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  • 10 Nov 2015
    There is a real sense of excitement when you see donations being made to local groups, especially when you have the connection with them to know the impact those donations will have – whether that’s the ability to pay for new uniforms for staff, helping to pay the rent on their building or paying for a training programme. Our September Match-fund was particularly exciting for me because it was the first campaign I have been involved in since taking up the post of Localgiving Coordinator in Northern  Ireland. For some groups, this was the first time they had ever fundraised online, while others were seasoned pros. In all cases, the enthusiasm was palpable. To those organisations hesitant about online fundraising, here are my top myth-busting pieces of advice: You don’t need masses of time to fundraise online We provide you with as many resources and all the support you need to get started.One thing we know for sure – groups do not need more work when they are already busy with service provision -doing what they do best! That’s why Localgiving try to make it as simple as possible for our members. St John Bosco Community Association told us that we made it “simple and easy” and there was no extra workload for them! That’s our aim! You don’t need your own specific campaign Although it can help improve your reach, we can work through ideas with you.  One of the main benefits of the match fund opportunity is that it gives organisations and groups a ready-made campaign to connect in to and it changes the narrative of their fundraising asks. Some groups said they feel hesitant in asking their supporters for donations unless it was for a specific issue or project. We heard from An Droichead that the campaign helped them to focus on their financial capabilities and really motivated their staff and volunteers to get involved in the fundraising effort. You don’t need to be a big charity to benefit Some groups are solely volunteer led and most work within small communities.  Northern Ireland Children’s Enterprise told us of their surprise at how easy it was for small organisations to get donations - ‘normally you associate online fundraising with big national charities but it was so well organised that small organisations like us were able to get involved’. You don’t need to be a techy whizz Whether you’re a digi-dynamo or tech-trainee, anyone can get involved with online fundraising. Localgiving work with groups with a wide spectrum of technological abilities. One of our aims is to increase confidence and capabilities among our members when it comes to using technology, digital media and our own website. This will increase the reach of your group and hopefully increase the amount of donations coming your way! Getting to know and understand the work you and other local groups across Northern Ireland are doing has been truly inspiring. I am excited about supporting you in future, particularly helping you improve your fundraising capabilities, enabling you to do what you do best, even better!             Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma Beeston   Both images are courtesy of Northern Ireland Children's Enterprise
    1678 Posted by Sian O'Neill
  • There is a real sense of excitement when you see donations being made to local groups, especially when you have the connection with them to know the impact those donations will have – whether that’s the ability to pay for new uniforms for staff, helping to pay the rent on their building or paying for a training programme. Our September Match-fund was particularly exciting for me because it was the first campaign I have been involved in since taking up the post of Localgiving Coordinator in Northern  Ireland. For some groups, this was the first time they had ever fundraised online, while others were seasoned pros. In all cases, the enthusiasm was palpable. To those organisations hesitant about online fundraising, here are my top myth-busting pieces of advice: You don’t need masses of time to fundraise online We provide you with as many resources and all the support you need to get started.One thing we know for sure – groups do not need more work when they are already busy with service provision -doing what they do best! That’s why Localgiving try to make it as simple as possible for our members. St John Bosco Community Association told us that we made it “simple and easy” and there was no extra workload for them! That’s our aim! You don’t need your own specific campaign Although it can help improve your reach, we can work through ideas with you.  One of the main benefits of the match fund opportunity is that it gives organisations and groups a ready-made campaign to connect in to and it changes the narrative of their fundraising asks. Some groups said they feel hesitant in asking their supporters for donations unless it was for a specific issue or project. We heard from An Droichead that the campaign helped them to focus on their financial capabilities and really motivated their staff and volunteers to get involved in the fundraising effort. You don’t need to be a big charity to benefit Some groups are solely volunteer led and most work within small communities.  Northern Ireland Children’s Enterprise told us of their surprise at how easy it was for small organisations to get donations - ‘normally you associate online fundraising with big national charities but it was so well organised that small organisations like us were able to get involved’. You don’t need to be a techy whizz Whether you’re a digi-dynamo or tech-trainee, anyone can get involved with online fundraising. Localgiving work with groups with a wide spectrum of technological abilities. One of our aims is to increase confidence and capabilities among our members when it comes to using technology, digital media and our own website. This will increase the reach of your group and hopefully increase the amount of donations coming your way! Getting to know and understand the work you and other local groups across Northern Ireland are doing has been truly inspiring. I am excited about supporting you in future, particularly helping you improve your fundraising capabilities, enabling you to do what you do best, even better!             Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma Beeston   Both images are courtesy of Northern Ireland Children's Enterprise
    Nov 10, 2015 1678
  • 09 Nov 2015
    With only three weeks to go until #GivingTuesday, now is the time to decide which groups or causes your company are supporting and, importantly, to dust off those fancy dress costumes stuffed behind the resource cupboard! #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. It is about showing that you care about important causes and about your local community. It is also about getting involved and having fun! Having started in the U.S in 2012, this worldwide phenomenon aims to utilise the power of social media to bring about real change. This movement brings people together across diverse sectors of society to celebrate and encourage charitable giving. Why you should get involved? Last year Localgiving raised an incredible £55,000 through public donations and had an amazing time doing it. This year we really want our corporate partners to share in this experience.  With a little bit of effort and a big dose of fun, together we can raise awareness and money for local charities across the UK. Where should we start? On December the 1st Localgiving are running a campaign called #GiveMe5. We are pledging to double 1,000 x £5 donations made on the day. As a business you can use your corporate profile and image to support local charities and causes you care about.  You can add your logo to our list of partners, HERE.  In doing so you will pledge to promote #GiveMe5 on #GivingTuesday. Encourage your staff to get involved and to use social media to promote the charity they’re supporting via our #GiveMe5 campaign. If you or your staff haven’t yet chosen a charity, you can easily find a group in your local area HERE. We literally want to see a show of hands!  