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  • 28 Jun 2018
    Over the last year, the UK's impending exit from the European Union has had a significant impact upon the organisations working at a grassroots level to support their communities. However, the impact of Brexit is yet to be understood. Localgiving’s 2017/18 Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report highlights the uncertainty and fear of negative consequences of those working in the charity sector in Northern Ireland. Each year our report provides a snapshot of the local voluntary sector in the United Kingdom, highlighting both the unique value of local charities and the key challenges they face. Now in its third year, this report demonstrates the widespread uncertainty about the impact of Brexit on the local voluntary sector across the United Kingdom, with only 2% of organisations in the UK feeling that Brexit will have a positive impact on their organisation. The report, however, shows deeper concerns are particularly prevalent among charitable groups in Northern Ireland where there is widespread uncertainty about Brexit’s implications: ‘Derry is border city. Our whole community will be impacted by Brexit as we will become isolated. This will impact our service users, all of which lived through the closed borders of the troubles. The uncertainty for the future adds to the stress our service users experience. And we will not be able to access EU funding and the other opportunities being in the EU brings’ - Anonymous Charity Respondent 64% of Northern Irish respondents to our survey believed Brexit would have a negative financial impact compared to an average of 24% across the whole UK. What is particularly alarming is the fact that no groups in Northern Ireland believed Brexit would have a positive financial impact. In terms of future service delivery to the Northern Irish public, the results were equally disheartening. 50% of groups said Brexit will have a negative impact on services they can provide, and again no groups saw Brexit as having any positive effect on service delivery. ‘Our organisation operates in Armagh city and surrounding area, regarded as a border town. Some of our members and those who attend our events come from the nearby town of Monaghan. After Brexit, this will mean that they will have to leave the EU to attend events and classes and vice-versa. We believe that there can only be a detrimental effect to the organisation as it may lead to a decrease in cross-border activities. While our organisation was never in receipt of funding directly from Europe, we believe that funding will now be refocused along the line of the European frontier. It will, therefore, become harder to source funding from the south of Ireland’. - Anonymous Charity Respondent As Localgiving’s report highlights the decision for the UK to leave the EU, compounded by the fragile political situation in Northern Ireland, has created an atmosphere of concern and uncertainty across civil society. ‘The potential impact of Brexit on groups in Northern Ireland is a major concern. Local charities and community groups have a unique, in-depth understanding of their communities. It is absolutely essential that the voices of civil society groups in Northern Ireland, particularly those representing border communities, are carefully listened to, and used to inform key decisions’’. - Lewis Garland, Localgiving 2017/2018 Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report Author What is clear is that there is increased strain on future service provision and anxiety about future funding streams across the third sector in Northern Ireland. Given the suspension of the Executive at Stormont, it is imperative that the European, British, and Irish governments, and Northern Ireland’s political parties, work to allay the fears disclosed by Northern Irish civil society in this report. Conor Kelly is the Localgiving Training & Development Manager based in our London office. You can download the Localgiving 2017/18 Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report here.  
    4641 Posted by Conor Kelly
  • 02 Feb 2017
    In this blog I look at developing ideas and strategies around a new fundraising campaign. We also have numerous resources and blogs on delivering campaigns which you can view here.  First steps Before starting any successful fundraising campaign it is always worth thinking about what will work best for your charity. Whether it is developing an existing campaign idea, or starting from scratch with a new strategy, thinking about how your charity can play to your strengths is key. The first step should be looking at your charity’s mission as well as what interests your supporters in your work. The key to any well-run campaign is linking these two things together. Designing a campaign Deciding on what your campaign's ‘mission’  is and why it will appeal to supporters should be your first step. Question yourself on issues like: What does your charity seek to address? How can you communicate that message? Is it a niche issue you deal with or do you have a large basis of public support? What could you do with this many people's support? Would it be helpful to hold an event? How could you link in other organisations and what could they bring to the table? How can you use your Localgiving page to promote what your organisation does? Why is it that you need funding to support you charity's work in the first place? You need to build a campaign around a compelling reason to fundraise. For example, a charity dealing with youth activities can draw attention to the impact you have on kids lives by getting the children and their parents to take part in the campaign. Once you have thought about your charity’s appeal you should also try to shape a campaign that plays to your strengths. For example, a sports clubs should focus on fundraising challenges that appeal to their large network of members, while a small arts groups could be creative and think of a community project that will capture people's attention. A charity dealing with a societal problem like homelessness should seek to raise awareness of their work