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Lewis Garland 's Entries

9 blogs
  • 27 Jun 2019
    One question that we are frequently asked is how to develop a marketing strategy. To start with, we should be clear that a marketing strategy and marketing plan are different, albeit overlapping, things. Their relationship is similar to that of your vision and mission. Your strategy is about identifying your overarching goals and the tactics you will use to achieve these. Your plan is about the execution of this strategy – the actions that you will take to reach your goals. With that said, here are our top-tips for helping you develop your charity’s marketing strategy: Define Your Goals The first thing you need to consider is what you are trying to achieve with your strategy. Think carefully about how your marketing strategy supports your charity’s mission and vision. Are you looking to increase donations, raise awareness of a cause or reach new beneficiaries? Without clearly defined goals you’re not going to be able to work out which marketing channels you should and shouldn’t be using. Identify Your Key Audiences The next thing to ask yourself is who you are trying to engage with your strategy. This will depend on your chosen goals. If your goal is to bring in major donors, you should probably reconsider a strategy geared towards teenagers in socially deprived areas. Tailor Your Messaging Marketing is essentially about relationship building. As individuals, we naturally speak to different people about different subject – often (subconsciously or not) altering our vocabulary accordingly. We have our our literature friends, our football mates, and our political comrades (ok, just me). This is the way we should approach our audiences. Different demographic groups have different interests and consume and engage with content in very different ways. The messaging, tactics and channels you use to reach and ignite the passions of young people in central London will almost certainly diverge from those you use to engage older people in rural Norfolk (Hey Mum). Play To Your Strengths The last few years have seen some incredible charity campaigns using ground-breaking in-game advertising and VR campaigning.  Sadly, if your marketing department is a one-person team with a sub £1k annual budget you may not be best placed to take advantage of these technologies. Your strategy should seek to make the most out of the resources, time and skills that your organisation has at its disposal. In simple terms, you should begin by focussing on what you are already good at. If you and your team have specialist Social Media skills make this the fulcrum of your strategy. If you are a great, persuasive copy-writer – you may choose to focus more on email and content marketing. Data Counts (but not all data counts equally) There is a whole range of data that you can use to measure the success of your strategy and inform your work. For example, most social media platforms have inbuilt analytics tools that enable you to track and compare your likes , shares, opens.click through rates etc. The important thing is to identify and track the data that most relates to your goals – key performance metrics if you will.  In most cases only a couple of metrics really matter. While it may be interesting to explore why your latest newsletter was opened 7 times in Bishkek, your click-through rate on your Call-to-Action button will almost always be more important (ignore this if your goal is to increase readers in Kyrgyzstan) Learn From Other Charities Take the time to explore what other charities (similar to your own in size and cause area) are doing and don’t be afraid to replicate or adapt their ideas. We don’t all need to be great innovators all of the time. Borrowing ideas that have already been proven to have success can save a lot of time and resources.     
    1058 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • One question that we are frequently asked is how to develop a marketing strategy. To start with, we should be clear that a marketing strategy and marketing plan are different, albeit overlapping, things. Their relationship is similar to that of your vision and mission. Your strategy is about identifying your overarching goals and the tactics you will use to achieve these. Your plan is about the execution of this strategy – the actions that you will take to reach your goals. With that said, here are our top-tips for helping you develop your charity’s marketing strategy: Define Your Goals The first thing you need to consider is what you are trying to achieve with your strategy. Think carefully about how your marketing strategy supports your charity’s mission and vision. Are you looking to increase donations, raise awareness of a cause or reach new beneficiaries? Without clearly defined goals you’re not going to be able to work out which marketing channels you should and shouldn’t be using. Identify Your Key Audiences The next thing to ask yourself is who you are trying to engage with your strategy. This will depend on your chosen goals. If your goal is to bring in major donors, you should probably reconsider a strategy geared towards teenagers in socially deprived areas. Tailor Your Messaging Marketing is essentially about relationship building. As individuals, we naturally speak to different people about different subject – often (subconsciously or not) altering our vocabulary accordingly. We have our our literature friends, our football mates, and our political comrades (ok, just me). This is the way we should approach our audiences. Different demographic groups have different interests and consume and engage with content in very different ways. The messaging, tactics and channels you use to reach and ignite the passions of young people in central London will almost certainly diverge from those you use to engage older people in rural Norfolk (Hey Mum). Play To Your Strengths The last few years have seen some incredible charity campaigns using ground-breaking in-game advertising and VR campaigning.  Sadly, if your marketing department is a one-person team with a sub £1k annual budget you may not be best placed to take advantage of these technologies. Your strategy should seek to make the most out of the resources, time and skills that your organisation has at its disposal. In simple terms, you should begin by focussing on what you are already good at. If you and your team have specialist Social Media skills make this the fulcrum of your strategy. If you are a great, persuasive copy-writer – you may choose to focus more on email and content marketing. Data Counts (but not all data counts equally) There is a whole range of data that you can use to measure the success of your strategy and inform your work. For example, most social media platforms have inbuilt analytics tools that enable you to track and compare your likes , shares, opens.click through rates etc. The important thing is to identify and track the data that most relates to your goals – key performance metrics if you will.  In most cases only a couple of metrics really matter. While it may be interesting to explore why your latest newsletter was opened 7 times in Bishkek, your click-through rate on your Call-to-Action button will almost always be more important (ignore this if your goal is to increase readers in Kyrgyzstan) Learn From Other Charities Take the time to explore what other charities (similar to your own in size and cause area) are doing and don’t be afraid to replicate or adapt their ideas. We don’t all need to be great innovators all of the time. Borrowing ideas that have already been proven to have success can save a lot of time and resources.     