Show who you’re supporting on #GivingTuesday with a  #GiveMe5 selfie - let your friends, clients, local community and the world know you care about local charities. What can we do in the office on the day? Here are just a few ideas for what you and your office can do to raise money through #GiveMe5 on December 1st 2015. Donate an hour Each staff member can donate the equivalent of one hour’s salary to a local charity through #GiveMe5. If your hour’s salary is £15 then you can make 3 x £5 donations to a charity of your choice. Give up and donate Can’t do without your daily cappuccino, croissant or crisps? Give up an item for 5 days and donate what you would have spent to a local charity. Remember to round up to the nearest £5 to ensure your donation is included in #GiveMe5! Feed your office; let them know it's Giving Time! Ask all of your employees to bring in one dish for an extended lunch or evening party. Each member of staff then donates £5 (the average price of lunch) to a local charity on Localgiving through #GiveMe5 The Giveaway SELL, SELL, SELL!! Encourage your employees to sell things they don’t need any more online for £5 and donate the money to a local charity on Localgiving Office quiz night Is there an Archimedes in HR? a da Vinci on Front Desk? See who’s the smartest with a classic office showdown. Everyone who takes part pays £5 to enter and the winner chooses a local charity or multiple charities to make £5 donations to. Fancy Dress Can you guess who Dave from Finance is supposed to be? Leo Sayer or Maroune Fellaini? Everyone donates £5 to take part (or not to for the more self-conscious folk) Of course, these are just our ideas; we look forward to seeing what you do on the day itself. And remember, in order to have a truly lasting impact on local charities and community groups we need to think beyond #GiveMe5 and towards providing future funding opportunities and key skills training. Our programmes and campaigns require significant resources. Through making a Corporate Donation to Localgiving you can help us make a tangible difference to communities across the UK. To discuss this further you can contact me on: darren.hall@localgiving.com     Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandThe Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroBig Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge    
    2635 Posted by Darren Hall
  • With only three weeks to go until #GivingTuesday, now is the time to decide which groups or causes your company are supporting and, importantly, to dust off those fancy dress costumes stuffed behind the resource cupboard! #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. It is about showing that you care about important causes and about your local community. It is also about getting involved and having fun! Having started in the U.S in 2012, this worldwide phenomenon aims to utilise the power of social media to bring about real change. This movement brings people together across diverse sectors of society to celebrate and encourage charitable giving. Why you should get involved? Last year Localgiving raised an incredible £55,000 through public donations and had an amazing time doing it. This year we really want our corporate partners to share in this experience.  With a little bit of effort and a big dose of fun, together we can raise awareness and money for local charities across the UK. Where should we start? On December the 1st Localgiving are running a campaign called #GiveMe5. We are pledging to double 1,000 x £5 donations made on the day. As a business you can use your corporate profile and image to support local charities and causes you care about.  You can add your logo to our list of partners, HERE.  In doing so you will pledge to promote #GiveMe5 on #GivingTuesday. Encourage your staff to get involved and to use social media to promote the charity they’re supporting via our #GiveMe5 campaign. If you or your staff haven’t yet chosen a charity, you can easily find a group in your local area HERE. We literally want to see a show of hands!  Show who you’re supporting on #GivingTuesday with a  #GiveMe5 selfie - let your friends, clients, local community and the world know you care about local charities. What can we do in the office on the day? Here are just a few ideas for what you and your office can do to raise money through #GiveMe5 on December 1st 2015. Donate an hour Each staff member can donate the equivalent of one hour’s salary to a local charity through #GiveMe5. If your hour’s salary is £15 then you can make 3 x £5 donations to a charity of your choice. Give up and donate Can’t do without your daily cappuccino, croissant or crisps? Give up an item for 5 days and donate what you would have spent to a local charity. Remember to round up to the nearest £5 to ensure your donation is included in #GiveMe5! Feed your office; let them know it's Giving Time! Ask all of your employees to bring in one dish for an extended lunch or evening party. Each member of staff then donates £5 (the average price of lunch) to a local charity on Localgiving through #GiveMe5 The Giveaway SELL, SELL, SELL!! Encourage your employees to sell things they don’t need any more online for £5 and donate the money to a local charity on Localgiving Office quiz night Is there an Archimedes in HR? a da Vinci on Front Desk? See who’s the smartest with a classic office showdown. Everyone who takes part pays £5 to enter and the winner chooses a local charity or multiple charities to make £5 donations to. Fancy Dress Can you guess who Dave from Finance is supposed to be? Leo Sayer or Maroune Fellaini? Everyone donates £5 to take part (or not to for the more self-conscious folk) Of course, these are just our ideas; we look forward to seeing what you do on the day itself. And remember, in order to have a truly lasting impact on local charities and community groups we need to think beyond #GiveMe5 and towards providing future funding opportunities and key skills training. Our programmes and campaigns require significant resources. Through making a Corporate Donation to Localgiving you can help us make a tangible difference to communities across the UK. To discuss this further you can contact me on: darren.hall@localgiving.com     Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandThe Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroBig Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge    
    Nov 09, 2015 2635
  • 04 Nov 2015
    Richard Barker is the Marketing Manager at Bradford based Web Design Company Harrison Mann. He founded @CharityHourUK on Twitter and has been involved in over 50 charity events for charities close to his heart in Yorkshire. If you represent a charity and haven't yet discovered the Twitter Hour then you're missing out! You're missing out promotion and publicity for sure, but more importantly you’re also missing out on people. A Twitter Hour allows you to build relationships that could be vital to the success of the important work that you do. If you’ve not used a Twitter Hour before, it's simply a pre-arranged hour for a sector - or any specific group of like-minded people - to get together and talk about issues important to them. Complete with their own hashtag, they are accessible, browsable and chock-full of incredible links and relevant discussions. It's like joining a think tank for an hour from the comfort of your sofa! Why Charity Hour? @CharityHourUK is the immensely popular Twitter Hour for those of us involved in the charity sector, as well people looking to raise awareness of charity fundraising events. You can be assured of proper moderation and tip-top discussions with people from all over the UK sharing tips and advice. Meeting every Wednesday evening from 8-9pm with the hashtag #charityhour, it’s easy to get involved and well worth following. Each charity hour is broken up by five thought-provoking questions for you to get your teeth stuck into. With the creative juices flowing, you can be sure that the interactions will be well worth participating in. How Will You Benefit from Charity Hour? Here’s some reasons why you should get involved: 1. Network and build relationships The three most important words in running any successful charity are people, people and people. There is nothing more valuable than building relationships with supporters, the public, your beneficiaries and other like-minded individuals. Charity hour unlocks the doors to these people. 