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  • 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  
    9246 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 9246
  • 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     
    2302 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 2302
  • 17 Sep 2015
      Effective communication is vital to any charity’s chances of survival. After all, few people support causes they know little or nothing about – and why should they? Charities use all kinds of channels to tell their stories – from websites, social media and email, to newsletters, phone calls and meetings. Yet, despite their best efforts, many small groups find their messages fail to reach far beyond an existing supporter base. Fortunately, this is where formal media – newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and media websites – can help. Community-based charities often sit on news that local, regional, specialist and sometimes even national media would love to run, if they only got to hear about it. The first trick is to spot when you have a potential media story. After that, the ABC of dealing with the media is to tell the right people your news, in the right way, at the right time. So first, check whether your story is really news: News stories must be new. “Teen addiction helpline takes record number of calls” is news. “Teen addiction helpline exists to support vulnerable young people” is not news. The launch of an appeal to keep a toddler group open may be news. An “ongoing” appeal is not. And neither is a launch that happened three weeks ago. News means that something out of the ordinary has happened. “Young offenders grow veg for homeless shelter” is news. “Community gardeners get busy sewing marrow seeds” is not news. A decent picture, if you have one, creates extra interest. Remember that any story you are aiming at the media must resonate with a target group of readers, listeners or viewers beyond your charity. “Sue Brown wins volunteer of the month” won’t qualify. Then go about things properly: A. Tell the right people Get to know your target media so you can aim your story at the right slot and the right journalist. A regional newspaper might split its news into: Business, Health, Education, Community and other areas. An ethical gardening magazine might have a Local Groups page. Approach the relevant section editor with an email, by name. B. In the right way Having familiarised yourself with your target media, tailor your story to the appropriate slot. If you are holding a barn dance in your village hall, a small notice will suffice to help you attract punters – and aiming for anything bigger would be unrealistic. Check the usual notices format, and email a couple of lines, in the correct format, to the notices editor or contact person. Similarly, try to recognise when your story is, say, not so much news as something for a letters’ column or listeners’ comment slot. Again, learn the formats for those slots – lengths, tones and types of piece – and stick to them. For news stories, the best approach is a press release (I will look at this in detail in 'How to make friends with the media - Part 2'). This is straightforward to write, but you need it to be perfect. Don’t follow up your press release with a “just checking you got my email” phone call. You will only irritate a journalist. They will contact you if they are interested. If you really need to follow up, send an email with new material – links to related photos, a reminder to RSVP if press are invited to your event. That way you get to issue a gentle prod, without becoming a pain. C. At the right time If your harvest story misses the September issue deadline for a community magazine, it won’t get saved for the Halloween edition. Too often, a great story gets wasted because a press release arrives too late to fit a production or programming schedule. Bear in mind that copy deadlines for a monthly publication will often arise two months before the publication date. News isn’t news for long. If you are targeting daily or weekly media, report on what has happened within 24 hours if you can. Where you want to invite the media along to an event, give at least two weeks notice. Exercise timing restraint. There is no point firing off press releases every five minutes. You will make it harder for a journalist to notice when a newsworthy item finally lands in their inbox.   Look out for How to make friends with the media- Part 2- coming soon! This will look at how to write an effective Press Release. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.        Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  How to make friend with the media (part 2) by Kay Parris How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina    Image copyright of Lewis Clarke    
    4143 Posted by Kay Parris
  •   Effective communication is vital to any charity’s chances of survival. After all, few people support causes they know little or nothing about – and why should they? Charities use all kinds of channels to tell their stories – from websites, social media and email, to newsletters, phone calls and meetings. Yet, despite their best efforts, many small groups find their messages fail to reach far beyond an existing supporter base. Fortunately, this is where formal media – newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and media websites – can help. Community-based charities often sit on news that local, regional, specialist and sometimes even national media would love to run, if they only got to hear about it. The first trick is to spot when you have a potential media story. After that, the ABC of dealing with the media is to tell the right people your news, in the right way, at the right time. So first, check whether your story is really news: News stories must be new. “Teen addiction helpline takes record number of calls” is news. “Teen addiction helpline exists to support vulnerable young people” is not news. The launch of an appeal to keep a toddler group open may be news. An “ongoing” appeal is not. And neither is a launch that happened three weeks ago. News means that something out of the ordinary has happened. “Young offenders grow veg for homeless shelter” is news. “Community gardeners get busy sewing marrow seeds” is not news. A decent picture, if you have one, creates extra interest. Remember that any story you are aiming at the media must resonate with a target group of readers, listeners or viewers beyond your charity. “Sue Brown wins volunteer of the month” won’t qualify. Then go about things properly: A. Tell the right people Get to know your target media so you can aim your story at the right slot and the right journalist. A regional newspaper might split its news into: Business, Health, Education, Community and other areas. An ethical gardening magazine might have a Local Groups page. Approach the relevant section editor with an email, by name. B. In the right way Having familiarised yourself with your target media, tailor your story to the appropriate slot. If you are holding a barn dance in your village hall, a small notice will suffice to help you attract punters – and aiming for anything bigger would be unrealistic. Check the usual notices format, and email a couple of lines, in the correct format, to the notices editor or contact person. Similarly, try to recognise when your story is, say, not so much news as something for a letters’ column or listeners’ comment slot. Again, learn the formats for those slots – lengths, tones and types of piece – and stick to them. For news stories, the best approach is a press release (I will look at this in detail in 'How to make friends with the media - Part 2'). This is straightforward to write, but you need it to be perfect. Don’t follow up your press release with a “just checking you got my email” phone call. You will only irritate a journalist. They will contact you if they are interested. If you really need to follow up, send an email with new material – links to related photos, a reminder to RSVP if press are invited to your event. That way you get to issue a gentle prod, without becoming a pain. C. At the right time If your harvest story misses the September issue deadline for a community magazine, it won’t get saved for the Halloween edition. Too often, a great story gets wasted because a press release arrives too late to fit a production or programming schedule. Bear in mind that copy deadlines for a monthly publication will often arise two months before the publication date. News isn’t news for long. If you are targeting daily or weekly media, report on what has happened within 24 hours if you can. Where you want to invite the media along to an event, give at least two weeks notice. Exercise timing restraint. There is no point firing off press releases every five minutes. You will make it harder for a journalist to notice when a newsworthy item finally lands in their inbox.   