    Jun 27, 2019 1058
  • 23 Oct 2018
    When the spirits rise with ghastly cries, and the maggots crawl from hollow eyes, and the hairy-legged spiders creep and the reaper comes to help you sleep… Halloween is nearly here, but have not fear!  With a little creativity, this can be an excellent fundraising opportunity for your charity or cause. Here are a few ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre!   Hold a creepy costume contest One of the most fun parts of Halloween is the dressing up. Why not ask your supporters to make a small donation to take part in a fancy dress competition or even put on a frightening fashion show? Run a spooky walk in your neighbourhood Every neighbourhood has its haunted houses, rumours of people coming to ghastly ends and lost spirits that still roam the alleys in the dead of night. Run a midnight walk and see if you can raise the dead (or at least raise some funds)? Make your home a haunted house If you’ve got the space, why not convert your home or office into a haunted house. This is a chance to be really creative –cobwebs on the bannisters, skeletons in the closet, fog machines and pumpkin lined walkways. You could even ask people to dress up and jump out at your visitors to give them that extra adrenaline rush! Bake some terrifying treats With a bit of thought, a Halloween themed meal (spicy (be)-devilled potatoes anyone) or creepy cupcake sale will go down a storm.  If you’re feeling really mean you could even add a trick to some of your treats with a pinch of chilli or wasabi! Pumpkin carving competition  We’ve all marvelled at our neighbour’s beautifully carved porch pumpkins. Well, why not make a little cash from their talent! Ask your friends, neighbours and colleagues to take part in a pumpkin carving competition. Ask for a small donation to enter or for people to view the edible exhibit! Here at Localgiving we're always keen to learn about your fundraising actitivities and ideas. Please send us your Halloween images, tweets and posts and we'll be happy to share them - hopefully helping you to hit your fundraising GHOULS!!!  
    2421 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • When the spirits rise with ghastly cries, and the maggots crawl from hollow eyes, and the hairy-legged spiders creep and the reaper comes to help you sleep… Halloween is nearly here, but have not fear!  With a little creativity, this can be an excellent fundraising opportunity for your charity or cause. Here are a few ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre!   Hold a creepy costume contest One of the most fun parts of Halloween is the dressing up. Why not ask your supporters to make a small donation to take part in a fancy dress competition or even put on a frightening fashion show? Run a spooky walk in your neighbourhood Every neighbourhood has its haunted houses, rumours of people coming to ghastly ends and lost spirits that still roam the alleys in the dead of night. Run a midnight walk and see if you can raise the dead (or at least raise some funds)? Make your home a haunted house If you’ve got the space, why not convert your home or office into a haunted house. This is a chance to be really creative –cobwebs on the bannisters, skeletons in the closet, fog machines and pumpkin lined walkways. You could even ask people to dress up and jump out at your visitors to give them that extra adrenaline rush! Bake some terrifying treats With a bit of thought, a Halloween themed meal (spicy (be)-devilled potatoes anyone) or creepy cupcake sale will go down a storm.  If you’re feeling really mean you could even add a trick to some of your treats with a pinch of chilli or wasabi! Pumpkin carving competition  We’ve all marvelled at our neighbour’s beautifully carved porch pumpkins. Well, why not make a little cash from their talent! Ask your friends, neighbours and colleagues to take part in a pumpkin carving competition. Ask for a small donation to enter or for people to view the edible exhibit! Here at Localgiving we're always keen to learn about your fundraising actitivities and ideas. Please send us your Halloween images, tweets and posts and we'll be happy to share them - hopefully helping you to hit your fundraising GHOULS!!!  
    Oct 23, 2018 2421
  • 16 Oct 2018
    Your charity does amazing things. You know this, we know this – but do your potential donors or volunteers know this? While it is true that we live in an increasingly visual world, it is important not to underestimate the enduring power of persuasive writing. It (literally) pays to spend time on crafting your copy. Your browser does not support the video tag. In this blog I give six essential copywriting tips to help you raise awareness and bring in funding for your cause. Know your audience Before you put digit to key, the most important question should always be ‘who am I writing for and why?’ We all care about different causes. In most cases our interests are dictated by our characteristics and life experiences. Think carefully about what demographic you are writing for and how best to engage, gain the trust and motivate this audience. Harness the power of human stories Mastering the art of emotional engagement is vital for any copywriter, none more so than for those of us working with and for charities. One of the most effective ways to do this is through focussing on human stories.  Try to find a simple, memorable story that encapsulates the work that your organisation does and the impact it makes (to a charity marketer this should be the holy grail). Whenever possible, try to include direct quotes from your beneficiaries or clients. This not only makes your copy more emotionally engaging but also helps to build trust with your audience. Choose your stats wisely While an excessive use of numbers may be a turn-off, carefully chosen and positioned statistics can both hook readers in and motivate them to act. Statistics can be used both to show your charity fully understands an issue and to succinctly convey the impact of your own work.   Keep it simple When we are passionate about a cause, it is tempting to tell people everything about the need for our work and the impact we make.  Equally, for lovers of words, it may be frustrating to be told to tone down your language. However, with attention getting shorter, complex arguments and florid prose are better kept for elsewhere. Ask yourself what your reader really needs to know and be ruthless with the rest. Spend time on your subject line We’ve all done it. Worked for hours honing our perfect piece of copy and then quickly cobbled together a subject line or title. However, as the tabloids have proven year on year out, a bold, controversial or catchy headline can make a huge difference. Infact, this is why professional headline writers exist! A good starting point when writing title or headline is to follow the ‘4 R’s’: Urgent, Unique, Useful, and Ultra-specific. Time and tailor your ask Think of each paragraph you write as part of your reader’s  journey, a journey that leads to your call to action. Charities too often describe their groups’ activities and then tag on a quick, loosely related call-to-action at the end. If we want people to donate, volunteer their time, or share our message, you need to consider when the most effective time will be to ask for their support (i.e. at what point your reader will be most motivated to act). Sometimes, this may be at the start to instill a sense of urgency; other times it will come towards the end after having made a robust argument for your cause. And remember, the call-to-action itself should be as  simple, persuasive and specific as possible. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Writing great copy will always be as much about magic as maths. However, following these six tips will go a long way to helping you attract the supporters, donors or fundraisers you need!    Was this blog helpful? Why not check out the following blogs too: 5 of the best free design tools to help your charity shine 3 Charities To Have On Your Radar For Social Media Inspiration
