Register your organisation

Set up a fundraising page

Subscribe to our mailing list



275 blogs
  • 28 Mar 2017
    The House of Lords Select Committee on Charities released its much anticipated report, Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society on Sunday 26th March. Localgiving is delighted to have contributed to this report.  Much of the evidence we gave was derived from our 2015 Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report.  We are proud to have been able to represent local charities across the UK and advocate on their behalf.  Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society is wide ranging in its findings and recommendations. The report gives 42 recommendations on key issues affecting the charity sector, echoing many of our own findings. It is positive to see the unique value and needs of small, local groups acknowledged and addressed throughout the report.   Below we highlight some of the key findings most relevant to small, local charities You can read the full report here. Contracts and Grants The report recognises that the “The commissioning landscape is skewed against smaller charities”. The shift towards large scale contracts and payment by results has excluded many smaller groups. The report recommends that commissioning practices are reformed to give smaller charities greater opportunities. This includes a revival of grants, smaller scale contracts and an increased focus on impact and social value rather than cost.   The report also recognises the need to put measures into place that reduce the “risks of larger organisations exploiting smaller charities through the commissioning and subcontracting process”. Digital technology The capacity of the charity sector to embrace digital technology varies widely. Many small groups lack the skills and confidence to fully benefit from technological advances. The report recommends that the Big Lottery Fund supports the sector’s infrastructure bodies to share knowledge on innovation and digitisation. Governance and accountability While the whole sector should aspire to a high standard of governance, larger charities must be held to a different standard to their smaller counterparts. Trustee skills Small charities would benefit from having free access to a template induction process for trustees. Social Investment Social investment is a useful tool but is unsuitable for many groups – smaller groups particular will not be ‘investment ready’ without significant extra resources. Government The report recommends that the Government consult more widely when making legislation and take time to understand the full impact of new laws on smaller groups.There is also a recognition that most small and medium group’s primary relationship with government is through their local authorities and therefore there should be closer consultation between relevent government departments.  Regulation The report argues that further regulation would place “a substantial bureaucratic burden on small charities”.  Moreover, concerns were expressed about the impact of a levy on small- and medium-sized charities. Charity Commission If the charity commission chooses to adopt a charging model it must “ensure that the burden does not fall upon small charities which will not be able to afford it”.   
    1783 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The House of Lords Select Committee on Charities released its much anticipated report, Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society on Sunday 26th March. Localgiving is delighted to have contributed to this report.  Much of the evidence we gave was derived from our 2015 Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report.  We are proud to have been able to represent local charities across the UK and advocate on their behalf.  Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society is wide ranging in its findings and recommendations. The report gives 42 recommendations on key issues affecting the charity sector, echoing many of our own findings. It is positive to see the unique value and needs of small, local groups acknowledged and addressed throughout the report.   Below we highlight some of the key findings most relevant to small, local charities You can read the full report here. Contracts and Grants The report recognises that the “The commissioning landscape is skewed against smaller charities”. The shift towards large scale contracts and payment by results has excluded many smaller groups. The report recommends that commissioning practices are reformed to give smaller charities greater opportunities. This includes a revival of grants, smaller scale contracts and an increased focus on impact and social value rather than cost.   The report also recognises the need to put measures into place that reduce the “risks of larger organisations exploiting smaller charities through the commissioning and subcontracting process”. Digital technology The capacity of the charity sector to embrace digital technology varies widely. Many small groups lack the skills and confidence to fully benefit from technological advances. The report recommends that the Big Lottery Fund supports the sector’s infrastructure bodies to share knowledge on innovation and digitisation. Governance and accountability While the whole sector should aspire to a high standard of governance, larger charities must be held to a different standard to their smaller counterparts. Trustee skills Small charities would benefit from having free access to a template induction process for trustees. Social Investment Social investment is a useful tool but is unsuitable for many groups – smaller groups particular will not be ‘investment ready’ without significant extra resources. Government The report recommends that the Government consult more widely when making legislation and take time to understand the full impact of new laws on smaller groups.There is also a recognition that most small and medium group’s primary relationship with government is through their local authorities and therefore there should be closer consultation between relevent government departments.  Regulation The report argues that further regulation would place “a substantial bureaucratic burden on small charities”.  Moreover, concerns were expressed about the impact of a levy on small- and medium-sized charities. Charity Commission If the charity commission chooses to adopt a charging model it must “ensure that the burden does not fall upon small charities which will not be able to afford it”.   
    Mar 28, 2017 1783
  • 15 Mar 2017
    Insurance is a key part of the risk management process for charities and community groups. It’s vital that non-profit groups that do so much good, with so few resources, are protected. And insurance can provide that protection. With the financial security of insurance, your organisation can focus all its resources on its charitable aims! Let’s start with the basics; what’s required by law? Employers liability is a legal requirement if you have any employees. £5 million indemnity is required, but £10m is now standard. Some charity insurance policies will also cover your volunteers as if they were employees under Employers Liability insurance rather than third parties covered by your Public Liability policy. This gives them better cover. Also, if you own and operate motor vehicles, you’re legally required to appropriately insure them. Read more about whether your organisation legally needs insurance. Is it important to be insured beyond the legal requirements? Yes! The primary function of insurance is protecting your organisation from the financial burden of claims and protecting your assets in the event of claims. Should you be unfortunate enough to have a member of the public slip on your premises, despite your best risk management efforts, you may be liable for a large claim – this is the sort of claim that could shut down your organisation and put a stop to all the good that you have been doing. What could happen if we’re not insured? This depends on your charity or community group structure. However, if you’re not a registered charity and someone has cause to make a claim against you, it is possible that they will take you to court. If you lose the court battle, then you are personally liable for the entire claim amount. Equally, even if you are a registered charity, a claimant may choose to take the charity to court and, in some circumstances, pursue compensation from the trustees. Whatever the situation, in the event of a claim, if you don’t have insurance then your charity and community group is at serious risk of financial ruin. And there’s potentially a significant risk to the board of trustees too. What should we do about insurance? The first step towards insuring your organisation should be discussing your requirements with charity insurance specialists. There are specialist charity insurance providers and brokers that can assist you with your insurance requirements and risk management. What insurance should we consider buying? Beyond the legal requirements of Employers Liability and Motor (if you operate vehicles), you may consider a range of insurance product. Common cover required by charities and community groups include Public Liability, Property, Trustee Indemnity, Professional Indemnity, Fidelity and more. Tell us about the common insurance covers for charities and community groups. Public Liability protects you from claims made by members of the public who have suffered personal injury or property damage because of your charity or community group. Property Damage insures your building, contents and assets against loss, theft or damage and is key to risk management. Trustee Indemnity protects your board of trustees from claims made against them or the organisation. This will help your trustees sleep well at night and can help you recruit top quality trustees. Professional Indemnity protects you if you provide any professional, advice or counselling services or similar. And Fidelity cover insures you against theft or fraud by an employee, volunteer or trustee.  Elaine Denny has been working in the Charity Insurance sector for 10 years and supports all of CaSE Insurance’s charity clients. You can contact Elaine on 01372 227 634 or by email, at elainedenny@caseinsurance.co.uk. CaSE Insurance was established and is part-owned by the charity law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite and by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). CaSE represents a unique partnership between charity and insurance specialists. You can find out more about CaSE at www.caseinsurance.co.uk or call them on 0333 800 9838. CaSE Insurance is proud to offer free and impartial risk management and insurance advice to Localgiving members. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    4 Steps to the perfect charity Video How Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment Focus on the outcomes of your work rather than the outputs
