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  • 12 Mar 2018
    If you’re juggling the finances of a charity - bravo! - it can be a thankless and often un-rewarded task. You won’t need reminding (it’s been on the same day since 1800) that the end of the Tax Year is fast approaching, ahead of which there are a few ‘left-field’ areas it’s well worth looking into. If you have a spare hour between now and 5th April, here’s a checklist you might find handy and - who knows - could even earn you an unexpected accolade… as well as extra funds.   VAT on Energy Bills Charities can apply to reduce the VAT on their energy bills from 20% to 5% and - if you’ve paid 20% in the past – can ask for a rebate for the past four years. This is the maximum period of time that HMRC will allow and it counts in Tax Years so, by submitting a form to your supplier now, means your rebate could include VAT payments as far back as the tax year 2013-2014. A successful reduction in VAT also removes the Climate Change Levy element from your bills too. If your energy bill has 20% VAT in the calculations and want to know what to do next, head over to Back of the Sofa.    Business Rates Discretionary Relief As you know, most charities are also entitled to some form of relief on their Business Rates. And, like VAT discounts, if you don’t ask... you don’t get. Some pay 20% while others pay nothing at all because they have been granted Discretionary Relief. These could be churches, charities or clubs that benefit the local community - even organisations to do with social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts. Each of the UK’s 420 or so Councils has their own rules and guidelines but, like HMRC, they work in Financial Years and so relief will often be back-dated to the start of April in the Tax Year that you are applying. To see how your Council does it, use this search tool. Tax on Savings Interest In 2016, banks started paying interest gross on savings accounts but prior to that they would often deduct tax at source and that would automatically remove 20% from any interest earned. This was common among charities that hold ‘business accounts’ – even though charities are exempt from paying tax on bank interest. Again, the period of time allowed to reverse any incorrect deductions is four Tax Years. That means charities now only have a rapidly diminishing window of opportunity to claim back the tax their bank incorrectly removed in the 2013-2014 period as well as up to 2016. If your bank statements show that tax was paid, you need to tell HMRC via Charities Online or ask for a ChR1 form. If you are successful in these or other – alternative – ways, please let me know! Nick Heath is founder of Back of the Sofa, a free resource to help charities find cash they didn’t know about. www.BackoftheSofa.com (Twitter and Facebook)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Subconscious Effects of Storytelling in Charity Marketing  
    2017 Posted by Nick Heath
  • If you’re juggling the finances of a charity - bravo! - it can be a thankless and often un-rewarded task. You won’t need reminding (it’s been on the same day since 1800) that the end of the Tax Year is fast approaching, ahead of which there are a few ‘left-field’ areas it’s well worth looking into. If you have a spare hour between now and 5th April, here’s a checklist you might find handy and - who knows - could even earn you an unexpected accolade… as well as extra funds.   VAT on Energy Bills Charities can apply to reduce the VAT on their energy bills from 20% to 5% and - if you’ve paid 20% in the past – can ask for a rebate for the past four years. This is the maximum period of time that HMRC will allow and it counts in Tax Years so, by submitting a form to your supplier now, means your rebate could include VAT payments as far back as the tax year 2013-2014. A successful reduction in VAT also removes the Climate Change Levy element from your bills too. If your energy bill has 20% VAT in the calculations and want to know what to do next, head over to Back of the Sofa.    Business Rates Discretionary Relief As you know, most charities are also entitled to some form of relief on their Business Rates. And, like VAT discounts, if you don’t ask... you don’t get. Some pay 20% while others pay nothing at all because they have been granted Discretionary Relief. These could be churches, charities or clubs that benefit the local community - even organisations to do with social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts. Each of the UK’s 420 or so Councils has their own rules and guidelines but, like HMRC, they work in Financial Years and so relief will often be back-dated to the start of April in the Tax Year that you are applying. To see how your Council does it, use this search tool. Tax on Savings Interest In 2016, banks started paying interest gross on savings accounts but prior to that they would often deduct tax at source and that would automatically remove 20% from any interest earned. This was common among charities that hold ‘business accounts’ – even though charities are exempt from paying tax on bank interest. Again, the period of time allowed to reverse any incorrect deductions is four Tax Years. That means charities now only have a rapidly diminishing window of opportunity to claim back the tax their bank incorrectly removed in the 2013-2014 period as well as up to 2016. If your bank statements show that tax was paid, you need to tell HMRC via Charities Online or ask for a ChR1 form. If you are successful in these or other – alternative – ways, please let me know! Nick Heath is founder of Back of the Sofa, a free resource to help charities find cash they didn’t know about. www.BackoftheSofa.com (Twitter and Facebook)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Subconscious Effects of Storytelling in Charity Marketing  
    Mar 12, 2018 2017
  • 08 Feb 2018
    We need to build an emotional connection with a donor before they’ll give. That’s Fundraising 101 right there. But what if your work is complex, sensitive or misunderstood? There’s little hope of building an emotional connection with a potential donor if they don’t even understand what you do. Welsh group Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales (FTWW) came up with a novel idea to both help people to understand their work, and encourage donations in support of it. FTWW was set up to address health inequalities for women in Wales. The group also raises awareness of Endometriosis, and provides support for patients living with the disease. Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems. Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity. Despite its prevalence and impact, it remains hidden and misunderstood - largely down to the taboo around periods and related pain. It is vital that people affected feel able to speak up about symptoms, challenge stereotypes and myths - and FTWW work hard to ensure women and girls are sufficiently empowered to seek early diagnosis and effective treatment. Seeking a fundraising challenge that was representative of their work and gave a nod to their local connection, FTWW decided on a sponsored walk up Snowdon - with a difference. “So many others have done a single walk up Snowdon - we felt that we needed to make ours a little different; something that would really raise the bar, as well as symbolise the challenges – or mountains – our members face and have to climb every day” - Deborah Shaffer, CEO of FTWW The group settled on a week-long effort, with fundraisers tackling a different path up Snowdon each day to represent both the huge variety of challenges faced by their members, and to make sure that their endeavour really stood out. They set up a Localgiving appeal page for the challenge, and set themselves a target of raising £500. The group used social media effectively to promote the fundraising activity, with photos of each walk being posted to twitter, facebook and instagram. The fundraisers wore specially designed t-shirts and hoodies on the climbs to promote the challenge and FTWW - these were great engagement tools during the walks, and encouraged people to come over and chat. “We talked a lot with different people, both on the mountain and in the café, and they would ask us about the organisation and what we did. We described our current campaign around the treatment of Endometriosis in Wales. Many of the people we met were women; some had heard of Endometriosis, some hadn’t. One woman had the disease herself and was really excited to hear of our work. Men were also interested in the challenge, because let’s face it, they are just as much affected by the health problems of the women in their lives as the sufferers themselves.” - Iona Wyn Roberts - FTWW Treasurer  The group set their sights high, and the grueling nature of the challenge generated a lot of interest from supporters and spectators. Snowdon is a mountain that many North Wales locals have scaled, so the challenge remained relatable - which meant supporters could picture how exhausting it would be to climb it multiple times in a row. By comparing living with Endometriosis with climbing Snowdon every day, it helped people to develop their understanding of the condition and how it might affect friends and loved ones. “The challenge went really well; on average, we were a group of 5 and, although we had to cancel 2 days due to bad weather, for the rest of the time we had an exhilarating time, in great company. It was hard going but totally worth it. We managed to reach the summit on four days out of the five we attempted – and it was a fantastic feeling of accomplishment, well worth the blisters and sore muscles!”- Heidi Burrows - FTWW Fundraising Officer The total amount raised during the challenge was £855, which will be used to create and print a range of awareness-raising resources. It will also go towards covering the costs associated with travelling the length and breadth of Wales to conferences and meetings, where FTWW represents women with chronic illness. As a Community Interest Company, the £60 of Gift Aid claimed by Localgiving on their behalf gave their total a welcome boost. Here are FTWW’s 5 Top Tips for causes who want to raise awareness of what they do in order to build relationships with donors: Persevere and don’t be put off by others thinking your ideas sound crazy! The feeling of accomplishment is well worth the effort Think about the nature of the issues faced by your members or the people for whom you’re fundraising, and try to come up with something that symbolises those issues It’s a really good idea to have someone in the organisation who is completely focused upon publicising the endeavour, who will write the tweets and blurb for other social media Take lots of pictures on the day! Use the photos you take to create engaging social media posts, to tell the story in a way that has a lot of impact Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    'Disrupting’ fundraising by minimising disruption  How charities can use images to appeal to donors and supporters  
    1898 Posted by Emma Jones