    3970 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Your charity does amazing things. You know this, we know this – but do your potential donors or volunteers know this? While it is true that we live in an increasingly visual world, it is important not to underestimate the enduring power of persuasive writing. It (literally) pays to spend time on crafting your copy. Your browser does not support the video tag. In this blog I give six essential copywriting tips to help you raise awareness and bring in funding for your cause. Know your audience Before you put digit to key, the most important question should always be ‘who am I writing for and why?’ We all care about different causes. In most cases our interests are dictated by our characteristics and life experiences. Think carefully about what demographic you are writing for and how best to engage, gain the trust and motivate this audience. Harness the power of human stories Mastering the art of emotional engagement is vital for any copywriter, none more so than for those of us working with and for charities. One of the most effective ways to do this is through focussing on human stories.  Try to find a simple, memorable story that encapsulates the work that your organisation does and the impact it makes (to a charity marketer this should be the holy grail). Whenever possible, try to include direct quotes from your beneficiaries or clients. This not only makes your copy more emotionally engaging but also helps to build trust with your audience. Choose your stats wisely While an excessive use of numbers may be a turn-off, carefully chosen and positioned statistics can both hook readers in and motivate them to act. Statistics can be used both to show your charity fully understands an issue and to succinctly convey the impact of your own work.   Keep it simple When we are passionate about a cause, it is tempting to tell people everything about the need for our work and the impact we make.  Equally, for lovers of words, it may be frustrating to be told to tone down your language. However, with attention getting shorter, complex arguments and florid prose are better kept for elsewhere. Ask yourself what your reader really needs to know and be ruthless with the rest. Spend time on your subject line We’ve all done it. Worked for hours honing our perfect piece of copy and then quickly cobbled together a subject line or title. However, as the tabloids have proven year on year out, a bold, controversial or catchy headline can make a huge difference. Infact, this is why professional headline writers exist! A good starting point when writing title or headline is to follow the ‘4 R’s’: Urgent, Unique, Useful, and Ultra-specific. Time and tailor your ask Think of each paragraph you write as part of your reader’s  journey, a journey that leads to your call to action. Charities too often describe their groups’ activities and then tag on a quick, loosely related call-to-action at the end. If we want people to donate, volunteer their time, or share our message, you need to consider when the most effective time will be to ask for their support (i.e. at what point your reader will be most motivated to act). Sometimes, this may be at the start to instill a sense of urgency; other times it will come towards the end after having made a robust argument for your cause. And remember, the call-to-action itself should be as  simple, persuasive and specific as possible. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Writing great copy will always be as much about magic as maths. However, following these six tips will go a long way to helping you attract the supporters, donors or fundraisers you need!    Was this blog helpful? Why not check out the following blogs too: 5 of the best free design tools to help your charity shine 3 Charities To Have On Your Radar For Social Media Inspiration
    Oct 16, 2018 3970
  • 17 Sep 2018
    Few would deny that Adobe still lead the way in all things graphic design. Unfortunately, Adobe products (Illustrator, indesign, Photoshop etc) are prohibitively expensive for many people, including most small, local charities. Furthermore, not all of us require the vast array of functions offered by adobe programs. Luckily, there are some fantastic free alternatives out there for those of us who want to produce professional looking designs but are a little short on time, resources and/or design skills. Here are five few of our current favourites: Canva Canva is a simple, intuitive graphic design tool. It is excellent for creating professional looking designs for all sorts of content –from presentations, to social media posts. Canva offers a straight forward drag-and drop- interface, with a huge resource library of templates and images. This makes it the perfect starting point for those without much design experience, or who are short on time.   GIMP GIMP is one of the most sophisticated free tools for visual artists. Many argue that this open-source software offers capabilities that rival those offered by Adobe software. GIMP has an abundance of tools from colour correction to cloning, enabling  you to create refined, professional designs  for any design project. However, it can take considerable time to learn and s not the most suitable tool for those wanting simple, quick designs.   Gravit Designer Gravit designer is an  ideal halfway house between Canva and Gimp.  Gravit offers far more flexibility and opportunities for customisation than Canva but without the incredible (but somewhat intimidating) array of options offered by GIMP.     Piktochart Piktochart allows you to make engaging, interactive infographics in no time.  Infographics are an incredibly powerful tool for engaging your audience and data sharing. Piktochart requires no previous design skills and has a good range of free templates and library of icons.   Pablo Pablo is perfect for those looking to create quick, instantly shareable social media content. Its beauty lies in its simplicity – visual content can be created and posted on your social media channels in just a couple of minutes.   There are plenty of other free design tools that your charity or community  group may benefit from -  please do share these with us!
    2594 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Few would deny that Adobe still lead the way in all things graphic design. Unfortunately, Adobe products (Illustrator, indesign, Photoshop etc) are prohibitively expensive for many people, including most small, local charities. Furthermore, not all of us require the vast array of functions offered by adobe programs. Luckily, there are some fantastic free alternatives out there for those of us who want to produce professional looking designs but are a little short on time, resources and/or design skills. Here are five few of our current favourites: Canva Canva is a simple, intuitive graphic design tool. It is excellent for creating professional looking designs for all sorts of content –from presentations, to social media posts. Canva offers a straight forward drag-and drop- interface, with a huge resource library of templates and images. This makes it the perfect starting point for those without much design experience, or who are short on time.   GIMP GIMP is one of the most sophisticated free tools for visual artists. Many argue that this open-source software offers capabilities that rival those offered by Adobe software. GIMP has an abundance of tools from colour correction to cloning, enabling  you to create refined, professional designs  for any design project. However, it can take considerable time to learn and s not the most suitable tool for those wanting simple, quick designs.   Gravit Designer Gravit designer is an  ideal halfway house between Canva and Gimp.  Gravit offers far more flexibility and opportunities for customisation than Canva but without the incredible (but somewhat intimidating) array of options offered by GIMP.     Piktochart Piktochart allows you to make engaging, interactive infographics in no time.  Infographics are an incredibly powerful tool for engaging your audience and data sharing. Piktochart requires no previous design skills and has a good range of free templates and library of icons.   Pablo Pablo is perfect for those looking to create quick, instantly shareable social media content. Its beauty lies in its simplicity – visual content can be created and posted on your social media channels in just a couple of minutes.   There are plenty of other free design tools that your charity or community  group may benefit from -  please do share these with us!
