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  • 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
    695 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 695
  • 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  
    2570 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 2570
  • 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/    
    1471 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 1471
  • 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.
    2983 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 2983
  • 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    
    2365 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 2365
  • 11 May 2016
    Emma Beeston is an experienced grant maker and philanthropy advisor. She advises funders and philanthropists on how best to donate their funds to effect social change. The 3-minute pitch is a fundraising classic Everyone involved in a charity, whether a fundraiser or not, should have their compelling ‘case for support’ ready to go at a moment’s notice. You never know who you will meet at a conference, on the train, or even in a lift, who may be in a position to donate to your charity if you just get the pitch right. However, time and time again, at funding fairs, workshops and events and even when visiting a charity to conduct an assessment, this is a common exchange: Q: Tell me about your charity? A: We were founded in 2006 and became a charity in 2007... I appreciate that I am a funding officer and not a major donor, so you don’t need to persuade me to hand over my own money. But I am a person who, alongside all the questions about finances and governance, really wants to know why you do what you do and the difference it makes. Once you have told me that, then you can go on and tell me about your background and how long you have been established. Or even better, just tell me that when I ask. The same rule applies as for all effective communication: be led by the audience. Don’t tell me what you want to say, tell me what I need to hear. And more importantly I have also facilitated meetings and network events where charities get to meet with MPs or other such high profile people and the same thing commonly happens. The charity representative starts with the history of the charity. If this is you and your staff, you need to break this habit and start talking about the purpose of your work. And even though they are unlikely to donate, that is exactly what an MP wants to hear too. In fact that really should be the first thing you tell pretty much everyone you meet. So next time you meet a funder, MP, neighbour, friend at a party and they ask what you do, please be ready: Q: Tell me about your charity? A: We work towards the eradication of slavery wherever it is found. We provide survivors with safety, hope and choice (from Unseen UK).   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha      
    2085 Posted by Emma Beeston
  • Emma Beeston is an experienced grant maker and philanthropy advisor. She advises funders and philanthropists on how best to donate their funds to effect social change. The 3-minute pitch is a fundraising classic Everyone involved in a charity, whether a fundraiser or not, should have their compelling ‘case for support’ ready to go at a moment’s notice. You never know who you will meet at a conference, on the train, or even in a lift, who may be in a position to donate to your charity if you just get the pitch right. However, time and time again, at funding fairs, workshops and events and even when visiting a charity to conduct an assessment, this is a common exchange: Q: Tell me about your charity? A: We were founded in 2006 and became a charity in 2007... I appreciate that I am a funding officer and not a major donor, so you don’t need to persuade me to hand over my own money. But I am a person who, alongside all the questions about finances and governance, really wants to know why you do what you do and the difference it makes. Once you have told me that, then you can go on and tell me about your background and how long you have been established. Or even better, just tell me that when I ask. The same rule applies as for all effective communication: be led by the audience. Don’t tell me what you want to say, tell me what I need to hear. And more importantly I have also facilitated meetings and network events where charities get to meet with MPs or other such high profile people and the same thing commonly happens. The charity representative starts with the history of the charity. If this is you and your staff, you need to break this habit and start talking about the purpose of your work. And even though they are unlikely to donate, that is exactly what an MP wants to hear too. In fact that really should be the first thing you tell pretty much everyone you meet. So next time you meet a funder, MP, neighbour, friend at a party and they ask what you do, please be ready: Q: Tell me about your charity? A: We work towards the eradication of slavery wherever it is found. We provide survivors with safety, hope and choice (from Unseen UK).   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack 5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha      
    May 11, 2016 2085
  • 05 May 2016
    
Ieva Padagaite is a co-founder and director of Blake House Filmmakers Cooperative and is involved in various social and environmental campaigns. Using Video for Effective Fundraising By working with people and organisations who make a real difference, I have had a chance to measure successful use of video in crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve been alert to how films foster empathy when working with vulnerable adults, children, and making videos for fundraisers, Corporate Social Responsibility and marketing projects. A third of all online activity is spent watching video and according to Cisco VNI™ forecast - 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019 will be via video. It’s a critical time for the third sector to embrace this powerful medium to amplify causes, increase impact, widen reach and stay visible.   Get into the habit of recording your work on camera We are bombarded with all sorts of content every day, but videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster then text.To avoid demanding cognitive strain, we are drawn to information that is easy to process and more importantly, we are more likely to get emotionally attached to a story we see in a video than a story we read in an article. I recently worked with children's entertainment charity, The Flying Seagull Project, which was fundraising to provide mental relief for refugee children facing trauma on the borders of the EU. The charity came to me with some footage filmed on simple pocket cameras and mobile phones and a three week fundraising deadline. We shot a simply structured message to the camera in our office about the project, the problem, the solution and a call to action. Two days later, the video was released. By the second week, the charity surpassed its fundraising targets, gaining huge momentum and following for the campaign. Reflecting on this experience, it seems obvious that any group using fundraising in their organisation should start recording their work wherever the impact is visible, if it is appropriate to do so (noting ethical considerations). The content could come in handy not only when working on a fundraising video to back up your words and provide evidence for your work, but also enhancing your staff and volunteer engagement and morale.   Have a fundraising strategy and a team in place to effectively engage your audience So, video content is great, but it doesn’t work by itself. You need fundraising and marketing strategies in place to work out how to get the video in front of your target audience, plan their journey in supporting you as well as ways to get them to fundraise for you by sharing your campaign. Think about having a team to write engaging copy to support the video and an easy-to-follow call to action; keeping the conversation active with your supporters during and after the campaign is a key part of any campaign. I attended one of Localgiving’s workshops on fundraising strategy and highly recommend it to anybody wanting to learn more.   Collaborate The filming process doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive: plan ahead and gradually embed it into your work culture. It’s all about getting into the habit and finding a way to do it that suits your cause, capacity and budget. One way to do it is by finding a local filmmaker or video company that works on the same wavelength as you. Have a lookout for social enterprises, cooperatives and media charities using film to make a difference or start experimenting and utilising the wealth of knowledge stored online. Either way, you can’t afford to be camera shy!       Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    2623 Posted by Ieva Padagaite
