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  • 09 Mar 2017
    Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones, explains how the Police Property Fund turns unreturnable stolen or recovered goods into grants for local community groups. Mountain bikes, perfume and jewellery; tools, TVs and tablets. You’d be surprised at the range and volume of stolen, confiscated and found items that find a temporary home in our police stations.  In an ideal world, these goods would all be reunited with their rightful owners. However, there are many items which haven’t been property-marked and which aren’t particularly distinctive in their nature – which makes them practically impossible to return. Due to the large volumes of items being seized and recovered, it’s impractical for us to keep them for any great length of time, so the vast majority are sold to the public via online auctions, raising money in the process.  This money forms the “pot” for the North Yorkshire Police Property Fund.   How the North Yorkshire Police Property Fund works The idea of the Fund is simple.  Twice a year, we open funding rounds where local community and voluntary organisations of all sizes and types can apply for money to support initiatives of benefit to North Yorkshire and its residents.    To be considered for a grant, a project needs to meet certain criteria.  For example, it should involve children and young people in extra-curricular activities, or help to increase safety, reduce the fear of crime or anti-social behaviour, or bring different parts of the community together.  It’s also important that organisations applying for a grant from the Police Property Fund encourage equality of opportunity, promote good community relations, and demonstrate that they can tackle any barriers that may prevent disabled people using their services. At the end of the application period, the Police and Crime Commissioner and I judge all the entries, and decide where to award a grant.  We receive some great ideas, and although it takes a lot of time to consider each application fully, it is a task that we both enjoy – especially when we come across a really good project that will make a positive impact in the local community. The Police Property Fund has been a real success, and continues to grow in popularity each year. Over the past five years more than £120,000 has been distributed to projects throughout the North Yorkshire region, helping to bring our community together and tackle many equality barriers. Success Stories Looking at some successful examples from our last round of funding paints a strong picture of the positive effect that even relatively small amounts of cash can have. For example, the Yellow Ribbonand White Rabbit pre-schools based at Catterick Garrison and Claro Barracks, Ripon were successful in a grant application of over £1200 to provide books, puzzles, dolls, play food and posters to help young children – often from as far away as Fiji and Nepal – to understand British values and learn to respect different cultures and beliefs.  Another project – one which is close to my heart in my role as the national police lead for rural and wildlife crime – will see children in our region enjoying a special conservation experience on the North York Moors.  We gave a £3,000 grant (one of the highest we have awarded) to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to fund experience days for hundreds of youngsters between the ages of six and 11.  On one of these days, the young people – who may have little direct experience of our local habitat – will visit the grouse moors, help out with conservation tasks and learn about the environment and fascinating wildlife unique to our region. Riding for the Disabled England (RDA) is another successful applicant.  They bid for £750 to help eight disabled people take part in a week-long residential holiday to learn to drive a pony and carriage, and take part in other sport and arts and craft activities.  The experience is the only one of its type in the UK, and the people who take part gain a lot of self-confidence, so it has a much longer-term impact on their lives. Even just these three projects offer an insight into the valuable work that our many community and voluntary organisations carry out within North Yorkshire, and I am very proud that our Fund has helped to support them.  It feels right that the proceeds from stolen goods are providing a bit of extra support to community ventures, rather than lining criminals’ pockets.  Entry is now open for the latest round of Police Property Fund grants.  The Commissioner and I have already put a date in our diaries to judge the applications, and we’re really looking forward to supporting another set of excellent initiatives this year.  So, if you are part of a community group in North Yorkshire, and have a project that would fit our funding criteria, please remember to get your application in before the closing date on 30 April.  You’ll find all the details at  www.northyorkshire.police.uk/grant. Good luck!   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal  4 Steps to the perfect charity Video How Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment  
    1694 Posted by Dave Jones
  • Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones, explains how the Police Property Fund turns unreturnable stolen or recovered goods into grants for local community groups. Mountain bikes, perfume and jewellery; tools, TVs and tablets. You’d be surprised at the range and volume of stolen, confiscated and found items that find a temporary home in our police stations.  In an ideal world, these goods would all be reunited with their rightful owners. However, there are many items which haven’t been property-marked and which aren’t particularly distinctive in their nature – which makes them practically impossible to return. Due to the large volumes of items being seized and recovered, it’s impractical for us to keep them for any great length of time, so the vast majority are sold to the public via online auctions, raising money in the process.  This money forms the “pot” for the North Yorkshire Police Property Fund.   How the North Yorkshire Police Property Fund works The idea of the Fund is simple.  Twice a year, we open funding rounds where local community and voluntary organisations of all sizes and types can apply for money to support initiatives of benefit to North Yorkshire and its residents.    To be considered for a grant, a project needs to meet certain criteria.  For example, it should involve children and young people in extra-curricular activities, or help to increase safety, reduce the fear of crime or anti-social behaviour, or bring different parts of the community together.  It’s also important that organisations applying for a grant from the Police Property Fund encourage equality of opportunity, promote good community relations, and demonstrate that they can tackle any barriers that may prevent disabled people using their services. At the end of the application period, the Police and Crime Commissioner and I judge all the entries, and decide where to award a grant.  We receive some great ideas, and although it takes a lot of time to consider each application fully, it is a task that we both enjoy – especially when we come across a really good project that will make a positive impact in the local community. The Police Property Fund has been a real success, and continues to grow in popularity each year. Over the past five years more than £120,000 has been distributed to projects throughout the North Yorkshire region, helping to bring our community together and tackle many equality barriers. Success Stories Looking at some successful examples from our last round of funding paints a strong picture of the positive effect that even relatively small amounts of cash can have. For example, the Yellow Ribbonand White Rabbit pre-schools based at Catterick Garrison and Claro Barracks, Ripon were successful in a grant application of over £1200 to provide books, puzzles, dolls, play food and posters to help young children – often from as far away as Fiji and Nepal – to understand British values and learn to respect different cultures and beliefs.  Another project – one which is close to my heart in my role as the national police lead for rural and wildlife crime – will see children in our region enjoying a special conservation experience on the North York Moors.  We gave a £3,000 grant (one of the highest we have awarded) to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to fund experience days for hundreds of youngsters between the ages of six and 11.  On one of these days, the young people – who may have little direct experience of our local habitat – will visit the grouse moors, help out with conservation tasks and learn about the environment and fascinating wildlife unique to our region. Riding for the Disabled England (RDA) is another successful applicant.  They bid for £750 to help eight disabled people take part in a week-long residential holiday to learn to drive a pony and carriage, and take part in other sport and arts and craft activities.  The experience is the only one of its type in the UK, and the people who take part gain a lot of self-confidence, so it has a much longer-term impact on their lives. Even just these three projects offer an insight into the valuable work that our many community and voluntary organisations carry out within North Yorkshire, and I am very proud that our Fund has helped to support them.  It feels right that the proceeds from stolen goods are providing a bit of extra support to community ventures, rather than lining criminals’ pockets.  Entry is now open for the latest round of Police Property Fund grants.  The Commissioner and I have already put a date in our diaries to judge the applications, and we’re really looking forward to supporting another set of excellent initiatives this year.  So, if you are part of a community group in North Yorkshire, and have a project that would fit our funding criteria, please remember to get your application in before the closing date on 30 April.  You’ll find all the details at  www.northyorkshire.police.uk/grant. Good luck!   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal  4 Steps to the perfect charity Video How Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment  
    Mar 09, 2017 1694
  • 28 Feb 2017
    Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus! To celebrate St David’s Day, Lauren & Emma from Localgiving’s Wales Development Programme are delighted to share some online fundraising success stories from across Wales. When starting out with online fundraising, it can seem a bit daunting. You might get so frustrated at times that you just want to… Oh, what’s that phrase? Rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô! But, don’t despair! Localgiving is here to make things that little bit easier. It won’t be an overnight success - you know what they say,  ara’ deg mae dal iar - and we all know that feeling, nervously waiting for the donations to start rolling in. But just remind yourself, “hir yw pob aros”. With every new campaign, you’ll get better and better. Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer, and all that. Try new things, and experiment. If something doesn’t work, try something else!  Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely, you know. The most important thing is, to never give up. After all, dyfal donc a dyr y garreg. And remember, when it comes to match funding campaigns (of which we have plenty), y cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu - so don’t delay! Plan ahead and make the most of every opportunity. Which reminds me. Have you got any fundraisers lined up for Local Hero yet? It starts on the 1st of April! Encourage one of your supporters to take part, and they could win up to £1,000 for your cause. Imagine how great that would feel! Fel ceiliog ar ei domen ei hun. Well, we hope that pep talk has inspired you to do some fundraising today! If you’re feeling a bit baffled, check out the handy translation list at the end of this blog... Stay with us for a tour of Wales, as we introduce you to some fantastic groups raising money online with Localgiving. North Wales  - TAPE Community Music & Film - Ghostbuskers Road To Eden appeal TAPE Community Music & Film is an award-winning community arts charity in Old Colwyn which, for over 8 years, has supported hundreds of people to explore and develop their creative ideas. At the moment, TAPE are running an appeal to get their music group “Ghostbuskers” to the Eden Project in Cornwall, where they hope to perform at the Community Camp event this coming May. Ghostbuskers is a musical performance project welcoming people of all ages and abilities. The group rehearses weekly at TAPE’s Community Arts Centre and then performs across the country at community events and concerts throughout the year. Since starting the appeal less than 3 weeks ago, TAPE have raised £120 plus £28 of Gift Aid. The group plans to use their remaining £100 of match funding to encourage more people to support the appeal. TAPE have made great use of the Localgiving appeal page’s video hosting function to showcase the brilliant Ghostbuskers band. Mid Wales - Play Radnor - Welcome to the Hub appeal Play Radnor is a voluntary organisation committed to the development of play opportunities for the children and young people of Radnorshire. The group  provides quality play provision for children and young people, and raises the awareness of the importance of play. At the beginning of February, Play Radnor attended a free workshop entitled “Getting started with Online Fundraising”, where they were able to learn the basics of online fundraising, get online with Localgiving and set up an appeal page the very same day! Play Radnor decided to raise money to build a cob oven at their play hub, so they could make tasty wood-fired pizzas for the community. They raised awareness of the appeal by posting to facebook and, within the week, the appeal had raised £125. Localgiving matched this amount as part of the Big Lottery-funded Wales Development Programme, meaning Play Radnor reached and exceeded their £200 target only 5 days after joining Localgiving! West Wales - The Shared Earth Trust The Shared Earth Trust are a Lampeter based group that helps people to connect with nature through Denmark Farm, a 40 acre nature reserve and visitor centre that run an environmental education programme. Since joining Localgiving in October, The Shared Earth Trust have now raised over £2,500 and have found a number of things have worked well. They did a crowdfunder a year ago and found it really hard work and not very successful, even though they were offering rewards for donations. They found Localgiving much easier and have done really well with Grow Your Tenner, as they have found it sounds almost too good to be true and so people really engage with it. The most successful form of promotion they found was personal emails from their staff and trustees. These had a very high 50% success rate and many donations were made within minutes of people receiving these emails. They are now adding a Localgiving donation button to their website and encouraging their members to pay their direct debits through their Localgiving page. South Wales - Friends of the City Of Swansea Botanical Complex Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Complex supports 3 public parks in Swansea and is entirely volunteer-led. In the Autumn we supported them to run their first ever fundraising appeal to raise money for a new Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden in Singleton Park. They raised a whopping £4384.50, which includes Grow Your Tenner matchfunding and their £200 matchfunding for taking part in the Wales Development Programme. To support them with this, we met them face-to-face at their park base, have had many phone conversations and they have attended 2 Localgiving group training sessions.   Saying: Rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô Literal translation: Put the fiddle in the roof English equivalent: Reach the end of one’s tether   Saying: Ara’ deg mae dal iar Literal translation: Slowly is the way to catch chickens English equivalent: Patience is a virtue   Saying: Hir yw pob aros Literal translation: All waiting is long English equivalent: A watched pot never boils   Saying: Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer Literal translation: The master of all work is practice English equivalent: Practice makes perfect   Saying: Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely  Literal translation: There’s more than one to send Will to his bed  English equivalent: There’s more than one way to skin a cat   Saying: Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg  Literal translation: Persistent blows shatter the stone  English equivalent: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again   Saying: Y cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu Literal translation: The first to the mill gets to grind  English equivalent: First come, first served   Saying: Fel ceiliog ar ei domen ei hun Literal translation: Like a cockerel on top of his heap English equivalent: Cock of the walk   
    1554 Posted by Lauren Swain
  • Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus! To celebrate St David’s Day, Lauren & Emma from Localgiving’s Wales Development Programme are delighted to share some online fundraising success stories from across Wales. When starting out with online fundraising, it can seem a bit daunting. You might get so frustrated at times that you just want to… Oh, what’s that phrase? Rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô! But, don’t despair! Localgiving is here to make things that little bit easier. It won’t be an overnight success - you know what they say,  ara’ deg mae dal iar - and we all know that feeling, nervously waiting for the donations to start rolling in. But just remind yourself, “hir yw pob aros”. With every new campaign, you’ll get better and better. Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer, and all that. Try new things, and experiment. If something doesn’t work, try something else!  Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely, you know. The most important thing is, to never give up. After all, dyfal donc a dyr y garreg. And remember, when it comes to match funding campaigns (of which we have plenty), y cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu - so don’t delay! Plan ahead and make the most of every opportunity. Which reminds me. Have you got any fundraisers lined up for Local Hero yet? It starts on the 1st of April! Encourage one of your supporters to take part, and they could win up to £1,000 for your cause. Imagine how great that would feel! Fel ceiliog ar ei domen ei hun. Well, we hope that pep talk has inspired you to do some fundraising today! If you’re feeling a bit baffled, check out the handy translation list at the end of this blog... Stay with us for a tour of Wales, as we introduce you to some fantastic groups raising money online with Localgiving. North Wales  - TAPE Community Music & Film - Ghostbuskers Road To Eden appeal TAPE Community Music & Film is an award-winning community arts charity in Old Colwyn which, for over 8 years, has supported hundreds of people to explore and develop their creative ideas. At the moment, TAPE are running an appeal to get their music group “Ghostbuskers” to the Eden Project in Cornwall, where they hope to perform at the Community Camp event this coming May. Ghostbuskers is a musical performance project welcoming people of all ages and abilities. The group rehearses weekly at TAPE’s Community Arts Centre and then performs across the country at community events and concerts throughout the year. Since starting the appeal less than 3 weeks ago, TAPE have raised £120 plus £28 of Gift Aid. The group plans to use their remaining £100 of match funding to encourage more people to support the appeal. TAPE have made great use of the Localgiving appeal page’s video hosting function to showcase the brilliant Ghostbuskers band. Mid Wales - Play Radnor - Welcome to the Hub appeal Play Radnor is a voluntary organisation committed to the development of play opportunities for the children and young people of Radnorshire. The group  provides quality play provision for children and young people, and raises the awareness of the importance of play. At the beginning of February, Play Radnor attended a free workshop entitled “Getting started with Online Fundraising”, where they were able to learn the basics of online fundraising, get online with Localgiving and set up an appeal page the very same day! Play Radnor decided to raise money to build a cob oven at their play hub, so they could make tasty wood-fired pizzas for the community. They raised awareness of the appeal by posting to facebook and, within the week, the appeal had raised £125. Localgiving matched this amount as part of the Big Lottery-funded Wales Development Programme, meaning Play Radnor reached and exceeded their £200 target only 5 days after joining Localgiving! West Wales - The Shared Earth Trust The Shared Earth Trust are a Lampeter based group that helps people to connect with nature through Denmark Farm, a 40 acre nature reserve and visitor centre that run an environmental education programme. Since joining Localgiving in October, The Shared Earth Trust have now raised over £2,500 and have found a number of things have worked well. They did a crowdfunder a year ago and found it really hard work and not very successful, even though they were offering rewards for donations. They found Localgiving much easier and have done really well with Grow Your Tenner, as they have found it sounds almost too good to be true and so people really engage with it. The most successful form of promotion they found was personal emails from their staff and trustees. These had a very high 50% success rate and many donations were made within minutes of people receiving these emails. They are now adding a Localgiving donation button to their website and encouraging their members to pay their direct debits through their Localgiving page. South Wales - Friends of the City Of Swansea Botanical Complex Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Complex supports 3 public parks in Swansea and is entirely volunteer-led. In the Autumn we supported them to run their first ever fundraising appeal to raise money for a new Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden in Singleton Park. They raised a whopping £4384.50, which includes Grow Your Tenner matchfunding and their £200 matchfunding for taking part in the Wales Development Programme. To support them with this, we met them face-to-face at their park base, have had many phone conversations and they have attended 2 Localgiving group training sessions.   Saying: Rhoi’r ffidil yn y tô Literal translation: Put the fiddle in the roof English equivalent: Reach the end of one’s tether   Saying: Ara’ deg mae dal iar Literal translation: Slowly is the way to catch chickens English equivalent: Patience is a virtue   Saying: Hir yw pob aros Literal translation: All waiting is long English equivalent: A watched pot never boils   Saying: Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer Literal translation: The master of all work is practice English equivalent: Practice makes perfect   Saying: Mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely  Literal translation: There’s more than one to send Will to his bed  English equivalent: There’s more than one way to skin a cat   Saying: Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg  Literal translation: Persistent blows shatter the stone  English equivalent: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again   Saying: Y cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu Literal translation: The first to the mill gets to grind  English equivalent: First come, first served   Saying: Fel ceiliog ar ei domen ei hun Literal translation: Like a cockerel on top of his heap English equivalent: Cock of the walk   