  • We need to build an emotional connection with a donor before they’ll give. That’s Fundraising 101 right there. But what if your work is complex, sensitive or misunderstood? There’s little hope of building an emotional connection with a potential donor if they don’t even understand what you do. Welsh group Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales (FTWW) came up with a novel idea to both help people to understand their work, and encourage donations in support of it. FTWW was set up to address health inequalities for women in Wales. The group also raises awareness of Endometriosis, and provides support for patients living with the disease. Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods. It may also lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems. Around 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition. Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity. Despite its prevalence and impact, it remains hidden and misunderstood - largely down to the taboo around periods and related pain. It is vital that people affected feel able to speak up about symptoms, challenge stereotypes and myths - and FTWW work hard to ensure women and girls are sufficiently empowered to seek early diagnosis and effective treatment. Seeking a fundraising challenge that was representative of their work and gave a nod to their local connection, FTWW decided on a sponsored walk up Snowdon - with a difference. “So many others have done a single walk up Snowdon - we felt that we needed to make ours a little different; something that would really raise the bar, as well as symbolise the challenges – or mountains – our members face and have to climb every day” - Deborah Shaffer, CEO of FTWW The group settled on a week-long effort, with fundraisers tackling a different path up Snowdon each day to represent both the huge variety of challenges faced by their members, and to make sure that their endeavour really stood out. They set up a Localgiving appeal page for the challenge, and set themselves a target of raising £500. The group used social media effectively to promote the fundraising activity, with photos of each walk being posted to twitter, facebook and instagram. The fundraisers wore specially designed t-shirts and hoodies on the climbs to promote the challenge and FTWW - these were great engagement tools during the walks, and encouraged people to come over and chat. “We talked a lot with different people, both on the mountain and in the café, and they would ask us about the organisation and what we did. We described our current campaign around the treatment of Endometriosis in Wales. Many of the people we met were women; some had heard of Endometriosis, some hadn’t. One woman had the disease herself and was really excited to hear of our work. Men were also interested in the challenge, because let’s face it, they are just as much affected by the health problems of the women in their lives as the sufferers themselves.” - Iona Wyn Roberts - FTWW Treasurer  The group set their sights high, and the grueling nature of the challenge generated a lot of interest from supporters and spectators. Snowdon is a mountain that many North Wales locals have scaled, so the challenge remained relatable - which meant supporters could picture how exhausting it would be to climb it multiple times in a row. By comparing living with Endometriosis with climbing Snowdon every day, it helped people to develop their understanding of the condition and how it might affect friends and loved ones. “The challenge went really well; on average, we were a group of 5 and, although we had to cancel 2 days due to bad weather, for the rest of the time we had an exhilarating time, in great company. It was hard going but totally worth it. We managed to reach the summit on four days out of the five we attempted – and it was a fantastic feeling of accomplishment, well worth the blisters and sore muscles!”- Heidi Burrows - FTWW Fundraising Officer The total amount raised during the challenge was £855, which will be used to create and print a range of awareness-raising resources. It will also go towards covering the costs associated with travelling the length and breadth of Wales to conferences and meetings, where FTWW represents women with chronic illness. As a Community Interest Company, the £60 of Gift Aid claimed by Localgiving on their behalf gave their total a welcome boost. Here are FTWW’s 5 Top Tips for causes who want to raise awareness of what they do in order to build relationships with donors: Persevere and don’t be put off by others thinking your ideas sound crazy! The feeling of accomplishment is well worth the effort Think about the nature of the issues faced by your members or the people for whom you’re fundraising, and try to come up with something that symbolises those issues It’s a really good idea to have someone in the organisation who is completely focused upon publicising the endeavour, who will write the tweets and blurb for other social media Take lots of pictures on the day! Use the photos you take to create engaging social media posts, to tell the story in a way that has a lot of impact Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    'Disrupting’ fundraising by minimising disruption  How charities can use images to appeal to donors and supporters  
    Feb 08, 2018 1898
  • 22 Jan 2018
    It’s tempting to think that the recent fundraising crisis came out of nowhere – with public resentment whipped up by the media and a few horror stories – but the reality is quite different. Frustration and dissatisfaction had actually been simmering away for a long time. In 2016, nfpSynergy reported that the charity sector had one of the lowest complaint rates across seven sectors, but the highest level of people wanting to complain but not doing so. Given that the other sectors included pensions, mortgages and broadband providers, that’s a sobering statistic. So why have people been growing increasingly unhappy with charities? Specific cases of bad practice haven’t helped, but I think there’s a broader issue. Most public fundraising methods seem to rely on interrupting – rather than complementing – our everyday lives. We get stopped in the street. People knock on our doors. Charity appeals pop up on TV and through our letterboxes. In a world marred by spending cuts and growing inequality, this may feel inevitable. More and more people are being denied happy and healthy lives, and charities are stepping in to pick up the slack. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if these fundraising methods work and people have the money to donate, what’s the problem? The issue is that so many fundraising methods feel incompatible with a changing society. Digital technology has given people an unprecedented level of choice and flexibility. We stream music that we want to listen to, rather than sitting through songs we don’t like on the radio. We watch our favourite programmes on-demand on Catch Up TV, instead of “seeing what’s on”. We increasingly live in our own bubble where we do things on our own terms. So when we perceive that we’re being interrupted unnecessarily – whether by a company, a charity or an individual – we can feel harassed or angry. So street, door-to-door and television fundraising – while hugely successful financially, particularly for household name charities – are often negative experiences for the public, stirring up feelings of pressure and guilt. I’m not saying that ‘traditional’ forms of fundraising are fundamentally wrong, or that the negative media coverage is all justified. However, in these tough times, many charities will need to raise increasing amounts from the public to keep supporting their beneficiaries. For this to be sustainable for the sector, we need to be more creative and varied in our fundraising efforts. A popular buzzword today is ‘disruption’ – the concept (originating in Silicon Valley) of smaller companies unseating market leaders in an industry with an innovative or simpler solution. But perhaps the most effective way of ‘disrupting’ fundraising is actually to be as non-disruptive as possible. We need to find more ways to fundraise that fit in with or add value to people’s lives, rather than interrupting them. I’ve seen a few great examples recently – and while many are being implemented by large charities, there’s plenty for all of us to learn: 1) Rounding up in shops Last autumn, staff in my local Tesco in Bristol were fundraising for Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation. To support their efforts, Tesco added a prompt to their self-service machines asking customers to make a small donation to round up their bills: Over about a month, I must have donated ten times (I’m not a very strategic shopper, and Tesco is a one-minute walk around the corner). Never more than 10p – but with so many customers and transactions, you can imagine how this small but frequent giving can add up. While this did involve adding an extra screen to the self-service process, I could choose to donate or decline within two seconds. It didn’t feel obtrusive at all, and there was no awkwardness in saying no. Many people supported two charities that they might not have thought of giving to before. Smaller charities may find it near-impossible to forge a partnership with a major supermarket. However that doesn’t stop you approaching local shops or restaurants about a similar arrangement, or applying to supermarket community schemes like Waitrose’s green token scheme. You can also look at joining nationwide schemes like Pennies. 2) Good old-fashioned community fundraising Community fundraising is brilliant because it performs a social function as well as raising money. It gives people something positive to do and the opportunity to meet new people, which can be really important for some. While most people immediately think of the Macmillan Coffee Morning – which raises almost £30million annually – personally I love Mind’s Crafternoon fundraiser. This promotes mental health and mindfulness, encouraging people to come together and focus on making something. Any charity – no matter what size – can design an attractive community fundraising idea for their own supporters, whether that means a database of a thousand people or a small group of friends and family. The key is to develop your idea in consultation with your target audience, start small, gather feedback and gradually scale it up. Ultimately, community fundraising works best when it’s led by volunteers, with minimal input and support from paid staff. 3) Social media collaboration Building an audience for fundraising is tough for smaller charities, so catching a leg-up makes a huge difference. I’ve always loved this example of how the popular Humans of New York photoblog raised over $100,000 in less than an hour, by weaving a powerful ask for a local cause into an inspiring story. Founder Brandon Stanton had already built a huge audience that enjoyed glimpsing other people’s lives and hearing their stories, so appealing for help was a logical and unobtrusive next step. Winning the trust of an audience that are already passionate about something, and making a related ask on the platform they already use, is another great way of weaving fundraising into the fabric of everyday life. Building a relationship with a blogger or YouTube star isn’t easy, but might be a better bet than approaching major companies, particularly if there’s a reason why they’d support your cause. Try looking out for rising stars and make contact with them before they hit the big time. 4) Gamification Ever been through Stockholm Airport and seen these charity arcade machines? I love this for two reasons. Firstly, it takes something that’s already popular and adds a fundraising twist. If people like arcade machines in airports, why wouldn’t they love using them for a good cause? Secondly, this is a brilliant example of the gamification of fundraising. This increasing trend uses games, challenges and adventures to give people an added incentive to support a cause – and it really works. You’ll probably struggle to get arcade machines placed in major airports. However, you can still use this as inspiration:  can you ‘gamify’ any of your existing fundraising efforts, or add a fundraising twist to something your local supporters already enjoy doing? 5) Making donating easy When people decide they want to donate to you – no matter how or where – it’s not the end of the story. The physical act of donating has to be intuitive and convenient – if it’s too complicated, you’ll lose donors. As technology moves on, people expect the organisations they interact with to keep pace. The use of contactless cards is booming – contactless payments now account for a third of all card purchases, up from 10% just two years ago. Cash is a fading force, and charities are losing out by still relying too much on it – by as much as £80million per year, according to this report. It’s worth exploring options now for taking card and contactless payments, as the cost and barriers to entry will continue to come down for smaller charities. Also, make sure your donation and registration forms (both online and paper) are as simple as possible. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  