    2195 Posted by Elaine Denny
  • Insurance is a key part of the risk management process for charities and community groups. It’s vital that non-profit groups that do so much good, with so few resources, are protected. And insurance can provide that protection. With the financial security of insurance, your organisation can focus all its resources on its charitable aims! Let’s start with the basics; what’s required by law? Employers liability is a legal requirement if you have any employees. £5 million indemnity is required, but £10m is now standard. Some charity insurance policies will also cover your volunteers as if they were employees under Employers Liability insurance rather than third parties covered by your Public Liability policy. This gives them better cover. Also, if you own and operate motor vehicles, you’re legally required to appropriately insure them. Read more about whether your organisation legally needs insurance. Is it important to be insured beyond the legal requirements? Yes! The primary function of insurance is protecting your organisation from the financial burden of claims and protecting your assets in the event of claims. Should you be unfortunate enough to have a member of the public slip on your premises, despite your best risk management efforts, you may be liable for a large claim – this is the sort of claim that could shut down your organisation and put a stop to all the good that you have been doing. What could happen if we’re not insured? This depends on your charity or community group structure. However, if you’re not a registered charity and someone has cause to make a claim against you, it is possible that they will take you to court. If you lose the court battle, then you are personally liable for the entire claim amount. Equally, even if you are a registered charity, a claimant may choose to take the charity to court and, in some circumstances, pursue compensation from the trustees. Whatever the situation, in the event of a claim, if you don’t have insurance then your charity and community group is at serious risk of financial ruin. And there’s potentially a significant risk to the board of trustees too. What should we do about insurance? The first step towards insuring your organisation should be discussing your requirements with charity insurance specialists. There are specialist charity insurance providers and brokers that can assist you with your insurance requirements and risk management. What insurance should we consider buying? Beyond the legal requirements of Employers Liability and Motor (if you operate vehicles), you may consider a range of insurance product. Common cover required by charities and community groups include Public Liability, Property, Trustee Indemnity, Professional Indemnity, Fidelity and more. Tell us about the common insurance covers for charities and community groups. Public Liability protects you from claims made by members of the public who have suffered personal injury or property damage because of your charity or community group. Property Damage insures your building, contents and assets against loss, theft or damage and is key to risk management. Trustee Indemnity protects your board of trustees from claims made against them or the organisation. This will help your trustees sleep well at night and can help you recruit top quality trustees. Professional Indemnity protects you if you provide any professional, advice or counselling services or similar. And Fidelity cover insures you against theft or fraud by an employee, volunteer or trustee.  Elaine Denny has been working in the Charity Insurance sector for 10 years and supports all of CaSE Insurance’s charity clients. You can contact Elaine on 01372 227 634 or by email, at elainedenny@caseinsurance.co.uk. CaSE Insurance was established and is part-owned by the charity law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite and by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). CaSE represents a unique partnership between charity and insurance specialists. You can find out more about CaSE at www.caseinsurance.co.uk or call them on 0333 800 9838. CaSE Insurance is proud to offer free and impartial risk management and insurance advice to Localgiving members. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    4 Steps to the perfect charity Video How Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment Focus on the outcomes of your work rather than the outputs
    Mar 15, 2017 2195
  • 13 Mar 2017
    You're a proud fundraiser for a local charity and you enjoy what you do. But whether you like it or not, you're still tasked with the ever growing problem of getting money in and often it can feel like a losing battle. People just don't get what you do and you find it difficult to explain it in a way that appeals to potential supporters. You don't know where to start.   Why are you struggling? Maybe you feel your charity is different from the rest, you're not trying to raise money for a 'sexy' cause and find it hard to talk about making a difference.   In my previous role as a Grants Officer I often found charities were far too reserved in speaking out about what they did and more importantly the people they helped! But this is key to raising money. Case studies, quotes and photos all help to illustrate the positive impact your charity is making.    To be able to show the impact that you are making it is important to focus on the outcomes that funding would bring rather than the outputs.   Example: A Dial a Ride charity needs to raise money to pay volunteer driver expenses each month. The charity struggles to raise money and feels it's just not sexy enough to appeal to donors. When fundraising it often focuses on how funding would cover the cost of fuel to get people from A to B each week.  Sadly the charity has failed to look at the bigger picture and could potentially miss out on funding. It has focused on an outputs of its work rather than the outcomes and what it could achieve if it raises the money.   If your charity is in a similar situation and snuggles to talk about impact and outcomes think about:   1. What would happen to beneficiaries if they weren't able to use your service?   2. Why do people need your service, what situations are they in?   3. Do you have any case studies to highlight the difference you are making?   4. What impact does your work have on those that volunteer? Why do they volunteer?    Going back to the example of the Dial a Ride service, what it failed to realise was the positive difference it was having on the lives of not only the people that used the service but the volunteer drivers too! Many of the drivers were retired and chose to volunteer regular time each week to give them something constructive to do, a purpose. Something to get up for in the mornings. They enjoyed the camaraderie between one another and the contact they had with the local community. They felt as though they were doing their bit to give something back.   Furthermore the people that were using the service often called it a 'life line' and without it they said their lives would be very different. Many users suffered from rural isolation and so often felt trapped in their own homes, due to old age and disability.    When you next come to fundraise for your cause, whether it's online or through a grant application, use the questions above to help tell your story. Include as much detail as possible to make sure your voice is heard and let people know the great work that you are doing every day.    For inspiration check out these great fundraising pages on our site: Park in the Past  The Josephine and Jack Project Street Talk     Good luck with your fundraising!     Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Wise Words from Alistair Sill: Local Hero Champion 2016                 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times   Image courtesy of 
    2332 Posted by Emma Rawlingson
  • You're a proud fundraiser for a local charity and you enjoy what you do. But whether you like it or not, you're still tasked with the ever growing problem of getting money in and often it can feel like a losing battle. People just don't get what you do and you find it difficult to explain it in a way that appeals to potential supporters. You don't know where to start.   Why are you struggling? Maybe you feel your charity is different from the rest, you're not trying to raise money for a 'sexy' cause and find it hard to talk about making a difference.   In my previous role as a Grants Officer I often found charities were far too reserved in speaking out about what they did and more importantly the people they helped! But this is key to raising money. Case studies, quotes and photos all help to illustrate the positive impact your charity is making.    To be able to show the impact that you are making it is important to focus on the outcomes that funding would bring rather than the outputs.   Example: A Dial a Ride charity needs to raise money to pay volunteer driver expenses each month. The charity struggles to raise money and feels it's just not sexy enough to appeal to donors. When fundraising it often focuses on how funding would cover the cost of fuel to get people from A to B each week.  Sadly the charity has failed to look at the bigger picture and could potentially miss out on funding. It has focused on an outputs of its work rather than the outcomes and what it could achieve if it raises the money.   If your charity is in a similar situation and snuggles to talk about impact and outcomes think about:   1. What would happen to beneficiaries if they weren't able to use your service?   2. Why do people need your service, what situations are they in?   3. Do you have any case studies to highlight the difference you are making?   4. What impact does your work have on those that volunteer? Why do they volunteer?    Going back to the example of the Dial a Ride service, what it failed to realise was the positive difference it was having on the lives of not only the people that used the service but the volunteer drivers too! Many of the drivers were retired and chose to volunteer regular time each week to give them something constructive to do, a purpose. Something to get up for in the mornings. They enjoyed the camaraderie between one another and the contact they had with the local community. They felt as though they were doing their bit to give something back.   Furthermore the people that were using the service often called it a 'life line' and without it they said their lives would be very different. Many users suffered from rural isolation and so often felt trapped in their own homes, due to old age and disability.    When you next come to fundraise for your cause, whether it's online or through a grant application, use the questions above to help tell your story. Include as much detail as possible to make sure your voice is heard and let people know the great work that you are doing every day.    For inspiration check out these great fundraising pages on our site: Park in the Past  The Josephine and Jack Project Street Talk     Good luck with your fundraising!     Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Wise Words from Alistair Sill: Local Hero Champion 2016                 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times   Image courtesy of 
