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275 blogs
  • 04 May 2018
     Local Hero 2018 has now come to an end and what a rollercoaster campaign it has been! Thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign and a huge congratulations to those fundraisers who made it onto our leaderboard. The race was hard fought with participants jostling for position right until clock struck midnight on the 30th of April. All 20 prizes have been awarded and £5,000 is on its way to charities across the United Kingdom. A full list of our prize winners can be found on our leaderboard here. Participants have been ranked according to the number of unique online donors from whom they secured sponsorship throughout the month. During the campaign 343 fundraisers raised £109k for 171 local charities and community groups. We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s campaign was Lamyaa Hanchaoui with 292 Local Hero Points. Lamyaa raised over £4,000 for Sufra NW London in addition to the £1,000 Local Hero winner’s prize! Lamyaa has previously written a blog for Localgiving which you can view here. Another £4,000 in prizes have been awarded to the causes supported by the other top 19 fundraisers. The runner up this year was Karen Layton who pledged to run 1000 kilometres in 2018 and won £500 for the Kimberley Institute! "We’ve just participated in the Localgiving competition which was an excellent vehicle to focus minds on our project.  It worked really well and the competition element for prizes gave an added edge to it. Overall with gift aid and prizes we raised £3,500 which has never been done before in our Club.  Can’t recommend it enough" - Geoff, Kimberley Institute Two standout heroes of the campaign, Dermot Ferguson and Adam Jones, ran the Liverpool to Manchester 50 Mile Run on 2nd April 2018 for Charlotte's Brightside CLC. Dermot won £500 in Local Hero by finishing in 4th position and Adam won £200 by coming in 7th! The Shared Earth Trust in Wales had 5 superstar supporters do a long distance walking event that coincided with the Local Hero Campaign. In addition to the £3000 they raised, the team won a £200 prize! “Without Local Hero we couldn't have imagine raising such a  good sum for our work” - Mara, Shared Earth Trust Runners again proved to be a popular challenge in Local Hero, including Ben’s first ever Marathon for the Young Hammersmith and Fulham Foundation. Ben won £100 by finishing 17th this year, and Gareth at the foundation credits Local Hero with kick starting his push for donations: "Local Hero as a campaign is timed well for marathon season. It's a great initiative. I like how it is dealing with any donations big or small, attracting new donors, and trying to convince people that small donations matter too. It really helps to widen your donor base. It's a ready made incentive for us to reach out to our donors. I love the way Localgiving gives more and how the Local Hero campaign looks and feels." - Gareth - Young Hammersmith and Fulham Foundation Thank you to everyone who took part! Send us your stories and sign up here for more news about Localgiving and future campaigns!   
    2304 Posted by Conor Kelly
  •  Local Hero 2018 has now come to an end and what a rollercoaster campaign it has been! Thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign and a huge congratulations to those fundraisers who made it onto our leaderboard. The race was hard fought with participants jostling for position right until clock struck midnight on the 30th of April. All 20 prizes have been awarded and £5,000 is on its way to charities across the United Kingdom. A full list of our prize winners can be found on our leaderboard here. Participants have been ranked according to the number of unique online donors from whom they secured sponsorship throughout the month. During the campaign 343 fundraisers raised £109k for 171 local charities and community groups. We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s campaign was Lamyaa Hanchaoui with 292 Local Hero Points. Lamyaa raised over £4,000 for Sufra NW London in addition to the £1,000 Local Hero winner’s prize! Lamyaa has previously written a blog for Localgiving which you can view here. Another £4,000 in prizes have been awarded to the causes supported by the other top 19 fundraisers. The runner up this year was Karen Layton who pledged to run 1000 kilometres in 2018 and won £500 for the Kimberley Institute! "We’ve just participated in the Localgiving competition which was an excellent vehicle to focus minds on our project.  It worked really well and the competition element for prizes gave an added edge to it. Overall with gift aid and prizes we raised £3,500 which has never been done before in our Club.  Can’t recommend it enough" - Geoff, Kimberley Institute Two standout heroes of the campaign, Dermot Ferguson and Adam Jones, ran the Liverpool to Manchester 50 Mile Run on 2nd April 2018 for Charlotte's Brightside CLC. Dermot won £500 in Local Hero by finishing in 4th position and Adam won £200 by coming in 7th! The Shared Earth Trust in Wales had 5 superstar supporters do a long distance walking event that coincided with the Local Hero Campaign. In addition to the £3000 they raised, the team won a £200 prize! “Without Local Hero we couldn't have imagine raising such a  good sum for our work” - Mara, Shared Earth Trust Runners again proved to be a popular challenge in Local Hero, including Ben’s first ever Marathon for the Young Hammersmith and Fulham Foundation. Ben won £100 by finishing 17th this year, and Gareth at the foundation credits Local Hero with kick starting his push for donations: "Local Hero as a campaign is timed well for marathon season. It's a great initiative. I like how it is dealing with any donations big or small, attracting new donors, and trying to convince people that small donations matter too. It really helps to widen your donor base. It's a ready made incentive for us to reach out to our donors. I love the way Localgiving gives more and how the Local Hero campaign looks and feels." - Gareth - Young Hammersmith and Fulham Foundation Thank you to everyone who took part! Send us your stories and sign up here for more news about Localgiving and future campaigns!   