    3327 Posted by Mike Zywina
  • It’s tempting to think that the recent fundraising crisis came out of nowhere – with public resentment whipped up by the media and a few horror stories – but the reality is quite different. Frustration and dissatisfaction had actually been simmering away for a long time. In 2016, nfpSynergy reported that the charity sector had one of the lowest complaint rates across seven sectors, but the highest level of people wanting to complain but not doing so. Given that the other sectors included pensions, mortgages and broadband providers, that’s a sobering statistic. So why have people been growing increasingly unhappy with charities? Specific cases of bad practice haven’t helped, but I think there’s a broader issue. Most public fundraising methods seem to rely on interrupting – rather than complementing – our everyday lives. We get stopped in the street. People knock on our doors. Charity appeals pop up on TV and through our letterboxes. In a world marred by spending cuts and growing inequality, this may feel inevitable. More and more people are being denied happy and healthy lives, and charities are stepping in to pick up the slack. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if these fundraising methods work and people have the money to donate, what’s the problem? The issue is that so many fundraising methods feel incompatible with a changing society. Digital technology has given people an unprecedented level of choice and flexibility. We stream music that we want to listen to, rather than sitting through songs we don’t like on the radio. We watch our favourite programmes on-demand on Catch Up TV, instead of “seeing what’s on”. We increasingly live in our own bubble where we do things on our own terms. So when we perceive that we’re being interrupted unnecessarily – whether by a company, a charity or an individual – we can feel harassed or angry. So street, door-to-door and television fundraising – while hugely successful financially, particularly for household name charities – are often negative experiences for the public, stirring up feelings of pressure and guilt. I’m not saying that ‘traditional’ forms of fundraising are fundamentally wrong, or that the negative media coverage is all justified. However, in these tough times, many charities will need to raise increasing amounts from the public to keep supporting their beneficiaries. For this to be sustainable for the sector, we need to be more creative and varied in our fundraising efforts. A popular buzzword today is ‘disruption’ – the concept (originating in Silicon Valley) of smaller companies unseating market leaders in an industry with an innovative or simpler solution. But perhaps the most effective way of ‘disrupting’ fundraising is actually to be as non-disruptive as possible. We need to find more ways to fundraise that fit in with or add value to people’s lives, rather than interrupting them. I’ve seen a few great examples recently – and while many are being implemented by large charities, there’s plenty for all of us to learn: 1) Rounding up in shops Last autumn, staff in my local Tesco in Bristol were fundraising for Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation. To support their efforts, Tesco added a prompt to their self-service machines asking customers to make a small donation to round up their bills: Over about a month, I must have donated ten times (I’m not a very strategic shopper, and Tesco is a one-minute walk around the corner). Never more than 10p – but with so many customers and transactions, you can imagine how this small but frequent giving can add up. While this did involve adding an extra screen to the self-service process, I could choose to donate or decline within two seconds. It didn’t feel obtrusive at all, and there was no awkwardness in saying no. Many people supported two charities that they might not have thought of giving to before. Smaller charities may find it near-impossible to forge a partnership with a major supermarket. However that doesn’t stop you approaching local shops or restaurants about a similar arrangement, or applying to supermarket community schemes like Waitrose’s green token scheme. You can also look at joining nationwide schemes like Pennies. 2) Good old-fashioned community fundraising Community fundraising is brilliant because it performs a social function as well as raising money. It gives people something positive to do and the opportunity to meet new people, which can be really important for some. While most people immediately think of the Macmillan Coffee Morning – which raises almost £30million annually – personally I love Mind’s Crafternoon fundraiser. This promotes mental health and mindfulness, encouraging people to come together and focus on making something. Any charity – no matter what size – can design an attractive community fundraising idea for their own supporters, whether that means a database of a thousand people or a small group of friends and family. The key is to develop your idea in consultation with your target audience, start small, gather feedback and gradually scale it up. Ultimately, community fundraising works best when it’s led by volunteers, with minimal input and support from paid staff. 3) Social media collaboration Building an audience for fundraising is tough for smaller charities, so catching a leg-up makes a huge difference. I’ve always loved this example of how the popular Humans of New York photoblog raised over $100,000 in less than an hour, by weaving a powerful ask for a local cause into an inspiring story. Founder Brandon Stanton had already built a huge audience that enjoyed glimpsing other people’s lives and hearing their stories, so appealing for help was a logical and unobtrusive next step. Winning the trust of an audience that are already passionate about something, and making a related ask on the platform they already use, is another great way of weaving fundraising into the fabric of everyday life. Building a relationship with a blogger or YouTube star isn’t easy, but might be a better bet than approaching major companies, particularly if there’s a reason why they’d support your cause. Try looking out for rising stars and make contact with them before they hit the big time. 4) Gamification Ever been through Stockholm Airport and seen these charity arcade machines? I love this for two reasons. Firstly, it takes something that’s already popular and adds a fundraising twist. If people like arcade machines in airports, why wouldn’t they love using them for a good cause? Secondly, this is a brilliant example of the gamification of fundraising. This increasing trend uses games, challenges and adventures to give people an added incentive to support a cause – and it really works. You’ll probably struggle to get arcade machines placed in major airports. However, you can still use this as inspiration:  can you ‘gamify’ any of your existing fundraising efforts, or add a fundraising twist to something your local supporters already enjoy doing? 5) Making donating easy When people decide they want to donate to you – no matter how or where – it’s not the end of the story. The physical act of donating has to be intuitive and convenient – if it’s too complicated, you’ll lose donors. As technology moves on, people expect the organisations they interact with to keep pace. The use of contactless cards is booming – contactless payments now account for a third of all card purchases, up from 10% just two years ago. Cash is a fading force, and charities are losing out by still relying too much on it – by as much as £80million per year, according to this report. It’s worth exploring options now for taking card and contactless payments, as the cost and barriers to entry will continue to come down for smaller charities. Also, make sure your donation and registration forms (both online and paper) are as simple as possible. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  
    Jan 22, 2018 3327
  • 12 Dec 2017
    The power of imagery is undeniable, research has found that people are much more responsive to charitable pleas that feature a single, identifiable beneficiary than they are to statistical information about the scale of the problem being faced. Information in images are more readily understood and retained. Images engage audiences and support your written points. The right image can affect what a user thinks, feels or does and make your website or social media page more engaging. Visual content allows you to emphasize important messages and motivates the viewer to take action. According to Zabisco, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. So, how can you use imagery to reach and engage new and existing supporters? For many charities the answer lies in online and social media campaigns. Most charitable organisations now incorporate online strategies into their awareness, PR, and fundraising campaigns. Through email, blogging and social media, charitable organizations now have the potential to deliver information about their cause to a much larger audience. As seen in the rise of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, social media users strive for the “in the moment” feeling. As charitable organizations the use of real and appropriate imagery can connect with followers on an emotional level and drive positive action. These images are memorable and stay in the minds of social media followers so that the next time they see your charity’s logo or image they can more easily take in the information you need them to know. Seeing others taking action makes an individual more likely to take action. Including images and testimonials from real life supporters in your social media posts can have a positive effect on donations and awareness. When you encourage people to take action, it will spread into their social networks where people will feel the urge to follow and take action too. It’s not just online, using imagery in printed flyers, posters and adverts can have a dramatic effect on the success of charitable events. But as a charitable organisation with limited resources, how do you create high quality designs for social media and print?  Design Wizard is an online graphic design tool suitable for beginners that makes it easy to create digital and print designs in seconds. You can upload your own images, logo, colors and fonts to create custom graphics for every platform. The company offers access to over 1.2 million images and 17,000 templates including a range of fundraising templates, flyers, posters and social media posts. It’s premium version, Design Wizard Pro, is offered free to registered nonprofits on application. Claire O'Brien is the Marketing Manager at Design Wizard. Claire has more than 10 years experience in content creation including visual content, digital marketing, email marketing, social media and advertising. She has an avid interest in all things digital and software related. Found this blog useful? You may also like: 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times  
    2331 Posted by Claire O'Brien
