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  • 26 Jul 2016
    Recent research suggests us Brits are a charitable bunch, particularly happy to donate time and money to local causes. Combine that with our (admittedly un-researched!) love of tea and cake and you’ve got a sure-fire fundraising winner. Who doesn’t relish a coffee morning? Or a village fete? Simply set it up and away you go. Well, almost. Wise before the event Charity get-togethers are fraught with potential problems. There are plenty of unseen dangers waiting to scupper the unwary, and most of them involve the good old general public. We’ve all heard the ghastly cliché ‘where there’s blame there’s a claim’. Problem is, like most ghastly clichés, it’s true – and an indication of how compensation culture affects those trying to do good. Why? Because compensation culture is often the architect of a claim against your charity if someone’s injured or their property’s damaged, and it’s deemed your fault. In fact, 80% of people attending events assume you’ve ‘done something’ about their health and safety, and have insurance to cover them if something goes wrong. If you haven’t, it’s best for everyone they don’t find out the hard way. Unless you have deep pockets and a solid knowledge of health and safety legislation, you can’t afford to take chances. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail It’s useful to think about what can go wrong. For example, someone hurt during a village fete tug-of-war. Or a passer-by knocked out by an errant cricket ball. Perhaps a volunteer slipping on a wet kitchen floor. It’s a common misconception that the venue owner is liable for circumstances like these but unfortunately that’s not the case. If you’re the organiser, you’re liable.  And as you’re liable, a compensation claim could be made against your charity. If all this sounds a bit doom and gloom, don’t worry, it’s manageable. For starters, here are just three simple things you can do to reduce the chance of a claim: 1. Make a health and safety checklist. Have a good look around your venue, inside and out, and note any potential hazards. Pay particular attention to areas open to the public, and to any activities involving the public. For example, secure loose cables, smooth uneven terrain (if possible) and make it obvious where there’ll be moving vehicles. Make warning signs if needs be. 2. Look after your people. The law says you have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment, even for volunteers. If you’re asking them to do physical work (e.g. lifting) make sure they have training. Provide first aid kits, adequate toilet and washing facilities, and point out unsafe areas on site. Document everything. 3. Keep an eye out. Monitoring your event while it’s underway is as important as good planning before it. A turn in the weather, for example, can easily change a level playing field into a slip and trip minefield. Have a plan B, and make sure you have enough help to implement it. Risk management is prudent but it should be more than just a health and safety checklist. Mostly because, if someone’s injured and the HSE brings an action against the charity for a health and safety breach, the trustees can be personally liable. Charity insurance like MyCharityGuard.co.uk helps plug the gaps: public liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury and property damage claims while employers’ liability insurance covers employee illness and injury claims. Note: employers’ liability is legally required if you have employees, and volunteers are often classed as such. It’s sometimes a blurred line between the two and the HSE can fine those who get it wrong. As always, it’s best to ask your insurance broker for advice.           Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity  
    1385 Posted by Kerri-Ann Hockley
  • Recent research suggests us Brits are a charitable bunch, particularly happy to donate time and money to local causes. Combine that with our (admittedly un-researched!) love of tea and cake and you’ve got a sure-fire fundraising winner. Who doesn’t relish a coffee morning? Or a village fete? Simply set it up and away you go. Well, almost. Wise before the event Charity get-togethers are fraught with potential problems. There are plenty of unseen dangers waiting to scupper the unwary, and most of them involve the good old general public. We’ve all heard the ghastly cliché ‘where there’s blame there’s a claim’. Problem is, like most ghastly clichés, it’s true – and an indication of how compensation culture affects those trying to do good. Why? Because compensation culture is often the architect of a claim against your charity if someone’s injured or their property’s damaged, and it’s deemed your fault. In fact, 80% of people attending events assume you’ve ‘done something’ about their health and safety, and have insurance to cover them if something goes wrong. If you haven’t, it’s best for everyone they don’t find out the hard way. Unless you have deep pockets and a solid knowledge of health and safety legislation, you can’t afford to take chances. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail It’s useful to think about what can go wrong. For example, someone hurt during a village fete tug-of-war. Or a passer-by knocked out by an errant cricket ball. Perhaps a volunteer slipping on a wet kitchen floor. It’s a common misconception that the venue owner is liable for circumstances like these but unfortunately that’s not the case. If you’re the organiser, you’re liable.  And as you’re liable, a compensation claim could be made against your charity. If all this sounds a bit doom and gloom, don’t worry, it’s manageable. For starters, here are just three simple things you can do to reduce the chance of a claim: 1. Make a health and safety checklist. Have a good look around your venue, inside and out, and note any potential hazards. Pay particular attention to areas open to the public, and to any activities involving the public. For example, secure loose cables, smooth uneven terrain (if possible) and make it obvious where there’ll be moving vehicles. Make warning signs if needs be. 2. Look after your people. The law says you have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment, even for volunteers. If you’re asking them to do physical work (e.g. lifting) make sure they have training. Provide first aid kits, adequate toilet and washing facilities, and point out unsafe areas on site. Document everything. 3. Keep an eye out. Monitoring your event while it’s underway is as important as good planning before it. A turn in the weather, for example, can easily change a level playing field into a slip and trip minefield. Have a plan B, and make sure you have enough help to implement it. Risk management is prudent but it should be more than just a health and safety checklist. Mostly because, if someone’s injured and the HSE brings an action against the charity for a health and safety breach, the trustees can be personally liable. Charity insurance like MyCharityGuard.co.uk helps plug the gaps: public liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury and property damage claims while employers’ liability insurance covers employee illness and injury claims. Note: employers’ liability is legally required if you have employees, and volunteers are often classed as such. It’s sometimes a blurred line between the two and the HSE can fine those who get it wrong. As always, it’s best to ask your insurance broker for advice.           Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity  
    Jul 26, 2016 1385
  • 12 Jul 2016
    Video is a wonderful way of promoting your charity and showing people the work that you do. But it can be a daunting and expensive undertaking, especially for smaller charities. So here are my tips for making really good videos on a budget.  Keep it Real The most wonderful advocates for your charity are your beneficiaries and volunteers. Telling their stories can be a hugely effective way of communicating what you do and why someone should support you. And getting your volunteers to film themselves or to make films for you is a highly cost effective way of producing videos. The DIY approach not only adds authenticity but also means you can get some visually rich material: nothing makes people switch off quicker than ‘talking heads’. Anthony Nolan are masters of this approach: they empower their donors and volunteer fundraisers to make and up-load films to their YouTube Channels and fundraising pages. I love this film made by Annabelle Monks – it’s called My Friend the Stem Cell Donor and follows her friend Abbie as she makes a stem cell donation. Shot on a smart phone, Annabelle is able to be with Abbie all the way through and shows how easy it is to do. Keep it Short The YouTube stats are brutal: if a film is longer than a few minutes people stop watching in their droves. And Facebook counts anything longer than 3 seconds as a ‘view’. That means you should keep your films short – aim for a maximum of 3 minutes and if you can keep it to 90 secs then even better. To do this you need to be clear about your film’s message: it’s much better to say one thing clearly and engagingly, than 3 or 4 things in a long, muddled message. Fitness video for Age UK - NORMAN - PROMO VERSION from Magneto Films on Vimeo. We made this film for Age UK – it’s to promote their Fit For the Future campaign to get Older People moving. It tells the story of Norman: his wife’s death, a meeting with an old friend, their love of dancing and how Age UK helped him. All in 55 secs. But there is only one message: Fit For the Future works. Keep it Focused Even the best video is only a tool to help you communicate – simply making a film won’t bring more people to your website or increase your donations. To be successful you’ve got to focus on the audience. If you can answer 3 basic questions, then you’ve got a good chance of making something that will be effective: Who is going to watch this? Where will they watch it? What do we want them to do when they’ve watched it? This film from the Human Rights Commission answers these brilliantly: aimed at informing young mums about their employment rights it features blogger mums (the ‘who’), who all post on a mums’ channel (the ‘where’) and gives clear direction at the end (the ‘what’). Get it Out There! Once you’ve made your film, let people know it’s ready to watch. It’s no good just plopping it onto YouTube or embedding it on your website, you’ve got to promote and encourage people to share it. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to use your mailing list: email your supporters to let them know you’re making a film and tease them with some behind the scenes pics and quotes. You can put these on Twitter and Facebook too. Once the film’s made, email them again and tell them where they can watch it and ask them to share it. Make sure it goes on your Facebook page and consider doing paid promotion: it can be surprisingly cheap and very effective. Make short clips and put them out on Twitter. These clips from the Children’s Society are from a longer film but are still very powerful. Don’t forget the local papers – a well written press release along with some video content for their website is always welcome and a great way to reach new people. Jeremy Jeffs is a founding partner of Magneto Films, a video production company that specialises in working with charities, not-for-profits and the public sector. Jeremy’s an award winning film maker with credits for films and series for BBC TV, Channel 4 and NatGeo. At Magneto he’s worked with charities and brands that include Age UK, Children’s Society and Macmillan Cancer Support and with brands including Ford and Expedia. He blogs on the latest charity videos at www.magnetofilms.com   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Using  Video for Effective Fundraising How to make friend with the media Get your charity’s voice heard   
    2311 Posted by Jeremy Jeffs
  • Video is a wonderful way of promoting your charity and showing people the work that you do. But it can be a daunting and expensive undertaking, especially for smaller charities. So here are my tips for making really good videos on a budget.  Keep it Real The most wonderful advocates for your charity are your beneficiaries and volunteers. Telling their stories can be a hugely effective way of communicating what you do and why someone should support you. And getting your volunteers to film themselves or to make films for you is a highly cost effective way of producing videos. The DIY approach not only adds authenticity but also means you can get some visually rich material: nothing makes people switch off quicker than ‘talking heads’. Anthony Nolan are masters of this approach: they empower their donors and volunteer fundraisers to make and up-load films to their YouTube Channels and fundraising pages. I love this film made by Annabelle Monks – it’s called My Friend the Stem Cell Donor and follows her friend Abbie as she makes a stem cell donation. Shot on a smart phone, Annabelle is able to be with Abbie all the way through and shows how easy it is to do. Keep it Short The YouTube stats are brutal: if a film is longer than a few minutes people stop watching in their droves. And Facebook counts anything longer than 3 seconds as a ‘view’. That means you should keep your films short – aim for a maximum of 3 minutes and if you can keep it to 90 secs then even better. To do this you need to be clear about your film’s message: it’s much better to say one thing clearly and engagingly, than 3 or 4 things in a long, muddled message. Fitness video for Age UK - NORMAN - PROMO VERSION from Magneto Films on Vimeo. We made this film for Age UK – it’s to promote their Fit For the Future campaign to get Older People moving. It tells the story of Norman: his wife’s death, a meeting with an old friend, their love of dancing and how Age UK helped him. All in 55 secs. But there is only one message: Fit For the Future works. Keep it Focused Even the best video is only a tool to help you communicate – simply making a film won’t bring more people to your website or increase your donations. To be successful you’ve got to focus on the audience. If you can answer 3 basic questions, then you’ve got a good chance of making something that will be effective: Who is going to watch this? Where will they watch it? What do we want them to do when they’ve watched it? This film from the Human Rights Commission answers these brilliantly: aimed at informing young mums about their employment rights it features blogger mums (the ‘who’), who all post on a mums’ channel (the ‘where’) and gives clear direction at the end (the ‘what’). Get it Out There! Once you’ve made your film, let people know it’s ready to watch. It’s no good just plopping it onto YouTube or embedding it on your website, you’ve got to promote and encourage people to share it. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to use your mailing list: email your supporters to let them know you’re making a film and tease them with some behind the scenes pics and quotes. You can put these on Twitter and Facebook too. Once the film’s made, email them again and tell them where they can watch it and ask them to share it. Make sure it goes on your Facebook page and consider doing paid promotion: it can be surprisingly cheap and very effective. Make short clips and put them out on Twitter. These clips from the Children’s Society are from a longer film but are still very powerful. Don’t forget the local papers – a well written press release along with some video content for their website is always welcome and a great way to reach new people. Jeremy Jeffs is a founding partner of Magneto Films, a video production company that specialises in working with charities, not-for-profits and the public sector. Jeremy’s an award winning film maker with credits for films and series for BBC TV, Channel 4 and NatGeo. At Magneto he’s worked with charities and brands that include Age UK, Children’s Society and Macmillan Cancer Support and with brands including Ford and Expedia. He blogs on the latest charity videos at www.magnetofilms.com   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Using  Video for Effective Fundraising How to make friend with the media Get your charity’s voice heard   
    Jul 12, 2016 2311
  • 08 Jul 2016
    This article follows on from Natasha’s Roe’s recent blog on how Brand Management can help Small Charities to Raise More Money. Here Natasha explores how small charities can overcome barriers to branding investment.   What are the main barriers to branding that small charities face? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.   As expected, small charities do face barriers to investing in branding. However, there are practical ways of overcoming barriers, including suggestions from CharityComms’ Building a Brand that Delivers conference. The barriers small charities ‘strongly agreed’ with were: We don’t have the money to invest in branding (51.6%) We don’t have the resources (people and time) (39.3%) The barriers they ‘agreed’ with were: We do not have the right expertise (58.8%) Supporters and funders do not welcome us spending on branding (45.9%)     Tips to overcoming your branding barriers 1) Make branding a team responsibility Get people from across your organisation involved in brand management – trustees and volunteers too. Leave branding to a single person or team of senior people and you will experience more barriers. If your charity is short on expertise, read charity branding blogs, visit KnowHowNonProfit and look out for workshops run by CharityComms and Small Charities Coalition. 2) Lack of money: Good brand guidelines Brand guidelines need to cover how you communicate in words and pictures and cover all forms of communication – print, website, social media, photography, video and co-branding. Many larger charity and commercial organisations’ guidelines are online. Use them as templates. Adobe’s Corporate Brand Guidelines is an excellent resource. 3) Lack of expertise and resources: Stick to guidelines Clarity and consistency really help build a brand - don't be tempted to ‘make exceptions’. Establish an annual guidelines review, where brand application can be discussed based on what is best for the whole charity – not on a ‘case by case’ basis. 4) Lack of resources and time: Prioritise spending on templates If you have any brand budget, invest it in a vector copy of your logo and professional templates for external communications – e.g. Word, PowerPoint, e-newsletters, flyers, posters and report covers. Commission as many as you use regularly and insist everyone uses them. Templates mean audiences know all materials are from the same charity and staff and volunteers don’t spend time setting up files for each communication. 5) Resistance to investment: Surveys Use free tools like Survey Monkey and do an annual survey of your beneficiaries, customers, members and supporters. Which brand elements are clear? Which encourage people to engage with your charity? What needs to change? Ask questions that test people’s knowledge, attitude and behaviours. Understanding your audiences’ needs helps build a business case for brand investment and ensures spending is targeted to the greatest needs. 6) Share stories – externally and internally More people in small charities are close to the people they help and their stories. Celebrate your brand by sharing those stories. Our study found that many small charities didn’t see storytelling as part of brand management but it’s where small charities can lead larger ones. There are more opportunities for everyone to be a story collector and teller – any smart phone can capture publishable photos, videos and audio. Apps like Instagram mean you can edit on a phone before posting on social media, your website, newsletters, Localgiving or putting into a presentation.   Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. She is looking for small charities (£1m p/y or less) interested in testing out the branding models. Please email hello@redpencil.co.uk to find out more. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Brand Management can help Small Charities to Raise more Money by Natasha Roe 3 Tips to tell Your Story on Instagram by Nisha Kotecha Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack   
