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270 blogs
  • 12 Mar 2018
    If you’re juggling the finances of a charity - bravo! - it can be a thankless and often un-rewarded task. You won’t need reminding (it’s been on the same day since 1800) that the end of the Tax Year is fast approaching, ahead of which there are a few ‘left-field’ areas it’s well worth looking into. If you have a spare hour between now and 5th April, here’s a checklist you might find handy and - who knows - could even earn you an unexpected accolade… as well as extra funds.   VAT on Energy Bills Charities can apply to reduce the VAT on their energy bills from 20% to 5% and - if you’ve paid 20% in the past – can ask for a rebate for the past four years. This is the maximum period of time that HMRC will allow and it counts in Tax Years so, by submitting a form to your supplier now, means your rebate could include VAT payments as far back as the tax year 2013-2014. A successful reduction in VAT also removes the Climate Change Levy element from your bills too. If your energy bill has 20% VAT in the calculations and want to know what to do next, head over to Back of the Sofa.    Business Rates Discretionary Relief As you know, most charities are also entitled to some form of relief on their Business Rates. And, like VAT discounts, if you don’t ask... you don’t get. Some pay 20% while others pay nothing at all because they have been granted Discretionary Relief. These could be churches, charities or clubs that benefit the local community - even organisations to do with social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts. Each of the UK’s 420 or so Councils has their own rules and guidelines but, like HMRC, they work in Financial Years and so relief will often be back-dated to the start of April in the Tax Year that you are applying. To see how your Council does it, use this search tool. Tax on Savings Interest In 2016, banks started paying interest gross on savings accounts but prior to that they would often deduct tax at source and that would automatically remove 20% from any interest earned. This was common among charities that hold ‘business accounts’ – even though charities are exempt from paying tax on bank interest. Again, the period of time allowed to reverse any incorrect deductions is four Tax Years. That means charities now only have a rapidly diminishing window of opportunity to claim back the tax their bank incorrectly removed in the 2013-2014 period as well as up to 2016. If your bank statements show that tax was paid, you need to tell HMRC via Charities Online or ask for a ChR1 form. If you are successful in these or other – alternative – ways, please let me know! Nick Heath is founder of Back of the Sofa, a free resource to help charities find cash they didn’t know about. www.BackoftheSofa.com (Twitter and Facebook)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Subconscious Effects of Storytelling in Charity Marketing  
    2125 Posted by Nick Heath
  • If you’re juggling the finances of a charity - bravo! - it can be a thankless and often un-rewarded task. You won’t need reminding (it’s been on the same day since 1800) that the end of the Tax Year is fast approaching, ahead of which there are a few ‘left-field’ areas it’s well worth looking into. If you have a spare hour between now and 5th April, here’s a checklist you might find handy and - who knows - could even earn you an unexpected accolade… as well as extra funds.   VAT on Energy Bills Charities can apply to reduce the VAT on their energy bills from 20% to 5% and - if you’ve paid 20% in the past – can ask for a rebate for the past four years. This is the maximum period of time that HMRC will allow and it counts in Tax Years so, by submitting a form to your supplier now, means your rebate could include VAT payments as far back as the tax year 2013-2014. A successful reduction in VAT also removes the Climate Change Levy element from your bills too. If your energy bill has 20% VAT in the calculations and want to know what to do next, head over to Back of the Sofa.    Business Rates Discretionary Relief As you know, most charities are also entitled to some form of relief on their Business Rates. And, like VAT discounts, if you don’t ask... you don’t get. Some pay 20% while others pay nothing at all because they have been granted Discretionary Relief. These could be churches, charities or clubs that benefit the local community - even organisations to do with social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts. Each of the UK’s 420 or so Councils has their own rules and guidelines but, like HMRC, they work in Financial Years and so relief will often be back-dated to the start of April in the Tax Year that you are applying. To see how your Council does it, use this search tool. Tax on Savings Interest In 2016, banks started paying interest gross on savings accounts but prior to that they would often deduct tax at source and that would automatically remove 20% from any interest earned. This was common among charities that hold ‘business accounts’ – even though charities are exempt from paying tax on bank interest. Again, the period of time allowed to reverse any incorrect deductions is four Tax Years. That means charities now only have a rapidly diminishing window of opportunity to claim back the tax their bank incorrectly removed in the 2013-2014 period as well as up to 2016. If your bank statements show that tax was paid, you need to tell HMRC via Charities Online or ask for a ChR1 form. If you are successful in these or other – alternative – ways, please let me know! Nick Heath is founder of Back of the Sofa, a free resource to help charities find cash they didn’t know about. www.BackoftheSofa.com (Twitter and Facebook)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Subconscious Effects of Storytelling in Charity Marketing  
    Mar 12, 2018 2125
  • 23 Feb 2018
    With the Bath Half Marathon 2018 less than two weeks away, I’m delighted that over 80 runners are fundraising through Localgiving for 14 local charities. With increased demand for charities services and less time for stretched staff to focus on individual giving it makes participation events like half marathons an ideal way to maximise limited fundraising resource. For example, the average value of a Bath Half Marathon page on Localgiving is nearly £500 and most runners are comfortable setting up their own fundraising pages, sending out emails to their family or friends and generally taking responsibility for their online fundraising. One of this years participants is Michelle Smith who has been running for many years, but never for an official half marathon. When she saw that First Steps had a team she thought that it was the ideal opportunity to say thanks for their hard work. First Steps provide amazing support for disadvantaged families and children and the money raised this year will help them to enhance the outdoor learning area at the Twerton nursery in Bath with new areas for water play, a new mound, plants and trees, an area for bugs and new outdoor music play equipment. You can read more about Michelle’s story and donate to her Localgiving page here The beauty of using Localgiving for your fundraising is that you can piggyback on one of our campaigns. For example I worked with Wessex MS Therapy Centre ahead of Localgiving’s Grow Your Tenner (GYT) campaign in October 2017 and suggested they encourage their fundraisers to raise money during GYT to access the match funding. This proved to be hugely successful with seven people choosing to run the Bath Half Marathon in March 2018 in aid of the charity. The total raised by the charity during this campaign was £2,760, which will be a big help towards the cost of a new extension and renewal of physio equipment at the centre. “Grow Your Tenner (GYT) was excellent for us because all our fundraiser’s hit their targets in just one day! Many of the fundraisers were concerned about how they would raise £200 but the success of GYT has taken the pressure of the runners and reduced the administration time for us. It’s enabled us to be very proactive with our fundraising rather than chasing the runners and waiting for the money to trickle in over a few months.” Tori Allison, Community Fundraiser, Wessex Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre I also produced a simple poster that the charity sent to their runners ahead of GYT to explain how the process works. Although the next Grow Your Tenner is some way off you could try something similar with our Local Hero 2018 campaign which will launch on 1st April 2018 and run until 30th April. Local Hero highlights the incredible ideas and feats of local charity fundraisers - with a £1000 top prize to be won. Now is the time to turn those budding athletes, artists, runners or acrobats into online fundraisers for your cause!     
    1495 Posted by James Carlin
  • With the Bath Half Marathon 2018 less than two weeks away, I’m delighted that over 80 runners are fundraising through Localgiving for 14 local charities. With increased demand for charities services and less time for stretched staff to focus on individual giving it makes participation events like half marathons an ideal way to maximise limited fundraising resource. For example, the average value of a Bath Half Marathon page on Localgiving is nearly £500 and most runners are comfortable setting up their own fundraising pages, sending out emails to their family or friends and generally taking responsibility for their online fundraising. One of this years participants is Michelle Smith who has been running for many years, but never for an official half marathon. When she saw that First Steps had a team she thought that it was the ideal opportunity to say thanks for their hard work. First Steps provide amazing support for disadvantaged families and children and the money raised this year will help them to enhance the outdoor learning area at the Twerton nursery in Bath with new areas for water play, a new mound, plants and trees, an area for bugs and new outdoor music play equipment. You can read more about Michelle’s story and donate to her Localgiving page here The beauty of using Localgiving for your fundraising is that you can piggyback on one of our campaigns. For example I worked with Wessex MS Therapy Centre ahead of Localgiving’s Grow Your Tenner (GYT) campaign in October 2017 and suggested they encourage their fundraisers to raise money during GYT to access the match funding. This proved to be hugely successful with seven people choosing to run the Bath Half Marathon in March 2018 in aid of the charity. The total raised by the charity during this campaign was £2,760, which will be a big help towards the cost of a new extension and renewal of physio equipment at the centre. “Grow Your Tenner (GYT) was excellent for us because all our fundraiser’s hit their targets in just one day! Many of the fundraisers were concerned about how they would raise £200 but the success of GYT has taken the pressure of the runners and reduced the administration time for us. It’s enabled us to be very proactive with our fundraising rather than chasing the runners and waiting for the money to trickle in over a few months.” Tori Allison, Community Fundraiser, Wessex Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre I also produced a simple poster that the charity sent to their runners ahead of GYT to explain how the process works. Although the next Grow Your Tenner is some way off you could try something similar with our Local Hero 2018 campaign which will launch on 1st April 2018 and run until 30th April. Local Hero highlights the incredible ideas and feats of local charity fundraisers - with a £1000 top prize to be won. Now is the time to turn those budding athletes, artists, runners or acrobats into online fundraisers for your cause!     