2. Promote and educate Charity hour gives you a platform to share information and create awareness about the important work that your charity does. It is a great space to educate people about the specific needs that you are trying to meet. 3. Get answers to relevant questions By taking part in the discussions you can find sector experts willing to share their wisdom on issues pertinent to you. You can ask questions, poke through responses and gain insight. Twitter Hour Etiquette For both yourself and everybody else to get the most out of the Charity Hour, here are some simple things for you to think about: 1. Don’t forget to add the Charity Hour hashtag! A hashtag is like eye-contact - it lets everybody know that you want to get involved. Add it into your relevant tweets during the hour so your comments don’t disappear into the twit void. 2. Get involved As tempting as it is to sit on the sidelines, don’t! A fly-on-the-wall will not get much out of the experience. Respond to questions, ask more questions, retweet, mention and get stuck in. Try to stay on topic, remain focused and don’t go on too many tangents. 3. Be friendly, open and have fun Approaching the hour with an open-minded sense of fun, a polite and friendly demeanour, and above all a teachable spirit will help you and others get the very most out of it. Don't be a troll. Do chat with people as if you were sat across the table from them with a cappuccino. 4. Prepare and add value Do your part before #charityhour by using social media to include your supporters. This will help you have the biggest impact locally among your contacts. At the same time this will increase interaction traffic and add value for everybody. So get promoting, blogging, tagging and sharing. Get Involved Charity Hour is a tremendous opportunity for you to develop as a Charity. However Charity Hour is just one of the many Twitter Chats out there. So find local twitter hours in your town, city, county or country and get involved with them. Make people aware of your charity and try and create partnerships with companies and people who may want to fundraise for your charity. But whatever you do just remember that each Twitter Hour is all about interacting and discussions. People are behind each account so get to know everyone and enjoy them!   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    2238 Posted by Richard Barker
  • Richard Barker is the Marketing Manager at Bradford based Web Design Company Harrison Mann. He founded @CharityHourUK on Twitter and has been involved in over 50 charity events for charities close to his heart in Yorkshire. If you represent a charity and haven't yet discovered the Twitter Hour then you're missing out! You're missing out promotion and publicity for sure, but more importantly you’re also missing out on people. A Twitter Hour allows you to build relationships that could be vital to the success of the important work that you do. If you’ve not used a Twitter Hour before, it's simply a pre-arranged hour for a sector - or any specific group of like-minded people - to get together and talk about issues important to them. Complete with their own hashtag, they are accessible, browsable and chock-full of incredible links and relevant discussions. It's like joining a think tank for an hour from the comfort of your sofa! Why Charity Hour? @CharityHourUK is the immensely popular Twitter Hour for those of us involved in the charity sector, as well people looking to raise awareness of charity fundraising events. You can be assured of proper moderation and tip-top discussions with people from all over the UK sharing tips and advice. Meeting every Wednesday evening from 8-9pm with the hashtag #charityhour, it’s easy to get involved and well worth following. Each charity hour is broken up by five thought-provoking questions for you to get your teeth stuck into. With the creative juices flowing, you can be sure that the interactions will be well worth participating in. How Will You Benefit from Charity Hour? Here’s some reasons why you should get involved: 1. Network and build relationships The three most important words in running any successful charity are people, people and people. There is nothing more valuable than building relationships with supporters, the public, your beneficiaries and other like-minded individuals. Charity hour unlocks the doors to these people. 2. Promote and educate Charity hour gives you a platform to share information and create awareness about the important work that your charity does. It is a great space to educate people about the specific needs that you are trying to meet. 3. Get answers to relevant questions By taking part in the discussions you can find sector experts willing to share their wisdom on issues pertinent to you. You can ask questions, poke through responses and gain insight. Twitter Hour Etiquette For both yourself and everybody else to get the most out of the Charity Hour, here are some simple things for you to think about: 1. Don’t forget to add the Charity Hour hashtag! A hashtag is like eye-contact - it lets everybody know that you want to get involved. Add it into your relevant tweets during the hour so your comments don’t disappear into the twit void. 2. Get involved As tempting as it is to sit on the sidelines, don’t! A fly-on-the-wall will not get much out of the experience. Respond to questions, ask more questions, retweet, mention and get stuck in. Try to stay on topic, remain focused and don’t go on too many tangents. 3. Be friendly, open and have fun Approaching the hour with an open-minded sense of fun, a polite and friendly demeanour, and above all a teachable spirit will help you and others get the very most out of it. Don't be a troll. Do chat with people as if you were sat across the table from them with a cappuccino. 4. Prepare and add value Do your part before #charityhour by using social media to include your supporters. This will help you have the biggest impact locally among your contacts. At the same time this will increase interaction traffic and add value for everybody. So get promoting, blogging, tagging and sharing. Get Involved Charity Hour is a tremendous opportunity for you to develop as a Charity. However Charity Hour is just one of the many Twitter Chats out there. So find local twitter hours in your town, city, county or country and get involved with them. Make people aware of your charity and try and create partnerships with companies and people who may want to fundraise for your charity. But whatever you do just remember that each Twitter Hour is all about interacting and discussions. People are behind each account so get to know everyone and enjoy them!   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    Nov 04, 2015 2238
  • 02 Nov 2015
    Data protection, the secret to a lasting donor relationship Over the summer the charity sector was faced with a host of uncomfortable headlines. This has rightfully led to some deep soul searching. Data protection was one area which was subject to particular scrutiny. Localgiving feel strongly about the need to protect donors. For this reason, we recently compiled a simple help sheet aimed at improving your understanding of how the Data Protection Act applies to charities and community groups. Make sure you take a look so that you know what you need to do to protect donor’s personal information and ensure you don’t break the rules when sending out marketing communications. If you’ve seen our help sheet for data protection, and you understand what you can and can’t do, read on for some practical tips to make it easier to do the right thing. 1. Create a simple donor database to help you keep things up to date We strongly recommend creating a donor database to keep your information accurate and up to date. Any basic spreadsheet software programme such as MS Excel can be used to easily do this. All you need to do is create a table with at least 3 columns like the one shown below:   Each time you get a new donor you can just add their information to the next row in the table. Then make sure you keep this up to date with any changes that your donors let you know about. If they tell you they no longer wish to receive communications from you then you need to update their record in this table.  