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  • 27 Mar 2019
    When I started my career as a fundraiser 30 years ago, many of the things we now take for granted did not exist.  We did not have the internet, mobile phones, smart phones, e-mail or social media. A shared computer sat, neglected in the corner of the office as we struggled to use its counter-intuitive software and retreated to the familiarity of our desks, telephones, Rolodex, pens and paper.  I was a Community Fundraiser.  We had the best jobs in fundraising.  We could not compete with the glamour of the High Level Donor teams, or the prestige of the slick, suited Corporate Fundraisers. But we didn’t care because in our hearts we knew that we practiced the art of building relationships in all their human, unpredictable, chaotic, grassroots glory.  The community was the place to be. Then, one day my boss arrived and with great fanfare installed something called Windows. From that moment, the world changed quickly.  We saw unprecedented mass marketing and data crunching. Words like acquisition, retention, attrition and segmentation became part of our fundraising vocabulary. The rise of the database meant that big charities cultivated direct marketing teams who mapped out donor journeys and, in turn generated work for a vast number of creative agencies and fulfilment houses. In the mid-1990s we could feel the tectonic plates of fundraising shift.  In the big-charity world community fundraising became the poor and noisy relation of teams that delivered a better, faster, more clinical return on investment.  Technology meant that significant funds could be generated quickly at arm’s length. Suddenly there was no need to get down into the messy grassroots, or engage with challenging, complex, emotional people. Since then I have worked my way up through the fundraising ranks, to middle manager, Department Head and Director of Fundraising.  I’m no luddite, but there have been times during my career that I have hankered after the days when fundraising was about communities, not segments. When we valued the quality of relationship above the in-year return on investment. To my delight I feel the tectonic plates shifting once more. I see global and local hashtag communities coming together to demonstrate, march and fundraise in all their messy, noisy glory.  I see the arm’s length direct marketing one-way traffic slowed by legislation, regulation and reputation.  And I see emotional and passionate people and communities back at the heart of fundraising and activism. Ironically technology has helped us to come full circle and given a voice to communities once again.  There was a point when I thought that technology would kill off Community Fundraising. But now I have hope, because they are two sides of the same coin.  So, my message to all those fantastic, entrepreneurial, innovative local charities and groups is embrace technology. Not to send one-way, direct marketing, envelopes through doors asking for £2 per month. Embrace technology to find your voice, tell your story and build your community, whether it’s on your doorstep or another continent. This is a new, reinvigorated, generation of community fundraisers.  
    1453 Posted by Leesa Harwood
  • When I started my career as a fundraiser 30 years ago, many of the things we now take for granted did not exist.  We did not have the internet, mobile phones, smart phones, e-mail or social media. A shared computer sat, neglected in the corner of the office as we struggled to use its counter-intuitive software and retreated to the familiarity of our desks, telephones, Rolodex, pens and paper.  I was a Community Fundraiser.  We had the best jobs in fundraising.  We could not compete with the glamour of the High Level Donor teams, or the prestige of the slick, suited Corporate Fundraisers. But we didn’t care because in our hearts we knew that we practiced the art of building relationships in all their human, unpredictable, chaotic, grassroots glory.  The community was the place to be. Then, one day my boss arrived and with great fanfare installed something called Windows. From that moment, the world changed quickly.  We saw unprecedented mass marketing and data crunching. Words like acquisition, retention, attrition and segmentation became part of our fundraising vocabulary. The rise of the database meant that big charities cultivated direct marketing teams who mapped out donor journeys and, in turn generated work for a vast number of creative agencies and fulfilment houses. In the mid-1990s we could feel the tectonic plates of fundraising shift.  In the big-charity world community fundraising became the poor and noisy relation of teams that delivered a better, faster, more clinical return on investment.  Technology meant that significant funds could be generated quickly at arm’s length. Suddenly there was no need to get down into the messy grassroots, or engage with challenging, complex, emotional people. Since then I have worked my way up through the fundraising ranks, to middle manager, Department Head and Director of Fundraising.  I’m no luddite, but there have been times during my career that I have hankered after the days when fundraising was about communities, not segments. When we valued the quality of relationship above the in-year return on investment. To my delight I feel the tectonic plates shifting once more. I see global and local hashtag communities coming together to demonstrate, march and fundraise in all their messy, noisy glory.  I see the arm’s length direct marketing one-way traffic slowed by legislation, regulation and reputation.  And I see emotional and passionate people and communities back at the heart of fundraising and activism. Ironically technology has helped us to come full circle and given a voice to communities once again.  There was a point when I thought that technology would kill off Community Fundraising. But now I have hope, because they are two sides of the same coin.  So, my message to all those fantastic, entrepreneurial, innovative local charities and groups is embrace technology. Not to send one-way, direct marketing, envelopes through doors asking for £2 per month. Embrace technology to find your voice, tell your story and build your community, whether it’s on your doorstep or another continent. This is a new, reinvigorated, generation of community fundraisers.  
    Mar 27, 2019 1453
  • 28 Feb 2019
    Social media is vital for the growth of every charity, and is a powerful tool to deepen relationships with your beneficiaries, donors and supporters. Having engaging conversations and interacting with your audience will help you to build trust and relationships online, which in turn can lead to increased donations, traffic and awareness. However, it’s not always easy to engage and grow your charity’s online presence – it takes time, and should be done carefully and thoughtfully. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a range of amazing local charities recently. It has become apparent that working in a small charity often means that there is a lack of resource and time to focus on growing social media. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of seven recommendations on easy ways to help your online presence: 1) Use analytics to inform your content All social media platforms have their own analytics and insights, which show a range of data, including demographic breakdown of your audience, top interests and engagement metrics. By checking these insights on a regular basis across your different social media platforms, you can discover exactly who your audience is (rather than assuming you already know), and tailor content to ensure that it resonates with your audience. For example, on Twitter you can take a deep-dive into your audience’s interests. If the majority of your audience is interested in food and cooking, you could encourage them to carry out a bake sale fundraising at their work, raising money for your charity. 2) Source content from a variety of places (and ensure it’s relevant) (Photo credit: Georgia de Lotz) If all your content is from one source, the level of growth on your social media will quickly stagnate. Ensuring that content is a mix of own publications (blogs) and external publications will keep your audience engaged. If you find it difficult to source content from different places, invest time in creating Google alerts with relevant key words, making a list of publications that post interesting industry news, following thought leaders on LinkedIn, and creating Twitter lists. All of these methods will help keep your content varied, and keep your audience engaged. Remember to keep your target audience in mind – will they find this interesting or useful? What actions will this inspire them to take?   3) Make content visual, with a particular focus on video Research shows that video drives better results. For example, Facebook video posts have the highest average engagement and, on average, will produce twice the level of engagement of other post types. With more and more brands investing in video, charities could benefit from creating their own visual content. Information is more engaging if you see your favourite brand post a funny video or GIF, or explain a process through a helpful infographic. This is also the case for your charity; you can use a variety of content types to grow your audience, using humorous or compelling, interesting content to appeal to your audience. 4) Adapt content for different platforms (Photo credit: William Iven) According to GlobalWebIndex’s flagship report on the latest trends in social media, internet users around the world actively use an average of 7.6 social media channels. Using this data, it is safe to assume that your audience will be active on several different channels, and might even be following you on multiple accounts. As a social media consumer, their expectations of what they will see on each platform will vary. Avoid using the same content in the same format, across different platforms. For example, use fun and colloquial language on Facebook, post opinions on Twitter, and industry news and opportunities on LinkedIn. In addition, make sure image sizes and description lengths are optimised for each channel – always think of the user experience. There are various tools online that can help you to achieve this, for example you can use Canva for free, allowing you to amend images to optimal sizes for each social media platform. 5) Have a process for dealing with negative comments It’s not always sunshine and rainbows in the social media world, and there are often occasions where your charity will have to deal with negative responses online. Having a process in place will allow you to deal with these types of comments in a swift and professional manner. Our simple but effective online harassment infographic will help you navigate the process, with advice on when to comment, when to ignore and when to block. 6) Know what best practice looks like on each platform The layout, functions and purpose of each social media platform are different, therefore what works well on Facebook may not work well on Instagram. By knowing the fundamental basics and best practices of each platform, it will allow you to maximise your charity’s reach and engagement with your audience. If this is an element of your social media strategy that is challenging, then check out our sister company Lightful’s best practice guides for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to help you. 7) Don’t use social media just to promote your organisation and services If you simply promote your own campaigns, you can guarantee that people will soon stop engaging with your platforms and your audience will slowly decrease in size. Social media should be about having a conversation and building relationships, posting a mix of stories about your audience, industry news and thought-leadership articles. This way, people will use your social media as a hub for information, where they can also discover more about exciting campaigns, news and your services. I hope you find this article useful; if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to find us on our 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.   