Look out for How to make friends with the media- Part 2- coming soon! This will look at how to write an effective Press Release. ----- Kay Parris is a freelance journalist and editor with substantial experience of the voluntary sector.        Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  How to make friend with the media (part 2) by Kay Parris How to write a communications strategy by Kay Parris The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina    Image copyright of Lewis Clarke    
    Sep 17, 2015 4143
  • 07 Sep 2015
    With Grow Your Tenner fast approaching it’s important for charities to look for new potential donors and fundraisers within their local community in order to make the most of the campaign. The extra incentive of having a donation of up to £10 doubled makes Grow Your Tenner a great time to reach out to new groups that you may not have thought to contact or felt comfortable contacting before. Focusing on groups rather than individuals is a time effective way to find new donors or fundraisers. For every one person contacted within a particular group, you are opening your charity up to multiple, potential donors who you would have never interacted with before. Groups also make fantastic fundraisers. When contacting groups don’t just think about approaching them as donors but suggest some team fundraising. You could even make the most of some healthy team competition! On Localgiving, each fundraiser on average brings 10 new online donors to their charity that, on average, raised £400 per charity. So, reaching out to groups as fundraisers is certainly worth considering. Below are 4 key types of community group who you should be reaching out to: 1. Local Businesses Local businesses are often keen to find charitable activities for their staff so why not approach them and suggest a fundraising competition within the office? When approaching local businesses always think of what you can offer them in return, whether it be publicity at a fundraising event or a day of volunteering for their staff.    2.  Sports Groups These groups will be more willing to take on physical challenges and will enjoy the competition of team fundraising. Ask if you can put up posters around your local sports clubs or ask to talk about your cause at an event.   3. Schools Kids make great fundraisers as they are often full of energy and enthusiastic about local causes. Approaching schools opens your donor base up to a parents and teachers as well. Why not suggest talking about your cause as an assembly or host a fundraising event that will be more appealing to kids.   4. Community Groups This can be anything from a book club to a dance class. Do your research on the groups that exist in your local area and approach them about donating to, or fundraising for, your cause. Ask to be invited to their next meeting so you can interact with as many new potential donors as possible. Whenever you are reaching out to new donors or fundraising make sure you have a clear ask based around Grow Your Tenner and think in advance about what you would like from each group. Also make sure to scale your ask depending on who you speak to. Any donation up to £10 will be matched during the campaign - people could donate £2 or £5 and still have their donation doubled. Always try your best to meet the groups in person. This way they will see your passion for the cause first hand and you will be able to make the experience more personal. You can also use this as an opportunity to hand out promotional material surrounding the campaign. Click here for our downloadable poster with the 4 key groups to target within your community. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Localgiving help desk on 0300 111 2340.
    2817 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • With Grow Your Tenner fast approaching it’s important for charities to look for new potential donors and fundraisers within their local community in order to make the most of the campaign. The extra incentive of having a donation of up to £10 doubled makes Grow Your Tenner a great time to reach out to new groups that you may not have thought to contact or felt comfortable contacting before. Focusing on groups rather than individuals is a time effective way to find new donors or fundraisers. For every one person contacted within a particular group, you are opening your charity up to multiple, potential donors who you would have never interacted with before. Groups also make fantastic fundraisers. When contacting groups don’t just think about approaching them as donors but suggest some team fundraising. You could even make the most of some healthy team competition! On Localgiving, each fundraiser on average brings 10 new online donors to their charity that, on average, raised £400 per charity. So, reaching out to groups as fundraisers is certainly worth considering. Below are 4 key types of community group who you should be reaching out to: 1. Local Businesses Local businesses are often keen to find charitable activities for their staff so why not approach them and suggest a fundraising competition within the office? When approaching local businesses always think of what you can offer them in return, whether it be publicity at a fundraising event or a day of volunteering for their staff.    2.  Sports Groups These groups will be more willing to take on physical challenges and will enjoy the competition of team fundraising. Ask if you can put up posters around your local sports clubs or ask to talk about your cause at an event.   3. Schools Kids make great fundraisers as they are often full of energy and enthusiastic about local causes. Approaching schools opens your donor base up to a parents and teachers as well. Why not suggest talking about your cause as an assembly or host a fundraising event that will be more appealing to kids.   4. Community Groups This can be anything from a book club to a dance class. Do your research on the groups that exist in your local area and approach them about donating to, or fundraising for, your cause. Ask to be invited to their next meeting so you can interact with as many new potential donors as possible. Whenever you are reaching out to new donors or fundraising make sure you have a clear ask based around Grow Your Tenner and think in advance about what you would like from each group. Also make sure to scale your ask depending on who you speak to. Any donation up to £10 will be matched during the campaign - people could donate £2 or £5 and still have their donation doubled. Always try your best to meet the groups in person. This way they will see your passion for the cause first hand and you will be able to make the experience more personal. You can also use this as an opportunity to hand out promotional material surrounding the campaign. Click here for our downloadable poster with the 4 key groups to target within your community. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Localgiving help desk on 0300 111 2340.