    Mar 13, 2017 2332
  • 09 Mar 2017
    Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones, explains how the Police Property Fund turns unreturnable stolen or recovered goods into grants for local community groups. Mountain bikes, perfume and jewellery; tools, TVs and tablets. You’d be surprised at the range and volume of stolen, confiscated and found items that find a temporary home in our police stations.  In an ideal world, these goods would all be reunited with their rightful owners. However, there are many items which haven’t been property-marked and which aren’t particularly distinctive in their nature – which makes them practically impossible to return. Due to the large volumes of items being seized and recovered, it’s impractical for us to keep them for any great length of time, so the vast majority are sold to the public via online auctions, raising money in the process.  This money forms the “pot” for the North Yorkshire Police Property Fund.   How the North Yorkshire Police Property Fund works The idea of the Fund is simple.  Twice a year, we open funding rounds where local community and voluntary organisations of all sizes and types can apply for money to support initiatives of benefit to North Yorkshire and its residents.    To be considered for a grant, a project needs to meet certain criteria.  For example, it should involve children and young people in extra-curricular activities, or help to increase safety, reduce the fear of crime or anti-social behaviour, or bring different parts of the community together.  It’s also important that organisations applying for a grant from the Police Property Fund encourage equality of opportunity, promote good community relations, and demonstrate that they can tackle any barriers that may prevent disabled people using their services. At the end of the application period, the Police and Crime Commissioner and I judge all the entries, and decide where to award a grant.  We receive some great ideas, and although it takes a lot of time to consider each application fully, it is a task that we both enjoy – especially when we come across a really good project that will make a positive impact in the local community. The Police Property Fund has been a real success, and continues to grow in popularity each year. Over the past five years more than £120,000 has been distributed to projects throughout the North Yorkshire region, helping to bring our community together and tackle many equality barriers. Success Stories Looking at some successful examples from our last round of funding paints a strong picture of the positive effect that even relatively small amounts of cash can have. For example, the Yellow Ribbonand White Rabbit pre-schools based at Catterick Garrison and Claro Barracks, Ripon were successful in a grant application of over £1200 to provide books, puzzles, dolls, play food and posters to help young children – often from as far away as Fiji and Nepal – to understand British values and learn to respect different cultures and beliefs.  Another project – one which is close to my heart in my role as the national police lead for rural and wildlife crime – will see children in our region enjoying a special conservation experience on the North York Moors.  We gave a £3,000 grant (one of the highest we have awarded) to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to fund experience days for hundreds of youngsters between the ages of six and 11.  On one of these days, the young people – who may have little direct experience of our local habitat – will visit the grouse moors, help out with conservation tasks and learn about the environment and fascinating wildlife unique to our region. Riding for the Disabled England (RDA) is another successful applicant.  They bid for £750 to help eight disabled people take part in a week-long residential holiday to learn to drive a pony and carriage, and take part in other sport and arts and craft activities.  The experience is the only one of its type in the UK, and the people who take part gain a lot of self-confidence, so it has a much longer-term impact on their lives. Even just these three projects offer an insight into the valuable work that our many community and voluntary organisations carry out within North Yorkshire, and I am very proud that our Fund has helped to support them.  It feels right that the proceeds from stolen goods are providing a bit of extra support to community ventures, rather than lining criminals’ pockets.  Entry is now open for the latest round of Police Property Fund grants.  The Commissioner and I have already put a date in our diaries to judge the applications, and we’re really looking forward to supporting another set of excellent initiatives this year.  So, if you are part of a community group in North Yorkshire, and have a project that would fit our funding criteria, please remember to get your application in before the closing date on 30 April.  You’ll find all the details at  www.northyorkshire.police.uk/grant. Good luck!   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  4 Steps to the perfect charity Video How Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment  
    2083 Posted by Dave Jones
  • Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones, explains how the Police Property Fund turns unreturnable stolen or recovered goods into grants for local community groups. Mountain bikes, perfume and jewellery; tools, TVs and tablets. You’d be surprised at the range and volume of stolen, confiscated and found items that find a temporary home in our police stations.  In an ideal world, these goods would all be reunited with their rightful owners. However, there are many items which haven’t been property-marked and which aren’t particularly distinctive in their nature – which makes them practically impossible to return. Due to the large volumes of items being seized and recovered, it’s impractical for us to keep them for any great length of time, so the vast majority are sold to the public via online auctions, raising money in the process.  This money forms the “pot” for the North Yorkshire Police Property Fund.   How the North Yorkshire Police Property Fund works The idea of the Fund is simple.  Twice a year, we open funding rounds where local community and voluntary organisations of all sizes and types can apply for money to support initiatives of benefit to North Yorkshire and its residents.    To be considered for a grant, a project needs to meet certain criteria.  For example, it should involve children and young people in extra-curricular activities, or help to increase safety, reduce the fear of crime or anti-social behaviour, or bring different parts of the community together.  It’s also important that organisations applying for a grant from the Police Property Fund encourage equality of opportunity, promote good community relations, and demonstrate that they can tackle any barriers that may prevent disabled people using their services. At the end of the application period, the Police and Crime Commissioner and I judge all the entries, and decide where to award a grant.  We receive some great ideas, and although it takes a lot of time to consider each application fully, it is a task that we both enjoy – especially when we come across a really good project that will make a positive impact in the local community. The Police Property Fund has been a real success, and continues to grow in popularity each year. Over the past five years more than £120,000 has been distributed to projects throughout the North Yorkshire region, helping to bring our community together and tackle many equality barriers. Success Stories Looking at some successful examples from our last round of funding paints a strong picture of the positive effect that even relatively small amounts of cash can have. For example, the Yellow Ribbonand White Rabbit pre-schools based at Catterick Garrison and Claro Barracks, Ripon were successful in a grant application of over £1200 to provide books, puzzles, dolls, play food and posters to help young children – often from as far away as Fiji and Nepal – to understand British values and learn to respect different cultures and beliefs.  Another project – one which is close to my heart in my role as the national police lead for rural and wildlife crime – will see children in our region enjoying a special conservation experience on the North York Moors.  We gave a £3,000 grant (one of the highest we have awarded) to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to fund experience days for hundreds of youngsters between the ages of six and 11.  On one of these days, the young people – who may have little direct experience of our local habitat – will visit the grouse moors, help out with conservation tasks and learn about the environment and fascinating wildlife unique to our region. Riding for the Disabled England (RDA) is another successful applicant.  They bid for £750 to help eight disabled people take part in a week-long residential holiday to learn to drive a pony and carriage, and take part in other sport and arts and craft activities.  The experience is the only one of its type in the UK, and the people who take part gain a lot of self-confidence, so it has a much longer-term impact on their lives. Even just these three projects offer an insight into the valuable work that our many community and voluntary organisations carry out within North Yorkshire, and I am very proud that our Fund has helped to support them.  It feels right that the proceeds from stolen goods are providing a bit of extra support to community ventures, rather than lining criminals’ pockets.  Entry is now open for the latest round of Police Property Fund grants.  The Commissioner and I have already put a date in our diaries to judge the applications, and we’re really looking forward to supporting another set of excellent initiatives this year.  So, if you are part of a community group in North Yorkshire, and have a project that would fit our funding criteria, please remember to get your application in before the closing date on 30 April.  You’ll find all the details at  www.northyorkshire.police.uk/grant. Good luck!   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  4 Steps to the perfect charity Video How Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment  
