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270 blogs
  • 06 Jul 2017
    This weekend London's streets will once again be awash with rainbow flags, facepaint, floats and festivities - it’s Pride 2017! Amid these colourful annual celebrations, it is easy to forget the long history of oppression, and the significant barriers still facing LGBTQI people both in UK and across the world. Localgiving’s ambassador Rod Thomas, AKA Bright Light Bright Light is a strong advocate for the LGBTQI community . As recently as February this year, Rod could be found raising funds and awareness for Pride Cymru through his 5k per day challenge. In the run up to London Pride 2017, Rod told us just how important it is to continue to support LGBTQI charities and community groups: “The widespread opinion is that LGBTQI people are safe these days, but homophobia and prejudice is still ingrained in so many pockets of society across the world - even evident in deals our own Government are making, and the actions of other Western countries who are supposed to be leading the free world. Prides are an important event to remind LGBTQI people everywhere that they are not alone, that they have support, and that they have rights. Supporting LGBTQI groups is so important, especially in times where there is a presumed safety but still very real danger for people, as their work truly saves and enriches so many lives”. So whether you’re parading in the capital this weekend, or planning on getting involved with any of the other Pride events taking place across the UK this summer – think about lending some support to the local community groups who work everyday to provide support to the LGBTQI community.  The Proud Trust- supports LGBT young people and LGBT Youth organisations in the North of England. Gendered Intelligence - work predominantly with the trans community in London with a focus on supporting young trans people aged 8-25. The Kite Project - Promote the health, well-being, and inclusion of LGBT+ young people across Cambridgeshire.  Space Youth Project -Providing support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and questioning young people throughout Dorset. HERE NI - Works across Northern Ireland with lesbian and bisexual women. Q- Alliance - Provides information, support, assistance and fun for LGBT people in Milton Keynes. GEMS - GEMS delivers inclusive activities for primarily older gay men in Brighton. Viva LGBT+  Runs weekly groups in Wrexham, Rhyl & Llandudno Junction, where LGBT+ young people can access support, social opportunities & activities that raise awareness of LGBT+ history & culture. Icebreakers An LGBT self-help, mutual support group for gay and bisexual men in Manchester. Norwich Pride - A celebration from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community for everyone in Norwich.  Coventry Pride - Serves Coventry's LGBT+ community by running Coventry pride, celebrating LGBT History Month, Coming Out Day and running events to create a safe space for the LGBT+ community in Coventry. Pride Cymru -  Works to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender within Wales. Warwickshire Pride - Works to ensure that all people feel valued and included in society, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Shining a Bright Light on local charities Rod's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds   
    1987 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • This weekend London's streets will once again be awash with rainbow flags, facepaint, floats and festivities - it’s Pride 2017! Amid these colourful annual celebrations, it is easy to forget the long history of oppression, and the significant barriers still facing LGBTQI people both in UK and across the world. Localgiving’s ambassador Rod Thomas, AKA Bright Light Bright Light is a strong advocate for the LGBTQI community . As recently as February this year, Rod could be found raising funds and awareness for Pride Cymru through his 5k per day challenge. In the run up to London Pride 2017, Rod told us just how important it is to continue to support LGBTQI charities and community groups: “The widespread opinion is that LGBTQI people are safe these days, but homophobia and prejudice is still ingrained in so many pockets of society across the world - even evident in deals our own Government are making, and the actions of other Western countries who are supposed to be leading the free world. Prides are an important event to remind LGBTQI people everywhere that they are not alone, that they have support, and that they have rights. Supporting LGBTQI groups is so important, especially in times where there is a presumed safety but still very real danger for people, as their work truly saves and enriches so many lives”. So whether you’re parading in the capital this weekend, or planning on getting involved with any of the other Pride events taking place across the UK this summer – think about lending some support to the local community groups who work everyday to provide support to the LGBTQI community.  The Proud Trust- supports LGBT young people and LGBT Youth organisations in the North of England. Gendered Intelligence - work predominantly with the trans community in London with a focus on supporting young trans people aged 8-25. The Kite Project - Promote the health, well-being, and inclusion of LGBT+ young people across Cambridgeshire.  Space Youth Project -Providing support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and questioning young people throughout Dorset. HERE NI - Works across Northern Ireland with lesbian and bisexual women. Q- Alliance - Provides information, support, assistance and fun for LGBT people in Milton Keynes. GEMS - GEMS delivers inclusive activities for primarily older gay men in Brighton. Viva LGBT+  Runs weekly groups in Wrexham, Rhyl & Llandudno Junction, where LGBT+ young people can access support, social opportunities & activities that raise awareness of LGBT+ history & culture. Icebreakers An LGBT self-help, mutual support group for gay and bisexual men in Manchester. Norwich Pride - A celebration from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community for everyone in Norwich.  Coventry Pride - Serves Coventry's LGBT+ community by running Coventry pride, celebrating LGBT History Month, Coming Out Day and running events to create a safe space for the LGBT+ community in Coventry. Pride Cymru -  Works to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender within Wales. Warwickshire Pride - Works to ensure that all people feel valued and included in society, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Shining a Bright Light on local charities Rod's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds   
    Jul 06, 2017 1987
  • 28 Jun 2017
    At the end of June Localgiving’s North West Regional Development Programme, funded and supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, will be coming to an end. This programme supported local charities who are engaged in projects which benefit the environment, or help people to engage with the natural world. Eligible charities have received a free membership to Localgiving, ongoing one-to-one support in their online fundraising activities, and up to £500 of the money they raised online was matched through funding provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery and their players. By 22nd June, 69 charities in the region were online and receiving support from Localgiving, and have raised a fantastic £103,216.15! This is money that will make a real difference to the charities supported, and the 1,000s of people they support and work with on a daily basis. To celebrate these charities and their achievements, here are some of their stories, and what they have done with their donations. Transition New Mills Transition New Mills are a community group who look to run a range of projects in New Mills and the surrounding area, which will preserve and conserve the local environment, and reduce reliance on carbon emitting power sources. They told us that, thanks to the funds raised and matched, ”New Mills Primary School now has an outdoor classroom and children are sowing and germinating seeds, growing produce and then either eating what they have grown, or ‘up-selling’ it to allow them to buy more seeds and plants the following year. For many children, it is the first time they have done anything like this and the children are so excited by it. The school in question are now looking to expand upon this and are fundraising themselves to try and build a purpose built poly tunnel so that they can grow all year round. Other schools in the area are so impressed that they are looking to build their own outside classrooms too. The whole project has been brilliant.”    