    Sep 07, 2015 2817
  • 25 Aug 2015
    The likelihood is that you have heard of Social Impact Bonds (SIBS) at some time over the last couple of years. Some hail SIBs as an innovative, even revolutionary way to bring together the distinct expertise of different sectors - improving government efficiency while better addressing complex social issues. Others are more cautious, highlighting the potential risks of giving financial incentives to investors for achieving public goods. As is often the case with these things, the majority of us quickly become mired in jargon and leave it for later. The reality is that, wherever you stand, SIBS are a rapidly growing source of funding for not-for-profits. For this reason we felt it would be useful for you to have an outline of SIBs, enabling you (small, local charities and community groups) to decide whether, and if so how, you may be able to participate. What exactly are Social Impact Bonds? Social Impact Bonds are Pay-by-Performance contracts in which the financial risks (and potential profits) lie entirely with private investors, rather than with the government or civil society. A private investor initially pays for a commissioned project (Commissioners are public sector organisation’s such as local authorities or government departments). The investor then works alongside their chosen partner civil society organisations to achieve specific, measurable outcomes that are agreed upon at the start of the bond. The investors are only repaid by the commissioner if the outcomes are attained. If the agreed outcomes are achieved the investors are repaid by the commissioner and are also given a return for the financial risks they took.   What is the idea behind SIBS? The idea is to bring in private investment to tackle complex and expensive social challenges. The theory is that well-funded early intervention will prevent greater long-term problems and will, ultimately, reduce the public sector’s costs. For example, the first ever SIB, The Peterborough Social Impact Bond, was intended to reduce reoffending. Another ongoing SIB commissioned by Manchester Council is aimed at supporting young people transitioning between residential care to foster care (young people in Residential Care are statistically more likely to have low school attendance, substance abuse problems,  enter the criminal justice system and  become NEET- Not in Education, Employment or Training) Accountability and transparency - SIBs have clearly defined outcomes that must be achieved if investors are to ensure a return on their investment. Consequently, it is in the interests of all parties to ensure that the impact of the project is accurately monitored and evaluated. In the long term, this would mean a shift towards a more evidence based approach to government spending. How do SIBS work in practice? SIBS are still in their infancy and as a result there are relatively few case studies to draw upon. Moreover, those that do exist differ considerably in structure and practice.  The most frequently cited case study is the Peterborough Pilot. The Peterborough SIB, launched in March 2010, was aimed at reducing reoffending by prisoners released from Peterborough prison. Re-offending is an area where prevention has been proven to save the taxpayer money. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) worked in collaboration with 17 investors - mostly charitable trusts and foundations. As this was a “proof of concept” pilot,  this contract was not put out for competitive tender. However, competitive tendering is expected to become the norm for SIBs.   Service providers, together known as the One Service included: St Giles Trust; Ormiston Children and Families Trust (Ormiston); SOVA; YMCA, Peterborough and Fenland Mind (Mind) The contract agreed that the MOJ would make payments to investors if re-offending was reduced by at least 7.5%.  The greater the drop in reoffending beyond this threshold, the more the investors would receive The SIB offered support to 3,000 prisoners both inside prison and after release. The One Service offered a range of support including help with accommodation, low-level mental health needs and training and employment opportunities. In August 2014 the results for the first group of 1,000 prisoners on the Peterborough  SIB were announced - these showed an 8.4% reduction in reconviction rates relative to the national baseline. Peterborough SIB was cut short due after the MoJ announced they would be restructuring the probation service in April 2014. Are small/local charities  able to become service providers in Social Impact bonds? Unlike other pay-by-performance contracts, small charities are more likely to be able to participate in SIBS because the financial risk does not lie with them but with the investor. The government have been keen to highlight this point, claiming that SIBs enable service providers with a ‘deep understanding of the target group that they are trying to support and expertise in the types of intervention that are effective’ but that ‘lack both working capital and evaluation expertise’ to participate in interventions. Strictly speaking, any charity or social enterprise with a proven track record of delivering high social impact  is eligible to become a service provider - plenty of small, local charities meet this definition. However, since investors are carrying the initial financial burden, they are unlikely to be willing to take big risks when choosing which civil society organisations to work with. In practice, most service providers have been working with recognised,  medium to large, charities. Service providers involved in SIBS at present include: Action for children, Thames Reach, St Mungo’s and YMCA. For smaller charities considering participating in a SIB, one potential option would be to work collaboratively with a larger, lead charity. Flexibility, Monitoring and Evaluation One key point for smaller charities to consider when looking at whether they want to become involved in SIBs is whether they have (or see themselves as being able to gain) the capacity for wide scale data-collection and the flexibility to change their methods if goals are not being met. In order for investors to ensure a return on their investment they must provide solid evidence that they have achieved their outcomes. This involves rigorously monitoring and evaluating their programmes. A lot of the feedback  from charities involved in SIBS so far has directly referenced the high volume of data-collection required. For example, Teens and Toddlers, who have recently been supported by a SIB to deliver an educational and social training programme for 14-15 year olds in Manchester, have stated: “We had to be ready for the data demands that come weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly…This can be tough. I report monthly to our board of investors. Every bit of data is reported on and scrutinised, and although our investors are a great bunch, I still get a tad nervous. A bit like first night nerves on a monthly basis!” Whilst monitoring and evaluation demands are particularly high for SIBS, in truth this is reflective of a general trend towards demanding accountability for funds. For some charities, involvement with a SIB may give them the impetus and resources to better survive in this new era of funding conditionality. Publicity As SIBS are still a relatively new initiative they continue to attract a comparatively high level of media attention. If involved in a SIB, this attention may be used to increase public awareness of your charity and cause, potentially driving up demand for services and even bringing in opportunities for further investment. Teens and Toddlers claimed that they gained “fantastic media coverage” that has “ensured (their) name is recognised much more widely”. Of course, increased attention will always come with reputational risks as well as rewards. Can charities propose SIBS themselves? Theoretically anyone, be it a commissioner, investor, politician or service provider can propose a SIB. There is nothing preventing charities and community organisations developing SIB proposals. In fact, in many cases local charities are likely to have the best understanding of both the needs of their communities and the type of intervention that may be required to address them. However, the difficulty for smaller charities, with limited resources –  or, importantly, contacts – may come in approaching other actors (potential commissioners and investors) about implementation. For smaller charities interested in developing a SIB proposal, the best option would almost certainly be to work in partnership with other potential service providers and sound-out potential investors (using the contacts they have in businesses, trusts or foundations)as early as possible. To find out more about Social Impact Bonds you can visit: http://data.gov.uk/sib_knowledge_box/ https://www.gov.uk/social-impact-bonds http://knowhownonprofit.org/funding/social-investment-1/investment-types/social-impact-bonds http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/blog/anyone-social-impact-bondyes-please#sthash.VgtnT6Sp.dpuf http://www.i-for-change.co.uk/resources/sib-market.html http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Case-Studies.pdf    