    Mar 09, 2017 2083
  • 06 Mar 2017
    As part of our preparation for Local Hero 2017, I called Nicky Heath, director of the Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre in Herefordshire to ask her about Adam Heaths fundraising challenge last year. Adam had raised funds for them through a simple yet imaginative fundraising campaign. His mantra of "never bringing a moustache to a beard fight’’ paid off as he raised over £1000 by growing his beard out for 12 months and then dying it in a rainbow assortment of colours drawn from the suggestions of his donors! It was a huge success for Yelini and caught our eye here at Localgiving HQ. Nicky was more than happy to share the story with us. Why do you think it's important for charities to engage fundraisers and how do you find fundraisers? What sort of relationship do you have with them? "We have a lot of people that come to our centre. We’re a cancer support charity and what we find is that people who use us support us. (Yelini offer free therapy to people with cancer). A lot of them offer after they have recovered. Their friends and family also often want to raise some money as a thank you for what we’ve done for them". What has been the benefit of engaging fundraisers? Is it just about raising money? Or can they reach out to new donors and also be ambassadors for your group? "It's a combination of things. One of the reasons is obviously that you are trying to raise funds and it's a very competitive market out there at the moment. But also we find that using things like the Localgiving website as a donation collection forum allows us to promote it around social media and give people a focus of where they can donate. It also gives the person doing the fundraising the opportunity to explain how they are doing it and what they are doing it for." "Fundraising is really hand-in-glove with raising community awareness of who you are as an organisation. Especially when it is as fun as what Adam did, it engages people as they find it amusing and think it's really great. It also allowed us to incorporate another local business into the campaign. The local barber shop that he went to get it all done did it all for free because they loved the idea! So it really engaged with them as well. We were also in the local newspapers so it really did help raise awareness in the community. It was such a unique and different thing for somebody to do". Did it take a lot of resource from your organisation to manage the fundraising campaign? "Adam did a lot of it himself and he certainly raised what he wanted to. He set up the Localgiving page under my suggestion. He is actually my son! But he did most of it himself, I didn't hold his hand or anything. All that we had to do off the back of his efforts was try and share it around different forums as much as we could and have posters and things up in the centre. He took the campaign to his workplace which really helped. They were very proactive and actually donated £100 to the campaign. They had to sanction that he could do it in the first place! In the business he is in he does go to meetings and things so they had to agree that it was okay for him to do it". "I feel like Localgiving does give a lot of support to people that are trying to do something like this off of their own volition and we as an organisation tried to offer a level of support as well. I think that's the least you can do if someone's going to put themselves out there in order to raise money for your organisation".  It's a combination of things right? Obviously it is ultimately up to the fundraiser themselves but the more support they can get from us, the platform, and from you guys, the charity, the better right? "Thats right!" So last question, what top tip would you give other Local charities if they were thinking of approaching people to become fundraisers? "Come up with ideas. I think it's quite difficult if you just say "we want you to raise money’’ but you don't have any ideas to get started. Think outside the box a little bit. Everybody knows the usual things like coffee mornings or something like that. That will appeal to a certain sector of society but if you want to make your reach broader I think you need to introduce a variety of different activities and also see where you could perhaps engage other sectors of the community. For example the business world, local shops, people in your local area. Even if it is approaching them to donate a prize or to sponsor and aspect of what you are trying to achieve". "I also think people will be more interested in things that they find interesting, amusing or exciting. I think this engages people more than just standing on the street corner shaking a bucket. People find that quite off putting now actually so you want to try and avoid that really. Think about all the different aspects of who you are trying to engage. You want to especially engage young people because they are the potential future users of your charity (depending on what it is). Don't always pitch it where you think the money is. Often you will find it's the people who have little who give the most". Well that is often true and I think Adam is certainly a brilliant ambassador for the "think outside the box’’ approach to fundraising! Thanks Nicky! Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre are holding a Wellbeing day in collaboration with Kemble at home on Saturday 4th March 10 am til 4pm. All proceeds from the raffle and donations are going to Yeleni. Evi Hudson is also running a fundraising page for Yelini this year. Her ''hair today, gone tomorrow'' campaign is already underway! Help her by making a donation here. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Bright Light Bright Light's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds! Big Strong Hearts: Training Tips for your Charity Challenge
    2210 Posted by Conor Kelly
  • As part of our preparation for Local Hero 2017, I called Nicky Heath, director of the Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre in Herefordshire to ask her about Adam Heaths fundraising challenge last year. Adam had raised funds for them through a simple yet imaginative fundraising campaign. His mantra of "never bringing a moustache to a beard fight’’ paid off as he raised over £1000 by growing his beard out for 12 months and then dying it in a rainbow assortment of colours drawn from the suggestions of his donors! It was a huge success for Yelini and caught our eye here at Localgiving HQ. Nicky was more than happy to share the story with us. Why do you think it's important for charities to engage fundraisers and how do you find fundraisers? What sort of relationship do you have with them? "We have a lot of people that come to our centre. We’re a cancer support charity and what we find is that people who use us support us. (Yelini offer free therapy to people with cancer). A lot of them offer after they have recovered. Their friends and family also often want to raise some money as a thank you for what we’ve done for them". What has been the benefit of engaging fundraisers? Is it just about raising money? Or can they reach out to new donors and also be ambassadors for your group? "It's a combination of things. One of the reasons is obviously that you are trying to raise funds and it's a very competitive market out there at the moment. But also we find that using things like the Localgiving website as a donation collection forum allows us to promote it around social media and give people a focus of where they can donate. It also gives the person doing the fundraising the opportunity to explain how they are doing it and what they are doing it for." "Fundraising is really hand-in-glove with raising community awareness of who you are as an organisation. Especially when it is as fun as what Adam did, it engages people as they find it amusing and think it's really great. It also allowed us to incorporate another local business into the campaign. The local barber shop that he went to get it all done did it all for free because they loved the idea! So it really engaged with them as well. We were also in the local newspapers so it really did help raise awareness in the community. It was such a unique and different thing for somebody to do". Did it take a lot of resource from your organisation to manage the fundraising campaign? "Adam did a lot of it himself and he certainly raised what he wanted to. He set up the Localgiving page under my suggestion. He is actually my son! But he did most of it himself, I didn't hold his hand or anything. All that we had to do off the back of his efforts was try and share it around different forums as much as we could and have posters and things up in the centre. He took the campaign to his workplace which really helped. They were very proactive and actually donated £100 to the campaign. They had to sanction that he could do it in the first place! In the business he is in he does go to meetings and things so they had to agree that it was okay for him to do it". "I feel like Localgiving does give a lot of support to people that are trying to do something like this off of their own volition and we as an organisation tried to offer a level of support as well. I think that's the least you can do if someone's going to put themselves out there in order to raise money for your organisation".  