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  • 03 Oct 2016
    You wake at 5am, bleary eyed, from a troubled night, the alarm saving you from sinking back into sleep. You don’t feel rested today. Around 3am you were surreptitiously whispering into your phone’s audio recorder. Your partner heard you anyway, and so your work disrupted their sleep once again. Yes, that’s right – you were working. Adding to your to-do list – operational tasks you’ve remembered that slipped under the radar earlier on. An exciting idea for fundraising that you really must explore. A difficult staff appraisal to prepare for. Inspiration for solving a common problem a beneficiary told you about over coffee. Worrying about covering the budget without any statutory funding. Wondering how much more you can ask your heroic staff to take on, over and above the 45 hours a week they already work, for a salary that is modest to say the least. Wondering how you will cope with tomorrow’s challenges without a decent night’s sleep yet again, and feeling overwhelmed…   Yes, I feel your pain, because I’ve been there. I’ve been a new small charity Chief Executive and I’ve been a seasoned one – and I know it doesn’t feel much easier either way. Feeling overwhelmed can dampen all the passion in the world. Why is this peculiar to small charities? Because conventional organisation structure – Board, CEO, staff – applies to small charities too, but doesn’t fit. Four or five key, but junior people staff the majority of small charities. So the small charity Chief Executive is also the Director of Finance. Director of HR too. And Director of Fundraising. Yes, and Service Director. Oh, and Facilities Manager and PA. And don’t forget they’re the Chief Executive, responsible for strategy, ambassadoring, leading and thinking – those exciting and wonderful aspects of the role that they rarely get time to do. I know of small charity Chief Execs who literally work round the clock, sending emails at 1am on Monday morning, just to be able to keep up with a workload that is Herculean in breadth and volume. I know some live on the verge of breakdown. All Chief Executives, in any sector or organization, expect a heavy workload, but this is a real structural problem for which there seems to be no impetus to change. There’s no time for that, and perhaps there are appearances to keep up. There are no peers for the small charity Chief Exec – no one within the organisation you can talk to for support. This is a long distance runner who carries a whole organisation on their back. Can this really be acceptable? And how does this segment of the wider sector find the time to fight back against the current charity-bashing trend (which could actually be one manifestation of a paradigm change for the sector, but that’s another blog!). Trustees of small charities can often be found feeling depleted – they generally take a far more hands-on role than their colleagues in big organisations. But it is the Chief Executives who are paid to run the show, and – given the current structure - there’s a huge amount of pressure to perform. All of this usually with ever decreasing resources. Of course Chairs can and should be a strong source of support and partnership for the small charity Chief Exec, though in reality it doesn’t always work out that way. I’ll talk about working relationships in small charities more in a forthcoming blog. 97% of registered charities are defined as ‘small’ – that means there are up to 155,000 small charity Chief Execs in the UK (Small Charities Coalition, 2016). I have begun to wonder why this ill-fitting structure exists for the majority of the sector. I don’t have answers yet, but I hope to find them in partnership with sector leaders. So I’ve taken the plunge and gone freelance to unleash my passion for supporting charity leaders and their teams. With a fellow former small charity Chief Exec (who calls herself a ‘reformed Chief Executive’) I’m setting up a peer support system for this dynamic and dedicated, but beleaguered group. We’re not sure exactly how it will look yet – we want your steer on that, but we know from our networks that it is much needed. We know that it will be a supportive group, but also an expert group that comes up with solutions to common problems. Hopefully we can work together to find support and innovations. Watch this space! Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org  Follow @jane_ceo  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity Shining a Bright Light on local charities NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving memberships  
    3086 Posted by Jane Hudson Jones
  • You wake at 5am, bleary eyed, from a troubled night, the alarm saving you from sinking back into sleep. You don’t feel rested today. Around 3am you were surreptitiously whispering into your phone’s audio recorder. Your partner heard you anyway, and so your work disrupted their sleep once again. Yes, that’s right – you were working. Adding to your to-do list – operational tasks you’ve remembered that slipped under the radar earlier on. An exciting idea for fundraising that you really must explore. A difficult staff appraisal to prepare for. Inspiration for solving a common problem a beneficiary told you about over coffee. Worrying about covering the budget without any statutory funding. Wondering how much more you can ask your heroic staff to take on, over and above the 45 hours a week they already work, for a salary that is modest to say the least. Wondering how you will cope with tomorrow’s challenges without a decent night’s sleep yet again, and feeling overwhelmed…   Yes, I feel your pain, because I’ve been there. I’ve been a new small charity Chief Executive and I’ve been a seasoned one – and I know it doesn’t feel much easier either way. Feeling overwhelmed can dampen all the passion in the world. Why is this peculiar to small charities? Because conventional organisation structure – Board, CEO, staff – applies to small charities too, but