  • The power of imagery is undeniable, research has found that people are much more responsive to charitable pleas that feature a single, identifiable beneficiary than they are to statistical information about the scale of the problem being faced. Information in images are more readily understood and retained. Images engage audiences and support your written points. The right image can affect what a user thinks, feels or does and make your website or social media page more engaging. Visual content allows you to emphasize important messages and motivates the viewer to take action. According to Zabisco, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. So, how can you use imagery to reach and engage new and existing supporters? For many charities the answer lies in online and social media campaigns. Most charitable organisations now incorporate online strategies into their awareness, PR, and fundraising campaigns. Through email, blogging and social media, charitable organizations now have the potential to deliver information about their cause to a much larger audience. As seen in the rise of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, social media users strive for the “in the moment” feeling. As charitable organizations the use of real and appropriate imagery can connect with followers on an emotional level and drive positive action. These images are memorable and stay in the minds of social media followers so that the next time they see your charity’s logo or image they can more easily take in the information you need them to know. Seeing others taking action makes an individual more likely to take action. Including images and testimonials from real life supporters in your social media posts can have a positive effect on donations and awareness. When you encourage people to take action, it will spread into their social networks where people will feel the urge to follow and take action too. It’s not just online, using imagery in printed flyers, posters and adverts can have a dramatic effect on the success of charitable events. But as a charitable organisation with limited resources, how do you create high quality designs for social media and print?  Design Wizard is an online graphic design tool suitable for beginners that makes it easy to create digital and print designs in seconds. You can upload your own images, logo, colors and fonts to create custom graphics for every platform. The company offers access to over 1.2 million images and 17,000 templates including a range of fundraising templates, flyers, posters and social media posts. It’s premium version, Design Wizard Pro, is offered free to registered nonprofits on application. Claire O'Brien is the Marketing Manager at Design Wizard. Claire has more than 10 years experience in content creation including visual content, digital marketing, email marketing, social media and advertising. She has an avid interest in all things digital and software related. Found this blog useful? You may also like: 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times  
    Dec 12, 2017 2331
  • 06 Oct 2017
      1. Knowledge is power Familiarise yourself with the full terms of the campaign. Once you know how everything works, plan what you’ll do to make the most of it. Remember to let everyone in the organisation know (don’t forget the trustees!) so everyone is prepared and can do their bit. Afterall, Grow Your Tenner comes but once a year! Think about how Grow Your Tenner will complement current or ongoing fundraising activities. For example, do you have a fundraiser raising money for you at the moment? If yes, encourage them to do an extra push for donations during Grow Your Tenner. You can help by sharing their fundraising page via your social media and other networks. 2. Don’t ask, don’t get Letting supporters know Grow Your Tenner is happening is just the first step. To maximise your chances of getting donations, you’ll actually have to ask! Remember to ask nicely, and to be specific - so rather than saying: “Donate £10 to us today and it will be doubled.” Try saying: “Donate £10 to our new building appeal today and it will be doubled by Localgiving! £20 is enough to buy a new chair for the community room.“ A good rule of thumb when crafting your “ask” is to focus on the donor, as opposed to your organisation. Let’s look at an example. A homeless charity might say something like: “Support our outreach work with homeless people in [town] - your £10 donation will enable us to provide a hot meal for a person in crisis.” To help the donor feel a bit more connected to the cause, and therefore a bit more likely to donate, they could instead say: “Reach out to homeless people in [town] - because of your £10, a person in crisis will be able to enjoy a hot meal today.” 3. Once upon a time Effective storytelling is key to fundraising. Stories engage us, and are much easier to remember than statistics.They also have the ability to trigger an emotional response, which helps build rapport between your cause and your supporters. Stories are most effective when they are told by the people you support, in their own words. As a charitable organisation, you touch the lives of so many people! Chances are, some of them would be delighted to “give something back” by providing a short testimonial or case study. Use these storytelling tips to help you get started! 4. Make it your own If you can add additional meaning to the campaign, it will make it more personal to your cause and more tangible for your supporters. For example, if you’re currently running an appeal, how many doubled tenners will it take for you to reach your target? Or perhaps there’s something specific that the extra £10 will enable you to do? Let’s go back to the homeless charity example: “Your gift of £10 will buy a person in crisis a hot meal, and the £10 match funding will give them a safe bed in the shelter tonight.” Finally, can you do something unique to bring the campaign to life? Belfast Print Workshop came up with this fun, share-worthy video in advance of last year’s Grow Your Tenner. 5. Is there anybody out there? Once you’ve planned your approach, it’s time to start spreading the word! Social media is a great place to start. Use any platform you are on to let people know about the campaign. Encourage your volunteers and/or staff to share posts made by your group’s page so the message reaches more people. Keep it visual, using photos and videos where possible. South Denbighshire Community Partnership recently used Facebook Live to broadcast their fundraiser, Alex, being waxed before competing in the Iron Man Wales triathlon! It was a great way to get people involved (the video got over a thousand views) and it generated more donations for Alex’s page.   As a Localgiving member, you’re part of a lively and diverse community of grassroots organisations across the UK. During the campaign, get inspiration and support each other by following #GrowYourTenner on Facebook and Twitter. Not only will you see all the great fundraising other groups are doing, you’ll also get the latest updates from Localgiving. Remember to use the hashtag in all your posts, too - we’ll share when we can! Don’t forget about your other communication channels. Have you approached the local news? You can upload a press release right from the Localgiving website! 6. Let me check my schedule Trying to stay on top of multiple social media channels can be tricky. Picture this: Grow Your Tenner starts at 10:00 on the 17th of October, and you’ve organised a special coffee morning at your local community centre to launch your fundraising appeal. You really should put some things on social media, but you’ll be busy speaking to people at the event. What a dilemma!   Enter: scheduling tools. Scheduling enables you to plan posts in advance, meaning you can be active on social media even when you’re busy doing things in the real world. Some platforms have scheduling features built in (e.g. Facebook), or you can use a dedicated service (e.g. Hootsuite) to manage multiple accounts. If you’ve never tried scheduling before, check out these handy guides: Scheduling a Facebook post Scheduling social media using Hootsuite   7. Let’s stay together Direct Debits account for 31% of all donations to UK charities. Regular donations are hugely important for small, local charities, helping them to stabilise their finances and plan for the future. A one-off donation of £120 can be daunting for many people, whereas £10 a month seems much more reasonable. A £10 monthly donation set up during the campaign will raise £210 over a 12 month period (including Gift Aid and match funding) - that’s a whopping £60 extra thanks to Grow Your Tenner! Tune in to our next webinar at 1pm on the 12th of October for some hints and tips on how to attract regular donors. 8. Mind your Ps and Qs If someone put money in your collection tin, you’d give them a friendly smile and a cheery thank you - so remember to do the same online! A timely and well-written thank you will make the donor feel appreciated. Nothing, on the other hand, might make them think twice about giving again in the future. Lots of thank yous to do? Remember you can send messages to donors directly from your Localgiving dashboard using 3 saved templates. Not sure where to start? Have a look at our guide to writing a good thank you message. If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different methods of sending thank yous - like TAPE Community Music & Film, who made this simple video after their recent appeal!   9. Don’t stop me now You’ve prepared well for the launch of Grow Your Tenner, and you get a few donations in on the the 17th. Success! Time to relax, right? Not yet! The campaign will run for as long as there is money in the pot (or until 16th of November - whichever comes first), so be sure to keep the momentum going. Because there’s a target to aim for, an appeal will help you to focus your fundraising and keep people engaged for the whole campaign. Keep posting on social media throughout Grow Your Tenner, and give updates about your fundraising. Remember to celebrate when you reach a milestone, and remind people that their donations will be matched for a limited time. Check out these 13 tips to help you run a successful appeal.   10. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship Your interaction with a donor shouldn’t end at the point where they give - that’s only the start! Firstly, you’ll (ideally) be getting in touch within 24 hours to say thank you. From there, you could go back to them again at the end of Grow Your Tenner, to let them know how much you raised and your plans for the money. Once you’ve started using the money raised, get back in touch again with a progress update. This is your opportunity to really demonstrate the difference their money is making to the people you support. If you’re working on a capital project, could you send some before and after photos? If the money was for an event, could you send a video with snippets from the participants? Your aim should be to keep the donor interested, so you can go back to them in the future to let them know how they can get involved again - be that volunteering at an event, doing a sponsored challenge or donating to your next appeal. With these 10 tips, you should feel prepared to take on Grow Your Tenner - but remember you can call 0300 111 2340 or email help@localgiving.org for friendly help, support and fundraising advice. Good luck!  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 
    2990 Posted by Emma Jones
