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  • 28 Nov 2016
    Thanks to generous funding from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Localgiving has been running a Regional Development Programme in the North West of England which has been supporting local charities who are engaged in projects which benefit the environment, or help people to engage with the natural world. Eligible charities have received a free membership to Localgiving, ongoing one-to-one support in their online fundraising activities, and up to £500 of the money they raise online is matched through funding provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery and their players. This #GivingTuesday (Tuesday 29th November) we’re highlighting some of the fantastic projects and charities who have benefited from the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, without whom none of the below would have been possible. Ruth Hannah, Gorgeous Gorse Hill Gorgeous Gorse Hill is a small community group in Greater Manchester. We’re made up of local residents, who got together to improve our local area through the use of art, planting and flowers. We believe that positive changes to a local area can benefit the health and wellbeing of local people, by making residents feel more connected to their area, more empowered, and that by making positive changes, we can help reduce negative behaviour. Being able to fundraise online, and the match funding that’s been available, have been very useful for our group, and has helped in a number of ways. It’s freed up time for volunteers who would usually try to raise funds through completing grant applications, which can be time consuming, and it has also freed up our use of funds, as a lot of grant applications won't allow charities to funds for core costs, which for us is vital i.e. insurance, or the cost of shed rental. Even hot drinks on a cold winter day during a full day of planting can sometimes not be covered. With our unrestricted income from Localgiving and matched funds from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, we no longer need to worry as much about covering these costs. This has allowed us to focus on what we really want to focus on – making Gorse Hill Gorgeous! The wider support offered from Localgiving has been great. Joe’s suggestions about ways to fundraise have opened our eyes and the amount we have raised and then had match funded has been incredible. Anita Morris, Hack Back Hack Back CIC is a small social enterprise that aims to improve the mental health and well-being of people of all ages throughout the North West. What makes us different is that we combine psychological therapies with interaction and engagement with nature, and specifically with Birds of Prey.  Taking part in the programme has enabled us to raise funds by reaching a much wider audience. We have been able to use social media to inform people about our fundraising and the ease of the process has meant that we have been successful in raising funds. In addition supporters were able to set up their own fundraising page to personalise their support for Hack Back. We have learned that it is important to get your message across succinctly through social media and that it must be easy for people to donate, which was achieved through Localgiving.  The funding, both from our donors and then matched by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, has made a massive difference to us. We have been able to deliver one to one sessions in the home of a child with autism, we have visited a terminally ill lady in her own home, we have been able to visit a young boy with a rare form of bone cancer several times and we have been able to deliver an anti-bullying project in a local school. Without this funding all of this would have been very difficult to achieve, and the real difference the funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has made is that it has enabled us to deliver projects and services we may have had to decline previously, even though there is a clear need.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- These are just two examples among many of the fantastic work done by local charities which the generosity of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has helped. This #GivingTuesday, we thought it would be a good time to look back, and to reflect on the real difference this support has helped to make, and to also take the time to say thank you as well. So this one goes out to all the players (of the People’s Postcode Lottery) out there – THANKS! There’s still opportunities to get involved in this programme, so if you are or know of a charity who could benefit, please do look here for further information.   
    9015 Posted by Joe Burns
  • 23 May 2016
    Joe Burns is the North West regional development manager for Localgiving. Before that he was a corporate fundraiser for a national charity, and worked with firms in the FTSE 100 as well as small family run businesses. Gone are the days when a company might simply pick a Charity of the Year, run a few events, and then send off a cheque in the post at year’s end, almost as an afterthought. Corporate supporters are now far more interested in mutually beneficial partnerships, where a company gets some sort of value out of donating to your charity. This may sound daunting, but corporate fundraising is an area that is rich in rewards, and a strong corporate partnership can bring in guaranteed income for many years; and this is before you consider the skills a corporate might bring, the in-kind donations available, and the potential pool of staff volunteers they can provide you with as well! So, how do you go about finding and then persuading a company to support you? Well, here are the key steps you need to consider. Which companies might work with you? The first thing you need to consider is the type of companies who your charity would appeal to. Broadly speaking, there are three ways you might appeal to a corporate supporter. Is there a clear link between the work you do and the corporate’s own work? When working at the road safety charity Brake, I arranged a number of partnerships with insurance firms, who shared our aims of reducing the numbers of crashes on the roads (as this would mean they would pay out less in claims!). Is there a local link? Does this company work in the same region or area as you? Companies are increasingly keen to be supporting their local communities, and here being small and local group can actually be a benefit compared to larger national or international charities. Have you got any personal connections? Does a trustee know the MD of a local firm? Have employees of a local firm used your charity? These kinds of connections can be very powerful when persuading a corporate to support you. What can you bring to the table? And what do you want from a corporate? So, you’ve got your list of potential corporate supporters to contact. Your next step is to ask yourself, what can I offer the corporates in question? Can I offer them volunteering opportunities for their staff? Can I arrange for a local press campaign, or can someone from my charity visit their offices to give a talk to their staff? Can I give them a shout out on social media? Are there capital costs they can sponsor and get their name on, such as a new building? There are lots of ways you can ‘add value’ to a corporate as a charity, if given a bit of thought. The next question to then ask, is what do I want from a corporate supporter – am I after financial donations, in-kind support, volunteers, or all of the above? What support can a corporate give, and would be comfortable to provide you with? If you can answer these two questions, then you can pull together a package that is very attractive to a local business.  