doesn’t fit. Four or five key, but junior people staff the majority of small charities. So the small charity Chief Executive is also the Director of Finance. Director of HR too. And Director of Fundraising. Yes, and Service Director. Oh, and Facilities Manager and PA. And don’t forget they’re the Chief Executive, responsible for strategy, ambassadoring, leading and thinking – those exciting and wonderful aspects of the role that they rarely get time to do. I know of small charity Chief Execs who literally work round the clock, sending emails at 1am on Monday morning, just to be able to keep up with a workload that is Herculean in breadth and volume. I know some live on the verge of breakdown. All Chief Executives, in any sector or organization, expect a heavy workload, but this is a real structural problem for which there seems to be no impetus to change. There’s no time for that, and perhaps there are appearances to keep up. There are no peers for the small charity Chief Exec – no one within the organisation you can talk to for support. This is a long distance runner who carries a whole organisation on their back. Can this really be acceptable? And how does this segment of the wider sector find the time to fight back against the current charity-bashing trend (which could actually be one manifestation of a paradigm change for the sector, but that’s another blog!). Trustees of small charities can often be found feeling depleted – they generally take a far more hands-on role than their colleagues in big organisations. But it is the Chief Executives who are paid to run the show, and – given the current structure - there’s a huge amount of pressure to perform. All of this usually with ever decreasing resources. Of course Chairs can and should be a strong source of support and partnership for the small charity Chief Exec, though in reality it doesn’t always work out that way. I’ll talk about working relationships in small charities more in a forthcoming blog. 97% of registered charities are defined as ‘small’ – that means there are up to 155,000 small charity Chief Execs in the UK (Small Charities Coalition, 2016). I have begun to wonder why this ill-fitting structure exists for the majority of the sector. I don’t have answers yet, but I hope to find them in partnership with sector leaders. So I’ve taken the plunge and gone freelance to unleash my passion for supporting charity leaders and their teams. With a fellow former small charity Chief Exec (who calls herself a ‘reformed Chief Executive’) I’m setting up a peer support system for this dynamic and dedicated, but beleaguered group. We’re not sure exactly how it will look yet – we want your steer on that, but we know from our networks that it is much needed. We know that it will be a supportive group, but also an expert group that comes up with solutions to common problems. Hopefully we can work together to find support and innovations. Watch this space! Jane Hudson Jones is CEO at Lotus Consultancy & Coaching: www.lotusconsultancy.org  Follow @jane_ceo  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    How Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity Shining a Bright Light on local charities NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving memberships  
    Oct 03, 2016 3086
  • 19 Sep 2016
    How to obtain, train and retain good trustees. Non-profit organisations, as you will know, really struggle to recruit good trustees: trustees who are fully engaged, know how they can make a difference and where they fit into the organisation. Recruiting new trustees is about getting the right people. Training trustees is about growing the right people. Retaining trustees is about engaging the right people. Recruiting A recent figure from the UK governing bodies showed that 47 per cent of organisations have a vacancy for a trustee at any given time. This matches my experience of working with non-profit organisations in general, and trustees in particular. So, how do you recruit a trustee who is the right fit for your organisation? Many organisations naturally look to their supporters, service users, family, friends and colleagues as a first step. However, this can be difficult, especially if the potential trustee is known to you, as they will be expected to question and challenge the status quo! Is that going to be uncomfortable? Organisations which have trustees with long-term involvement who are not prepared to ask those challenging questions will run into problems. You know the famous saying – never work with family and friends! You will, of course, have to consider your networks, but before that, map out and be clear about what skills are missing from your existing trustees, and what is needed to drive your organisation forward, e.g. operations, finance, HR, third sector, communications or legal. Compare your organisation’s priorities with an assessment of your existing  trustees’ skills. Why not ask your existing board members what motivated them to join? Try to create a trustee advert that reflects this feedback. Many people will not understand what a trustee is – help them by explaining in your advert the key skills and responsibilities needed to fulfil the role. Training An induction programme is a clear and simple way to provide your newest trustee with all the information they need to be confident and productive in their role. So make sure you have a role description document which sets out the trustee’s purpose and main duties. Your induction programme can last for a few weeks or months; to find out more about what should be included, click here: http://charitypeeks.com/charity-trustee-induction/ Retaining What would make you stay interested and engaged in an organisation? Here are some points to bear in mind: Good communication – making sure trustees communicate and support one another. Provide papers for board meetings well in advance and take extra time to prepare a new trustee so that they are aware of the background of certain agenda items. Encourage and motivate trustees by thanking them for their support and contribution – they are often the forgotten volunteers! Remember that without trustees you will struggle to drive your organisation forward, and governance will get lost in the ‘to-do’ list. After a few months it is worth reviewing the process – ask your trustee how they are settling in to the role and if there’s any more you can do to support them, and remember to ask their opinions on how things could work better. 