    Feb 28, 2017 1554
  • 27 Feb 2017
    Lessons for charities about cost and value So there I was, almost in tears, lost in reverie, alone in a crowd on an airfield just outside Newark in Nottinghamshire. But what had happened, and why I am I telling you about it in a blog about charities?  You see, I was at this airfield to attend an antiques fair (I know what you’re thinking, my weekends must really fly by), when I came across a table of old football programmes. Now, forgive me, but it’s my affliction to be a lifelong Arsenal fan and a season ticket holder for the last 22 years. And what I found, after a few minutes of flicking through the piles, was the programme of the very first match I had attended. It was on Saturday 20 October, 1979, but I remember the game like it was yesterday. A nil nil draw versus Stoke City, but for this seven-year-old, it was all high-octane excitement. Hands trembling, I bought the programme for the marked price: £1.50. But for me it was worth so much more than that. And this historic memento is now framed and displayed for posterity (in my downstairs loo). Think about the difference between cost and value But what can charities learn from this somewhat particular experience? Well, I think it’s a particularly appropriate illustration of the distinction between cost and value, which charities should pay greater heed to. The programme would have cost 20p in 1979. I ‘bought it back’ a few decades later for £1.50. But what was its value? The significance of it to me emotionally, and the way it was a gateway to a formative experience for me meant I would have paid much, much more for it. This is because cost and value are rarely the same. In fact, for charities if the value of our work wasn’t greater than the cost of doing it, are we the best people for the job? Shouldn’t a funder be doing it themselves in that case? What added value do we bring? Inputs, outputs and outcomes Or, putting it another way, we need to be clearer about the differences between inputs, outputs and outcomes. So often, I’ve seen charities cost up their work in their project proposal, assuming that the outputs of the work, or what they’re planning to do with funds raised, is the most important aspect of the proposal. It isn’t. The vital element of your plans is what will change as a result of what you’re planning to do. It’s not the cost, it’s the value. If the work you’re doing will increase the chances, for example, of your beneficiary earning themselves a decent living rather than being unemployed, how much money is saved in the long run from your ‘intervention’? You need to be able to prove your value, and if it’s not greater than the cost, then, quite frankly, you shouldn’t be doing it. And what about the value from a funder’s perspective? And there is another element of the cost/value distinction that I believe charities also neglect, and that’s in our fundraising. Applications to charitable trusts are rightly normally focused on asking to cover a project’s costs. But this leads me to two questions that I think we all need to consider: Have you made it clear, even so, what the value of the work will be? This is what will lead to donors and supporters, in effect, investing their money in you. Have you reflected the full costs of your organisation doing the work? There should, after all, be an added value in your expertise and management, otherwise, again, the funder would be wise to consider “cutting out the middle man.” Proposals to companies, on the other hand, ought also to take into account the value to the company of associating with our organisations. Are we fully aware of the power of our brands? Do we under-sell ourselves? Remember that wide-eyed seven year old But there’s a final, and arguably more important, lesson from my airfield story. It’s about my willingness to part with my money for a reminder of a special moment in my life. What does that tell us about the importance of memory, emotion, and excitement in reaching our supporters? For me, it’s got something to do with understanding them and their identity. My somewhat blind faith in a football team is part of what defines me as a person. And likewise, we need our supporters to get to the point where their allegiance to our cause is part of who they are. Now that is value. Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times  
    1590 Posted by Richard Sved
  • Lessons for charities about cost and value So there I was, almost in tears, lost in reverie, alone in a crowd on an airfield just outside Newark in Nottinghamshire. But what had happened, and why I am I telling you about it in a blog about charities?  You see, I was at this airfield to attend an antiques fair (I know what you’re thinking, my weekends must really fly by), when I came across a table of old football programmes. Now, forgive me, but it’s my affliction to be a lifelong Arsenal fan and a season ticket holder for the last 22 years. And what I found, after a few minutes of flicking through the piles, was the programme of the very first match I had attended. It was on Saturday 20 October, 1979, but I remember the game like it was yesterday. A nil nil draw versus Stoke City, but for this seven-year-old, it was all high-octane excitement. Hands trembling, I bought the programme for the marked price: £1.50. But for me it was worth so much more than that. And this historic memento is now framed and displayed for posterity (in my downstairs loo). Think about the difference between cost and value But what can charities learn from this somewhat particular experience? Well, I think it’s a particularly appropriate illustration of the distinction between cost and value, which charities should pay greater heed to. The programme would have cost 20p in 1979. I ‘bought it back’ a few decades later for £1.50. But what was its value? The significance of it to me emotionally, and the way it was a gateway to a formative experience for me meant I would have paid much, much more for it. This is because cost and value are rarely the same. In fact, for charities if the value of our work wasn’t greater than the cost of doing it, are we the best people for the job? Shouldn’t a funder be doing it themselves in that case? What added value do we bring? Inputs, outputs and outcomes Or, putting it another way, we need to be clearer about the differences between inputs, outputs and outcomes. So often, I’ve seen charities cost up their work in their project proposal, assuming that the outputs of the work, or what they’re planning to do with funds raised, is the most important aspect of the proposal. It isn’t. The vital element of your plans is what will change as a result of what you’re planning to do. It’s not the cost, it’s the value. If the work you’re doing will increase the chances, for example, of your beneficiary earning themselves a decent living rather than being unemployed, how much money is saved in the long run from your ‘intervention’? You need to be able to prove your value, and if it’s not greater than the cost, then, quite frankly, you shouldn’t be doing it. And what about the value from a funder’s perspective? And there is another element of the cost/value distinction that I believe charities also neglect, and that’s in our fundraising. Applications to charitable trusts are rightly normally focused on asking to cover a project’s costs. But this leads me to two questions that I think we all need to consider: Have you made it clear, even so, what the value of the work will be? This is what will lead to donors and supporters, in effect, investing their money in you. Have you reflected the full costs of your organisation doing the work? There should, after all, be an added value in your expertise and management, otherwise, again, the funder would be wise to consider “cutting out the middle man.” Proposals to companies, on the other hand, ought also to take into account the value to the company of associating with our organisations. Are we fully aware of the power of our brands? Do we under-sell ourselves? Remember that wide-eyed seven year old But there’s a final, and arguably more important, lesson from my airfield story. It’s about my willingness to part with my money for a reminder of a special moment in my life. What does that tell us about the importance of memory, emotion, and excitement in reaching our supporters? For me, it’s got something to do with understanding them and their identity. My somewhat blind faith in a football team is part of what defines me as a person. And likewise, we need our supporters to get to the point where their allegiance to our cause is part of who they are. Now that is value. Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? 7 digital tactics for small charities in volatile times  
    Feb 27, 2017 1590
  • 21 Feb 2017
    Conchita Garcia, Head of Projects and Fund Development at the FSI discusses skills gaps in the charity sector and how the FSI plans to support small charities. Supporting the small charity sector Small charities carry out some amazing work, aiding some of the most vulnerable communities; they are a key part of civil society. They play an important role in supporting the economy, in building social cohesion and in integrating those individuals who are in danger of being marginalised from society.   Having the relevant skills to undertake this important role is vital to ensure an efficient, effective and sustainable small charity sector. However, our research shows time and time again that small organisations often struggle to train staff in the skills and practices that would support them to secure more funding and run their services more effectively. That is why every two years The FSI assesses the skills gaps within the small charity sector to get a sense of training needs, to ensure the services of small charities are meeting the needs of those that use them. What are the gaps? Our skills survey showed that the areas in need of expertise, according to respondents, were lobbying (49%), using social media (44%), structuring communications (46%) and the latest HR laws and practices (27%). Areas where small charities rated themselves as performing well included team working, basic computer literacy and leadership, as well as working in partnership with other organisations. Why do these gaps exist? Respondents cited a lack of funding (64%), time (56%) and locally available training (23%) as the main reasons why small charities fail to fill these skill gaps. Our research also shows that the impact of these skills gaps is an increased workload across the organisation (61%) and an increased time taken to deliver the work (51%). Going forward We feel passionately that when skills gaps directly cause an increase in workload and time taken to deliver services, something needs to change. The demand for training continues to be significant and clearly remains a core element in addressing skills gaps in the sector. It is therefore essential to consider what the nature of available training is, and how this can be tailored to effectively address the needs of small charities. In order to support small charities and community groups to fill these training needs, the FSI run an annual, heavily subsidised skills conference, taking place in Central London on 9th March 2017. This year’s Skills Conference will provide 200 small charity delegates the chance to access a range of expert speakers to help build essential, back office skills. Small charities and community groups are encouraged to select their skills gaps and we will match them to workshops taking place throughout the conference. On the day, delegates will take away relevant and practical skills from four out of 20 interactive workshops. To find out what topics are on offer, and to book on to the conference click here. Venue: Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA Date: Thursday 9th March Time: 9.30am-4.30pm (registration from 9.00am) Cost: £15 for FSI members (value of equivalent conference £295)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 What Makes Local Charities Unique? Open University Launches New Voluntary Sector Courses