The outdoor classroom at New Mills Primary School, paid for by donations from the public and match funds from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.   Salford Foodbank Salford Foodbank provides emergency food and support to people in moments of crisis, using food donated by members of the public and by local businesses. Thanks to support from Localgiving, they have been able to raise over £9,000 in online donations from more than 300 donors. Donations have been used to help pay for core running costs (which charities often find hard to fund), as well as in expanding the space available for donations of food, so the Salford Foodbank can stock more food and support more people in crisis. Mark from Salford Foodbank said “We have been delighted with the training and support given by Local Giving. Attending training sessions, together with 1-2-1 support has been invaluable for our charity as it is helping more people than ever.   Salford Foodbank advertising fundraising opportunities in the Great Manchester Run.  Fundraiser Gary training for the Great Manchester Run           Rotunda Ltd Rotunda are a community organisation based in Liverpool, who run a number training, educational and vocational courses for over 2,000 local people in the city. Rotunda had never tried online fundraising before, but have been able to raise £3,404 in donations through Localgiving. They have used these funds to “purchase a piece of land to be used as a community green space, the ‘Kirkdale Folly’, which also includes a green gym and piece of public artwork (the ‘Folly’) that was commissioned when Liverpool was the UK Capital of Culture. We’re planning to develop this green space to include an arts and wellbeing pavilion, helping a wide range of people in one of the most disadvantaged areas in the UK.   Rotunda’s Garden Café, where users grow the food they then cook and eat! The Kirkdale Folly green space bought by Rotunda.     The programme in the North West is now coming to a close, but we run similar programmes in Wales, Northern Ireland, London, and the West of England. A huge thank you to the charities and donors who took part in the programme, and to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery who funded it. All that remains is for me to say goodbye. Goodbye! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times       How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker 4 Steps to the perfect charity Video  
    1383 Posted by Joe Burns
  • At the end of June Localgiving’s North West Regional Development Programme, funded and supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, will be coming to an end. This programme supported local charities who are engaged in projects which benefit the environment, or help people to engage with the natural world. Eligible charities have received a free membership to Localgiving, ongoing one-to-one support in their online fundraising activities, and up to £500 of the money they raised online was matched through funding provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery and their players. By 22nd June, 69 charities in the region were online and receiving support from Localgiving, and have raised a fantastic £103,216.15! This is money that will make a real difference to the charities supported, and the 1,000s of people they support and work with on a daily basis. To celebrate these charities and their achievements, here are some of their stories, and what they have done with their donations. Transition New Mills Transition New Mills are a community group who look to run a range of projects in New Mills and the surrounding area, which will preserve and conserve the local environment, and reduce reliance on carbon emitting power sources. They told us that, thanks to the funds raised and matched, ”New Mills Primary School now has an outdoor classroom and children are sowing and germinating seeds, growing produce and then either eating what they have grown, or ‘up-selling’ it to allow them to buy more seeds and plants the following year. For many children, it is the first time they have done anything like this and the children are so excited by it. The school in question are now looking to expand upon this and are fundraising themselves to try and build a purpose built poly tunnel so that they can grow all year round. Other schools in the area are so impressed that they are looking to build their own outside classrooms too. The whole project has been brilliant.”    The outdoor classroom at New Mills Primary School, paid for by donations from the public and match funds from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.   Salford Foodbank Salford Foodbank provides emergency food and support to people in moments of crisis, using food donated by members of the public and by local businesses. Thanks to support from Localgiving, they have been able to raise over £9,000 in online donations from more than 300 donors. Donations have been used to help pay for core running costs (which charities often find hard to fund), as well as in expanding the space available for donations of food, so the Salford Foodbank can stock more food and support more people in crisis. Mark from Salford Foodbank said “We have been delighted with the training and support given by Local Giving. Attending training sessions, together with 1-2-1 support has been invaluable for our charity as it is helping more people than ever.   Salford Foodbank advertising fundraising opportunities in the Great Manchester Run.  Fundraiser Gary training for the Great Manchester Run           Rotunda Ltd Rotunda are a community organisation based in Liverpool, who run a number training, educational and vocational courses for over 2,000 local people in the city. Rotunda had never tried online fundraising before, but have been able to raise £3,404 in donations through Localgiving. They have used these funds to “purchase a piece of land to be used as a community green space, the ‘Kirkdale Folly’, which also includes a green gym and piece of public artwork (the ‘Folly’) that was commissioned when Liverpool was the UK Capital of Culture. We’re planning to develop this green space to include an arts and wellbeing pavilion, helping a wide range of people in one of the most disadvantaged areas in the UK.   Rotunda’s Garden Café, where users grow the food they then cook and eat! The Kirkdale Folly green space bought by Rotunda.     The programme in the North West is now coming to a close, but we run similar programmes in Wales, Northern Ireland, London, and the West of England. A huge thank you to the charities and donors who took part in the programme, and to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery who funded it. All that remains is for me to say goodbye. Goodbye! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times       How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker 4 Steps to the perfect charity Video  
    Jun 28, 2017 1383
  • 08 Jun 2017
    Tennis2Be is a London based charity dedicated to making tennis an accessible and inclusive sport. Their annual flagship, the ‘Craic Cup’ plays a key part in achieving this mission,  with players of all ages and abilities attending. With this year’s cup just ten days away we caught up with Tennis2Be’s Jay Macpherson. Tell us about the inspiration behind the Craic Cup? What have been your Craic Cup highlights ? “Noticing how more and more people show up every year. There is a real demand for it, enough people to create healthy competition whilst also taking playing levels into account. Visits from our Patron, Rudolph Walker from East Enders,and the Major. The oldest and youngest attendees 3-85 years! At the heart of what we do as a charity is to provide sports and education, we’ve been consistent in involving grassroots organisations and having our ear to the ground each year then I'd call that a highlight reel in itself." What do people have to look forward to this year? “The numbers are getting larger each year, over 80 people attended, giving players the opportunity to play as many people on the day as possible. We've also secured the National Tennis Centre again this year which is a 40 million pound tennis venue built for the pros. If you want to get motivated to play tennis, there is no better place to start than here!” Who can get involved and how? “The beauty of charity events is that absolutely anyone can get involved. All you need is to sign up through our website at www.tennis2be.com . Places are limited and would advise everyone to sign up as soon as they can. We also have special volunteer roles for the Craic Cup where people can gain experience on organising an event of this magnitude, roles in data entry, social media, trusteeship and more." How have you used Localgiving to raise funds for this tournament and your other activities? “Localgiving was an amazing platform that we used initially to try and get donations