It's a combination of things right? Obviously it is ultimately up to the fundraiser themselves but the more support they can get from us, the platform, and from you guys, the charity, the better right? "Thats right!" So last question, what top tip would you give other Local charities if they were thinking of approaching people to become fundraisers? "Come up with ideas. I think it's quite difficult if you just say "we want you to raise money’’ but you don't have any ideas to get started. Think outside the box a little bit. Everybody knows the usual things like coffee mornings or something like that. That will appeal to a certain sector of society but if you want to make your reach broader I think you need to introduce a variety of different activities and also see where you could perhaps engage other sectors of the community. For example the business world, local shops, people in your local area. Even if it is approaching them to donate a prize or to sponsor and aspect of what you are trying to achieve". "I also think people will be more interested in things that they find interesting, amusing or exciting. I think this engages people more than just standing on the street corner shaking a bucket. People find that quite off putting now actually so you want to try and avoid that really. Think about all the different aspects of who you are trying to engage. You want to especially engage young people because they are the potential future users of your charity (depending on what it is). Don't always pitch it where you think the money is. Often you will find it's the people who have little who give the most". Well that is often true and I think Adam is certainly a brilliant ambassador for the "think outside the box’’ approach to fundraising! Thanks Nicky! Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre are holding a Wellbeing day in collaboration with Kemble at home on Saturday 4th March 10 am til 4pm. All proceeds from the raffle and donations are going to Yeleni. Evi Hudson is also running a fundraising page for Yelini this year. Her ''hair today, gone tomorrow'' campaign is already underway! Help her by making a donation here. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Bright Light Bright Light's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds! Big Strong Hearts: Training Tips for your Charity Challenge
    Mar 06, 2017 2210
  • 28 Feb 2017
    Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus! To celebrate St David’s Day, Lauren & Emma from Localgiving’s Wales Development Programme are delighted to share some online fundraising success stories from across Wales. When starting out with online fundraising, it can seem a bit daunting. You might get so frustrated at times that you just want to… Oh, what’s that phrase? Rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô! But, don’t despair! Localgiving is here to make things that little bit easier. It won’t be an overnight success - you know what they say,  ara’ deg mae dal iar - and we all know that feeling, nervously waiting for the donations to start rolling in. But just remind yourself, “hir yw pob aros”. With every new campaign, you’ll get better and better. Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer, and all that. Try new things, and experiment. If something doesn’t work, try something else!  Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely, you know. The most important thing is, to never give up. After all, dyfal donc a dyr y garreg. And remember, when it comes to match funding campaigns (of which we have plenty), y cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu - so don’t delay! Plan ahead and make the most of every opportunity. Which reminds me. Have you got any fundraisers lined up for Local Hero yet? It starts on the 1st of April! Encourage one of your supporters to take part, and they could win up to £1,000 for your cause. Imagine how great that would feel! Fel ceiliog ar ei domen ei hun. Well, we hope that pep talk has inspired you to do some fundraising today! If you’re feeling a bit baffled, check out the handy translation list at the end of this blog... Stay with us for a tour of Wales, as we introduce you to some fantastic groups raising money online with Localgiving. North Wales  - TAPE Community Music & Film - Ghostbuskers Road To Eden appeal TAPE Community Music & Film is an award-winning community arts charity in Old Colwyn which, for over 8 years, has supported hundreds of people to explore and develop their creative ideas. At the moment, TAPE are running an appeal to get their music group “Ghostbuskers” to the Eden Project in Cornwall, where they hope to perform at the Community Camp event this coming May. Ghostbuskers is a musical performance project welcoming people of all ages and abilities. The group rehearses weekly at TAPE’s Community Arts Centre and then performs across the country at community events and concerts throughout the year. Since starting the appeal less than 3 weeks ago, TAPE have raised £120 plus £28 of Gift Aid. The group plans to use their remaining £100 of match funding to encourage more people to support the appeal. TAPE have made great use of the Localgiving appeal page’s video hosting function to showcase the brilliant Ghostbuskers band. Mid Wales - Play Radnor - Welcome to the Hub appeal Play Radnor is a voluntary organisation committed to the development of play opportunities for the children and young people of Radnorshire. The group  provides quality play provision for children and young people, and raises the awareness of the importance of play. At the beginning of February, Play Radnor attended a free workshop entitled “Getting started with Online Fundraising”, where they were able to learn the basics of online fundraising, get online with Localgiving and set up an appeal page the very same day! Play Radnor decided to raise money to build a cob oven at their play hub, so they could make tasty wood-fired pizzas for the community. They raised awareness of the appeal by posting to facebook and, within the week, the appeal had raised £125. Localgiving matched this amount as part of the Big Lottery-funded Wales Development Programme, meaning Play Radnor reached and exceeded their £200 target only 5 days after joining Localgiving! West Wales - The Shared Earth Trust The Shared Earth Trust are a Lampeter based group that helps people to connect with nature through Denmark Farm, a 40 acre nature reserve and visitor centre that run an environmental education programme. Since joining Localgiving in October, The Shared Earth Trust have now raised over £2,500 and have found a number of things have worked well. They did a crowdfunder a year ago and found it really hard work and not very successful, even though they were offering rewards for donations. They found Localgiving much easier and have done really well with Grow Your Tenner, as they have found it sounds almost too good to be true and so people really engage with it. The most successful form of promotion they found was personal emails from their staff and trustees. These had a very high 50% success rate and many donations were made within minutes of people receiving these emails. They are now adding a Localgiving donation button to their website and encouraging their members to pay their direct debits through their Localgiving page. South Wales - Friends of the City Of Swansea Botanical Complex Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Complex supports 3 public parks in Swansea and is entirely volunteer-led. In the Autumn we supported them to run their first ever fundraising appeal to raise money for a new Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden in Singleton Park. They raised a whopping £4384.50, which includes Grow Your Tenner matchfunding and their £200 matchfunding for taking part in the Wales Development Programme. To support them with this, we met them face-to-face at their park base, have had many phone conversations and they have attended 2 Localgiving group training sessions.   Saying: Rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô Literal translation: Put the fiddle in the roof English equivalent: Reach the end of one’s tether   Saying: Ara’ deg mae dal iar Literal translation: Slowly is the way to catch chickens English equivalent: Patience is a virtue   Saying: Hir yw pob aros Literal translation: All waiting is long English equivalent: A watched pot never boils   Saying: Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer Literal translation: The master of all work is practice English equivalent: Practice makes perfect   Saying: Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely  Literal translation: There’s more than one to send Will to his bed  English equivalent: There’s more than one way to skin a cat   Saying: Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg  Literal translation: Persistent blows shatter the stone  English equivalent: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again   Saying: Y cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu Literal translation: The first to the mill gets to grind  English equivalent: First come, first served   Saying: Fel ceiliog ar ei domen ei hun Literal translation: Like a cockerel on top of his heap English equivalent: Cock of the walk   
    1965 Posted by Lauren Swain
  • Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus! To celebrate St David’s Day, Lauren & Emma from Localgiving’s Wales Development Programme are delighted to share some online fundraising success stories from across Wales. When starting out with online fundraising, it can seem a bit daunting. You might get so frustrated at times that you just want to… Oh, what’s that phrase? Rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô! But, don’t despair! Localgiving is here to make things that little bit easier. It won’t be an overnight success - you know what they say,  ara’ deg mae dal iar - and we all know that feeling, nervously waiting for the donations to start rolling in. But just remind yourself, “hir yw pob aros”. With every new campaign, you’ll get better and better. Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer, and all that. Try new things, and experiment. If something doesn’t work, try something else!  Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely, you know. The most important thing is, to never give up. After all, dyfal donc a dyr y garreg. And remember, when it comes to match funding campaigns (of which we have plenty), y cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu - so don’t delay! Plan ahead and make the most of every opportunity. Which reminds me. Have you got any fundraisers lined up for Local Hero yet? It starts on the 1st of April! Encourage one of your supporters to take part, and they could win up to £1,000 for your cause. Imagine how great that would feel! Fel ceiliog ar ei domen ei hun. Well, we hope that pep talk has inspired you to do some fundraising today! If you’re feeling a bit baffled, check out the handy translation list at the end of this blog... Stay with us for a tour of Wales, as we introduce you to some fantastic groups raising money online with Localgiving. North Wales  - TAPE Community Music & Film - Ghostbuskers Road To Eden appeal TAPE Community Music & Film is an award-winning community arts charity in Old Colwyn which, for over 8 years, has supported hundreds of people to explore and develop their creative ideas. At the moment, TAPE are running an appeal to get their music group “Ghostbuskers” to the Eden Project in Cornwall, where they hope to perform at the Community Camp event this coming May. Ghostbuskers is a musical performance project welcoming people of all ages and abilities. The group rehearses weekly at TAPE’s Community Arts Centre and then performs across the country at community events and concerts throughout the year. Since starting the appeal less than 3 weeks ago, TAPE have raised £120 plus £28 of Gift Aid. The group plans to use their remaining £100 of match funding to encourage more people to support the appeal. TAPE have made great use of the Localgiving appeal page’s video hosting function to showcase the brilliant Ghostbuskers band. Mid Wales - Play Radnor - Welcome to the Hub appeal Play Radnor is a voluntary organisation committed to the development of play opportunities for the children and young people of Radnorshire. The group  provides quality play provision for children and young people, and raises the awareness of the importance of play. At the beginning of February, Play Radnor attended a free workshop entitled “Getting started with Online Fundraising”, where they were able to learn the basics of online fundraising, get online with Localgiving and set up an appeal page the very same day! Play Radnor decided to raise money to build a cob oven at their play hub, so they could make tasty wood-fired pizzas for the community. They raised awareness of the appeal by posting to facebook and, within the week, the appeal had raised £125. Localgiving matched this amount as part of the Big Lottery-funded Wales Development Programme, meaning Play Radnor reached and exceeded their £200 target only 5 days after joining Localgiving! West Wales - The Shared Earth Trust The Shared Earth Trust are a Lampeter based group that helps people to connect with nature through Denmark Farm, a 40 acre nature reserve and visitor centre that run an environmental education programme. Since joining Localgiving in October, The Shared Earth Trust have now raised over £2,500 and have found a number of things have worked well. They did a crowdfunder a year ago and found it really hard work and not very successful, even though they were offering rewards for donations. They found Localgiving much easier and have done really well with Grow Your Tenner, as they have found it sounds almost too good to be true and so people really engage with it. The most successful form of promotion they found was personal emails from their staff and trustees. These had a very high 50% success rate and many donations were made within minutes of people receiving these emails. They are now adding a Localgiving donation button to their website and encouraging their members to pay their direct debits through their Localgiving page. South Wales - Friends of the City Of Swansea Botanical Complex Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Complex supports 3 public parks in Swansea and is entirely volunteer-led. In the Autumn we supported them to run their first ever fundraising appeal to raise money for a new Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden in Singleton Park. They raised a whopping £4384.50, which includes Grow Your Tenner matchfunding and their £200 matchfunding for taking part in the Wales Development Programme. To support them with this, we met them face-to-face at their park base, have had many phone conversations and they have attended 2 Localgiving group training sessions.   Saying: Rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô Literal translation: Put the fiddle in the roof English equivalent: Reach the end of one’s tether   Saying: Ara’ deg mae dal iar Literal translation: Slowly is the way to catch chickens English equivalent: Patience is a virtue   Saying: Hir yw pob aros Literal translation: All waiting is long English equivalent: A watched pot never boils   Saying: Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer Literal translation: The master of all work is practice English equivalent: Practice makes perfect   Saying: Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely  Literal translation: There’s more than one to send Will to his bed  English equivalent: There’s more than one way to skin a cat   Saying: Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg  Literal translation: Persistent blows shatter the stone  English equivalent: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again   Saying: Y cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu Literal translation: The first to the mill gets to grind  English equivalent: First come, first served   Saying: Fel ceiliog ar ei domen ei hun Literal translation: Like a cockerel on top of his heap English equivalent: Cock of the walk   
    Feb 28, 2017 1965
  • 27 Feb 2017
    Lessons for charities about cost and value So there I was, almost in tears, lost in reverie, alone in a crowd on an airfield just outside Newark in Nottinghamshire. But what had happened, and why I am I telling you about it in a blog about charities?  You see, I was at this airfield to attend an antiques fair (I know what you’re thinking, my weekends must really fly by), when I came across a table of old football programmes. Now, forgive me, but it’s my affliction to be a lifelong Arsenal fan and a season ticket holder for the last 22 years. And what I found, after a few minutes of flicking through the piles, was the programme of the very first match I had attended. It was on Saturday 20 October, 1979, but I remember the game like it was yesterday. A nil nil draw versus Stoke City, but for this seven-year-old, it was all high-octane excitement. Hands trembling, I bought the programme for the marked price: £1.50. But for me it was worth so much more than that. And this historic memento is now framed and displayed for posterity (in my downstairs loo). Think about the difference between cost and value But what can charities learn from this somewhat particular experience? Well, I think it’s a particularly appropriate illustration of the distinction between cost and value, which charities should pay greater heed to. The programme would have cost 20p in 1979. I ‘bought it back’ a few decades later for £1.50. But what was its value? The significance of it to me emotionally, and the way it was a gateway to a formative experience for me meant I would have paid much, much more for it. This is because cost and value are rarely the same. In fact, for charities if the value of our work wasn’t greater than the cost of doing it, are we the best people for the job? Shouldn’t a funder be doing it themselves in that case? What added value do we bring? Inputs, outputs and outcomes Or, putting it another way, we need to be clearer about the differences between inputs, outputs and outcomes. So often, I’ve seen charities cost up their work in their project proposal, assuming that the outputs of the work, or what they’re planning to do with funds raised, is the most important aspect of the proposal. It isn’t. The vital element of your plans is what will change as a result of what you’re planning to do. It’s not the cost, it’s the value. If the work you’re doing will increase the chances, for example, of your beneficiary earning themselves a decent living rather than being unemployed, how much money is saved in the long run from your ‘intervention’? You need to be able to prove your value, and if it’s not greater than the cost, then, quite frankly, you shouldn’t be doing it. And what about the value from a funder’s perspective? And there is another element of the cost/value distinction that I believe charities also neglect, and that’s in our fundraising. Applications to charitable trusts are rightly normally focused on asking to cover a project’s costs. But this leads me to two questions that I think we all need to consider: Have you made it clear, even so, what the value of the work will be? This is what will lead to donors and supporters, in effect, investing their money in you. Have you reflected the full costs of your organisation doing the work? There should, after all, be an added value in your expertise and management, otherwise, again, the funder would be wise to consider “cutting out the middle man.” Proposals to companies, on the other hand, ought also to take into account the value to the company of associating with our organisations. Are we fully aware of the power of our brands? Do we under-sell ourselves? Remember that wide-eyed seven year old But there’s a final, and arguably more important, lesson from my airfield story. It’s about my willingness to part with my money for a reminder of a special moment in my life. What does that tell us about the importance of memory, emotion, and excitement in reaching our supporters? For me, it’s got something to do with understanding them and their identity. My somewhat blind faith in a football team is part of what defines me as a person. And likewise, we need our supporters to get to the point where their allegiance to our cause is part of who they are. Now that is value. Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times  
    1942 Posted by Richard Sved