    3053 Posted by Angharad Francis
  • Social media is vital for the growth of every charity, and is a powerful tool to deepen relationships with your beneficiaries, donors and supporters. Having engaging conversations and interacting with your audience will help you to build trust and relationships online, which in turn can lead to increased donations, traffic and awareness. However, it’s not always easy to engage and grow your charity’s online presence – it takes time, and should be done carefully and thoughtfully. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a range of amazing local charities recently. It has become apparent that working in a small charity often means that there is a lack of resource and time to focus on growing social media. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of seven recommendations on easy ways to help your online presence: 1) Use analytics to inform your content All social media platforms have their own analytics and insights, which show a range of data, including demographic breakdown of your audience, top interests and engagement metrics. By checking these insights on a regular basis across your different social media platforms, you can discover exactly who your audience is (rather than assuming you already know), and tailor content to ensure that it resonates with your audience. For example, on Twitter you can take a deep-dive into your audience’s interests. If the majority of your audience is interested in food and cooking, you could encourage them to carry out a bake sale fundraising at their work, raising money for your charity. 2) Source content from a variety of places (and ensure it’s relevant) (Photo credit: Georgia de Lotz) If all your content is from one source, the level of growth on your social media will quickly stagnate. Ensuring that content is a mix of own publications (blogs) and external publications will keep your audience engaged. If you find it difficult to source content from different places, invest time in creating Google alerts with relevant key words, making a list of publications that post interesting industry news, following thought leaders on LinkedIn, and creating Twitter lists. All of these methods will help keep your content varied, and keep your audience engaged. Remember to keep your target audience in mind – will they find this interesting or useful? What actions will this inspire them to take?   3) Make content visual, with a particular focus on video Research shows that video drives better results. For example, Facebook video posts have the highest average engagement and, on average, will produce twice the level of engagement of other post types. With more and more brands investing in video, charities could benefit from creating their own visual content. Information is more engaging if you see your favourite brand post a funny video or GIF, or explain a process through a helpful infographic. This is also the case for your charity; you can use a variety of content types to grow your audience, using humorous or compelling, interesting content to appeal to your audience. 4) Adapt content for different platforms (Photo credit: William Iven) According to GlobalWebIndex’s flagship report on the latest trends in social media, internet users around the world actively use an average of 7.6 social media channels. Using this data, it is safe to assume that your audience will be active on several different channels, and might even be following you on multiple accounts. As a social media consumer, their expectations of what they will see on each platform will vary. Avoid using the same content in the same format, across different platforms. For example, use fun and colloquial language on Facebook, post opinions on Twitter, and industry news and opportunities on LinkedIn. In addition, make sure image sizes and description lengths are optimised for each channel – always think of the user experience. There are various tools online that can help you to achieve this, for example you can use Canva for free, allowing you to amend images to optimal sizes for each social media platform. 5) Have a process for dealing with negative comments It’s not always sunshine and rainbows in the social media world, and there are often occasions where your charity will have to deal with negative responses online. Having a process in place will allow you to deal with these types of comments in a swift and professional manner. Our simple but effective online harassment infographic will help you navigate the process, with advice on when to comment, when to ignore and when to block. 6) Know what best practice looks like on each platform The layout, functions and purpose of each social media platform are different, therefore what works well on Facebook may not work well on Instagram. By knowing the fundamental basics and best practices of each platform, it will allow you to maximise your charity’s reach and engagement with your audience. If this is an element of your social media strategy that is challenging, then check out our sister company Lightful’s best practice guides for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to help you. 7) Don’t use social media just to promote your organisation and services If you simply promote your own campaigns, you can guarantee that people will soon stop engaging with your platforms and your audience will slowly decrease in size. Social media should be about having a conversation and building relationships, posting a mix of stories about your audience, industry news and thought-leadership articles. This way, people will use your social media as a hub for information, where they can also discover more about exciting campaigns, news and your services. I hope you find this article useful; if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to find us on our 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.   