8 Top Tips Make sure you have an honest role description. Identify gaps in your current board. Create an advert that promotes those areas of expertise. Sell the role in an honest way – could you do an interview with existing trustees? Create an induction pack that helps trustees to understand their key duties. Make sure they meet the staff, volunteers and beneficiaries to engage with the work of the organisation. Assign a ‘board member buddy’ that they can ask questions to outside of board meetings. Review how your trustees are settling into their role: ask how the process has been for them, and what could be done better or differently in the future.   Caroline is a Charity Leader, Trustee and Consultant. Her passion lies in helping not-for-profit organisations grow. She is the owner of Charity Peeks, an organisation designed to inspire and educate charity and social enterprise leaders. With 25 years of business experience, Caroline helps Trustees and Managers to have clarity on what they need to do in their organisation to deliver results. Her energy for supporting organisations to build trust and be open and transparent shines through in her training seminars, speaking roles and consultancy work. Why not join the Charity Peeks facebook group? It's free and full of hints and tips for manager and trustees, just click here to join   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Why a newsletter?NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving membershipsStorytelling Tips for CharitiesHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity  
    2458 Posted by Caroline Mckenna
  • How to obtain, train and retain good trustees. Non-profit organisations, as you will know, really struggle to recruit good trustees: trustees who are fully engaged, know how they can make a difference and where they fit into the organisation. Recruiting new trustees is about getting the right people. Training trustees is about growing the right people. Retaining trustees is about engaging the right people. Recruiting A recent figure from the UK governing bodies showed that 47 per cent of organisations have a vacancy for a trustee at any given time. This matches my experience of working with non-profit organisations in general, and trustees in particular. So, how do you recruit a trustee who is the right fit for your organisation? Many organisations naturally look to their supporters, service users, family, friends and colleagues as a first step. However, this can be difficult, especially if the potential trustee is known to you, as they will be expected to question and challenge the status quo! Is that going to be uncomfortable? Organisations which have trustees with long-term involvement who are not prepared to ask those challenging questions will run into problems. You know the famous saying – never work with family and friends! You will, of course, have to consider your networks, but before that, map out and be clear about what skills are missing from your existing trustees, and what is needed to drive your organisation forward, e.g. operations, finance, HR, third sector, communications or legal. Compare your organisation’s priorities with an assessment of your existing  trustees’ skills. Why not ask your existing board members what motivated them to join? Try to create a trustee advert that reflects this feedback. Many people will not understand what a trustee is – help them by explaining in your advert the key skills and responsibilities needed to fulfil the role. Training An induction programme is a clear and simple way to provide your newest trustee with all the information they need to be confident and productive in their role. So make sure you have a role description document which sets out the trustee’s purpose and main duties. Your induction programme can last for a few weeks or months; to find out more about what should be included, click here: http://charitypeeks.com/charity-trustee-induction/ Retaining What would make you stay interested and engaged in an organisation? Here are some points to bear in mind: Good communication – making sure trustees communicate and support one another. Provide papers for board meetings well in advance and take extra time to prepare a new trustee so that they are aware of the background of certain agenda items. Encourage and motivate trustees by thanking them for their support and contribution – they are often the forgotten volunteers! Remember that without trustees you will struggle to drive your organisation forward, and governance will get lost in the ‘to-do’ list. After a few months it is worth reviewing the process – ask your trustee how they are settling in to the role and if there’s any more you can do to support them, and remember to ask their opinions on how things could work better. 8 Top Tips Make sure you have an honest role description. Identify gaps in your current board. Create an advert that promotes those areas of expertise. Sell the role in an honest way – could you do an interview with existing trustees? Create an induction pack that helps trustees to understand their key duties. Make sure they meet the staff, volunteers and beneficiaries to engage with the work of the organisation. Assign a ‘board member buddy’ that they can ask questions to outside of board meetings. Review how your trustees are settling into their role: ask how the process has been for them, and what could be done better or differently in the future.   Caroline is a Charity Leader, Trustee and Consultant. Her passion lies in helping not-for-profit organisations grow. She is the owner of Charity Peeks, an organisation designed to inspire and educate charity and social enterprise leaders. With 25 years of business experience, Caroline helps Trustees and Managers to have clarity on what they need to do in their organisation to deliver results. Her energy for supporting organisations to build trust and be open and transparent shines through in her training seminars, speaking roles and consultancy work. Why not join the Charity Peeks facebook group? It's free and full of hints and tips for manager and trustees, just click here to join   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Why a newsletter?NCVO, FSI, Sported & SCC offer free Localgiving membershipsStorytelling Tips for CharitiesHow Google Grants can provide £78,000 to your Charity  