in the wider community, while an after school children's club could focus on appealing to the people connected to the children attending. An appeal or fundraising challenge should focus on who it is that’s interested in your charity. Engaging them with a campaign that is tailored to their interests is what leads to donations. Targeting donations Once you have an idea of what kind of campaign would interest your supporters start thinking about how to get them to actually make a donation. Questions like: What would capture the interest of people who care but are are unaware of the specifics of what you do? Have you had a responsive supporter base in the past? Is there a need to raise awareness of your reason for fundraising first or is asking previous donors more important? Can your supporters help you promote the campaign online and with their networks? What sort of skills or networks do your volunteers/supporters bring to your fundraising project? Would engaged volunteers consider becoming fundraisers themselves? Once you have a better picture of how your supporters would respond to a campaign launch its time to link this in with your mission. For example, a sports club should appeal to their member base by getting their members to do a  physical challenge (like a 5k run in the local park) while a community arts group should capitalize on their supporters interest in local creative projects by doing something creative (like painting an issue raising mural in a local space). Groups with large networks of supporters could ask that everyone contribute a small amount to reach your collective target, while charities that deal with an important but niche issue could ask for larger donations from the select people who really care. ‘Targeting’ donors is simply thinking about the smartest way to go about reaching your fundraising target with your charity’s supporters in mind. Taking advantage of opportunities and putting the idea into action Once you have put the finer details of your fundraising campaign idea together it's always worth having a think about what kind of things your group has at its disposal to take advantage of. Do you have board members or trustees that can help out? What skills and networks do they have? Could you tie the campaign in with an anniversary or an event that is already coming up? Can you highlight an award your charity has won or some other significant achievement? It’s also worth thinking of media attention you can get for your campaign by linking it in with current news stories. Awareness campaigns  (e.g. ‘Mental Health Week’, ‘Black History Month’, ‘National Day of Action for the Homeless’) can be good events to link in with. Every charity has aspects that make you unique. The way to maximize your outreach is to tap into this and use it to promote your campaign. Once you have your campaign strategy you can begin putting your plan into action Remember - Localgiving has a fundraiser campaign coming up in April, Local Hero. Find out more here and best of luck fundraising! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Wise Words from Alistair Sill: Local Hero Champion 2016 Bright Lightx2 gives his Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds!
    4405 Posted by Conor Kelly
  • 04 May 2018
     Local Hero 2018 has now come to an end and what a rollercoaster campaign it has been! Thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign and a huge congratulations to those fundraisers who made it onto our leaderboard. The race was hard fought with participants jostling for position right until clock struck midnight on the 30th of April. All 20 prizes have been awarded and £5,000 is on its way to charities across the United Kingdom. A full list of our prize winners can be found on our leaderboard here. Participants have been ranked according to the number of unique online donors from whom they secured sponsorship throughout the month. During the campaign 343 fundraisers raised £109k for 171 local charities and community groups. We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s campaign was Lamyaa Hanchaoui with 292 Local Hero Points. Lamyaa raised over £4,000 for Sufra NW London in addition to the £1,000 Local Hero winner’s prize! Lamyaa has previously written a blog for Localgiving which you can view here. Another £4,000 in prizes have been awarded to the causes supported by the other top 19 fundraisers. The runner up this year was Karen Layton who pledged to run 1000 kilometres in 2018 and won £500 for the Kimberley Institute! "We’ve just participated in the Localgiving competition which was an excellent vehicle to focus minds on our project.  It worked really well and the competition element for prizes gave an added edge to it. Overall with gift aid and prizes we raised £3,500 which has never been done before in our Club.  Can’t recommend it enough" - Geoff, Kimberley Institute Two standout heroes of the campaign, Dermot Ferguson and Adam Jones, ran the Liverpool to Manchester 50 Mile Run on 2nd April 2018 for Charlotte's Brightside CLC. Dermot won £500 in Local Hero by finishing in 4th position and Adam won £200 by coming in 7th! The Shared Earth Trust in Wales had 5 superstar supporters do a long distance walking event that coincided with the Local Hero Campaign. In addition to the £3000 they raised, the team won a £200 prize! “Without Local Hero we couldn't have imagine raising such a  good sum for our work” - Mara, Shared Earth Trust Runners again proved to be a popular challenge in Local Hero, including Ben’s first ever Marathon for the Young Hammersmith and Fulham Foundation. Ben won £100 by finishing 17th this year, and Gareth at the foundation credits Local Hero with kick starting his push for donations: "Local Hero as a campaign is timed well for marathon season. It's a great initiative. I like how it is dealing with any donations big or small, attracting new donors, and trying to convince people that small donations matter too. It really helps to widen your donor base. It's a ready made incentive for us to reach out to our donors. I love the way Localgiving gives more and how the Local Hero campaign looks and feels." - Gareth - Young Hammersmith and Fulham Foundation Thank you to everyone who took part! Send us your stories and sign up here for more news about Localgiving and future campaigns!   