    Feb 23, 2018 1495
  • 08 Feb 2018
    We need to build an emotional connection with a donor before they’ll give. That’s Fundraising 101 right there. But what if your work is complex, sensitive or misunderstood? There’s little hope of building an emotional connection with a potential donor if they don’t even understand what you do. Welsh group Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales (FTWW) came up with a novel idea to both help people to understand their work, and encourage donations in support of it. FTWW was set up to address health inequalities for women in Wales. The group also raises awareness of Endometriosis, and provides support for patients living with the disease. Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems. Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity. Despite its prevalence and impact, it remains hidden and misunderstood - largely down to the taboo around periods and related pain. It is vital that people affected feel able to speak up about symptoms, challenge stereotypes and myths - and FTWW work hard to ensure women and girls are sufficiently empowered to seek early diagnosis and effective treatment. Seeking a fundraising challenge that was representative of their work and gave a nod to their local connection, FTWW decided on a sponsored walk up Snowdon - with a difference. “So many others have done a single walk up Snowdon - we felt that we needed to make ours a little different; something that would really raise the bar, as well as symbolise the challenges – or mountains – our members face and have to climb every day” - Deborah Shaffer, CEO of FTWW The group settled on a week-long effort, with fundraisers tackling a different path up Snowdon each day to represent both the huge variety of challenges faced by their members, and to make sure that their endeavour really stood out. They set up a Localgiving appeal page for the challenge, and set themselves a target of raising £500. The group used social media effectively to promote the fundraising activity, with photos of each walk being posted to twitter, facebook and instagram. The fundraisers wore specially designed t-shirts and hoodies on the climbs to promote the challenge and FTWW - these were great engagement tools during the walks, and encouraged people to come over and chat. “We talked a lot with different people, both on the mountain and in the café, and they would ask us about the organisation and what we did. We described our current campaign around the treatment of Endometriosis in Wales. Many of the people we met were women; some had heard of Endometriosis, some hadn’t. One woman had the disease herself and was really excited to hear of our work. Men were also interested in the challenge, because let’s face it, they are just as much affected by the health problems of the women in their lives as the sufferers themselves.” - Iona Wyn Roberts - FTWW Treasurer  The group set their sights high, and the grueling nature of the challenge generated a lot of interest from supporters and spectators. Snowdon is a mountain that many North Wales locals have scaled, so the challenge remained relatable - which meant supporters could picture how exhausting it would be to climb it multiple times in a row. By comparing living with Endometriosis with climbing Snowdon every day, it helped people to develop their understanding of the condition and how it might affect friends and loved ones. “The challenge went really well; on average, we were a group of 5 and, although we had to cancel 2 days due to bad weather, for the rest of the time we had an exhilarating time, in great company. It was hard going but totally worth it. We managed to reach the summit on four days out of the five we attempted – and it was a fantastic feeling of accomplishment, well worth the blisters and sore muscles!”- Heidi Burrows - FTWW Fundraising Officer The total amount raised during the challenge was £855, which will be used to create and print a range of awareness-raising resources. It will also go towards covering the costs associated with travelling the length and breadth of Wales to conferences and meetings, where FTWW represents women with chronic illness. As a Community Interest Company, the £60 of Gift Aid claimed by Localgiving on their behalf gave their total a welcome boost. Here are FTWW’s 5 Top Tips for causes who want to raise awareness of what they do in order to build relationships with donors: Persevere and don’t be put off by others thinking your ideas sound crazy! The feeling of accomplishment is well worth the effort Think about the nature of the issues faced by your members or the people for whom you’re fundraising, and try to come up with something that symbolises those issues It’s a really good idea to have someone in the organisation who is completely focused upon publicising the endeavour, who will write the tweets and blurb for other social media Take lots of pictures on the day! Use the photos you take to create engaging social media posts, to tell the story in a way that has a lot of impact Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    'Disrupting’ fundraising by minimising disruption  How charities can use images to appeal to donors and supporters  
    2014 Posted by Emma Jones
  • We need to build an emotional connection with a donor before they’ll give. That’s Fundraising 101 right there. But what if your work is complex, sensitive or misunderstood? There’s little hope of building an emotional connection with a potential donor if they don’t even understand what you do. Welsh group Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales (FTWW) came up with a novel idea to both help people to understand their work, and encourage donations in support of it. FTWW was set up to address health inequalities for women in Wales. The group also raises awareness of Endometriosis, and provides support for patients living with the disease. Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems. Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity. Despite its prevalence and impact, it remains hidden and misunderstood - largely down to the taboo around periods and related pain. It is vital that people affected feel able to speak up about symptoms, challenge stereotypes and myths - and FTWW work hard to ensure women and girls are sufficiently empowered to seek early diagnosis and effective treatment. Seeking a fundraising challenge that was representative of their work and gave a nod to their local connection, FTWW decided on a sponsored walk up Snowdon - with a difference. “So many others have done a single walk up Snowdon - we felt that we needed to make ours a little different; something that would really raise the bar, as well as symbolise the challenges – or mountains – our members face and have to climb every day” - Deborah Shaffer, CEO of FTWW The group settled on a week-long effort, with fundraisers tackling a different path up Snowdon each day to represent both the huge variety of challenges faced by their members, and to make sure that their endeavour really stood out. They set up a Localgiving appeal page for the challenge, and set themselves a target of raising £500. The group used social media effectively to promote the fundraising activity, with photos of each walk being posted to twitter, facebook and instagram. The fundraisers wore specially designed t-shirts and hoodies on the climbs to promote the challenge and FTWW - these were great engagement tools during the walks, and encouraged people to come over and chat. “We talked a lot with different people, both on the mountain and in the café, and they would ask us about the organisation and what we did. We described our current campaign around the treatment of Endometriosis in Wales. Many of the people we met were women; some had heard of Endometriosis, some hadn’t. One woman had the disease herself and was really excited to hear of our work. Men were also interested in the challenge, because let’s face it, they are just as much affected by the health problems of the women in their lives as the sufferers themselves.” - Iona Wyn Roberts - FTWW Treasurer  The group set their sights high, and the grueling nature of the challenge generated a lot of interest from supporters and spectators. Snowdon is a mountain that many North Wales locals have scaled, so the challenge remained relatable - which meant supporters could picture how exhausting it would be to climb it multiple times in a row. By comparing living with Endometriosis with climbing Snowdon every day, it helped people to develop their understanding of the condition and how it might affect friends and loved ones. “The challenge went really well; on average, we were a group of 5 and, although we had to cancel 2 days due to bad weather, for the rest of the time we had an exhilarating time, in great company. It was hard going but totally worth it. We managed to reach the summit on four days out of the five we attempted – and it was a fantastic feeling of accomplishment, well worth the blisters and sore muscles!”- Heidi Burrows - FTWW Fundraising Officer The total amount raised during the challenge was £855, which will be used to create and print a range of awareness-raising resources. It will also go towards covering the costs associated with travelling the length and breadth of Wales to conferences and meetings, where FTWW represents women with chronic illness. As a Community Interest Company, the £60 of Gift Aid claimed by Localgiving on their behalf gave their total a welcome boost. Here are FTWW’s 5 Top Tips for causes who want to raise awareness of what they do in order to build relationships with donors: Persevere and don’t be put off by others thinking your ideas sound crazy! The feeling of accomplishment is well worth the effort Think about the nature of the issues faced by your members or the people for whom you’re fundraising, and try to come up with something that symbolises those issues It’s a really good idea to have someone in the organisation who is completely focused upon publicising the endeavour, who will write the tweets and blurb for other social media Take lots of pictures on the day! Use the photos you take to create engaging social media posts, to tell the story in a way that has a lot of impact Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    'Disrupting’ fundraising by minimising disruption  How charities can use images to appeal to donors and supporters  
    Feb 08, 2018 2014
  • 22 Jan 2018