incentivised by the match funding (London Regional Development Programme). We found Localgiving has much more functionality including appeals and fundraisers, all of which we have explored with fantastic results.This is also thanks to Conor; our point of contact from Localgiving, who was very supportive and patient during the early stages of our understanding, always there when we need both in person and on the phone. The way we use the funding is mainly for providing equipment, reaching out to communities, increasing our programme intake, venue hire, and much more. For example a £45 donation can provide 5 children with a tennis lesson plus educational element. The value of our donations and the ease with which this was done through the platform, says volumes about Localgiving's mission is to strengthen UK communities by safeguarding the sustainability of the local voluntary sector. We really appreciate all the support from our patrons on Localgiving, you guys are awesome!" What recommendations would you give to other groups about how to make the most of their Localgiving page? “A couple of things. Filling out your profile as well as you can to make sure everyone knows exactly where you come from and where you intend to go is absolutely key for charities and organisations wishing to make a difference. You need stand out and provide something unique for your supporters so they can relate to you as closely as possible. An additional recommendation I would give is make use of fundraisers! Even if you get your small team of 3 or 4 individuals to try raising money it adds up insanely quickly. It can also be a ton of fun seeing what people are coming up with on the site, from bold marathons to baths in baked beans, there's a level of magic.” To find out more about the Craic cup or register to take part you can visit: https://www.tennis2be.com/tennis2be-craic-cup-2017  Enjoyed this blog? You may also like: Maximising your fundraising potential New Grant Opportunities from the United Way UK
    1937 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Tennis2Be is a London based charity dedicated to making tennis an accessible and inclusive sport. Their annual flagship, the ‘Craic Cup’ plays a key part in achieving this mission,  with players of all ages and abilities attending. With this year’s cup just ten days away we caught up with Tennis2Be’s Jay Macpherson. Tell us about the inspiration behind the Craic Cup? What have been your Craic Cup highlights ? “Noticing how more and more people show up every year. There is a real demand for it, enough people to create healthy competition whilst also taking playing levels into account. Visits from our Patron, Rudolph Walker from East Enders,and the Major. The oldest and youngest attendees 3-85 years! At the heart of what we do as a charity is to provide sports and education, we’ve been consistent in involving grassroots organisations and having our ear to the ground each year then I'd call that a highlight reel in itself." What do people have to look forward to this year? “The numbers are getting larger each year, over 80 people attended, giving players the opportunity to play as many people on the day as possible. We've also secured the National Tennis Centre again this year which is a 40 million pound tennis venue built for the pros. If you want to get motivated to play tennis, there is no better place to start than here!” Who can get involved and how? “The beauty of charity events is that absolutely anyone can get involved. All you need is to sign up through our website at www.tennis2be.com . Places are limited and would advise everyone to sign up as soon as they can. We also have special volunteer roles for the Craic Cup where people can gain experience on organising an event of this magnitude, roles in data entry, social media, trusteeship and more." How have you used Localgiving to raise funds for this tournament and your other activities? “Localgiving was an amazing platform that we used initially to try and get donations incentivised by the match funding (London Regional Development Programme). We found Localgiving has much more functionality including appeals and fundraisers, all of which we have explored with fantastic results.This is also thanks to Conor; our point of contact from Localgiving, who was very supportive and patient during the early stages of our understanding, always there when we need both in person and on the phone. The way we use the funding is mainly for providing equipment, reaching out to communities, increasing our programme intake, venue hire, and much more. For example a £45 donation can provide 5 children with a tennis lesson plus educational element. The value of our donations and the ease with which this was done through the platform, says volumes about Localgiving's mission is to strengthen UK communities by safeguarding the sustainability of the local voluntary sector. We really appreciate all the support from our patrons on Localgiving, you guys are awesome!" What recommendations would you give to other groups about how to make the most of their Localgiving page? “A couple of things. Filling out your profile as well as you can to make sure everyone knows exactly where you come from and where you intend to go is absolutely key for charities and organisations wishing to make a difference. You need stand out and provide something unique for your supporters so they can relate to you as closely as possible. An additional recommendation I would give is make use of fundraisers! Even if you get your small team of 3 or 4 individuals to try raising money it adds up insanely quickly. It can also be a ton of fun seeing what people are coming up with on the site, from bold marathons to baths in baked beans, there's a level of magic.” To find out more about the Craic cup or register to take part you can visit: https://www.tennis2be.com/tennis2be-craic-cup-2017  Enjoyed this blog? You may also like: Maximising your fundraising potential New Grant Opportunities from the United Way UK
    Jun 08, 2017 1937
  • 06 Jun 2017
    United Way UK has announced new 'Give Local' grants for 2017. United Way UK collaborates with businesses and community partners in the voluntary sector to achieve positive change in education, income stability and health. What are ‘Give Local’ grants? 'Give Local' grants are £1,000 grants given to small charities and community groups who are benefitting local people in need. United Way believes that every person and organisation should be able to support their own, local community. ‘Give Local’ is a way to do this. People and businesses collectively give to a 'Give Local' pot, and 100% of the funds which they donate are then awarded to charities based within and benefitting their local community. Last year’s grants benefitted thousands of people in nearly 30 communities across the country. This film gives a few case studies Who can apply for a grant? The grants are available to small charities and organisations who help people within United Way's 'Give Local' communities. To find out if you work within one, and to download an application form, visit United Way Uk's dedicated web page before 30th June 2017.  Want to get involved? If you are a business and would like to establish ‘Give Local’ to benefit your local community through payroll giving, fundraising or volunteering, please do get in touch. Special thanks to the employees of Costco who ‘Give Local’ through payroll giving.   
  • United Way UK has announced new 'Give Local' grants for 2017. United Way UK collaborates with businesses and community partners in the voluntary sector to achieve positive change in education, income stability and health. What are ‘Give Local’ grants? 'Give Local' grants are £1,000 grants given to small charities and community groups who are benefitting local people in need. United Way believes that every person and organisation should be able to support their own, local community. ‘Give Local’ is a way to do this. People and businesses collectively give to a 'Give Local' pot, and 100% of the funds which they donate are then awarded to charities based within and benefitting their local community. Last year’s grants benefitted thousands of people in nearly 30 communities across the country. This film gives a few case studies Who can apply for a grant? The grants are available to small charities and organisations who help people within United Way's 'Give Local' communities. To find out if you work within one, and to download an application form, visit United Way Uk's dedicated web page before 30th June 2017.  Want to get involved? If you are a business and would like to establish ‘Give Local’ to benefit your local community through payroll giving, fundraising or volunteering, please do get in touch. Special thanks to the employees of Costco who ‘Give Local’ through payroll giving.   