    Feb 28, 2019 3053
  • 25 Feb 2019
    Small and local charities often operate on a shoe string so are acutely aware of the need to balance income and expenditure whilst generating social value. Critically, each charity must generate enough income to fulfill its mission whilst meeting social objectives.    For a charity to be viable, donors, funders and supporters must be in no doubt that the money that they give to a charity will be used to make a positive change in the lives of beneficiaries.   Outcomes and long-term impact are the significant changes, benefits and learning which has resulted from an organisation’s work. All too often, charities find it easier to communicate about outputs, detailing the numbers of people who have attended an event for example (quantitative information), rather than provide the more interesting qualitative information, detailing the difference made to someone’s life following an intervention. A lack of understanding about this can have a detrimental effect on an organisation’s ability to communicate the difference they make. This is also directly linked to the ability to raise funds and write compelling proposals to funders.   At the centre of performance management and understanding impact, is the requirement for services delivered by charities to serve the needs of beneficiaries who, after all, are the reason that small and local charities exist. This includes creating projects or areas of work that will address specific problems or issues, being able to evidence that need and explain why the need exists. The ability to analyse performance is also a management tool which allows organisations to ascertain whether the services they are delivering are effective and whether they are wanted or needed by beneficiaries. With the right information about need and impact, small and local charities can develop new services based on the changing needs of beneficiaries and abandon ineffective ones.   There is an inherent need for small and local organisations to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work but with limited resources this can be difficult. A first step is to have a clear plan of what must be achieved for a project or area of work, to clearly define aims and the outcomes/impact that will be produced, along with objectives and outputs. The NCVO Charities Evaluation Services planning triangle is a simple theory of change framework which can be used to achieve this. A monitoring and evaluation framework can be created to record outcomes and outputs by defining a series of KPIs (outcome and output indicators). Learning from the evidence collected and communicating successes with the world outside, including funders, is the part that is often neglected. Understanding impact with the ability to engage supporters is vital as impact is like a commodity which is bought/funded by donors.   Impactasaurus is a free impact monitoring and reporting tool which was designed for small and local charities. It is easy to use and focuses on soft outcomes, ideal for organisations helping individuals over time. Demonstrating and learning from your impact has never been easier.     Lydia Edwards – Corporate Fundraiser and Impactasaurus volunteer who has worked in organisational development roles at CVS’ building the capacity of small/local charities and in several fundraising/communications roles.   
    2015 Posted by Lydia Edwards
  • Small and local charities often operate on a shoe string so are acutely aware of the need to balance income and expenditure whilst generating social value. Critically, each charity must generate enough income to fulfill its mission whilst meeting social objectives.    For a charity to be viable, donors, funders and supporters must be in no doubt that the money that they give to a charity will be used to make a positive change in the lives of beneficiaries.   Outcomes and long-term impact are the significant changes, benefits and learning which has resulted from an organisation’s work. All too often, charities find it easier to communicate about outputs, detailing the numbers of people who have attended an event for example (quantitative information), rather than provide the more interesting qualitative information, detailing the difference made to someone’s life following an intervention. A lack of understanding about this can have a detrimental effect on an organisation’s ability to communicate the difference they make. This is also directly linked to the ability to raise funds and write compelling proposals to funders.   At the centre of performance management and understanding impact, is the requirement for services delivered by charities to serve the needs of beneficiaries who, after all, are the reason that small and local charities exist. This includes creating projects or areas of work that will address specific problems or issues, being able to evidence that need and explain why the need exists. The ability to analyse performance is also a management tool which allows organisations to ascertain whether the services they are delivering are effective and whether they are wanted or needed by beneficiaries. With the right information about need and impact, small and local charities can develop new services based on the changing needs of beneficiaries and abandon ineffective ones.   There is an inherent need for small and local organisations to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work but with limited resources this can be difficult. A first step is to have a clear plan of what must be achieved for a project or area of work, to clearly define aims and the outcomes/impact that will be produced, along with objectives and outputs. The NCVO Charities Evaluation Services planning triangle is a simple theory of change framework which can be used to achieve this. A monitoring and evaluation framework can be created to record outcomes and outputs by defining a series of KPIs (outcome and output indicators). Learning from the evidence collected and communicating successes with the world outside, including funders, is the part that is often neglected. Understanding impact with the ability to engage supporters is vital as impact is like a commodity which is bought/funded by donors.   Impactasaurus is a free impact monitoring and reporting tool which was designed for small and local charities. It is easy to use and focuses on soft outcomes, ideal for organisations helping individuals over time. Demonstrating and learning from your impact has never been easier.     Lydia Edwards – Corporate Fundraiser and Impactasaurus volunteer who has worked in organisational development roles at CVS’ building the capacity of small/local charities and in several fundraising/communications roles.   
    Feb 25, 2019 2015
  • 14 Feb 2019
    Recruiting trustees is an ongoing challenge for charities. The latest statistics suggest there are more than 100,000  unfilled charity trustee vacancies in the UK, with 74% of charities reporting difficulties hiring the trustees they need in 2018. It’s not only recruiting trustees that is challenging, it’s recruiting trustees with the right skills. Many charities face serious skills gaps, for instance many lack relevant legal, digital and marketing skills at board level. Increasingly, trustee boards are recognising the need to recruit trustees with more diverse skills, from a variety of different professional backgrounds to improve their effectiveness. The Charity Commission’s Taken on Trust report found that out of 700,000 trustees, two-thirds were male, the average age is 55-64 and 92% are white. The report highlighted there is a “danger that charity boards might become myopic in their views and in their decision-making”.  So how can charities ensure they have a diverse board with a broad range of skills and experience and that this is maintained? Here are some tips for recruiting Trustees in 2019: Conduct a skills audit Carry out a skills audit to check what skills the board already has and where the gaps may lie. Also check when the term of office is over for current trustees, so you can plan accordingly and ensure good succession planning. Think about your charitable objectives What is your mission? Does the board reflect the community you are serving? For instance, if you are a youth charity, can you appoint some younger trustees on the board that understand the issues younger people face today. If this is the case, you may need to change things to accommodate them. Younger trustees might not be able to take time out of their working day to attend meetings, so you may need to hold evening meetings instead.   Clear role description Conduct an audit of the competencies, knowledge and experience needed for the role and recruit in line with that brief. Make sure you have a clear vision of what your ideal new trustee will be like. Think about why someone would be interested in coming to volunteer for you. Robust recruitment process Plan the recruitment process properly scheduling in all activities and making sure those involved in the process are fully briefed. Recruiting a new trustee can take several weeks, so make sure you allow the time to do it well. Communication channels To attract the best talent, charities need to look outside their immediate networks. This may mean using communication channels such as social media. Think about where the people you would like to attract would be likely to see your advert – whether it's a local venue, specialist press, a volunteering website or elsewhere. Advertise the role Write a punchy advertising post it on your website and link to this via your social media networks. If you produce a newsletter, make sure you include the advert. Also use your current networks and engage the whole board in the process. Make sure everyone knows there is a trustee vacancy available. Use a specialist recruitment firm Consider using a professional recruitment firm with a track record of recruiting trustees. A recruitment firm will have a huge database of professionals seeking trustee roles and will able to match candidates to your exact requirements. Many companies offer a cost-effective service based on the size of the organisation. Be clear about the decision making process This needs to be clear upfront to avoid surprises later. Have a clear process for informal meetings, tours of services and interviews and who will conduct these. Interviews should be evidence based to test motivation as well as skills and experience. Make sure you always take verbal references at interview stage. Engaging new trustees A great induction can make all the difference to engage new trustees. It can also be useful for charities to assign a buddy to mentor and support new trustees. We find this can help new recruits get up to speed quickly and learn some historical details about the work of the trustees, which will help them feel more able to participate from the start at board meetings. Remember, trustees are custodians of the whole organisation, so recruiting the right people who will fit culturally with the organisation is crucial. Recruitment is an opportunity to talk about what the charity does and spread the word about the great work you are doing. The process itself can help to induct new trustees making them feel part of the organisation by the time they’re formally appointed. Sophie Livingstone is Managing Director of Trustees Unlimited. She is also Chair of early years charity Little Village and a trustee of the Royal Voluntary Service and of youth social action charity Generation Change, which she co-founded in 2013. Sophie also provides leadership to our burgeoning Step on Board programme which is transforming senior level employee volunteering.    