    It’s tempting to think that the recent fundraising crisis came out of nowhere – with public resentment whipped up by the media and a few horror stories – but the reality is quite different. Frustration and dissatisfaction had actually been simmering away for a long time. In 2016, nfpSynergy reported that the charity sector had one of the lowest complaint rates across seven sectors, but the highest level of people wanting to complain but not doing so. Given that the other sectors included pensions, mortgages and broadband providers, that’s a sobering statistic. So why have people been growing increasingly unhappy with charities? Specific cases of bad practice haven’t helped, but I think there’s a broader issue. Most public fundraising methods seem to rely on interrupting – rather than complementing – our everyday lives. We get stopped in the street. People knock on our doors. Charity appeals pop up on TV and through our letterboxes. In a world marred by spending cuts and growing inequality, this may feel inevitable. More and more people are being denied happy and healthy lives, and charities are stepping in to pick up the slack. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if these fundraising methods work and people have the money to donate, what’s the problem? The issue is that so many fundraising methods feel incompatible with a changing society. Digital technology has given people an unprecedented level of choice and flexibility. We stream music that we want to listen to, rather than sitting through songs we don’t like on the radio. We watch our favourite programmes on-demand on Catch Up TV, instead of “seeing what’s on”. We increasingly live in our own bubble where we do things on our own terms. So when we perceive that we’re being interrupted unnecessarily – whether by a company, a charity or an individual – we can feel harassed or angry. So street, door-to-door and television fundraising – while hugely successful financially, particularly for household name charities – are often negative experiences for the public, stirring up feelings of pressure and guilt. I’m not saying that ‘traditional’ forms of fundraising are fundamentally wrong, or that the negative media coverage is all justified. However, in these tough times, many charities will need to raise increasing amounts from the public to keep supporting their beneficiaries. For this to be sustainable for the sector, we need to be more creative and varied in our fundraising efforts. A popular buzzword today is ‘disruption’ – the concept (originating in Silicon Valley) of smaller companies unseating market leaders in an industry with an innovative or simpler solution. But perhaps the most effective way of ‘disrupting’ fundraising is actually to be as non-disruptive as possible. We need to find more ways to fundraise that fit in with or add value to people’s lives, rather than interrupting them. I’ve seen a few great examples recently – and while many are being implemented by large charities, there’s plenty for all of us to learn: 1) Rounding up in shops Last autumn, staff in my local Tesco in Bristol were fundraising for Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation. To support their efforts, Tesco added a prompt to their self-service machines asking customers to make a small donation to round up their bills: Over about a month, I must have donated ten times (I’m not a very strategic shopper, and Tesco is a one-minute walk around the corner). Never more than 10p – but with so many customers and transactions, you can imagine how this small but frequent giving can add up. While this did involve adding an extra screen to the self-service process, I could choose to donate or decline within two seconds. It didn’t feel obtrusive at all, and there was no awkwardness in saying no. Many people supported two charities that they might not have thought of giving to before. Smaller charities may find it near-impossible to forge a partnership with a major supermarket. However that doesn’t stop you approaching local shops or restaurants about a similar arrangement, or applying to supermarket community schemes like Waitrose’s green token scheme. You can also look at joining nationwide schemes like Pennies. 2) Good old-fashioned community fundraising Community fundraising is brilliant because it performs a social function as well as raising money. It gives people something positive to do and the opportunity to meet new people, which can be really important for some. While most people immediately think of the Macmillan Coffee Morning – which raises almost £30million annually – personally I love Mind’s Crafternoon fundraiser. This promotes mental health and mindfulness, encouraging people to come together and focus on making something. Any charity – no matter what size – can design an attractive community fundraising idea for their own supporters, whether that means a database of a thousand people or a small group of friends and family. The key is to develop your idea in consultation with your target audience, start small, gather feedback and gradually scale it up. Ultimately, community fundraising works best when it’s led by volunteers, with minimal input and support from paid staff. 3) Social media collaboration Building an audience for fundraising is tough for smaller charities, so catching a leg-up makes a huge difference. I’ve always loved this example of how the popular Humans of New York photoblog raised over $100,000 in less than an hour, by weaving a powerful ask for a local cause into an inspiring story. Founder Brandon Stanton had already built a huge audience that enjoyed glimpsing other people’s lives and hearing their stories, so appealing for help was a logical and unobtrusive next step. Winning the trust of an audience that are already passionate about something, and making a related ask on the platform they already use, is another great way of weaving fundraising into the fabric of everyday life. Building a relationship with a blogger or YouTube star isn’t easy, but might be a better bet than approaching major companies, particularly if there’s a reason why they’d support your cause. Try looking out for rising stars and make contact with them before they hit the big time. 4) Gamification Ever been through Stockholm Airport and seen these charity arcade machines? I love this for two reasons. Firstly, it takes something that’s already popular and adds a fundraising twist. If people like arcade machines in airports, why wouldn’t they love using them for a good cause? Secondly, this is a brilliant example of the gamification of fundraising. This increasing trend uses games, challenges and adventures to give people an added incentive to support a cause – and it really works. You’ll probably struggle to get arcade machines placed in major airports. However, you can still use this as inspiration:  can you ‘gamify’ any of your existing fundraising efforts, or add a fundraising twist to something your local supporters already enjoy doing? 5) Making donating easy When people decide they want to donate to you – no matter how or where – it’s not the end of the story. The physical act of donating has to be intuitive and convenient – if it’s too complicated, you’ll lose donors. As technology moves on, people expect the organisations they interact with to keep pace. The use of contactless cards is booming – contactless payments now account for a third of all card purchases, up from 10% just two years ago. Cash is a fading force, and charities are losing out by still relying too much on it – by as much as £80million per year, according to this report. It’s worth exploring options now for taking card and contactless payments, as the cost and barriers to entry will continue to come down for smaller charities. Also, make sure your donation and registration forms (both online and paper) are as simple as possible. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  
    3458 Posted by Mike Zywina
  • It’s tempting to think that the recent fundraising crisis came out of nowhere – with public resentment whipped up by the media and a few horror stories – but the reality is quite different. Frustration and dissatisfaction had actually been simmering away for a long time. In 2016, nfpSynergy reported that the charity sector had one of the lowest complaint rates across seven sectors, but the highest level of people wanting to complain but not doing so. Given that the other sectors included pensions, mortgages and broadband providers, that’s a sobering statistic. So why have people been growing increasingly unhappy with charities? Specific cases of bad practice haven’t helped, but I think there’s a broader issue. Most public fundraising methods seem to rely on interrupting – rather than complementing – our everyday lives. We get stopped in the street. People knock on our doors. Charity appeals pop up on TV and through our letterboxes. In a world marred by spending cuts and growing inequality, this may feel inevitable. More and more people are being denied happy and healthy lives, and charities are stepping in to pick up the slack. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if these fundraising methods work and people have the money to donate, what’s the problem? The issue is that so many fundraising methods feel incompatible with a changing society. Digital technology has given people an unprecedented level of choice and flexibility. We stream music that we want to listen to, rather than sitting through songs we don’t like on the radio. We watch our favourite programmes on-demand on Catch Up TV, instead of “seeing what’s on”. We increasingly live in our own bubble where we do things on our own terms. So when we perceive that we’re being interrupted unnecessarily – whether by a company, a charity or an individual – we can feel harassed or angry. So street, door-to-door and television fundraising – while hugely successful financially, particularly for household name charities – are often negative experiences for the public, stirring up feelings of pressure and guilt. I’m not saying that ‘traditional’ forms of fundraising are fundamentally wrong, or that the negative media coverage is all justified. However, in these tough times, many charities will need to raise increasing amounts from the public to keep supporting their beneficiaries. For this to be sustainable for the sector, we need to be more creative and varied in our fundraising efforts. A popular buzzword today is ‘disruption’ – the concept (originating in Silicon Valley) of smaller companies unseating market leaders in an industry with an innovative or simpler solution. But perhaps the most effective way of ‘disrupting’ fundraising is actually to be as non-disruptive as possible. We need to find more ways to fundraise that fit in with or add value to people’s lives, rather than interrupting them. I’ve seen a few great examples recently – and while many are being implemented by large charities, there’s plenty for all of us to learn: 1) Rounding up in shops Last autumn, staff in my local Tesco in Bristol were fundraising for Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation. To support their efforts, Tesco added a prompt to their self-service machines asking customers to make a small donation to round up their bills: Over about a month, I must have donated ten times (I’m not a very strategic shopper, and Tesco is a one-minute walk around the corner). Never more than 10p – but with so many customers and transactions, you can imagine how this small but frequent giving can add up. While this did involve adding an extra screen to the self-service process, I could choose to donate or decline within two seconds. It didn’t feel obtrusive at all, and there was no awkwardness in saying no. Many people supported two charities that they might not have thought of giving to before. Smaller charities may find it near-impossible to forge a partnership with a major supermarket. However that doesn’t stop you approaching local shops or restaurants about a similar arrangement, or applying to supermarket community schemes like Waitrose’s green token scheme. You can also look at joining nationwide schemes like Pennies. 