You can also record more information in this database about your donors - for example their address or telephone number and the number of times or amount they have donated to you. Just make sure you keep things up to date. You can download our template to help you get started with managing your communications here. If you have a Localgiving account you can use the marketing report available in the “My Donations section” as a basis for your donor database. You can download it regularly to see if there have been any changes. Don’t forget if a donor has contacted you directly to say they don’t want your to contact them, you should not send them any more marketing information, even if they haven’t updated their Localgiving record. 2. Check your donor database before you send out marketing communications When you would like to send out an email to your donors you should check your new donor database to make sure you are not contacting people who have said they don’t want to be contacted. 3. Always ask donor’s permission before sending them marketing communications You should always ask new donors whether they are happy to receive future marketing communications from you when they first donate. If they donate to you directly you must ask their permission. Include a statement similar to the one on the right on forms your donor fills in. If they donate through Localgiving we will have already asked them. If they agreed, their contact details will be shown in the marketing report. 4. Include simple instructions for opting out of future messages in all marketing communications You should explain how your donors can opt out of future marketing messages each time you contact them. For example include a statement at the bottom of all your emails to say: “If you no longer wish to hear from our fundraising team please reply to this email and we will remove you from our mailing list”. You should make sure you update your donor database each time someone tells you they don’t want to be contacted anymore. 5. Protect donor’s personal information when sending out email marketing If you are using a simple email client like Gmail to contact your donors, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally share your donor’s email address with everyone on your mailing list by adding all the email to the “To” or “Cc” field.     You can do this easily by using the “Bcc” function when sending out an email. Put your organisation’s email in the “To” box and then add your donor’s email address to the “Bcc” box. This will ensure that each donor can only see their own email address.  6. Make sure everyone in your organisation understands their responsibilities to protect donor’s personal information Don’t forget to make sure that everyone in your organisation knows what they need to do. Everyone should follow data protection rules when it comes to sending marketing information to your donors. Always provide training to new employees and make sure to offer refresher training to existing employees at regular intervals.  --- This blog post is intended to help small charities and community groups get started with Data Protection. For more detailed information and advice specifically aimed at charities please visit the ICO website here.
    1509 Posted by Louise Boyd
  • Data protection, the secret to a lasting donor relationship Over the summer the charity sector was faced with a host of uncomfortable headlines. This has rightfully led to some deep soul searching. Data protection was one area which was subject to particular scrutiny. Localgiving feel strongly about the need to protect donors. For this reason, we recently compiled a simple help sheet aimed at improving your understanding of how the Data Protection Act applies to charities and community groups. Make sure you take a look so that you know what you need to do to protect donor’s personal information and ensure you don’t break the rules when sending out marketing communications. If you’ve seen our help sheet for data protection, and you understand what you can and can’t do, read on for some practical tips to make it easier to do the right thing. 1. Create a simple donor database to help you keep things up to date We strongly recommend creating a donor database to keep your information accurate and up to date. Any basic spreadsheet software programme such as MS Excel can be used to easily do this. All you need to do is create a table with at least 3 columns like the one shown below:   Each time you get a new donor you can just add their information to the next row in the table. Then make sure you keep this up to date with any changes that your donors let you know about. If they tell you they no longer wish to receive communications from you then you need to update their record in this table.  You can also record more information in this database about your donors - for example their address or telephone number and the number of times or amount they have donated to you. Just make sure you keep things up to date. You can download our template to help you get started with managing your communications here. If you have a Localgiving account you can use the marketing report available in the “My Donations section” as a basis for your donor database. You can download it regularly to see if there have been any changes. Don’t forget if a donor has contacted you directly to say they don’t want your to contact them, you should not send them any more marketing information, even if they haven’t updated their Localgiving record. 2. Check your donor database before you send out marketing communications When you would like to send out an email to your donors you should check your new donor database to make sure you are not contacting people who have said they don’t want to be contacted. 3. Always ask donor’s permission before sending them marketing communications You should always ask new donors whether they are happy to receive future marketing communications from you when they first donate. If they donate to you directly you must ask their permission. Include a statement similar to the one on the right on forms your donor fills in. If they donate through Localgiving we will have already asked them. If they agreed, their contact details will be shown in the marketing report. 4. Include simple instructions for opting out of future messages in all marketing communications You should explain how your donors can opt out of future marketing messages each time you contact them. For example include a statement at the bottom of all your emails to say: “If you no longer wish to hear from our fundraising team please reply to this email and we will remove you from our mailing list”. You should make sure you update your donor database each time someone tells you they don’t want to be contacted anymore. 5. Protect donor’s personal information when sending out email marketing If you are using a simple email client like Gmail to contact your donors, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally share your donor’s email address with everyone on your mailing list by adding all the email to the “To” or “Cc” field.     You can do this easily by using the “Bcc” function when sending out an email. Put your organisation’s email in the “To” box and then add your donor’s email address to the “Bcc” box. This will ensure that each donor can only see their own email address.  6. Make sure everyone in your organisation understands their responsibilities to protect donor’s personal information Don’t forget to make sure that everyone in your organisation knows what they need to do. Everyone should follow data protection rules when it comes to sending marketing information to your donors. Always provide training to new employees and make sure to offer refresher training to existing employees at regular intervals.  --- This blog post is intended to help small charities and community groups get started with Data Protection. For more detailed information and advice specifically aimed at charities please visit the ICO website here.