    Jun 06, 2017 2248
  • 31 May 2017
    At the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) we support small and local charities and community organisations (with a turnover under £1.5 million), providing free or very heavily subsidised training and support. We were established in 2007 to help these organisations keep their doors open for the vulnerable groups they work with. We do this via a learning programme which focusses on fundraising, governance, measuring and demonstrating impact and strategy and planning. Unsurprisingly, by far the most popular area for support is fundraising. At a time when charities are facing unprecedented funding cuts and an increasing demand for services (REF) it is more important now than ever before that we are maximising our potential to secure funds. Some of our top tips to help you do this include: Get your house in order How are you supposed to effectively support the sustainability for your organisation if you don’t know exactly how much you need to fundraise and where you are going to get it? Developing a fundraising strategy can often be dismissed as a paper exercise, but actually this is the road map to your fundraising success. It builds a clear plan of activity to be followed whilst also evaluating the activities that are likely to bring you the greatest return on investment. It obviously can’t be denied that it takes time and effort to build a fundraising strategy, however the direction it provides will support you to maintain a fundraising focus which will help save you time later down the line when you are attempting to deliver against fundraising targets. Evaluate and Review as you go It is very east to fall into a trap of activity simply because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’. Reviewing and refreshing your activity is essential to ensure you truly are investing your time and resource in the most fruitful fundraising activities for your charity. The only way you will know to put a stop to the activities that don’t bring in the required return is to evaluate each one against key performance indicators or targets and not being afraid to say lets try something different. This is where your fundraising strategy will come in handy again as you will have thought out in advance what you would expect to see from your individual fundraising activities to help you to look at your fundraising efforts objectively. Stick to the plan (sort of) Rather than trying to overstretch and have too many fingers in the different fundraising pies, it is better to look realistically at what you can achieve with your resource and work on doing these well. There are only so many hours in a day so there’s no point in setting yourself up to fail, instead you will be supporting your success if you focus on doing a few things really well, rather than trying to do everything at once. There will be time to expand your activity when your focus pays off and you are able to gain extra resource. At the same time it’s also important to know when it’s appropriate to engage with unexpected opportunities or external events that can support your fundraising activity as flexibility in fund development is also important. A safe way to do this is to establish a process on how to decide whether a new opportunity is worth going for, whether it’s getting sign off from a fundraising steering committee or your Trustees or bringing new ideas to your manager for sign off. Use Small Charity Week to your advantage As well as providing a support programme for charities, the FSI are also the organisation behind Small Charity Week. This year it is taking place between 19th-24th June and the week is packed full of opportunities to support your charity to raise vital funds and your profile. The full agenda can be found on the Small Charity Week website but also includes opportunities such as: Places at the FSI’s annual Fundraising Conference in London – there are only a few left so book today A matched fund with LocalGiving providing £25,000 worth of funding An eBay Auction where you keep all of the funds for the items you provide and have the chance of winning £2,000 of matched funds The chance to fundraise from eBay shoppers by submitting a 90-character fundraising message (deadline 2nd June) 1:1 Fundraising Advice via the FSI’s Big Advice Day – expertise comes from a mixture of funders and fundraisers Free fundraising guides to support you to run your own events and activities Leetchi’s money pot competition for the chance to gain an additional £1,000 of funding The opportunity to win cash prizes by asking your supporters to say why they love you on social media These are just some of the free activities available during the week, with six days of separate activities check out the full agenda to make sure you’re not missing out Full details on www.smallcharityweek.com or follow @SCWeek2017 for breaking news. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Subconscious Effects of Storytelling in Charity Marketing Focus on the outcomes of your work rather than the outputs  
    3622 Posted by Conchita Garcia
  • At the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) we support small and local charities and community organisations (with a turnover under £1.5 million), providing free or very heavily subsidised training and support. We were established in 2007 to help these organisations keep their doors open for the vulnerable groups they work with. We do this via a learning programme which focusses on fundraising, governance, measuring and demonstrating impact and strategy and planning. Unsurprisingly, by far the most popular area for support is fundraising. At a time when charities are facing unprecedented funding cuts and an increasing demand for services (REF) it is more important now than ever before that we are maximising our potential to secure funds. Some of our top tips to help you do this include: Get your house in order How are you supposed to effectively support the sustainability for your organisation if you don’t know exactly how much you need to fundraise and where you are going to get it? Developing a fundraising strategy can often be dismissed as a paper exercise, but actually this is the road map to your fundraising success. It builds a clear plan of activity to be followed whilst also evaluating the activities that are likely to bring you the greatest return on investment. It obviously can’t be denied that it takes time and effort to build a fundraising strategy, however the direction it provides will support you to maintain a fundraising focus which will help save you time later down the line when you are attempting to deliver against fundraising targets. Evaluate and Review as you go It is very east to fall into a trap of activity simply because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’. Reviewing and refreshing your activity is essential to ensure you truly are investing your time and resource in the most fruitful fundraising activities for your charity. The only way you will know to put a stop to the activities that don’t bring in the required return is to evaluate each one against key performance indicators or targets and not being afraid to say lets try something different. This is where your fundraising strategy will come in handy again as you will have thought out in advance what you would expect to see from your individual fundraising activities to help you to look at your fundraising efforts objectively. Stick to the plan (sort of) Rather than trying to overstretch and have too many fingers in the different fundraising pies, it is better to look realistically at what you can achieve with your resource and work on doing these well. There are only so many hours in a day so there’s no point in setting yourself up to fail, instead you will be supporting your success if you focus on doing a few things really well, rather than trying to do everything at once. There will be time to expand your activity when your focus pays off and you are able to gain extra resource. At the same time it’s also important to know when it’s appropriate to engage with unexpected opportunities or external events that can support your fundraising activity as flexibility in fund development is also important. A safe way to do this is to establish a process on how to decide whether a new opportunity is worth going for, whether it’s getting sign off from a fundraising steering committee or your Trustees or bringing new ideas to your manager for sign off. Use Small Charity Week to your advantage As well as providing a support programme for charities, the FSI are also the organisation behind Small Charity Week. This year it is taking place between 19th-24th June and the week is packed full of opportunities to support your charity to raise vital funds and your profile. The full agenda can be found on the Small Charity Week website but also includes opportunities such as: Places at the FSI’s annual Fundraising Conference in London – there are only a few left so book today A matched fund with LocalGiving providing £25,000 worth of funding An eBay Auction where you keep all of the funds for the items you provide and have the chance of winning £2,000 of matched funds The chance to fundraise from eBay shoppers by submitting a 90-character fundraising message (deadline 2nd June) 1:1 Fundraising Advice via the FSI’s Big Advice Day – expertise comes from a mixture of funders and fundraisers Free fundraising guides to support you to run your own events and activities Leetchi’s money pot competition for the chance to gain an additional £1,000 of funding The opportunity to win cash prizes by asking your supporters to say why they love you on social media These are just some of the free activities available during the week, with six days of separate activities check out the full agenda to make sure you’re not missing out Full details on www.smallcharityweek.com or follow @SCWeek2017 for breaking news. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Subconscious Effects of Storytelling in Charity Marketing Focus on the outcomes of your work rather than the outputs  
    May 31, 2017 3622
  • 10 May 2017