2) Good old-fashioned community fundraising Community fundraising is brilliant because it performs a social function as well as raising money. It gives people something positive to do and the opportunity to meet new people, which can be really important for some. While most people immediately think of the Macmillan Coffee Morning – which raises almost £30million annually – personally I love Mind’s Crafternoon fundraiser. This promotes mental health and mindfulness, encouraging people to come together and focus on making something. Any charity – no matter what size – can design an attractive community fundraising idea for their own supporters, whether that means a database of a thousand people or a small group of friends and family. The key is to develop your idea in consultation with your target audience, start small, gather feedback and gradually scale it up. Ultimately, community fundraising works best when it’s led by volunteers, with minimal input and support from paid staff. 3) Social media collaboration Building an audience for fundraising is tough for smaller charities, so catching a leg-up makes a huge difference. I’ve always loved this example of how the popular Humans of New York photoblog raised over $100,000 in less than an hour, by weaving a powerful ask for a local cause into an inspiring story. Founder Brandon Stanton had already built a huge audience that enjoyed glimpsing other people’s lives and hearing their stories, so appealing for help was a logical and unobtrusive next step. Winning the trust of an audience that are already passionate about something, and making a related ask on the platform they already use, is another great way of weaving fundraising into the fabric of everyday life. Building a relationship with a blogger or YouTube star isn’t easy, but might be a better bet than approaching major companies, particularly if there’s a reason why they’d support your cause. Try looking out for rising stars and make contact with them before they hit the big time. 4) Gamification Ever been through Stockholm Airport and seen these charity arcade machines? I love this for two reasons. Firstly, it takes something that’s already popular and adds a fundraising twist. If people like arcade machines in airports, why wouldn’t they love using them for a good cause? Secondly, this is a brilliant example of the gamification of fundraising. This increasing trend uses games, challenges and adventures to give people an added incentive to support a cause – and it really works. You’ll probably struggle to get arcade machines placed in major airports. However, you can still use this as inspiration:  can you ‘gamify’ any of your existing fundraising efforts, or add a fundraising twist to something your local supporters already enjoy doing? 5) Making donating easy When people decide they want to donate to you – no matter how or where – it’s not the end of the story. The physical act of donating has to be intuitive and convenient – if it’s too complicated, you’ll lose donors. As technology moves on, people expect the organisations they interact with to keep pace. The use of contactless cards is booming – contactless payments now account for a third of all card purchases, up from 10% just two years ago. Cash is a fading force, and charities are losing out by still relying too much on it – by as much as £80million per year, according to this report. It’s worth exploring options now for taking card and contactless payments, as the cost and barriers to entry will continue to come down for smaller charities. Also, make sure your donation and registration forms (both online and paper) are as simple as possible. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  
    Jan 22, 2018 3458
  • 02 Jan 2018
    By the time you read this, I will have left Localgiving after a very happy year and a half as North Wales Development Manager. Though I’m sad to go, I have many brilliant memories to take with me. Since July 2016 I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside nearly 90 community groups across North Wales. In that time, I’ve witnessed some incredible fundraising. Over £50,0000 has been raised so far by 59 organisations; ranging from tiny volunteer led community groups, to registered charities working across the whole region - with a few Community Interest Companies thrown in for good measure. Throughout 2017, Wales was celebrating its folklore and heritage in a festival called “The Year of Legends”. The fundraising in North Wales this year has been nothing short of legendary, so let me introduce you to just one of the brilliant groups I’ve met that will surely go down in history. Cadair Idris Cadair Idris, which literally translates to Idris’ Chair, is a mountain in the southern part of Snowdonia. It stands at 893m high and overlooks Dolgellau. So who’s this Idris guy anyway? Depends who you ask - but he’s got to be pretty big to warrant a 2,929ft tall chair. Needless to say, Idris often appears in Welsh folklore as a giant. Ever walked along a mountain trail and got some annoying pieces of grit in your boot? Idris was no different - only giant feet need giant boots, and that can only mean one thing. Giant grit. Yes, legend has it that one day Idris sat down in his massive seat to extract the pesky pebbles from his shoe. He cast them down the mountainside, and there they still lie today - three humongous boulders embedded in the landscape. Other tales of Cadair Idris say that anyone who sleeps on the mountain will have one of three things happen to them.   One: They’ll awaken as a poet. Two: They’ll awaken as a madman. Three: They’ll never wake up again. Like, ever. Wales is known as the paradise of the bard, but I don’t like those odds!   One group that is very familiar with Cadair Idris (and the other 170 or so other peaks in Snowdonia National Park) is Cymdeithas Eryri. The Snowdonia Society is a conservation charity working to protect, enhance and celebrate Snowdonia. There’s a lot to protect, too - the park has 1,479 miles (2,380 km) of public footpaths, 164 miles (264 km) of public bridleways, and 46 miles (74 km) of other public rights of way. The Snowdonia Society hosted one of the most innovative fundraising challenges I saw whilst working at Localgiving. In a bid to illustrate the sheer breadth of their work, and the mounting challenge posed by heavy footfall and the resulting environmental impact, a volunteer with the charity decided to do a sponsored litter pick over a two day period. But this wasn’t any old litter pick. Conservation Volunteer Bob Smith scaled 15 of Snowdonia’s tallest peaks - all the ones that are over 3,000ft tall - whilst collecting litter on his way up (or down)! Of his challenge, Bob said: “I started at Pen-Y-Pass and set off up the Pyg track (up Snowdon) and took about 10 steps before finding my first piece of litter! Not surprisingly there was plenty of rubbish on the summit and after a quick visit in the mist to Garnedd Ugain I headed down the Llanberis path collecting plenty of litter. I then headed to Nant Peris to walk back up again. The bulk of the litter was plastic bottles and sweet wrappers collected on Snowdon (2 bags full) with the rest of the peaks relatively clear of rubbish, but still filling 1 bag.” So Bob’s Legendary challenge cleared 15 beautiful peaks of 3 bags of litter, and managed to raise £404 at the same time! Match funding from the Big Lottery-funded Wales Development Programme brought his total to a fantastic £604, which will go towards the Snowdonia Society’s 50 Years Future Fund - set up to celebrate the charity’s 50th anniversary. What a shame Cadair Idris wasn’t on Bob’s hitlist, standing just shy of 3,000ft. On second thoughts, perhaps it was for the best. Who knows what might have happened if he’d have stopped for a well-earned snooze in Idris’ spooky seat?! I may be leaving Localgiving, but the fundraising frolics will continue - with the central Localgiving team providing support for groups and Lauren Swain (based in South Wales) on hand to help as well. Any North Wales group that would like support should call 0300 111 2340 or email help@localgiving.org Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Chandos House are giving someone vulnerable a home and a future Tractor Aid: Get Well Tilly  
    1897 Posted by Emma Jones