    2679 Posted by Sophie Livingstone
  • Recruiting trustees is an ongoing challenge for charities. The latest statistics suggest there are more than 100,000  unfilled charity trustee vacancies in the UK, with 74% of charities reporting difficulties hiring the trustees they need in 2018. It’s not only recruiting trustees that is challenging, it’s recruiting trustees with the right skills. Many charities face serious skills gaps, for instance many lack relevant legal, digital and marketing skills at board level. Increasingly, trustee boards are recognising the need to recruit trustees with more diverse skills, from a variety of different professional backgrounds to improve their effectiveness. The Charity Commission’s Taken on Trust report found that out of 700,000 trustees, two-thirds were male, the average age is 55-64 and 92% are white. The report highlighted there is a “danger that charity boards might become myopic in their views and in their decision-making”.  So how can charities ensure they have a diverse board with a broad range of skills and experience and that this is maintained? Here are some tips for recruiting Trustees in 2019: Conduct a skills audit Carry out a skills audit to check what skills the board already has and where the gaps may lie. Also check when the term of office is over for current trustees, so you can plan accordingly and ensure good succession planning. Think about your charitable objectives What is your mission? Does the board reflect the community you are serving? For instance, if you are a youth charity, can you appoint some younger trustees on the board that understand the issues younger people face today. If this is the case, you may need to change things to accommodate them. Younger trustees might not be able to take time out of their working day to attend meetings, so you may need to hold evening meetings instead.   Clear role description Conduct an audit of the competencies, knowledge and experience needed for the role and recruit in line with that brief. Make sure you have a clear vision of what your ideal new trustee will be like. Think about why someone would be interested in coming to volunteer for you. Robust recruitment process Plan the recruitment process properly scheduling in all activities and making sure those involved in the process are fully briefed. Recruiting a new trustee can take several weeks, so make sure you allow the time to do it well. Communication channels To attract the best talent, charities need to look outside their immediate networks. This may mean using communication channels such as social media. Think about where the people you would like to attract would be likely to see your advert – whether it's a local venue, specialist press, a volunteering website or elsewhere. Advertise the role Write a punchy advertising post it on your website and link to this via your social media networks. If you produce a newsletter, make sure you include the advert. Also use your current networks and engage the whole board in the process. Make sure everyone knows there is a trustee vacancy available. Use a specialist recruitment firm Consider using a professional recruitment firm with a track record of recruiting trustees. A recruitment firm will have a huge database of professionals seeking trustee roles and will able to match candidates to your exact requirements. Many companies offer a cost-effective service based on the size of the organisation. Be clear about the decision making process This needs to be clear upfront to avoid surprises later. Have a clear process for informal meetings, tours of services and interviews and who will conduct these. Interviews should be evidence based to test motivation as well as skills and experience. Make sure you always take verbal references at interview stage. Engaging new trustees A great induction can make all the difference to engage new trustees. It can also be useful for charities to assign a buddy to mentor and support new trustees. We find this can help new recruits get up to speed quickly and learn some historical details about the work of the trustees, which will help them feel more able to participate from the start at board meetings. Remember, trustees are custodians of the whole organisation, so recruiting the right people who will fit culturally with the organisation is crucial. Recruitment is an opportunity to talk about what the charity does and spread the word about the great work you are doing. The process itself can help to induct new trustees making them feel part of the organisation by the time they’re formally appointed. Sophie Livingstone is Managing Director of Trustees Unlimited. She is also Chair of early years charity Little Village and a trustee of the Royal Voluntary Service and of youth social action charity Generation Change, which she co-founded in 2013. Sophie also provides leadership to our burgeoning Step on Board programme which is transforming senior level employee volunteering.    
    Feb 14, 2019 2679
  • 29 Jan 2019
    Precious Sithole (CEO, Social Practice ENT) With 2018 having been marred in part by scandals, it is safe to conclude that now more than ever, all charities small and large must consider having a code of ethics in place. At Social Practice ENT, we work with charities to promote socially responsible practices that ultimately help improve the sector. In this guide, we share our 3 top tips to successfully integrate ethics into your fundraising strategy in 2019. 1: Start at organisational level A good fundraising strategy flows from the overall organisational strategy. Likewise, before focusing on ethics at a functional (fundraising) level, it’s worth first considering your charity’s ethical position at organisational level. Ask yourself, what are the charity’s core values and principles? What are the core values and principles of the trustees and chief executive, as individuals? Is there congruence — do the values of the individuals align with those of the charity? Having this information to hand will be useful when it comes to resolving ethical issues and assessing suitability of relationships with new funding partners and individuals. This ultimately helps to ensure that you put your core values at the heart of everything you do. If you do not have a code of ethics for your charity, there is a wealth of resources available online to guide you, including ACEVO’s report titled ‘leading with values’ and NCVO’s newly published set of ethical principles for voluntary organisations. 2: Consider the intersection of regulatory compliance and ethics Now that you have your charity’s values and principles established, you can focus on your fundraising strategy. Firstly, consider familiarising yourself with the Code of Fundraising Practice issued by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) — and make an honest commitment to adhere to it. Remember, ethical decisionmaking is not just simply complying with regulatory guidance; rather, it is more about making a conscious decision to uphold high standards and ‘live your values’. Adhering to the code will help to ensure that your fundraising activities are legal, open, honest and respectful. Additionally, hold third parties that you enter into partnership agreements with to the same high standards that you hold yourselves. After all, it’s very easy for external partnerships to bring the name of your charity into disrepute. 3. Ensure a monitoring mechanism is in place The final step in any planning process is to monitor and review progress. Consider placing an ethical fundraising policy on your website, somewhere it can be easily accessed by interested parties Include a complaints handling procedure, to ensure that any issues noted by the public can easily be brought to your attention. Also consider setting a date within 12 months, to review the ethical components of your strategy at board level. For charities with resource constraints, monitoring and reviewing ethical procedures may be at the bottom of the priority list. However, it pays to be ethical — as a good ethical working environment: increases employee morale; reduces the risk of reputational damage as a result of scandals arising; and increases employee willingness to report issues of misconduct to senior management.   