    Sep 19, 2016 2458
  • 15 Sep 2016
    Blogging, newsletters, vlogging, online marketing, hashtags, tweeting, snapchatting....connecting with people these days seems to have developed a language of its own. As a small charity it’s easy to feel drowned by the very idea of trying to market your cause, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you need a degree in social media to even start. As a small organisation with a small team, but with a big heart and even bigger aspirations for our work in our community, we decided to launch a newsletter. Why? As a small community group in Manchester passionate about our role, we had over the years built up a core of supporters. We felt a duty to let them know their support was valid and contributed to our ongoing work which continued to be rewarding. It was the simplest way to reach out to our baseline supporters and also, an opportunity for supporters to choose us! Offering individuals and companies to be added to our mailing list means that you give them the choice to find out more and the peace of mind that they are already interested in what you do. And those then receiving your newsletter are more likely to pass it on to like minded people. Since our first newsletter, we have been offered to write guest blogs, approached by local media and increased traffic to our website. So it does work! Here is what to do next. How to start your newsletter Do you know that clipboard of email addresses you collect when you’re networking or holding events? Yes that one that may be a bit dog eared or crying out to be added onto your email account. It starts with that. The people that have given their email addresses are already interested in what you are doing.  So dust it off, switch on your computer and create a list Write. Sounds simple right? The problem is in our brains, maybe we think we’re not great writers or we feel that we don’t have what it takes to engage our audience. Start with a list of what your charity has done in the last month/quarter List what you have planned for the next month/quarter Embellish the lists with your motivations/feelings around your activities. Are you particularly proud of a project/achievement? Did an experience move you emotionally? Are you passionate about any particular aspect? Tell your audience! Acknowledge your supporters. Thank them for their contributions. There’s nothing like feeling valued. Call to action: What is going on in your organisation which needs the further support of your followers? Maybe a fundraising campaign or a callout for volunteers Trust yourself; your work is valid and authentic: get that across in your newsletters and you will connect with the right people As an exercise itself, writing the newsletter is a useful reflective tool and confidence booster. It’s often amazing to actually write down all the great stuff you have done and are yet planning to do to re-affirm your own dedication to your cause. Be positive. When you start, great things happen. Remember if you don’t tell people they won’t know. Be heard! Start today.   Aisha Malik is a medical doctor and co-founder of Capoeira Conviver Community Group and Manchester Capoeira Academy. The group has been offering Brazilian Dance-Martial Arts classes in inner city Manchester since 2007, and has gone strength to strength opening a new space this year and being featured on That's Manchester TV. Capoeira Conviver continues to hold classes and provide outreach work, promoting health, well being, fitness and embracing diversity throughout the arts.   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 How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield  
    2022 Posted by Aisha Malik
  • Blogging, newsletters, vlogging, online marketing, hashtags, tweeting, snapchatting....connecting with people these days seems to have developed a language of its own. As a small charity it’s easy to feel drowned by the very idea of trying to market your cause, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you need a degree in social media to even start. As a small organisation with a small team, but with a big heart and even bigger aspirations for our work in our community, we decided to launch a newsletter. Why? As a small community group in Manchester passionate about our role, we had over the years built up a core of supporters. We felt a duty to let them know their support was valid and contributed to our ongoing work which continued to be rewarding. It was the simplest way to reach out to our baseline supporters and also, an opportunity for supporters to choose us! Offering individuals and companies to be added to our mailing list means that you give them the choice to find out more and the peace of mind that they are already interested in what you do. And those then receiving your newsletter are more likely to pass it on to like minded people. Since our first newsletter, we have been offered to write guest blogs, approached by local media and increased traffic to our website. So it does work! Here is what to do next. How to start your newsletter Do you know that clipboard of email addresses you collect when you’re networking or holding events? Yes that one that may be a bit dog eared or crying out to be added onto your email account. It starts with that. The people that have given their email addresses are already interested in what you are doing.  