  • By the time you read this, I will have left Localgiving after a very happy year and a half as North Wales Development Manager. Though I’m sad to go, I have many brilliant memories to take with me. Since July 2016 I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside nearly 90 community groups across North Wales. In that time, I’ve witnessed some incredible fundraising. Over £50,0000 has been raised so far by 59 organisations; ranging from tiny volunteer led community groups, to registered charities working across the whole region - with a few Community Interest Companies thrown in for good measure. Throughout 2017, Wales was celebrating its folklore and heritage in a festival called “The Year of Legends”. The fundraising in North Wales this year has been nothing short of legendary, so let me introduce you to just one of the brilliant groups I’ve met that will surely go down in history. Cadair Idris Cadair Idris, which literally translates to Idris’ Chair, is a mountain in the southern part of Snowdonia. It stands at 893m high and overlooks Dolgellau. So who’s this Idris guy anyway? Depends who you ask - but he’s got to be pretty big to warrant a 2,929ft tall chair. Needless to say, Idris often appears in Welsh folklore as a giant. Ever walked along a mountain trail and got some annoying pieces of grit in your boot? Idris was no different - only giant feet need giant boots, and that can only mean one thing. Giant grit. Yes, legend has it that one day Idris sat down in his massive seat to extract the pesky pebbles from his shoe. He cast them down the mountainside, and there they still lie today - three humongous boulders embedded in the landscape. Other tales of Cadair Idris say that anyone who sleeps on the mountain will have one of three things happen to them.   One: They’ll awaken as a poet. Two: They’ll awaken as a madman. Three: They’ll never wake up again. Like, ever. Wales is known as the paradise of the bard, but I don’t like those odds!   One group that is very familiar with Cadair Idris (and the other 170 or so other peaks in Snowdonia National Park) is Cymdeithas Eryri. The Snowdonia Society is a conservation charity working to protect, enhance and celebrate Snowdonia. There’s a lot to protect, too - the park has 1,479 miles (2,380 km) of public footpaths, 164 miles (264 km) of public bridleways, and 46 miles (74 km) of other public rights of way. The Snowdonia Society hosted one of the most innovative fundraising challenges I saw whilst working at Localgiving. In a bid to illustrate the sheer breadth of their work, and the mounting challenge posed by heavy footfall and the resulting environmental impact, a volunteer with the charity decided to do a sponsored litter pick over a two day period. But this wasn’t any old litter pick. Conservation Volunteer Bob Smith scaled 15 of Snowdonia’s tallest peaks - all the ones that are over 3,000ft tall - whilst collecting litter on his way up (or down)! Of his challenge, Bob said: “I started at Pen-Y-Pass and set off up the Pyg track (up Snowdon) and took about 10 steps before finding my first piece of litter! Not surprisingly there was plenty of rubbish on the summit and after a quick visit in the mist to Garnedd Ugain I headed down the Llanberis path collecting plenty of litter. I then headed to Nant Peris to walk back up again. The bulk of the litter was plastic bottles and sweet wrappers collected on Snowdon (2 bags full) with the rest of the peaks relatively clear of rubbish, but still filling 1 bag.” So Bob’s Legendary challenge cleared 15 beautiful peaks of 3 bags of litter, and managed to raise £404 at the same time! Match funding from the Big Lottery-funded Wales Development Programme brought his total to a fantastic £604, which will go towards the Snowdonia Society’s 50 Years Future Fund - set up to celebrate the charity’s 50th anniversary. What a shame Cadair Idris wasn’t on Bob’s hitlist, standing just shy of 3,000ft. On second thoughts, perhaps it was for the best. Who knows what might have happened if he’d have stopped for a well-earned snooze in Idris’ spooky seat?! I may be leaving Localgiving, but the fundraising frolics will continue - with the central Localgiving team providing support for groups and Lauren Swain (based in South Wales) on hand to help as well. Any North Wales group that would like support should call 0300 111 2340 or email help@localgiving.org Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Chandos House are giving someone vulnerable a home and a future Tractor Aid: Get Well Tilly  
    Jan 02, 2018 1897
  • 12 Dec 2017
    The power of imagery is undeniable, research has found that people are much more responsive to charitable pleas that feature a single, identifiable beneficiary than they are to statistical information about the scale of the problem being faced. Information in images are more readily understood and retained. Images engage audiences and support your written points. The right image can affect what a user thinks, feels or does and make your website or social media page more engaging. Visual content allows you to emphasize important messages and motivates the viewer to take action. According to Zabisco, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. So, how can you use imagery to reach and engage new and existing supporters? For many charities the answer lies in online and social media campaigns. Most charitable organisations now incorporate online strategies into their awareness, PR, and fundraising campaigns. Through email, blogging and social media, charitable organizations now have the potential to deliver information about their cause to a much larger audience. As seen in the rise of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, social media users strive for the “in the moment” feeling. As charitable organizations the use of real and appropriate imagery can connect with followers on an emotional level and drive positive action. These images are memorable and stay in the minds of social media followers so that the next time they see your charity’s logo or image they can more easily take in the information you need them to know. Seeing others taking action makes an individual more likely to take action. Including images and testimonials from real life supporters in your social media posts can have a positive effect on donations and awareness. When you encourage people to take action, it will spread into their social networks where people will feel the urge to follow and take action too. It’s not just online, using imagery in printed flyers, posters and adverts can have a dramatic effect on the success of charitable events. But as a charitable organisation with limited resources, how do you create high quality designs for social media and print?  Design Wizard is an online graphic design tool suitable for beginners that makes it easy to create digital and print designs in seconds. You can upload your own images, logo, colors and fonts to create custom graphics for every platform. The company offers access to over 1.2 million images and 17,000 templates including a range of fundraising templates, flyers, posters and social media posts. It’s premium version, Design Wizard Pro, is offered free to registered nonprofits on application. Claire O'Brien is the Marketing Manager at Design Wizard. Claire has more than 10 years experience in content creation including visual content, digital marketing, email marketing, social media and advertising. She has an avid interest in all things digital and software related. Found this blog useful? You may also like: 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times  
    2455 Posted by Claire O'Brien
  • The power of imagery is undeniable, research has found that people are much more responsive to charitable pleas that feature a single, identifiable beneficiary than they are to statistical information about the scale of the problem being faced. Information in images are more readily understood and retained. Images engage audiences and support your written points. The right image can affect what a user thinks, feels or does and make your website or social media page more engaging. Visual content allows you to emphasize important messages and motivates the viewer to take action. According to Zabisco, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. So, how can you use imagery to reach and engage new and existing supporters? For many charities the answer lies in online and social media campaigns. Most charitable organisations now incorporate online strategies into their awareness, PR, and fundraising campaigns. Through email, blogging and social media, charitable organizations now have the potential to deliver information about their cause to a much larger audience. As seen in the rise of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, social media users strive for the “in the moment” feeling. As charitable organizations the use of real and appropriate imagery can connect with followers on an emotional level and drive positive action. These images are memorable and stay in the minds of social media followers so that the next time they see your charity’s logo or image they can more easily take in the information you need them to know. Seeing others taking action makes an individual more likely to take action. Including images and testimonials from real life supporters in your social media posts can have a positive effect on donations and awareness. When you encourage people to take action, it will spread into their social networks where people will feel the urge to follow and take action too. It’s not just online, using imagery in printed flyers, posters and adverts can have a dramatic effect on the success of charitable events. But as a charitable organisation with limited resources, how do you create high quality designs for social media and print?  Design Wizard is an online graphic design tool suitable for beginners that makes it easy to create digital and print designs in seconds. You can upload your own images, logo, colors and fonts to create custom graphics for every platform. The company offers access to over 1.2 million images and 17,000 templates including a range of fundraising templates, flyers, posters and social media posts. It’s premium version, Design Wizard Pro, is offered free to registered nonprofits on application. Claire O'Brien is the Marketing Manager at Design Wizard. Claire has more than 10 years experience in content creation including visual content, digital marketing, email marketing, social media and advertising. She has an avid interest in all things digital and software related. Found this blog useful? You may also like: 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times  
    Dec 12, 2017 2455
  • 29 Nov 2017
    Hi, I am Maz, one of the Co-managers of a very unique social enterprise, The Prospects Trust at Snakehall Farm. I am just one of many who make up a team of talented support workers, volunteers, trustees and of course our Co-workers (adults with additional needs) here on our 18 acre organic care farm in rural Cambridgeshire.   The Prospects Trust at Snakehall Farm was established in 1989 to provide work placements and supported training for people with disabilities (our Co-workers) on a County Farms estate in Reach, Cambridgeshire. Run as a social enterprise, the charity supports over 50 individuals per week. In addition we host visiting school groups, provide seasonal respite placements and create lots of valuable volunteering opportunities. As a social enterprise, all income generated from the sale of organic produce and our off-site gardening contracts is ploughed back into the running of the Trust. We are a real farm proudly growing differently! All of our produce is sown, grown, harvested and graded by our Co-workers, sold in our farm shop and through a reliable wholesale customer supply chain. We are a real working farm with real produce lines and real customers. Our Co-workers (adults with additional needs) attend the farm as part of a supportive placement programme and we endeavour to always offer a taste of the real world of work. We support, cajole, encourage and develop skills every day in every way. We place our Co-worker's at the heart of the operations and find ways to break down any disability that normally stops them taking part in an active life. We harvest lots of smiles along with the organic tomatoes, potatoes and carrots of course. We have 10 produce popping polytunnels, 3 large fields, a heritage planted orchard, nature trails, coppice, an accessible product kitchen, free ranging chickens, a Farm Shop, a woodwork workshop and even a social media tweeting Tractor - follow Tilly Tractor on Facebook All busy activity has taken its toll on Tilly! Our farm figurehead is rather poorly.  She has been booked into the Tractor Hospital (I must point out Farmer Mark states this should be called the agricultural mechanics) for some much needed TLC (Tractor Loving Care).  Tilly captures the heart of every Co-worker who comes through our farm gates, she is the tractor everyone wants to learn to drive but currently is too "tyred" to farm! Tilly Tractor was supported by ITV People's Millions Lottery funding, with the regional Anglia news viewers voting in shed loads for our amazing project and helping us secure a much needed tractor.  She has been used daily in all seasons and in all weathers and driven by everyone! She is now having a head to plough service, repairs to her hydraulics and we are facing a tractor sized repair bill.  We are hoping that the general public will get behind our Tractor Aid appeal and donate to our Get Well Tilly pot.  Find out more and donate to the Tractor Aid Appeal     