    1306 Posted by Precious Sithole
  • Precious Sithole (CEO, Social Practice ENT) With 2018 having been marred in part by scandals, it is safe to conclude that now more than ever, all charities small and large must consider having a code of ethics in place. At Social Practice ENT, we work with charities to promote socially responsible practices that ultimately help improve the sector. In this guide, we share our 3 top tips to successfully integrate ethics into your fundraising strategy in 2019. 1: Start at organisational level A good fundraising strategy flows from the overall organisational strategy. Likewise, before focusing on ethics at a functional (fundraising) level, it’s worth first considering your charity’s ethical position at organisational level. Ask yourself, what are the charity’s core values and principles? What are the core values and principles of the trustees and chief executive, as individuals? Is there congruence — do the values of the individuals align with those of the charity? Having this information to hand will be useful when it comes to resolving ethical issues and assessing suitability of relationships with new funding partners and individuals. This ultimately helps to ensure that you put your core values at the heart of everything you do. If you do not have a code of ethics for your charity, there is a wealth of resources available online to guide you, including ACEVO’s report titled ‘leading with values’ and NCVO’s newly published set of ethical principles for voluntary organisations. 2: Consider the intersection of regulatory compliance and ethics Now that you have your charity’s values and principles established, you can focus on your fundraising strategy. Firstly, consider familiarising yourself with the Code of Fundraising Practice issued by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) — and make an honest commitment to adhere to it. Remember, ethical decisionmaking is not just simply complying with regulatory guidance; rather, it is more about making a conscious decision to uphold high standards and ‘live your values’. Adhering to the code will help to ensure that your fundraising activities are legal, open, honest and respectful. Additionally, hold third parties that you enter into partnership agreements with to the same high standards that you hold yourselves. After all, it’s very easy for external partnerships to bring the name of your charity into disrepute. 3. Ensure a monitoring mechanism is in place The final step in any planning process is to monitor and review progress. Consider placing an ethical fundraising policy on your website, somewhere it can be easily accessed by interested parties Include a complaints handling procedure, to ensure that any issues noted by the public can easily be brought to your attention. Also consider setting a date within 12 months, to review the ethical components of your strategy at board level. For charities with resource constraints, monitoring and reviewing ethical procedures may be at the bottom of the priority list. However, it pays to be ethical — as a good ethical working environment: increases employee morale; reduces the risk of reputational damage as a result of scandals arising; and increases employee willingness to report issues of misconduct to senior management.   
    Jan 29, 2019 1306
  • 14 Jan 2019
    No matter what sector you’re working in and what social issue you’re working to address, every small charity shares the same challenge. Everyone is spending substantial time fundraising - whether it’s from the government, corporates or individuals. In this hugely competitive landscape charities are increasingly finding their offering pressed, having to either compromise their quality of service in order to be competitive or dedicating valuable resource to endless bid writing and event organisation. We’ve been looking at this for a long time; how do you create a sustainable income stream, and how can you make this fit with your overall mission? We’re a charity, not a social enterprise A registered charity can still be a social enterprise. If you’re already running a shop or selling items to raise money to reinvest into the activities that make a difference to people - just like Mums in need in Sheffield - you’re already halfway there. Of course, running a shop isn’t for everyone, it’s still time and labour intensive - and you need to have premises, volunteers and budget for overheads.   Developing a meaningful concept First and foremost in creating a sustainable income stream is coming up with an idea. You need to identify something which fits into your overall mission, preferably which has a social impact, whilst raising funds at the same time. Wristbands, lapel pins and even giant daffodils are great for awareness and brand building, but if you want to create something which is truly impactful on a social level you need something that tells your story. Knightsof.media is a good example of this. Investment Think about the cost of development time and resource, but also where are you going to get the funds to get your idea off the ground? Do you believe the concept is strong enough to warrant investing time in it? Can you allocate a proportion of your budget to it or do you need to look externally for funding? Crowd Funding You have your idea and believe it’s strong enough to invest time in, but you don’t have funds. Crowdfunding sites are great platforms to use, but you only get the money committed to the project if you reach your full goal. In our case, our crowdfunding campaign didn’t reach our target, but it generated awareness and ultimately a single donor who believed enough in our idea to give us the full financial backing we needed. Timing Bear in mind that for any new enterprise it can take up to three years for an idea to start generating a profit for you. A sustainable income stream is not an overnight solution to short-term cash flow. Together Equal - Our Solution Our aim as a not-for-profit is to support small, independent charities working towards equality by helping to develop a sustainable income stream through these conversation cards. We really believe that by driving conversations around key talking points we’re building awareness, consideration and ultimately deeper understanding of the challenges arising from the lack of equality in our society. Our roots are in working within the VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) charity sector so this first set of conversation cards has been developed in association with our charity partners -  specifically The Dash Charity. Together Equal drafted an initial list of questions which we then refined with Dash, replacing some with questions that came from their education team so we ended up with a deck that we are all really happy with. How it works Our charity partners take the cards from us at cost, enabling them to retain all profits for themselves. We use the money returned to produce further sets of cards. We ourselves raised our first round of funding indirectly via Kickstarter. Whilst our current cards address issues around gender we’re keen to support charities focusing on equality across all aspects of society. If you’re reading this and think it could work for you, please get in touch! Sarah is co-founder at Together Equal, specialising in producing conversation cards which raise money for charities while having a social impact by creating conversations which challenge social stereotypes. Follow Sarah and Together Equal @betogetherequal @sarahairdmash.  
    1384 Posted by Sarah Aird-Mash
  • No matter what sector you’re working in and what social issue you’re working to address, every small charity shares the same challenge. Everyone is spending substantial time fundraising - whether it’s from the government, corporates or individuals. In this hugely competitive landscape charities are increasingly finding their offering pressed, having to either compromise their quality of service in order to be competitive or dedicating valuable resource to endless bid writing and event organisation. We’ve been looking at this for a long time; how do you create a sustainable income stream, and how can you make this fit with your overall mission? We’re a charity, not a social enterprise A registered charity can still be a social enterprise. If you’re already running a shop or selling items to raise money to reinvest into the activities that make a difference to people - just like Mums in need in Sheffield - you’re already halfway there. Of course, running a shop isn’t for everyone, it’s still time and labour intensive - and you need to have premises, volunteers and budget for overheads.   Developing a meaningful concept First and foremost in creating a sustainable income stream is coming up with an idea. You need to identify something which fits into your overall mission, preferably which has a social impact, whilst raising funds at the same time. Wristbands, lapel pins and even giant daffodils are great for awareness and brand building, but if you want to create something which is truly impactful on a social level you need something that tells your story. Knightsof.media is a good example of this. Investment Think about the cost of development time and resource, but also where are you going to get the funds to get your idea off the ground? Do you believe the concept is strong enough to warrant investing time in it? Can you allocate a proportion of your budget to it or do you need to look externally for funding? Crowd Funding You have your idea and believe it’s strong enough to invest time in, but you don’t have funds. Crowdfunding sites are great platforms to use, but you only get the money committed to the project if you reach your full goal. In our case, our crowdfunding campaign didn’t reach our target, but it generated awareness and ultimately a single donor who believed enough in our idea to give us the full financial backing we needed. Timing Bear in mind that for any new enterprise it can take up to three years for an idea to start generating a profit for you. A sustainable income stream is not an overnight solution to short-term cash flow. Together Equal - Our Solution Our aim as a not-for-profit is to support small, independent charities working towards equality by helping to develop a sustainable income stream through these conversation cards. We really believe that by driving conversations around key talking points we’re building awareness, consideration and ultimately deeper understanding of the challenges arising from the lack of equality in our society. Our roots are in working within the VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) charity sector so this first set of conversation cards has been developed in association with our charity partners -  specifically The Dash Charity. Together Equal drafted an initial list of questions which we then refined with Dash, replacing some with questions that came from their education team so we ended up with a deck that we are all really happy with. How it works Our charity partners take the cards from us at cost, enabling them to retain all profits for themselves. We use the money returned to produce further sets of cards. We ourselves raised our first round of funding indirectly via Kickstarter. Whilst our current cards address issues around gender we’re keen to support charities focusing on equality across all aspects of society. If you’re reading this and think it could work for you, please get in touch! Sarah is co-founder at Together Equal, specialising in producing conversation cards which raise money for charities while having a social impact by creating conversations which challenge social stereotypes. Follow Sarah and Together Equal @betogetherequal @sarahairdmash.  