    2216 Posted by Natasha Roe
  • This article follows on from Natasha’s Roe’s recent blog on how Brand Management can help Small Charities to Raise More Money. Here Natasha explores how small charities can overcome barriers to branding investment.   What are the main barriers to branding that small charities face? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.   As expected, small charities do face barriers to investing in branding. However, there are practical ways of overcoming barriers, including suggestions from CharityComms’ Building a Brand that Delivers conference. The barriers small charities ‘strongly agreed’ with were: We don’t have the money to invest in branding (51.6%) We don’t have the resources (people and time) (39.3%) The barriers they ‘agreed’ with were: We do not have the right expertise (58.8%) Supporters and funders do not welcome us spending on branding (45.9%)     Tips to overcoming your branding barriers 1) Make branding a team responsibility Get people from across your organisation involved in brand management – trustees and volunteers too. Leave branding to a single person or team of senior people and you will experience more barriers. If your charity is short on expertise, read charity branding blogs, visit KnowHowNonProfit and look out for workshops run by CharityComms and Small Charities Coalition. 2) Lack of money: Good brand guidelines Brand guidelines need to cover how you communicate in words and pictures and cover all forms of communication – print, website, social media, photography, video and co-branding. Many larger charity and commercial organisations’ guidelines are online. Use them as templates. Adobe’s Corporate Brand Guidelines is an excellent resource. 3) Lack of expertise and resources: Stick to guidelines Clarity and consistency really help build a brand - don't be tempted to ‘make exceptions’. Establish an annual guidelines review, where brand application can be discussed based on what is best for the whole charity – not on a ‘case by case’ basis. 4) Lack of resources and time: Prioritise spending on templates If you have any brand budget, invest it in a vector copy of your logo and professional templates for external communications – e.g. Word, PowerPoint, e-newsletters, flyers, posters and report covers. Commission as many as you use regularly and insist everyone uses them. Templates mean audiences know all materials are from the same charity and staff and volunteers don’t spend time setting up files for each communication. 5) Resistance to investment: Surveys Use free tools like Survey Monkey and do an annual survey of your beneficiaries, customers, members and supporters. Which brand elements are clear? Which encourage people to engage with your charity? What needs to change? Ask questions that test people’s knowledge, attitude and behaviours. Understanding your audiences’ needs helps build a business case for brand investment and ensures spending is targeted to the greatest needs. 6) Share stories – externally and internally More people in small charities are close to the people they help and their stories. Celebrate your brand by sharing those stories. Our study found that many small charities didn’t see storytelling as part of brand management but it’s where small charities can lead larger ones. There are more opportunities for everyone to be a story collector and teller – any smart phone can capture publishable photos, videos and audio. Apps like Instagram mean you can edit on a phone before posting on social media, your website, newsletters, Localgiving or putting into a presentation.   Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. She is looking for small charities (£1m p/y or less) interested in testing out the branding models. Please email hello@redpencil.co.uk to find out more. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Brand Management can help Small Charities to Raise more Money by Natasha Roe 3 Tips to tell Your Story on Instagram by Nisha Kotecha Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack   
    Jul 08, 2016 2216
  • 20 Jun 2016
    Great photos and good use of hashtags are common tips when it comes to Instagram. But surely it takes more than this to get an engaged following on Instagram? Here are three tips shared at a Social Misfits Media event I attended at Instagram HQ in London recently: What Story Are You Trying To Tell? Instagram is a powerful visual storytelling platform. Before you start posting your photos and telling your story you need to decide what you are actually trying to tell your audience. You can decide on the sort of photos you should share and how you will take them only once you have figured out your story. Engage with Influencers There are a lot of people on Instagram – in the UK there are 14 million people actively using it every month. As with other platforms, it can be difficult to get your posts seen, especially if you do not have a budget to spend on advertising. A good way to get your posts in front of your ideal audience is to engage with influencers. The best way to do this is to send them a direct message via the Instagram App itself. It’s important to remember than an influencer doesn’t necessarily need to have a lot of followers – an engaged smaller audience is much more useful than a large audience who will not respond to any calls to action. Engage with your Instagram Audience Offline Instagram’s Community Team has the aim of ‘connecting people to their passions’. This is an online and offline mission. Instameets - events where Instagrammers meet each other, share photography advice and create content together to post on their personal feeds – are a great way to connect with your community. You don’t need to think of your own event, you can get involved in events that are already being organised, like #WWIM13 (World Wide Instameet). For example, If you have an interesting building to show off, #Empty (where Instagrammers are invited to an empty building and given the opportunity to push their creative boundaries while taking some great shots and thereby creating great publicity for the organisation) is a great movement to get involved in. Instagram have been testing a new algorithm recently, and they have also increased the video lengths allowed on the platform. With social media changing so rapidly it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. By focusing on these three tips you will be able to grow an active, engaged following on Instagram. Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   If you liked this blog post, why not also read: 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha A Picture is worth a thousand characters by Jeanne- Claire MorleyThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   Image: Instagram: ZoboLondon 
    3053 Posted by Nisha Kotecha
  • Great photos and good use of hashtags are common tips when it comes to Instagram. But surely it takes more than this to get an engaged following on Instagram? Here are three tips shared at a Social Misfits Media event I attended at Instagram HQ in London recently: What Story Are You Trying To Tell? Instagram is a powerful visual storytelling platform. Before you start posting your photos and telling your story you need to decide what you are actually trying to tell your audience. You can decide on the sort of photos you should share and how you will take them only once you have figured out your story. Engage with Influencers There are a lot of people on Instagram – in the UK there are 14 million people actively using it every month. As with other platforms, it can be difficult to get your posts seen, especially if you do not have a budget to spend on advertising. A good way to get your posts in front of your ideal audience is to engage with influencers. The best way to do this is to send them a direct message via the Instagram App itself. It’s important to remember than an influencer doesn’t necessarily need to have a lot of followers – an engaged smaller audience is much more useful than a large audience who will not respond to any calls to action. Engage with your Instagram Audience Offline Instagram’s Community Team has the aim of ‘connecting people to their passions’. This is an online and offline mission. Instameets - events where Instagrammers meet each other, share photography advice and create content together to post on their personal feeds – are a great way to connect with your community. You don’t need to think of your own event, you can get involved in events that are already being organised, like #WWIM13 (World Wide Instameet). For example, If you have an interesting building to show off, #Empty (where Instagrammers are invited to an empty building and given the opportunity to push their creative boundaries while taking some great shots and thereby creating great publicity for the organisation) is a great movement to get involved in. Instagram have been testing a new algorithm recently, and they have also increased the video lengths allowed on the platform. With social media changing so rapidly it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. By focusing on these three tips you will be able to grow an active, engaged following on Instagram. Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website showcasing the impact and achievements of charitable organisations around the world. Nisha also hosts the Good News Shared podcast where she interviews volunteers to highlight stories that deserve to be heard.   If you liked this blog post, why not also read: 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha A Picture is worth a thousand characters by Jeanne- Claire MorleyThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   Image: Instagram: ZoboLondon 