    2576 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The likelihood is that you have heard of Social Impact Bonds (SIBS) at some time over the last couple of years. Some hail SIBs as an innovative, even revolutionary way to bring together the distinct expertise of different sectors - improving government efficiency while better addressing complex social issues. Others are more cautious, highlighting the potential risks of giving financial incentives to investors for achieving public goods. As is often the case with these things, the majority of us quickly become mired in jargon and leave it for later. The reality is that, wherever you stand, SIBS are a rapidly growing source of funding for not-for-profits. For this reason we felt it would be useful for you to have an outline of SIBs, enabling you (small, local charities and community groups) to decide whether, and if so how, you may be able to participate. What exactly are Social Impact Bonds? Social Impact Bonds are Pay-by-Performance contracts in which the financial risks (and potential profits) lie entirely with private investors, rather than with the government or civil society. A private investor initially pays for a commissioned project (Commissioners are public sector organisation’s such as local authorities or government departments). The investor then works alongside their chosen partner civil society organisations to achieve specific, measurable outcomes that are agreed upon at the start of the bond. The investors are only repaid by the commissioner if the outcomes are attained. If the agreed outcomes are achieved the investors are repaid by the commissioner and are also given a return for the financial risks they took.   What is the idea behind SIBS? The idea is to bring in private investment to tackle complex and expensive social challenges. The theory is that well-funded early intervention will prevent greater long-term problems and will, ultimately, reduce the public sector’s costs. For example, the first ever SIB, The Peterborough Social Impact Bond, was intended to reduce reoffending. Another ongoing SIB commissioned by Manchester Council is aimed at supporting young people transitioning between residential care to foster care (young people in Residential Care are statistically more likely to have low school attendance, substance abuse problems,  enter the criminal justice system and  become NEET- Not in Education, Employment or Training) Accountability and transparency - SIBs have clearly defined outcomes that must be achieved if investors are to ensure a return on their investment. Consequently, it is in the interests of all parties to ensure that the impact of the project is accurately monitored and evaluated. In the long term, this would mean a shift towards a more evidence based approach to government spending. How do SIBS work in practice? SIBS are still in their infancy and as a result there are relatively few case studies to draw upon. Moreover, those that do exist differ considerably in structure and practice.  The most frequently cited case study is the Peterborough Pilot. The Peterborough SIB, launched in March 2010, was aimed at reducing reoffending by prisoners released from Peterborough prison. Re-offending is an area where prevention has been proven to save the taxpayer money. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) worked in collaboration with 17 investors - mostly charitable trusts and foundations. As this was a “proof of concept” pilot,  this contract was not put out for competitive tender. However, competitive tendering is expected to become the norm for SIBs.   Service providers, together known as the One Service included: St Giles Trust; Ormiston Children and Families Trust (Ormiston); SOVA; YMCA, Peterborough and Fenland Mind (Mind) The contract agreed that the MOJ would make payments to investors if re-offending was reduced by at least 7.5%.  The greater the drop in reoffending beyond this threshold, the more the investors would receive The SIB offered support to 3,000 prisoners both inside prison and after release. The One Service offered a range of support including help with accommodation, low-level mental health needs and training and employment opportunities. In August 2014 the results for the first group of 1,000 prisoners on the Peterborough  SIB were announced - these showed an 8.4% reduction in reconviction rates relative to the national baseline. Peterborough SIB was cut short due after the MoJ announced they would be restructuring the probation service in April 2014. Are small/local charities  able to become service providers in Social Impact bonds? Unlike other pay-by-performance contracts, small charities are more likely to be able to participate in SIBS because the financial risk does not lie with them but with the investor. The government have been keen to highlight this point, claiming that SIBs enable service providers with a ‘deep understanding of the target group that they are trying to support and expertise in the types of intervention that are effective’ but that ‘lack both working capital and evaluation expertise’ to participate in interventions. Strictly speaking, any charity or social enterprise with a proven track record of delivering high social impact  is eligible to become a service provider - plenty of small, local charities meet this definition. However, since investors are carrying the initial financial burden, they are unlikely to be willing to take big risks when choosing which civil society organisations to work with. In practice, most service providers have been working with recognised,  medium to large, charities. Service providers involved in SIBS at present include: Action for children, Thames Reach, St Mungo’s and YMCA. For smaller charities considering participating in a SIB, one potential option would be to work collaboratively with a larger, lead charity. Flexibility, Monitoring and Evaluation One key point for smaller charities to consider when looking at whether they want to become involved in SIBs is whether they have (or see themselves as being able to gain) the capacity for wide scale data-collection and the flexibility to change their methods if goals are not being met. In order for investors to ensure a return on their investment they must provide solid evidence that they have achieved their outcomes. This involves rigorously monitoring and evaluating their programmes. A lot of the feedback  from charities involved in SIBS so far has directly referenced the high volume of data-collection required. For example, Teens and Toddlers, who have recently been supported by a SIB to deliver an educational and social training programme for 14-15 year olds in Manchester, have stated: “We had to be ready for the data demands that come weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly…This can be tough. I report monthly to our board of investors. Every bit of data is reported on and scrutinised, and although our investors are a great bunch, I still get a tad nervous. A bit like first night nerves on a monthly basis!” Whilst monitoring and evaluation demands are particularly high for SIBS, in truth this is reflective of a general trend towards demanding accountability for funds. For some charities, involvement with a SIB may give them the impetus and resources to better survive in this new era of funding conditionality. Publicity As SIBS are still a relatively new initiative they continue to attract a comparatively high level of media attention. If involved in a SIB, this attention may be used to increase public awareness of your charity and cause, potentially driving up demand for services and even bringing in opportunities for further investment. Teens and Toddlers claimed that they gained “fantastic media coverage” that has “ensured (their) name is recognised much more widely”. Of course, increased attention will always come with reputational risks as well as rewards. Can charities propose SIBS themselves? Theoretically anyone, be it a commissioner, investor, politician or service provider can propose a SIB. There is nothing preventing charities and community organisations developing SIB proposals. In fact, in many cases local charities are likely to have the best understanding of both the needs of their communities and the type of intervention that may be required to address them. However, the difficulty for smaller charities, with limited resources –  or, importantly, contacts – may come in approaching other actors (potential commissioners and investors) about implementation. For smaller charities interested in developing a SIB proposal, the best option would almost certainly be to work in partnership with other potential service providers and sound-out potential investors (using the contacts they have in businesses, trusts or foundations)as early as possible. To find out more about Social Impact Bonds you can visit: http://data.gov.uk/sib_knowledge_box/ https://www.gov.uk/social-impact-bonds http://knowhownonprofit.org/funding/social-investment-1/investment-types/social-impact-bonds http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/blog/anyone-social-impact-bondyes-please#sthash.VgtnT6Sp.dpuf http://www.i-for-change.co.uk/resources/sib-market.html http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Case-Studies.pdf    