    Jan 14, 2019 1384
  • 21 Nov 2018
    For small charities, every single penny and moment of time counts. Digital work is essential, but tough. It’s time consuming, technical and extremely important. For many small to medium sized charities, managing digital activity means squeezing it in whenever there’s time, and frantically Googling the technical stuff they don’t understand in the hope that we might get a basic grasp of something other people have spent years learning how to do. That’s why we at Platypus Digital created Control R, the world’s first free online training course in digital marketing skills developed solely for non-profits. Here’s why you should sign up. You’ll learn all the basics of everything Ok, we can’t teach you absolutely everything, because even we don’t know it all. But we can teach you the basics of Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, Google Adwords, email campaigns, search engine optimisation and a whole host more. You’ll learn how to set campaigns up correctly, how to monitor them properly, how to optimise them effectively, and how to tie everything together into one amazing, synchronised strategy that achieves your objectives. It’s bitesized If you’re anything like us, 9 to 5 training days just aren’t for you. All too often, we’ve forgotten half the stuff we were taught in the morning by the end of the day. The Control R series is split into really easy to digest sessions that last no longer than 40 mins each. You get emailed a session once a week so you won’t get overwhelmed. You’ll complete the course in seven weeks.  We specialise in charity comms The entire Control R training series was developed on behalf of charities. That means no lengthy sections about ecommerce or branding that don’t apply to you. Platypus Digital specialises in digital marketing for charities, which means we know exactly what you need to achieve, how tightly you have to budget, and how much pressure you’re under to make every penny count. If you work in charity digital comms, you’ll struggle to find a training course that can teach you as much about talking specifically to donors, volunteers and fundraisers as this one will. Thousands of charity comms staff are already benefitting Our Control R series has helped over 1,100 participants so far, and in a variety of roles from Trustees to Coordinators. 75% of them rated the training as a 4 out of 5 when asked how actionable it was against their everyday work, which mean this really is a course that can help everyone. Control R was developed for the 99.9% of charities who will never benefit from an ice bucket challenge or a no-makeup selfie, but we count some really notable names amongst our students, and 100% of our trainees said they would recommend Control R to their charity colleagues. We’re thrilled that the series is helping lots of charity employees, because most of us are working to make the world a better place. By helping you deliver stirling campaigns, we’re helping your beneficiaries, and that’s what Platypus Digital is all about. How do I sign up? You can sign up for the Control R series here We’ll send you a video a week, but you can watch them whenever you like. At the end of our seven week course, you’ll have a much better understanding of charity digital marketing, and how everything ties in together to form complementary campaign activity. See you online!    
    1703 Posted by Matt Collins
  • For small charities, every single penny and moment of time counts. Digital work is essential, but tough. It’s time consuming, technical and extremely important. For many small to medium sized charities, managing digital activity means squeezing it in whenever there’s time, and frantically Googling the technical stuff they don’t understand in the hope that we might get a basic grasp of something other people have spent years learning how to do. That’s why we at Platypus Digital created Control R, the world’s first free online training course in digital marketing skills developed solely for non-profits. Here’s why you should sign up. You’ll learn all the basics of everything Ok, we can’t teach you absolutely everything, because even we don’t know it all. But we can teach you the basics of Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, Google Adwords, email campaigns, search engine optimisation and a whole host more. You’ll learn how to set campaigns up correctly, how to monitor them properly, how to optimise them effectively, and how to tie everything together into one amazing, synchronised strategy that achieves your objectives. It’s bitesized If you’re anything like us, 9 to 5 training days just aren’t for you. All too often, we’ve forgotten half the stuff we were taught in the morning by the end of the day. The Control R series is split into really easy to digest sessions that last no longer than 40 mins each. You get emailed a session once a week so you won’t get overwhelmed. You’ll complete the course in seven weeks.  We specialise in charity comms The entire Control R training series was developed on behalf of charities. That means no lengthy sections about ecommerce or branding that don’t apply to you. Platypus Digital specialises in digital marketing for charities, which means we know exactly what you need to achieve, how tightly you have to budget, and how much pressure you’re under to make every penny count. If you work in charity digital comms, you’ll struggle to find a training course that can teach you as much about talking specifically to donors, volunteers and fundraisers as this one will. Thousands of charity comms staff are already benefitting Our Control R series has helped over 1,100 participants so far, and in a variety of roles from Trustees to Coordinators. 75% of them rated the training as a 4 out of 5 when asked how actionable it was against their everyday work, which mean this really is a course that can help everyone. Control R was developed for the 99.9% of charities who will never benefit from an ice bucket challenge or a no-makeup selfie, but we count some really notable names amongst our students, and 100% of our trainees said they would recommend Control R to their charity colleagues. We’re thrilled that the series is helping lots of charity employees, because most of us are working to make the world a better place. By helping you deliver stirling campaigns, we’re helping your beneficiaries, and that’s what Platypus Digital is all about. How do I sign up? You can sign up for the Control R series here We’ll send you a video a week, but you can watch them whenever you like. At the end of our seven week course, you’ll have a much better understanding of charity digital marketing, and how everything ties in together to form complementary campaign activity. See you online!    