    Jun 20, 2016 3053
  • 07 Jun 2016
      “Pragmatically, branding should be a critical issue for charities because it has been shown to impact dramatically on income generation.” (Hudson, 2008) In the commercial world, a company’s brand is given a monetary value. In the UK last year, Shell topped the league tables at a whopping £30,716m. Larger charities have recognised the benefits of branding and rebranding – “Shelter’s repositioning helped land more corporate partners”, “Macmillan’s rebrand helped increase donors by 27% and raised additional £5m” and “Save the Children’s brand refresh helped integrated fundraising appeals raise over 50% more than target of £500,000.” (Civil Society, 2011) I was intrigued to find out whether smaller charities were also seeing a correlation between branding  and income generation? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.  Our study looked at whether small charities are managing their brands and whether they gain the same benefits from this as large charities. The results were fascinating. The small charities agreed that brand management did deliver the same benefits seen by larger organisations. They also identified practical examples of these benefits. Benefits of brand management Raised income – “through unifying banner and consistent management of brand” Rise in supporters – “by being better able to manage new and existing supporter expectations” Efficiency savings – “by linking vision and values to internal and external brand management” More partnerships – “by having clear values and messages” Supports strategic growth – “through long-term planning aligned to the vision” Distinguishes us in difficult times – “clarity is attractive to funders and donors”   How can you get the same benefits? 1) Define what you mean by brand If brand is viewed purely as ‘the logo’ then you will not realise the benefits of brand management, no matter what size of organisation you are. Grounds (2005)  writing on non-profit branding argues: “A brand is quite simply – who you are, what you say and what you do, and the set of relationships that are built on that.”  2) Manage your brand A strong brand needs active management. We worked with small charities to identify the most common activities required to see strategic benefits of branding. Most activities do not need significant resources. Clarity and consistency go a long way. 3)Brands are not static Charities are about social change and that takes time. One brand is unlikely to see a non-profit through its lifetime. All organisations will need to periodically update brands to stay relevant.  4) Brand management is a team sport The charities where the brand is managed by a team from across the organisation are better able to reap the rewards of branding and manage resource barriers. Charities where the brand was left to a single person or the “senior team” struggled to see the benefits. Teams should include volunteers and trustees. Turning your team into brand ambassadors can be a real strength for smaller organisations. Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. In Part 2 of this guest blog she will share the barriers to investing in branding that her research identified and the ideas small charities came up with to overcome them. Illustration by Alec Leggat Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarCorporate Fundraising for local charities   
    2011 Posted by Natasha Roe
  •   “Pragmatically, branding should be a critical issue for charities because it has been shown to impact dramatically on income generation.” (Hudson, 2008) In the commercial world, a company’s brand is given a monetary value. In the UK last year, Shell topped the league tables at a whopping £30,716m. Larger charities have recognised the benefits of branding and rebranding – “Shelter’s repositioning helped land more corporate partners”, “Macmillan’s rebrand helped increase donors by 27% and raised additional £5m” and “Save the Children’s brand refresh helped integrated fundraising appeals raise over 50% more than target of £500,000.” (Civil Society, 2011) I was intrigued to find out whether smaller charities were also seeing a correlation between branding  and income generation? Working with Cass Business School, I carried out a study of 127 small UK charities with annual incomes of £1 million or less a year –  the types of groups that make up 97.2% of the sector.  Our study looked at whether small charities are managing their brands and whether they gain the same benefits from this as large charities. The results were fascinating. The small charities agreed that brand management did deliver the same benefits seen by larger organisations. They also identified practical examples of these benefits. Benefits of brand management Raised income – “through unifying banner and consistent management of brand” Rise in supporters – “by being better able to manage new and existing supporter expectations” Efficiency savings – “by linking vision and values to internal and external brand management” More partnerships – “by having clear values and messages” Supports strategic growth – “through long-term planning aligned to the vision” Distinguishes us in difficult times – “clarity is attractive to funders and donors”   How can you get the same benefits? 1) Define what you mean by brand If brand is viewed purely as ‘the logo’ then you will not realise the benefits of brand management, no matter what size of organisation you are. Grounds (2005)  writing on non-profit branding argues: “A brand is quite simply – who you are, what you say and what you do, and the set of relationships that are built on that.”  2) Manage your brand A strong brand needs active management. We worked with small charities to identify the most common activities required to see strategic benefits of branding. Most activities do not need significant resources. Clarity and consistency go a long way. 3)Brands are not static Charities are about social change and that takes time. One brand is unlikely to see a non-profit through its lifetime. All organisations will need to periodically update brands to stay relevant.  4) Brand management is a team sport The charities where the brand is managed by a team from across the organisation are better able to reap the rewards of branding and manage resource barriers. Charities where the brand was left to a single person or the “senior team” struggled to see the benefits. Teams should include volunteers and trustees. Turning your team into brand ambassadors can be a real strength for smaller organisations. Natasha Roe is Founding Director of Red Pencil and carried out research with small charities during her MSc studies with Cass Business School. In Part 2 of this guest blog she will share the barriers to investing in branding that her research identified and the ideas small charities came up with to overcome them. Illustration by Alec Leggat Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarCorporate Fundraising for local charities   
    Jun 07, 2016 2011
  • 03 Jun 2016
    Film plots, tend to have an interesting structure, which when broken down aren’t so far away from the journey a charitable group goes on - from fundraising to delivery. In films, it’s usually fairly evident from the outset what it is our heroes are trying to achieve. It’s usually something specific and tangible. What the film will usually do is have you leave the cinema, or finish watching the film, feeling uplifted - you have witnessed and been moved by the impact of the hero's actions. The great privilege of working for Localgiving, is that I have the opportunity to see and understand the impact that our groups have. Not only the difference that they make to the people who come into contact with them for a specific service, but the lasting impact and the domino effect it can have on those around who the group are serving. It is easy to become so involved in our day to day tasks, from paperwork to online tasks, that we lose sight of our goals. It is essential that charities take the time to remember what they’ve achieved and what they’ll achieve in the future - and then take the time to remind supporters. Many groups do not even realise the long-term impact that they’re having. It is always useful for charitable groups to make sure that their donors are aware of the impact, both long and short term, that their donations are having. Their donation could have provided one counselling session, a befriender, a football field or an essential piece of school equipment. It could have provided the one thing that changes someone’s life forever - it could be start of something really incredible. If you keep sight of your goals and the impact you have, in what can sometimes be a long process, then from my experience, you will never lose motivation.   Image: Katie carries the Olympic flame through Camden, London in 2012
    504 Posted by Katie Ford