    It was quite a last minute decision to ask friends and family to sponsor me for this year’s London Marathon as I wasn’t a 100% sure I would make it to the start line after some glitches with my training plan. I really wanted to run on behalf of my sons’ school as we do a lot as a family to support their fundraising as members of their Parent Teacher Association. In particular I wanted to raise some money towards the Russell School’s new playground and outdoor learning space. Luckily the charity was already registered with Localgiving so it was quick and easy to set up a fundraising page. It wasn’t until I set up the page that I realised I would automatically be entered into the Local Hero Competition and a chance of winning a cash prize for the charity. On the Friday before the London Marathon my wife Hollie asked parents to sponsor me as I was going to be running it on behalf of the School’s Playground appeal. She explained about the Local Hero competition and the fact we could boost our fundraising if everybody connected with the school gave just a little. The timing couldn’t have been better as the children’s assembly that day was on the challenges of running a marathon and Katherine Switzer, the first woman to ‘unofficially’ run the 26.2 in 1967. Lots of our own friends and family also wanted to know who I was running for as the London Marathon really is known for being the biggest single fundraiser in the world. It was great to direct them to my Localgiving page and ask them to donate to the playground appeal. On the day itself Hollie used social media and updated everyone via Facebook on my progress along the route. As the event was live on TV lots of donations came in and it was clear to her that we might stand a chance of winning one of the Local Hero Prizes. She kept posting on Facebook throughout the day which prompted people to help move me up the leaderboard during the actual event. After the Marathon itself the number of donations meant I had moved up to second place on the leaderboard, so the race was on! We knew we only had to secure a small number of donors to move to the top position and the £1000 prize and this was a real incentivize to publicise the fundraising page. The Friends of Hillside school who were in first place understandably wanted to keep their position and so they put on a spurt too! Over the final week we managed to take the top spot on the leaderboard but Hillside were in hot pursuit. It really was neck and neck, as we got more donors, so did they! We used social media and word of mouth to encourage anybody and everybody we knew to donate just the minimum £2. This was an affordable amount to ask for, and we explained that crowdfunding worked by lots of people giving just a little. I am sure many more people donated to our charity because of the competitive nature of the leaderboard. We had lots of feedback about how exciting it was to keep checking my position and how each person could see how their donation made a difference to the leaderboard, and ultimately our chances of winning the £1000 prize. Everybody got into the spirit of the competition and so many people approached us on the school run to say they had donated and were telling their friends. It meant we engaged with lots of people connected with the school’s children that didn’t know about our fundraising efforts for a new playground. We also noticed a few parents who don’t usually come to our fundraisers get involved. As the final day approached the race became even more exciting when a third contender shot up the leaderboard. We used social media and school communication channels to again communicate how close we were to winning the prize. The fact there were only one or two donors in it really did prompt people to donate to us, in fact 261 individual did! It was that close right up until midnight on the closing day and we had absolutely no idea if we had done it when the competition closed. We nervously waited for Localgiving to validate the results but celebrated the fact the competition had helped us raise £2630 in sponsorship alone. This far exceeded my expectations and just showed how much could be raised for the children when everyone chipped in. It was clear the leaderboard race had kept many school parents engaged as many wanted to ask about the nail biting results the following morning on the school run. It was a fantastic feeling when the results came through to say I was top of the leaderboard and Local Hero 2017. This feeling wasn’t because of being the winner personally, or a hero as such, it was just a great way to thank everyone for their individual support and donation. It also felt like we had helped the other charities in the same way, i.e. the leaderboard race had prompted their supporters to donate when perhaps they might not have otherwise. It was a win, win situation for everyone concerned, if not a little nerve-racking! The £1000 prize is a significant amount to aim for and a real incentive to enter the Local Hero competition. We all know how much effort goes in to raising a £1000 from scratch. The prize has given the whole school community something to be proud of and a substantial boost to our fundraising. The Russell School is a small community school that is undergoing some exciting change and the new school building has been erected on the original playground. The children aged 3-11 have been so patient whilst the building work is carried out. It’s just fantastic that this Localgiving prize, along with all the money donated, can go towards making the play and outdoor learning space great for them. The whole school community pulled together. We are proud of the Russell School PTA and what we have achieved by working as a team during this competition. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Great fundraising at the Great Manchester Run And the Local Hero 2017 Champion is...  
    1644 Posted by Adam Curtis
  • It was quite a last minute decision to ask friends and family to sponsor me for this year’s London Marathon as I wasn’t a 100% sure I would make it to the start line after some glitches with my training plan. I really wanted to run on behalf of my sons’ school as we do a lot as a family to support their fundraising as members of their Parent Teacher Association. In particular I wanted to raise some money towards the Russell School’s new playground and outdoor learning space. Luckily the charity was already registered with Localgiving so it was quick and easy to set up a fundraising page. It wasn’t until I set up the page that I realised I would automatically be entered into the Local Hero Competition and a chance of winning a cash prize for the charity. On the Friday before the London Marathon my wife Hollie asked parents to sponsor me as I was going to be running it on behalf of the School’s Playground appeal. She explained about the Local Hero competition and the fact we could boost our fundraising if everybody connected with the school gave just a little. The timing couldn’t have been better as the children’s assembly that day was on the challenges of running a marathon and Katherine Switzer, the first woman to ‘unofficially’ run the 26.2 in 1967. Lots of our own friends and family also wanted to know who I was running for as the London Marathon really is known for being the biggest single fundraiser in the world. It was great to direct them to my Localgiving page and ask them to donate to the playground appeal. On the day itself Hollie used social media and updated everyone via Facebook on my progress along the route. As the event was live on TV lots of donations came in and it was clear to her that we might stand a chance of winning one of the Local Hero Prizes. She kept posting on Facebook throughout the day which prompted people to help move me up the leaderboard during the actual event. After the Marathon itself the number of donations meant I had moved up to second place on the leaderboard, so the race was on! We knew we only had to secure a small number of donors to move to the top position and the £1000 prize and this was a real incentivize to publicise the fundraising page. The Friends of Hillside school who were in first place understandably wanted to keep their position and so they put on a spurt too! Over the final week we managed to take the top spot on the leaderboard but Hillside were in hot pursuit. It really was neck and neck, as we got more donors, so did they! We used social media and word of mouth to encourage anybody and everybody we knew to donate just the minimum £2. This was an affordable amount to ask for, and we explained that crowdfunding worked by lots of people giving just a little. I am sure many more people donated to our charity because of the competitive nature of the leaderboard. We had lots of feedback about how exciting it was to keep checking my position and how each person could see how their donation made a difference to the leaderboard, and ultimately our chances of winning the £1000 prize. Everybody got into the spirit of the competition and so many people approached us on the school run to say they had donated and were telling their friends. It meant we engaged with lots of people connected with the school’s children that didn’t know about our fundraising efforts for a new playground. We also noticed a few parents who don’t usually come to our fundraisers get involved. As the final day approached the race became even more exciting when a third contender shot up the leaderboard. We used social media and school communication channels to again communicate how close we were to winning the prize. The fact there were only one or two donors in it really did prompt people to donate to us, in fact 261 individual did! It was that close right up until midnight on the closing day and we had absolutely no idea if we had done it when the competition closed. We nervously waited for Localgiving to validate the results but celebrated the fact the competition had helped us raise £2630 in sponsorship alone. This far exceeded my expectations and just showed how much could be raised for the children when everyone chipped in. It was clear the leaderboard race had kept many school parents engaged as many wanted to ask about the nail biting results the following morning on the school run. It was a fantastic feeling when the results came through to say I was top of the leaderboard and Local Hero 2017. This feeling wasn’t because of being the winner personally, or a hero as such, it was just a great way to thank everyone for their individual support and donation. It also felt like we had helped the other charities in the same way, i.e. the leaderboard race had prompted their supporters to donate when perhaps they might not have otherwise. It was a win, win situation for everyone concerned, if not a little nerve-racking! The £1000 prize is a significant amount to aim for and a real incentive to enter the Local Hero competition. We all know how much effort goes in to raising a £1000 from scratch. The prize has given the whole school community something to be proud of and a substantial boost to our fundraising. The Russell School is a small community school that is undergoing some exciting change and the new school building has been erected on the original playground. The children aged 3-11 have been so patient whilst the building work is carried out. It’s just fantastic that this Localgiving prize, along with all the money donated, can go towards making the play and outdoor learning space great for them. The whole school community pulled together. We are proud of the Russell School PTA and what we have achieved by working as a team during this competition. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Great fundraising at the Great Manchester Run And the Local Hero 2017 Champion is...  