    Aug 25, 2015 2576
  • 03 Aug 2015
    Our members consistently tell us that lack of time and resource is a major barrier to fundraising, as the provision of core services and other aspects involved in running a charity take priority. This is a feeling that is also felt by other small charities in the sector, as reported in The FSI’s ‘UK Small Charity Sector Skills Survey’ last month. Our aim is to help members engage with fundraising in a way that doesn’t detract from the important services they deliver to their communities. In order to do this, we have developed a calendar of ready-made fundraising campaigns, designed to provide an easy way for even the smallest organisations to start building connections with supporters and raising money. We’re happy to say that many groups have reported success through engaging with our campaigns in this way. However, there are some groups that have taken things to the next level, building upon the concept of a campaign to make it their own  – with inspiring results. To explain further what I mean, I’m going to use an example from our recent campaign, #LocalHero, and the activities of a community group in Wiltshire, HEALS of Malmesbury, with the help of Alison Cross-Jones, the group's volunteer general manager. The campaign - #LocalHero We wanted to run a new style of campaign which would benefit our members and incentivise giving in a new way. The concept of “fundraisers competing for prizes” was something we hadn’t tried before, but we felt it had the potential to appeal to all our users, as well as the wider public. For supporters who wanted to fundraise, it would be a compelling opportunity to  provide extra support to a local cause. Charity and community group members would benefit from the money and awareness raised and the campaign would provide a  platform for us to deliver advice about how to secure and support fundraisers – a vital income channel for many charities. The group - HEALS of Malmesbury HEALS of Malmesbury is a community group dedicated to helping local people. As a community organisation (not a registered charity), they have been unable to make use of other online fundraising tools – making engaging with fundraisers difficult. #LocalHero appealed to the group because they felt the ethos resonated with their own mission. “We saw the #LocalHero campaign as a great way of inspiring and enabling people in the community to do brave things, to help us help each other is the spirit of the #LocalHero campaign and our group.” The group organised a skydive and asked their supporters to sign up - committing to raising a minimum of £350 to ensure costs were covered and a 50% donation level achieved. 13 people signed up, including 3 volunteer firefighters from the local fire station (“Real life heroes” as Alison referred to them), a Town Councillor, plus more doing other fundraising events. The group heavily promoted each hero through their social media accounts and encouraged the "Heroes" to do the same. This created a buzz giving the local press something to write about, while also opening the campaign to a wider audience. “There is a real mix of people and it’s great that the communities of Malmesbury and the surrounding villages have come out to support us. Through this campaign we’ve already had more people wanting to fundraise for us. The ability to have a fundraising page through Localgiving and the additional materials offered, will go a long way in helping us in the future.” “We’re encouraging them to tell their stories and in doing so they are helping us to tell ours. We’ve designed posters and leaflets, we’ve used lots of the resources available from Localgiving. The local press have covered various aspects of the campaign, which has meant a number of press releases.” To support their fundraisers, the group set up a page on their website showcasing each #LocalHero and directing sponsors to their pages. Click below to see it.  Although our #LocalHero campaign only included online donations, HEALS of Malmesbury didn’t have the same conditions. After publicity from the press, they contacted local businesses, too - 40 of which pledged to either make a donation or have a collection pot. The group ran a Quiz Night and the three firefighters taking part in the skydive also organised two charity car washes. These initiatives enabled everyone in the community to take part in the fundraising initiative – not just those interested in throwing themselves out of a plane! The group set themselves a target of £3,000 and have almost doubled that, raising over an incredible £5,000 in total! HEALS run a high street drop-in support, advice and information centre (run by volunteers) which costs £7,500 a year to run, plus a programme of events and support making their annual budget over £19,000. The success of this campaign will be able to fund the centre for the rest of 2015 and covered more than 25% of the total cost. It has also helped the group build a wider supporter base to ensure its future funding. “Sustaining our centre is key to our work because this is the main way we engage with people.” Use the fundraising calendar and do the same! What we love about the HEALS of Malmesbury is that it built a campaign on top of ours. They used our materials and platform as a stepping stone to reach their own fundraising objectives - and it’s definitely paid off! Firstly, they recognised an avenue they hadn’t yet explored with their supporters and wanted to give it a try. Secondly, they piggy-backed on a campaign we laid out for them, maximising the press opportunities and gaining support from their local community. And finally, they helped to promote the fundraisers taking part, ensuring the campaign was a success! We’ve just released a fundraising calendar which gives dates and details of the next three campaigns we’re running. If you’re inspired by HEALS of Malmesbury, why not check it out and see whether you can create a plan to build more connections with supporters and reach your targets too! Click here to see details of upcoming campaigns on our fundraising calendar!      
    2078 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Our members consistently tell us that lack of time and resource is a major barrier to fundraising, as the provision of core services and other aspects involved in running a charity take priority. This is a feeling that is also felt by other small charities in the sector, as reported in The FSI’s ‘UK Small Charity Sector Skills Survey’ last month. Our aim is to help members engage with fundraising in a way that doesn’t detract from the important services they deliver to their communities. In order to do this, we have developed a calendar of ready-made fundraising campaigns, designed to provide an easy way for even the smallest organisations to start building connections with supporters and raising money. We’re happy to say that many groups have reported success through engaging with our campaigns in this way. However, there are some groups that have taken things to the next level, building upon the concept of a campaign to make it their own  – with inspiring results. To explain further what I mean, I’m going to use an example from our recent campaign, #LocalHero, and the activities of a community group in Wiltshire, HEALS of Malmesbury, with the help of Alison Cross-Jones, the group's volunteer general manager. The campaign - #LocalHero We wanted to run a new style of campaign which would benefit our members and incentivise giving in a new way. The concept of “fundraisers competing for prizes” was something we hadn’t tried before, but we felt it had the potential to appeal to all our users, as well as the wider public. For supporters who wanted to fundraise, it would be a compelling opportunity to  provide extra support to a local cause. Charity and community group members would benefit from the money and awareness raised and the campaign would provide a  platform for us to deliver advice about how to secure and support fundraisers – a vital income channel for many charities. The group - HEALS of Malmesbury HEALS of Malmesbury is a community group dedicated to helping local people. As a community organisation (not a registered charity), they have been unable to make use of other online fundraising tools – making engaging with fundraisers difficult. #LocalHero appealed to the group because they felt the ethos resonated with their own mission. “We saw the #LocalHero campaign as a great way of inspiring and enabling people in the community to do brave things, to help us help each other is the spirit of the #LocalHero campaign and our group.” The group organised a skydive and asked their supporters to sign up - committing to raising a minimum of £350 to ensure costs were covered and a 50% donation level achieved. 