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  • 09 Apr 2021
    Last April, Captain Sir Tom Moore raised an astounding £38.9 million for the NHS Covid-19 appeal by walking 100 laps around his garden. To honour him and his legacy of incredible achievements, the Captain Tom 100 is taking place on the weekend of 30th April 2021 (which marks what would have been his 101st birthday). Everyone is invited to take on a challenge based around the number 100 anytime and anywhere across Captain Tom’s birthday weekend (30th April – 3rd May) to raise money for good causes. As the weather’s getting warmer and we ease further out of lockdown, many people will be looking to get busy fundraising for the charities they care about. To involve your supporters in this campaign, all you need to do is:   Copy this fundraising signup link:https://localgiving.org/fundraisers  Add the link to your website and email signature. Share it on your organisation’s social media accounts and in your email newsletters. Encourage your supporters to celebrate Captain Tom’s life and legacy by taking part in the Captain Tom 100 challenge on behalf of your organisation. Remind supporters to include “Captain Tom 100” in their fundraiser title when setting up their page so that they’re included on our campaign page. Ask your supporters to share their fundraising page links, photos, and videos on social media with the #CaptainTom100 hashtag. Our blog post here gives some great inspiration for creative 100-based challenges - feel free to share it!    Thank your fundraisers directly via the ‘My Fundraisers’ section within your Localgiving account to spur them on to success! Make sure to thank your new and returning donors in the ‘My Donations’ menu too. Don’t forget to give a shout out to your fundraisers on social media by sharing their page, tagging @Localgiving and using the #CaptainTom100 hashtag.   Localgiving will be including an additional £100 prize for the fundraiser with the highest number of unique donors. The prize will go directly to the top fundraiser’s selected charity so make sure to share your fundraising signup link and your supporters’ pages on your website, on social media, and in your email newsletters right through until May 4th! If your organisation is not yet registered with Localgiving and would like to join and participate, you can do so here. The COVID-19 pandemic has had such a devastating effect on many charities, leading to the cancellation of thousands of events and so much financial loss. During this devastating time, Captain Tom took on his walking challenge to offer his support and, as a result of this, inspired the world. You can see our leaderboard of participating fundraisers and donate to them here.  
    9202 Posted by Chris Breeze
  • Last April, Captain Sir Tom Moore raised an astounding £38.9 million for the NHS Covid-19 appeal by walking 100 laps around his garden. To honour him and his legacy of incredible achievements, the Captain Tom 100 is taking place on the weekend of 30th April 2021 (which marks what would have been his 101st birthday). Everyone is invited to take on a challenge based around the number 100 anytime and anywhere across Captain Tom’s birthday weekend (30th April – 3rd May) to raise money for good causes. As the weather’s getting warmer and we ease further out of lockdown, many people will be looking to get busy fundraising for the charities they care about. To involve your supporters in this campaign, all you need to do is:   Copy this fundraising signup link:https://localgiving.org/fundraisers  Add the link to your website and email signature. Share it on your organisation’s social media accounts and in your email newsletters. Encourage your supporters to celebrate Captain Tom’s life and legacy by taking part in the Captain Tom 100 challenge on behalf of your organisation. Remind supporters to include “Captain Tom 100” in their fundraiser title when setting up their page so that they’re included on our campaign page. Ask your supporters to share their fundraising page links, photos, and videos on social media with the #CaptainTom100 hashtag. Our blog post here gives some great inspiration for creative 100-based challenges - feel free to share it!    Thank your fundraisers directly via the ‘My Fundraisers’ section within your Localgiving account to spur them on to success! Make sure to thank your new and returning donors in the ‘My Donations’ menu too. Don’t forget to give a shout out to your fundraisers on social media by sharing their page, tagging @Localgiving and using the #CaptainTom100 hashtag.   Localgiving will be including an additional £100 prize for the fundraiser with the highest number of unique donors. The prize will go directly to the top fundraiser’s selected charity so make sure to share your fundraising signup link and your supporters’ pages on your website, on social media, and in your email newsletters right through until May 4th! If your organisation is not yet registered with Localgiving and would like to join and participate, you can do so here. The COVID-19 pandemic has had such a devastating effect on many charities, leading to the cancellation of thousands of events and so much financial loss. During this devastating time, Captain Tom took on his walking challenge to offer his support and, as a result of this, inspired the world. You can see our leaderboard of participating fundraisers and donate to them here.  
    Apr 09, 2021 9202
  • 09 Apr 2021
    Every charity, fundraiser and individual is invited to participate in the Captain Tom 100  (#CaptainTom100) taking place between the 30th April 2021-3rd May 2021 (which marks the weekend that Captain Tom would have turned 101). To participate, you will need some creative and fun 100 inspired challenge ideas so we have decided to make this easier for you by coming up with 100 of them to help you get those creative juices flowing! We have however selected our 10 top favourite ideas!   Walk 100 laps/miles/steps Learn 100 dance moves Bake 100 cupcakes Tell 100 jokes Juggle for 100 minutes Host a 100 question quiz Build 100 sandcastles Sing for 100 minutes Carry out 100 good deeds Make 100 cocktails Don’t forget to set up your fundraising page on Localgiving here to allow plenty of time for your donors to support you in the run up to the big challenge and provide you with a better chance of winning the additional £100 prize for the best fundraiser, which will be provided by Localgiving. To find out more about the Captain Tom 100, please click here. Oh alright then, here is the full list of 100 ideas to get you started... Walk 100 laps/miles/steps Run 100km  Go for 100 runs Climb 100 stairs Cycle 100km Learn 100 dance moves Dance for 100 minutes Swim 100 laps of a pool Do 100 push ups Do 100 pull ups Go on a 100km hike Hop 100 times Play tennis for 100 minutes Play football for 100 minutes Play golf for 100 minutes Play squash for 100 minutes Lift weights for 100 minutes Do 100 burpees Do 100 keepie uppies 100 star jumps Do 100 squats Do 100 leg presses Do 100 yoga positions Do 100 hula hoops Do 100 trampoline bounces Do a plank for 100 seconds  Go for 100 dog walks Throw and catch a ball 100 times without dropping it  Bake 100 biscuits Bake 100 cupcakes Make 100 cocktails Make 100 cups of coffee or tea  Eat 100 grapes Eat 100 of something else Drink 100 of something Flip 100 pancakes Cook 100 meals 100m egg and spoon race Balance something for 100 seconds Knit 100 items Tell 100 jokes 100 minute silence Speak for 100 minutes Sing for 100 minutes Write 100 poems or letters Juggle for 100 minutes Learn to say something in 100 different languages Take 100 photographs Build 100 sandcastles Write a 100 word story Draw something in 100 seconds Create a 100 second video Second 100 messages  Host a 100 question quiz Plant 100 seeds Paint 100 of something Give away 100 likes on social media Follow 100 people on social media Meditate for 100 minutes Create 100 different outfits Do 100 puzzles Finish a new puzzle in under 100 minutes Pick up 100 pieces of rubbish Donate 100 items Cut off 100cm of hair Share 100 positive affirmations Play a board game for 100 minutes Play chess for 100 minutes Start a 100 minute twitch stream Watch 100 episodes of your favourite show Dress in 100 different fancy dress outfits Send 100 postcards Read 100 books Read for 100 minutes Host a virtual party for 100 people Host a virtual yoga class for 100 people  Host a virtual comedy night for 100 people  Host a virtual pub quiz for 100 people Carry out 100 good deeds Build something with 100 lego bricks Create a song 100 minutes long Create a 100 track playlist  Clean for 100 minutes Do laundry for 100 minutes Rearrange your house for 100 minutes Don’t touch the floor for 100 minutes Smile for 100 minutes  Act out a scene for 100 minutes Learn 100 songs on an instrument Watch 100 documentaries Learn 100 new facts Create a 100 minute podcast Give 100 compliments Tell the truth for 100 minutes Say yes for 100 minutes Build 100 paper aeroplanes Do volunteer work for 100 minutes Design a whole website in 100 minutes Garden for 100 minutes Attend a 100 minute lecture  Happy fundraising!  