    Sep 17, 2018 2594
  • 20 Jun 2018
    Do the three lions have you purring with pride or are you primed for a month of watching paint dry?  Either way, football will be dominating the headlines until mid-July and your charity or community group should be making the most of the opportunities it brings. Whether you are looking to highlight serious human rights issues or simply making the most of the energy in the air – it’s worth taking the time to think about how the World Cup can be tied in with your cause or fundraising effort. 1) The sad reality is that many of the countries at this year’s World Cup suffer from serious human rights issues. For example, this year’s host, Russia, has seen as escalation in racism, homophobia and a crackdown on press freedoms in recent years. Leading human right groups have expressed fears that President Putin will use the World Cup to ‘sportswash’ Russia's image. The World Cup is a chance to show these issues the red card. Just a few social media posts can help bring these issues to the fore and encourage people in your community to get involved.  2) Every time there is a major sporting event there is a brief period in which we see a surge of kids out into the parks and playgrounds emulating their heroes.  Grassroots sports clubs should do their best to harness this energy and get these kids involved with their work long term. Why not set up a screening of a match, a mini world cup or penalty shoot out at your club and use it to distribute  information about your club, recruit new players or fundraise? 3) With a little thought, any charity or community group can find a way of using the World cup to promote their cause or help hit their fundraising goals. Whether you arrange a charity lunch of 'World Cup cuisines' or a 'wear your kit or colours' day – there are no end of possible ways you can turn this month’s football fever into a fundraising frenzy. We look forward to seeing the amazing ideas that your group come up with! When promoting your campaign or event on social media, remember to use one of the World Cup's official hastags ( #WorldCup, #Russia2018, #CM2018 or #Copa2018) and also include a hashtag relevent to your local area such as the name of your nearest city or town.  
    1952 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Do the three lions have you purring with pride or are you primed for a month of watching paint dry?  Either way, football will be dominating the headlines until mid-July and your charity or community group should be making the most of the opportunities it brings. Whether you are looking to highlight serious human rights issues or simply making the most of the energy in the air – it’s worth taking the time to think about how the World Cup can be tied in with your cause or fundraising effort. 1) The sad reality is that many of the countries at this year’s World Cup suffer from serious human rights issues. For example, this year’s host, Russia, has seen as escalation in racism, homophobia and a crackdown on press freedoms in recent years. Leading human right groups have expressed fears that President Putin will use the World Cup to ‘sportswash’ Russia's image. The World Cup is a chance to show these issues the red card. Just a few social media posts can help bring these issues to the fore and encourage people in your community to get involved.  2) Every time there is a major sporting event there is a brief period in which we see a surge of kids out into the parks and playgrounds emulating their heroes.  Grassroots sports clubs should do their best to harness this energy and get these kids involved with their work long term. Why not set up a screening of a match, a mini world cup or penalty shoot out at your club and use it to distribute  information about your club, recruit new players or fundraise? 3) With a little thought, any charity or community group can find a way of using the World cup to promote their cause or help hit their fundraising goals. Whether you arrange a charity lunch of 'World Cup cuisines' or a 'wear your kit or colours' day – there are no end of possible ways you can turn this month’s football fever into a fundraising frenzy. We look forward to seeing the amazing ideas that your group come up with! When promoting your campaign or event on social media, remember to use one of the World Cup's official hastags ( #WorldCup, #Russia2018, #CM2018 or #Copa2018) and also include a hashtag relevent to your local area such as the name of your nearest city or town.  
    Jun 20, 2018 1952
  • 07 Dec 2016
    The local voluntary sector consists of thousands of groups with widely varying causes, missions and activities. Local Charities day, taking place on December 16th, will celebrate these amazing groups and draw attention to some of the challenges they are facing.  In this blog we look at what makes the UK’s local voluntary sector so unique and valuable - exploring the characteristics they share and the vital, yet too often overlooked, services that they provide to their communities. In 2015 we produced our first Local charity and community group sustainability Report. In this report we identified a number of characteristics that make the sector so special.   1) Knowledge of local needs Many Local charities are formed as a direct result of a specific local need or cause; be it saving a community centre, conserving a local place of interest etc.  These causes rarely fall into the remit of larger national or international charities as therefore, without these charities such issues would often go unaddressed entirely. A good example of this charity type is Downham Market & District Heritage Society - a group that exists to conserve and display objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Other local charities address wider societal issues (homelessness, disability advice, refugee support, LGBTQ  issues). These groups have a strong crossover with the work of well know national charities and groups. However, in most cases this crossover is complementary.  While more heavily resourced national or international groups excel at wide scale campaigning, infrastructural support etc, the value of grassroots groups lies in their acute knowledge of how these wider issues play out at a local level and how they are best addressed. HERe NI work to combat social exclusion and discrimination among the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland.  Their acute knowledge of the specific issues facing LGBT+ women in Northern Ireland enable them to provide personalised support and bespoke awarenss raising. 2) Strong Trusting Relationships As well as understanding the needs of their community, the fact that local groups are often deeply embeddedness in their local community enables them to foster strong trusting relationships with their beneficiaries.  The value of these relationships, though difficult to quantify, cannot be underestimated. One clear benefit to these close relationships is that it enables these groups to access harder to reach parts of their community. Another advantage is that people often feel a strong attachment, even sense of ownership over local groups. Many local charities are not simply service providers but a key element of the fabric and character of their communities. These informal community bonds would be impossible to replicate.  However, the difference they make to the quality of service provided by groups and the resulting benefit to their service users can be huge. 3) Flexibility and reaction time Local charities and small charities should not be treated as synonymous – for example many hospices have a local or regional remit but have medium to large turnover.  However, given that 95% of local charities have an annual income of under £1 Million there is a strong crossover. One of the benefits of being small is that these groups are often far less bureaucratic and, as a consequence, more flexible and able to react  quickly. When coupled with local charities’ acute knowledge or their local demographics and resources, this often means that local groups are able to provide support quicker, more targeted support than larger, national counterparts. One example is the Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Boxing Day 2015 Flood appeal. On Boxing Day 2016 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks devastating businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded – launching a fundraising appeal that received national attention. Of course,  there are numerous other reasons why the local voluntary  sector is so valuable. This is a sector that continues to amaze us with its resourcefulness, passion and innovation. On Local Charities Day (16th December) make it your mission to find a charity near you and see what you can do to support their cause.   Also keep your eyes open for our 2016 Local Charity and Community Report released on the day.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha   