    Nov 02, 2015 1509
  • 27 Oct 2015
    Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. There’s been a lot of excitement this week about the new Star Wars film. But this blog is not about that, although it is about Yoda. Yoda and charities.OK, let me explain. I want you to walk with me around London’s Trafalgar Square, let’s say at around 10 on a weekday morning. What do you see? A bit of a crowd of tourists about to head into the National Gallery maybe? Some others taking selfies by the fountains? Maybe an artist has begun a chalk drawing on the pavement? Sure, but there’s something you may have missed. It’s in this picture. The foreground, not the background. Easy to look straight past, eh? But these trollies contain the gear that keeps Yoda flying in the air. If you hang around, you can watch them gradually building the structure. Eventually he looks a little like this: Flying Yoda is pretty impressive, and there’s a few of them around now. In fact, I took this picture of him in York.  But why am I writing about flying Yoda in this blog about charities? Well… Flying Yoda has a few things to teach us. Let’s be clear about what keeps us flying Like this Yoda, all charities need a support structure to make it look like we’re flying. But I wonder whether we’re not selling the general public a line that we’re ‘all about the flying.’ At times we exaggerate – or at least over claim – the benefits of what we do, or the numbers of people we’re reaching with our services, potentially to our detriment. It’s very rare that one organisation’s services provide the ‘magic bullet’ that solves all issues. Furthermore, if we need to provide administrative or support functions to be as effective as possible, let’s be clear about how integral this is to our processes and to achieving positive outcomes. Otherwise we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to our sector. The unseen also has great value We need to be clear why our organisational costs (whether they’re office costs, overheads or staffing) are so important, not just in providing our services but in keeping the show on the road in so many different ways. Similarly, I worry that we are often in danger of undercharging for, and consequently undervaluing, so much of what we do. We are not circus acts And this is the most important point. Do you think anybody in Trafalgar Square actually thinks they're witnessing magic? Isn't part of the fascination in wondering how it's done? We, as charities, need to shatter the often held perception that should be able to perform our miracles for free. We need to explain why we’re the right people to do the job.We need to be clear both about the benefits of what we do, and the expertise we bring to finding the solutions. We are professionals. What we are doing is so important. Let’s stop hiding it beneath a long cloak. May the force be with you.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    2503 Posted by Richard Sved
  • Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. There’s been a lot of excitement this week about the new Star Wars film. But this blog is not about that, although it is about Yoda. Yoda and charities.OK, let me explain. I want you to walk with me around London’s Trafalgar Square, let’s say at around 10 on a weekday morning. What do you see? A bit of a crowd of tourists about to head into the National Gallery maybe? Some others taking selfies by the fountains? Maybe an artist has begun a chalk drawing on the pavement? Sure, but there’s something you may have missed. It’s in this picture. The foreground, not the background. Easy to look straight past, eh? But these trollies contain the gear that keeps Yoda flying in the air. If you hang around, you can watch them gradually building the structure. Eventually he looks a little like this: Flying Yoda is pretty impressive, and there’s a few of them around now. In fact, I took this picture of him in York.  But why am I writing about flying Yoda in this blog about charities? Well… Flying Yoda has a few things to teach us. Let’s be clear about what keeps us flying Like this Yoda, all charities need a support structure to make it look like we’re flying. But I wonder whether we’re not selling the general public a line that we’re ‘all about the flying.’ At times we exaggerate – or at least over claim – the benefits of what we do, or the numbers of people we’re reaching with our services, potentially to our detriment. It’s very rare that one organisation’s services provide the ‘magic bullet’ that solves all issues. Furthermore, if we need to provide administrative or support functions to be as effective as possible, let’s be clear about how integral this is to our processes and to achieving positive outcomes. Otherwise we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to our sector. The unseen also has great value We need to be clear why our organisational costs (whether they’re office costs, overheads or staffing) are so important, not just in providing our services but in keeping the show on the road in so many different ways. Similarly, I worry that we are often in danger of undercharging for, and consequently undervaluing, so much of what we do. We are not circus acts And this is the most important point. Do you think anybody in Trafalgar Square actually thinks they're witnessing magic? Isn't part of the fascination in wondering how it's done? We, as charities, need to shatter the often held perception that should be able to perform our miracles for free. We need to explain why we’re the right people to do the job.We need to be clear both about the benefits of what we do, and the expertise we bring to finding the solutions. We are professionals. What we are doing is so important. Let’s stop hiding it beneath a long cloak. May the force be with you.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    Oct 27, 2015 2503
  • 15 Oct 2015
    Lessons on social media engagement for charities from the feline rulers of the internet Jeanne-Claire Morley is the Digital Marketing Executive at the Royal Horticultural Society, and previously at Doctors of the World UK. This is her favourite cat video. Cats run the web. We all know that. Chances are that everyone reading this has accessed at least one cat video in their internet lifetimes or been sent some version of a cat-based meme disguised as a meeting review. Cats have reached a level of online omnipresence usually only reserved for the Kardashians and they’ve done so without millions of pounds worth of PR. So what are the hard and fast rules about online content that we can learn from our four-legged friends? Lesson One: Who cares? Cats in the real world may be adorable, but they do not care about you. The internet has provided a place for all those affection-starved cat lovers to obtain the content they want without risking emotional rejection. Ridiculous as that might sound, cat videos provide the exact content that users who search for them are after. Can you say the same thing about your charity’s online presence? Your social media should always appeal directly to users who are emotionally involved in your mission. For example: if you’re a health charity then it may be people who have had loved