    May 04, 2018 2304
  • 16 Apr 2018
    These days there are growing ways to give to charity that needn’t involve sticking your hand in your pocket. Look at it another way: there’s growing number of opportunities for charities to galvanise their supporters and raise cash without actually having to ask individuals for any more of theirs. It’s called ‘Zero Cost Giving’ to coin a phrase. So long as there is no additional cost to the individual - and there’s little effort involved - these are all easy consumer choices to make. A great example is For Good Causes which encourages members of the public to donate unspent loyalty rewards – which it has calculated are worth £7 billion – to any of the 12,000 charities signed up to the Charities Trust. Give As You Live is another. It pays a commission from any purchases made among 4,200 participating retailers and claims to have raised nearly £10 million among the 10,000 charities involved. Likewise, Amazon Smile is just getting going in the UK but pledges to donate 0.5% of its transactions and has over 2,000 charities already in line to benefit. Registration for these initiatives is free but does require a Charity Commission number and that can put smaller charities at a disadvantage. However, there is an alternative solution for both registered and unregistered charities. And, better still, it allows Joe Public to benefit financially from the choices they’re being encouraged to make - as well as the charity. A ‘Collective Energy Switch’ is unique in that it gives something back to a charity’s supporters (by cutting a fifth off their energy bills) whilst turning the commission - that would normally be pocketed by a price comparison website for doing roughly the same thing - into a donation. It can work for organisations of any size - whether a not-for-profit, charity or Community Amateur Sports Club… indeed having a strong local community presence is often better than having a formal structure. If you’ve never heard of them, Collective Energy Switches are a great way to get a group of people onto a cheaper tariff in one go, combining the buying power of the participants without everyone having to shop around themselves. The best known example is probably Martin Lewis’s Cheap Energy Club – the success of which was the main reason behind British Gas having to admit that it lost 650,000 customers in the third quarter of last year alone. So now charities - registered or not - can pool willing supporters into a Collective Energy Switch and receive £15 per household who take up the resulting cheap offer. Back of the Sofa does this through a partnership with iChoosr: a well-established collective switch organiser, running three ‘auctions’ a year among energy suppliers. Around 75,000 households take part in each one and - last time round - the winning tariff was £245 cheaper than the average annual ‘Big 6’ standard variable tariff of £1,149. Charities are able to pick and choose how regularly they participate. Offering a Collective Energy Switch opportunity to supporters once yearly, for example, means everyone has the opportunity to move on to another cheap deal as soon as the first one expires, not to mention guaranteeing a regular source of income for the charity. All the charity has to do is put a registration page under the noses of its supporters (ie via email or social media) and let common sense prevail. Those wishing to join the next one have until 22th May to apply for a registration page and garner their support. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    5 tips to avoid having your Google Grants account deactivated Back of the Sofa’s Alternative Guide to the Tax Year End  
    3122 Posted by Nick Heath
  • These days there are growing ways to give to charity that needn’t involve sticking your hand in your pocket. Look at it another way: there’s growing number of opportunities for charities to galvanise their supporters and raise cash without actually having to ask individuals for any more of theirs. It’s called ‘Zero Cost Giving’ to coin a phrase. So long as there is no additional cost to the individual - and there’s little effort involved - these are all easy consumer choices to make. A great example is For Good Causes which encourages members of the public to donate unspent loyalty rewards – which it has calculated are worth £7 billion – to any of the 12,000 charities signed up to the Charities Trust. Give As You Live is another. It pays a commission from any purchases made among 4,200 participating retailers and claims to have raised nearly £10 million among the 10,000 charities involved. Likewise, Amazon Smile is just getting going in the UK but pledges to donate 0.5% of its transactions and has over 2,000 charities already in line to benefit. Registration for these initiatives is free but does require a Charity Commission number and that can put smaller charities at a disadvantage. However, there is an alternative solution for both registered and unregistered charities. And, better still, it allows Joe Public to benefit financially from the choices they’re being encouraged to make - as well as the charity. A ‘Collective Energy Switch’ is unique in that it gives something back to a charity’s supporters (by cutting a fifth off their energy bills) whilst turning the commission - that would normally be pocketed by a