    4118 Posted by Conor Kelly
  • 06 Mar 2017
    As part of our preparation for Local Hero 2017, I called Nicky Heath, director of the Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre in Herefordshire to ask her about Adam Heaths fundraising challenge last year. Adam had raised funds for them through a simple yet imaginative fundraising campaign. His mantra of "never bringing a moustache to a beard fight’’ paid off as he raised over £1000 by growing his beard out for 12 months and then dying it in a rainbow assortment of colours drawn from the suggestions of his donors! It was a huge success for Yelini and caught our eye here at Localgiving HQ. Nicky was more than happy to share the story with us. Why do you think it's important for charities to engage fundraisers and how do you find fundraisers? What sort of relationship do you have with them? "We have a lot of people that come to our centre. We’re a cancer support charity and what we find is that people who use us support us. (Yelini offer free therapy to people with cancer). A lot of them offer after they have recovered. Their friends and family also often want to raise some money as a thank you for what we’ve done for them". What has been the benefit of engaging fundraisers? Is it just about raising money? Or can they reach out to new donors and also be ambassadors for your group? "It's a combination of things. One of the reasons is obviously that you are trying to raise funds and it's a very competitive market out there at the moment. But also we find that using things like the Localgiving website as a donation collection forum allows us to promote it around social media and give people a focus of where they can donate. It also gives the person doing the fundraising the opportunity to explain how they are doing it and what they are doing it for." "Fundraising is really hand-in-glove with raising community awareness of who you are as an organisation. Especially when it is as fun as what Adam did, it engages people as they find it amusing and think it's really great. It also allowed us to incorporate another local business into the campaign. The local barber shop that he went to get it all done did it all for free because they loved the idea! So it really engaged with them as well. We were also in the local newspapers so it really did help raise awareness in the community. It was such a unique and different thing for somebody to do". Did it take a lot of resource from your organisation to manage the fundraising campaign? "Adam did a lot of it himself and he certainly raised what he wanted to. He set up the Localgiving page under my suggestion. He is actually my son! But he did most of it himself, I didn't hold his hand or anything. All that we had to do off the back of his efforts was try and share it around different forums as much as we could and have posters and things up in the centre. He took the campaign to his workplace which really helped. They were very proactive and actually donated £100 to the campaign. They had to sanction that he could do it in the first place! In the business he is in he does go to meetings and things so they had to agree that it was okay for him to do it". "I feel like Localgiving does give a lot of support to people that are trying to do something like this off of their own volition and we as an organisation tried to offer a level of support as well. I think that's the least you can do if someone's going to put themselves out there in order to raise money for your organisation".  It's a combination of things right? Obviously it is ultimately up to the fundraiser themselves but the more support they can get from us, the platform, and from you guys, the charity, the better right? "Thats right!" So last question, what top tip would you give other Local charities if they were thinking of approaching people to become fundraisers? "Come up with ideas. I think it's quite difficult if you just say "we want you to raise money’’ but you don't have any ideas to get started. Think outside the box a little bit. Everybody knows the usual things like coffee mornings or something like that. That will appeal to a certain sector of society but if you want to make your reach broader I think you need to introduce a variety of different activities and also see where you could perhaps engage other sectors of the community. For example the business world, local shops, people in your local area. Even if it is approaching them to donate a prize or to sponsor and aspect of what you are trying to achieve". "I also think people will be more interested in things that they find interesting, amusing or exciting. I think this engages people more than just standing on the street corner shaking a bucket. People find that quite off putting now actually so you want to try and avoid that really. Think about all the different aspects of who you are trying to engage. You want to especially engage young people because they are the potential future users of your charity (depending on what it is). Don't always pitch it where you think the money is. Often you will find it's the people who have little who give the most". Well that is often true and I think Adam is certainly a brilliant ambassador for the "think outside the box’’ approach to fundraising! Thanks Nicky! Yeleni Therapy & Support Complementary Health Centre are holding a Wellbeing day in collaboration with Kemble at home on Saturday 4th March 10 am til 4pm. All proceeds from the raffle and donations are going to Yeleni. Evi Hudson is also running a fundraising page for Yelini this year. Her ''hair today, gone tomorrow'' campaign is already underway! Help her by making a donation here. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Bright Light Bright Light's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds! 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    3660 Posted by Conor Kelly
Featured charities 3,631 views Aug 17, 2017
Sunshine Fundraising on our London Development Programme!