    May 10, 2017 1644
  • 08 May 2017
    On 28th May, Mancunian runners of all abilities will be taking part in the Great Manchester Run, and will be running either a 10k or, for the daring, a half marathon. Many of these runners will be raising money for brilliant, Greater Manchester based local charities. To celebrate the efforts of these fantastic fundraisers we’ve decided to focus on one fundraiser, Bec Greenwood, who is raising money for Salford Foodbank. We asked her why she’s running; why she supports Salford Foodbank; and any tips she has for other fundraisers. Why & how did you decide to take part in the Great Manchester Run? "I work full time in TV and have irregular hours so can't commit to a regular volunteering rota but wanted to support those in need." "I've been volunteering at collections with the Salford Food Bank for a few years and when the 10k Run was coming up I thought it would be a great way to raise some much needed funds. I've never done any running before, which I think is what has made most people sponsor me out of shock!" "I've been trying to do around 3 runs a week and I'm yet to enjoy it or experience the famous 'runners high' but the fact that I'm doing it for such a good cause makes it all the worthwhile!" Why are you raising money for Salford Foodbank in particular? "I am incredibly humbled by the work that the full time staff and volunteers at the food bank do and always wish I could do more." "I find it obscene that in this day and age, people have to use food banks to help support their families as the government don't provide the infrastructure to help those in need. I watched Daniel Blake last year and was incredibly moved by the food bank scene. I wanted to do something to help those in need but didn't know how I could help them directly. The best way I can see to help is to donate my time and any sponsorship I can gain." Any advice for future fundraisers on how to get donations through & prepare for your challenge? "I had chosen a flattering picture for my fundraising page, but it was only when I changed it to a mid run/sweaty and knackered picture that I started to get more sponsorship! So I think being honest if you're finding it difficult. You don't have to pretend to find the challenge easy. People seem more impressed if you're finding it hard!" A huge thank you to Bec, and indeed all the fundraisers on Localgiving who are raising money on behalf of local charities across the UK! If her answers have inspired you to fundraise for a local charity, why not sign up to do so? It’s really quick and easy to set up and fundraising page, and there are 1000s of great, local charities online at Localgiving for whom your support would be valuable.   For further information about fundraising, why not check out these other posts in our blog? Rod’s Top Tips for Running & Fun and Funds Wise Words from Alistair Still, Local Hero Champion 2016
    2030 Posted by Joe Burns
  • On 28th May, Mancunian runners of all abilities will be taking part in the Great Manchester Run, and will be running either a 10k or, for the daring, a half marathon. Many of these runners will be raising money for brilliant, Greater Manchester based local charities. To celebrate the efforts of these fantastic fundraisers we’ve decided to focus on one fundraiser, Bec Greenwood, who is raising money for Salford Foodbank. We asked her why she’s running; why she supports Salford Foodbank; and any tips she has for other fundraisers. Why & how did you decide to take part in the Great Manchester Run? "I work full time in TV and have irregular hours so can't commit to a regular volunteering rota but wanted to support those in need." "I've been volunteering at collections with the Salford Food Bank for a few years and when the 10k Run was coming up I thought it would be a great way to raise some much needed funds. I've never done any running before, which I think is what has made most people sponsor me out of shock!" "I've been trying to do around 3 runs a week and I'm yet to enjoy it or experience the famous 'runners high' but the fact that I'm doing it for such a good cause makes it all the worthwhile!" Why are you raising money for Salford Foodbank in particular? "I am incredibly humbled by the work that the full time staff and volunteers at the food bank do and always wish I could do more." "I find it obscene that in this day and age, people have to use food banks to help support their families as the government don't provide the infrastructure to help those in need. I watched Daniel Blake last year and was incredibly moved by the food bank scene. I wanted to do something to help those in need but didn't know how I could help them directly. The best way I can see to help is to donate my time and any sponsorship I can gain." Any advice for future fundraisers on how to get donations through & prepare for your challenge? "I had chosen a flattering picture for my fundraising page, but it was only when I changed it to a mid run/sweaty and knackered picture that I started to get more sponsorship! So I think being honest if you're finding it difficult. You don't have to pretend to find the challenge easy. People seem more impressed if you're finding it hard!" A huge thank you to Bec, and indeed all the fundraisers on Localgiving who are raising money on behalf of local charities across the UK! If her answers have inspired you to fundraise for a local charity, why not sign up to do so? It’s really quick and easy to set up and fundraising page, and there are 1000s of great, local charities online at Localgiving for whom your support would be valuable.   For further information about fundraising, why not check out these other posts in our blog? Rod’s Top Tips for Running & Fun and Funds Wise Words from Alistair Still, Local Hero Champion 2016
    May 08, 2017 2030
  • 03 May 2017
    A couple of years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an NGO for rescuing chained or caged dogs. Their Facebook page had sweet intros to all the animals awaiting adoption and featured photos of their daily activities at the rescue center. Over time, I got quite familiar with the dogs there just through their social media feed. Even though the organization is in a different state and I’ve never actually met the dogs, I felt a personal bond and continue to donate towards their well being, ever so often.   That bond is developed through the compelling power of storytelling. Well, sure, as a dog lover, I’ve always had a soft spot for those fuzzy goofballs. However, Storytelling can help get you build an emotional connection between the audience and any character by affecting their subconscious. Let’s have a look at how these subconscious effects come into play and the approach to making it work in marketing your charity. 1) Help the audience reach the conclusion One of the primary rules of storytelling is “Show; don’t tell”. Instead of stating facts about the good guy and the bad guy, the characters are introduced through their actions and decisions. We start to root for the protagonist because the story aligns our values and morals with whatever the protagonist is fighting for. Since the story guides our emotions through these subconscious decisions, the choice of which side we relate to doesn’t seem forced upon us. In a similar way, your charity has to let the audience come to the conclusion that you are working for something positive. Giving them facts and figures is fine but real-world examples allow them to decide whether they support your cause. 2. Offer a fresh take on a common story structure If you look closely at the overall story of classic books and movies, they are almost the same - a hero taking on something beyond their depth, a larger-than-life villain threatening to ruin the world forever and even parallel ups and downs of the characters as the hero journeys to save the world. But every time the storyteller gives their personal spin on the characters and what’s at stake in the world. This makes the audience stay hooked throughout. When it comes to your charity, come up with a fresh perspective to the problem so that people can imagine their contribution doing its part to lead to a better world. 