    1866 Posted by Maz Baker
  • Hi, I am Maz, one of the Co-managers of a very unique social enterprise, The Prospects Trust at Snakehall Farm. I am just one of many who make up a team of talented support workers, volunteers, trustees and of course our Co-workers (adults with additional needs) here on our 18 acre organic care farm in rural Cambridgeshire.   The Prospects Trust at Snakehall Farm was established in 1989 to provide work placements and supported training for people with disabilities (our Co-workers) on a County Farms estate in Reach, Cambridgeshire. Run as a social enterprise, the charity supports over 50 individuals per week. In addition we host visiting school groups, provide seasonal respite placements and create lots of valuable volunteering opportunities. As a social enterprise, all income generated from the sale of organic produce and our off-site gardening contracts is ploughed back into the running of the Trust. We are a real farm proudly growing differently! All of our produce is sown, grown, harvested and graded by our Co-workers, sold in our farm shop and through a reliable wholesale customer supply chain. We are a real working farm with real produce lines and real customers. Our Co-workers (adults with additional needs) attend the farm as part of a supportive placement programme and we endeavour to always offer a taste of the real world of work. We support, cajole, encourage and develop skills every day in every way. We place our Co-worker's at the heart of the operations and find ways to break down any disability that normally stops them taking part in an active life. We harvest lots of smiles along with the organic tomatoes, potatoes and carrots of course. We have 10 produce popping polytunnels, 3 large fields, a heritage planted orchard, nature trails, coppice, an accessible product kitchen, free ranging chickens, a Farm Shop, a woodwork workshop and even a social media tweeting Tractor - follow Tilly Tractor on Facebook All busy activity has taken its toll on Tilly! Our farm figurehead is rather poorly.  She has been booked into the Tractor Hospital (I must point out Farmer Mark states this should be called the agricultural mechanics) for some much needed TLC (Tractor Loving Care).  Tilly captures the heart of every Co-worker who comes through our farm gates, she is the tractor everyone wants to learn to drive but currently is too "tyred" to farm! Tilly Tractor was supported by ITV People's Millions Lottery funding, with the regional Anglia news viewers voting in shed loads for our amazing project and helping us secure a much needed tractor.  She has been used daily in all seasons and in all weathers and driven by everyone! She is now having a head to plough service, repairs to her hydraulics and we are facing a tractor sized repair bill.  We are hoping that the general public will get behind our Tractor Aid appeal and donate to our Get Well Tilly pot.  Find out more and donate to the Tractor Aid Appeal     
    Nov 29, 2017 1866
  • 17 Oct 2017
    Since 2000, Rewrite has been working with young people to challenge racism and fight prejudices surrounding asylum and migration. We do this by using the arts to bring together young people from different nationalities and background. Through our creative activities, we support young people to improve English language & literacy, build their confidence and develop strong social relationships with their peers.  We run three core projects in South London as well as bespoke activities; working with over 300 young people annually. At the centre of Rewrite's work is our pioneering Creative ESOL project.  Creative ESOL is a  creative language learning project working with newly arrived refugees and migrants to learn English through drama, play, dance, art and music. Our workshops are delivered by a trained ESOL teacher and an experienced drama practitioner who foster a supportive and safe environment for our participants. We believe that young people can effectively learn through play, relaxation and a creative space to express themselves engaging the body.  Once our young people feel confident, they progress onto our other creative projects We bring together young people from different nationalities and backgrounds, to build new friendships whilst learning English. Once they feel confident in language, Creative ESOL graduates can progress onto our Creative Writing group: Free Writers and/or our Youth Theatre: ReACT where they will meet other local young people from their local area. The groups offer opportunities to access cultural spaces in London, work with professional performers and take the stage at least twice a year to showcase their work to public audiences. We make a huge difference to the lives of our service users - as S's story shows S moved to London from Bangladesh in 2014 at the age of 13 knowing no English. Following a Rewrite outreach session at his school, his teachers recommended him to join the Creative ESOL project.  Three years on, S is 16 with a good command of English and is continuing to participate in the CESOL project as a Young Leader. This leadership role has given him the opportunity to give back to CESOL by “supporting the team, behaving well and helping others".  Last year, S progressed on to the React youth theatre project. He made the decision to join this programme to challenge himself further: “I can feel that I’m improving a lot and if I go to React, I can step up … because it’s been a few years now and they helped me a lot so I need to step up to show them I can do it.” “Rewrite is a great option and opportunity for people to come and learn English. Rewrite helped me a lot. I’d like to say thank you a lot for the help. Thank you.” - S The Rewrite team are so proud of S’s progress and are glad to have him as part of our team. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This month, we are raising funds for our Creative ESOL Project. To support our work and help us reach our £5000 target, take advantage of Localgiving’s Grow Your Tenner campaign and donate now to double your money. If you would like to learn more about what Rewrite does, get in touch with Farha on 07575 743103.
    3182 Posted by Farha Bi
  • Since 2000, Rewrite has been working with young people to challenge racism and fight prejudices surrounding asylum and migration. We do this by using the arts to bring together young people from different nationalities and background. Through our creative activities, we support young people to improve English language & literacy, build their confidence and develop strong social relationships with their peers.  We run three core projects in South London as well as bespoke activities; working with over 300 young people annually. At the centre of Rewrite's work is our pioneering Creative ESOL project.  Creative ESOL is a  creative language learning project working with newly arrived refugees and migrants to learn English through drama, play, dance, art and music. Our workshops are delivered by a trained ESOL teacher and an experienced drama practitioner who foster a supportive and safe environment for our participants. We believe that young people can effectively learn through play, relaxation and a creative space to express themselves engaging the body.  Once our young people feel confident, they progress onto our other creative projects We bring together young people from different nationalities and backgrounds, to build new friendships whilst learning English. Once they feel confident in language, Creative ESOL graduates can progress onto our Creative Writing group: Free Writers and/or our Youth Theatre: ReACT where they will meet other local young people from their local area. The groups offer opportunities to access cultural spaces in London, work with professional performers and take the stage at least twice a year to showcase their work to public audiences. We make a huge difference to the lives of our service users - as S's story shows S moved to London from Bangladesh in 2014 at the age of 13 knowing no English. Following a Rewrite outreach session at his school, his teachers recommended him to join the Creative ESOL project.  Three years on, S is 16 with a good command of English and is continuing to participate in the CESOL project as a Young Leader. This leadership role has given him the opportunity to give back to CESOL by “supporting the team, behaving well and helping others".  Last year, S progressed on to the React youth theatre project. He made the decision to join this programme to challenge himself further: “I can feel that I’m improving a lot and if I go to React, I can step up … because it’s been a few years now and they helped me a lot so I need to step up to show them I can do it.” “Rewrite is a great option and opportunity for people to come and learn English. Rewrite helped me a lot. I’d like to say thank you a lot for the help. Thank you.” - S The Rewrite team are so proud of S’s progress and are glad to have him as part of our team. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This month, we are raising funds for our Creative ESOL Project. To support our work and help us reach our £5000 target, take advantage of Localgiving’s Grow Your Tenner campaign and donate now to double your money. If you would like to learn more about what Rewrite does, get in touch with Farha on 07575 743103.