Thanks to funding from The Indigo Trust and the London Leg Up Fund, Localgiving launched a programme in London in October 2016, supporting 75 groups with online fundraising.

The programme aims to help the groups participating to develop digital marketing skills to raise awareness and support for their causes online. All 75 groups who are taking part also benefit from £300 of ring fenced match funding each to help kick start their online fundraising. This acts as an incentive to both the groups participating and their potential supporters as the first £300 raised per group is doubled by Localgiving. The first year of the programme is coming to an end in September and we have now recruited all 75 groups, however watch this space for future projects that we might be running in London.

Several of the groups on the programme are launching campaigns this summer to use their match funding. This blog highlights some of the campaigns currently being run by groups in London, and draws on examples from other successful campaigns over the last few months. The money can be used to match any fundraising page they have on Localgiving (this could be their main fundraising page, a project page, an appeal page or a fundraising page) and allows them to tailor the match incentive to their needs. A real highlight of the programme so far has been the imaginative ways in which groups have come up with their own bespoke methods of unlocking this £300 match funding.

Here’s a snapshot of what some of the groups are doing this summer in London:

Taking on a Summer challenge for a local London charity

Individuals taking on challenges has proved to be one of the most popular ways for groups to raise money. This light touch approach to community fundraising is ideal as it can create a new ambassador who can tell everyone about the great work the charity does and what they are fundraising for!

In May, Geoff at Westbourne Park Family Centre set up a fundraising page while he was running the London Marathon and the first £300 raised was doubled by Localgiving. This challenge based style of fundraising has proven to be a popular way to unlock the match funding, and now North London Cares also have a fundraiser, Amy, who is running the Royal Parks Half Marathon on the 8th October 2017. Check out her fundraising page and help them have the first £300 they raise doubled by clicking here! Further north in Enfield, Joe Wilkinson also took part in the Prudential Ride London 46 mile Cycle on the 29th July 2017 to fundraise for the Enfield Deaf Social Club.

Not all challenge fundraisers need to be physical. Over in West London Anoushka Yeoh is a self-confessed Twitter addict. Along with a group of amazing supporters at Focus West London, she pledged to go on a 24 hour ‘Digital Detox’ in aid of the charity - No TV, phone, Facebook, Spotify, nothing! Six people chose to set up fundraising pages and take part in the detox, which allowed the group to get creative with their £300 match funding, by matching the first £50 raised on each of the six fundraiser pages. This incredible campaign generated thousands for Focus West London and is a brilliant example of a D.I.Y approach to community fundraising. The thousands of pounds that were raised will help cover vital core costs of the organisation over the coming year.

New Projects and Appeals in Sunny London

Matching the first £300 through an appeal page has proven to be the most popular way of using the London match funding. Groups like Journey to Justice through their ‘Hyde Park Speakers Corner Marathon’ and Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours through their 70th-anniversary appeal have leveraged their first few supporters generosity to launch their appeals with a promise that the first £300 raised would be doubled by Localgiving.

Now, Making Room, a charity who help people with hoarding behaviours, have launched an online fundraising appeal. Everything they raise will go towards the running of their help line and with a target of £10,000, they are seeking donations that will cover staff costs (£7,600), equipment and office space costs (£1,200) and promotion & advertising of this vital service (£1,200). Check out their appeal page here and help them double the first £300 they raise.  Meanwhile, over in East London Casa Lusa want to reach out to those families struggling to make sense and learning how to make sense and adapt to with autistic children in their family and in the society. Their appeal is live on Localgiving, the first £300 they raised will also be doubled, and if you would like to donate all you have to do is click here!

Capture.PNGAnother imaginative way that a group is using their £300 match fund pot is through a direct debit ‘friends of’ campaign. The Mill, an independent community space run for and by the people of Walthamstow, have taken this approach. Hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds each week visit the centre and volunteer. The Mill has now launched a ‘Friends Scheme’ in where their supporters and volunteers can set up a direct debit through Localgiving and have it matched every month until they have used their £300!

If anyone is interested in hearing more about how you can get involved with our London Programme please let Conor, our London Development Manager know. Thanks again from all of us at Localgiving for the support for the programme from the funders, partners and participating groups!

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