ones affected by the illness your organisation is working against, or if you’re an advocacy charity then you may inflame the conscience of users with whom you’re politically aligned. Whatever it is, make sure that your content not only appeals to that passion trigger, but also constantly provides them with new and relevant information. If you’re serving your audience content that doesn’t consider their needs, your engagement will suffer. Lesson Two: Know your (visual) worth Cats are cute. They have tiny paws and noses and are fluffy. They’re also ridiculous creatures who often behave like they’ve been programmed by aliens. As a combination this makes for obviously persuasive viewing, whether that’s image or video-based, and also perfectly demonstrates what it is about cats that people want to engage with. Whatever your charity, there will be an aspect of it that will be visually compelling. At the Royal Horticultural Society we have the distinct advantage of representing flowers and plants, and as such our media tends to be lush and gorgeous to look at. In general if you think about what it is that makes the work your organisation does important you will get some good inspiration points to start building your social media content strategy. For example, Charity:Water use photos of kids and adults interacting with the water their organisation brings to remote areas of the globe to demonstrate the worth of their work. These types of images give a positive impression of the impact of your charity, and in turn drive good engagement with your charity online.  Lesson Three: Don’t panic about quality The best and most engaging cat content online generally doesn’t look like it’s been shot by Martin Scorsese. More often than not it’s the result of one smartphone pointed at the right cat at the right time. The content works because of the cat itself rather than the style of the photo or video. There’s a propensity when developing content for brand social media to get stuck on overthinking its development, but realistically your subject will do most of the talking for you. Remember lesson one and lesson two: keep in mind the people who care about what you do, and what it is about the work of your charity that matters. Take photos and videos of anything you encounter that fits either of these criteria (or, even better, both) and you will steadily build a library of content for social media without spending a penny.   Image "Turkish Van Cat"       Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Don’t save you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    1884 Posted by Jeanne-Claire Morley
  • Lessons on social media engagement for charities from the feline rulers of the internet Jeanne-Claire Morley is the Digital Marketing Executive at the Royal Horticultural Society, and previously at Doctors of the World UK. This is her favourite cat video. Cats run the web. We all know that. Chances are that everyone reading this has accessed at least one cat video in their internet lifetimes or been sent some version of a cat-based meme disguised as a meeting review. Cats have reached a level of online omnipresence usually only reserved for the Kardashians and they’ve done so without millions of pounds worth of PR. So what are the hard and fast rules about online content that we can learn from our four-legged friends? Lesson One: Who cares? Cats in the real world may be adorable, but they do not care about you. The internet has provided a place for all those affection-starved cat lovers to obtain the content they want without risking emotional rejection. Ridiculous as that might sound, cat videos provide the exact content that users who search for them are after. Can you say the same thing about your charity’s online presence? Your social media should always appeal directly to users who are emotionally involved in your mission. For example: if you’re a health charity then it may be people who have had loved ones affected by the illness your organisation is working against, or if you’re an advocacy charity then you may inflame the conscience of users with whom you’re politically aligned. Whatever it is, make sure that your content not only appeals to that passion trigger, but also constantly provides them with new and relevant information. If you’re serving your audience content that doesn’t consider their needs, your engagement will suffer. Lesson Two: Know your (visual) worth Cats are cute. They have tiny paws and noses and are fluffy. They’re also ridiculous creatures who often behave like they’ve been programmed by aliens. As a combination this makes for obviously persuasive viewing, whether that’s image or video-based, and also perfectly demonstrates what it is about cats that people want to engage with. Whatever your charity, there will be an aspect of it that will be visually compelling. At the Royal Horticultural Society we have the distinct advantage of representing flowers and plants, and as such our media tends to be lush and gorgeous to look at. In general if you think about what it is that makes the work your organisation does important you will get some good inspiration points to start building your social media content strategy. For example, Charity:Water use photos of kids and adults interacting with the water their organisation brings to remote areas of the globe to demonstrate the worth of their work. These types of images give a positive impression of the impact of your charity, and in turn drive good engagement with your charity online.  Lesson Three: Don’t panic about quality The best and most engaging cat content online generally doesn’t look like it’s been shot by Martin Scorsese. More often than not it’s the result of one smartphone pointed at the right cat at the right time. The content works because of the cat itself rather than the style of the photo or video. There’s a propensity when developing content for brand social media to get stuck on overthinking its development, but realistically your subject will do most of the talking for you. Remember lesson one and lesson two: keep in mind the people who care about what you do, and what it is about the work of your charity that matters. Take photos and videos of anything you encounter that fits either of these criteria (or, even better, both) and you will steadily build a library of content for social media without spending a penny.   Image "Turkish Van Cat"       Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Don’t save you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    Oct 15, 2015 1884
  • 06 Oct 2015
    Our members often ask us 'How can we ask for money? What are people interested in hearing about?' The key to successful fundraising is the ability to communicate what you do in a way which garners public support. The aim is to get the right balance between (a) building trust in your work by providing specific details, and (b) creating an emotional connection with your supporters by showing the impact of your work on your service users. Here are our 5 tips for effectively communicating what you do.... If you need any help with developing a 'pitch' for your group, get in touch with us on 0300 111 2340. Or, email a draft to help@localgiving.com.