  • Film plots, tend to have an interesting structure, which when broken down aren’t so far away from the journey a charitable group goes on - from fundraising to delivery. In films, it’s usually fairly evident from the outset what it is our heroes are trying to achieve. It’s usually something specific and tangible. What the film will usually do is have you leave the cinema, or finish watching the film, feeling uplifted - you have witnessed and been moved by the impact of the hero's actions. The great privilege of working for Localgiving, is that I have the opportunity to see and understand the impact that our groups have. Not only the difference that they make to the people who come into contact with them for a specific service, but the lasting impact and the domino effect it can have on those around who the group are serving. It is easy to become so involved in our day to day tasks, from paperwork to online tasks, that we lose sight of our goals. It is essential that charities take the time to remember what they’ve achieved and what they’ll achieve in the future - and then take the time to remind supporters. Many groups do not even realise the long-term impact that they’re having. It is always useful for charitable groups to make sure that their donors are aware of the impact, both long and short term, that their donations are having. Their donation could have provided one counselling session, a befriender, a football field or an essential piece of school equipment. It could have provided the one thing that changes someone’s life forever - it could be start of something really incredible. If you keep sight of your goals and the impact you have, in what can sometimes be a long process, then from my experience, you will never lose motivation.   Image: Katie carries the Olympic flame through Camden, London in 2012
    Jun 03, 2016 504
  • 23 May 2016
    Joe Burns is the North West regional development manager for Localgiving. Before that he was a corporate fundraiser for a national charity, and worked with firms in the FTSE 100 as well as small family run businesses. Gone are the days when a company might simply pick a Charity of the Year, run a few events, and then send off a cheque in the post at year’s end, almost as an afterthought. Corporate supporters are now far more interested in mutually beneficial partnerships, where a company gets some sort of value out of donating to your charity. This may sound daunting, but corporate fundraising is an area that is rich in rewards, and a strong corporate partnership can bring in guaranteed income for many years; and this is before you consider the skills a corporate might bring, the in-kind donations available, and the potential pool of staff volunteers they can provide you with as well! So, how do you go about finding and then persuading a company to support you? Well, here are the key steps you need to consider. Which companies might work with you? The first thing you need to consider is the type of companies who your charity would appeal to. Broadly speaking, there are three ways you might appeal to a corporate supporter. Is there a clear link between the work you do and the corporate’s own work? When working at the road safety charity Brake, I arranged a number of partnerships with insurance firms, who shared our aims of reducing the numbers of crashes on the roads (as this would mean they would pay out less in claims!). Is there a local link? Does this company work in the same region or area as you? Companies are increasingly keen to be supporting their local communities, and here being small and local group can actually be a benefit compared to larger national or international charities. Have you got any personal connections? Does a trustee know the MD of a local firm? Have employees of a local firm used your charity? These kinds of connections can be very powerful when persuading a corporate to support you. What can you bring to the table? And what do you want from a corporate? So, you’ve got your list of potential corporate supporters to contact. Your next step is to ask yourself, what can I offer the corporates in question? Can I offer them volunteering opportunities for their staff? Can I arrange for a local press campaign, or can someone from my charity visit their offices to give a talk to their staff? Can I give them a shout out on social media? Are there capital costs they can sponsor and get their name on, such as a new building? There are lots of ways you can ‘add value’ to a corporate as a charity, if given a bit of thought. The next question to then ask, is what do I want from a corporate supporter – am I after financial donations, in-kind support, volunteers, or all of the above? What support can a corporate give, and would be comfortable to provide you with? If you can answer these two questions, then you can pull together a package that is very attractive to a local business.  The next and final step, at last, is The Ask. The Ask It’s at this point that many groups lose heart, as the idea of approaching a corporate can seem a little daunting. But don’t be put off – if you don’t ask you don’t get! The first thing you need to do is find someone within an organisation who would be right to approach. If you already know or have links with someone in a company, that’s a good place to start, but if not you’ll need to do some digging. Here LinkedIn can be invaluable, allowing you to search for individuals with specific job titles within an organisation. Many larger companies have dedicated CSR (corporate social responsibility) teams, who are an ideal first port of call. Marketing, communications and PR teams are also good people to contact, as working with a charity is also often a classic way for a corporate to portray themselves in a positive light. Finally, for smaller, really local companies like local solicitor or accountancy firms, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to partners or MDs! So, we now have a contact to approach. But how should we ask? Generally, corporate contacts are busy people – you can’t just ring and get through to them cold, especially if you don’t have any pre-existing connections. As such, the best approach is usually to either send them an email (where you have their address) or a message through LinkedIn (when you don’t). Keep the pitch simple and short, and focus on who you are, why you’ve got in touch, and the benefits you can offer a corporate in return for their support. Try to see things from their point of view – the work you do may well be vital and praiseworthy, but ultimately a corporate will need to see how they benefit too. Highlight any unique selling points you have, what they can get from working with you that no one else can provide, and again keep it brief. A corporate contact often has only a limited amount of time available to them, and it can never hurt to leave someone wanting more information. Ask if your contact would be interested in a meeting or phone call to discuss any partnership in more depth – you can give them all the details then. Don’t be put off if you don’t hear back straight away, and at the same time don’t be afraid of chasing your email with another one a week or two later if you don’t hear anything at all. If you have a large enough pool of potential supporters who you are contacting, it only takes one corporate to get back to you with an offer of support, and all your hard work will have potentially paid off! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    2162 Posted by Joe Burns
  • Joe Burns is the North West regional development manager for Localgiving. Before that he was a corporate fundraiser for a national charity, and worked with firms in the FTSE 100 as well as small family run businesses. Gone are the days when a company might simply pick a Charity of the Year, run a few events, and then send off a cheque in the post at year’s end, almost as an afterthought. Corporate supporters are now far more interested in mutually beneficial partnerships, where a company gets some sort of value out of donating to your charity. This may sound daunting, but corporate fundraising is an area that is rich in rewards, and a strong corporate partnership can bring in guaranteed income for many years; and this is before you consider the skills a corporate might bring, the in-kind donations available, and the potential pool of staff volunteers they can provide you with as well! So, how do you go about finding and then persuading a company to support you? Well, here are the key steps you need to consider. Which companies might work with you? The first thing you need to consider is the type of companies who your charity would appeal to. Broadly speaking, there are three ways you might appeal to a corporate supporter. Is there a clear link between the work you do and the corporate’s own work? When working at the road safety charity Brake, I arranged a number of partnerships with insurance firms, who shared our aims of reducing the numbers of crashes on the roads (as this would mean they would pay out less in claims!). Is there a local link? Does this company work in the same region or area as you? Companies are increasingly keen to be supporting their local communities, and here being small and local group can actually be a benefit compared to larger national or international charities. Have you got any personal connections? Does a trustee know the MD of a local firm? Have employees of a local firm used your charity? These kinds of connections can be very powerful when persuading a corporate to support you. What can you bring to the table? And what do you want from a corporate? So, you’ve got your list of potential corporate supporters to contact. Your next step is to ask yourself, what can I offer the corporates in question? Can I offer them volunteering opportunities for their staff? Can I arrange for a local press campaign, or can someone from my charity visit their offices to give a talk to their staff? Can I give them a shout out on social media? Are there capital costs they can sponsor and get their name on, such as a new building? There are lots of ways you can ‘add value’ to a corporate as a charity, if given a bit of thought. The next question to then ask, is what do I want from a corporate supporter – am I after financial donations, in-kind support, volunteers, or all of the above? What support can a corporate give, and would be comfortable to provide you with? If you can answer these two questions, then you can pull together a package that is very attractive to a local business.  