So dust it off, switch on your computer and create a list Write. Sounds simple right? The problem is in our brains, maybe we think we’re not great writers or we feel that we don’t have what it takes to engage our audience. Start with a list of what your charity has done in the last month/quarter List what you have planned for the next month/quarter Embellish the lists with your motivations/feelings around your activities. Are you particularly proud of a project/achievement? Did an experience move you emotionally? Are you passionate about any particular aspect? Tell your audience! Acknowledge your supporters. Thank them for their contributions. There’s nothing like feeling valued. Call to action: What is going on in your organisation which needs the further support of your followers? Maybe a fundraising campaign or a callout for volunteers Trust yourself; your work is valid and authentic: get that across in your newsletters and you will connect with the right people As an exercise itself, writing the newsletter is a useful reflective tool and confidence booster. It’s often amazing to actually write down all the great stuff you have done and are yet planning to do to re-affirm your own dedication to your cause. Be positive. When you start, great things happen. Remember if you don’t tell people they won’t know. Be heard! Start today.   Aisha Malik is a medical doctor and co-founder of Capoeira Conviver Community Group and Manchester Capoeira Academy. The group has been offering Brazilian Dance-Martial Arts classes in inner city Manchester since 2007, and has gone strength to strength opening a new space this year and being featured on That's Manchester TV. Capoeira Conviver continues to hold classes and provide outreach work, promoting health, well being, fitness and embracing diversity throughout the arts.   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 How to make friend with the media by Kay ParrisGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield  
    Sep 15, 2016 2022
  • 31 Aug 2016
    Alex Swallow is The Influence Expert, helping you to grow your influence to increase the impact that you have on the world. He is also the Founder of Young Charity Trustees and the owner of the Social Good Six interview series. He is the previous Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition and maintains a keen interest in the work of small charities. Having only worked in the charity sector at small charities and having been the Chief Executive of a support organisation for small charities, I know the pressure that you are under. Pressure to gain supporters behind your cause, get in enough money and cope in a challenging environment. There are three things that I’d recommend: Don’t fight alone, value your work and grow your influence.   Don’t fight alone I hope that you are already getting help from other people. This post that I wrote for Small Charity Week last year explains some of the help that you can get. You need to get all the support that you can, including bringing in new Trustees and other volunteers if you feel that you need new skills, experience or ideas. Trustees’ Week is coming up in November and is an ideal time to recruit. Value your work I hope that you are proud of the work that you do. However, it is likely that you don’t get enough recognition for it. Many small charities are not in the public spotlight despite doing amazing things for parts of society where no-one else really helps. I’m a supporter of Good News Shared- you can send them your stories if you would like to get a bit of attention! However you do it, you need to find a way to make sure that you are proud of your work because then you will be able to engage other people in what you are doing. Plus, being proud will be good motivation for you in those lonely hours when you are slogging away trying to make the world a better place. Also, this talk that I gave for The Media Trust shows why small charities should be excited about some of the opportunities that the online world now provides. Remember, among all the challenges there are lots of possibilities to take advantage of too. Grow your influence This article gives a comprehensive discussion of what I mean by influence. As a small charity you might not always be able to compete with the big boys all the time, but you can certainly punch above your weight. To have the impact that you want you need to find the appropriate ways to influence the world around you. In this speech that I gave earlier this year at an international charity conference, I outline some of those ways. Using a model called the LEAPS Model, featured in the video, I show how you can grow your influence as an individual, or apply the same concepts to an organisation. If you can effectively grow your influence you have the chance to achieve all of the things that you need to make sure that your charity not only survives, but thrives. I thank you for your important work and hope that the three principles I have outlined help you get to where you want to be. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston  
    22803 Posted by Alex Swallow