    1268 Posted by Conchita Garcia
  • Conchita Garcia, Head of Projects and Fund Development at the FSI discusses skills gaps in the charity sector and how the FSI plans to support small charities. Supporting the small charity sector Small charities carry out some amazing work, aiding some of the most vulnerable communities; they are a key part of civil society. They play an important role in supporting the economy, in building social cohesion and in integrating those individuals who are in danger of being marginalised from society.   Having the relevant skills to undertake this important role is vital to ensure an efficient, effective and sustainable small charity sector. However, our research shows time and time again that small organisations often struggle to train staff in the skills and practices that would support them to secure more funding and run their services more effectively. That is why every two years The FSI assesses the skills gaps within the small charity sector to get a sense of training needs, to ensure the services of small charities are meeting the needs of those that use them. What are the gaps? Our skills survey showed that the areas in need of expertise, according to respondents, were lobbying (49%), using social media (44%), structuring communications (46%) and the latest HR laws and practices (27%). Areas where small charities rated themselves as performing well included team working, basic computer literacy and leadership, as well as working in partnership with other organisations. Why do these gaps exist? Respondents cited a lack of funding (64%), time (56%) and locally available training (23%) as the main reasons why small charities fail to fill these skill gaps. Our research also shows that the impact of these skills gaps is an increased workload across the organisation (61%) and an increased time taken to deliver the work (51%). Going forward We feel passionately that when skills gaps directly cause an increase in workload and time taken to deliver services, something needs to change. The demand for training continues to be significant and clearly remains a core element in addressing skills gaps in the sector. It is therefore essential to consider what the nature of available training is, and how this can be tailored to effectively address the needs of small charities. In order to support small charities and community groups to fill these training needs, the FSI run an annual, heavily subsidised skills conference, taking place in Central London on 9th March 2017. This year’s Skills Conference will provide 200 small charity delegates the chance to access a range of expert speakers to help build essential, back office skills. Small charities and community groups are encouraged to select their skills gaps and we will match them to workshops taking place throughout the conference. On the day, delegates will take away relevant and practical skills from four out of 20 interactive workshops. To find out what topics are on offer, and to book on to the conference click here. Venue: Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA Date: Thursday 9th March Time: 9.30am-4.30pm (registration from 9.00am) Cost: £15 for FSI members (value of equivalent conference £295)   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 What Makes Local Charities Unique? Open University Launches New Voluntary Sector Courses
    Feb 21, 2017 1268
  • 14 Feb 2017
    Zoe Amar is Director of Zoe Amar Communications. She also writes for The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network about charities and digital marketing. I don’t know about you, but on 1st  January this year I was bracing myself for what 2017 might bring. Politically and economically this year is set to be rocky to say the least, and all the charities I’m speaking to are readying themselves for a challenging period ahead. At times like this it’s the most natural thing in the world to batten down the hatches. I’ve worked with many small charities as well as large ones and I’ve observed similar patterns of behaviour at both during tough times. I was guilty of it myself occasionally during the 5 years I worked in-house at a charity. Running around, putting out numerous fires, juggling diaries and the ever shifting wants and needs of stakeholders, preparing for funding cuts… on top of all of that, digital can feel like another huge item to add to the to do list. Yet I would argue that digital is one thing that every charity should look to grapple with if they are going to thrive through the undoubtedly hard times ahead. Best of all, it’s something that you can control, even if you have a small budget. Here are my 7 top tips that every charity can follow to put them in the best position now.  They’re a great way to help you upskill in digital, and create strong foundations for everything you do. Whilst we’re at it, I’d love to hear from more small local charities about how they are using digital so that we can map skills across the charity sector, so do take our survey with Skills Platform by Friday 17 February. Test your website for mobile friendliness. This may sound obvious but there are still too many websites out there that aren’t. If your website isn’t optimised correctly it’ going to hurt your Google rankings. Hubspot have a helpful checklist of free tips to get you started. Get on social media If you aren’t on there already, social media is a brilliant way to connect with people in your community, from local MPs to businesses who might want to support you. There is lots of advice in the Charity Social Media Toolkit.  Know your audience Your beneficiaries are the cornerstone of what you do- they are the why. Yet I know myself from when I worked for a charity that my team was sometimes so busy it wasn’t always easy to keep in touch with what our audience wanted. In every single charity that I’ve ever worked with I’m struck by how many untapped, valuable insights there are about stakeholders. It costs nothing to define your audience and map out how they will interact with your services on and offline, so why not take a Friday afternoon with your colleagues to nail that down? Improve your email newsletter Did you know that people are 8 times more likely to donate via email than via your social media? Simple, regular email newsletters with a clear call to action are a great way to keep in touch with supporters and grow the relationship.   Look at what other charities are doing Again it costs nothing to keep tabs on what other charities are doing online. Just taking a look at what they’re saying on social media and on their websites regularly is a good substitute if you don’t have a budget for market research. Get on top of Google Analytics There is so much useful information hidden away in Google Analytics and it’s free to use. It can feel a little overwhelming if you’re new to it so James Yorke has broken down how to use it step by step in this useful guide. Try new things out It is so easy to be overcome by analysis paralysis about digital. If you do one thing after reading this blog, promise me you’ll try something out, however small. It could be an update to the copy on a website or looking into a tweak to your database, but just experimenting with something low risk and learning from the results will help you and your charity feel more confident with digital. Do this once a week and within no time your charity will be doing better and better things online. Follow these 7 quick tips and they’ll not only improve your charity’s digital efforts but they will also help other areas of your work. Let me know how you get on. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016  
    4534 Posted by Zoe Amar
  • Zoe Amar is Director of Zoe Amar Communications. She also writes for The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network about charities and digital marketing. I don’t know about you, but on 1st  January this year I was bracing myself for what 2017 might bring. Politically and economically this year is set to be rocky to say the least, and all the charities I’m speaking to are readying themselves for a challenging period ahead. At times like this it’s the most natural thing in the world to batten down the hatches. I’ve worked with many small charities as well as large ones and I’ve observed similar patterns of behaviour at both during tough times. I was guilty of it myself occasionally during the 5 years I worked in-house at a charity. Running around, putting out numerous fires, juggling diaries and the ever shifting wants and needs of stakeholders, preparing for funding cuts… on top of all of that, digital can feel like another huge item to add to the to do list. Yet I would argue that digital is one thing that every charity should look to grapple with if they are going to thrive through the undoubtedly hard times ahead. Best of all, it’s something that you can control, even if you have a small budget. Here are my 7 top tips that every charity can follow to put them in the best position now.  They’re a great way to help you upskill in digital, and create strong foundations for everything you do. Whilst we’re at it, I’d love to hear from more small local charities about how they are using digital so that we can map skills across the charity sector, so do take our survey with Skills Platform by Friday 17 February. Test your website for mobile friendliness. This may sound obvious but there are still too many websites out there that aren’t. If your website isn’t optimised correctly it’ going to hurt your Google rankings. Hubspot have a helpful checklist of free tips to get you started. Get on social media If you aren’t on there already, social media is a brilliant way to connect with people in your community, from local MPs to businesses who might want to support you. There is lots of advice in the Charity Social Media Toolkit.  