price comparison website for doing roughly the same thing - into a donation. It can work for organisations of any size - whether a not-for-profit, charity or Community Amateur Sports Club… indeed having a strong local community presence is often better than having a formal structure. If you’ve never heard of them, Collective Energy Switches are a great way to get a group of people onto a cheaper tariff in one go, combining the buying power of the participants without everyone having to shop around themselves. The best known example is probably Martin Lewis’s Cheap Energy Club – the success of which was the main reason behind British Gas having to admit that it lost 650,000 customers in the third quarter of last year alone. So now charities - registered or not - can pool willing supporters into a Collective Energy Switch and receive £15 per household who take up the resulting cheap offer. Back of the Sofa does this through a partnership with iChoosr: a well-established collective switch organiser, running three ‘auctions’ a year among energy suppliers. Around 75,000 households take part in each one and - last time round - the winning tariff was £245 cheaper than the average annual ‘Big 6’ standard variable tariff of £1,149. Charities are able to pick and choose how regularly they participate. Offering a Collective Energy Switch opportunity to supporters once yearly, for example, means everyone has the opportunity to move on to another cheap deal as soon as the first one expires, not to mention guaranteeing a regular source of income for the charity. All the charity has to do is put a registration page under the noses of its supporters (ie via email or social media) and let common sense prevail. Those wishing to join the next one have until 22th May to apply for a registration page and garner their support. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    5 tips to avoid having your Google Grants account deactivated Back of the Sofa’s Alternative Guide to the Tax Year End  
    Apr 16, 2018 3122
  • 16 Apr 2018
    Lamyaa Hanchaoui is taking part in this year's Local Hero campaign, raising funds for Sufra NW London. To donate to Lamyaa follow this Link. Everyone who donates will recieve a link to Lamyaa's spoken word poetry.  As the Syrian conflict reaches its eighth year, so has the refugee crisis. Refugees have risked their lives to reach stability and safety here in the UK. They are also one of the most misunderstood and neglected people of our time. Due to fear-inducing media narratives and general lack of knowledge, a common belief is that refugees spontaneously decide to pack their bags, leave their homeland - the country they have spent their entire lives - and cross dangerous borders to settle in western nations for the “good life”. This is a long way from reality. From speaking with Syrian refugees in Jordan and witnessing families torn apart from the war, I learned that many who fled violence just about take the clothes they wore during that moment of escape. Crossing borders is not a walk in the park either. It is a dangerous journey, filled with unpredictable risks and complications which has taken the lives of thousands who have attempted to reach safety via sea. As distasteful as it to explain to those who assume that refugees are uneducated, it is crucial to note that Syrians are indeed very much educated, skilled and creative. Before the Syrian conflict, refugees came from all kind of professional backgrounds. Now they find themselves in positions in which they are refused to practice their skills and talents. Imagine this: you are a professional who provides income and takes care of your family. You are happy, stable and maintain close ties with your family and neighbours. Overnight, you discover that family members and neighbours have been killed or injured by drones, tortured to death or have lost everything. Every day, you hear someone new has been killed or severely injured. You are being treated in a hospital which cannot facilitate your care and is at risk of being targeted by an airstrike. The same school you had met your closest friends during your childhood years has been crushed to the ground, along with all its memories. What would you do? The reality is that refugees do not just decide to leave. They have no choice. Another assumption is that refugees who have resettled in the UK no longer need our help. This is perhaps the root source of their neglect. Many refugees who have resettled in London have not really resettled at all. Despite fleeing a war zone with violence, severe human right violations, and even death, refugees remain struggling to survive and lack access to crucial facilities and services. These include access to food, housing, employment, psychotherapy, English language support, and schooling. Psychological trauma and PTSD is widely common but is not properly addressed or supported. Sufra NW London is dedicated to helping refugees gain access to these urgent services via their Refugee Resettlement Programme. As a spoken word artist and activist, I use my platform to raise awareness for voices who are often neglected, silenced and misinterpreted. Together, we must advocate for basic human rights for refugees, who deserve so much more. To take find out more, or take part in this year's Local hero competition visit our campaign page.