  • Alex Swallow is The Influence Expert, helping you to grow your influence to increase the impact that you have on the world. He is also the Founder of Young Charity Trustees and the owner of the Social Good Six interview series. He is the previous Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition and maintains a keen interest in the work of small charities. Having only worked in the charity sector at small charities and having been the Chief Executive of a support organisation for small charities, I know the pressure that you are under. Pressure to gain supporters behind your cause, get in enough money and cope in a challenging environment. There are three things that I’d recommend: Don’t fight alone, value your work and grow your influence.   Don’t fight alone I hope that you are already getting help from other people. This post that I wrote for Small Charity Week last year explains some of the help that you can get. You need to get all the support that you can, including bringing in new Trustees and other volunteers if you feel that you need new skills, experience or ideas. Trustees’ Week is coming up in November and is an ideal time to recruit. Value your work I hope that you are proud of the work that you do. However, it is likely that you don’t get enough recognition for it. Many small charities are not in the public spotlight despite doing amazing things for parts of society where no-one else really helps. I’m a supporter of Good News Shared- you can send them your stories if you would like to get a bit of attention! However you do it, you need to find a way to make sure that you are proud of your work because then you will be able to engage other people in what you are doing. Plus, being proud will be good motivation for you in those lonely hours when you are slogging away trying to make the world a better place. Also, this talk that I gave for The Media Trust shows why small charities should be excited about some of the opportunities that the online world now provides. Remember, among all the challenges there are lots of possibilities to take advantage of too. Grow your influence This article gives a comprehensive discussion of what I mean by influence. As a small charity you might not always be able to compete with the big boys all the time, but you can certainly punch above your weight. To have the impact that you want you need to find the appropriate ways to influence the world around you. In this speech that I gave earlier this year at an international charity conference, I outline some of those ways. Using a model called the LEAPS Model, featured in the video, I show how you can grow your influence as an individual, or apply the same concepts to an organisation. If you can effectively grow your influence you have the chance to achieve all of the things that you need to make sure that your charity not only survives, but thrives. I thank you for your important work and hope that the three principles I have outlined help you get to where you want to be. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandGet your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldDon’t save your pitch for the elevator by Emma Beeston  
    Aug 31, 2016 22803
  • 08 Aug 2016
    If your local charity doesn’t send a regular email newsletter, you’re probably missing a trick. And did you know that email newsletters can also help you with your local promotion and publicity? The importance of email Email is used by over 75% of UK adults, with the vast majority using it every week. This makes it still more popular than all social media platforms put together (60-65% of adults). Although we may complain about getting too many emails, we do appreciate hearing from organisations we like. If you’re able to collect a supporter’s email address, it’s better for you than if they ‘like’ you on Facebook or ‘follow’ you on Twitter. Email gives you permission to get your message directly into their inbox. Your subscribers are likely to see your email (even if they choose not to open it). In contrast, they may well not see your Facebook post as Facebook doesn’t always show your post to everyone who likes your page. Your Twitter followers are also likely to miss your tweets if they’re not using Twitter around the time you tweet. Businesses regularly report that email gives them the highest payback out of all the marketing methods they use. Writing a great email newsletter Write a good subject title and compose a couple of ‘stories’ for your email newsletter. Start with the story that is likely to be the most relevant and interesting. Good subject titles are titles which make people want to open your email. Avoid titles such as 'March e-newsletter' as this isn't compelling. Use titles such as '3 things that inspired us this month'. Because an email newsletter tool allows people to unsubscribe if they’re not enjoying your newsletter, you can relax. You know that you’re writing for people who want to hear from you. So write your emails as you would write to a friend. Using an email newsletter tool I recommend using an email newsletter tool that's designed for bulk emailing, instead of using your personal email account. An email newsletter tool will make your emails look better, allowing you to include images in-line with the text. It will allow you to send all your emails at once, make sure they all get safely delivered, and show you statistics on who has opened your emails. It will also make it easy for people to sign up to your emails and, just as importantly, to unsubscribe.  But email newsletter tools can sometimes be hard to use. Most have been designed for marketing professionals, rather than for volunteers or those of us for whom digital marketing is only a tiny fraction of our role.  That’s why we’ve built one that’s as easy to use as your own email account. Our email tool is for small charities and community groups who don’t have a dedicated marketing person. We've made it simple, stripping out all the unnecessary advanced features. We’ve also made it easy to re-use and share whatever you write for your email newsletter instantly on social media. This means you don’t need to write anything twice, and you’re always encouraging people to subscribe to your email list. Joining an email newsletter network An email newsletter network such as interests.me can help you get extra local publicity and awareness. Your charity joins an email newsletter network together with other local groups and charities. Then, any stories you want to share become available for other groups to use in their own emails. Local networks have their own website, where local charities can share stories. An example is Woking.interests.me in Surrey. You can also share other groups’ stories in your emails. If you're worried that you might not have enough to say in your emails, this helps you build up your content and collaborate with other local groups. If there isn’t an interests.me newsletter network in your area, email me at helen@interests.me to find out how to create one! Our networks are often co-ordinated and promoted by Councils for Voluntary Service or Libraries in a local area. Helen Cammack is one of the founders of interests.me, after she found herself frustrated with spending too much time on managing the communications for local non profit organisations. She believes every organisation, no matter how small, deserves great digital tools. Previously Helen worked at Virgin Media and founded a deals email business called Buyometric. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment    