Know your audience Your beneficiaries are the cornerstone of what you do- they are the why. Yet I know myself from when I worked for a charity that my team was sometimes so busy it wasn’t always easy to keep in touch with what our audience wanted. In every single charity that I’ve ever worked with I’m struck by how many untapped, valuable insights there are about stakeholders. It costs nothing to define your audience and map out how they will interact with your services on and offline, so why not take a Friday afternoon with your colleagues to nail that down? Improve your email newsletter Did you know that people are 8 times more likely to donate via email than via your social media? Simple, regular email newsletters with a clear call to action are a great way to keep in touch with supporters and grow the relationship.   Look at what other charities are doing Again it costs nothing to keep tabs on what other charities are doing online. Just taking a look at what they’re saying on social media and on their websites regularly is a good substitute if you don’t have a budget for market research. Get on top of Google Analytics There is so much useful information hidden away in Google Analytics and it’s free to use. It can feel a little overwhelming if you’re new to it so James Yorke has broken down how to use it step by step in this useful guide. Try new things out It is so easy to be overcome by analysis paralysis about digital. If you do one thing after reading this blog, promise me you’ll try something out, however small. It could be an update to the copy on a website or looking into a tweak to your database, but just experimenting with something low risk and learning from the results will help you and your charity feel more confident with digital. Do this once a week and within no time your charity will be doing better and better things online. Follow these 7 quick tips and they’ll not only improve your charity’s digital efforts but they will also help other areas of your work. Let me know how you get on. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Do you have the courage to let your supporters own their story? by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016  
    Feb 14, 2017 4534
  • 13 Feb 2017
    I recently went to SOFII's annual ‘I Wish I Thought of That’ (IWITOT) event, where 17 fundraisers present an inspiring fundraising campaign or idea that they wish they'd come up with. I’ve always thought this is a great concept, as it’s nice to listen to people wax lyrical about somebody else’s work, rather than promoting themselves. And no matter how big or small your charity is, there are always a few ideas to take away with you as inspiration! There’s often a recurring theme at IWITOT that links together the presentations, and this time was no exception. Many of the fundraising ideas featured a charity that had taken a backseat and allowed their supporters and beneficiaries to tell a story in their own voice. Doing this can be really powerful, especially in the social media age where people engage with and share content instantly. Storytelling, authenticity and spontaneity are crucial, and people are increasingly suspicious of ‘formal’ advertising and contrived campaigns. This is something that charities often miss when they set their sights on creating the next Ice Bucket Challenge or No Makeup Selfie. These campaigns are almost impossible to replicate, because their organic beginning – somebody sharing a personal, engaging update with no grand plan – is what made them successful.  The best campaigns aren’t dreamed up in a boardroom or on flipchart paper. It’s the organic messages, the simple supporter stories that aren’t put through a brand filter, that really capture people's imagination. So when charities are too eager to raise awareness about their organisation and ‘get their message out there’, all too often they manage to achieve the complete opposite. I’d like to share a couple of really personal, spontaneous campaigns that were showcased at IWITOT:  1. Emmy and Jake’s tandem fundraising challenge When Emmy Collett received the heartbreaking news that she had thyroid cancer, she embarked on a 2,000km tandem cycling challenge from London to Copenhagen with her childhood sweetheart Jake to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Emmy’s inspirational efforts showed that it’s possible to remain active and upbeat despite having cancer. Her updates were also brutally honest, showing people the true side of her illness, treatment and painful symptoms. As Emmy and Jake’s poignant tale quickly gained publicity, the Royal Marsden made a conscious decision. They committed to remaining in the background, letting the young couple keep telling their story their way, without controlling what they said to the media. It was a brilliant decision – while donors felt compelled to give to two amazing individuals, it was the charity that really gained.  2. Paul Trueman’s ‘The Archers’ campaign After BBC Radio’s long-standing programme ‘The Archers’ featured a hard-hitting domestic abuse storyline, Paul Trueman was inspired to use it as an opportunity to raise money for a good cause: ‘Because Kirsty can't do this on her own, people. If over the last year or two you've sworn at the radio, tweeted in outrage, taken the name 'Robert' in vain, or posted your disgust at the worsening situation in Blossom Hill Cottage, then now's your chance to do something constructive about it. A fiver could get Helen (and Henry) a taxi round to the safety of her mum's farm (she's not 'allowed' to drive). A tenner could get her that maternity top (he made her send back). Just a crisp twenty could order a seasonal starter at Grey Gables and perhaps a quiet, conciliatory word with its head chef.    Time to do something constructive and think of all the women who are genuinely stuck in relationships like this - and much, much worse. So, joking apart, all the money from the Rescue Fund will go to the brilliant Refuge, helping all those women who don't have a mate like Kirsty and their own organic cheese shop waiting for them at the end of it.’ This highly unusual fundraising campaign used a fictional storyline and ‘ask’ to highlight the plight of real women. Refuge, the beneficiary charity, could have jumped on this and taken the opportunity to liken it to their own case studies, sell their work and 'polish up' the message. Instead, like the Royal Marsden, they trusted the creator of the story to be its best ambassador. After raising over £170,000, it seems like a pretty good decision. Now over to you… In today's world of spontaneous online interactions, I think that too many charities underestimate how well others can tell their story for them. So here’s the question – is your charity is brave enough to take a step back and let your supporters tell their own story too? This requires courage, faith in the people who represent you, and a willingness to relinquish control. For small charities, the chance to gain publicity and raise awareness is all too rare. So when it comes, you might understandably feel the need to refine and maximise your message as much as possible. Trouble is, when you reframe things using words that matter to you, and put your charity front and centre, you usually lose that vital authenticity and those all-important shares as a result. However, if you can resist the temptation to do this, maybe someday people will be talking about your high-profile and inspiring campaign and wondering how they could replicate it. This blog is based on a blog that first appeared on www.limegreenconsulting.co.uk on 20 December 2016 Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Rod's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds! Developing a Fundraising Plan - Strategies and Ideas Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2017 Wise Words from Alistair Sill: Local Hero Champion 2016
    2609 Posted by Mike Zywina
  • I recently went to SOFII's annual ‘I Wish I Thought of That’ (IWITOT) event, where 17 fundraisers present an inspiring fundraising campaign or idea that they wish they'd come up with. I’ve always thought this is a great concept, as it’s nice to listen to people wax lyrical about somebody else’s work, rather than promoting themselves. And no matter how big or small your charity is, there are always a few ideas to take away with you as inspiration! There’s often a recurring theme at IWITOT that links together the presentations, and this time was no exception. Many of the fundraising ideas featured a charity that had taken a backseat and allowed their supporters and beneficiaries to tell a story in their own voice. Doing this can be really powerful, especially in the social media age where people engage with and share content instantly. Storytelling, authenticity and spontaneity are crucial, and people are increasingly suspicious of ‘formal’ advertising and contrived campaigns. This is something that charities often miss when they set their sights on creating the next Ice Bucket Challenge or No Makeup Selfie. These campaigns are almost impossible to replicate, because their organic beginning – somebody sharing a personal, engaging update with no grand plan – is what made them successful.  The best campaigns aren’t dreamed up in a boardroom or on flipchart paper. It’s the organic messages, the simple supporter stories that aren’t put through a brand filter, that really capture people's imagination. So when charities are too eager to raise awareness about their organisation and ‘get their message out there’, all too often they manage to achieve the complete opposite. I’d like to share a couple of really personal, spontaneous campaigns that were showcased at IWITOT:  1. Emmy and Jake’s tandem fundraising challenge When Emmy Collett received the heartbreaking news that she had thyroid cancer, she embarked on a 2,000km tandem cycling challenge from London to Copenhagen with her childhood sweetheart Jake to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Emmy’s inspirational efforts showed that it’s possible to remain active and upbeat despite having cancer. Her updates were also brutally honest, showing people the true side of her illness, treatment and painful symptoms. As Emmy and Jake’s poignant tale quickly gained publicity, the Royal Marsden made a conscious decision. They committed to remaining in the background, letting the young couple keep telling their story their way, without controlling what they said to the media. It was a brilliant decision – while donors felt compelled to give to two amazing individuals, it was the charity that really gained.  2. Paul Trueman’s ‘The Archers’ campaign After BBC Radio’s long-standing programme ‘The Archers’ featured a hard-hitting domestic abuse storyline, Paul Trueman was inspired to use it as an opportunity to raise money for a good cause: ‘Because Kirsty can't do this on her own, people. If over the last year or two you've sworn at the radio, tweeted in outrage, taken the name 'Robert' in vain, or posted your disgust at the worsening situation in Blossom Hill Cottage, then now's your chance to do something constructive about it. A fiver could get Helen (and Henry) a taxi round to the safety of her mum's farm (she's not 'allowed' to drive). A tenner could get her that maternity top (he made her send back). Just a crisp twenty could order a seasonal starter at Grey Gables and perhaps a quiet, conciliatory word with its head chef.    Time to do something constructive and think of all the women who are genuinely stuck in relationships like this - and much, much worse. So, joking apart, all the money from the Rescue Fund will go to the brilliant Refuge, helping all those women who don't have a mate like Kirsty and their own organic cheese shop waiting for them at the end of it.’ This highly unusual fundraising campaign used a fictional storyline and ‘ask’ to highlight the plight of real women. Refuge, the beneficiary charity, could have jumped on this and taken the opportunity to liken it to their own case studies, sell their work and 'polish up' the message. Instead, like the Royal Marsden, they trusted the creator of the story to be its best ambassador. After raising over £170,000, it seems like a pretty good decision. Now over to you… In today's world of spontaneous online interactions, I think that too many charities underestimate how well others can tell their story for them. So here’s the question – is your charity is brave enough to take a step back and let your supporters tell their own story too? This requires courage, faith in the people who represent you, and a willingness to relinquish control. For small charities, the chance to gain publicity and raise awareness is all too rare. So when it comes, you might understandably feel the need to refine and maximise your message as much as possible. Trouble is, when you reframe things using words that matter to you, and put your charity front and centre, you usually lose that vital authenticity and those all-important shares as a result. However, if you can resist the temptation to do this, maybe someday people will be talking about your high-profile and inspiring campaign and wondering how they could replicate it. This blog is based on a blog that first appeared on www.limegreenconsulting.co.uk on 20 December 2016 Found this blog post useful? You may also like:     Rod's Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds! Developing a Fundraising Plan - Strategies and Ideas Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2017 Wise Words from Alistair Sill: Local Hero Champion 2016