    2278 Posted by Lamyaa Hanchaoui
  • Lamyaa Hanchaoui is taking part in this year's Local Hero campaign, raising funds for Sufra NW London. To donate to Lamyaa follow this Link. Everyone who donates will recieve a link to Lamyaa's spoken word poetry.  As the Syrian conflict reaches its eighth year, so has the refugee crisis. Refugees have risked their lives to reach stability and safety here in the UK. They are also one of the most misunderstood and neglected people of our time. Due to fear-inducing media narratives and general lack of knowledge, a common belief is that refugees spontaneously decide to pack their bags, leave their homeland - the country they have spent their entire lives - and cross dangerous borders to settle in western nations for the “good life”. This is a long way from reality. From speaking with Syrian refugees in Jordan and witnessing families torn apart from the war, I learned that many who fled violence just about take the clothes they wore during that moment of escape. Crossing borders is not a walk in the park either. It is a dangerous journey, filled with unpredictable risks and complications which has taken the lives of thousands who have attempted to reach safety via sea. As distasteful as it to explain to those who assume that refugees are uneducated, it is crucial to note that Syrians are indeed very much educated, skilled and creative. Before the Syrian conflict, refugees came from all kind of professional backgrounds. Now they find themselves in positions in which they are refused to practice their skills and talents. Imagine this: you are a professional who provides income and takes care of your family. You are happy, stable and maintain close ties with your family and neighbours. Overnight, you discover that family members and neighbours have been killed or injured by drones, tortured to death or have lost everything. Every day, you hear someone new has been killed or severely injured. You are being treated in a hospital which cannot facilitate your care and is at risk of being targeted by an airstrike. The same school you had met your closest friends during your childhood years has been crushed to the ground, along with all its memories. What would you do? The reality is that refugees do not just decide to leave. They have no choice. Another assumption is that refugees who have resettled in the UK no longer need our help. This is perhaps the root source of their neglect. Many refugees who have resettled in London have not really resettled at all. Despite fleeing a war zone with violence, severe human right violations, and even death, refugees remain struggling to survive and lack access to crucial facilities and services. These include access to food, housing, employment, psychotherapy, English language support, and schooling. Psychological trauma and PTSD is widely common but is not properly addressed or supported. Sufra NW London is dedicated to helping refugees gain access to these urgent services via their Refugee Resettlement Programme. As a spoken word artist and activist, I use my platform to raise awareness for voices who are often neglected, silenced and misinterpreted. Together, we must advocate for basic human rights for refugees, who deserve so much more. To take find out more, or take part in this year's Local hero competition visit our campaign page.