  •   1. Knowledge is power Familiarise yourself with the full terms of the campaign. Once you know how everything works, plan what you’ll do to make the most of it. Remember to let everyone in the organisation know (don’t forget the trustees!) so everyone is prepared and can do their bit. Afterall, Grow Your Tenner comes but once a year! Think about how Grow Your Tenner will complement current or ongoing fundraising activities. For example, do you have a fundraiser raising money for you at the moment? If yes, encourage them to do an extra push for donations during Grow Your Tenner. You can help by sharing their fundraising page via your social media and other networks. 2. Don’t ask, don’t get Letting supporters know Grow Your Tenner is happening is just the first step. To maximise your chances of getting donations, you’ll actually have to ask! Remember to ask nicely, and to be specific - so rather than saying: “Donate £10 to us today and it will be doubled.” Try saying: “Donate £10 to our new building appeal today and it will be doubled by Localgiving! £20 is enough to buy a new chair for the community room.“ A good rule of thumb when crafting your “ask” is to focus on the donor, as opposed to your organisation. Let’s look at an example. A homeless charity might say something like: “Support our outreach work with homeless people in [town] - your £10 donation will enable us to provide a hot meal for a person in crisis.” To help the donor feel a bit more connected to the cause, and therefore a bit more likely to donate, they could instead say: “Reach out to homeless people in [town] - because of your £10, a person in crisis will be able to enjoy a hot meal today.” 3. Once upon a time Effective storytelling is key to fundraising. Stories engage us, and are much easier to remember than statistics.They also have the ability to trigger an emotional response, which helps build rapport between your cause and your supporters. Stories are most effective when they are told by the people you support, in their own words. As a charitable organisation, you touch the lives of so many people! Chances are, some of them would be delighted to “give something back” by providing a short testimonial or case study. Use these storytelling tips to help you get started! 4. Make it your own If you can add additional meaning to the campaign, it will make it more personal to your cause and more tangible for your supporters. For example, if you’re currently running an appeal, how many doubled tenners will it take for you to reach your target? Or perhaps there’s something specific that the extra £10 will enable you to do? Let’s go back to the homeless charity example: “Your gift of £10 will buy a person in crisis a hot meal, and the £10 match funding will give them a safe bed in the shelter tonight.” Finally, can you do something unique to bring the campaign to life? Belfast Print Workshop came up with this fun, share-worthy video in advance of last year’s Grow Your Tenner. 5. Is there anybody out there? Once you’ve planned your approach, it’s time to start spreading the word! Social media is a great place to start. Use any platform you are on to let people know about the campaign. Encourage your volunteers and/or staff to share posts made by your group’s page so the message reaches more people. Keep it visual, using photos and videos where possible. South Denbighshire Community Partnership recently used Facebook Live to broadcast their fundraiser, Alex, being waxed before competing in the Iron Man Wales triathlon! It was a great way to get people involved (the video got over a thousand views) and it generated more donations for Alex’s page.   As a Localgiving member, you’re part of a lively and diverse community of grassroots organisations across the UK. During the campaign, get inspiration and support each other by following #GrowYourTenner on Facebook and Twitter. Not only will you see all the great fundraising other groups are doing, you’ll also get the latest updates from Localgiving. Remember to use the hashtag in all your posts, too - we’ll share when we can! Don’t forget about your other communication channels. Have you approached the local news? You can upload a press release right from the Localgiving website! 6. Let me check my schedule Trying to stay on top of multiple social media channels can be tricky. Picture this: Grow Your Tenner starts at 10:00 on the 17th of October, and you’ve organised a special coffee morning at your local community centre to launch your fundraising appeal. You really should put some things on social media, but you’ll be busy speaking to people at the event. What a dilemma!   Enter: scheduling tools. Scheduling enables you to plan posts in advance, meaning you can be active on social media even when you’re busy doing things in the real world. Some platforms have scheduling features built in (e.g. Facebook), or you can use a dedicated service (e.g. Hootsuite) to manage multiple accounts. If you’ve never tried scheduling before, check out these handy guides: Scheduling a Facebook post Scheduling social media using Hootsuite   7. Let’s stay together Direct Debits account for 31% of all donations to UK charities. Regular donations are hugely important for small, local charities, helping them to stabilise their finances and plan for the future. A one-off donation of £120 can be daunting for many people, whereas £10 a month seems much more reasonable. A £10 monthly donation set up during the campaign will raise £210 over a 12 month period (including Gift Aid and match funding) - that’s a whopping £60 extra thanks to Grow Your Tenner! Tune in to our next webinar at 1pm on the 12th of October for some hints and tips on how to attract regular donors. 8. Mind your Ps and Qs If someone put money in your collection tin, you’d give them a friendly smile and a cheery thank you - so remember to do the same online! A timely and well-written thank you will make the donor feel appreciated. Nothing, on the other hand, might make them think twice about giving again in the future. Lots of thank yous to do? Remember you can send messages to donors directly from your Localgiving dashboard using 3 saved templates. Not sure where to start? Have a look at our guide to writing a good thank you message. If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different methods of sending thank yous - like TAPE Community Music & Film, who made this simple video after their recent appeal!   9. Don’t stop me now You’ve prepared well for the launch of Grow Your Tenner, and you get a few donations in on the the 17th. Success! Time to relax, right? Not yet! The campaign will run for as long as there is money in the pot (or until 16th of November - whichever comes first), so be sure to keep the momentum going. Because there’s a target to aim for, an appeal will help you to focus your fundraising and keep people engaged for the whole campaign. Keep posting on social media throughout Grow Your Tenner, and give updates about your fundraising. Remember to celebrate when you reach a milestone, and remind people that their donations will be matched for a limited time. Check out these 13 tips to help you run a successful appeal.   10. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship Your interaction with a donor shouldn’t end at the point where they give - that’s only the start! Firstly, you’ll (ideally) be getting in touch within 24 hours to say thank you. From there, you could go back to them again at the end of Grow Your Tenner, to let them know how much you raised and your plans for the money. Once you’ve started using the money raised, get back in touch again with a progress update. This is your opportunity to really demonstrate the difference their money is making to the people you support. If you’re working on a capital project, could you send some before and after photos? If the money was for an event, could you send a video with snippets from the participants? Your aim should be to keep the donor interested, so you can go back to them in the future to let them know how they can get involved again - be that volunteering at an event, doing a sponsored challenge or donating to your next appeal. With these 10 tips, you should feel prepared to take on Grow Your Tenner - but remember you can call 0300 111 2340 or email help@localgiving.org for friendly help, support and fundraising advice. Good luck!  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 
    Oct 06, 2017 2990
  • 19 Sep 2017
    When Healthy London Partnership began working with communities to tackle childhood obesity two years ago, I knew we were in for a challenge. Not only is childhood obesity an epidemic in London – with one in three children leaving primary school overweight or obese – and putting an increasing strain on the NHS; but we’re also seeing cuts to public health and prevention budgets. So our challenge was – how do we tackle childhood obesity in a way that is financially sustainable? The approach that evolved was one that included the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and which can be applied to almost any community-based challenge, anywhere. With an increasingly challenged health and care system, the need to stem the flow of demand is essential. We need place based services which understand the challenges, needs and assets of the communities around them; who know how to connect with those groups who are sometimes called ‘hard to reach’ and who are able to tailor and personalise their approach. I believe that organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are some of the best to help fill this role. There are many examples of where they are already doing so, and providing invaluable support to their local communities. Not only do they often share many of the same health and wellbeing goals as public sector organisations, but they often add additional social value through the employment of local people, volunteering and training opportunities. On top of this, they are able to harness additional capital toward health goals – whether that be through trading revenue, grants, fundraising or social investment. Could the sector therefore play a critical role in tackling complex problems, in a sustainable way?  I am one of a growing tide of people who believe this to be the case. That’s why it’s so important that funders, including public sector commissioners, recognise this and do more to support the sector. Data shows that public sector funding to smaller charities has fallen by a third, and although they are trying to adapt to these changes by becoming more enterprising, they don’t always have the skills or support around them to do this successfully. A resulting 23,000 charities stopped operating across England and Wales between 2008 and 2013. We know that sustainable, diverse business models are possible for many voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, and organisations like Localgiving are supporting this transition. Between 2008/09 and 2012/13, small and medium-sized charities increased their income through fundraising and charitable trading by up to 60%; and 31% of social enterprises reported making a profit last year. Funders should understand the unique role of their local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector but also their support needs. Where an organisation is creating positive impact in the local community, funders have a joint responsibility to support the shift toward a sustainable business model where possible. This is firstly important for their local communities to ensure they continue to have access to high quality and effective local services. Secondly it’s also important to reduce reliance of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations on public sector funding - therefore reducing the risk posed by any future funding cuts and ensuring public sector funding is spent both effectively and efficiently. In my role as project manager in Healthy London Partnership’s prevention team, I’ve written this guide which discusses some of the ways commissioners can begin to take a more proactive role in supporting their local sector to deliver sustainable impact. This can be done within existing resources and can include adapting commissioning processes to recognise wider social value and ensuring money can reach smaller organisations; it can include supportive – or incubation - techniques such as sharing knowledge and skills with local organisations, brokering partnerships and networks or access to assets like office space; it could also include using blended finance to drive the development of sustainable income streams. While commissioners have a role to play, they aren’t solely responsible for the sustainability of their local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The sector itself will need to look within to ensure it is demonstrating impact and developing sustainable business models, including forming partnerships and alliances where appropriate. And other funders, infrastructure bodies, and the private sector will need to come together to ensure the value provided by local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations is sustainable. Read and share the Commissioning Guide here. For more information about the guide or the work of Healthy London Partnership please email nwlccc.healthyinlondon@nhs.net Jessica Attard, Healthy London Partnership Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How the Cardiff Half Marathon is helping our groups in Wales Sunshine Fundraising on our London Development Programme!    