    4184 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The local voluntary sector consists of thousands of groups with widely varying causes, missions and activities. Local Charities day, taking place on December 16th, will celebrate these amazing groups and draw attention to some of the challenges they are facing.  In this blog we look at what makes the UK’s local voluntary sector so unique and valuable - exploring the characteristics they share and the vital, yet too often overlooked, services that they provide to their communities. In 2015 we produced our first Local charity and community group sustainability Report. In this report we identified a number of characteristics that make the sector so special.   1) Knowledge of local needs Many Local charities are formed as a direct result of a specific local need or cause; be it saving a community centre, conserving a local place of interest etc.  These causes rarely fall into the remit of larger national or international charities as therefore, without these charities such issues would often go unaddressed entirely. A good example of this charity type is Downham Market & District Heritage Society - a group that exists to conserve and display objects, photographs and documents relating to Downham Market and the surrounding village Other local charities address wider societal issues (homelessness, disability advice, refugee support, LGBTQ  issues). These groups have a strong crossover with the work of well know national charities and groups. However, in most cases this crossover is complementary.  While more heavily resourced national or international groups excel at wide scale campaigning, infrastructural support etc, the value of grassroots groups lies in their acute knowledge of how these wider issues play out at a local level and how they are best addressed. HERe NI work to combat social exclusion and discrimination among the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland.  Their acute knowledge of the specific issues facing LGBT+ women in Northern Ireland enable them to provide personalised support and bespoke awarenss raising. 2) Strong Trusting Relationships As well as understanding the needs of their community, the fact that local groups are often deeply embeddedness in their local community enables them to foster strong trusting relationships with their beneficiaries.  The value of these relationships, though difficult to quantify, cannot be underestimated. One clear benefit to these close relationships is that it enables these groups to access harder to reach parts of their community. Another advantage is that people often feel a strong attachment, even sense of ownership over local groups. Many local charities are not simply service providers but a key element of the fabric and character of their communities. These informal community bonds would be impossible to replicate.  However, the difference they make to the quality of service provided by groups and the resulting benefit to their service users can be huge. 3) Flexibility and reaction time Local charities and small charities should not be treated as synonymous – for example many hospices have a local or regional remit but have medium to large turnover.  However, given that 95% of local charities have an annual income of under £1 Million there is a strong crossover. One of the benefits of being small is that these groups are often far less bureaucratic and, as a consequence, more flexible and able to react  quickly. When coupled with local charities’ acute knowledge or their local demographics and resources, this often means that local groups are able to provide support quicker, more targeted support than larger, national counterparts. One example is the Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Boxing Day 2015 Flood appeal. On Boxing Day 2016 Storm Eva caused the River Calder to burst it's banks devastating businesses and homes across Calderdale. CFFC Immediately responded – launching a fundraising appeal that received national attention. Of course,  there are numerous other reasons why the local voluntary  sector is so valuable. This is a sector that continues to amaze us with its resourcefulness, passion and innovation. On Local Charities Day (16th December) make it your mission to find a charity near you and see what you can do to support their cause.   Also keep your eyes open for our 2016 Local Charity and Community Report released on the day.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha   
    Dec 07, 2016 4184
  • 27 Jan 2016
    On Monday last week, Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP was warmly welcomed as a volunteer by local Berkshire charity, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. Mr Wilson MP, eager to gain hands on experience with a charity in his constituency of Reading East, contacted Localgiving last week to help him identify a group to work with. Longtime Localgiving member, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres, sprang to mind immediately. Dingley provides a unique space where young children with disabilities can go to develop skills through play. Parents and carers are also welcomed, providing a place to make friends, share experiences and gain valuable respite. Since joining Localgiving in 2011, Dingley has consistently inspired us with the life-changing impact it delivers to beneficiaries. Where better for Mr Wilson to learn more about the vital work that local charities and community groups do? Mr Wilson spent the morning of Monday 18th January with the staff and children of The Dingley Centre in Reading, taking part in ‘Learning Through Play’ sessions. Working in close partnership with other education and health care professionals, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres provide regular therapy sessions, as well as training and support for parents and carers. Throughout the morning, Mr Wilson MP was given the opportunity to see the benefits of the therapies on offer for children. He was even lucky enough to make some new young friends in the process! Two children shared their toys and interacted happily with him. Working alongside his mentor, Kathryn Mitchell, he motivated and guided a child to communicate with others through the exchange of a photograph to indicate what the child wanted to do. Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to volunteer at Dingley Family Centre today. The charity provides fantastic support to children and families across Reading and I hope that my morning of volunteering was helpful to them. I encourage everyone to dedicate some time to volunteering so that great causes like this can continue to help those who need it” Catherine McLeod MBE, CEO of Dingley Family & Specialist Early Years Centres, was equally enthusiastic about the visit, commenting that: “It was great to see our local MP taking the time to volunteer in a local charity, learning about the demands and joys of working in our sector. It has been a testing time for many charities, and so we were delighted to be chosen to host the Minister for Civil Society…Mr Wilson had the chance to interact with children and families, which will give him a valuable insight into some of the challenges that they face on a daily basis, and why the contribution of the local voluntary sector is so important.” Localgiving is delighted that the Minister for Civil Society has taken the opportunity to visit one of our member groups and is glad he enjoyed his experience with Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. We believe that through volunteering, MPs can gain a real understanding of the essential work carried out by local charities and community groups in their constituency every day.      