    Apr 16, 2018 2278
  • 04 Apr 2018
    The Google Grants programme is an incredible free resource for charities. Many charities use the free advertising spend (which equates to around £85,000 per year) to drive website traffic, help raise awareness of their organisations and also to reach new audiences online. However several updates were recently announced to the Google Grants program policies, these changes could have a huge impact on charities access to the funding. Google has stated that ‘any account found in violation of (the updated) programme policies is subject to automatic suspension without notification.’ The following checklist can be used by Google Grants account managers, to understand what changes may need to be made to avoid account deactivation. We hope you find this checklist useful to check the current health of your Adwords account! 1) Remove single keywords from current accounts Make sure there are no single keywords in your account like ‘donate’. Expand these to be more specific such as ‘donate to an animal charity’. Google wants accounts to target highly related terms, which are specific to your charity. 2) Remove low performing keywords Google wants all accounts to have an account level click through rate (CTR) of 5% or above. This means low performing keywords need to go, as they will be driving down your account level click through rate and not providing good value. When logged into AdWords go to ‘Ads & keywords’ to view all current keywords and then sort by CTR. Once done, you can see your keywords ordered by CTR and remove or pause terms which have a CTR of lower than 5%. Also remove keywords with a quality score of 2 or lower. 3) Focus on branded terms Make sure there are branded keywords in your AdWords account, as this will drive up your account wide CTR level. This will also help to push down competitors ads in paid search, who may be bidding on your brand or organisation name. 4) Add location targeting Make sure your ads target your relevant location or locations. This can be set to United Kingdom and doesn’t need to be more specific than that. Setting geo targeting will be a great way to improve the relevance of your account and will ensure ads are only shown to your target audience. 5) Minimum 2x Ad Groups and 2x sitelink extensions Check that you have the minimum required 2x ad groups and 2x sitelink extensions in your account. It is advisable to have ad groups organised by keyword theme, as this will increase the relevance and authority of your Google Grants account. We hope that Google Grants account managers can use these 5 tips to double check compliance with the new policy terms and also to help improve their Google Adwords account setup. --- Luke is one of the co-founders of Add10, a fresh new digital marketing and branding agency, which works with charities and nonprofits of all sizes.Luke has been lucky enough to have worked with a lot of inspiring charitable organisations, and hopes to work with more in the future to help raise money for great causes!  Was this blog useful? You may also like: Back of the Sofa’s Alternative Guide to the Tax Year End  
    2128 Posted by Luke Masters
  • The Google Grants programme is an incredible free resource for charities. Many charities use the free advertising spend (which equates to around £85,000 per year) to drive website traffic, help raise awareness of their organisations and also to reach new audiences online. However several updates were recently announced to the Google Grants program policies, these changes could have a huge impact on charities access to the funding. Google has stated that ‘any account found in violation of (the updated) programme policies is subject to automatic suspension without notification.’ The following checklist can be used by Google Grants account managers, to understand what changes may need to be made to avoid account deactivation. We hope you find this checklist useful to check the current health of your Adwords account! 1) Remove single keywords from current accounts Make sure there are no single keywords in your account like ‘donate’. Expand these to be more specific such as ‘donate to an animal charity’. Google wants accounts to target highly related terms, which are specific to your charity. 2) Remove low performing keywords Google wants all accounts to have an account level click through rate (CTR) of 5% or above. This means low performing keywords need to go, as they will be driving down your account level click through rate and not providing good value. When logged into AdWords go to ‘Ads & keywords’ to view all current keywords and then sort by CTR. Once done, you can see your keywords ordered by CTR and remove or pause terms which have a CTR of lower than 5%. Also remove keywords with a quality score of 2 or lower. 3) Focus on branded terms Make sure there are branded keywords in your AdWords account, as this will drive up your account wide CTR level. This will also help to push down competitors ads in paid search, who may be bidding on your brand or organisation name. 4) Add location targeting Make sure your ads target your relevant location or locations. This can be set to United Kingdom and doesn’t need to be more specific than that. Setting geo targeting will be a great way to improve the relevance of your account and will ensure ads are only shown to your target audience. 5) Minimum 2x Ad Groups and 2x sitelink extensions Check that you have the minimum required 2x ad groups and 2x sitelink extensions in your account. It is advisable to have ad groups organised by keyword theme, as this will increase the relevance and authority of your Google Grants account. We hope that Google Grants account managers can use these 5 tips to double check compliance with the new policy terms and also to help improve their Google Adwords account setup. --- Luke is one of the co-founders of Add10, a fresh new digital marketing and branding agency, which works with charities and nonprofits of all sizes.Luke has been lucky enough to have worked with a lot of inspiring charitable organisations, and hopes to work with more in the future to help raise money for great causes!  Was this blog useful? You may also like: Back of the Sofa’s Alternative Guide to the Tax Year End  
    Apr 04, 2018 2128
  • 14 Mar 2018