The next and final step, at last, is The Ask. The Ask It’s at this point that many groups lose heart, as the idea of approaching a corporate can seem a little daunting. But don’t be put off – if you don’t ask you don’t get! The first thing you need to do is find someone within an organisation who would be right to approach. If you already know or have links with someone in a company, that’s a good place to start, but if not you’ll need to do some digging. Here LinkedIn can be invaluable, allowing you to search for individuals with specific job titles within an organisation. Many larger companies have dedicated CSR (corporate social responsibility) teams, who are an ideal first port of call. Marketing, communications and PR teams are also good people to contact, as working with a charity is also often a classic way for a corporate to portray themselves in a positive light. Finally, for smaller, really local companies like local solicitor or accountancy firms, don’t be afraid to reach out directly to partners or MDs! So, we now have a contact to approach. But how should we ask? Generally, corporate contacts are busy people – you can’t just ring and get through to them cold, especially if you don’t have any pre-existing connections. As such, the best approach is usually to either send them an email (where you have their address) or a message through LinkedIn (when you don’t). Keep the pitch simple and short, and focus on who you are, why you’ve got in touch, and the benefits you can offer a corporate in return for their support. Try to see things from their point of view – the work you do may well be vital and praiseworthy, but ultimately a corporate will need to see how they benefit too. Highlight any unique selling points you have, what they can get from working with you that no one else can provide, and again keep it brief. A corporate contact often has only a limited amount of time available to them, and it can never hurt to leave someone wanting more information. Ask if your contact would be interested in a meeting or phone call to discuss any partnership in more depth – you can give them all the details then. Don’t be put off if you don’t hear back straight away, and at the same time don’t be afraid of chasing your email with another one a week or two later if you don’t hear anything at all. If you have a large enough pool of potential supporters who you are contacting, it only takes one corporate to get back to you with an offer of support, and all your hard work will have potentially paid off! Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma BeestonHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    May 23, 2016 2162
  • 23 May 2016
    Kathryn Berry is Head of Member Services at Sported. She has worked in the sport sector for 10 years, having previously worked in the youth and community sector. Having working with clubs from the grass roots up, seeing them achieve what they set out to do and have a positive impact on their local communities is something she is passionate about. It often feels that cherry picking our favourite tasks, or the quickest ones, is the recipe to having a good day in the office. This makes us feel like we have really achieved something. However, in reality what this really means is that we may have left the most important, or tricky thing, until the last minute. For many of us, including myself, this is not an issue of prioritisation. It is more about trying to get as much completed as possible and, in all honesty, sometimes not having the motivation to start something I favour less! For many of the member organisations that we work with at Sported, this is a familiar balancing act. For these community, youth and sports organisations, there are many important tasks to be completed.  In the Sport for Development sector 64% are entirely volunteer led and the asks on their time are often huge. For these groups,  monitoring and evaluation and impact assessments are often at the bottom of the list. Admittedly, this doesn’t sound or look like a particularly sexy task. However, with the competition for funding, commissioning and proving the impact that sport has on society, it is absolutely critical. So how can we make impact measurement jump to the top of the list? There is a work to be done in the Sport for Development sector. We need to show why measuring impact is so important and that it needn’t be an arduous exercise. Impact measurement conjures up an image of data inputting or of analysing spreadsheets. However, we need to start thinking about how effective impact measurement system can benefit our organisations. Changing the way that organisations see the measurement of impact, is not something that will happen overnight - it is about culture change. At Sported, we think that there are some key questions that organisations can ask themselves in order to start this process: How could focusing on impact help you to do your job?  Focusing on your impact will help formulate your organisations strategy, improve the efficiency of your programmes and energise your team of volunteers. How could focusing on impact help you with long-term finances? Funders are increasingly asking for demonstrable results. Is focusing on impact the new normal?  Impact measurement is already the norm, not the exception. By choosing to focus on your impact practice now, you can ensure you are equipped for the future. When is the time to prioritise impact?  The time is now! What could you do today to get you started? A useful focus on impact doesn’t have to cost the earth, and the resources put into it should always be proportionate. But it does require some investment of time and/or money. Think about which areas of your work require improved impact measurement and how to do this in a time/cost effective way. Adapted from: Are You Leading for Impact?, NPC, 2013 Making a start is often the hardest part. However there are lots of tools and support for organisations. Sported has lots of resources and volunteer support for organisations. More information about becoming a member and accessing this support can be found at http://sported.org.uk/become-a-member/    
    1169 Posted by Kathryn Berry
  • Kathryn Berry is Head of Member Services at Sported. She has worked in the sport sector for 10 years, having previously worked in the youth and community sector. Having working with clubs from the grass roots up, seeing them achieve what they set out to do and have a positive impact on their local communities is something she is passionate about. It often feels that cherry picking our favourite tasks, or the quickest ones, is the recipe to having a good day in the office. This makes us feel like we have really achieved something. However, in reality what this really means is that we may have left the most important, or tricky thing, until the last minute. For many of us, including myself, this is not an issue of prioritisation. It is more about trying to get as much completed as possible and, in all honesty, sometimes not having the motivation to start something I favour less! For many of the member organisations that we work with at Sported, this is a familiar balancing act. For these community, youth and sports organisations, there are many important tasks to be completed.  In the Sport for Development sector 64% are entirely volunteer led and the asks on their time are often huge. For these groups,  monitoring and evaluation and impact assessments are often at the bottom of the list. Admittedly, this doesn’t sound or look like a particularly sexy task. However, with the competition for funding, commissioning and proving the impact that sport has on society, it is absolutely critical. So how can we make impact measurement jump to the top of the list? There is a work to be done in the Sport for Development sector. We need to show why measuring impact is so important and that it needn’t be an arduous exercise. Impact measurement conjures up an image of data inputting or of analysing spreadsheets. However, we need to start thinking about how effective impact measurement system can benefit our organisations. Changing the way that organisations see the measurement of impact, is not something that will happen overnight - it is about culture change. At Sported, we think that there are some key questions that organisations can ask themselves in order to start this process: How could focusing on impact help you to do your job?  Focusing on your impact will help formulate your organisations strategy, improve the efficiency of your programmes and energise your team of volunteers. How could focusing on impact help you with long-term finances? Funders are increasingly asking for demonstrable results. Is focusing on impact the new normal?  Impact measurement is already the norm, not the exception. By choosing to focus on your impact practice now, you can ensure you are equipped for the future. When is the time to prioritise impact?  The time is now! What could you do today to get you started? A useful focus on impact doesn’t have to cost the earth, and the resources put into it should always be proportionate. But it does require some investment of time and/or money. Think about which areas of your work require improved impact measurement and how to do this in a time/cost effective way. Adapted from: Are You Leading for Impact?, NPC, 2013 Making a start is often the hardest part. However there are lots of tools and support for organisations. Sported has lots of resources and volunteer support for organisations. More information about becoming a member and accessing this support can be found at http://sported.org.uk/become-a-member/    
    May 23, 2016 1169
  • 16 May 2016