    Feb 13, 2017 2609
  • 02 Feb 2017
    Hello! I’m Rod, and I make music as Bright Light Bright Light. I’m a very independent (until last October, totally independent) musician, so I know how hard people are working to run charities from grassroots levels, which is why I am so thrilled to be a Localgiving ambassador. I recently set up my own fundraising page to raise money for Pride Cymru, and it was very easy to do so! Here’s how: 1) Choose a charity that means a lot to you. I grew up in the South Wales valleys as a gay man, and in places further from towns, that can be a very scary and overwhelming experience. I think Pride Cymru do excellent, year round, work to provide support for LGBTQ people, and I want to help them to keep that excellent work going, providing essential support and awareness for people. 2) Pick a challenge you'll enjoy I love running, and I have a single coming out called ‘Running Back To You’, so I thought it would fit together nicely to set up a running challenge. Not everyone can find time to be free when official races happen, and not everyone can raise the amount needed to enter, so setting up a smaller target, or fundraising for a charity closer to your heart, can be a good way to make a difference. 3) Set up you Localgiving fundraiser page Setting up the page was so easy. It took less than 5 minutes (depending on your typing speed!) I simply did it on the Localgiving page via this link : it’s painless! 4) Raising funds means raising awareness Depending on your fundraising target, you can be less or more pushy about raising awareness of the event. Social media is perfect to share what you’re doing, especially with friends or family on Facebook. They can share and re-post to their friends and family, and you can make it almost a team effort very easily. For me, I also used my artist social media like my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. 5) Become a Local Hero Signing up before April also means that Localgiving will include you as a “Local Hero”. I love the way that they treat their charities, and their fundraisers, as without everyone making the effort, the whole thing wouldn’t work. Be a local hero, and help out a cause that you care about with their network of lovely people who can guide you through the process. In this video Rod discusses why he become a Localgiving ambassador    
    2710 Posted by Rod Thomas
  • Hello! I’m Rod, and I make music as Bright Light Bright Light. I’m a very independent (until last October, totally independent) musician, so I know how hard people are working to run charities from grassroots levels, which is why I am so thrilled to be a Localgiving ambassador. I recently set up my own fundraising page to raise money for Pride Cymru, and it was very easy to do so! Here’s how: 1) Choose a charity that means a lot to you. I grew up in the South Wales valleys as a gay man, and in places further from towns, that can be a very scary and overwhelming experience. I think Pride Cymru do excellent, year round, work to provide support for LGBTQ people, and I want to help them to keep that excellent work going, providing essential support and awareness for people. 2) Pick a challenge you'll enjoy I love running, and I have a single coming out called ‘Running Back To You’, so I thought it would fit together nicely to set up a running challenge. Not everyone can find time to be free when official races happen, and not everyone can raise the amount needed to enter, so setting up a smaller target, or fundraising for a charity closer to your heart, can be a good way to make a difference. 3) Set up you Localgiving fundraiser page Setting up the page was so easy. It took less than 5 minutes (depending on your typing speed!) I simply did it on the Localgiving page via this link : it’s painless! 4) Raising funds means raising awareness Depending on your fundraising target, you can be less or more pushy about raising awareness of the event. Social media is perfect to share what you’re doing, especially with friends or family on Facebook. They can share and re-post to their friends and family, and you can make it almost a team effort very easily. For me, I also used my artist social media like my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. 5) Become a Local Hero Signing up before April also means that Localgiving will include you as a “Local Hero”. I love the way that they treat their charities, and their fundraisers, as without everyone making the effort, the whole thing wouldn’t work. Be a local hero, and help out a cause that you care about with their network of lovely people who can guide you through the process. In this video Rod discusses why he become a Localgiving ambassador    
    Feb 02, 2017 2710
  • 02 Feb 2017
    In this blog I look at developing ideas and strategies around a new fundraising campaign. We also have numerous resources and blogs on delivering campaigns which you can view here.  First steps Before starting any successful fundraising campaign it is always worth thinking about what will work best for your charity. Whether it is developing an existing campaign idea, or starting from scratch with a new strategy, thinking about how your charity can play to your strengths is key. The first step should be looking at your charity’s mission as well as what interests your supporters in your work. The key to any well-run campaign is linking these two things together. Designing a campaign Deciding on what your campaign's ‘mission’  is and why it will appeal to supporters should be your first step. Question yourself on issues like: What does your charity seek to address? How can you communicate that message? Is it a niche issue you deal with or do you have a large basis of public support? What could you do with this many people's support? Would it be helpful to hold an event? How could you link in other organisations and what could they bring to the table? How can you use your Localgiving page to promote what your organisation does? Why is it that you need funding to support you charity's work in the first place? You need to build a campaign around a compelling reason to fundraise. For example, a charity dealing with youth activities can draw attention to the impact you have on kids lives by getting the children and their parents to take part in the campaign. Once you have thought about your charity’s appeal you should also try to shape a campaign that plays to your strengths. For example, a sports clubs should focus on fundraising challenges that appeal to their large network of members, while a small arts groups could be creative and think of a community project that will capture people's attention. A charity dealing with a societal problem like homelessness should seek to raise awareness of their work in the wider community, while an after school children's club could focus on appealing to the people connected to the children attending. An appeal or fundraising challenge should focus on who it is that’s interested in your charity. Engaging them with a campaign that is tailored to their interests is what leads to donations. Targeting donations Once you have an idea of what kind of campaign would interest your supporters start thinking about how to get them to actually make a donation. Questions like: What would capture the interest of people who care but are are unaware of the specifics of what you do? Have you had a responsive supporter base in the past? Is there a need to raise awareness of your reason for fundraising first or is asking previous donors more important? Can your supporters help you promote the campaign online and with their networks? What sort of skills or networks do your volunteers/supporters bring to your fundraising project? Would engaged volunteers consider becoming fundraisers themselves? Once you have a better picture of how your supporters would respond to a campaign launch its time to link this in with your mission. For example, a sports club should appeal to their member base by getting their members to do a  physical challenge (like a 5k run in the local park) while a community arts group should capitalize on their supporters interest in local creative projects by doing something creative (like painting an issue raising mural in a local space). Groups with large networks of supporters could ask that everyone contribute a small amount to reach your collective target, while charities that deal with an important but niche issue could ask for larger donations from the select people who really care. ‘Targeting’ donors is simply thinking about the smartest way to go about reaching your fundraising target with your charity’s supporters in mind. Taking advantage of opportunities and putting the idea into action Once you have put the finer details of your fundraising campaign idea together it's always worth having a think about what kind of things your group has at its disposal to take advantage of. Do you have board members or trustees that can help out? What skills and networks do they have? Could you tie the campaign in with an anniversary or an event that is already coming up? Can you highlight an award your charity has won or some other significant achievement? It’s also worth thinking of media attention you can get for your campaign by linking it in with current news stories. Awareness campaigns  (e.g. ‘Mental Health Week’, ‘Black History Month’, ‘National Day of Action for the Homeless’) can be good events to link in with. Every charity has aspects that make you unique. The way to maximize your outreach is to tap into this and use it to promote your campaign. Once you have your campaign strategy you can begin putting your plan into action Remember - Localgiving has a fundraiser campaign coming up in April, Local Hero. Find out more here and best of luck fundraising! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Wise Words from Alistair Sill: Local Hero Champion 2016 Bright Lightx2 gives his Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds!