13 people signed up, including 3 volunteer firefighters from the local fire station (“Real life heroes” as Alison referred to them), a Town Councillor, plus more doing other fundraising events. The group heavily promoted each hero through their social media accounts and encouraged the "Heroes" to do the same. This created a buzz giving the local press something to write about, while also opening the campaign to a wider audience. “There is a real mix of people and it’s great that the communities of Malmesbury and the surrounding villages have come out to support us. Through this campaign we’ve already had more people wanting to fundraise for us. The ability to have a fundraising page through Localgiving and the additional materials offered, will go a long way in helping us in the future.” “We’re encouraging them to tell their stories and in doing so they are helping us to tell ours. We’ve designed posters and leaflets, we’ve used lots of the resources available from Localgiving. The local press have covered various aspects of the campaign, which has meant a number of press releases.” To support their fundraisers, the group set up a page on their website showcasing each #LocalHero and directing sponsors to their pages. Click below to see it.  Although our #LocalHero campaign only included online donations, HEALS of Malmesbury didn’t have the same conditions. After publicity from the press, they contacted local businesses, too - 40 of which pledged to either make a donation or have a collection pot. The group ran a Quiz Night and the three firefighters taking part in the skydive also organised two charity car washes. These initiatives enabled everyone in the community to take part in the fundraising initiative – not just those interested in throwing themselves out of a plane! The group set themselves a target of £3,000 and have almost doubled that, raising over an incredible £5,000 in total! HEALS run a high street drop-in support, advice and information centre (run by volunteers) which costs £7,500 a year to run, plus a programme of events and support making their annual budget over £19,000. The success of this campaign will be able to fund the centre for the rest of 2015 and covered more than 25% of the total cost. It has also helped the group build a wider supporter base to ensure its future funding. “Sustaining our centre is key to our work because this is the main way we engage with people.” Use the fundraising calendar and do the same! What we love about the HEALS of Malmesbury is that it built a campaign on top of ours. They used our materials and platform as a stepping stone to reach their own fundraising objectives - and it’s definitely paid off! Firstly, they recognised an avenue they hadn’t yet explored with their supporters and wanted to give it a try. Secondly, they piggy-backed on a campaign we laid out for them, maximising the press opportunities and gaining support from their local community. And finally, they helped to promote the fundraisers taking part, ensuring the campaign was a success! We’ve just released a fundraising calendar which gives dates and details of the next three campaigns we’re running. If you’re inspired by HEALS of Malmesbury, why not check it out and see whether you can create a plan to build more connections with supporters and reach your targets too! Click here to see details of upcoming campaigns on our fundraising calendar!      
    Aug 03, 2015 2078
  • 06 Jul 2015
    In June Localgiving ran the #LocalHero campaign which saw 268 people fundraise on behalf of a local charity, raising a total of £80,499.05 in donations, prizes and Gift Aid from over 2,576 donors throughout the month. It is clear that online fundraising can be lucrative for small and local charities and it is important for these charities to be proactive about engaging with online fundraising throughout the year. As part of Small Charity Week, I hosted a webinar on ‘Inspiring Online Fundraisers’, which focused on how best to engage with and where to find fundraisers, as well as how to support them in the long-term.  Please click here for the slides. Below is a quick summary of presentation content.  Why online fundraising? This section focuses on the statistics behind online donations and fundraising and why it’s so crucial that charities make the most of this profitable revenue stream. Where can I find online fundraisers? This section covers how to find potential fundraisers both offline and online, including advice for making the most of social media tools and how to properly interact with your pre-existing supporters. How do I inspire online fundraisers? The key focus on the presentation, this section includes advice on how to make an inspiring appeal, evidence the impact of your work as well as some useful examples of groups who have done these things successfully; you can also read our blog post  for more information on this topic in our blog Follow These 6 Easy Steps & Find Your Next Fundraiser.  How do I support my fundraisers? Maintaining a relationship with your fundraiser once they have agreed to fundraise for you is a crucial part of the process. This section covers advice on how to successfully support your fundraisers and make them feel appreciated; you can also find more on this topic in our blog Support Your Fundraisers With These 6 Quick Tips.  How do I keep my fundraisers engaged? This section details how to turn your fundraisers into long-terms supporters and what that can mean for your charity in the long term. For more information on this topic have a look at our blog on How To Turn Your Latest Fundraiser Into A Supporter For Life.  Remember, if you need any help with your fundraising through Localgiving, you can contact us for free from 9.30am to 5.30pm, Monday - Friday on 0300 111 2340 or via help@localgiving.com and one of our team of qualified fundraisers will be happy to provide advice and support! 
    1840 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • In June Localgiving ran the #LocalHero campaign which saw 268 people fundraise on behalf of a local charity, raising a total of £80,499.05 in donations, prizes and Gift Aid from over 2,576 donors throughout the month. It is clear that online fundraising can be lucrative for small and local charities and it is important for these charities to be proactive about engaging with online fundraising throughout the year. As part of Small Charity Week, I hosted a webinar on ‘Inspiring Online Fundraisers’, which focused on how best to engage with and where to find fundraisers, as well as how to support them in the long-term.  Please click here for the slides. Below is a quick summary of presentation content.  Why online fundraising? This section focuses on the statistics behind online donations and fundraising and why it’s so crucial that charities make the most of this profitable revenue stream. Where can I find online fundraisers? This section covers how to find potential fundraisers both offline and online, including advice for making the most of social media tools and how to properly interact with your pre-existing supporters. How do I inspire online fundraisers? The key focus on the presentation, this section includes advice on how to make an inspiring appeal, evidence the impact of your work as well as some useful examples of groups who have done these things successfully; you can also read our blog post  for more information on this topic in our blog Follow These 6 Easy Steps & Find Your Next Fundraiser.  How do I support my fundraisers? Maintaining a relationship with your fundraiser once they have agreed to fundraise for you is a crucial part of the process. This section covers advice on how to successfully support your fundraisers and make them feel appreciated; you can also find more on this topic in our blog Support Your Fundraisers With These 6 Quick Tips.  How do I keep my fundraisers engaged? This section details how to turn your fundraisers into long-terms supporters and what that can mean for your charity in the long term. For more information on this topic have a look at our blog on How To Turn Your Latest Fundraiser Into A Supporter For Life.  Remember, if you need any help with your fundraising through Localgiving, you can contact us for free from 9.30am to 5.30pm, Monday - Friday on 0300 111 2340 or via help@localgiving.com and one of our team of qualified fundraisers will be happy to provide advice and support! 