    Nov 21, 2018 1703
  • 23 Oct 2018
    When the spirits rise with ghastly cries, and the maggots crawl from hollow eyes, and the hairy-legged spiders creep and the reaper comes to help you sleep… Halloween is nearly here, but have not fear!  With a little creativity, this can be an excellent fundraising opportunity for your charity or cause. Here are a few ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre!   Hold a creepy costume contest One of the most fun parts of Halloween is the dressing up. Why not ask your supporters to make a small donation to take part in a fancy dress competition or even put on a frightening fashion show? Run a spooky walk in your neighbourhood Every neighbourhood has its haunted houses, rumours of people coming to ghastly ends and lost spirits that still roam the alleys in the dead of night. Run a midnight walk and see if you can raise the dead (or at least raise some funds)? Make your home a haunted house If you’ve got the space, why not convert your home or office into a haunted house. This is a chance to be really creative –cobwebs on the bannisters, skeletons in the closet, fog machines and pumpkin lined walkways. You could even ask people to dress up and jump out at your visitors to give them that extra adrenaline rush! Bake some terrifying treats With a bit of thought, a Halloween themed meal (spicy (be)-devilled potatoes anyone) or creepy cupcake sale will go down a storm.  If you’re feeling really mean you could even add a trick to some of your treats with a pinch of chilli or wasabi! Pumpkin carving competition  We’ve all marvelled at our neighbour’s beautifully carved porch pumpkins. Well, why not make a little cash from their talent! Ask your friends, neighbours and colleagues to take part in a pumpkin carving competition. Ask for a small donation to enter or for people to view the edible exhibit! Here at Localgiving we're always keen to learn about your fundraising actitivities and ideas. Please send us your Halloween images, tweets and posts and we'll be happy to share them - hopefully helping you to hit your fundraising GHOULS!!!  
    2263 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • When the spirits rise with ghastly cries, and the maggots crawl from hollow eyes, and the hairy-legged spiders creep and the reaper comes to help you sleep… Halloween is nearly here, but have not fear!  With a little creativity, this can be an excellent fundraising opportunity for your charity or cause. Here are a few ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre!   Hold a creepy costume contest One of the most fun parts of Halloween is the dressing up. Why not ask your supporters to make a small donation to take part in a fancy dress competition or even put on a frightening fashion show? Run a spooky walk in your neighbourhood Every neighbourhood has its haunted houses, rumours of people coming to ghastly ends and lost spirits that still roam the alleys in the dead of night. Run a midnight walk and see if you can raise the dead (or at least raise some funds)? Make your home a haunted house If you’ve got the space, why not convert your home or office into a haunted house. This is a chance to be really creative –cobwebs on the bannisters, skeletons in the closet, fog machines and pumpkin lined walkways. You could even ask people to dress up and jump out at your visitors to give them that extra adrenaline rush! Bake some terrifying treats With a bit of thought, a Halloween themed meal (spicy (be)-devilled potatoes anyone) or creepy cupcake sale will go down a storm.  If you’re feeling really mean you could even add a trick to some of your treats with a pinch of chilli or wasabi! Pumpkin carving competition  We’ve all marvelled at our neighbour’s beautifully carved porch pumpkins. Well, why not make a little cash from their talent! Ask your friends, neighbours and colleagues to take part in a pumpkin carving competition. Ask for a small donation to enter or for people to view the edible exhibit! Here at Localgiving we're always keen to learn about your fundraising actitivities and ideas. Please send us your Halloween images, tweets and posts and we'll be happy to share them - hopefully helping you to hit your fundraising GHOULS!!!  
    Oct 23, 2018 2263
  • 16 Oct 2018
    Your charity does amazing things. You know this, we know this – but do your potential donors or volunteers know this? While it is true that we live in an increasingly visual world, it is important not to underestimate the enduring power of persuasive writing. It (literally) pays to spend time on crafting your copy. Your browser does not support the video tag. In this blog I give six essential copywriting tips to help you raise awareness and bring in funding for your cause. Know your audience Before you put digit to key, the most important question should always be ‘who am I writing for and why?’ We all care about different causes. In most cases our interests are dictated by our characteristics and life experiences. Think carefully about what demographic you are writing for and how best to engage, gain the trust and motivate this audience. Harness the power of human stories Mastering the art of emotional engagement is vital for any copywriter, none more so than for those of us working with and for charities. One of the most effective ways to do this is through focussing on human stories.  Try to find a simple, memorable story that encapsulates the work that your organisation does and the impact it makes (to a charity marketer this should be the holy grail). Whenever possible, try to include direct quotes from your beneficiaries or clients. This not only makes your copy more emotionally engaging but also helps to build trust with your audience. Choose your stats wisely While an excessive use of numbers may be a turn-off, carefully chosen and positioned statistics can both hook readers in and motivate them to act. Statistics can be used both to show your charity fully understands an issue and to succinctly convey the impact of your own work.   Keep it simple When we are passionate about a cause, it is tempting to tell people everything about the need for our work and the impact we make.  Equally, for lovers of words, it may be frustrating to be told to tone down your language. However, with attention getting shorter, complex arguments and florid prose are better kept for elsewhere. Ask yourself what your reader really needs to know and be ruthless with the rest. Spend time on your subject line We’ve all done it. Worked for hours honing our perfect piece of copy and then quickly cobbled together a subject line or title. However, as the tabloids have proven year on year out, a bold, controversial or catchy headline can make a huge difference. Infact, this is why professional headline writers exist! A good starting point when writing title or headline is to follow the ‘4 R’s’: Urgent, Unique, Useful, and Ultra-specific. Time and tailor your ask Think of each paragraph you write as part of your reader’s  journey, a journey that leads to your call to action. Charities too often describe their groups’ activities and then tag on a quick, loosely related call-to-action at the end. If we want people to donate, volunteer their time, or share our message, you need to consider when the most effective time will be to ask for their support (i.e. at what point your reader will be most motivated to act). Sometimes, this may be at the start to instill a sense of urgency; other times it will come towards the end after having made a robust argument for your cause. And remember, the call-to-action itself should be as  simple, persuasive and specific as possible. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Writing great copy will always be as much about magic as maths. However, following these six tips will go a long way to helping you attract the supporters, donors or fundraisers you need!    Was this blog helpful? Why not check out the following blogs too: 5 of the best free design tools to help your charity shine 3 Charities To Have On Your Radar For Social Media Inspiration