    Pivot tables are a type of data visualisation tool found in many common spreadsheet software packages such as Microsoft Excel.They are a great way to summarise a large amount of data, but they can also help you analyse and explore the data further.   In this blog we will look at how charities can use pivot tables to make the most of their Localgiving data. However, pivot tables can be used to look at any spreadsheet data you have. Localgiving members can use pivot tables to: Find out the total given by each donor Look at the total raised each month Compare the total raised from monthly donations and one-time donations Find out how much is outstanding to you Sound useful? Read on! I will show you some of the basic functions of the PivotTable tool available in MS Excel. I have used Excel 2010, so if you are running a different version some of the options might be in a different place. The first step is to download a report of the information you’d like to look at from your interface.   Go to the “My Donations” tab of your interface.  Click “Reports” from the left hand green menu. Then you can select the data you would like to analyse using either one of the predefined periods or using a custom date range. I decided to look at data from the 1st quarter of this year (01/01/2016 – 31/03/2016). Once the report has downloaded, open it in Excel and select the data to be included in the PivotTable. Then click on the “Insert” tab on the ribbon and click on “PivotTable” on the far left. A pop up should appear showing the data you have selected and asking whether you want to put the PivotTable in a new or existing worksheet – I recommend choosing a new worksheet so that your PivotTable doesn’t get mixed up with other information. Click “OK” and you should be taken to a new worksheet that looks something like this:   On the right hand side of the screen you can see the area where your PivotTable will appear, and the left hand side of the screen has the PivotTable field list where you can choose which data will appear in your PivotTable. You can start to create a PivotTable by dragging the fields listed into one of the 4 quadrants below. Start by dragging “Donation ID” into the “Rows” quadrant and “Amount” into the values quadrant. This will give you a simple PivotTable listing all the donations you have received and the total amount raised from each one (i.e. including the donation, Gift Aid and match funding).     You could alternatively drag “Supporter name” into the “Row Labels” quadrant, rather than “Donation ID” to produce a list of how much each donor has donated (including Gift Aid and match funding).     Analyse your data further using calculated fields So far, this is interesting, but not that much more useful than the original report you downloaded; using calculated fields is one way to analyse your data in more detail. Calculated fields allow you to use a formula incorporating other fields in your data set. For example you might want to find out the net amount received from each donation made to your group (donation + Gift Aid + match funding minus any fees). To start adding a calculated field to your PivotTable; make sure you have selected one of the cells in your existing PivotTable, then click on “Options” in the PivotTable Tools section of the ribbon (far right). Then click on “Fields, Items & Sets”. A drop down menu should appear, select the first option – “Calculated Field”.     The “Insert Calculated Field” pop up should then appear. Here you can name your new field (I’ve called ours “Net amount”) and then create the calculation for your field. To calculate the net amount from each donation put your cursor in the formula box and type "=". Then double click on each of the field you want to include in the calculation – i.e. Amount, Payment Provider Fee, Donation Commission & Gift Aid Commission, adding a "+" sign between each one. Finally, click OK to add your new calculated field. Your new field should now be included in your PivotTable as an extra column. If it doesn’t appear automatically, you can easily add it by dragging and dropping the new field into the Values quadrant. Using Filters to summarise your data You can also use PivotTables to filter your data. For example to see the amounts that are still due to be paid, drag the “Payment Status” field into the “Report Filter” quadrant of the PivotTable Field List. Select the drop down arrow next to the filter and select “Processing” to see just amounts that are still outstanding.   You can also use more than one filter at a time. To see just the donation payments that are outstanding you can also drag the “Type” field to the “Report Filter” quadrant and use the drop down arrow to select donation. You should now be able to perform some basic tasks when it comes to PivotTables: Create a PivotTable in MS Excel Use calculated fields to analyse your data Use filters to summarise your data There are so many more ways to utilise PivotTables, far more than I can fit into one blog post, but hopefully today’s introduction will get you started and from here you can explore more functions, and be a data analysing wizard in no time at all.
    2502 Posted by Louise Boyd
  • Pivot tables are a type of data visualisation tool found in many common spreadsheet software packages such as Microsoft Excel.They are a great way to summarise a large amount of data, but they can also help you analyse and explore the data further.   In this blog we will look at how charities can use pivot tables to make the most of their Localgiving data. However, pivot tables can be used to look at any spreadsheet data you have. Localgiving members can use pivot tables to: Find out the total given by each donor Look at the total raised each month Compare the total raised from monthly donations and one-time donations Find out how much is outstanding to you Sound useful? Read on! I will show you some of the basic functions of the PivotTable tool available in MS Excel. I have used Excel 2010, so if you are running a different version some of the options might be in a different place. The first step is to download a report of the information you’d like to look at from your interface.   Go to the “My Donations” tab of your interface.  Click “Reports” from the left hand green menu. Then you can select the data you would like to analyse using either one of the predefined periods or using a custom date range. I decided to look at data from the 1st quarter of this year (01/01/2016 – 31/03/2016). Once the report has downloaded, open it in Excel and select the data to be included in the PivotTable. Then click on the “Insert” tab on the ribbon and click on “PivotTable” on the far left. A pop up should appear showing the data you have selected and asking whether you want to put the PivotTable in a new or existing worksheet – I recommend choosing a new worksheet so that your PivotTable doesn’t get mixed up with other information. Click “OK” and you should be taken to a new worksheet that looks something like this:   On the right hand side of the screen you can see the area where your PivotTable will appear, and the left hand side of the screen has the PivotTable field list where you can choose which data will appear in your PivotTable. You can start to create a PivotTable by dragging the fields listed into one of the 4 quadrants below. Start by dragging “Donation ID” into the “Rows” quadrant and “Amount” into the values quadrant. This will give you a simple PivotTable listing all the donations you have received and the total amount raised from each one (i.e. including the donation, Gift Aid and match funding).     You could alternatively drag “Supporter name” into the “Row Labels” quadrant, rather than “Donation ID” to produce a list of how much each donor has donated (including Gift Aid and match funding).     Analyse your data further using calculated fields So far, this is interesting, but not that much more useful than the original report you downloaded; using calculated fields is one way to analyse your data in more detail. Calculated fields allow you to use a formula incorporating other fields in your data set. For example you might want to find out the net amount received from each donation made to your group (donation + Gift Aid + match funding minus any fees). To start adding a calculated field to your PivotTable; make sure you have selected one of the cells in your existing PivotTable, then click on “Options” in the PivotTable Tools section of the ribbon (far right). Then click on “Fields, Items & Sets”. A drop down menu should appear, select the first option – “Calculated Field”.     The “Insert Calculated Field” pop up should then appear. Here you can name your new field (I’ve called ours “Net amount”) and then create the calculation for your field. To calculate the net amount from each donation put your cursor in the formula box and type "=". Then double click on each of the field you want to include in the calculation – i.e. Amount, Payment Provider Fee, Donation Commission & Gift Aid Commission, adding a "+" sign between each one. Finally, click OK to add your new calculated field. Your new field should now be included in your PivotTable as an extra column. If it doesn’t appear automatically, you can easily add it by dragging and dropping the new field into the Values quadrant. Using Filters to summarise your data You can also use PivotTables to filter your data. For example to see the amounts that are still due to be paid, drag the “Payment Status” field into the “Report Filter” quadrant of the PivotTable Field List. Select the drop down arrow next to the filter and select “Processing” to see just amounts that are still outstanding.   You can also use more than one filter at a time. To see just the donation payments that are outstanding you can also drag the “Type” field to the “Report Filter” quadrant and use the drop down arrow to select donation. You should now be able to perform some basic tasks when it comes to PivotTables: Create a PivotTable in MS Excel Use calculated fields to analyse your data Use filters to summarise your data There are so many more ways to utilise PivotTables, far more than I can fit into one blog post, but hopefully today’s introduction will get you started and from here you can explore more functions, and be a data analysing wizard in no time at all.