    Jul 06, 2015 1840
  • 24 Jun 2015
    How you interact with your fundraiser once their event is over is crucial when it comes to converting them into a long-term supporter. In this blog we will be looking at 4 simple ways to keep your fundraisers engaged in your charity and your cause. 1. Publicly thank them for their support Use social media, emails or a newsletter to publicly thank your fundraiser for their efforts. Let everyone know how much they raised, what they did to raise it and, crucially, how much it means to your charity.  Thanking your fundraiser publicly also gives them a chance to share your message of appreciation with their personal networks, creating extra publicity for your charity and potentially inspiring a whole new group of people to fundraise for you in the future. 2. Invite them to visit you in person A great way to build a relationship with your fundraiser is to invite them to a team meeting or event and thank them face-to-face for their efforts. If possible, introduce your fundraisers to beneficiaries to remind them what their funds will be going towards and how people's lives will be positively affected. Read about how one group, York Carers, did just that for their fundraiser, Tony Ives.  3. Keep them up to date with your progress If your fundraiser was raising money for a particular project then send them updates of how it is going. Including images and testimonials from people the project has helped can be a great way of adding meaning to these updates. If you are sharing this information publicly then make sure you acknowledge which fundraiser(s) made it possible. Thanking your fundraisers in this way lets them know their efforts where worthwhile and could be the first step in turning them into a long term advocate for your cause.  4. Don’t forget to thank your donors too!  We all know that with each new donor comes the opportunity to raise further funds for your group, so make sure you thank them as well. Make a note on your database of which donors came from which fundraisers, as this will help you to better personalise your communications and provide an indication of what kind of fundraising event may appeal to them in the future.  The focus of these tips is to make sure your fundraiser feels appreciated, that their efforts have made a difference and crucially that they are a helpful part of your cause. By doing this you are much more likely to fundraise for you again and hopefully encourage their friends and family to do the same! Further Information If you are still looking for fundraisers or want to know how to support them while they fundraise for you them during then check out our previous blogs or contact us at help@localgiving.com  You can also click here to download this poster   
    1756 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • How you interact with your fundraiser once their event is over is crucial when it comes to converting them into a long-term supporter. In this blog we will be looking at 4 simple ways to keep your fundraisers engaged in your charity and your cause. 1. Publicly thank them for their support Use social media, emails or a newsletter to publicly thank your fundraiser for their efforts. Let everyone know how much they raised, what they did to raise it and, crucially, how much it means to your charity.  Thanking your fundraiser publicly also gives them a chance to share your message of appreciation with their personal networks, creating extra publicity for your charity and potentially inspiring a whole new group of people to fundraise for you in the future. 2. Invite them to visit you in person A great way to build a relationship with your fundraiser is to invite them to a team meeting or event and thank them face-to-face for their efforts. If possible, introduce your fundraisers to beneficiaries to remind them what their funds will be going towards and how people's lives will be positively affected. Read about how one group, York Carers, did just that for their fundraiser, Tony Ives.  3. Keep them up to date with your progress If your fundraiser was raising money for a particular project then send them updates of how it is going. Including images and testimonials from people the project has helped can be a great way of adding meaning to these updates. If you are sharing this information publicly then make sure you acknowledge which fundraiser(s) made it possible. Thanking your fundraisers in this way lets them know their efforts where worthwhile and could be the first step in turning them into a long term advocate for your cause.  4. Don’t forget to thank your donors too!  We all know that with each new donor comes the opportunity to raise further funds for your group, so make sure you thank them as well. Make a note on your database of which donors came from which fundraisers, as this will help you to better personalise your communications and provide an indication of what kind of fundraising event may appeal to them in the future.  The focus of these tips is to make sure your fundraiser feels appreciated, that their efforts have made a difference and crucially that they are a helpful part of your cause. By doing this you are much more likely to fundraise for you again and hopefully encourage their friends and family to do the same! Further Information If you are still looking for fundraisers or want to know how to support them while they fundraise for you them during then check out our previous blogs or contact us at help@localgiving.com  You can also click here to download this poster   
    Jun 24, 2015 1756
  • 19 Aug 2015
    Thinking of what you can do to fundraise for charity can sometimes be harder than the challenge itself! To help get those ideas flowing we've created an A - Z of fun activities you can do that'll be sure to get your friends and family to support you and your chosen charity. Think outside the box Running a marathon is an amazing achievement, but if running isn't for you there are loads of other ways you can raise money for a local charity. On Localgiving we've had all sorts of wacky ideas including eating 3 whole chickens in an hour and sitting in a baked bean bath while having your head shaved plus some creative ideas such as a vote on which songs a choir will sing at an event. Think local! Once you've come up with your idea all that's left is finding an amazing local charity or community group to fundraise for - and that's where we come in. We've got thousands of local voluntary groups that would love your support! Find one in your area by simply entering your postcode into our search and scrolling through the groups closest to you.                       
    8268 Posted by Steph Heyden
  • Thinking of what you can do to fundraise for charity can sometimes be harder than the challenge itself! To help get those ideas flowing we've created an A - Z of fun activities you can do that'll be sure to get your friends and family to support you and your chosen charity. Think outside the box Running a marathon is an amazing achievement, but if running isn't for you there are loads of other ways you can raise money for a local charity. On Localgiving we've had all sorts of wacky ideas including eating 3 whole chickens in an hour and sitting in a baked bean bath while having your head shaved plus some creative ideas such as a vote on which songs a choir will sing at an event. Think local! Once you've come up with your idea all that's left is finding an amazing local charity or community group to fundraise for - and that's where we come in. We've got thousands of local voluntary groups that would love your support! Find one in your area by simply entering your postcode into our search and scrolling through the groups closest to you.                       