The next and final step, at last, is The Ask. The Ask It’s at this point that many groups lose heart, as the idea of approaching a corporate can seem a little daunting. But don’t be put off – if you don’t ask you don’t get! The first thing you need to do is find someone within an organisation who would be right to approach. If you already know or have links with someone in a company, that’s a good place to start, but if not you’ll need to do some digging. Here LinkedIn can be invaluable, allowing you to search for individuals with specific job titles within an organisation. Many larger companies have dedicated CSR (corporate social responsibility) teams, who are an ideal first port of call. Marketing, communications and PR teams are also good people to contact, as working with a charity is also often a classic way for a corporate to portray themselves in a positive light. Finally, for smaller, really local companies like local solicitor or accountancy firms, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to partners or MDs! So, we now have a contact to approach. But how should we ask? Generally, corporate contacts are busy people – you can’t just ring and get through to them cold, especially if you don’t have any pre-existing connections. As such, the best approach is usually to either send them an email (where you have their address) or a message through LinkedIn (when you don’t). Keep the pitch simple and short, and focus on who you are, why you’ve got in touch, and the benefits you can offer a corporate in return for their support. Try to see things from their point of view – the work you do may well be vital and praiseworthy, but ultimately a corporate will need to see how they benefit too. Highlight any unique selling points you have, what they can get from working with you that no one else can provide, and again keep it brief. A corporate contact often has only a limited amount of time available to them, and it can never hurt to leave someone wanting more information. Ask if your contact would be interested in a meeting or phone call to discuss any partnership in more depth – you can give them all the details then. Don’t be put off if you don’t hear back straight away, and at the same time don’t be afraid of chasing your email with another one a week or two later if you don’t hear anything at all. If you have a large enough pool of potential supporters who you are contacting, it only takes one corporate to get back to you with an offer of support, and all your hard work will have potentially paid off! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    5755 Posted by Joe Burns
  • 08 May 2017
    On 28th May, Mancunian runners of all abilities will be taking part in the Great Manchester Run, and will be running either a 10k or, for the daring, a half marathon. Many of these runners will be raising money for brilliant, Greater Manchester based local charities. To celebrate the efforts of these fantastic fundraisers we’ve decided to focus on one fundraiser, Bec Greenwood, who is raising money for Salford Foodbank. We asked her why she’s running; why she supports Salford Foodbank; and any tips she has for other fundraisers. Why & how did you decide to take part in the Great Manchester Run? "I work full time in TV and have irregular hours so can't commit to a regular volunteering rota but wanted to support those in need." "I've been volunteering at collections with the Salford Food Bank for a few years and when the 10k Run was coming up I thought it would be a great way to raise some much needed funds. I've never done any running before, which I think is what has made most people sponsor me out of shock!" "I've been trying to do around 3 runs a week and I'm yet to enjoy it or experience the famous 'runners high' but the fact that I'm doing it for such a good cause makes it all the worthwhile!" Why are you raising money for Salford Foodbank in particular? "I am incredibly humbled by the work that the full time staff and volunteers at the food bank do and always wish I could do more." "I find it obscene that in this day and age, people have to use food banks to help support their families as the government don't provide the infrastructure to help those in need. I watched Daniel Blake last year and was incredibly moved by the food bank scene. I wanted to do something to help those in need but didn't know how I could help them directly. The best way I can see to help is to donate my time and any sponsorship I can gain." Any advice for future fundraisers on how to get donations through & prepare for your challenge? "I had chosen a flattering picture for my fundraising page, but it was only when I changed it to a mid run/sweaty and knackered picture that I started to get more sponsorship! So I think being honest if you're finding it difficult. You don't have to pretend to find the challenge easy. People seem more impressed if you're finding it hard!" A huge thank you to Bec, and indeed all the fundraisers on Localgiving who are raising money on behalf of local charities across the UK! If her answers have inspired you to fundraise for a local charity, why not sign up to do so? It’s really quick and easy to set up and fundraising page, and there are 1000s of great, local charities online at Localgiving for whom your support would be valuable.   For further information about fundraising, why not check out these other posts in our blog? Rod’s Top Tips for Running & Fun and Funds Wise Words from Alistair Still, Local Hero Champion 2016
    5640 Posted by Joe Burns
  • 28 Jun 2017
    At the end of June Localgiving’s North West Regional Development Programme, funded and supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, will be coming to an end. This programme supported local charities who are engaged in projects which benefit the environment, or help people to engage with the natural world. Eligible charities have received a free membership to Localgiving, ongoing one-to-one support in their online fundraising activities, and up to £500 of the money they raised online was matched through funding provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery and their players. By 22nd June, 69 charities in the region were online and receiving support from Localgiving, and have raised a fantastic £103,216.15! This is money that will make a real difference to the charities supported, and the 1,000s of people they support and work with on a daily basis. To celebrate these charities and their achievements, here are some of their stories, and what they have done with their donations. Transition New Mills Transition New Mills are a community group who look to run a range of projects in New Mills and the surrounding area, which will preserve and conserve the local environment, and reduce reliance on carbon emitting power sources. They told us that, thanks to the funds raised and matched, ”New Mills Primary School now has an outdoor classroom and children are sowing and germinating seeds, growing produce and then either eating what they have grown, or ‘up-selling’ it to allow them to buy more seeds and plants the following year. For many children, it is the first time they have done anything like this and the children are so excited by it. The school in question are now looking to expand upon this and are fundraising themselves to try and build a purpose built poly tunnel so that they can grow all year round. Other schools in the area are so impressed that they are looking to build their own outside classrooms too. The whole project has been brilliant.”    The outdoor classroom at New Mills Primary School, paid for by donations from the public and match funds from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.   Salford Foodbank Salford Foodbank provides emergency food and support to people in moments of crisis, using food donated by members of the public and by local businesses. Thanks to support from Localgiving, they have been able to raise over £9,000 in online donations from more than 300 donors. Donations have been used to help pay for core running costs (which charities often find hard to fund), as well as in expanding the space available for donations of food, so the Salford Foodbank can stock more food and support more people in crisis. Mark from Salford Foodbank said “We have been delighted with the training and support given by Local Giving. Attending training sessions, together with 1-2-1 support has been invaluable for our charity as it is helping more people than ever.   Salford Foodbank advertising fundraising opportunities in the Great Manchester Run.  Fundraiser Gary training for the Great Manchester Run           Rotunda Ltd Rotunda are a community organisation based in Liverpool, who run a number training, educational and vocational courses for over 2,000 local people in the city. Rotunda had never tried online fundraising before, but have been able to raise £3,404 in donations through Localgiving. They have used these funds to “purchase a piece of land to be used as a community green space, the ‘Kirkdale Folly’, which also includes a green gym and piece of public artwork (the ‘Folly’) that was commissioned when Liverpool was the UK Capital of Culture. We’re planning to develop this green space to include an arts and wellbeing pavilion, helping a wide range of people in one of the most disadvantaged areas in the UK.   Rotunda’s Garden Café, where users grow the food they then cook and eat! The Kirkdale Folly green space bought by Rotunda.     The programme in the North West is now coming to a close, but we run similar programmes in Wales, Northern Ireland, London, and the West of England. A huge thank you to the charities and donors who took part in the programme, and to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery who funded it. All that remains is for me to say goodbye. Goodbye! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times       How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker 4 Steps to the perfect charity Video  
    4863 Posted by Joe Burns
News & announcements 3,835 views Jul 11, 2016
What a difference a day makes