3. Build trust through familiarity In stories, the protagonist is never someone very different from us. Even if the story is set in a different world or features characters that aren’t human, the storyteller gives them a touch of personality people can relate to. That is because when our brain encounters something familiar, it makes us comfortable. We are more likely to trust in someone that comes across as familiar. This subconscious effect is very important when it comes to building trust for your charity. Create a logo and an identity that people can recognise. Have an active social media presence and talk about the progress made through your activities. 4. Have stories of redemption to share A redemption arc is another classic storytelling element that makes the hero a star in our eyes - halfway through the story, the hero faces the main villain, loses the battle and, is often, left in a poor state. But being the hero, he doesn’t quit. The rise of the fallen hero makes us root for his cause even more. Share stories where your charity or someone you’ve worked with goes on against the insurmountable odds working against them. You gain more admiration for trying than for success. 5. Show how the world you are trying to fix is broken Storytellers make a point to drive home the bleak reality in store in case the protagonist fails. It is not a world people want to be a part of. In fact, it is made clear how the world will change and end up worse than how it was at the outset of the tale if the bad guy is not stopped. Projecting this dark future is important to ensure no one wants the villain to win. Of course, in the real world, the cause you’re working for might not be so dire. People will only be willing to do their bit if you make sure they can envision how bad things would be if you did nothing. Project the alternative and help the audience see how it will worsen the situation in the future. A lot more people will be willing to step up and do their part for your initiative. These subconscious effects are part of human thought and reaction. They have been used in storytelling for centuries to guide the audience’s emotional journey. Use these in your charity marketing to increase support for your cause. Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a California-based Voice and SMS service company bridging the communication gap for political campaigns and advocacy groups. When he is not working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. If you enjoyed this article you may also like: 3 Ways Small Charities can get Expertise They Need for Free How to be a better donor in one easy step Developing a Fundraising Plan - Strategies and Ideas  
    3226 Posted by Augustus Franklin
  • A couple of years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an NGO for rescuing chained or caged dogs. Their Facebook page had sweet intros to all the animals awaiting adoption and featured photos of their daily activities at the rescue center. Over time, I got quite familiar with the dogs there just through their social media feed. Even though the organization is in a different state and I’ve never actually met the dogs, I felt a personal bond and continue to donate towards their well being, ever so often.   That bond is developed through the compelling power of storytelling. Well, sure, as a dog lover, I’ve always had a soft spot for those fuzzy goofballs. However, Storytelling can help get you build an emotional connection between the audience and any character by affecting their subconscious. Let’s have a look at how these subconscious effects come into play and the approach to making it work in marketing your charity. 1) Help the audience reach the conclusion One of the primary rules of storytelling is “Show; don’t tell”. Instead of stating facts about the good guy and the bad guy, the characters are introduced through their actions and decisions. We start to root for the protagonist because the story aligns our values and morals with whatever the protagonist is fighting for. Since the story guides our emotions through these subconscious decisions, the choice of which side we relate to doesn’t seem forced upon us. In a similar way, your charity has to let the audience come to the conclusion that you are working for something positive. Giving them facts and figures is fine but real-world examples allow them to decide whether they support your cause. 2. Offer a fresh take on a common story structure If you look closely at the overall story of classic books and movies, they are almost the same - a hero taking on something beyond their depth, a larger-than-life villain threatening to ruin the world forever and even parallel ups and downs of the characters as the hero journeys to save the world. But every time the storyteller gives their personal spin on the characters and what’s at stake in the world. This makes the audience stay hooked throughout. When it comes to your charity, come up with a fresh perspective to the problem so that people can imagine their contribution doing its part to lead to a better world. 3. Build trust through familiarity In stories, the protagonist is never someone very different from us. Even if the story is set in a different world or features characters that aren’t human, the storyteller gives them a touch of personality people can relate to. That is because when our brain encounters something familiar, it makes us comfortable. We are more likely to trust in someone that comes across as familiar. This subconscious effect is very important when it comes to building trust for your charity. Create a logo and an identity that people can recognise. Have an active social media presence and talk about the progress made through your activities. 4. Have stories of redemption to share A redemption arc is another classic storytelling element that makes the hero a star in our eyes - halfway through the story, the hero faces the main villain, loses the battle and, is often, left in a poor state. But being the hero, he doesn’t quit. The rise of the fallen hero makes us root for his cause even more. Share stories where your charity or someone you’ve worked with goes on against the insurmountable odds working against them. You gain more admiration for trying than for success. 5. Show how the world you are trying to fix is broken Storytellers make a point to drive home the bleak reality in store in case the protagonist fails. It is not a world people want to be a part of. In fact, it is made clear how the world will change and end up worse than how it was at the outset of the tale if the bad guy is not stopped. Projecting this dark future is important to ensure no one wants the villain to win. Of course, in the real world, the cause you’re working for might not be so dire. People will only be willing to do their bit if you make sure they can envision how bad things would be if you did nothing. Project the alternative and help the audience see how it will worsen the situation in the future. A lot more people will be willing to step up and do their part for your initiative. These subconscious effects are part of human thought and reaction. They have been used in storytelling for centuries to guide the audience’s emotional journey. Use these in your charity marketing to increase support for your cause. Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a California-based Voice and SMS service company bridging the communication gap for political campaigns and advocacy groups. When he is not working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. If you enjoyed this article you may also like: 3 Ways Small Charities can get Expertise They Need for Free How to be a better donor in one easy step Developing a Fundraising Plan - Strategies and Ideas  
    May 03, 2017 3226
  • 02 May 2017
    Local Hero 2017 has now come to an end. 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 Monday 1st May. During the campaign 341 fundraisers raised £118k for 190 local charities and community groups from across the UK. We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s campaign is …  Adam Curtis Adam secured an impressive 261 unique sponsors, raising over £2000 for The Russell School plus an extra £1000 in prize money. £5,000 in prizes have been awarded to the causes supported by the top 20 fundraisers. 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.  Once again, thank you all for making Local Hero 2017 such as success and remember, our next campaign, the Small Charities Week Match Fund, is just around the corner.  For advice on how to make the most of this campaign why not sign up to our webinars today!  