    1744 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • On Monday last week, Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP was warmly welcomed as a volunteer by local Berkshire charity, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. Mr Wilson MP, eager to gain hands on experience with a charity in his constituency of Reading East, contacted Localgiving last week to help him identify a group to work with. Longtime Localgiving member, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres, sprang to mind immediately. Dingley provides a unique space where young children with disabilities can go to develop skills through play. Parents and carers are also welcomed, providing a place to make friends, share experiences and gain valuable respite. Since joining Localgiving in 2011, Dingley has consistently inspired us with the life-changing impact it delivers to beneficiaries. Where better for Mr Wilson to learn more about the vital work that local charities and community groups do? Mr Wilson spent the morning of Monday 18th January with the staff and children of The Dingley Centre in Reading, taking part in ‘Learning Through Play’ sessions. Working in close partnership with other education and health care professionals, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres provide regular therapy sessions, as well as training and support for parents and carers. Throughout the morning, Mr Wilson MP was given the opportunity to see the benefits of the therapies on offer for children. He was even lucky enough to make some new young friends in the process! Two children shared their toys and interacted happily with him. Working alongside his mentor, Kathryn Mitchell, he motivated and guided a child to communicate with others through the exchange of a photograph to indicate what the child wanted to do. Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to volunteer at Dingley Family Centre today. The charity provides fantastic support to children and families across Reading and I hope that my morning of volunteering was helpful to them. I encourage everyone to dedicate some time to volunteering so that great causes like this can continue to help those who need it” Catherine McLeod MBE, CEO of Dingley Family & Specialist Early Years Centres, was equally enthusiastic about the visit, commenting that: “It was great to see our local MP taking the time to volunteer in a local charity, learning about the demands and joys of working in our sector. It has been a testing time for many charities, and so we were delighted to be chosen to host the Minister for Civil Society…Mr Wilson had the chance to interact with children and families, which will give him a valuable insight into some of the challenges that they face on a daily basis, and why the contribution of the local voluntary sector is so important.” Localgiving is delighted that the Minister for Civil Society has taken the opportunity to visit one of our member groups and is glad he enjoyed his experience with Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. We believe that through volunteering, MPs can gain a real understanding of the essential work carried out by local charities and community groups in their constituency every day.      
    Jan 27, 2016 1744
  • 18 Nov 2015
    With #GivingTuesday just around the corner, there’s no better time to get your social media pages up to date and to make it simpler for your supporters to donate! One really useful recent update made by Facebook allows you to add a free “Donate Now” button to the top of your organisation’s Facebook page. By linking the button to your Localgiving donation page, you can make it easier for supporters to give. To help you benefit from this, we thought we’d give you a little advice on how to get started. Firstly, you need to make sure that your Facebook page is set up under the category “non-profit organization”. If your page is currently set up as something else, you can change its category by following this quick guide from Facebook. To add the “Donate Now” Button just follow these simple instructions: 1) Go to your Page’s cover photo and click “Create Call to Action”. 2) This will give you a list of possible “Call to Action” buttons. Scroll through these buttons and choose “Donate Now”.                3) Below this list you will see a box with the title “Website”. This is where you need to add the URL of your Localgiving page. We recommend that you add your donation page URL here. This way your donors will only be one click away from donating! To find your Donation Page URL first open your Localgiving page in a new tab and then click on the “Donate Now” button at the top right of the page.                                                                                                                                                             When you are on this page simply copy the URL in the address bar.     Then paste the URL into the box titled “Website”.   4) Once your URL is written in this box, all you need to do is click “Create” and, Voila, your “Donate Now” Button will be live!     Once your “Donate Button” is active you can even find out how many people have clicked on it. Just click on the button, hover over “view Insights” and you will see a graph showing how many people have clicked on each of the last 7 days.So, now you are fully equipped with a shiny new “Donate Now” Button – it’s time to tell your supporters. Why not encourage them to donate £5 through Facebook on December 1st as part of our #GiveMe5 match fund campaign!   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha   How to make friend with the media by Kay Parris Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield    
    3713 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • With #GivingTuesday just around the corner, there’s no better time to get your social media pages up to date and to make it simpler for your supporters to donate! One really useful recent update made by Facebook allows you to add a free “Donate Now” button to the top of your organisation’s Facebook page. By linking the button to your Localgiving donation page, you can make it easier for supporters to give. To help you benefit from this, we thought we’d give you a little advice on how to get started. Firstly, you need to make sure that your Facebook page is set up under the category “non-profit organization”. If your page is currently set up as something else, you can change its category by following this quick guide from Facebook. To add the “Donate Now” Button just follow these simple instructions: 1) Go to your Page’s cover photo and click “Create Call to Action”. 2) This will give you a list of possible “Call to Action” buttons. Scroll through these buttons and choose “Donate Now”.                3) Below this list you will see a box with the title “Website”. This is where you need to add the URL of your Localgiving page. We recommend that you add your donation page URL here. This way your donors will only be one click away from donating! To find your Donation Page URL first open your Localgiving page in a new tab and then click on the “Donate Now” button at the top right of the page.                                                                                                                                                             When you are on this page simply copy the URL in the address bar.     Then paste the URL into the box titled “Website”.   4) Once your URL is written in this box, all you need to do is click “Create” and, Voila, your “Donate Now” Button will be live!     Once your “Donate Button” is active you can even find out how many people have clicked on it. Just click on the button, hover over “view Insights” and you will see a graph showing how many people have clicked on each of the last 7 days.So, now you are fully equipped with a shiny new “Donate Now” Button – it’s time to tell your supporters. Why not encourage them to donate £5 through Facebook on December 1st as part of our #GiveMe5 match fund campaign!   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha   How to make friend with the media by Kay Parris Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield    
    Nov 18, 2015 3713
  • 25 Aug 2015