    Oct 17, 2017 3182
  • 06 Oct 2017
      1. Knowledge is power Familiarise yourself with the full terms of the campaign. Once you know how everything works, plan what you’ll do to make the most of it. Remember to let everyone in the organisation know (don’t forget the trustees!) so everyone is prepared and can do their bit. Afterall, Grow Your Tenner comes but once a year! Think about how Grow Your Tenner will complement current or ongoing fundraising activities. For example, do you have a fundraiser raising money for you at the moment? If yes, encourage them to do an extra push for donations during Grow Your Tenner. You can help by sharing their fundraising page via your social media and other networks. 2. Don’t ask, don’t get Letting supporters know Grow Your Tenner is happening is just the first step. To maximise your chances of getting donations, you’ll actually have to ask! Remember to ask nicely, and to be specific - so rather than saying: “Donate £10 to us today and it will be doubled.” Try saying: “Donate £10 to our new building appeal today and it will be doubled by Localgiving! £20 is enough to buy a new chair for the community room.“ A good rule of thumb when crafting your “ask” is to focus on the donor, as opposed to your organisation. Let’s look at an example. A homeless charity might say something like: “Support our outreach work with homeless people in [town] - your £10 donation will enable us to provide a hot meal for a person in crisis.” To help the donor feel a bit more connected to the cause, and therefore a bit more likely to donate, they could instead say: “Reach out to homeless people in [town] - because of your £10, a person in crisis will be able to enjoy a hot meal today.” 3. Once upon a time Effective storytelling is key to fundraising. Stories engage us, and are much easier to remember than statistics.They also have the ability to trigger an emotional response, which helps build rapport between your cause and your supporters. Stories are most effective when they are told by the people you support, in their own words. As a charitable organisation, you touch the lives of so many people! Chances are, some of them would be delighted to “give something back” by providing a short testimonial or case study. Use these storytelling tips to help you get started! 4. Make it your own If you can add additional meaning to the campaign, it will make it more personal to your cause and more tangible for your supporters. For example, if you’re currently running an appeal, how many doubled tenners will it take for you to reach your target? Or perhaps there’s something specific that the extra £10 will enable you to do? Let’s go back to the homeless charity example: “Your gift of £10 will buy a person in crisis a hot meal, and the £10 match funding will give them a safe bed in the shelter tonight.” Finally, can you do something unique to bring the campaign to life? Belfast Print Workshop came up with this fun, share-worthy video in advance of last year’s Grow Your Tenner. 5. Is there anybody out there? Once you’ve planned your approach, it’s time to start spreading the word! Social media is a great place to start. Use any platform you are on to let people know about the campaign. Encourage your volunteers and/or staff to share posts made by your group’s page so the message reaches more people. Keep it visual, using photos and videos where possible. South Denbighshire Community Partnership recently used Facebook Live to broadcast their fundraiser, Alex, being waxed before competing in the Iron Man Wales triathlon! It was a great way to get people involved (the video got over a thousand views) and it generated more donations for Alex’s page.   As a Localgiving member, you’re part of a lively and diverse community of grassroots organisations across the UK. During the campaign, get inspiration and support each other by following #GrowYourTenner on Facebook and Twitter. Not only will you see all the great fundraising other groups are doing, you’ll also get the latest updates from Localgiving. Remember to use the hashtag in all your posts, too - we’ll share when we can! Don’t forget about your other communication channels. Have you approached the local news? You can upload a press release right from the Localgiving website! 6. Let me check my schedule Trying to stay on top of multiple social media channels can be tricky. Picture this: Grow Your Tenner starts at 10:00 on the 17th of October, and you’ve organised a special coffee morning at your local community centre to launch your fundraising appeal. You really should put some things on social media, but you’ll be busy speaking to people at the event. What a dilemma!   Enter: scheduling tools. Scheduling enables you to plan posts in advance, meaning you can be active on social media even when you’re busy doing things in the real world. Some platforms have scheduling features built in (e.g. Facebook), or you can use a dedicated service (e.g. Hootsuite) to manage multiple accounts. If you’ve never tried scheduling before, check out these handy guides: Scheduling a Facebook post Scheduling social media using Hootsuite   7. Let’s stay together Direct Debits account for 31% of all donations to UK charities. Regular donations are hugely important for small, local charities, helping them to stabilise their finances and plan for the future. A one-off donation of £120 can be daunting for many people, whereas £10 a month seems much more reasonable. A £10 monthly donation set up during the campaign will raise £210 over a 12 month period (including Gift Aid and match funding) - that’s a whopping £60 extra thanks to Grow Your Tenner! Tune in to our next webinar at 1pm on the 12th of October for some hints and tips on how to attract regular donors. 8. Mind your Ps and Qs If someone put money in your collection tin, you’d give them a friendly smile and a cheery thank you - so remember to do the same online! A timely and well-written thank you will make the donor feel appreciated. Nothing, on the other hand, might make them think twice about giving again in the future. Lots of thank yous to do? Remember you can send messages to donors directly from your Localgiving dashboard using 3 saved templates. Not sure where to start? Have a look at our guide to writing a good thank you message. If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different methods of sending thank yous - like TAPE Community Music & Film, who made this simple video after their recent appeal!   9. Don’t stop me now You’ve prepared well for the launch of Grow Your Tenner, and you get a few donations in on the the 17th. Success! Time to relax, right? Not yet! The campaign will run for as long as there is money in the pot (or until 16th of November - whichever comes first), so be sure to keep the momentum going. Because there’s a target to aim for, an appeal will help you to focus your fundraising and keep people engaged for the whole campaign. Keep posting on social media throughout Grow Your Tenner, and give updates about your fundraising. Remember to celebrate when you reach a milestone, and remind people that their donations will be matched for a limited time. Check out these 13 tips to help you run a successful appeal.   10. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship Your interaction with a donor shouldn’t end at the point where they give - that’s only the start! Firstly, you’ll (ideally) be getting in touch within 24 hours to say thank you. From there, you could go back to them again at the end of Grow Your Tenner, to let them know how much you raised and your plans for the money. Once you’ve started using the money raised, get back in touch again with a progress update. This is your opportunity to really demonstrate the difference their money is making to the people you support. If you’re working on a capital project, could you send some before and after photos? If the money was for an event, could you send a video with snippets from the participants? Your aim should be to keep the donor interested, so you can go back to them in the future to let them know how they can get involved again - be that volunteering at an event, doing a sponsored challenge or donating to your next appeal. With these 10 tips, you should feel prepared to take on Grow Your Tenner - but remember you can call 0300 111 2340 or email help@localgiving.org for friendly help, support and fundraising advice. Good luck!  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha 
    3099 Posted by Emma Jones
  •   1. Knowledge is power Familiarise yourself with the full terms of the campaign. Once you know how everything works, plan what you’ll do to make the most of it. Remember to let everyone in the organisation know (don’t forget the trustees!) so everyone is prepared and can do their bit. Afterall, Grow Your Tenner comes but once a year! Think about how Grow Your Tenner will complement current or ongoing fundraising activities. For example, do you have a fundraiser raising money for you at the moment? If yes, encourage them to do an extra push for donations during Grow Your Tenner. You can help by sharing their fundraising page via your social media and other networks. 2. Don’t ask, don’t get Letting supporters know Grow Your Tenner is happening is just the first step. To maximise your chances of getting donations, you’ll actually have to ask! Remember to ask nicely, and to be specific - so rather than saying: “Donate £10 to us today and it will be doubled.” Try saying: “Donate £10 to our new building appeal today and it will be doubled by Localgiving! £20 is enough to buy a new chair for the community room.“ A good rule of thumb when crafting your “ask” is to focus on the donor, as opposed to your organisation. Let’s look at an example. A homeless charity might say something like: “Support our outreach work with homeless people in [town] - your £10 donation will enable us to provide a hot meal for a person in crisis.” To help the donor feel a bit more connected to the cause, and therefore a bit more likely to donate, they could instead say: “Reach out to homeless people in [town] - because of your £10, a person in crisis will be able to enjoy a hot meal today.” 3. Once upon a time Effective storytelling is key to fundraising. Stories engage us, and are much easier to remember than statistics.They also have the ability to trigger an emotional response, which helps build rapport between your cause and your supporters. Stories are most effective when they are told by the people you support, in their own words. As a charitable organisation, you touch the lives of so many people! Chances are, some of them would be delighted to “give something back” by providing a short testimonial or case study. Use these storytelling tips to help you get started! 4. Make it your own If you can add additional meaning to the campaign, it will make it more personal to your cause and more tangible for your supporters. For example, if you’re currently running an appeal, how many doubled tenners will it take for you to reach your target? Or perhaps there’s something specific that the extra £10 will enable you to do? Let’s go back to the homeless charity example: “Your gift of £10 will buy a person in crisis a hot meal, and the £10 match funding will give them a safe bed in the shelter tonight.” Finally, can you do something unique to bring the campaign to life? Belfast Print Workshop came up with this fun, share-worthy video in advance of last year’s Grow Your Tenner. 5. Is there anybody out there? Once you’ve planned your approach, it’s time to start spreading the word! Social media is a great place to start. Use any platform you are on to let people know about the campaign. Encourage your volunteers and/or staff to share posts made by your group’s page so the message reaches more people. Keep it visual, using photos and videos where possible. South Denbighshire Community Partnership recently used Facebook Live to broadcast their fundraiser, Alex, being waxed before competing in the Iron Man Wales triathlon! It was a great way to get people involved (the video got over a thousand views) and it generated more donations for Alex’s page.   As a Localgiving member, you’re part of a lively and diverse community of grassroots organisations across the UK. During the campaign, get inspiration and support each other by following #GrowYourTenner on Facebook and Twitter. Not only will you see all the great fundraising other groups are doing, you’ll also get the latest updates from Localgiving. Remember to use the hashtag in all your posts, too - we’ll share when we can! Don’t forget about your other communication channels. Have you approached the local news? You can upload a press release right from the Localgiving website! 