    May 16, 2016 2502
  • 16 May 2016
    Matt Moorut is the head of marketing for Technology Trust and volunteers at two local charities. He has written extensively on digital improvements in the charity sector and has been published in The Guardian newspaper and Charity Digital News among others. If you work for a small, local charity or community group, there’s a good chance IT won’t be the top item on your agenda. Sometimes you do need to set up an email address to reply to enquiries about your charity, or have the option to keep a database so you can monitor your impact, or have a website (and drive traffic to it) to reach more supporters and beneficiaries. The good news is that if you’re a charity, you can get a lot of the best stuff for free, or at least for next to nothing. Actually, there’s a charity plan for most software you’ll need. Self-promotion warning! It’s a little bit of a shameless plug (sorry), but seeing as it’s a plug for the charity I work for, which is there to help other charities with IT, hopefully you’ll excuse me – the first resource I’d recommend is the software donation programme we run, called tt-exchange. To be eligible for the programme, we’d just need you to supply a couple of details to prove you have HMRC charitable status. We can always help along the way if you get stuck with that. Once you’ve registered for the programme (which is free to do), we’ll look to see which of our tech partners’ donations you’re eligible for, which might be Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec or loads of others. To keep the programme going, we do charge a small admin fee per donation request – it’s usually only about 5% of the normal cost of the product though. Day-to-day essentials For the majority of small organisations, getting a server is a bad decision. Instead, you’re usually better off utilising cloud computing, which means no setup costs, easier maintenance, more flexible working and (importantly) no worries about someone breaking in and running off with your server! If you aren’t familiar with cloud computing, all it means is that rather than storing all of your files locally – whether that be for emails or your website or anything else – they’re stored and secured by someone else. An example would be if you have Gmail or Hotmail email account. It goes further than that these days though. For instance, if you want to create a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, you can also use cloud-based versions of those products through Office 365. Google offer something very similar called Google Apps. If you’re eligible for tt-exchange, you’ll be able to access entirely free versions of both. There’s a brilliant comparison of the two offerings here. Of course, if you like desktop-based versions better, you can always get a donated Office desktop licence from £21+VAT through tt-exchange, which is the cheapest legal version you’ll find. Some of the best offerings Even if you end up using Microsoft Office or Office 365 programmes, I’d recommend you sign up for Google for Nonprofits anyway, because you get loads of stuff for free, like $10,000 credit per month towards advertising your website on Google search, as well as other goodies like the ability to add ‘donate’ buttons to your YouTube videos. If you want to set up a website, I’d recommend either: a) visit the Transform Foundation, which offers grants and expertise to do so, or if that fails b) take up a GoDaddy discount through tt-exchange to host your site, and then build it using a free platform like WordPress.org (or find a friend who can help you to do that). I’d also recommend getting in touch with an organisation called CITA, as they offer free, 2-hour strategic consultations for charities, which might well be useful to you. If you want to send emails to your supporters or beneficiaries, the best options are MailChimp, which is free up to a point, or our own offering, tt-mail, which sadly always costs at least a little bit, but is cheaper and more flexible when you start growing. The hard part - hardware If you’re in need of hardware, that can be a bit trickier. Companies aren’t as inclined to give it away as they are with software, because software is essentially free, but hardware costs money for all the bits. If you can, I’d suggest it’ll be cheaper in the long run to get a new computer rather than a refurb, because refurbs become obsolete quicker. If you can’t make the budget stretch that far, you can find many of the best refurbishers for charities on Microsoft’s refurbisher directory. InKind Direct also offer discounted, refurbished hardware, which is worth investigating – you can check that out here. I hope that’s all useful! We regularly post advice and guidance on our own website, so join our newsletter or just peruse the articles if you’d like any charity-tech-specific nuggets.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha How to make friends with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker    
    2142 Posted by Matthew Moorut
  • Matt Moorut is the head of marketing for Technology Trust and volunteers at two local charities. He has written extensively on digital improvements in the charity sector and has been published in The Guardian newspaper and Charity Digital News among others. If you work for a small, local charity or community group, there’s a good chance IT won’t be the top item on your agenda. Sometimes you do need to set up an email address to reply to enquiries about your charity, or have the option to keep a database so you can monitor your impact, or have a website (and drive traffic to it) to reach more supporters and beneficiaries. The good news is that if you’re a charity, you can get a lot of the best stuff for free, or at least for next to nothing. Actually, there’s a charity plan for most software you’ll need. Self-promotion warning! It’s a little bit of a shameless plug (sorry), but seeing as it’s a plug for the charity I work for, which is there to help other charities with IT, hopefully you’ll excuse me – the first resource I’d recommend is the software donation programme we run, called tt-exchange. To be eligible for the programme, we’d just need you to supply a couple of details to prove you have HMRC charitable status. We can always help along the way if you get stuck with that. Once you’ve registered for the programme (which is free to do), we’ll look to see which of our tech partners’ donations you’re eligible for, which might be Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec or loads of others. To keep the programme going, we do charge a small admin fee per donation request – it’s usually only about 5% of the normal cost of the product though. Day-to-day essentials For the majority of small organisations, getting a server is a bad decision. Instead, you’re usually better off utilising cloud computing, which means no setup costs, easier maintenance, more flexible working and (importantly) no worries about someone breaking in and running off with your server! If you aren’t familiar with cloud computing, all it means is that rather than storing all of your files locally – whether that be for emails or your website or anything else – they’re stored and secured by someone else. An example would be if you have Gmail or Hotmail email account. It goes further than that these days though. For instance, if you want to create a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, you can also use cloud-based versions of those products through Office 365. Google offer something very similar called Google Apps. If you’re eligible for tt-exchange, you’ll be able to access entirely free versions of both. There’s a brilliant comparison of the two offerings here. Of course, if you like desktop-based versions better, you can always get a donated Office desktop licence from £21+VAT through tt-exchange, which is the cheapest legal version you’ll find. Some of the best offerings Even if you end up using Microsoft Office or Office 365 programmes, I’d recommend you sign up for Google for Nonprofits anyway, because you get loads of stuff for free, like $10,000 credit per month towards advertising your website on Google search, as well as other goodies like the ability to add ‘donate’ buttons to your YouTube videos. If you want to set up a website, I’d recommend either: a) visit the Transform Foundation, which offers grants and expertise to do so, or if that fails b) take up a GoDaddy discount through tt-exchange to host your site, and then build it using a free platform like WordPress.org (or find a friend who can help you to do that). I’d also recommend getting in touch with an organisation called CITA, as they offer free, 2-hour strategic consultations for charities, which might well be useful to you. If you want to send emails to your supporters or beneficiaries, the best options are MailChimp, which is free up to a point, or our own offering, tt-mail, which sadly always costs at least a little bit, but is cheaper and more flexible when you start growing. The hard part - hardware If you’re in need of hardware, that can be a bit trickier. Companies aren’t as inclined to give it away as they are with software, because software is essentially free, but hardware costs money for all the bits. If you can, I’d suggest it’ll be cheaper in the long run to get a new computer rather than a refurb, because refurbs become obsolete quicker. If you can’t make the budget stretch that far, you can find many of the best refurbishers for charities on Microsoft’s refurbisher directory. InKind Direct also offer discounted, refurbished hardware, which is worth investigating – you can check that out here. I hope that’s all useful! We regularly post advice and guidance on our own website, so join our newsletter or just peruse the articles if you’d like any charity-tech-specific nuggets.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha How to make friends with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldThe Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker    
    May 16, 2016 2142