  • Lessons for charities about cost and value So there I was, almost in tears, lost in reverie, alone in a crowd on an airfield just outside Newark in Nottinghamshire. But what had happened, and why I am I telling you about it in a blog about charities?  You see, I was at this airfield to attend an antiques fair (I know what you’re thinking, my weekends must really fly by), when I came across a table of old football programmes. Now, forgive me, but it’s my affliction to be a lifelong Arsenal fan and a season ticket holder for the last 22 years. And what I found, after a few minutes of flicking through the piles, was the programme of the very first match I had attended. It was on Saturday 20 October, 1979, but I remember the game like it was yesterday. A nil nil draw versus Stoke City, but for this seven-year-old, it was all high-octane excitement. Hands trembling, I bought the programme for the marked price: £1.50. But for me it was worth so much more than that. And this historic memento is now framed and displayed for posterity (in my downstairs loo). Think about the difference between cost and value But what can charities learn from this somewhat particular experience? Well, I think it’s a particularly appropriate illustration of the distinction between cost and value, which charities should pay greater heed to. The programme would have cost 20p in 1979. I ‘bought it back’ a few decades later for £1.50. But what was its value? The significance of it to me emotionally, and the way it was a gateway to a formative experience for me meant I would have paid much, much more for it. This is because cost and value are rarely the same. In fact, for charities if the value of our work wasn’t greater than the cost of doing it, are we the best people for the job? Shouldn’t a funder be doing it themselves in that case? What added value do we bring? Inputs, outputs and outcomes Or, putting it another way, we need to be clearer about the differences between inputs, outputs and outcomes. So often, I’ve seen charities cost up their work in their project proposal, assuming that the outputs of the work, or what they’re planning to do with funds raised, is the most important aspect of the proposal. It isn’t. The vital element of your plans is what will change as a result of what you’re planning to do. It’s not the cost, it’s the value. If the work you’re doing will increase the chances, for example, of your beneficiary earning themselves a decent living rather than being unemployed, how much money is saved in the long run from your ‘intervention’? You need to be able to prove your value, and if it’s not greater than the cost, then, quite frankly, you shouldn’t be doing it. And what about the value from a funder’s perspective? And there is another element of the cost/value distinction that I believe charities also neglect, and that’s in our fundraising. Applications to charitable trusts are rightly normally focused on asking to cover a project’s costs. But this leads me to two questions that I think we all need to consider: Have you made it clear, even so, what the value of the work will be? This is what will lead to donors and supporters, in effect, investing their money in you. Have you reflected the full costs of your organisation doing the work? There should, after all, be an added value in your expertise and management, otherwise, again, the funder would be wise to consider “cutting out the middle man.” Proposals to companies, on the other hand, ought also to take into account the value to the company of associating with our organisations. Are we fully aware of the power of our brands? Do we under-sell ourselves? Remember that wide-eyed seven year old But there’s a final, and arguably more important, lesson from my airfield story. It’s about my willingness to part with my money for a reminder of a special moment in my life. What does that tell us about the importance of memory, emotion, and excitement in reaching our supporters? For me, it’s got something to do with understanding them and their identity. My somewhat blind faith in a football team is part of what defines me as a person. And likewise, we need our supporters to get to the point where their allegiance to our cause is part of who they are. Now that is value. Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times  
    Feb 27, 2017 1942
  • 21 Feb 2017
    Conchita Garcia, Head of Projects and Fund Development at the FSI discusses skills gaps in the charity sector and how the FSI plans to support small charities. Supporting the small charity sector Small charities carry out some amazing work, aiding some of the most vulnerable communities; they are a key part of civil society. They play an important role in supporting the economy, in building social cohesion and in integrating those individuals who are in danger of being marginalised from society.   Having the relevant skills to undertake this important role is vital to ensure an efficient, effective and sustainable small charity sector. However, our research shows time and time again that small organisations often struggle to train staff in the skills and practices that would support them to secure more funding and run their services more effectively. That is why every two years The FSI assesses the skills gaps within the small charity sector to get a sense of training needs, to ensure the services of small charities are meeting the needs of those that use them. What are the gaps? Our skills survey showed that the areas in need of expertise, according to respondents, were lobbying (49%), using social media (44%), structuring communications (46%) and the latest HR laws and practices (27%). Areas where small charities rated themselves as performing well included team working, basic computer literacy and leadership, as well as working in partnership with other organisations. Why do these gaps exist? Respondents cited a lack of funding (64%), time (56%) and locally available training (23%) as the main reasons why small charities fail to fill these skill gaps. Our research also shows that the impact of these skills gaps is an increased workload across the organisation (61%) and an increased time taken to deliver the work (51%). Going forward We feel passionately that when skills gaps directly cause an increase in workload and time taken to deliver services, something needs to change. The demand for training continues to be significant and clearly remains a core element in addressing skills gaps in the sector. It is therefore essential to consider what the nature of available training is, and how this can be tailored to effectively address the needs of small charities. In order to support small charities and community groups to fill these training needs, the FSI run an annual, heavily subsidised skills conference, taking place in Central London on 9th March 2017. This year’s Skills Conference will provide 200 small charity delegates the chance to access a range of expert speakers to help build essential, back office skills. Small charities and community groups are encouraged to select their skills gaps and we will match them to workshops taking place throughout the conference. On the day, delegates will take away relevant and practical skills from four out of 20 interactive workshops. To find out what topics are on offer, and to book on to the conference click here. Venue: Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA Date: Thursday 9th March Time: 9.30am-4.30pm (registration from 9.00am) Cost: £15 for FSI members (value of equivalent conference £295)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 What Makes Local Charities Unique? Open University Launches New Voluntary Sector Courses
    1656 Posted by Conchita Garcia
  • Conchita Garcia, Head of Projects and Fund Development at the FSI discusses skills gaps in the charity sector and how the FSI plans to support small charities. Supporting the small charity sector Small charities carry out some amazing work, aiding some of the most vulnerable communities; they are a key part of civil society. They play an important role in supporting the economy, in building social cohesion and in integrating those individuals who are in danger of being marginalised from society.   Having the relevant skills to undertake this important role is vital to ensure an efficient, effective and sustainable small charity sector. However, our research shows time and time again that small organisations often struggle to train staff in the skills and practices that would support them to secure more funding and run their services more effectively. That is why every two years The FSI assesses the skills gaps within the small charity sector to get a sense of training needs, to ensure the services of small charities are meeting the needs of those that use them. What are the gaps? Our skills survey showed that the areas in need of expertise, according to respondents, were lobbying (49%), using social media (44%), structuring communications (46%) and the latest HR laws and practices (27%). Areas where small charities rated themselves as performing well included team working, basic computer literacy and leadership, as well as working in partnership with other organisations. Why do these gaps exist? Respondents cited a lack of funding (64%), time (56%) and locally available training (23%) as the main reasons why small charities fail to fill these skill gaps. Our research also shows that the impact of these skills gaps is an increased workload across the organisation (61%) and an increased time taken to deliver the work (51%). Going forward We feel passionately that when skills gaps directly cause an increase in workload and time taken to deliver services, something needs to change. The demand for training continues to be significant and clearly remains a core element in addressing skills gaps in the sector. It is therefore essential to consider what the nature of available training is, and how this can be tailored to effectively address the needs of small charities. In order to support small charities and community groups to fill these training needs, the FSI run an annual, heavily subsidised skills conference, taking place in Central London on 9th March 2017. This year’s Skills Conference will provide 200 small charity delegates the chance to access a range of expert speakers to help build essential, back office skills. Small charities and community groups are encouraged to select their skills gaps and we will match them to workshops taking place throughout the conference. On the day, delegates will take away relevant and practical skills from four out of 20 interactive workshops. To find out what topics are on offer, and to book on to the conference click here. Venue: Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA Date: Thursday 9th March Time: 9.30am-4.30pm (registration from 9.00am) Cost: £15 for FSI members (value of equivalent conference £295)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 What Makes Local Charities Unique? Open University Launches New Voluntary Sector Courses