6. Let me check my schedule Trying to stay on top of multiple social media channels can be tricky. Picture this: Grow Your Tenner starts at 10:00 on the 17th of October, and you’ve organised a special coffee morning at your local community centre to launch your fundraising appeal. You really should put some things on social media, but you’ll be busy speaking to people at the event. What a dilemma!   Enter: scheduling tools. Scheduling enables you to plan posts in advance, meaning you can be active on social media even when you’re busy doing things in the real world. Some platforms have scheduling features built in (e.g. Facebook), or you can use a dedicated service (e.g. Hootsuite) to manage multiple accounts. If you’ve never tried scheduling before, check out these handy guides: Scheduling a Facebook post Scheduling social media using Hootsuite   7. Let’s stay together Direct Debits account for 31% of all donations to UK charities. Regular donations are hugely important for small, local charities, helping them to stabilise their finances and plan for the future. A one-off donation of £120 can be daunting for many people, whereas £10 a month seems much more reasonable. A £10 monthly donation set up during the campaign will raise £210 over a 12 month period (including Gift Aid and match funding) - that’s a whopping £60 extra thanks to Grow Your Tenner! Tune in to our next webinar at 1pm on the 12th of October for some hints and tips on how to attract regular donors. 8. Mind your Ps and Qs If someone put money in your collection tin, you’d give them a friendly smile and a cheery thank you - so remember to do the same online! A timely and well-written thank you will make the donor feel appreciated. Nothing, on the other hand, might make them think twice about giving again in the future. Lots of thank yous to do? Remember you can send messages to donors directly from your Localgiving dashboard using 3 saved templates. Not sure where to start? Have a look at our guide to writing a good thank you message. If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different methods of sending thank yous - like TAPE Community Music & Film, who made this simple video after their recent appeal!   9. Don’t stop me now You’ve prepared well for the launch of Grow Your Tenner, and you get a few donations in on the the 17th. Success! Time to relax, right? Not yet! The campaign will run for as long as there is money in the pot (or until 16th of November - whichever comes first), so be sure to keep the momentum going. Because there’s a target to aim for, an appeal will help you to focus your fundraising and keep people engaged for the whole campaign. Keep posting on social media throughout Grow Your Tenner, and give updates about your fundraising. Remember to celebrate when you reach a milestone, and remind people that their donations will be matched for a limited time. Check out these 13 tips to help you run a successful appeal.   10. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship Your interaction with a donor shouldn’t end at the point where they give - that’s only the start! Firstly, you’ll (ideally) be getting in touch within 24 hours to say thank you. From there, you could go back to them again at the end of Grow Your Tenner, to let them know how much you raised and your plans for the money. Once you’ve started using the money raised, get back in touch again with a progress update. This is your opportunity to really demonstrate the difference their money is making to the people you support. If you’re working on a capital project, could you send some before and after photos? If the money was for an event, could you send a video with snippets from the participants? Your aim should be to keep the donor interested, so you can go back to them in the future to let them know how they can get involved again - be that volunteering at an event, doing a sponsored challenge or donating to your next appeal. With these 10 tips, you should feel prepared to take on Grow Your Tenner - but remember you can call 0300 111 2340 or email help@localgiving.org for friendly help, support and fundraising advice. Good luck!  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha 
    Oct 06, 2017 3099
  • 02 Oct 2017
    Walking into the office of the Community Foundation of Northern Ireland in July 2015 was nerve wracking enough but made worse with the knowledge that this was no ordinary first day. After the usual flurry of names that come with the first day in any new job, I was being sent off to the airport and a flight to London to meet the staff in our London Localgiving HQ. From there, it feels like it has been a whirlwind ever since! In my first week of working for Localgiving, the very first group that signed up was the Aisling Centre, a counselling charity in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. Supporters of the centre were engaging in a poignant and bittersweet fundraising campaign in memory of a young man from the town. I am not sure if it was because it was my first campaign to work on, or whether it was the passion and love behind the cause, but the name and memory of the young man will always be with me. It was very quickly apparent that this was a job like no other! The group has gone on to raise over £13,000 through Localgiving, which is fantastic! I have relished getting out and meeting our groups, getting to know their work and figuring out how we can support them in their fundraising activities. No day was ever the same and no group had the same needs. I have loved it. From the community transport organisations helping elderly ladies get their weekly shopping done; children’s charities offering teenagers a safe space to find themselves; music and art centres who open their doors and make art accessible to all; women’s centres who literally save lives to sports groups who thrive at the centre of communities. Each one has been different and yet all facing the uncertainties that come with the vulnerable community and voluntary sector, especially here in Northern Ireland. I discovered that although Northern Ireland has one of the most experienced and relied upon charitable sectors in the UK, many groups are heavily reliant on grants and aid from government bodies. This has posed a massive threat on a number of the organisations we worked with and unfortunately, a number were forced to close despite even the most valiant fundraising efforts. One of which was the Carrick Women’s Centre. I had been working alongside their volunteers for over a year and the work they engaged in was so vital and had such an impact that I even sent my mother down to them to volunteer as their reflexologist. I will always be so disappointed that they had to close their doors due to funding pressures. In the middle of my time with Localgiving, some will know I went off and had a baby, a little boy called Alfie. The first Localgiving baby as far as I have been told. It meant that I came back and was able to see the work of some of our parenting organisation members like Parenting NI and Parent Action in a whole new light. During my maternity leave, I was replaced by another wonderful Coordinator, Nicola Hanna. Nicola was just as passionate about the groups we work with as I was and she brought a whole new dimension to the role. In total the Localgiving project in Northern Ireland has helped so many organisations in the three years it has been piloted here. It has delivered dozens of training projects and hundreds of one-to-one help sessions. We have encouraged and supported the marathon runners, the people who jump out of planes, skate round rinks for hours, climb stairs over and over, walk for miles, stay quiet all day and even the amazing lady who swam the channel between Africa and Europe! I am forever grateful to our members who taught me so much about passion and commitment to a cause. I hope that those I have engaged with in my role have and will continue to see the benefit of the Localgiving platform. In my eyes, it is the only donations platform that has a heart for the work it’s raising money for. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that groups in Northern Ireland who are currently members of Localgiving or future members will not receive support, fundraising help and access to match funding campaigns. Support will be provided by our brilliant helpdesk staff who can be reached on 0300 111 2340 or by email help@localgiving.org. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     A volunteers view: Supporting groups in the West of England How the Cardiff Half Marathon is helping our groups in Wales   
    3540 Posted by Sian O'Neill
  • Walking into the office of the Community Foundation of Northern Ireland in July 2015 was nerve wracking enough but made worse with the knowledge that this was no ordinary first day. After the usual flurry of names that come with the first day in any new job, I was being sent off to the airport and a flight to London to meet the staff in our London Localgiving HQ. From there, it feels like it has been a whirlwind ever since! In my first week of working for Localgiving, the very first group that signed up was the Aisling Centre, a counselling charity in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. Supporters of the centre were engaging in a poignant and bittersweet fundraising campaign in memory of a young man from the town. I am not sure if it was because it was my first campaign to work on, or whether it was the passion and love behind the cause, but the name and memory of the young man will always be with me. It was very quickly apparent that this was a job like no other! The group has gone on to raise over £13,000 through Localgiving, which is fantastic! I have relished getting out and meeting our groups, getting to know their work and figuring out how we can support them in their fundraising activities. No day was ever the same and no group had the same needs. I have loved it. From the community transport organisations helping elderly ladies get their weekly shopping done; children’s charities offering teenagers a safe space to find themselves; music and art centres who open their doors and make art accessible to all; women’s centres who literally save lives to sports groups who thrive at the centre of communities. Each one has been different and yet all facing the uncertainties that come with the vulnerable community and voluntary sector, especially here in Northern Ireland. I discovered that although Northern Ireland has one of the most experienced and relied upon charitable sectors in the UK, many groups are heavily reliant on grants and aid from government bodies. This has posed a massive threat on a number of the organisations we worked with and unfortunately, a number were forced to close despite even the most valiant fundraising efforts. One of which was the Carrick Women’s Centre. I had been working alongside their volunteers for over a year and the work they engaged in was so vital and had such an impact that I even sent my mother down to them to volunteer as their reflexologist. I will always be so disappointed that they had to close their doors due to funding pressures. In the middle of my time with Localgiving, some will know I went off and had a baby, a little boy called Alfie. The first Localgiving baby as far as I have been told. It meant that I came back and was able to see the work of some of our parenting organisation members like Parenting NI and Parent Action in a whole new light. During my maternity leave, I was replaced by another wonderful Coordinator, Nicola Hanna. Nicola was just as passionate about the groups we work with as I was and she brought a whole new dimension to the role. In total the Localgiving project in Northern Ireland has helped so many organisations in the three years it has been piloted here. It has delivered dozens of training projects and hundreds of one-to-one help sessions. We have encouraged and supported the marathon runners, the people who jump out of planes, skate round rinks for hours, climb stairs over and over, walk for miles, stay quiet all day and even the amazing lady who swam the channel between Africa and Europe! I am forever grateful to our members who taught me so much about passion and commitment to a cause. I hope that those I have engaged with in my role have and will continue to see the benefit of the Localgiving platform. In my eyes, it is the only donations platform that has a heart for the work it’s raising money for. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that groups in Northern Ireland who are currently members of Localgiving or future members will not receive support, fundraising help and access to match funding campaigns. Support will be provided by our brilliant helpdesk staff who can be reached on 0300 111 2340 or by email help@localgiving.org. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     A volunteers view: Supporting groups in the West of England How the Cardiff Half Marathon is helping our groups in Wales   
    Oct 02, 2017 3540