    3512 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Your charity does amazing things. You know this, we know this – but do your potential donors or volunteers know this? While it is true that we live in an increasingly visual world, it is important not to underestimate the enduring power of persuasive writing. It (literally) pays to spend time on crafting your copy. Your browser does not support the video tag. In this blog I give six essential copywriting tips to help you raise awareness and bring in funding for your cause. Know your audience Before you put digit to key, the most important question should always be ‘who am I writing for and why?’ We all care about different causes. In most cases our interests are dictated by our characteristics and life experiences. Think carefully about what demographic you are writing for and how best to engage, gain the trust and motivate this audience. Harness the power of human stories Mastering the art of emotional engagement is vital for any copywriter, none more so than for those of us working with and for charities. One of the most effective ways to do this is through focussing on human stories.  Try to find a simple, memorable story that encapsulates the work that your organisation does and the impact it makes (to a charity marketer this should be the holy grail). Whenever possible, try to include direct quotes from your beneficiaries or clients. This not only makes your copy more emotionally engaging but also helps to build trust with your audience. Choose your stats wisely While an excessive use of numbers may be a turn-off, carefully chosen and positioned statistics can both hook readers in and motivate them to act. Statistics can be used both to show your charity fully understands an issue and to succinctly convey the impact of your own work.   Keep it simple When we are passionate about a cause, it is tempting to tell people everything about the need for our work and the impact we make.  Equally, for lovers of words, it may be frustrating to be told to tone down your language. However, with attention getting shorter, complex arguments and florid prose are better kept for elsewhere. Ask yourself what your reader really needs to know and be ruthless with the rest. Spend time on your subject line We’ve all done it. Worked for hours honing our perfect piece of copy and then quickly cobbled together a subject line or title. However, as the tabloids have proven year on year out, a bold, controversial or catchy headline can make a huge difference. Infact, this is why professional headline writers exist! A good starting point when writing title or headline is to follow the ‘4 R’s’: Urgent, Unique, Useful, and Ultra-specific. Time and tailor your ask Think of each paragraph you write as part of your reader’s  journey, a journey that leads to your call to action. Charities too often describe their groups’ activities and then tag on a quick, loosely related call-to-action at the end. If we want people to donate, volunteer their time, or share our message, you need to consider when the most effective time will be to ask for their support (i.e. at what point your reader will be most motivated to act). Sometimes, this may be at the start to instill a sense of urgency; other times it will come towards the end after having made a robust argument for your cause. And remember, the call-to-action itself should be as  simple, persuasive and specific as possible. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Writing great copy will always be as much about magic as maths. However, following these six tips will go a long way to helping you attract the supporters, donors or fundraisers you need!    Was this blog helpful? Why not check out the following blogs too: 5 of the best free design tools to help your charity shine 3 Charities To Have On Your Radar For Social Media Inspiration
    Oct 16, 2018 3512
  • 08 Oct 2018
    Senior managers and trustees of charities and social enterprises face a myriad of challenges. Managing a business is difficult enough. Running a social enterprise or a charity, which obliges you to search for innovative funding opportunities, deal with budgetary pressures caused by Government policies, put together engaging fundraising campaigns (often on shoe-string budgets), help clients who are suffering from complex issues and a complete a cornucopia of other tasks; can put enormous strain on your personal life, relationships, and mental well-being. Here are a few tips on how to reduce this strain and make your team happier and more productive. Train Your Team To Prepare For All Eventualities No organisation wants a stressed member of their team to slip and break their leg while contributing to an outreach programme. Your team could lose that colleague for months while they recover. In the same way, these organisations should ensure that the emotional challenges experienced by their workers and volunteers every day, by cases involving complex issues like drug addiction and violence, do not leave them feeling forced to withdraw from their roles due to mental ill-health because of these experiences. By training your senior management to give staff the tools to manage stress effectively and recover emotionally from traumatic experiences, you can reduce the risk of losing valuable staff for long periods due to sick leave caused by mental ill-health. Turn Your Work Team Into A Sports Team Exercise provides a fantastic opportunity to reduce stress. The positive endorphins released by the brain whenever you engage in physical activity will help you to put everything into perspective and approach the issue at hand from a different perspective. It’s difficult to stress about Monday’s emails while you’re trying not to get hit in the face by a squash ball. Plus, sports can foster a fantastic team spirit among your staff. What’s not to love? Eat And Sleep Well Being tired and hungry is hardly going to make you feel less stressed. Healthy diets and sleep patterns are essential for your colleagues’ mental well-being. Write Down How You Feel Sometimes you just need to let everything out. Particularly if you have had to deal with eight gruelling hours of difficult situations. Your notepad provides a brilliant outlet for these feelings. Writing can also let you detail the brighter aspects of your role. Writing and reading out funny stories about your job will help everyone to feel less stressed.   How We Can Help At Altruist Enterprises, we can sit down with you and create strategies to help your team manage the stresses involved in their day-to-day responsibilities, so that minor issues do not develop into emotionally draining crises. We have helped organisations across the country to increase their staff’s mental well-being and consequently, their motivation to boost that organisation’s growth. For more information on how we can help your team to eliminate stress, please click here.   Katie Buckingham is the Founder and Director of Altruist Enterprises; a passionate and caring provider of Resilience, Stress Management and Mental Health at Work training to organisations nationally. Find out more here www.altruistuk.com   
    1960 Posted by Katie Buckingham
  • Senior managers and trustees of charities and social enterprises face a myriad of challenges. Managing a business is difficult enough. Running a social enterprise or a charity, which obliges you to search for innovative funding opportunities, deal with budgetary pressures caused by Government policies, put together engaging fundraising campaigns (often on shoe-string budgets), help clients who are suffering from complex issues and a complete a cornucopia of other tasks; can put enormous strain on your personal life, relationships, and mental well-being. Here are a few tips on how to reduce this strain and make your team happier and more productive. Train Your Team To Prepare For All Eventualities No organisation wants a stressed member of their team to slip and break their leg while contributing to an outreach programme. Your team could lose that colleague for months while they recover. In the same way, these organisations should ensure that the emotional challenges experienced by their workers and volunteers every day, by cases involving complex issues like drug addiction and violence, do not leave them feeling forced to withdraw from their roles due to mental ill-health because of these experiences. By training your senior management to give staff the tools to manage stress effectively and recover emotionally from traumatic experiences, you can reduce the risk of losing valuable staff for long periods due to sick leave caused by mental ill-health. Turn Your Work Team Into A Sports Team Exercise provides a fantastic opportunity to reduce stress. The positive endorphins released by the brain whenever you engage in physical activity will help you to put everything into perspective and approach the issue at hand from a different perspective. It’s difficult to stress about Monday’s emails while you’re trying not to get hit in the face by a squash ball. Plus, sports can foster a fantastic team spirit among your staff. What’s not to love? Eat And Sleep Well Being tired and hungry is hardly going to make you feel less stressed. Healthy diets and sleep patterns are essential for your colleagues’ mental well-being. Write Down How You Feel Sometimes you just need to let everything out. Particularly if you have had to deal with eight gruelling hours of difficult situations. Your notepad provides a brilliant outlet for these feelings. Writing can also let you detail the brighter aspects of your role. Writing and reading out funny stories about your job will help everyone to feel less stressed.   How We Can Help At Altruist Enterprises, we can sit down with you and create strategies to help your team manage the stresses involved in their day-to-day responsibilities, so that minor issues do not develop into emotionally draining crises. We have helped organisations across the country to increase their staff’s mental well-being and consequently, their motivation to boost that organisation’s growth. For more information on how we can help your team to eliminate stress, please click here.   Katie Buckingham is the Founder and Director of Altruist Enterprises; a passionate and caring provider of Resilience, Stress Management and Mental Health at Work training to organisations nationally. Find out more here www.altruistuk.com   
    Oct 08, 2018 1960