Joe Burns is the North West regional development manager for Localgiving. Before that he was a corporate fundraiser for a national charity, and worked with firms in the FTSE 100 as well as small family run businesses.

Just 24 little hours are all some of our groups need to make a real difference in their communities…

A few weeks back Localgiving formally ‘launched’ its regional development programme in the North West. To mark the launch we attended  a pond building session run by the Manchester social enterprise Sow the City, who were building the pond as part of Manchester City Council’s “Growing Manchester” initiative. To the uninitiated, a pond building session might seem like a small thing. But just by focusing on this one activity, we can get a real sense of the good work local charities do every day, the seemingly little things which can make a real difference.  

For this was no ordinary pond, and this was no ordinary exercise in pond building either. For this pond was being built at a care and respite centre in Baguley, catering for adults with long term mental disabilities.

Those of us who have never used or visited care centres may think of them as  dull, depressing places. Nothing could be further from the truth. Residents are encouraged to take part in a range of activities, activities which help to build a sense of community and fun. Of the many activities this care centre provides, one of the most popular is a green fingered gardening club for residents. This club has developed an overgrown garden into a veritable Eden in a few short years. It was for this reason that we were there building our pond.

First and foremost, this pond building was an opportunity to further develop a green space used by all the residents; a chance to make the centre an even more pleasant place to be. A good wildlife pond acts as a magnet to a whole host of creatures and plants. And so, a small patch of Baguley is now teeming with greenery and life which wasn’t there only 24 hours earlier.

Perhaps even more importantly, this was a chance for residents to get stuck in. A chance for them to get their hands dirty, to get a bit of exercise, to have a bit of banter, and a chance to learn a bit more about nature - a chance many residents took with aplomb! Building that pond turned a fairly mundane Wednesday into something memorable, something enjoyable and fun. And the pond was theirs. They had helped to build it, and in less than a day too.

One pond building activity, taking place over one day. We see something that looks, on the surface, small and inconsequential. But like the ripples of a pebble dropped in water, the good vibrations spread out beyond that one day into an entire community.

This is just one example I’ve seen amongst many with the groups we support on Localgiving. They all make real, lasting differences – and this is why local charities not only need, but in fact they deserve and demand our support. 

Want to make a difference in less than 24 hours? You could do a lot worse than to donate to one of our charities.



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