    2299 Posted by Conor Kelly
  • In this blog I look at developing ideas and strategies around a new fundraising campaign. We also have numerous resources and blogs on delivering campaigns which you can view here.  First steps Before starting any successful fundraising campaign it is always worth thinking about what will work best for your charity. Whether it is developing an existing campaign idea, or starting from scratch with a new strategy, thinking about how your charity can play to your strengths is key. The first step should be looking at your charity’s mission as well as what interests your supporters in your work. The key to any well-run campaign is linking these two things together. Designing a campaign Deciding on what your campaign's ‘mission’  is and why it will appeal to supporters should be your first step. Question yourself on issues like: What does your charity seek to address? How can you communicate that message? Is it a niche issue you deal with or do you have a large basis of public support? What could you do with this many people's support? Would it be helpful to hold an event? How could you link in other organisations and what could they bring to the table? How can you use your Localgiving page to promote what your organisation does? Why is it that you need funding to support you charity's work in the first place? You need to build a campaign around a compelling reason to fundraise. For example, a charity dealing with youth activities can draw attention to the impact you have on kids lives by getting the children and their parents to take part in the campaign. Once you have thought about your charity’s appeal you should also try to shape a campaign that plays to your strengths. For example, a sports clubs should focus on fundraising challenges that appeal to their large network of members, while a small arts groups could be creative and think of a community project that will capture people's attention. A charity dealing with a societal problem like homelessness should seek to raise awareness of their work in the wider community, while an after school children's club could focus on appealing to the people connected to the children attending. An appeal or fundraising challenge should focus on who it is that’s interested in your charity. Engaging them with a campaign that is tailored to their interests is what leads to donations. Targeting donations Once you have an idea of what kind of campaign would interest your supporters start thinking about how to get them to actually make a donation. Questions like: What would capture the interest of people who care but are are unaware of the specifics of what you do? Have you had a responsive supporter base in the past? Is there a need to raise awareness of your reason for fundraising first or is asking previous donors more important? Can your supporters help you promote the campaign online and with their networks? What sort of skills or networks do your volunteers/supporters bring to your fundraising project? Would engaged volunteers consider becoming fundraisers themselves? Once you have a better picture of how your supporters would respond to a campaign launch its time to link this in with your mission. For example, a sports club should appeal to their member base by getting their members to do a  physical challenge (like a 5k run in the local park) while a community arts group should capitalize on their supporters interest in local creative projects by doing something creative (like painting an issue raising mural in a local space). Groups with large networks of supporters could ask that everyone contribute a small amount to reach your collective target, while charities that deal with an important but niche issue could ask for larger donations from the select people who really care. ‘Targeting’ donors is simply thinking about the smartest way to go about reaching your fundraising target with your charity’s supporters in mind. Taking advantage of opportunities and putting the idea into action Once you have put the finer details of your fundraising campaign idea together it's always worth having a think about what kind of things your group has at its disposal to take advantage of. Do you have board members or trustees that can help out? What skills and networks do they have? Could you tie the campaign in with an anniversary or an event that is already coming up? Can you highlight an award your charity has won or some other significant achievement? It’s also worth thinking of media attention you can get for your campaign by linking it in with current news stories. Awareness campaigns  (e.g. ‘Mental Health Week’, ‘Black History Month’, ‘National Day of Action for the Homeless’) can be good events to link in with. Every charity has aspects that make you unique. The way to maximize your outreach is to tap into this and use it to promote your campaign. Once you have your campaign strategy you can begin putting your plan into action Remember - Localgiving has a fundraiser campaign coming up in April, Local Hero. Find out more here and best of luck fundraising! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Wise Words from Alistair Sill: Local Hero Champion 2016 Bright Lightx2 gives his Top Tips on Running for Fun and Funds!
    Feb 02, 2017 2299
  • 12 Jan 2017
    Social media is currently the number one reason people use the Internet, according to a study from Pew Research. It dominates online activity, and chances are your charity is already using it. Compelling social media content comes in many different forms. There is no secret formula to creating great content, it doesn’t need to take up a lot of time, go viral, or be professionally produced in order to be successful. Engagement is the key, and paying more to create content won’t necessarily bring success. What really matters is how the people you want to reach engage with the content you post. These top tips will help your organisation think about creating content that actively engages the people that matter most to you, whether that’s beneficiaries, volunteers, donors, staff or others, no matter your size or budget. 1. You don’t need a massive budget Many charities will tell you that they don’t have enough time or resources to accomplish everything that they’d like on social. Think of social media as a platform for storytelling. As a charitable organisation, you are already surrounded by great original content material, from articles on your website, volunteers in action, or the stories of people or communities you have helped. There are many ways you can re-purpose this content for your social media channels. Creating a posting plan can help you get started and feel more in control, but it doesn’t have to be perfect right away. Try things out, take note of what works for your audience, and tweak your content as you go along. For further guidance and examples of good practice on this, check out our free guide ‘What’s Data Got To Do With It’. 2. It’s not all about numbers When it comes to your content, quality reigns over quantity. Engaging with a handful of relevant, switched-on people will give greater results than simply reaching as many people as possible. It sounds obvious, but be social, connect with and reach out to your closest supporters in a similar way to how you would focus your personal time on close friends. The more you engage with your target audience, the more people will respond to your content, and engage others to do the same. By using material unique to your organisation, such as sharing a short video of someone your charity has helped, you are creating authentic, high quality content that will bring people closer to your cause. 3. Make your content fun Don’t be afraid to find the light in tough subject matter. Fun and inspiring content can go a long way to engage your audience. Get creative, try out something new, and give any and all ideas a chance. Taco Bell does this really well, and we have previously written about what your charity can learn from them. For successful image and video content, authenticity and storytelling produce the highest engagement. You can easily incorporate this into your social media by telling your audience about something that has happened as a result of your organisation, such as a successful fundraising event, though a photo or video that you have created yourself. A smartphone can provide you with all the tools to create fresh, engaging images and videos for your social media channels. Simply taking a photo of a volunteer in action can be compelling content for the right audience. For more tips on creating great content for your organisation take a look at our free guide ‘Something To Tweet About’. Hannah is the Junior Communications and Social Media Advisor at Social Misfits Media, specialising in helping charities, foundations and non-profits better use social media to reach their goals. Follow Hannah and Social Misfits Media @HannahDonald20 and @MisfitsMedia. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Value of online Fundraising: More than just donations Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 What Makes Local Charities Unique?     Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/lg-smartphone-instagram-social-media-35177/
    7446 Posted by Hannah Donald
  • Social media is currently the number one reason people use the Internet, according to a study from Pew Research. It dominates online activity, and chances are your charity is already using it. Compelling social media content comes in many different forms. There is no secret formula to creating great content, it doesn’t need to take up a lot of time, go viral, or be professionally produced in order to be successful. Engagement is the key, and paying more to create content won’t necessarily bring success. What really matters is how the people you want to reach engage with the content you post. These top tips will help your organisation think about creating content that actively engages the people that matter most to you, whether that’s beneficiaries, volunteers, donors, staff or others, no matter your size or budget. 1. You don’t need a massive budget Many charities will tell you that they don’t have enough time or resources to accomplish everything that they’d like on social. Think of social media as a platform for storytelling. As a charitable organisation, you are already surrounded by great original content material, from articles on your website, volunteers in action, or the stories of people or communities you have helped. There are many ways you can re-purpose this content for your social media channels. Creating a posting plan can help you get started and feel more in control, but it doesn’t have to be perfect right away. Try things out, take note of what works for your audience, and tweak your content as you go along. For further guidance and examples of good practice on this, check out our free guide ‘What’s Data Got To Do With It’. 2. It’s not all about numbers When it comes to your content, quality reigns over quantity. Engaging with a handful of relevant, switched-on people will give greater results than simply reaching as many people as possible. It sounds obvious, but be social, connect with and reach out to your closest supporters in a similar way to how you would focus your personal time on close friends. The more you engage with your target audience, the more people will respond to your content, and engage others to do the same. By using material unique to your organisation, such as sharing a short video of someone your charity has helped, you are creating authentic, high quality content that will bring people closer to your cause. 3. Make your content fun Don’t be afraid to find the light in tough subject matter. Fun and inspiring content can go a long way to engage your audience. Get creative, try out something new, and give any and all ideas a chance. Taco Bell does this really well, and we have previously written about what your charity can learn from them. For successful image and video content, authenticity and storytelling produce the highest engagement. You can easily incorporate this into your social media by telling your audience about something that has happened as a result of your organisation, such as a successful fundraising event, though a photo or video that you have created yourself. A smartphone can provide you with all the tools to create fresh, engaging images and videos for your social media channels. Simply taking a photo of a volunteer in action can be compelling content for the right audience. For more tips on creating great content for your organisation take a look at our free guide ‘Something To Tweet About’. Hannah is the Junior Communications and Social Media Advisor at Social Misfits Media, specialising in helping charities, foundations and non-profits better use social media to reach their goals. Follow Hannah and Social Misfits Media @HannahDonald20 and @MisfitsMedia. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Value of online Fundraising: More than just donations Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 What Makes Local Charities Unique?     Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/lg-smartphone-instagram-social-media-35177/