    1467 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • Our members often ask us 'How can we ask for money? What are people interested in hearing about?' The key to successful fundraising is the ability to communicate what you do in a way which garners public support. The aim is to get the right balance between (a) building trust in your work by providing specific details, and (b) creating an emotional connection with your supporters by showing the impact of your work on your service users. Here are our 5 tips for effectively communicating what you do.... If you need any help with developing a 'pitch' for your group, get in touch with us on 0300 111 2340. Or, email a draft to help@localgiving.com.
    Oct 06, 2015 1467
  • 22 Dec 2015
    Greg Hallett has been a qualified accountant for almost 30 years. He has always worked within the smaller company environment. He believes passionately in people and in charity – that’s why he came to work with Give as you Live – this allows him to combine his passions with his business and finance background.  As MD, Greg insists that the DNA of Give as you Live is all about charity, all about people and all about honesty and integrity. Fundraising can be tough when you have a target to reach and you’ve exhausted all your contacts. But what if you could add to your fundraising target by doing something you do everyday? A great way to help boost your fundraising efforts is Give as you Live – an online shopping platform that allows you to shop online and raise money for a cause you care about. With over 4,000 stores participating in the scheme and the stores covering the cost of the donation – all you need to do is decide what you’re going to buy.  A new car insurance policy at More Than can raise on average £35 A weekly online food shop at Sainsbury’s can raise 50p A new phone contract at Carphone Warehouse can raise up to £20 The way it works is by affiliate marketing. Give as you Live gets paid a commission for driving a sale to the retailer, they then share this with the users chosen charity – making it completely free for the charity and the supporter to raise funds. You don’t have to sacrifice where you shop with most household names signed up including John Lewis, Argos, M&S, Amazon and more. And more importantly you don’t have to drastically change the way you shop. Want to try it? Step 1: Go to Give.as/localgiving and choose a Localgiving cause of your choice. Step 2: Enter your name and email to sign up with Give as you Live. Step 3: Search for the retailer you want to shop with and start shopping! Once you’ve clicked through to the retailer’s website, just continue to shop as normal. You’ll receive an email from Give as you Live within 1 to 7 days to let you know how much you’ve raised. For more information about Give as you Live and how it works, check out the FAQs here    
    1977 Posted by Greg Hallett
  • Greg Hallett has been a qualified accountant for almost 30 years. He has always worked within the smaller company environment. He believes passionately in people and in charity – that’s why he came to work with Give as you Live – this allows him to combine his passions with his business and finance background.  As MD, Greg insists that the DNA of Give as you Live is all about charity, all about people and all about honesty and integrity. Fundraising can be tough when you have a target to reach and you’ve exhausted all your contacts. But what if you could add to your fundraising target by doing something you do everyday? A great way to help boost your fundraising efforts is Give as you Live – an online shopping platform that allows you to shop online and raise money for a cause you care about. With over 4,000 stores participating in the scheme and the stores covering the cost of the donation – all you need to do is decide what you’re going to buy.  A new car insurance policy at More Than can raise on average £35 A weekly online food shop at Sainsbury’s can raise 50p A new phone contract at Carphone Warehouse can raise up to £20 The way it works is by affiliate marketing. Give as you Live gets paid a commission for driving a sale to the retailer, they then share this with the users chosen charity – making it completely free for the charity and the supporter to raise funds. You don’t have to sacrifice where you shop with most household names signed up including John Lewis, Argos, M&S, Amazon and more. And more importantly you don’t have to drastically change the way you shop. Want to try it? Step 1: Go to Give.as/localgiving and choose a Localgiving cause of your choice. Step 2: Enter your name and email to sign up with Give as you Live. Step 3: Search for the retailer you want to shop with and start shopping! Once you’ve clicked through to the retailer’s website, just continue to shop as normal. You’ll receive an email from Give as you Live within 1 to 7 days to let you know how much you’ve raised. For more information about Give as you Live and how it works, check out the FAQs here    
    Dec 22, 2015 1977
  • 29 Sep 2015
    Your organisation is doing incredible work – you know it, your staff and volunteers know it, but does anyone else? By sharing stories of your work and the impact it is having you can attract more supporters, volunteers, staff, and even the people you are helping. While it is worth the effort in the long term, it is not easy to get your story the attention it deserves. With more and more content being shared it is really important to do everything you can to make your content stand out. Here are five free tools you can use to get your story heard: 1) Pixabay You will have heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It is so true, especially today with more and more people and organisations writing blogs and newsletters. Having a good image can bring your story to life. Using your own photos of your work is ideal but if you need to use a stock photo Pixabay is the place to go. It can be difficult to find free images that are high quality, plus you need to think about copyright issues and attribution requirements. With Pixabay you have access – for free – to thousands of high quality royalty free stock images. You can use any image without attribution, so the only thing you need to spend time on is finding the image you want to use.  A photo found on Pixabay 2) Canva You have great images now, but what are you going to do with them? And how can you make them unique? Canva, an incredible tool which is free to use (for the most part), will help you create designs for the Internet or print. You can make graphics for your blog posts, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, Christmas cards, event invitations, and more – all for free. Some of the images available do have a small charge ($1) but with the images available to you via Pixabay you shouldn’t need to pay for any images on Canva. Canva is so easy to use, you really don’t need to be an experienced designer to be able to create something on there.  Each month I update the Good News Shared Facebook cover using Canva 3) Mailchimp Once you have people interested in your organisation it is important to build a relationship with them. Mailchimp is a great tool to use for this, as you can manage your contacts and send them an email regularly without it taking up too much of your time. Best of all, it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. 4) Charity Comms Ask Charity Service The AskCharity service is a great way for you to get your story seen and used by journalists. Charities sign up to receive requests from journalists looking for case studies, interviews or information. When you see a request your charity can help with you simply get in touch with the journalist using the contact details they have given. Smaller charities do not always have the time to pitch to journalists. Being part of the AskCharity service gives organisations the chance of raising awareness of their work by being included in articles without having to spend lots of time finding contacts and building relationships with journalists. 5) Do-it Trust While there are so many tools available now to help charities share their story, using any or all of them can still be too time-consuming for smaller charities. A way to overcome this problem is to find people who can help by signing up to the Do-it Trust website. Do-it Trust, the UK’s first national database service for volunteering, has over 100,000 volunteers from across the UK signed up. It is quick and easy to use, and will help you find the volunteers you are looking for in no time at all. ---- Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Lessons for charities from Knee surgery by Richard Sved  Get your Charity's voice heard by Duncan Hatfield  
