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  • 07 Nov 2016
    You cannot be an expert in everything, but staff and volunteers at small charities often feel like they need to be, as they don’t have the budget to hire experts when they need them. Getting pro-bono support can be a huge help to a campaign or project, but finding the time to actually find this free expertise can be off-putting.   Here are three organisations providing pro-bono support that you should bookmark, so when the time comes you will know exactly where to look: LawWorks LawWorks is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice. Their Not-For-Profits Programme gives free legal advice to small not-for-profit organisations on a wide range of issues. These can include drafting a contract, reviewing a lease, updating a constitution/articles, or clarifying rights in a commercial dispute. The application process is simple: check your organisation is eligible, if it is you then need to fill in an online application form and send over your accounts. Once an application is approved, LawWorks try to find a volunteer to help you within a few weeks. Pimp My Cause Pimp my Cause is a web based platform bringing good causes in need of professional marketing support together with professional experts who are able to contribute this expertise for free. “Kay did a fantastic technical graphic for our small charity to use on the new website we are designing. Hughes syndrome is a blood clotting disorder that can affect any part of the body, so we wanted to have a clear image to show patient possible danger areas. Kay came to our rescue and produced a brilliant, clear graphic which our web designers are very happy to use. She also did it in record time and I feel a bit guilty that we won't be in a position to use it until the website launch in autumn. Our charity and, no doubt, patients in the future are truly grateful for Kay's expertise and time - thank you :) ” - Hughes Syndrome Foundation Whether you would like help on a new website design, a marketing campaign or a new logo, Pimp My Cause can help you find the expert you need. The process is simple – Register for free on the Pimp My Cause website, create a profile for your cause, then create an advert for the help you want. You can then search for volunteer experts and send them a message to see if they can help you, and you might even get experts getting in touch with you to offer their support. Jolly Good Causes Jolly Good Causes is a social enterprise offering pro-bono marketing support to small charities through their Pay It Forward scheme. “Jolly Good Causes responded to our request for help in filling charity marathon places at very short notice. They quickly got a press release together… hugely increasing the exposure we got for this important fundraising event.” - Simon Halsey, Founder of Little Gems. Individuals, businesses and larger charities cover the cost of one of the Jolly Good Causes stand alone services, ranging in price from £120 to £740. Once purchased, the service will be listed on the ‘notice board’ page on their website, and will remain available until it is redeemed by a qualifying charity (those with an income of less than £100,000 per year). Do you (or an organisation you know of) offer small charities pro-bono support? Let us know the details in the comments below! Found this blog post useful? Why not try these by the same author  3 Tips on How To Tell Your Charity Story on Instagram5 free tools to use to share your organisation's story 
    6661 Posted by Nisha Kotecha
  • 20 Jun 2016
    Great photos and good use of hashtags are common tips when it comes to Instagram. But surely it takes more than this to get an engaged following on Instagram? Here are three tips shared at a Social Misfits Media event I attended at Instagram HQ in London recently: What Story Are You Trying To Tell? Instagram is a powerful visual storytelling platform. Before you start posting your photos and telling your story you need to decide what you are actually trying to tell your audience. You can decide on the sort of photos you should share and how you will take them only once you have figured out your story. Engage with Influencers There are a lot of people on Instagram – in the UK there are 14 million people actively using it every month. As with other platforms, it can be difficult to get your posts seen, especially if you do not have a budget to spend on advertising. A good way to get your posts in front of your ideal audience is to engage with influencers. The best way to do this is to send them a direct message via the Instagram App itself. It’s important to remember than an influencer doesn’t necessarily need to have a lot of followers – an engaged smaller audience is much more useful than a large audience who will not respond to any calls to action. Engage with your Instagram Audience Offline Instagram’s Community Team has the aim of ‘connecting people to their passions’. This is an online and offline mission. Instameets - events where Instagrammers meet each other, share photography advice and create content together to post on their personal feeds – are a great way to connect with your community. You don’t need to think of your own event, you can get involved in events that are already being organised, like #WWIM13 (World Wide Instameet). For example, If you have an interesting building to show off, #Empty (where Instagrammers are invited to an empty building and given the opportunity to push their creative boundaries while taking some great shots and thereby creating great publicity for the organisation) is a great movement to get involved in. Instagram have been testing a new algorithm recently, and they have also increased the video lengths allowed on the platform. With social media changing so rapidly it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. By focusing on these three tips you will be able to grow an active, engaged following on Instagram. Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   If you liked this blog post, why not also read: 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha A Picture is worth a thousand characters by Jeanne- Claire MorleyThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   Image: Instagram: ZoboLondon 
    3561 Posted by Nisha Kotecha
Tips & guides 9,230 views Sep 29, 2015
5 free tools to use to share your organisation's story

Your organisation is doing incredible work – you know it, your staff and volunteers know it, but does anyone else? By sharing stories of your work and the impact it is having you can attract more supporters, volunteers, staff, and even the people you are helping.

While it is worth the effort in the long term, it is not easy to get your story the attention it deserves. With more and more content being shared it is really important to do everything you can to make your content stand out.

Here are five free tools you can use to get your story heard:

1) Pixabay

You will have heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It is so true, especially today with more and more people and organisations writing blogs and newsletters. Having a good image can bring your story to life. Using your own photos of your work is ideal but if you need to use a stock photo Pixabay is the place to go.

It can be difficult to find free images that are high quality, plus you need to think about copyright issues and attribution requirements. With Pixabay you have access – for free – to thousands of high quality royalty free stock images. You can use any image without attribution, so the only thing you need to spend time on is finding the image you want to use.

 A photo found on Pixabay

2) Canva

You have great images now, but what are you going to do with them? And how can you make them unique? Canva, an incredible tool which is free to use (for the most part), will help you create designs for the Internet or print. You can make graphics for your blog posts, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, Christmas cards, event invitations, and more – all for free. Some of the images available do have a small charge ($1) but with the images available to you via Pixabay you shouldn’t need to pay for any images on Canva.

Canva is so easy to use, you really don’t need to be an experienced designer to be able to create something on there.

 Each month I update the Good News Shared Facebook cover using Canva

3) Mailchimp

Once you have people interested in your organisation it is important to build a relationship with them. Mailchimp is a great tool to use for this, as you can manage your contacts and send them an email regularly without it taking up too much of your time. Best of all, it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.

4) Charity Comms Ask Charity Service

The AskCharity service is a great way for you to get your story seen and used by journalists. Charities sign up to receive requests from journalists looking for case studies, interviews or information. When you see a request your charity can help with you simply get in touch with the journalist using the contact details they have given. Smaller charities do not always have the time to pitch to journalists. Being part of the AskCharity service gives organisations the chance of raising awareness of their work by being included in articles without having to spend lots of time finding contacts and building relationships with journalists.

5) Do-it Trust

While there are so many tools available now to help charities share their story, using any or all of them can still be too time-consuming for smaller charities. A way to overcome this problem is to find people who can help by signing up to the Do-it Trust website.

Do-it Trust, the UK’s first national database service for volunteering, has over 100,000 volunteers from across the UK signed up. It is quick and easy to use, and will help you find the volunteers you are looking for in no time at all.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.

 

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The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina 

Lessons for charities from Knee surgery by Richard Sved 

Get your Charity's voice heard by Duncan Hatfield