  • Local Hero 2017 has now come to an end. 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 Monday 1st May. During the campaign 341 fundraisers raised £118k for 190 local charities and community groups from across the UK. We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s campaign is …  Adam Curtis Adam secured an impressive 261 unique sponsors, raising over £2000 for The Russell School plus an extra £1000 in prize money. £5,000 in prizes have been awarded to the causes supported by the top 20 fundraisers. 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.  Once again, thank you all for making Local Hero 2017 such as success and remember, our next campaign, the Small Charities Week Match Fund, is just around the corner.  For advice on how to make the most of this campaign why not sign up to our webinars today!  
    May 02, 2017 1717
  • 19 Apr 2017
     The Big Heart Network - the North West's marketing skills and support network for charities and social enterprises - share their top Twitter tips  Do you feel overwhelmed by social media? Has it started to feel like a massive time suck? Maintaining a professional and productive online presence can be hard graft especially for organisations facing staff or budget constraints.  But take heart! We have four time-saving Twitter tips that will make you fall back in love with the social media channel that never stops tweeting.  Define your audience  Tweeting out great content all hours of the day and getting no interaction can be soul-destroying. So sit back and take stock.  Decide who you really want to reach. Are you keen to position your organisation as expert in its sector, do want to keep staff and volunteers up to date, attract the interest of the media or reach current supporters and potential donors?  Once you have zeroed in on the target audience, work out when they will be online for the best chance of your tweet being seen by them.  Use analytic tools available in Twitter or another app to confirm the optimum time through test tweets.  Content calendar  Trying to come up with new ideas every morning is stressful and the quality of the content does suffer.  Stop right now! Instead take time to construct a media calendar, populated with your organisation's events, campaigns, key occasions in your sector and external diary dates. Breaking news can be posted around these diaried events - instant inspiration and you will never forget to tweet about an important date ever again.  Curate rather create  It is hugely time-consuming to create enough original matter to populate a Twitter feed. The message becomes monotonous if your audience is only ever hearing one voice. So, to kill two birds with one stone follow the rule of thirds. For every original tweet, retweet another account and reply to someone else.  Using the quote retweet function allows you another 140 words to add a commentary to expand your thoughts on the original tweet.  The rule of thirds provides variety, additional value, encourages engagement as well as positions your organisation as a thought leader in its sector  A word of warning: make sure you only direct retweet trustworthy sources and read or watch links in their entirety to avoid any unpleasant surprises.  Time-saving tools  Don't get caught in the cycle of having to post tweets 'live'. Set aside some time to schedule a number of tweets in advance using tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite. It an especially efficient way to deal with diaried events from your content calendar.  In the same vein, Hootlet is a free browser plugin which allows you to immediately add shortened page URL and a message with the link's title to your Hootsuite schedule without having to open Hootsuite and copy the link across – great for quick curated content. Grace Dyke is Strategic Director at PR and Communications social enterprise, Yellow Jigsaw. The Yellow Jigsaw team manage PR and fundraising campaigns for regional and national charities, as well as managing the North West's only dedicated skills and support network for charities and social enterprises, the Big Heart Network.  Big Heart Network puts its heart and soul into helping charities and social enterprises. Contact us on hello@yellowjigsaw.co.uk and visit our page to see when the next lunch and learn social media sessions will be held. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Hero: The half way leaders are... Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times      
    1752 Posted by Grace Dyke
  •  The Big Heart Network - the North West's marketing skills and support network for charities and social enterprises - share their top Twitter tips  Do you feel overwhelmed by social media? Has it started to feel like a massive time suck? Maintaining a professional and productive online presence can be hard graft especially for organisations facing staff or budget constraints.  But take heart! We have four time-saving Twitter tips that will make you fall back in love with the social media channel that never stops tweeting.  Define your audience  Tweeting out great content all hours of the day and getting no interaction can be soul-destroying. So sit back and take stock.  Decide who you really want to reach. Are you keen to position your organisation as expert in its sector, do want to keep staff and volunteers up to date, attract the interest of the media or reach current supporters and potential donors?  Once you have zeroed in on the target audience, work out when they will be online for the best chance of your tweet being seen by them.  Use analytic tools available in Twitter or another app to confirm the optimum time through test tweets.  Content calendar  Trying to come up with new ideas every morning is stressful and the quality of the content does suffer.  Stop right now! Instead take time to construct a media calendar, populated with your organisation's events, campaigns, key occasions in your sector and external diary dates. Breaking news can be posted around these diaried events - instant inspiration and you will never forget to tweet about an important date ever again.  Curate rather create  It is hugely time-consuming to create enough original matter to populate a Twitter feed. The message becomes monotonous if your audience is only ever hearing one voice. So, to kill two birds with one stone follow the rule of thirds. For every original tweet, retweet another account and reply to someone else.  Using the quote retweet function allows you another 140 words to add a commentary to expand your thoughts on the original tweet.  The rule of thirds provides variety, additional value, encourages engagement as well as positions your organisation as a thought leader in its sector  A word of warning: make sure you only direct retweet trustworthy sources and read or watch links in their entirety to avoid any unpleasant surprises.  Time-saving tools  Don't get caught in the cycle of having to post tweets 'live'. Set aside some time to schedule a number of tweets in advance using tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite. It an especially efficient way to deal with diaried events from your content calendar.  In the same vein, Hootlet is a free browser plugin which allows you to immediately add shortened page URL and a message with the link's title to your Hootsuite schedule without having to open Hootsuite and copy the link across – great for quick curated content. Grace Dyke is Strategic Director at PR and Communications social enterprise, Yellow Jigsaw. The Yellow Jigsaw team manage PR and fundraising campaigns for regional and national charities, as well as managing the North West's only dedicated skills and support network for charities and social enterprises, the Big Heart Network.  Big Heart Network puts its heart and soul into helping charities and social enterprises. Contact us on hello@yellowjigsaw.co.uk and visit our page to see when the next lunch and learn social media sessions will be held. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Hero: The half way leaders are... Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times      
    Apr 19, 2017 1752