    1376 Posted by Jessica Attard
  • When Healthy London Partnership began working with communities to tackle childhood obesity two years ago, I knew we were in for a challenge. Not only is childhood obesity an epidemic in London – with one in three children leaving primary school overweight or obese – and putting an increasing strain on the NHS; but we’re also seeing cuts to public health and prevention budgets. So our challenge was – how do we tackle childhood obesity in a way that is financially sustainable? The approach that evolved was one that included the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and which can be applied to almost any community-based challenge, anywhere. With an increasingly challenged health and care system, the need to stem the flow of demand is essential. We need place based services which understand the challenges, needs and assets of the communities around them; who know how to connect with those groups who are sometimes called ‘hard to reach’ and who are able to tailor and personalise their approach. I believe that organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are some of the best to help fill this role. There are many examples of where they are already doing so, and providing invaluable support to their local communities. Not only do they often share many of the same health and wellbeing goals as public sector organisations, but they often add additional social value through the employment of local people, volunteering and training opportunities. On top of this, they are able to harness additional capital toward health goals – whether that be through trading revenue, grants, fundraising or social investment. Could the sector therefore play a critical role in tackling complex problems, in a sustainable way?  I am one of a growing tide of people who believe this to be the case. That’s why it’s so important that funders, including public sector commissioners, recognise this and do more to support the sector. Data shows that public sector funding to smaller charities has fallen by a third, and although they are trying to adapt to these changes by becoming more enterprising, they don’t always have the skills or support around them to do this successfully. A resulting 23,000 charities stopped operating across England and Wales between 2008 and 2013. We know that sustainable, diverse business models are possible for many voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, and organisations like Localgiving are supporting this transition. Between 2008/09 and 2012/13, small and medium-sized charities increased their income through fundraising and charitable trading by up to 60%; and 31% of social enterprises reported making a profit last year. Funders should understand the unique role of their local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector but also their support needs. Where an organisation is creating positive impact in the local community, funders have a joint responsibility to support the shift toward a sustainable business model where possible. This is firstly important for their local communities to ensure they continue to have access to high quality and effective local services. Secondly it’s also important to reduce reliance of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations on public sector funding - therefore reducing the risk posed by any future funding cuts and ensuring public sector funding is spent both effectively and efficiently. In my role as project manager in Healthy London Partnership’s prevention team, I’ve written this guide which discusses some of the ways commissioners can begin to take a more proactive role in supporting their local sector to deliver sustainable impact. This can be done within existing resources and can include adapting commissioning processes to recognise wider social value and ensuring money can reach smaller organisations; it can include supportive – or incubation - techniques such as sharing knowledge and skills with local organisations, brokering partnerships and networks or access to assets like office space; it could also include using blended finance to drive the development of sustainable income streams. While commissioners have a role to play, they aren’t solely responsible for the sustainability of their local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The sector itself will need to look within to ensure it is demonstrating impact and developing sustainable business models, including forming partnerships and alliances where appropriate. And other funders, infrastructure bodies, and the private sector will need to come together to ensure the value provided by local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations is sustainable. Read and share the Commissioning Guide here. For more information about the guide or the work of Healthy London Partnership please email nwlccc.healthyinlondon@nhs.net Jessica Attard, Healthy London Partnership Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How the Cardiff Half Marathon is helping our groups in Wales Sunshine Fundraising on our London Development Programme!    
    Sep 19, 2017 1376
  • 07 Aug 2017
    I was lucky enough to volunteer for two weeks at Localgiving, more specifically on the West of England Development Programme. I am interested in NGOs and the voluntary sector; particularly how to tackle the challenges of increasing demand for services and a more competitive fundraising environment. One of the main insights that I gained was how much Localgiving does to help local charities and community groups with their online fundraising.Localgiving provides the support and mentoring needed by groups to find their feet in this area - this was a very positive thing to witness. It really is a charity that invests directly in the sector. I spent the first week in Frome and the second in Bath and Bristol. My main responsibility was researching potential community groups and charities, in the Somerset and Bristol areas, who I thought might benefit from Localgiving support.I collated groups through visiting the library, a leisure centre and of course, the Internet. I was also able to sit-in on training sessions and meetings with charities and groups who were already members of Localgiving. I found these meetings particularly interesting, as I was able to gain an insight into how passionate they were about their causes. I also learnt about practical online fundraising and how much it can raise for a charity or community group. This was a subject I knew very little about, besides occasionally donating online myself. My volunteering showed me how useful online campaigning and fundraising for small charities can be. The statistic: ‘an online donation is worth double the amount of an offline donation’, emphasises this. Through Localgiving I came to understand the sheer number of charities and groups working within each local area. This opened my eyes to how great local communities can be - everyone should get involved in some way. There are huge numbers of people dedicating their skill and time to volunteering - to help others. This was a wonderful insight into the charity sector and reassuring in such challenging times. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    LSE Volunteer Centre: Do you have opportunities for volunteers?  Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth? When Being Angry Is Not Enough  
    1487 Posted by Rosie Coles
  • I was lucky enough to volunteer for two weeks at Localgiving, more specifically on the West of England Development Programme. I am interested in NGOs and the voluntary sector; particularly how to tackle the challenges of increasing demand for services and a more competitive fundraising environment. One of the main insights that I gained was how much Localgiving does to help local charities and community groups with their online fundraising.Localgiving provides the support and mentoring needed by groups to find their feet in this area - this was a very positive thing to witness. It really is a charity that invests directly in the sector. I spent the first week in Frome and the second in Bath and Bristol. My main responsibility was researching potential community groups and charities, in the Somerset and Bristol areas, who I thought might benefit from Localgiving support.I collated groups through visiting the library, a leisure centre and of course, the Internet. I was also able to sit-in on training sessions and meetings with charities and groups who were already members of Localgiving. I found these meetings particularly interesting, as I was able to gain an insight into how passionate they were about their causes. I also learnt about practical online fundraising and how much it can raise for a charity or community group. This was a subject I knew very little about, besides occasionally donating online myself. My volunteering showed me how useful online campaigning and fundraising for small charities can be. The statistic: ‘an online donation is worth double the amount of an offline donation’, emphasises this. Through Localgiving I came to understand the sheer number of charities and groups working within each local area. This opened my eyes to how great local communities can be - everyone should get involved in some way. There are huge numbers of people dedicating their skill and time to volunteering - to help others. This was a wonderful insight into the charity sector and reassuring in such challenging times. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    LSE Volunteer Centre: Do you have opportunities for volunteers?  Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth? When Being Angry Is Not Enough  
    Aug 07, 2017 1487
  • 04 Aug 2017
    Gabriella graduated from LSE in 2016 and is now the Volunteer Centre Coordinator. One of her main focuses is sourcing and promoting fulfilling and interesting one-off volunteering opportunities for LSE students LSE Volunteer Centre The LSE Volunteer Centre connects students with charities to help them find rewarding volunteering opportunities. About 40 percent of our students currently volunteer during their time at LSE and we aim to increase this number even further. We are therefore always on the lookout for interesting volunteering opportunities. Please read on to find out how you can get involved. How can you get involved? Upload your opportunities on our vacancy board. The easiest and quickest way to get involved is by uploading your volunteering roles on LSE CareerHub, our free online vacancy board. Once you’ve created an organisation account you can post your opportunities so our students and alumni (up to five years) can find them.  We’re looking for anything from one-offs to long-term opportunities and from event stewards to trustees, but we’re especially looking for skilled roles because LSE students have lots to offer. Our 2017 Partner Survey showed that all organisations were satisfied with the impact LSE students made in their organisation. ”All of the LSE students we have worked with this year have been incredibly dedicated, capable and efficient.” (2017 LSE Partner Survey)  One-off volunteering During term time we organise a one-off volunteering programme.  We’re looking for opportunities on a weekday, ranging from a couple of hours to a day. Previously students have sorted food, packed spit-kits and transcribed World War One diaries. We could also bring a group of students in as voluntary consultants to help you with a specific issue. Why not give us a call or send us an email to discuss the options. Apply for our 2017 Volunteering Fair Every year at the start of the academic year we organise a Volunteering Fair. This year’s fair takes place on Monday 2 October from 5-8pm. You can apply for a place at the fair by filling in our form until 3 September. Note that the fair is always oversubscribed so will inform you early September if your application has been successful. Write a blog for us We’re always on the lookout for engaging content so if you have LSE students volunteering with you, we’d love to hear about their experiences. Organisation can also write an informational blog post. Guidelines can be found on our website and you can contact us to discuss the options. Consultancy The LSE Volunteer Centre can also provide advice on (student) volunteer management. We can offer insight and guidance into the best practice for engaging student volunteers and can help you with your recruitment strategy. We can also help you with any other questions on student volunteering. “The LSE Volunteer Centre has been fantastic. They’ve helped us recruit volunteers, been quick to respond to any queries and have helped us build our future recruitment strategy. Thank you!” (2017 LSE Partner Survey) Want to know more? We would love to hear from you if you’d like to get involved with the LSE Volunteer Centre. Please see our website and blog for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Or send an email to volunteer@lse.ac.uk and/or give David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager, a call on 020 7955 6519. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth? When Being Angry Is Not Enough  