    4541 Posted by Amy Kordiak
  • Every charity, fundraiser and individual is invited to participate in the Captain Tom 100  (#CaptainTom100) taking place between the 30th April 2021-3rd May 2021 (which marks the weekend that Captain Tom would have turned 101). To participate, you will need some creative and fun 100 inspired challenge ideas so we have decided to make this easier for you by coming up with 100 of them to help you get those creative juices flowing! We have however selected our 10 top favourite ideas!   Walk 100 laps/miles/steps Learn 100 dance moves Bake 100 cupcakes Tell 100 jokes Juggle for 100 minutes Host a 100 question quiz Build 100 sandcastles Sing for 100 minutes Carry out 100 good deeds Make 100 cocktails Don’t forget to set up your fundraising page on Localgiving here to allow plenty of time for your donors to support you in the run up to the big challenge and provide you with a better chance of winning the additional £100 prize for the best fundraiser, which will be provided by Localgiving. To find out more about the Captain Tom 100, please click here. Oh alright then, here is the full list of 100 ideas to get you started... Walk 100 laps/miles/steps Run 100km  Go for 100 runs Climb 100 stairs Cycle 100km Learn 100 dance moves Dance for 100 minutes Swim 100 laps of a pool Do 100 push ups Do 100 pull ups Go on a 100km hike Hop 100 times Play tennis for 100 minutes Play football for 100 minutes Play golf for 100 minutes Play squash for 100 minutes Lift weights for 100 minutes Do 100 burpees Do 100 keepie uppies 100 star jumps Do 100 squats Do 100 leg presses Do 100 yoga positions Do 100 hula hoops Do 100 trampoline bounces Do a plank for 100 seconds  Go for 100 dog walks Throw and catch a ball 100 times without dropping it  Bake 100 biscuits Bake 100 cupcakes Make 100 cocktails Make 100 cups of coffee or tea  Eat 100 grapes Eat 100 of something else Drink 100 of something Flip 100 pancakes Cook 100 meals 100m egg and spoon race Balance something for 100 seconds Knit 100 items Tell 100 jokes 100 minute silence Speak for 100 minutes Sing for 100 minutes Write 100 poems or letters Juggle for 100 minutes Learn to say something in 100 different languages Take 100 photographs Build 100 sandcastles Write a 100 word story Draw something in 100 seconds Create a 100 second video Second 100 messages  Host a 100 question quiz Plant 100 seeds Paint 100 of something Give away 100 likes on social media Follow 100 people on social media Meditate for 100 minutes Create 100 different outfits Do 100 puzzles Finish a new puzzle in under 100 minutes Pick up 100 pieces of rubbish Donate 100 items Cut off 100cm of hair Share 100 positive affirmations Play a board game for 100 minutes Play chess for 100 minutes Start a 100 minute twitch stream Watch 100 episodes of your favourite show Dress in 100 different fancy dress outfits Send 100 postcards Read 100 books Read for 100 minutes Host a virtual party for 100 people Host a virtual yoga class for 100 people  Host a virtual comedy night for 100 people  Host a virtual pub quiz for 100 people Carry out 100 good deeds Build something with 100 lego bricks Create a song 100 minutes long Create a 100 track playlist  Clean for 100 minutes Do laundry for 100 minutes Rearrange your house for 100 minutes Don’t touch the floor for 100 minutes Smile for 100 minutes  Act out a scene for 100 minutes Learn 100 songs on an instrument Watch 100 documentaries Learn 100 new facts Create a 100 minute podcast Give 100 compliments Tell the truth for 100 minutes Say yes for 100 minutes Build 100 paper aeroplanes Do volunteer work for 100 minutes Design a whole website in 100 minutes Garden for 100 minutes Attend a 100 minute lecture  Happy fundraising!  
    Apr 09, 2021 4541
  • 06 Apr 2021
      The Crowdfund Wales Programme is now well underway with 13 organisations receiving support with their digital fundraising appeals and they are working hard to reach their £1750 target to unlock the match funding from Localgiving. Programme members are benefitting from 1:1 mentoring sessions to ensure their appeals are planned and promoted well and fundraising messages are reaching far and wide through the their networks and beyond. Here is what Small World Theatre said about the programme: “We have received the right advice for our company so we can engage with the public on a local level as well as giving our supporters who live further afield the opportunity to donate. Localgiving offers marketing support and online tools to help with fundraising. It's been great to meet with Amy on Zoom and chat through ideas.  Thank you!”   No time like the present You might be thinking that now is not a good time to start a fundraising appeal, setting your sights on the summer months when we have hopefully transitioned out of lockdown and are moving into the nicer weather and more outdoor activity – this could be a big mistake! In the world of online fundraising, December and the build up to Christmas always does well in terms of appeals. People are feeling more generous at this time of year and it is the season synonymous with giving! However, spring is the season of re-birth, hope and anticipation for the year. April is the start of the financial year and when people generally start to get their finances in order, not to mention that at the beginning of the month, people will have just been paid. At the moment, during the UK-wide lockdown, we are all online a lot more as we are stuck in their houses. Whilst the pandemic has hit many people hard, resulting in higher levels of unemployment and less disposable income for many, for other people general expenditure has decreased and therefore people are happy to give to those in need. A report published in October 2020 from Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), showed that “between January and June 2020, the public donated a total of £5.4 billion to charity – an increase of £800 million compared to the same period in 2019”. If you are still determined to hold off until the summer, consider this first - how many other local groups may have the same idea as you? These are your direct competitors who will also be planning their outdoor fundraising events and reaching out to your potential donors at the same time. In addition to this, the potential audience for your fundraising messages may be reduced with people making plans with friends and family in the warm weather; no longer sitting in front of their devices ready to click and give. According to recent data from Statista, there are 46.6 million daily internet users in the UK. Think about these people being a captive audience right now – these are your potential donors and also the promotors of your fundraising messages!    Winning formula for appeals So now you have reconsidered the timing of your fundraising campaign, here are some top tips to consider when appealing to the masses and to make it easier for you, they all start with a ‘P’: Make sure your purpose for fundraising is clear. Convey your passion for the cause and ensure people connect with it. People generally need to feel an empathic connection with their donation so ensure you are clear about what you need money for and how their donation will make a difference Never underestimate the need to plan. Tying your launch in with a key date in the diary and segmenting off your network into donors, promoters and potential fundraisers all takes time. The more you plan for your appeal, the more it will pay off Work on your publicity and your press releases. Have you read the local papers lately? They are a bit light on news due to less general activity so now is a great time to get your appeal in the papers. Online versions can have a direct link to your Localgiving donation page too which is an added bonus Be proactive. You will have good days and bad days when it comes to donations so ensure you are promoting your successes and thanking your donors publicly for their support Don’t forget to praise yourself on your efforts. You can segment your appeal into key target milestones and this is psychologically beneficial as it breaks down your total into achievable chunks.   If you are a not-for-profit group in Wales and would like to take advantage of the Crowdfund Wales Programme - receiving more advice about your online fundraising and with the offer of £250 match funding when you have reached your target, you can get in touch with me here.