    The likelihood is that you have heard of Social Impact Bonds (SIBS) at some time over the last couple of years. Some hail SIBs as an innovative, even revolutionary way to bring together the distinct expertise of different sectors - improving government efficiency while better addressing complex social issues. Others are more cautious, highlighting the potential risks of giving financial incentives to investors for achieving public goods. As is often the case with these things, the majority of us quickly become mired in jargon and leave it for later. The reality is that, wherever you stand, SIBS are a rapidly growing source of funding for not-for-profits. For this reason we felt it would be useful for you to have an outline of SIBs, enabling you (small, local charities and community groups) to decide whether, and if so how, you may be able to participate. What exactly are Social Impact Bonds? Social Impact Bonds are Pay-by-Performance contracts in which the financial risks (and potential profits) lie entirely with private investors, rather than with the government or civil society. A private investor initially pays for a commissioned project (Commissioners are public sector organisation’s such as local authorities or government departments). The investor then works alongside their chosen partner civil society organisations to achieve specific, measurable outcomes that are agreed upon at the start of the bond. The investors are only repaid by the commissioner if the outcomes are attained. If the agreed outcomes are achieved the investors are repaid by the commissioner and are also given a return for the financial risks they took.   What is the idea behind SIBS? The idea is to bring in private investment to tackle complex and expensive social challenges. The theory is that well-funded early intervention will prevent greater long-term problems and will, ultimately, reduce the public sector’s costs. For example, the first ever SIB, The Peterborough Social Impact Bond, was intended to reduce reoffending. Another ongoing SIB commissioned by Manchester Council is aimed at supporting young people transitioning between residential care to foster care (young people in Residential Care are statistically more likely to have low school attendance, substance abuse problems,  enter the criminal justice system and  become NEET- Not in Education, Employment or Training) Accountability and transparency - SIBs have clearly defined outcomes that must be achieved if investors are to ensure a return on their investment. Consequently, it is in the interests of all parties to ensure that the impact of the project is accurately monitored and evaluated. In the long term, this would mean a shift towards a more evidence based approach to government spending. How do SIBS work in practice? SIBS are still in their infancy and as a result there are relatively few case studies to draw upon. Moreover, those that do exist differ considerably in structure and practice.  The most frequently cited case study is the Peterborough Pilot. The Peterborough SIB, launched in March 2010, was aimed at reducing reoffending by prisoners released from Peterborough prison. Re-offending is an area where prevention has been proven to save the taxpayer money. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) worked in collaboration with 17 investors - mostly charitable trusts and foundations. As this was a “proof of concept” pilot,  this contract was not put out for competitive tender. However, competitive tendering is expected to become the norm for SIBs.   Service providers, together known as the One Service included: St Giles Trust; Ormiston Children and Families Trust (Ormiston); SOVA; YMCA, Peterborough and Fenland Mind (Mind) The contract agreed that the MOJ would make payments to investors if re-offending was reduced by at least 7.5%.  The greater the drop in reoffending beyond this threshold, the more the investors would receive The SIB offered support to 3,000 prisoners both inside prison and after release. The One Service offered a range of support including help with accommodation, low-level mental health needs and training and employment opportunities. In August 2014 the results for the first group of 1,000 prisoners on the Peterborough  SIB were announced - these showed an 8.4% reduction in reconviction rates relative to the national baseline. Peterborough SIB was cut short due after the MoJ announced they would be restructuring the probation service in April 2014. Are small/local charities  able to become service providers in Social Impact bonds? Unlike other pay-by-performance contracts, small charities are more likely to be able to participate in SIBS because the financial risk does not lie with them but with the investor. The government have been keen to highlight this point, claiming that SIBs enable service providers with a ‘deep understanding of the target group that they are trying to support and expertise in the types of intervention that are effective’ but that ‘lack both working capital and evaluation expertise’ to participate in interventions. Strictly speaking, any charity or social enterprise with a proven track record of delivering high social impact  is eligible to become a service provider - plenty of small, local charities meet this definition. However, since investors are carrying the initial financial burden, they are unlikely to be willing to take big risks when choosing which civil society organisations to work with. In practice, most service providers have been working with recognised,  medium to large, charities. Service providers involved in SIBS at present include: Action for children, Thames Reach, St Mungo’s and YMCA. For smaller charities considering participating in a SIB, one potential option would be to work collaboratively with a larger, lead charity. Flexibility, Monitoring and Evaluation One key point for smaller charities to consider when looking at whether they want to become involved in SIBs is whether they have (or see themselves as being able to gain) the capacity for wide scale data-collection and the flexibility to change their methods if goals are not being met. In order for investors to ensure a return on their investment they must provide solid evidence that they have achieved their outcomes. This involves rigorously monitoring and evaluating their programmes. A lot of the feedback  from charities involved in SIBS so far has directly referenced the high volume of data-collection required. For example, Teens and Toddlers, who have recently been supported by a SIB to deliver an educational and social training programme for 14-15 year olds in Manchester, have stated: “We had to be ready for the data demands that come weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly…This can be tough. I report monthly to our board of investors. Every bit of data is reported on and scrutinised, and although our investors are a great bunch, I still get a tad nervous. A bit like first night nerves on a monthly basis!” Whilst monitoring and evaluation demands are particularly high for SIBS, in truth this is reflective of a general trend towards demanding accountability for funds. For some charities, involvement with a SIB may give them the impetus and resources to better survive in this new era of funding conditionality. Publicity As SIBS are still a relatively new initiative they continue to attract a comparatively high level of media attention. If involved in a SIB, this attention may be used to increase public awareness of your charity and cause, potentially driving up demand for services and even bringing in opportunities for further investment. Teens and Toddlers claimed that they gained “fantastic media coverage” that has “ensured (their) name is recognised much more widely”. Of course, increased attention will always come with reputational risks as well as rewards. Can charities propose SIBS themselves? Theoretically anyone, be it a commissioner, investor, politician or service provider can propose a SIB. There is nothing preventing charities and community organisations developing SIB proposals. In fact, in many cases local charities are likely to have the best understanding of both the needs of their communities and the type of intervention that may be required to address them. However, the difficulty for smaller charities, with limited resources –  or, importantly, contacts – may come in approaching other actors (potential commissioners and investors) about implementation. For smaller charities interested in developing a SIB proposal, the best option would almost certainly be to work in partnership with other potential service providers and sound-out potential investors (using the contacts they have in businesses, trusts or foundations)as early as possible. To find out more about Social Impact Bonds you can visit: http://data.gov.uk/sib_knowledge_box/ https://www.gov.uk/social-impact-bonds http://knowhownonprofit.org/funding/social-investment-1/investment-types/social-impact-bonds http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/blog/anyone-social-impact-bondyes-please#sthash.VgtnT6Sp.dpuf http://www.i-for-change.co.uk/resources/sib-market.html http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Case-Studies.pdf    