    1895 Posted by Gabriella Monasso
  • Gabriella graduated from LSE in 2016 and is now the Volunteer Centre Coordinator. One of her main focuses is sourcing and promoting fulfilling and interesting one-off volunteering opportunities for LSE students LSE Volunteer Centre The LSE Volunteer Centre connects students with charities to help them find rewarding volunteering opportunities. About 40 percent of our students currently volunteer during their time at LSE and we aim to increase this number even further. We are therefore always on the lookout for interesting volunteering opportunities. Please read on to find out how you can get involved. How can you get involved? Upload your opportunities on our vacancy board. The easiest and quickest way to get involved is by uploading your volunteering roles on LSE CareerHub, our free online vacancy board. Once you’ve created an organisation account you can post your opportunities so our students and alumni (up to five years) can find them.  We’re looking for anything from one-offs to long-term opportunities and from event stewards to trustees, but we’re especially looking for skilled roles because LSE students have lots to offer. Our 2017 Partner Survey showed that all organisations were satisfied with the impact LSE students made in their organisation. ”All of the LSE students we have worked with this year have been incredibly dedicated, capable and efficient.” (2017 LSE Partner Survey)  One-off volunteering During term time we organise a one-off volunteering programme.  We’re looking for opportunities on a weekday, ranging from a couple of hours to a day. Previously students have sorted food, packed spit-kits and transcribed World War One diaries. We could also bring a group of students in as voluntary consultants to help you with a specific issue. Why not give us a call or send us an email to discuss the options. Apply for our 2017 Volunteering Fair Every year at the start of the academic year we organise a Volunteering Fair. This year’s fair takes place on Monday 2 October from 5-8pm. You can apply for a place at the fair by filling in our form until 3 September. Note that the fair is always oversubscribed so will inform you early September if your application has been successful. Write a blog for us We’re always on the lookout for engaging content so if you have LSE students volunteering with you, we’d love to hear about their experiences. Organisation can also write an informational blog post. Guidelines can be found on our website and you can contact us to discuss the options. Consultancy The LSE Volunteer Centre can also provide advice on (student) volunteer management. We can offer insight and guidance into the best practice for engaging student volunteers and can help you with your recruitment strategy. We can also help you with any other questions on student volunteering. “The LSE Volunteer Centre has been fantastic. They’ve helped us recruit volunteers, been quick to respond to any queries and have helped us build our future recruitment strategy. Thank you!” (2017 LSE Partner Survey) Want to know more? We would love to hear from you if you’d like to get involved with the LSE Volunteer Centre. Please see our website and blog for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Or send an email to volunteer@lse.ac.uk and/or give David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager, a call on 020 7955 6519. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Neymar your price: what is a footballer worth? When Being Angry Is Not Enough  
    Aug 04, 2017 1895
  • 31 May 2017
    At the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) we support small and local charities and community organisations (with a turnover under £1.5 million), providing free or very heavily subsidised training and support. We were established in 2007 to help these organisations keep their doors open for the vulnerable groups they work with. We do this via a learning programme which focusses on fundraising, governance, measuring and demonstrating impact and strategy and planning. Unsurprisingly, by far the most popular area for support is fundraising. At a time when charities are facing unprecedented funding cuts and an increasing demand for services (REF) it is more important now than ever before that we are maximising our potential to secure funds. Some of our top tips to help you do this include: Get your house in order How are you supposed to effectively support the sustainability for your organisation if you don’t know exactly how much you need to fundraise and where you are going to get it? Developing a fundraising strategy can often be dismissed as a paper exercise, but actually this is the road map to your fundraising success. It builds a clear plan of activity to be followed whilst also evaluating the activities that are likely to bring you the greatest return on investment. It obviously can’t be denied that it takes time and effort to build a fundraising strategy, however the direction it provides will support you to maintain a fundraising focus which will help save you time later down the line when you are attempting to deliver against fundraising targets. Evaluate and Review as you go It is very east to fall into a trap of activity simply because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’. Reviewing and refreshing your activity is essential to ensure you truly are investing your time and resource in the most fruitful fundraising activities for your charity. The only way you will know to put a stop to the activities that don’t bring in the required return is to evaluate each one against key performance indicators or targets and not being afraid to say lets try something different. This is where your fundraising strategy will come in handy again as you will have thought out in advance what you would expect to see from your individual fundraising activities to help you to look at your fundraising efforts objectively. Stick to the plan (sort of) Rather than trying to overstretch and have too many fingers in the different fundraising pies, it is better to look realistically at what you can achieve with your resource and work on doing these well. There are only so many hours in a day so there’s no point in setting yourself up to fail, instead you will be supporting your success if you focus on doing a few things really well, rather than trying to do everything at once. There will be time to expand your activity when your focus pays off and you are able to gain extra resource. At the same time it’s also important to know when it’s appropriate to engage with unexpected opportunities or external events that can support your fundraising activity as flexibility in fund development is also important. A safe way to do this is to establish a process on how to decide whether a new opportunity is worth going for, whether it’s getting sign off from a fundraising steering committee or your Trustees or bringing new ideas to your manager for sign off. Use Small Charity Week to your advantage As well as providing a support programme for charities, the FSI are also the organisation behind Small Charity Week. This year it is taking place between 19th-24th June and the week is packed full of opportunities to support your charity to raise vital funds and your profile. The full agenda can be found on the Small Charity Week website but also includes opportunities such as: Places at the FSI’s annual Fundraising Conference in London – there are only a few left so book today A matched fund with LocalGiving providing £25,000 worth of funding An eBay Auction where you keep all of the funds for the items you provide and have the chance of winning £2,000 of matched funds The chance to fundraise from eBay shoppers by submitting a 90-character fundraising message (deadline 2nd June) 1:1 Fundraising Advice via the FSI’s Big Advice Day – expertise comes from a mixture of funders and fundraisers Free fundraising guides to support you to run your own events and activities Leetchi’s money pot competition for the chance to gain an additional £1,000 of funding The opportunity to win cash prizes by asking your supporters to say why they love you on social media These are just some of the free activities available during the week, with six days of separate activities check out the full agenda to make sure you’re not missing out Full details on www.smallcharityweek.com or follow @SCWeek2017 for breaking news. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Subconscious Effects of Storytelling in Charity Marketing Focus on the outcomes of your work rather than the outputs  
    3496 Posted by Conchita Garcia
  • At the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) we support small and local charities and community organisations (with a turnover under £1.5 million), providing free or very heavily subsidised training and support. We were established in 2007 to help these organisations keep their doors open for the vulnerable groups they work with. We do this via a learning programme which focusses on fundraising, governance, measuring and demonstrating impact and strategy and planning. Unsurprisingly, by far the most popular area for support is fundraising. At a time when charities are facing unprecedented funding cuts and an increasing demand for services (REF) it is more important now than ever before that we are maximising our potential to secure funds. Some of our top tips to help you do this include: Get your house in order How are you supposed to effectively support the sustainability for your organisation if you don’t know exactly how much you need to fundraise and where you are going to get it? Developing a fundraising strategy can often be dismissed as a paper exercise, but actually this is the road map to your fundraising success. It builds a clear plan of activity to be followed whilst also evaluating the activities that are likely to bring you the greatest return on investment. It obviously can’t be denied that it takes time and effort to build a fundraising strategy, however the direction it provides will support you to maintain a fundraising focus which will help save you time later down the line when you are attempting to deliver against fundraising targets. Evaluate and Review as you go It is very east to fall into a trap of activity simply because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’. Reviewing and refreshing your activity is essential to ensure you truly are investing your time and resource in the most fruitful fundraising activities for your charity. The only way you will know to put a stop to the activities that don’t bring in the required return is to evaluate each one against key performance indicators or targets and not being afraid to say lets try something different. This is where your fundraising strategy will come in handy again as you will have thought out in advance what you would expect to see from your individual fundraising activities to help you to look at your fundraising efforts objectively. Stick to the plan (sort of) Rather than trying to overstretch and have too many fingers in the different fundraising pies, it is better to look realistically at what you can achieve with your resource and work on doing these well. There are only so many hours in a day so there’s no point in setting yourself up to fail, instead you will be supporting your success if you focus on doing a few things really well, rather than trying to do everything at once. There will be time to expand