    1720 Posted by Amy Kordiak
  •   The Crowdfund Wales Programme is now well underway with 13 organisations receiving support with their digital fundraising appeals and they are working hard to reach their £1750 target to unlock the match funding from Localgiving. Programme members are benefitting from 1:1 mentoring sessions to ensure their appeals are planned and promoted well and fundraising messages are reaching far and wide through the their networks and beyond. Here is what Small World Theatre said about the programme: “We have received the right advice for our company so we can engage with the public on a local level as well as giving our supporters who live further afield the opportunity to donate. Localgiving offers marketing support and online tools to help with fundraising. It's been great to meet with Amy on Zoom and chat through ideas.  Thank you!”   No time like the present You might be thinking that now is not a good time to start a fundraising appeal, setting your sights on the summer months when we have hopefully transitioned out of lockdown and are moving into the nicer weather and more outdoor activity – this could be a big mistake! In the world of online fundraising, December and the build up to Christmas always does well in terms of appeals. People are feeling more generous at this time of year and it is the season synonymous with giving! However, spring is the season of re-birth, hope and anticipation for the year. April is the start of the financial year and when people generally start to get their finances in order, not to mention that at the beginning of the month, people will have just been paid. At the moment, during the UK-wide lockdown, we are all online a lot more as we are stuck in their houses. Whilst the pandemic has hit many people hard, resulting in higher levels of unemployment and less disposable income for many, for other people general expenditure has decreased and therefore people are happy to give to those in need. A report published in October 2020 from Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), showed that “between January and June 2020, the public donated a total of £5.4 billion to charity – an increase of £800 million compared to the same period in 2019”. If you are still determined to hold off until the summer, consider this first - how many other local groups may have the same idea as you? These are your direct competitors who will also be planning their outdoor fundraising events and reaching out to your potential donors at the same time. In addition to this, the potential audience for your fundraising messages may be reduced with people making plans with friends and family in the warm weather; no longer sitting in front of their devices ready to click and give. According to recent data from Statista, there are 46.6 million daily internet users in the UK. Think about these people being a captive audience right now – these are your potential donors and also the promotors of your fundraising messages!    Winning formula for appeals So now you have reconsidered the timing of your fundraising campaign, here are some top tips to consider when appealing to the masses and to make it easier for you, they all start with a ‘P’: Make sure your purpose for fundraising is clear. Convey your passion for the cause and ensure people connect with it. People generally need to feel an empathic connection with their donation so ensure you are clear about what you need money for and how their donation will make a difference Never underestimate the need to plan. Tying your launch in with a key date in the diary and segmenting off your network into donors, promoters and potential fundraisers all takes time. The more you plan for your appeal, the more it will pay off Work on your publicity and your press releases. Have you read the local papers lately? They are a bit light on news due to less general activity so now is a great time to get your appeal in the papers. Online versions can have a direct link to your Localgiving donation page too which is an added bonus Be proactive. You will have good days and bad days when it comes to donations so ensure you are promoting your successes and thanking your donors publicly for their support Don’t forget to praise yourself on your efforts. You can segment your appeal into key target milestones and this is psychologically beneficial as it breaks down your total into achievable chunks.   If you are a not-for-profit group in Wales and would like to take advantage of the Crowdfund Wales Programme - receiving more advice about your online fundraising and with the offer of £250 match funding when you have reached your target, you can get in touch with me here.
    Apr 06, 2021 1720
  • 16 Oct 2019
    Most people who work in the charity sector do so because, in some way or another, they want to make the world a little better. For those of us involved in marketing, our role is to engage people with our cause and persuade them to take action (donating, volunteering, building barricades etc). So far,  so simple. The problem is that the actions we take in achieving our goals are not neutral – no action ever is. Indeed, in some cases our actions have negative repercussions that can outweigh the good they are intended to achieve. To state ‘actions have consequences’ is not exactly ground breaking.  However, in recent years numerous charity scandals have come about specifically because charity marketers and fundraisers have become so blindly goal-orientated that they have entirely neglected to take into account the consequences of their actions. While very few charities are involved in actively (or knowingly) unethical behaviours, all of us must think more carefully about the potential wider impact of our marketing strategy and output.   If we are serious when we use the phrase “what I love about what I do is the knowledge that I am making a positive difference”, then we need to be consistently weighing up whether our intended ends justify our means. Of course, this is not a simple question and will rarely have simple answers. For example, if a charity successfully persuades donors to give £2 per month by using imagery that perpetuates “white saviour” myths, is this justified? My immediate response would be that the wider negative impact of this type of campaign does not justify the use of this imagery.  However, the uncomfortable truth is that these images are emotionally potent and therefore highly effective when it comes to persuading people to donate.   Sadly, this means that marketers who choose not to use such imagery are often playing catch-up.  As are those who take the time to ensure their images have alt-text so they are accessible to visually impaired people. As are those who opt against using aggressive sales techniques. Striking a balance between hitting targets and maintaining an ethical marketing strategy comes with serious challenges.  The reality is that, taking a more ethical route will often be more time-consuming, more resource sapping and will require far more creativity. Given these challenges, it would be significantly easier for marketing professionals to take these risks if they have the support and understanding of their senior management and board. Indeed, in an ideal world, this approach should be adopted into the wider culture and values of the organisation as a whole. In some cases  achieving this support will be easier than others.  However, given the arguments, I believe that the majority of board members and senior managers will be receptive because ultimately they are (one hopes) in involved in the voluntary sector for exactly the same reason as you and I. For more on ethical marketing strategy: People Before Stories: Working With Beneficiaries' Narratives 3 tips for building an ethical fundraising strategy
    9538 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Most people who work in the charity sector do so because, in some way or another, they want to make the world a little better. For those of us involved in marketing, our role is to engage people with our cause and persuade them to take action (donating, volunteering, building barricades etc). So far,  so simple. The problem is that the actions we take in achieving our goals are not neutral – no action ever is. Indeed, in some cases our actions have negative repercussions that can outweigh the good they are intended to achieve. To state ‘actions have consequences’ is not exactly ground breaking.  However, in recent years numerous charity scandals have come about specifically because charity marketers and fundraisers have become so blindly goal-orientated that they have entirely neglected to take into account the consequences of their actions. While very few charities are involved in actively (or knowingly) unethical behaviours, all of us must think more carefully about the potential wider impact of our marketing strategy and output.   If we are serious when we use the phrase “what I love about what I do is the knowledge that I am making a positive difference”, then we need to be consistently weighing up whether our intended ends justify our means. Of course, this is not a simple question and will rarely have simple answers. For example, if a charity successfully persuades donors to give £2 per month by using imagery that perpetuates “white saviour” myths, is this justified? My immediate response would be that the wider negative impact of this type of campaign does not justify the use of this imagery.  However, the uncomfortable truth is that these images are emotionally potent and therefore highly effective when it comes to persuading people to donate.   Sadly, this means that marketers who choose not to use such imagery are often playing catch-up.  As are those who take the time to ensure their images have alt-text so they are accessible to visually impaired people. As are those who opt against using aggressive sales techniques. Striking a balance between hitting targets and maintaining an ethical marketing strategy comes with serious challenges.  The reality is that, taking a more ethical route will often be more time-consuming, more resource sapping and will require far more creativity. Given these challenges, it would be significantly easier for marketing professionals to take these risks if they have the support and understanding of their senior management and board. Indeed, in an ideal world, this approach should be adopted into the wider culture and values of the organisation as a whole. In some cases  achieving this support will be easier than others.  However, given the arguments, I believe that the majority of board members and senior managers will be receptive because ultimately they are (one hopes) in involved in the voluntary sector for exactly the same reason as you and I. For more on ethical marketing strategy: People Before Stories: Working With Beneficiaries' Narratives 3 tips for building an ethical fundraising strategy
