield Community Responders, nor are all of them engaged so directly in life-critical work, but I’m discovering that they share this common purpose and determination to do what they can to make our communities better places for the rest of us. They more than deserve our gratitude and support.  Next up - Bradfield Cricket Club Leaving Swallowfield, we whizzed off to meet Dave at Bradfield Cricket Club. In 2011 the club’s pavilion was burned down in an arson attack, and its entire future was at risk had it not been able to build a new pavilion quickly. Insurance didn’t cover the entire amount and so the club got motivated and raised £17,000 from its friends and members, including nearly £40,000 using Localgiving. Looking around their smart new building, I was impressed by the evident involvement of many, many people – folks who value the role the cricket club plays in the local community. Then on to Hurst Bowling Club Next on the agenda was Hurst Bowling Club (est. 1747) with the unforgettable Ronnie – a lady with a twinkle in the eye and a huge heart. Here, in this idyllic corner of Berkshire, nestled next to the Castle Inn, the Bowls Club has big ambitions for its clubhouse. After sourcing a new mower to tend its impeccable lawns, Ronnie is determined that the club will achieve its goals, widen its membership base and provide facilities for more people to enjoy this most social and gentle game. After being awarded the emblem of the club – a bunch of grapes badge - we were off again, to The Link Visiting Scheme in Wokingham. Our final visit - The Link Visiting Scheme Michael and Heather welcomed us with a much-needed cup of tea and we heard of the huge difference local volunteers can make in the lives of elderly people. The Link Visiting Scheme aims to befriend and support anyone who is isolated or lonely and who would benefit from receiving a regular visitor. The majority of those visited are older people, but there are no age restrictions applied. On one wall was an array of photographs of beaming older folk with their new friends. It was gratifying to hear that The Link has teamed up with Hurst Bowls Club who provide sessions for befriended and befrienders. I was left with the strong impression that running through the Link team is a strong cord of care and concern. And yet, like many small local groups, their services come at a cost, and so they have also turned to Localgiving to help them raise the funds to keep their services going. So many lives touched and changed Chris and I would like to thank all the groups we met for their warm hospitality, BCF’s Chief Executive Andrew Middleton for his encouragement and help in making this happen, and of course, to Dave Soper for his wisdom, wit and sheer enthusiasm.Our day ended with a trip back to Reading station and we reflected on what we’d seen with Dave, our host. So many lessons, so many initiatives, so many lives touched and changed. It’s clear to me that when it comes to voluntary organisations, normal rules and expectations do not necessarily apply. Volunteers will go above and beyond, but it will, in all likelihood, happen outside the normal 9 ‘til 5. We do well to remember that as we configure our services to support them.
    Aug 14, 2014 2013