    2576 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The likelihood is that you have heard of Social Impact Bonds (SIBS) at some time over the last couple of years. Some hail SIBs as an innovative, even revolutionary way to bring together the distinct expertise of different sectors - improving government efficiency while better addressing complex social issues. Others are more cautious, highlighting the potential risks of giving financial incentives to investors for achieving public goods. As is often the case with these things, the majority of us quickly become mired in jargon and leave it for later. The reality is that, wherever you stand, SIBS are a rapidly growing source of funding for not-for-profits. For this reason we felt it would be useful for you to have an outline of SIBs, enabling you (small, local charities and community groups) to decide whether, and if so how, you may be able to participate. What exactly are Social Impact Bonds? Social Impact Bonds are Pay-by-Performance contracts in which the financial risks (and potential profits) lie entirely with private investors, rather than with the government or civil society. A private investor initially pays for a commissioned project (Commissioners are public sector organisation’s such as local authorities or government departments). The investor then works alongside their chosen partner civil society organisations to achieve specific, measurable outcomes that are agreed upon at the start of the bond. The investors are only repaid by the commissioner if the outcomes are attained. If the agreed outcomes are achieved the investors are repaid by the commissioner and are also given a return for the financial risks they took.   What is the idea behind SIBS? The idea is to bring in private investment to tackle complex and expensive social challenges. The theory is that well-funded early intervention will prevent greater long-term problems and will, ultimately, reduce the public sector’s costs. For example, the first ever SIB, The Peterborough Social Impact Bond, was intended to reduce reoffending. Another ongoing SIB commissioned by Manchester Council is aimed at supporting young people transitioning between residential care to foster care (young people in Residential Care are statistically more likely to have low school attendance, substance abuse problems,  enter the criminal justice system and  become NEET- Not in Education, Employment or Training) Accountability and transparency - SIBs have clearly defined outcomes that must be achieved if investors are to ensure a return on their investment. Consequently, it is in the interests of all parties to ensure that the impact of the project is accurately monitored and evaluated. In the long term, this would mean a shift towards a more evidence based approach to government spending. How do SIBS work in practice? SIBS are still in their infancy and as a result there are relatively few case studies to draw upon. Moreover, those that do exist differ considerably in structure and practice.  The most frequently cited case study is the Peterborough Pilot. The Peterborough SIB, launched in March 2010, was aimed at reducing reoffending by prisoners released from Peterborough prison. Re-offending is an area where prevention has been proven to save the taxpayer money. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) worked in collaboration with 17 investors - mostly charitable trusts and foundations. As this was a “proof of concept” pilot,  this contract was not put out for competitive tender. However, competitive tendering is expected to become the norm for SIBs.   Service providers, together known as the One Service included: St Giles Trust; Ormiston Children and Families Trust (Ormiston); SOVA; YMCA, Peterborough and Fenland Mind (Mind) The contract agreed that the MOJ would make payments to investors if re-offending was reduced by at least 7.5%.  The greater the drop in reoffending beyond this threshold, the more the investors would receive The SIB offered support to 3,000 prisoners both inside prison and after release. The One Service offered a range of support including help with accommodation, low-level mental health needs and training and employment opportunities. In August 2014 the results for the first group of 1,000 prisoners on the Peterborough  SIB were announced - these showed an 8.4% reduction in reconviction rates relative to the national baseline. Peterborough SIB was cut short due after the MoJ announced they would be restructuring the probation service in April 2014. Are small/local charities  able to become service providers in Social Impact bonds? Unlike other pay-by-performance contracts, small charities are more likely to be able to participate in SIBS because the financial risk does not lie with them but with the investor. The government have been keen to highlight this point, claiming that SIBs enable service providers with a ‘deep understanding of the target group that they are trying to support and expertise in the types of intervention that are effective’ but that ‘lack both working capital and evaluation expertise’ to participate in interventions. Strictly speaking, any charity or social enterprise with a proven track record of delivering high social impact  is eligible to become a service provider - plenty of small, local charities meet this definition. However, since investors are carrying the initial financial burden, they are unlikely to be willing to take big risks when choosing which civil society organisations to work with. In practice, most service providers have been working with recognised,  medium to large, charities. Service providers involved in SIBS at present include: Action for children, Thames Reach, St Mungo’s and YMCA. For smaller charities considering participating in a SIB, one potential option would be to work collaboratively with a larger, lead charity. Flexibility, Monitoring and Evaluation One key point for smaller charities to consider when looking at whether they want to become involved in SIBs is whether they have (or see themselves as being able to gain) the capacity for wide scale data-collection and the flexibility to change their methods if goals are not being met. In order for investors to ensure a return on their investment they must provide solid evidence that they have achieved their outcomes. This involves rigorously monitoring and evaluating their programmes. A lot of the feedback  from charities involved in SIBS so far has directly referenced the high volume of data-collection required. For example, Teens and Toddlers, who have recently been supported by a SIB to deliver an educational and social training programme for 14-15 year olds in Manchester, have stated: “We had to be ready for the data demands that come weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly…This can be tough. I report monthly to our board of investors. Every bit of data is reported on and scrutinised, and although our investors are a great bunch, I still get a tad nervous. A bit like first night nerves on a monthly basis!” Whilst monitoring and evaluation demands are particularly high for SIBS, in truth this is reflective of a general trend towards demanding accountability for funds. For some charities, involvement with a SIB may give them the impetus and resources to better survive in this new era of funding conditionality. Publicity As SIBS are still a relatively new initiative they continue to attract a comparatively high level of media attention. If involved in a SIB, this attention may be used to increase public awareness of your charity and cause, potentially driving up demand for services and even bringing in opportunities for further investment. Teens and Toddlers claimed that they gained “fantastic media coverage” that has “ensured (their) name is recognised much more widely”. Of course, increased attention will always come with reputational risks as well as rewards. Can charities propose SIBS themselves? Theoretically anyone, be it a commissioner, investor, politician or service provider can propose a SIB. There is nothing preventing charities and community organisations developing SIB proposals. In fact, in many cases local charities are likely to have the best understanding of both the needs of their communities and the type of intervention that may be required to address them. However, the difficulty for smaller charities, with limited resources –  or, importantly, contacts – may come in approaching other actors (potential commissioners and investors) about implementation. For smaller charities interested in developing a SIB proposal, the best option would almost certainly be to work in partnership with other potential service providers and sound-out potential investors (using the contacts they have in businesses, trusts or foundations)as early as possible. To find out more about Social Impact Bonds you can visit: http://data.gov.uk/sib_knowledge_box/ https://www.gov.uk/social-impact-bonds http://knowhownonprofit.org/funding/social-investment-1/investment-types/social-impact-bonds http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/blog/anyone-social-impact-bondyes-please#sthash.VgtnT6Sp.dpuf http://www.i-for-change.co.uk/resources/sib-market.html http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Case-Studies.pdf    
    Aug 25, 2015 2576