    Oct 16, 2019 9538
  • 08 Oct 2019
    Let me set the scene: We are in Israel, around 3,000 years ago, and a fight is about to go down between the Philistine’s mightiest warrior, Goliath and an unknown shepherd named David. Standing at 9 feet and 6 inches tall, covered head to toe in heavy bronze plates and carrying a sword the size of his opponent, Goliath is a thing of nightmares. In comparison, David is small and slight, wears no armour and is carrying just a few pebbles and a slingshot. The Israelite bookies aren’t anticipating an upset here, and the crowd are clamouring in the heat.  For the 80% of UK charities who generate under £100,000 in revenue each year, the charity landscape is beginning to feel as dangerous as that dusty battlefield. Weakened by decreasing funds, increased demand for services, volatile public trust and growing competition, these organisations have their work cut out. More than one in four Chief Executives of smaller charities feel strongly that they are ‘struggling to survive’. Despite making up 80% of the charity sector, these organisations bring in just 3% of total income. Let’s call these guys David’s. You can see where I’m going with this… On to the competition. Who are our metaphorical David’s up against? Well, they aren’t mighty in numbers - the charity sector’s Goliath is made up of a mere 1% of a total 168,000 registered UK charities. However, just like the Philistine warrior himself, they are enormous. That 1% generates a whopping 72% of total income to the sector. As you likely know, the fight does provide the Israeli crowds with an upset. David; the crowd behind him, more agile, and armed with different tactics, fells his opponent. So how can smaller charities learn from David’s success and continue to survive in an arena of Goliaths? Get your ‘crowd’ involved More than half of small charities income comes from individual donations. This means our David’s have a strong connection with their donor-base and can communicate with a personal touch. Goliath’s can find this trust very difficult to replicate. In one poll nearly half of the respondents said they trusted small community-based charities, whereas just 29% said they trusted national charities. This directly correlates with giving. The same proportion of people who trusted smaller charities were likely to donate to them, however only 17% said they were likely to donate to national organisations. Use your agility to your advantage David is small and nimble. Goliath, weighed down by his heavy armour and his size, moves as if coated in molasses. How can this same agility serve a charity’s mission? Well, put simply, a smaller charity equals a smaller team, and therefore a flatter hierarchy. Use this to your advantage, take bold, creative decisions to your board of trustees. In a world in which technology is fuelling growth, promise and incredible opportunity, the pace of organisational change is vital. Introduce new tactics Ultimately, David won the battle because he stunned Goliath with a new method of combat: his slingshot. The new method of combat for smaller charities? Technology. Technology has levelled the playing field across all sectors, and the charity world is no different. In fact, Goliath’s are more likely to cite ‘new technology’ as one of their top challenges in comparison to David’s. New tools on social media such as the donate sticker on Instagram is making it easier than ever before for charities to reach individual supporters. Plus, free services are available from other industry Goliaths, such as Google For Non-Profits. Contactless charity donation boxes allow charities to maximise their fundraising on the ground by tapping into a whole new donor base who just don’t carry cash anymore. Through this methodology, my very own ‘David’ TAP London, has raised over £100,000 from over 35,000 Londoners. So, to all the David’s out there. Don’t lose faith. Be personal, agile and most importantly – embrace new technologies. Polly Gilbert is the Marketing Director at GoodBox, a tech-for-good company which helps charities of all sizes better connect donors with charitable causes. She is also the co-founder of TAP London, a ‘David’ raising vital funds for London’s homeless.
    5356 Posted by Polly Gilbert
  • Let me set the scene: We are in Israel, around 3,000 years ago, and a fight is about to go down between the Philistine’s mightiest warrior, Goliath and an unknown shepherd named David. Standing at 9 feet and 6 inches tall, covered head to toe in heavy bronze plates and carrying a sword the size of his opponent, Goliath is a thing of nightmares. In comparison, David is small and slight, wears no armour and is carrying just a few pebbles and a slingshot. The Israelite bookies aren’t anticipating an upset here, and the crowd are clamouring in the heat.  For the 80% of UK charities who generate under £100,000 in revenue each year, the charity landscape is beginning to feel as dangerous as that dusty battlefield. Weakened by decreasing funds, increased demand for services, volatile public trust and growing competition, these organisations have their work cut out. More than one in four Chief Executives of smaller charities feel strongly that they are ‘struggling to survive’. Despite making up 80% of the charity sector, these organisations bring in just 3% of total income. Let’s call these guys David’s. You can see where I’m going with this… On to the competition. Who are our metaphorical David’s up against? Well, they aren’t mighty in numbers - the charity sector’s Goliath is made up of a mere 1% of a total 168,000 registered UK charities. However, just like the Philistine warrior himself, they are enormous. That 1% generates a whopping 72% of total income to the sector. As you likely know, the fight does provide the Israeli crowds with an upset. David; the crowd behind him, more agile, and armed with different tactics, fells his opponent. So how can smaller charities learn from David’s success and continue to survive in an arena of Goliaths? Get your ‘crowd’ involved More than half of small charities income comes from individual donations. This means our David’s have a strong connection with their donor-base and can communicate with a personal touch. Goliath’s can find this trust very difficult to replicate. In one poll nearly half of the respondents said they trusted small community-based charities, whereas just 29% said they trusted national charities. This directly correlates with giving. The same proportion of people who trusted smaller charities were likely to donate to them, however only 17% said they were likely to donate to national organisations. Use your agility to your advantage David is small and nimble. Goliath, weighed down by his heavy armour and his size, moves as if coated in molasses. How can this same agility serve a charity’s mission? Well, put simply, a smaller charity equals a smaller team, and therefore a flatter hierarchy. Use this to your advantage, take bold, creative decisions to your board of trustees. In a world in which technology is fuelling growth, promise and incredible opportunity, the pace of organisational change is vital. Introduce new tactics Ultimately, David won the battle because he stunned Goliath with a new method of combat: his slingshot. The new method of combat for smaller charities? Technology. Technology has levelled the playing field across all sectors, and the charity world is no different. In fact, Goliath’s are more likely to cite ‘new technology’ as one of their top challenges in comparison to David’s. New tools on social media such as the donate sticker on Instagram is making it easier than ever before for charities to reach individual supporters. Plus, free services are available from other industry Goliaths, such as Google For Non-Profits. Contactless charity donation boxes allow charities to maximise their fundraising on the ground by tapping into a whole new donor base who just don’t carry cash anymore. Through this methodology, my very own ‘David’ TAP London, has raised over £100,000 from over 35,000 Londoners. So, to all the David’s out there. Don’t lose faith. Be personal, agile and most importantly – embrace new technologies. Polly Gilbert is the Marketing Director at GoodBox, a tech-for-good company which helps charities of all sizes better connect donors with charitable causes. She is also the co-founder of TAP London, a ‘David’ raising vital funds for London’s homeless.