    Feb 21, 2017 1656
  • 20 Feb 2017
    Do you have a big fundraising event or appeal coming up?   Do you have case study that perfectly explains  your work or cause? Reaching and engaging your key audiences (beneficiaries, funders, fundraisers and supporters) can be a real challenge.  One of the best ways to get your story out into the community and to the people who matter is through your local press. However, knowing who to contact and how can be a daunting task. The great news is that we have made this easier than ever.  We've compiled a list of local newspaper websites so that you can directly upload your story to the most relevant place(s). This allows you to get your stories straight to journalists working in your area directly through Localgiving. Find out more and contact your Local Newspaper Now  
  • Do you have a big fundraising event or appeal coming up?   Do you have case study that perfectly explains  your work or cause? Reaching and engaging your key audiences (beneficiaries, funders, fundraisers and supporters) can be a real challenge.  One of the best ways to get your story out into the community and to the people who matter is through your local press. However, knowing who to contact and how can be a daunting task. The great news is that we have made this easier than ever.  We've compiled a list of local newspaper websites so that you can directly upload your story to the most relevant place(s). This allows you to get your stories straight to journalists working in your area directly through Localgiving. Find out more and contact your Local Newspaper Now  
    Feb 20, 2017 3083
  • 14 Feb 2017
    Zoe Amar is Director of Zoe Amar Communications. She also writes for The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network about charities and digital marketing. I don’t know about you, but on 1st  January this year I was bracing myself for what 2017 might bring. Politically and economically this year is set to be rocky to say the least, and all the charities I’m speaking to are readying themselves for a challenging period ahead. At times like this it’s the most natural thing in the world to batten down the hatches. I’ve worked with many small charities as well as large ones and I’ve observed similar patterns of behaviour at both during tough times. I was guilty of it myself occasionally during the 5 years I worked in-house at a charity. Running around, putting out numerous fires, juggling diaries and the ever shifting wants and needs of stakeholders, preparing for funding cuts… on top of all of that, digital can feel like another huge item to add to the to do list. Yet I would argue that digital is one thing that every charity should look to grapple with if they are going to thrive through the undoubtedly hard times ahead. Best of all, it’s something that you can control, even if you have a small budget. Here are my 7 top tips that every charity can follow to put them in the best position now.  They’re a great way to help you upskill in digital, and create strong foundations for everything you do. Whilst we’re at it, I’d love to hear from more small local charities about how they are using digital so that we can map skills across the charity sector, so do take our survey with Skills Platform by Friday 17 February. Test your website for mobile friendliness. This may sound obvious but there are still too many websites out there that aren’t. If your website isn’t optimised correctly it’ going to hurt your Google rankings. Hubspot have a helpful checklist of free tips to get you started. Get on social media If you aren’t on there already, social media is a brilliant way to connect with people in your community, from local MPs to businesses who might want to support you. There is lots of advice in the Charity Social Media Toolkit.  Know your audience Your beneficiaries are the cornerstone of what you do- they are the why. Yet I know myself from when I worked for a charity that my team was sometimes so busy it wasn’t always easy to keep in touch with what our audience wanted. In every single charity that I’ve ever worked with I’m struck by how many untapped, valuable insights there are about stakeholders. It costs nothing to define your audience and map out how they will interact with your services on and offline, so why not take a Friday afternoon with your colleagues to nail that down? Improve your email newsletter Did you know that people are 8 times more likely to donate via email than via your social media? Simple, regular email newsletters with a clear call to action are a great way to keep in touch with supporters and grow the relationship.   Look at what other charities are doing Again it costs nothing to keep tabs on what other charities are doing online. Just taking a look at what they’re saying on social media and on their websites regularly is a good substitute if you don’t have a budget for market research. Get on top of Google Analytics There is so much useful information hidden away in Google Analytics and it’s free to use. It can feel a little overwhelming if you’re new to it so James Yorke has broken down how to use it step by step in this useful guide. Try new things out It is so easy to be overcome by analysis paralysis about digital. If you do one thing after reading this blog, promise me you’ll try something out, however small. It could be an update to the copy on a website or looking into a tweak to your database, but just experimenting with something low risk and learning from the results will help you and your charity feel more confident with digital. Do this once a week and within no time your charity will be doing better and better things online. Follow these 7 quick tips and they’ll not only improve your charity’s digital efforts but they will also help other areas of your work. Let me know how you get on. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016  
    4998 Posted by Zoe Amar
  • Zoe Amar is Director of Zoe Amar Communications. She also writes for The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network about charities and digital marketing. I don’t know about you, but on 1st  January this year I was bracing myself for what 2017 might bring. Politically and economically this year is set to be rocky to say the least, and all the charities I’m speaking to are readying themselves for a challenging period ahead. At times like this it’s the most natural thing in the world to batten down the hatches. I’ve worked with many small charities as well as large ones and I’ve observed similar patterns of behaviour at both during tough times. I was guilty of it myself occasionally during the 5 years I worked in-house at a charity. Running around, putting out numerous fires, juggling diaries and the ever shifting wants and needs of stakeholders, preparing for funding cuts… on top of all of that, digital can feel like another huge item to add to the to do list. Yet I would argue that digital is one thing that every charity should look to grapple with if they are going to thrive through the undoubtedly hard times ahead. Best of all, it’s something that you can control, even if you have a small budget. Here are my 7 top tips that every charity can follow to put them in the best position now.  They’re a great way to help you upskill in digital, and create strong foundations for everything you do. Whilst we’re at it, I’d love to hear from more small local charities about how they are using digital so that we can map skills across the charity sector, so do take our survey with Skills Platform by Friday 17 February. Test your website for mobile friendliness. This may sound obvious but there are still too many websites out there that aren’t. If your website isn’t optimised correctly it’ going to hurt your Google rankings. Hubspot have a helpful checklist of free tips to get you started. Get on social media If you aren’t on there already, social media is a brilliant way to connect with people in your community, from local MPs to businesses who might want to support you. There is lots of advice in the Charity Social Media Toolkit.  Know your audience Your beneficiaries are the cornerstone of what you do- they are the why. Yet I know myself from when I worked for a charity that my team was sometimes so busy it wasn’t always easy to keep in touch with what our audience wanted. In every single charity that I’ve ever worked with I’m struck by how many untapped, valuable insights there are about stakeholders. It costs nothing to define your audience and map out how they will interact with your services on and offline, so why not take a Friday afternoon with your colleagues to nail that down? Improve your email newsletter Did you know that people are 8 times more likely to donate via email than via your social media? Simple, regular email newsletters with a clear call to action are a great way to keep in touch with supporters and grow the relationship.   Look at what other charities are doing Again it costs nothing to keep tabs on what other charities are doing online. Just taking a look at what they’re saying on social media and on their websites regularly is a good substitute if you don’t have a budget for market research. Get on top of Google Analytics There is so much useful information hidden away in Google Analytics and it’s free to use. It can feel a little overwhelming if you’re new to it so James Yorke has broken down how to use it step by step in this useful guide. Try new things out It is so easy to be overcome by analysis paralysis about digital. If you do one thing after reading this blog, promise me you’ll try something out, however small. It could be an update to the copy on a website or looking into a tweak to your database, but just experimenting with something low risk and learning from the results will help you and your charity feel more confident with digital. Do this once a week and within no time your charity will be doing better and better things online. Follow these 7 quick tips and they’ll not only improve your charity’s digital efforts but they will also help other areas of your work. Let me know how you get on. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016  
    Feb 14, 2017 4998