    Jan 12, 2017 7446
  • 06 Jan 2017
    We spoke to our very own Emma Rawlingson (Programmes Manager at Localgiving), Localgiving member Hannah Rowan (Project Manager at West Rhyl Young People’s Project), Mike Lewis (Grant Manager Wales at Lloyds Bank Foundation) and Neil Pringle (Fund Manager at Gwynt y Môr Community Fund) to get four different perspectives on digital fundraising. 1) A source of unrestricted income that can be hard to find elsewhere Raising money for a charity online has the obvious and instant benefit of swelling the coffers - but it’s not a quick fix. It takes a little time and effort to get digital fundraising right. “Online fundraising can be difficult for ultra local organisations, especially those that lack time and resources. Add financial pressures into the mix and it can lead groups to focus heavily on grant funding,” explained Emma Rawlingson , Programmes Manager at Localgiving. That effort to make digital fundraising work pays dividends, though. “However, online fundraising provides an easy, quick and secure way for groups to raise additional, unrestricted funding - the type of funding that can be difficult to secure through grants,” Emma said. 2) A way to take control of your financial future Digital fundraising isn’t a panacea for all our funding worries - but neither are grants. In a persistently challenging economic climate, it’s important for charities to have multiple income streams. Think of fundraising, grants, and other sources of money as jigsaw pieces that, when joined, form a wider plan for how a charity generates its income. “With the current funding climate placing significant pressure on charities, we know it’s important that organisations have a mix of ways to raise money,” said Mike Lewis, Grant Manager Wales at Lloyds Bank Foundation. It’s tough out there! Our 2016 Local Charity and Community Groups Sustainability Report found that 76% of groups surveyed highlighted "competition for grants and contracts" as a financial concern. Relying on a single income source is risky, and a boost from online donations can bring some welcome breathing space when things get a bit tight. 3) A route to new supporters, partners and beneficiaries To succeed at online fundraising, a charity must first reach out to people, develop relationships and build trust - and when they do that, they get more than donations in return. “Fundraising and digital fundraising in particular is an important way charities can reach out to and engage supporters in a cost effective way so they are better placed to help the disadvantaged people they work with,” Mike added. West Rhyl Young People’s Project (WRYPP) is testament to this. They’ve received support through Localgiving’s Big Lottery funded Wales Development Programme to set up a donations page, develop new marketing materials and tap into new audiences. “Since joining Localgiving, we’re more active online and we’re enjoying an increased profile locally. Because of that, we’ve been able to connect with supporters we didn’t know we had,” explained Hannah Rowan, Project Manager at West Rhyl Young People’s Project. WRYPP has used the money raised on Localgiving so far to reach and support more young people. “With our LGBT project Viva, we have grants to work in some counties, but not others. Donations through Localgiving have helped us meet the costs of travelling to support young people in need right across North Wales, in areas not covered by our funded projects,” Hannah said. At Localgiving, we’re passionate about helping local charities like WRYPP feel empowered to take advantage of the opportunities presented by digital, and to use the tools available to get the recognition their cause deserves. It’s a passion shared by Lloyds Bank Foundation. “As a Foundation we are keen to support charities develop their digital capacity and we can fund marketing and communications consultants, website and social media developments through our grant programmes,” Mike added. 4) A method for demonstrating commitment to a project or idea We’ve established that it’s important to think of fundraising and grants as separate pieces in a larger income generation puzzle. But when the time does come to apply for a grant, don’t discount the value of your charity’s digital activities and online fundraising efforts. “Demonstrating a contribution to a project, like donations raised through online fundraising, sends a strong message to a funder that the applicant is committed,” explained Neil Pringle, Fund Manager at Gwynt y Môr Community Fund. If a charity can independently raise even a small percentage of the project cost, they can then ask for a bit less from a grant funder. That means the funder’s pot goes further, enabling them to support even more projects. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a way to show grant funders that theirs is an idea local people are genuinely interested in. “Building buy-in, and raising awareness and funds through an online campaign says to a potential funder ‘everyone is involved’. It shows that the project has credibility in the local community, and people want it to happen," Neil added. Not only will online fundraising help your charity raise some extra cash (that you can spend on the things your charity really needs), it could also help you to become more financially sustainable, expose you to new supporters and opportunities, and give you an edge during a competitive grant application process. The Wales Development Programme Thanks to our Wales Development Programme, kindly funded and supported by Big Lottery Fund Wales, West Rhyl Young People’s Project is benefitting from: Free membership of Localgiving for 12 months; £200 of match funding for donations received online, and; Face to face support to develop practical online fundraising experience. If you represent a local Third Sector Organisation in Wales and would like to take part in the Wales Development Programme, head to join.localgiving.org/wales and register your interest today! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 What Makes Local Charities Unique? Open University Launches New Voluntary Sector Courses  
    5345 Posted by Emma Jones
  • We spoke to our very own Emma Rawlingson (Programmes Manager at Localgiving), Localgiving member Hannah Rowan (Project Manager at West Rhyl Young People’s Project), Mike Lewis (Grant Manager Wales at Lloyds Bank Foundation) and Neil Pringle (Fund Manager at Gwynt y Môr Community Fund) to get four different perspectives on digital fundraising. 1) A source of unrestricted income that can be hard to find elsewhere Raising money for a charity online has the obvious and instant benefit of swelling the coffers - but it’s not a quick fix. It takes a little time and effort to get digital fundraising right. “Online fundraising can be difficult for ultra local organisations, especially those that lack time and resources. Add financial pressures into the mix and it can lead groups to focus heavily on grant funding,” explained Emma Rawlingson , Programmes Manager at Localgiving. That effort to make digital fundraising work pays dividends, though. “However, online fundraising provides an easy, quick and secure way for groups to raise additional, unrestricted funding - the type of funding that can be difficult to secure through grants,” Emma said. 2) A way to take control of your financial future Digital fundraising isn’t a panacea for all our funding worries - but neither are grants. In a persistently challenging economic climate, it’s important for charities to have multiple income streams. Think of fundraising, grants, and other sources of money as jigsaw pieces that, when joined, form a wider plan for how a charity generates its income. “With the current funding climate placing significant pressure on charities, we know it’s important that organisations have a mix of ways to raise money,” said Mike Lewis, Grant Manager Wales at Lloyds Bank Foundation. It’s tough out there! Our 2016 Local Charity and Community Groups Sustainability Report found that 76% of groups surveyed highlighted "competition for grants and contracts" as a financial concern. Relying on a single income source is risky, and a boost from online donations can bring some welcome breathing space when things get a bit tight. 3) A route to new supporters, partners and beneficiaries To succeed at online fundraising, a charity must first reach out to people, develop relationships and build trust - and when they do that, they get more than donations in return. “Fundraising and digital fundraising in particular is an important way charities can reach out to and engage supporters in a cost effective way so they are better placed to help the disadvantaged people they work with,” Mike added. West Rhyl Young People’s Project (WRYPP) is testament to this. They’ve received support through Localgiving’s Big Lottery funded Wales Development Programme to set up a donations page, develop new marketing materials and tap into new audiences. “Since joining Localgiving, we’re more active online and we’re enjoying an increased profile locally. Because of that, we’ve been able to connect with supporters we didn’t know we had,” explained Hannah Rowan, Project Manager at West Rhyl Young People’s Project. WRYPP has used the money raised on Localgiving so far to reach and support more young people. “With our LGBT project Viva, we have grants to work in some counties, but not others. Donations through Localgiving have helped us meet the costs of travelling to support young people in need right across North Wales, in areas not covered by our funded projects,” Hannah said. At Localgiving, we’re passionate about helping local charities like WRYPP feel empowered to take advantage of the opportunities presented by digital, and to use the tools available to get the recognition their cause deserves. It’s a passion shared by Lloyds Bank Foundation. “As a Foundation we are keen to support charities develop their digital capacity and we can fund marketing and communications consultants, website and social media developments through our grant programmes,” Mike added. 4) A method for demonstrating commitment to a project or idea We’ve established that it’s important to think of fundraising and grants as separate pieces in a larger income generation puzzle. But when the time does come to apply for a grant, don’t discount the value of your charity’s digital activities and online fundraising efforts. “Demonstrating a contribution to a project, like donations raised through online fundraising, sends a strong message to a funder that the applicant is committed,” explained Neil Pringle, Fund Manager at Gwynt y Môr Community Fund. If a charity can independently raise even a small percentage of the project cost, they can then ask for a bit less from a grant funder. That means the funder’s pot goes further, enabling them to support even more projects. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a way to show grant funders that theirs is an idea local people are genuinely interested in. “Building buy-in, and raising awareness and funds through an online campaign says to a potential funder ‘everyone is involved’. It shows that the project has credibility in the local community, and people want it to happen," Neil added. Not only will online fundraising help your charity raise some extra cash (that you can spend on the things your charity really needs), it could also help you to become more financially sustainable, expose you to new supporters and opportunities, and give you an edge during a competitive grant application process. The Wales Development Programme Thanks to our Wales Development Programme, kindly funded and supported by Big Lottery Fund Wales, West Rhyl Young People’s Project is benefitting from: Free membership of Localgiving for 12 months; £200 of match funding for donations received online, and; Face to face support to develop practical online fundraising experience. If you represent a local Third Sector Organisation in Wales and would like to take part in the Wales Development Programme, head to join.localgiving.org/wales and register your interest today! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 What Makes Local Charities Unique? Open University Launches New Voluntary Sector Courses  
    Jan 06, 2017 5345