    Oct 08, 2019 5356
  • 09 Sep 2019
    The nights are drawing in, the leaves are colouring, the air is beginning to cool, children are yelling on their way to school, advisers are skulking in Westminster Hall, and it turns out your team’s big summer signing isn’t the new Messi after all. Autumn is officially here! Each season comes with its own set of fundraising opportunities. In this blog we highlight a few events for you to hang your fundraising hat on this Autumn. 22nd September (week of) - Harvest Festival This ancient festival (coinciding with the Harvest moon, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox) celebrates the end of the harvest season. Traditionally linked with charity, particularly sharing food, this is a great opportunity for poverty focussed charities and community groups to highlight their vital work. 27th October - Diwali Diwali, the 5 day Hindu festival of lights celebrates both Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and the triumph of good over evil (I’m sure we can find a fundraising angle there). This festival, celebrated by 1 billion people worldwide including Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists as well as Hindus, gives ample opportunity for some South Asian themed fundraising fun – from food and fireworks nights to lantern making workshop. 31st October - Halloween  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 provides an excellent opportunity to hit those fundraising ghouls! This year the 31st is also (the latest) Brexit day - draw connections as you wish. Read our Halloween blog for some ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre 2nd November - Day of the Dead Día de Muertos, a Mexican tradition celebrating departed ancestors, gets bigger and bigger each year here in the UK. Why not throw a Day of the Dead fundraising party – complete with  face-paints, sugar-skulls, decoration, libations, salsa rhythms and tasty tostadas? 5th November – Bonfire Night Remember, remember the 5th of November ...  Who doesn’t love wrapping up warm, writing your name (as if you write anything else) in the cool air with a sparkler, and watching the night sky come alive with colour? A stall selling hot food and drinks and marshmallow sticks would go down a treat! I hope these ideas give you some food for thought. Let us know about your group's autumn fundraising plans and, as ever, we’ll be happy to share your fundraising events and feats in our blog, newsletter and across our social media channels. 
    7795 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The nights are drawing in, the leaves are colouring, the air is beginning to cool, children are yelling on their way to school, advisers are skulking in Westminster Hall, and it turns out your team’s big summer signing isn’t the new Messi after all. Autumn is officially here! Each season comes with its own set of fundraising opportunities. In this blog we highlight a few events for you to hang your fundraising hat on this Autumn. 22nd September (week of) - Harvest Festival This ancient festival (coinciding with the Harvest moon, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox) celebrates the end of the harvest season. Traditionally linked with charity, particularly sharing food, this is a great opportunity for poverty focussed charities and community groups to highlight their vital work. 27th October - Diwali Diwali, the 5 day Hindu festival of lights celebrates both Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and the triumph of good over evil (I’m sure we can find a fundraising angle there). This festival, celebrated by 1 billion people worldwide including Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists as well as Hindus, gives ample opportunity for some South Asian themed fundraising fun – from food and fireworks nights to lantern making workshop. 31st October - Halloween  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 provides an excellent opportunity to hit those fundraising ghouls! This year the 31st is also (the latest) Brexit day - draw connections as you wish. Read our Halloween blog for some ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre 2nd November - Day of the Dead Día de Muertos, a Mexican tradition celebrating departed ancestors, gets bigger and bigger each year here in the UK. Why not throw a Day of the Dead fundraising party – complete with  face-paints, sugar-skulls, decoration, libations, salsa rhythms and tasty tostadas? 5th November – Bonfire Night Remember, remember the 5th of November ...  Who doesn’t love wrapping up warm, writing your name (as if you write anything else) in the cool air with a sparkler, and watching the night sky come alive with colour? A stall selling hot food and drinks and marshmallow sticks would go down a treat! I hope these ideas give you some food for thought. Let us know about your group's autumn fundraising plans and, as ever, we’ll be happy to share your fundraising events and feats in our blog, newsletter and across our social media channels. 
    Sep 09, 2019 7795
  • 23 Aug 2019
    It can often be difficult to keep up with the latest trends in the digital world. Everything from up and coming artificial intelligence, chat bots and the likes of Alexa voice control, to new releases and platforms updates, can result (and often, not result) in exciting and purposeful change for charities. In this blog, Social Misfits Media’s Angharad Francis takes a look at what we can expect to see in the second half of 2019! E-commerce within apps What could be easier than being able to buy all your favourite products whilst scrolling through social media? According to DigiDay, like social media giants Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat have now released a new feature allowing users to access shops within the app itself. This is powered by Shopify, and aims to increase engagement rates and dwell time within the Snapchat app. For now, this new option to have an e-commerce store within Snapchat is limited to select accounts. However, other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram already allow brands to showcase shoppable products. Creating social media campaigns focusing on e-commerce opportunities could work particularly well around the Christmas period, whereby charities could showcase their goods, such as Christmas cards or clothing, to raise funds for a given campaign. Meaningful Engagement The more engaging a social media platform is, the more time a user will spend on it. One platform doing this well is Instagram, with their Stories feature. From GIFs, to countdowns, to quizzes and polls, there are endless options for users to experiment with, and create engaging stories to share with friends and family. Most recently, Instagram have released their new “Chat” sticker within Stories. This simple feature allows users to ask their followers to join a new chat group. Charities could use this to discuss a new report, a specific goal, or to have a Q&A with their CEO, allowing their audience to gain additional insight into the organisation and connect better online. If creative skills and resources are not a constraint, another new feature charities could use on Instagram is the new AR feature. This feature, created to increase dwell time within the platform, allows users to design their own effects within stories. Charities could use this as a way to create a more personalised experience for their audience, for example if a charity is selling a new product to raise funds, they could use the AR filter as a way for users to try the product on in their story before purchasing. Facebook Groups Although the Facebook algorithm continues to push user-generated content with its meaningful conversations update, platform users are increasingly turning to groups to communicate. Charities can create a group for their organisation, in order to generate organic engagement and awareness, and allow conversation with their audience beyond a Facebook page. Alternatively, if there is a lack of capacity and time to invest in social media, charities can engage in existing groups as a brand. The benefit of this is that instead of setting up a new group, charities are able to communicate with their audience using an already engaged group. This could help them to raise awareness of a fundraising event, locate volunteers or ask supporters to sign a petition. Podcasts The popularity of Podcasts continues to increase, not only with countless new comedy and lifestyle podcasts, but also within the charity sector. In the UK, the number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years, from 3.2m (7% of adults aged 15+) in 2013 to 5.9m (11%) in 2018. In addition, Google recently announced that it will start surfacing podcasts alongside videos, images, news, and web pages related to a user’s search. This will make podcasts more discoverable, allowing an online audience to easily find and listen to them through Search.  Here, Kirsty Marrins lists her top ten charity podcasts, including our sister company Lightful’s charity podcast, Reclaim Social, which interviews people within the charity sector and looks at how they use social media to focus on sharing positive and inspiring news. Although this may require a certain level of time and resources, podcasts are a great way for charities to broadcast their latest news to new and existing audiences in an engaging and accessible way. I hope you found this article useful; if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Angharad Francis is a Community Manager at Social Misfits Media, who work exclusively with charities, foundations, social enterprises and non-profits to help better use social media to reach their goals.  Photo credits: Top - Thought Catalog, Bottom - Pete Pedroza.