      This Saturday (17th March) is St. Patrick’s day. That special time of year that the world comes together to celebrate St. Patrick’s great achievement – the banishment of all snakes from Ireland. Now, let’s not let the little fact that there were never any snakes in Ireland get in the way of a good story shall we ... and, importantly get in the way of a great excuse for a stout or two! It is also, of course, the perfect excuse to celebrate the work of the numerous Irish cultural group and clubs on Localgiving – from Gaelic football teams to Irish language and literature classes. So before you go painting the town green this saturday night, think about making a small donation to one of the many local groups that strive to keep Irish culture alive in the UK for the other 364 days of the year. Here are just a few suggestions: Andersonstown Traditional & Contemporary Music School - Belfast - offers music classes, performances, qualifications & workshops in traditional & contemporary music An Droichead - Belfast - provides Irish language, arts and cultural classes and offers quality affordable childcare and afterschool activities.  Birth Mothers and their Children for Justice N.I - Campaign calling for an Inquiry into former Mother and Baby Home institutions. Raising awareness about the litany of abuses and maltreatment and illegal, non and forged consent adoptions. CAIRDE Teo - Armagh - focuses on micro-business incubation; employment, training and learning opportunities. CAIRDE Teo also promotes the use of the Irish language and works closely with other linguistic and cultural minorities in Armagh to promote multi-culturalism and diversity. Milton Keynes Irish Welfare Support Group – Milton Keynes - holds a weekly lunch club for older Irish people and their friends. The Welfare support group also has an Outreach Worker who offers advice on benefits in both English and Irish. Roger Casements GAA club - Formed in the mid 1950's to enable the Irish community in Coventry to continue enjoying the irish cultural pasttimes of Gaelic football and hurling. Here NI - Belfast - work to build the capacity of lesbian and bisexual women and their families in Northern Ireland. Human Rights Consortium - Belfast - operate to raise awareness and promote the values of human rights in Northern Ireland with a particular focus on the development of a Bill of Rights. St Joseph's GAC Glenavy -Glenavy- provides Gaelic games for all ages and abilities from as young as 4 years old.  The Emerald Centre  - Leicester - works with members of the Irish community in Leicestershire who are most in need. The centre also offers  sport and social facilities and services for  senior citizens, Pragati Asian group, disability groups and creative play. TIR CONAILL HARPS GAC - aim to strengthen communities in Glasgow through the provision of gaelic sports for young people.   
    1828 Posted by Lewis Garland
  •   This Saturday (17th March) is St. Patrick’s day. That special time of year that the world comes together to celebrate St. Patrick’s great achievement – the banishment of all snakes from Ireland. Now, let’s not let the little fact that there were never any snakes in Ireland get in the way of a good story shall we ... and, importantly get in the way of a great excuse for a stout or two! It is also, of course, the perfect excuse to celebrate the work of the numerous Irish cultural group and clubs on Localgiving – from Gaelic football teams to Irish language and literature classes. So before you go painting the town green this saturday night, think about making a small donation to one of the many local groups that strive to keep Irish culture alive in the UK for the other 364 days of the year. Here are just a few suggestions: Andersonstown Traditional & Contemporary Music School - Belfast - offers music classes, performances, qualifications & workshops in traditional & contemporary music An Droichead - Belfast - provides Irish language, arts and cultural classes and offers quality affordable childcare and afterschool activities.  Birth Mothers and their Children for Justice N.I - Campaign calling for an Inquiry into former Mother and Baby Home institutions. Raising awareness about the litany of abuses and maltreatment and illegal, non and forged consent adoptions. CAIRDE Teo - Armagh - focuses on micro-business incubation; employment, training and learning opportunities. CAIRDE Teo also promotes the use of the Irish language and works closely with other linguistic and cultural minorities in Armagh to promote multi-culturalism and diversity. Milton Keynes Irish Welfare Support Group – Milton Keynes - holds a weekly lunch club for older Irish people and their friends. The Welfare support group also has an Outreach Worker who offers advice on benefits in both English and Irish. Roger Casements GAA club - Formed in the mid 1950's to enable the Irish community in Coventry to continue enjoying the irish cultural pasttimes of Gaelic football and hurling. Here NI - Belfast - work to build the capacity of lesbian and bisexual women and their families in Northern Ireland. Human Rights Consortium - Belfast - operate to raise awareness and promote the values of human rights in Northern Ireland with a particular focus on the development of a Bill of Rights. St Joseph's GAC Glenavy -Glenavy- provides Gaelic games for all ages and abilities from as young as 4 years old.  The Emerald Centre  - Leicester - works with members of the Irish community in Leicestershire who are most in need. The centre also offers  sport and social facilities and services for  senior citizens, Pragati Asian group, disability groups and creative play. TIR CONAILL HARPS GAC - aim to strengthen communities in Glasgow through the provision of gaelic sports for young people.   
    Mar 14, 2018 1828
  • 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  
    2286 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 2286
  • 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!     
    1641 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 1641
  • 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  
    2163 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 2163
  • 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  
    3681 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 3681
  • 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  
    1994 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 1994