    1314 Posted by Helen Cammack
  • If your local charity doesn’t send a regular email newsletter, you’re probably missing a trick. And did you know that email newsletters can also help you with your local promotion and publicity? The importance of email Email is used by over 75% of UK adults, with the vast majority using it every week. This makes it still more popular than all social media platforms put together (60-65% of adults). Although we may complain about getting too many emails, we do appreciate hearing from organisations we like. If you’re able to collect a supporter’s email address, it’s better for you than if they ‘like’ you on Facebook or ‘follow’ you on Twitter. Email gives you permission to get your message directly into their inbox. Your subscribers are likely to see your email (even if they choose not to open it). In contrast, they may well not see your Facebook post as Facebook doesn’t always show your post to everyone who likes your page. Your Twitter followers are also likely to miss your tweets if they’re not using Twitter around the time you tweet. Businesses regularly report that email gives them the highest payback out of all the marketing methods they use. Writing a great email newsletter Write a good subject title and compose a couple of ‘stories’ for your email newsletter. Start with the story that is likely to be the most relevant and interesting. Good subject titles are titles which make people want to open your email. Avoid titles such as 'March e-newsletter' as this isn't compelling. Use titles such as '3 things that inspired us this month'. Because an email newsletter tool allows people to unsubscribe if they’re not enjoying your newsletter, you can relax. You know that you’re writing for people who want to hear from you. So write your emails as you would write to a friend. Using an email newsletter tool I recommend using an email newsletter tool that's designed for bulk emailing, instead of using your personal email account. An email newsletter tool will make your emails look better, allowing you to include images in-line with the text. It will allow you to send all your emails at once, make sure they all get safely delivered, and show you statistics on who has opened your emails. It will also make it easy for people to sign up to your emails and, just as importantly, to unsubscribe.  But email newsletter tools can sometimes be hard to use. Most have been designed for marketing professionals, rather than for volunteers or those of us for whom digital marketing is only a tiny fraction of our role.  That’s why we’ve built one that’s as easy to use as your own email account. Our email tool is for small charities and community groups who don’t have a dedicated marketing person. We've made it simple, stripping out all the unnecessary advanced features. We’ve also made it easy to re-use and share whatever you write for your email newsletter instantly on social media. This means you don’t need to write anything twice, and you’re always encouraging people to subscribe to your email list. Joining an email newsletter network An email newsletter network such as interests.me can help you get extra local publicity and awareness. Your charity joins an email newsletter network together with other local groups and charities. Then, any stories you want to share become available for other groups to use in their own emails. Local networks have their own website, where local charities can share stories. An example is Woking.interests.me in Surrey. You can also share other groups’ stories in your emails. If you're worried that you might not have enough to say in your emails, this helps you build up your content and collaborate with other local groups. If there isn’t an interests.me newsletter network in your area, email me at helen@interests.me to find out how to create one! Our networks are often co-ordinated and promoted by Councils for Voluntary Service or Libraries in a local area. Helen Cammack is one of the founders of interests.me, after she found herself frustrated with spending too much time on managing the communications for local non profit organisations. She believes every organisation, no matter how small, deserves great digital tools. Previously Helen worked at Virgin Media and founded a deals email business called Buyometric. Found this blog post useful? You may also like:   The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar4 Steps to the perfect charity VideoHow Small charities can overcome barriers to brand investment    
    Aug 08, 2016 1314
  • 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  
    1752 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 1752
  • 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   
    2694 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 2694
  • 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   
    2792 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 2792
  • 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 
    3505 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 3505
  • 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   
    2453 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 2453