    4418 Posted by Angharad Francis
  • It can often be difficult to keep up with the latest trends in the digital world. Everything from up and coming artificial intelligence, chat bots and the likes of Alexa voice control, to new releases and platforms updates, can result (and often, not result) in exciting and purposeful change for charities. In this blog, Social Misfits Media’s Angharad Francis takes a look at what we can expect to see in the second half of 2019! E-commerce within apps What could be easier than being able to buy all your favourite products whilst scrolling through social media? According to DigiDay, like social media giants Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat have now released a new feature allowing users to access shops within the app itself. This is powered by Shopify, and aims to increase engagement rates and dwell time within the Snapchat app. For now, this new option to have an e-commerce store within Snapchat is limited to select accounts. However, other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram already allow brands to showcase shoppable products. Creating social media campaigns focusing on e-commerce opportunities could work particularly well around the Christmas period, whereby charities could showcase their goods, such as Christmas cards or clothing, to raise funds for a given campaign. Meaningful Engagement The more engaging a social media platform is, the more time a user will spend on it. One platform doing this well is Instagram, with their Stories feature. From GIFs, to countdowns, to quizzes and polls, there are endless options for users to experiment with, and create engaging stories to share with friends and family. Most recently, Instagram have released their new “Chat” sticker within Stories. This simple feature allows users to ask their followers to join a new chat group. Charities could use this to discuss a new report, a specific goal, or to have a Q&A with their CEO, allowing their audience to gain additional insight into the organisation and connect better online. If creative skills and resources are not a constraint, another new feature charities could use on Instagram is the new AR feature. This feature, created to increase dwell time within the platform, allows users to design their own effects within stories. Charities could use this as a way to create a more personalised experience for their audience, for example if a charity is selling a new product to raise funds, they could use the AR filter as a way for users to try the product on in their story before purchasing. Facebook Groups Although the Facebook algorithm continues to push user-generated content with its meaningful conversations update, platform users are increasingly turning to groups to communicate. Charities can create a group for their organisation, in order to generate organic engagement and awareness, and allow conversation with their audience beyond a Facebook page. Alternatively, if there is a lack of capacity and time to invest in social media, charities can engage in existing groups as a brand. The benefit of this is that instead of setting up a new group, charities are able to communicate with their audience using an already engaged group. This could help them to raise awareness of a fundraising event, locate volunteers or ask supporters to sign a petition. Podcasts The popularity of Podcasts continues to increase, not only with countless new comedy and lifestyle podcasts, but also within the charity sector. In the UK, the number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years, from 3.2m (7% of adults aged 15+) in 2013 to 5.9m (11%) in 2018. In addition, Google recently announced that it will start surfacing podcasts alongside videos, images, news, and web pages related to a user’s search. This will make podcasts more discoverable, allowing an online audience to easily find and listen to them through Search.  Here, Kirsty Marrins lists her top ten charity podcasts, including our sister company Lightful’s charity podcast, Reclaim Social, which interviews people within the charity sector and looks at how they use social media to focus on sharing positive and inspiring news. Although this may require a certain level of time and resources, podcasts are a great way for charities to broadcast their latest news to new and existing audiences in an engaging and accessible way. I hope you found this article useful; if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Angharad Francis is a Community Manager at Social Misfits Media, who work exclusively with charities, foundations, social enterprises and non-profits to help better use social media to reach their goals.  Photo credits: Top - Thought Catalog, Bottom - Pete Pedroza.
    Aug 23, 2019 4418
  • 19 Aug 2019
    The best charity campaigns are often based on beneficiary narratives. The personal stories of those who have been affected by the issues we address or who have benefitted from our support can be moving, inspirational and add a sense of real urgency to a campaign. However, while these stories are elixir for us charity fundraisers and marketers, we must remember that they are loaned not owned. In many cases our beneficiaries are highly vulnerable people, be it asylum seekers awaiting a decision or young people who have recently escaped gang life. Ensuring the protection and wellbeing of those people who have lent us their stories should always be our priority. In this blog we look at some of the actions we can take to ensure that our beneficiaries and their stories are treated with the sensitivity and respect they deserve. People before stories: Always begin by considering the level of need and life situation of the people whose stories we are telling. However proud we are of what we have achieved, or however perfectly their story fits our campaign goals, if the individual is in a vulnerable situation, or a focus on their past could have any negative impact, we may want to reconsider using their story. Get (Informed) consent: People can only really be deemed to have consented if they fully understand what they are consenting to. We should ensure the people we are working with know how and where their stories and images will be used and that they are aware of any potential repercussions. Use their own words: Being given the opportunity to tell your story can be hugely empowering. However, by equal measure, losing control of one’s story can be damaging.We should try to give our beneficiaries the platforms and opportunity to tell their own story, in their own words.   Protect identities: We must think carefully about what measures should be taken to protect the identities of beneficiaries. Depending on the circumstances and vulnerability of the person we are working with, we may look at changing their names and voices or using actors or illustrative images. Stay positive: The same story can often be told in different ways. Charity campaigns too often paint their beneficiaries as passive victims who were in need of ‘saving’. While the whole point of most campaigns is to show our impact – this should not be done in a way that dismisses the agency of our beneficiaries. Remain media aware: If our beneficiaries are open to talking to the press is vital that we fully prepare them for interviews and that we accompany them if required. Moreover, we need to try to ensure that we only work with sympathetic, trusted journalists and media outlets. Whatever measures we put in place, there is always the potential to lose control of a story and we must be ready to react and provide all necessary support to our beneficiaries in these circumstances. While working with beneficiaries’ stories, of course, comes with challenges – this should not prevent us using them. Not only are real-life stories more engaging and persuasive than anything we could produce from our desks but, I would argue, the ‘nothing about us without us’ principle obliges us to put their stories at the centre of our work whenever we can. It is simply a matter of making this our mantra: people must always come before stories. For more marketing and fundraising tips and guides, why not visit our Resources Page.   