    Aug 19, 2015 8268
  • 09 Jun 2015
    Finding supporters to fundraise for your charity is a brilliant way to increase donations and promote your cause. Knowing how to find these fundraisers is a crucial skill for any charity (see Follow These 6 Easy Steps & Find Your Next Fundraiser) but it is equally important to know how to to properly support them once they've decided to raise money for you.  By supporting your fundraisers you can motivate them to raise more money, better promote your charity and, crucially, create a lasting relastionship and a long-term supporter. Here are 6 quick tips to help you do just that:      1. Thank them immediately Help your fundraisers to feel supported and motivated by thanking them as soon as they set up their fundraising page. Send them an email to show your appreciation and make them feel part of a team, while also reminding them how much you appreciate their efforts. When thanking fundraisers make sure you reiterate what their support will mean to your charity, ideally with specific examples of what the money they raise will go towards; images would also be a great addition. These "thank yous" will help them to visualise their goal and hopefully motivate them to raise even more!      2. Help promote their page Add the unique Localgiving URL for your fundraiser's page to your website, email signature, social media and other promotional materials. This helps to support them while also encoruaging new donations and showing potential supporters that you have a relationship with your fundraisers. Creating a public, as well as a personal, narrative between you and your fundraisers is they key way to show your support as well as encourage donations.      3. Create a sense of community If you have more than one fundraiser, then put them in touch with one another. For example, if two people are running the same fun run or marathon they may be interested in training together and supporting one another. Similarly, you can invite them to meet the people who will benefit from the money they raise - this will help to inspire and motivate them. When it comes to fundraising, people often respond better to group activities. By bringing your fundraisers together you can inspire a sense of solidarity for your cause - this is also more likely to encourage your fundraisers to get their friends and families involved, creating more fundraisers and ultimately more donations for your charity!       4. Make them feel special Publicly celebrate their milestones on social media and personally celebrate them via email. Milestones may include their first donation or a quarter of a way to their fundraising total. By doing this they will not only be aware of your appreciation but will have something to share with their personal networks; motivating those friends and family members to give and develop a greater awareness of your cause. Similarly, personalise your support: if they are running a marathon or doing a bike race then send them specific tips or advice related to their event. This type of advice is easily accessible online. Finding relevant information and sending it to your fundraiser shows you’ve gone the extra mile to build that relationship.  5. Ask them for feedback Ensure your relationship with your fundraisers is a dialogue. What would help them with their training or further inspire them to fundraise? Have their networks of friends and families given any feedback about their fundraising efforts or your cause? This shows you are interested in their progress and, importantly, will also help you to better personalise your appeals to supporters in future.    6. Highlight their story Feature their story on your website, your newsletter or social media outlets. Encourage them to send their unique story e.g why they're fundraising for you; they could even set up a personal blog to update people on their progress. Also follow them on social media so you can stay up to date with their progress and ensure they have everything they need such as charity information/branded materials.    Building meaningful relationships with your fundraisers is key to generating longer-term support. By showing how much you appreciate them you can instil a sense of pride in what they are doing and ensure that they feel their contribution is making a real positive difference. We hope these quick tips help you to ensure your fundraisers feel fully supported. With a little luck, they might fundraise for you again in the future and even encourage their friends and families to do so too!   Further information and material        If you want to learn more about supporting your fundraisers, as well as a range of tips on how to make the most of online fundraising, then click here to find slides from our 'Inspiring Online Fundraisers' webinar that we hosted during Small Charities Week.  Click here to download the poster                      
    2151 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • Finding supporters to fundraise for your charity is a brilliant way to increase donations and promote your cause. Knowing how to find these fundraisers is a crucial skill for any charity (see Follow These 6 Easy Steps & Find Your Next Fundraiser) but it is equally important to know how to to properly support them once they've decided to raise money for you.  By supporting your fundraisers you can motivate them to raise more money, better promote your charity and, crucially, create a lasting relastionship and a long-term supporter. Here are 6 quick tips to help you do just that:      1. Thank them immediately Help your fundraisers to feel supported and motivated by thanking them as soon as they set up their fundraising page. Send them an email to show your appreciation and make them feel part of a team, while also reminding them how much you appreciate their efforts. When thanking fundraisers make sure you reiterate what their support will mean to your charity, ideally with specific examples of what the money they raise will go towards; images would also be a great addition. These "thank yous" will help them to visualise their goal and hopefully motivate them to raise even more!      2. Help promote their page Add the unique Localgiving URL for your fundraiser's page to your website, email signature, social media and other promotional materials. This helps to support them while also encoruaging new donations and showing potential supporters that you have a relationship with your fundraisers. Creating a public, as well as a personal, narrative between you and your fundraisers is they key way to show your support as well as encourage donations.      3. Create a sense of community If you have more than one fundraiser, then put them in touch with one another. For example, if two people are running the same fun run or marathon they may be interested in training together and supporting one another. Similarly, you can invite them to meet the people who will benefit from the money they raise - this will help to inspire and motivate them. When it comes to fundraising, people often respond better to group activities. By bringing your fundraisers together you can inspire a sense of solidarity for your cause - this is also more likely to encourage your fundraisers to get their friends and families involved, creating more fundraisers and ultimately more donations for your charity!       4. Make them feel special Publicly celebrate their milestones on social media and personally celebrate them via email. Milestones may include their first donation or a quarter of a way to their fundraising total. By doing this they will not only be aware of your appreciation but will have something to share with their personal networks; motivating those friends and family members to give and develop a greater awareness of your cause. Similarly, personalise your support: if they are running a marathon or doing a bike race then send them specific tips or advice related to their event. This type of advice is easily accessible online. Finding relevant information and sending it to your fundraiser shows you’ve gone the extra mile to build that relationship.  5. Ask them for feedback Ensure your relationship with your fundraisers is a dialogue. What would help them with their training or further inspire them to fundraise? Have their networks of friends and families given any feedback about their fundraising efforts or your cause? This shows you are interested in their progress and, importantly, will also help you to better personalise your appeals to supporters in future.    6. Highlight their story Feature their story on your website, your newsletter or social media outlets. Encourage them to send their unique story e.g why they're fundraising for you; they could even set up a personal blog to update people on their progress. Also follow them on social media so you can stay up to date with their progress and ensure they have everything they need such as charity information/branded materials.    Building meaningful relationships with your fundraisers is key to generating longer-term support. By showing how much you appreciate them you can instil a sense of pride in what they are doing and ensure that they feel their contribution is making a real positive difference. We hope these quick tips help you to ensure your fundraisers feel fully supported. With a little luck, they might fundraise for you again in the future and even encourage their friends and families to do so too!   Further information and material        If you want to learn more about supporting your fundraisers, as well as a range of tips on how to make the most of online fundraising, then click here to find slides from our 'Inspiring Online Fundraisers' webinar that we hosted during Small Charities Week.  Click here to download the poster                      
    Jun 09, 2015 2151