    9129 Posted by Nisha Kotecha
  • Your organisation is doing incredible work – you know it, your staff and volunteers know it, but does anyone else? By sharing stories of your work and the impact it is having you can attract more supporters, volunteers, staff, and even the people you are helping. While it is worth the effort in the long term, it is not easy to get your story the attention it deserves. With more and more content being shared it is really important to do everything you can to make your content stand out. Here are five free tools you can use to get your story heard: 1) Pixabay You will have heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It is so true, especially today with more and more people and organisations writing blogs and newsletters. Having a good image can bring your story to life. Using your own photos of your work is ideal but if you need to use a stock photo Pixabay is the place to go. It can be difficult to find free images that are high quality, plus you need to think about copyright issues and attribution requirements. With Pixabay you have access – for free – to thousands of high quality royalty free stock images. You can use any image without attribution, so the only thing you need to spend time on is finding the image you want to use.  A photo found on Pixabay 2) Canva You have great images now, but what are you going to do with them? And how can you make them unique? Canva, an incredible tool which is free to use (for the most part), will help you create designs for the Internet or print. You can make graphics for your blog posts, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, Christmas cards, event invitations, and more – all for free. Some of the images available do have a small charge ($1) but with the images available to you via Pixabay you shouldn’t need to pay for any images on Canva. Canva is so easy to use, you really don’t need to be an experienced designer to be able to create something on there.  Each month I update the Good News Shared Facebook cover using Canva 3) Mailchimp Once you have people interested in your organisation it is important to build a relationship with them. Mailchimp is a great tool to use for this, as you can manage your contacts and send them an email regularly without it taking up too much of your time. Best of all, it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. 4) Charity Comms Ask Charity Service The AskCharity service is a great way for you to get your story seen and used by journalists. Charities sign up to receive requests from journalists looking for case studies, interviews or information. When you see a request your charity can help with you simply get in touch with the journalist using the contact details they have given. Smaller charities do not always have the time to pitch to journalists. Being part of the AskCharity service gives organisations the chance of raising awareness of their work by being included in articles without having to spend lots of time finding contacts and building relationships with journalists. 5) Do-it Trust While there are so many tools available now to help charities share their story, using any or all of them can still be too time-consuming for smaller charities. A way to overcome this problem is to find people who can help by signing up to the Do-it Trust website. Do-it Trust, the UK’s first national database service for volunteering, has over 100,000 volunteers from across the UK signed up. It is quick and easy to use, and will help you find the volunteers you are looking for in no time at all. ---- Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Lessons for charities from Knee surgery by Richard Sved  Get your Charity's voice heard by Duncan Hatfield  
    Sep 29, 2015 9129
  • 17 Sep 2015
    Ten tips for writing a press release This week Kay Parris follows up her excellent blog, How to make friends with the media - Part 1, with ten top tips for writing an informative and effective press release. A press release (also known as a news or media release) should be short, striking and informative. 1. Begin with a compelling headline that tells a journalist the crux of the matter. Don’t be obscure. If the story is: “Ed Sheeran to open new community shop”, then that’s your headline – not “Guess who’s coming to town”. 2. Make sure your opening sentences answer the essential questions about your story: Who? When? What? Where? And Why? 3. Avoid jargon and acronyms – your members might know what you’re talking about, but no one else will bother to find out. 4. Use (and attribute) great quotes where possible, to bring your story to life. 5. Write simply, clearly and accurately. A hard-pressed journalist will often run a good press release more or less verbatim as a story. 6. Keep it short – ideally 300 words max for the main story, 600 only if necessary. 7. Include a named contact person, with their email and phone number. 8. Don’t bog your story down with background details. Add them to the end of the press release under the heading: ‘Notes for editors’. Always include key points here about your charity and its mission. 9. Check your work very carefully for errors. 10. Use email to send out your press release, with the headline or a brief description of the story in the email subject box. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.  Image by NS Newsflash   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris Don't save you pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    2254 Posted by Kay Parris
  • Ten tips for writing a press release This week Kay Parris follows up her excellent blog, How to make friends with the media - Part 1, with ten top tips for writing an informative and effective press release. A press release (also known as a news or media release) should be short, striking and informative. 1. Begin with a compelling headline that tells a journalist the crux of the matter. Don’t be obscure. If the story is: “Ed Sheeran to open new community shop”, then that’s your headline – not “Guess who’s coming to town”. 2. Make sure your opening sentences answer the essential questions about your story: Who? When? What? Where? And Why? 3. Avoid jargon and acronyms – your members might know what you’re talking about, but no one else will bother to find out. 4. Use (and attribute) great quotes where possible, to bring your story to life. 5. Write simply, clearly and accurately. A hard-pressed journalist will often run a good press release more or less verbatim as a story. 6. Keep it short – ideally 300 words max for the main story, 600 only if necessary. 7. Include a named contact person, with their email and phone number. 8. Don’t bog your story down with background details. Add them to the end of the press release under the heading: ‘Notes for editors’. Always include key points here about your charity and its mission. 9. Check your work very carefully for errors. 10. Use email to send out your press release, with the headline or a brief description of the story in the email subject box. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.  Image by NS Newsflash   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris Don't save you pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    Sep 17, 2015 2254