    4192 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The best charity campaigns are often based on beneficiary narratives. The personal stories of those who have been affected by the issues we address or who have benefitted from our support can be moving, inspirational and add a sense of real urgency to a campaign. However, while these stories are elixir for us charity fundraisers and marketers, we must remember that they are loaned not owned. In many cases our beneficiaries are highly vulnerable people, be it asylum seekers awaiting a decision or young people who have recently escaped gang life. Ensuring the protection and wellbeing of those people who have lent us their stories should always be our priority. In this blog we look at some of the actions we can take to ensure that our beneficiaries and their stories are treated with the sensitivity and respect they deserve. People before stories: Always begin by considering the level of need and life situation of the people whose stories we are telling. However proud we are of what we have achieved, or however perfectly their story fits our campaign goals, if the individual is in a vulnerable situation, or a focus on their past could have any negative impact, we may want to reconsider using their story. Get (Informed) consent: People can only really be deemed to have consented if they fully understand what they are consenting to. We should ensure the people we are working with know how and where their stories and images will be used and that they are aware of any potential repercussions. Use their own words: Being given the opportunity to tell your story can be hugely empowering. However, by equal measure, losing control of one’s story can be damaging.We should try to give our beneficiaries the platforms and opportunity to tell their own story, in their own words.   Protect identities: We must think carefully about what measures should be taken to protect the identities of beneficiaries. Depending on the circumstances and vulnerability of the person we are working with, we may look at changing their names and voices or using actors or illustrative images. Stay positive: The same story can often be told in different ways. Charity campaigns too often paint their beneficiaries as passive victims who were in need of ‘saving’. While the whole point of most campaigns is to show our impact – this should not be done in a way that dismisses the agency of our beneficiaries. Remain media aware: If our beneficiaries are open to talking to the press is vital that we fully prepare them for interviews and that we accompany them if required. Moreover, we need to try to ensure that we only work with sympathetic, trusted journalists and media outlets. Whatever measures we put in place, there is always the potential to lose control of a story and we must be ready to react and provide all necessary support to our beneficiaries in these circumstances. While working with beneficiaries’ stories, of course, comes with challenges – this should not prevent us using them. Not only are real-life stories more engaging and persuasive than anything we could produce from our desks but, I would argue, the ‘nothing about us without us’ principle obliges us to put their stories at the centre of our work whenever we can. It is simply a matter of making this our mantra: people must always come before stories. For more marketing and fundraising tips and guides, why not visit our Resources Page.   
    Aug 19, 2019 4192
  • 26 Jul 2019
    Henry Rowling is co-founder of Flying Cars - an innovation, insight and strategy collective for charities and cause-driven brands. Henry has over a decade of experience working for some of the UK’s leading charities in strategy, innovation, product development and digital fundraising. We know that times are tough in fundraising. More than ever in a rapidly changing world, falling response rates in traditional channels and supporters with mushrooming expectations bought about by slick digital services - the need to innovate and do things differently is greater than ever. At Flying Cars we speak to charities large and small daily who want to find new ways to engage their audiences because the old ways are not working as well anymore. But the future is not as bleak as you may think. Through following an audience-led, iterative approach that tests and learns routinely, freeing up time in your work life by stopping the things that aren’t working, and investing in yourself and your team to learn new skills – you can succeed on a budget. Here’s how in 12 steps. Create space to innovate. Kill off projects in your portfolio that deliver marginal impact after several years. Without freeing up time you won’t have resource to deliver innovative projects Identify the most pressing problem you are trying to solve – without a problem – there is nothing to do! Pin down your core audience – who are you interested in involving in the solution to this problem? Who is best placed to help you solve it? Speak to your audience – conduct some insight work. Beware the internal echo chamber Follow an innovation methodology – Nesta has a lot of resources on their website Be networked – relentlessly build your networks of contacts inside and outside your organisation – successful innovation means using diverse brain power to solve problems in a new way Use your size to your advantage – being small means you can be nimble – don’t get bogged down in complex sign-off – find the quickest route to delivery In a small organisation you should be able to speak to your beneficiaries relatively quickly – co-create ideas with them if you can Use some of the many free tools available to test, prototype, mock up, learn new skills, smoke-test, analyse and conduct insight Test as cheaply as possible – innovation preaches lean-testing – this means getting a version of your product in front of the potential audience quickly and cheaply Don’t be afraid of failure – failure is an important part of building new solutions – if there is no failure – you aren’t trying hard enough Speak to me to talk about any impending projects you have or if you’d like a cheat sheet of free prototyping tools you can use. I would also be happy to connect you to others in this space.   
    6467 Posted by Henry Rowling
  • Henry Rowling is co-founder of Flying Cars - an innovation, insight and strategy collective for charities and cause-driven brands. Henry has over a decade of experience working for some of the UK’s leading charities in strategy, innovation, product development and digital fundraising. We know that times are tough in fundraising. More than ever in a rapidly changing world, falling response rates in traditional channels and supporters with mushrooming expectations bought about by slick digital services - the need to innovate and do things differently is greater than ever. At Flying Cars we speak to charities large and small daily who want to find new ways to engage their audiences because the old ways are not working as well anymore. But the future is not as bleak as you may think. Through following an audience-led, iterative approach that tests and learns routinely, freeing up time in your work life by stopping the things that aren’t working, and investing in yourself and your team to learn new skills – you can succeed on a budget. Here’s how in 12 steps. Create space to innovate. Kill off projects in your portfolio that deliver marginal impact after several years. Without freeing up time you won’t have resource to deliver innovative projects Identify the most pressing problem you are trying to solve – without a problem – there is nothing to do! Pin down your core audience – who are you interested in involving in the solution to this problem? Who is best placed to help you solve it? Speak to your audience – conduct some insight work. Beware the internal echo chamber Follow an innovation methodology – Nesta has a lot of resources on their website Be networked – relentlessly build your networks of contacts inside and outside your organisation – successful innovation means using diverse brain power to solve problems in a new way Use your size to your advantage – being small means you can be nimble – don’t get bogged down in complex sign-off – find the quickest route to delivery In a small organisation you should be able to speak to your beneficiaries relatively quickly – co-create ideas with them if you can Use some of the many free tools available to test, prototype, mock up, learn new skills, smoke-test, analyse and conduct insight Test as cheaply as possible – innovation preaches lean-testing – this means getting a version of your product in front of the potential audience quickly and cheaply Don’t be afraid of failure – failure is an important part of building new solutions – if there is no failure – you aren’t trying hard enough Speak to me to talk about any impending projects you have or if you’d like a cheat sheet of free prototyping tools you can use. I would also be happy to connect you to others in this space.   