your activity when your focus pays off and you are able to gain extra resource. At the same time it’s also important to know when it’s appropriate to engage with unexpected opportunities or external events that can support your fundraising activity as flexibility in fund development is also important. A safe way to do this is to establish a process on how to decide whether a new opportunity is worth going for, whether it’s getting sign off from a fundraising steering committee or your Trustees or bringing new ideas to your manager for sign off. Use Small Charity Week to your advantage As well as providing a support programme for charities, the FSI are also the organisation behind Small Charity Week. This year it is taking place between 19th-24th June and the week is packed full of opportunities to support your charity to raise vital funds and your profile. The full agenda can be found on the Small Charity Week website but also includes opportunities such as: Places at the FSI’s annual Fundraising Conference in London – there are only a few left so book today A matched fund with LocalGiving providing £25,000 worth of funding An eBay Auction where you keep all of the funds for the items you provide and have the chance of winning £2,000 of matched funds The chance to fundraise from eBay shoppers by submitting a 90-character fundraising message (deadline 2nd June) 1:1 Fundraising Advice via the FSI’s Big Advice Day – expertise comes from a mixture of funders and fundraisers Free fundraising guides to support you to run your own events and activities Leetchi’s money pot competition for the chance to gain an additional £1,000 of funding The opportunity to win cash prizes by asking your supporters to say why they love you on social media These are just some of the free activities available during the week, with six days of separate activities check out the full agenda to make sure you’re not missing out Full details on www.smallcharityweek.com or follow @SCWeek2017 for breaking news. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Subconscious Effects of Storytelling in Charity Marketing Focus on the outcomes of your work rather than the outputs  
    May 31, 2017 3496
  • 03 May 2017
    A couple of years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an NGO for rescuing chained or caged dogs. Their Facebook page had sweet intros to all the animals awaiting adoption and featured photos of their daily activities at the rescue center. Over time, I got quite familiar with the dogs there just through their social media feed. Even though the organization is in a different state and I’ve never actually met the dogs, I felt a personal bond and continue to donate towards their well being, ever so often.   That bond is developed through the compelling power of storytelling. Well, sure, as a dog lover, I’ve always had a soft spot for those fuzzy goofballs. However, Storytelling can help get you build an emotional connection between the audience and any character by affecting their subconscious. Let’s have a look at how these subconscious effects come into play and the approach to making it work in marketing your charity. 1) Help the audience reach the conclusion One of the primary rules of storytelling is “Show; don’t tell”. Instead of stating facts about the good guy and the bad guy, the characters are introduced through their actions and decisions. We start to root for the protagonist because the story aligns our values and morals with whatever the protagonist is fighting for. Since the story guides our emotions through these subconscious decisions, the choice of which side we relate to doesn’t seem forced upon us. In a similar way, your charity has to let the audience come to the conclusion that you are working for something positive. Giving them facts and figures is fine but real-world examples allow them to decide whether they support your cause. 2. Offer a fresh take on a common story structure If you look closely at the overall story of classic books and movies, they are almost the same - a hero taking on something beyond their depth, a larger-than-life villain threatening to ruin the world forever and even parallel ups and downs of the characters as the hero journeys to save the world. But every time the storyteller gives their personal spin on the characters and what’s at stake in the world. This makes the audience stay hooked throughout. When it comes to your charity, come up with a fresh perspective to the problem so that people can imagine their contribution doing its part to lead to a better world. 3. Build trust through familiarity In stories, the protagonist is never someone very different from us. Even if the story is set in a different world or features characters that aren’t human, the storyteller gives them a touch of personality people can relate to. That is because when our brain encounters something familiar, it makes us comfortable. We are more likely to trust in someone that comes across as familiar. This subconscious effect is very important when it comes to building trust for your charity. Create a logo and an identity that people can recognise. Have an active social media presence and talk about the progress made through your activities. 4. Have stories of redemption to share A redemption arc is another classic storytelling element that makes the hero a star in our eyes - halfway through the story, the hero faces the main villain, loses the battle and, is often, left in a poor state. But being the hero, he doesn’t quit. The rise of the fallen hero makes us root for his cause even more. Share stories where your charity or someone you’ve worked with goes on against the insurmountable odds working against them. You gain more admiration for trying than for success. 5. Show how the world you are trying to fix is broken Storytellers make a point to drive home the bleak reality in store in case the protagonist fails. It is not a world people want to be a part of. In fact, it is made clear how the world will change and end up worse than how it was at the outset of the tale if the bad guy is not stopped. Projecting this dark future is important to ensure no one wants the villain to win. Of course, in the real world, the cause you’re working for might not be so dire. People will only be willing to do their bit if you make sure they can envision how bad things would be if you did nothing. Project the alternative and help the audience see how it will worsen the situation in the future. A lot more people will be willing to step up and do their part for your initiative. These subconscious effects are part of human thought and reaction. They have been used in storytelling for centuries to guide the audience’s emotional journey. Use these in your charity marketing to increase support for your cause. Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a California-based Voice and SMS service company bridging the communication gap for political campaigns and advocacy groups. When he is not working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. If you enjoyed this article you may also like: 3 Ways Small Charities can get Expertise They Need for Free How to be a better donor in one easy step Developing a Fundraising Plan - Strategies and Ideas  
    3113 Posted by Augustus Franklin
  • A couple of years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an NGO for rescuing chained or caged dogs. Their Facebook page had sweet intros to all the animals awaiting adoption and featured photos of their daily activities at the rescue center. Over time, I got quite familiar with the dogs there just through their social media feed. Even though the organization is in a different state and I’ve never actually met the dogs, I felt a personal bond and continue to donate towards their well being, ever so often.   That bond is developed through the compelling power of storytelling. Well, sure, as a dog lover, I’ve always had a soft spot for those fuzzy goofballs. However, Storytelling can help get you build an emotional connection between the audience and any character by affecting their subconscious. Let’s have a look at how these subconscious effects come into play and the approach to making it work in marketing your charity. 1) Help the audience reach the conclusion One of the primary rules of storytelling is “Show; don’t tell”. Instead of stating facts about the good guy and the bad guy, the characters are introduced through their actions and decisions. We start to root for the protagonist because the story aligns our values and morals with whatever the protagonist is fighting for. Since the story guides our emotions through these subconscious decisions, the choice of which side we relate to doesn’t seem forced upon us. In a similar way, your charity has to let the audience come to the conclusion that you are working for something positive. Giving them facts and figures is fine but real-world examples allow them to decide whether they support your cause. 2. Offer a fresh take on a common story structure If you look closely at the overall story of classic books and movies, they are almost the same - a hero taking on something beyond their depth, a larger-than-life villain threatening to ruin the world forever and even parallel ups and downs of the characters as the hero journeys to save the world. But every time the storyteller gives their personal spin on the characters and what’s at stake in the world. This makes the audience stay hooked throughout. When it comes to your charity, come up with a fresh perspective to the problem so that people can imagine their contribution doing its part to lead to a better world. 3. Build trust through familiarity In stories, the protagonist is never someone very different from us. Even if the story is set in a different world or features characters that aren’t human, the storyteller gives them a touch of personality people can relate to. That is because when our brain encounters something familiar, it makes us comfortable. We are more likely to trust in someone that comes across as familiar. This subconscious effect is very important when it comes to building trust for your charity. Create a logo and an identity that people can recognise. Have an active social media presence and talk about the progress made through your activities. 4. Have stories of redemption to share A redemption arc is another classic storytelling element that makes the hero a star in our eyes - halfway through the story, the hero faces the main villain, loses the battle and, is often, left in a poor state. But being the hero, he doesn’t quit. The rise of the fallen hero makes us root for his cause even more. Share stories where your charity or someone you’ve worked with goes on against the insurmountable odds working against them. You gain more admiration for trying than for success. 5. Show how the world you are trying to fix is broken Storytellers make a point to drive home the bleak reality in store in case the protagonist fails. It is not a world people want to be a part of. In fact, it is made clear how the world will change and end up worse than how it was at the outset of the tale if the bad guy is not stopped. Projecting this dark future is important to ensure no one wants the villain to win. Of course, in the real world, the cause you’re working for might not be so dire. People will only be willing to do their bit if you make sure they can envision how bad things would be if you did nothing. Project the alternative and help the audience see how it will worsen the situation in the future. A lot more people will be willing to step up and do their part for your initiative. These subconscious effects are part of human thought and reaction. They have been used in storytelling for centuries to guide the audience’s emotional journey. Use these in your charity marketing to increase support for your cause. Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a California-based Voice and SMS service company bridging the communication gap for political campaigns and advocacy groups. When he is not working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. If you enjoyed this article you may also like: 3 Ways Small Charities can get Expertise They Need for Free How to be a better donor in one easy step Developing a Fundraising Plan - Strategies and Ideas  
    May 03, 2017 3113