    Jul 26, 2019 6467
  • 16 Jul 2019
    Good stories are personal. Great stories make your supporters feel like they are a part of them. If your supporters can interact with your story in real-time–by making a donation or volunteering–it means you are giving them an avenue to get invested in your cause. That kind of storytelling is uniquely useful for nonprofits. Your efforts as an organization directly help the people in your stories and involve your donors and volunteers. So how do you tell personal, interactive stories? The ways you communicate with your audience is just as important as the story itself. Choosing your storytelling medium Traditionally, email, social media, etc. are all good ways to get your story out to your supporters. It’s efficient, letting you reach a ton of people at once. And it works, convincing a lot of them to make a donation to your cause. But ask them about the gift a week later, and most would have already forgotten all about it. It’s evident in the numbers–The average nonprofit receives a repeat donation from less than half their yearly donors*. A significant amount of supporters stop giving because they don’t remember donating and because of minimal or non-existent communication on the part of the nonprofit.   Today’s donors crave and are more likely to remember authentic, personal interactions with the organizations that they support.  Doing that means reaching out to people as individuals, and a channel like text messaging is excellent at that.  Text messaging in the UK Smartphone ownership is only set to grow in the UK, with a predicted 92% ownership by 2023. With the texting being so ubiquitous, it makes sense for charities to use texting as one of their primary modes of communication with supporters. Another factor to consider is what donors really want from your communications.  According to the 2014 UK Giving Report, 68% of respondents agreed that charities proving their impact was most likely to be valued by supporters. You probably want to show your supporters the successes you have had in your campaigns. The challenge is showing the impact in a way that reaches people. Supporters aren’t going to visit your website unless they have a reason to, and the standard email open rate is not very impressive. Communicating the impact your organization makes towards your campaigns needs to be done in a way that is direct and likely to be seen.  A channel that has a high chance of being read, like texting lets you do that and make your communications personal at the same time. Using text messages to tell and promote stories Messaging, whether it is through SMS, Whatsapp, or even Facebook Messenger, lets you have conversations with your supporters in real-time, without having to meet face-to-face. That means being able to provide updates on the people you are helping and answer questions as your supporters ask them. Of course, it’s not possible to reply to every text in person. You could automate texts to go out based on keywords in the messages you receive and jump in whenever you need to. Storytelling in the form of a text conversation Having conversations about your charity’s missions and goals can be made more personal and persuasive through peer-to-peer texting. With a messaging software, a single volunteer can have around one thousand conversations every hour.  For example, an initial text message could introduce them to your latest campaign and ask them if they would like to know more instead of asking them for a donation up front. If they respond positively, you can send a link to your donation page. After a successful donation, thank them through the same conversation. One thing to note about storytelling through text messages is that the story is in the form of a conversation. For it to be most effective, you need to keep them updated on how your mission is progressing, and how their support is helping your cause. Keep your supporters up-to-date and invested with your cause through follow up texts. Your next text could tell them about the funds raised from the last campaign: Your final update should let them know about how their funds were used and tell the stories of those who were positively impacted by your campaign. Your supporters will appreciate your transparency and willingness to keep them looped in. An invested and informed supporter is more likely to make further donations or volunteer for your cause. How else can you use texting? An alternative to peer-to-peer texting is to use text messages strictly as a way to link to your blog and website. This can be a broadcast message to all your supporters, telling them they can learn more about your campaign by following the link. There can be many other ways to use texting to engage your supporters. You can send reminders to campaigners and supporters to attend upcoming events and rallies (with their corresponding venue/timing details). Depending upon the volunteer’s role, you can also send texts reminding them of their respective duties on upcoming campaigns. It is evident that telling a charity’s stories in a way that can bring in donors and keep them engaged needs nonprofits to rethink donor communications. Channels like texting let supporters talk to you directly and make them feel like they truly are an important part of your cause. Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a California-based Voice and SMS service company bridging the communication gap for political campaigns and advocacy groups. When he is not working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. *2018 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report  
    6863 Posted by Augustus Franklin
  • Good stories are personal. Great stories make your supporters feel like they are a part of them. If your supporters can interact with your story in real-time–by making a donation or volunteering–it means you are giving them an avenue to get invested in your cause. That kind of storytelling is uniquely useful for nonprofits. Your efforts as an organization directly help the people in your stories and involve your donors and volunteers. So how do you tell personal, interactive stories? The ways you communicate with your audience is just as important as the story itself. Choosing your storytelling medium Traditionally, email, social media, etc. are all good ways to get your story out to your supporters. It’s efficient, letting you reach a ton of people at once. And it works, convincing a lot of them to make a donation to your cause. But ask them about the gift a week later, and most would have already forgotten all about it. It’s evident in the numbers–The average nonprofit receives a repeat donation from less than half their yearly donors*. A significant amount of supporters stop giving because they don’t remember donating and because of minimal or non-existent communication on the part of the nonprofit.   Today’s donors crave and are more likely to remember authentic, personal interactions with the organizations that they support.  Doing that means reaching out to people as individuals, and a channel like text messaging is excellent at that.  Text messaging in the UK Smartphone ownership is only set to grow in the UK, with a predicted 92% ownership by 2023. With the texting being so ubiquitous, it makes sense for charities to use texting as one of their primary modes of communication with supporters. Another factor to consider is what donors really want from your communications.  According to the 2014 UK Giving Report, 68% of respondents agreed that charities proving their impact was most likely to be valued by supporters. You probably want to show your supporters the successes you have had in your campaigns. The challenge is showing the impact in a way that reaches people. Supporters aren’t going to visit your website unless they have a reason to, and the standard email open rate is not very impressive. Communicating the impact your organization makes towards your campaigns needs to be done in a way that is direct and likely to be seen.  A channel that has a high chance of being read, like texting lets you do that and make your communications personal at the same time. Using text messages to tell and promote stories Messaging, whether it is through SMS, Whatsapp, or even Facebook Messenger, lets you have conversations with your supporters in real-time, without having to meet face-to-face. That means being able to provide updates on the people you are helping and answer questions as your supporters ask them. Of course, it’s not possible to reply to every text in person. You could automate texts to go out based on keywords in the messages you receive and jump in whenever you need to. Storytelling in the form of a text conversation Having conversations about your charity’s missions and goals can be made more personal and persuasive through peer-to-peer texting. With a messaging software, a single volunteer can have around one thousand conversations every hour.  For example, an initial text message could introduce them to your latest campaign and ask them if they would like to know more instead of asking them for a donation up front. If they respond positively, you can send a link to your donation page. After a successful donation, thank them through the same conversation. One thing to note about storytelling through text messages is that the story is in the form of a conversation. For it to be most effective, you need to keep them updated on how your mission is progressing, and how their support is helping your cause. Keep your supporters up-to-date and invested with your cause through follow up texts. Your next text could tell them about the funds raised from the last campaign: Your final update should let them know about how their funds were used and tell the stories of those who were positively impacted by your campaign. Your supporters will appreciate your transparency and willingness to keep them looped in. An invested and informed supporter is more likely to make further donations or volunteer for your cause. How else can you use texting? An alternative to peer-to-peer texting is to use text messages strictly as a way to link to your blog and website. This can be a broadcast message to all your supporters, telling them they can learn more about your campaign by following the link. There can be many other ways to use texting to engage your supporters. You can send reminders to campaigners and supporters to attend upcoming events and rallies (with their corresponding venue/timing details). Depending upon the volunteer’s role, you can also send texts reminding them of their respective duties on upcoming campaigns. It is evident that telling a charity’s stories in a way that can bring in donors and keep them engaged needs nonprofits to rethink donor communications. Channels like texting let supporters talk to you directly and make them feel like they truly are an important part of your cause. Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a California-based Voice and SMS service company bridging the communication gap for political campaigns and advocacy groups. When he is not working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. *2018 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report  
    Jul 16, 2019 6863