  • 
Ieva Padagaite is a co-founder and director of Blake House Filmmakers Cooperative and is involved in various social and environmental campaigns. Using Video for Effective Fundraising By working with people and organisations who make a real difference, I have had a chance to measure successful use of video in crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve been alert to how films foster empathy when working with vulnerable adults, children, and making videos for fundraisers, Corporate Social Responsibility and marketing projects. A third of all online activity is spent watching video and according to Cisco VNI™ forecast - 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019 will be via video. It’s a critical time for the third sector to embrace this powerful medium to amplify causes, increase impact, widen reach and stay visible.   Get into the habit of recording your work on camera We are bombarded with all sorts of content every day, but videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster then text.To avoid demanding cognitive strain, we are drawn to information that is easy to process and more importantly, we are more likely to get emotionally attached to a story we see in a video than a story we read in an article. I recently worked with children's entertainment charity, The Flying Seagull Project, which was fundraising to provide mental relief for refugee children facing trauma on the borders of the EU. The charity came to me with some footage filmed on simple pocket cameras and mobile phones and a three week fundraising deadline. We shot a simply structured message to the camera in our office about the project, the problem, the solution and a call to action. Two days later, the video was released. By the second week, the charity surpassed its fundraising targets, gaining huge momentum and following for the campaign. Reflecting on this experience, it seems obvious that any group using fundraising in their organisation should start recording their work wherever the impact is visible, if it is appropriate to do so (noting ethical considerations). The content could come in handy not only when working on a fundraising video to back up your words and provide evidence for your work, but also enhancing your staff and volunteer engagement and morale.   Have a fundraising strategy and a team in place to effectively engage your audience So, video content is great, but it doesn’t work by itself. You need fundraising and marketing strategies in place to work out how to get the video in front of your target audience, plan their journey in supporting you as well as ways to get them to fundraise for you by sharing your campaign. Think about having a team to write engaging copy to support the video and an easy-to-follow call to action; keeping the conversation active with your supporters during and after the campaign is a key part of any campaign. I attended one of Localgiving’s workshops on fundraising strategy and highly recommend it to anybody wanting to learn more.   Collaborate The filming process doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive: plan ahead and gradually embed it into your work culture. It’s all about getting into the habit and finding a way to do it that suits your cause, capacity and budget. One way to do it is by finding a local filmmaker or video company that works on the same wavelength as you. Have a lookout for social enterprises, cooperatives and media charities using film to make a difference or start experimenting and utilising the wealth of knowledge stored online. Either way, you can’t afford to be camera shy!       Found this Blog useful? You may also like:  The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina     
    May 05, 2016 2623
  • 04 May 2016
    Isabelle Neumand is Communications Coordinator for Business in the Community (BITC). She is coordinating communications content around Give & Gain Day, the largest celebration of employee volunteering globally. BITC is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, a business-led charity that mobilises businesses to tackle issues that are essential to creating a fairer society and a more sustainable future. What is Give & Gain Day? Business in the Community’s Give & Gain Day is the only global day of employee volunteering and it’s coming up soon. Give & Gain Day will happen on 20th May 2016 where it will see thousands of people from hundreds of companies volunteering. Employees from businesses will take some time out of work to volunteer for charities and community organisations. The big day is on 20th of May, but activity is also welcomed throughout the week of the 16th.   Skills Exchange Give & Gain Day activity varies from volunteers helping to refurbish a community centre, to running a sports day, or even bringing a disused green space back to life. Business in the Community is also seeing a growing number of activities focusing on skills exchange. Corporate employees offer their professional skills and experience to charities. Examples of previous skills based volunteering range from organising an employability workshop to mentoring ESOL students.   Start of a partnership between business and charity? Give & Gain Day is more than just a single day of volunteering. Every year partnerships between businesses and charities begin on Give & Gain Day. For example, last Give & Gain, a Community Conversation event was hosted at Waitrose George Street in Croydon. Waitrose are sponsors of Give & Gain Day.  The aim of a Community Conversation is for representatives from local businesses, charities, voluntary organisations and local government to come together and see how they can collaborate to improve their community. Businesses included Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and local accountancy company Owadally & King. Charities were represented by Pathfinders and Lives Not Knives. They spoke about skills shortages in Croydon and the wider problems of long-term and youth unemployment in the area. The event generated four monthly meetings to set out a delivery strategy!   What have charities from previous years said about Give & Gain? Last year, we ran a post-Give & Gain Day Community partner survey, in which 100% of Community Partners said they would work with business volunteers again, highlighting the importance of the time and skills volunteers give to community organisations. Half of the respondents also said that Give & Gain Day helped to raise the profile of their organisation. Stephanie Harvey from Providence Row, a homelessness charity described Give & Gain Day as an opportunity to “bring people on site to breakdown perceptions of homelessness and for our clients to mix with a wide range of people.” A quarter of respondents believed that the activities carried out on the day raised service users’ aspirations. Linda Trew, from the Parent House, a charity that offers guidance to parents through training, one-to-one support and work placements, said: “The direct contact that our beneficiaries were able to experience with the world of work made all our efforts behind the scenes very worthwhile.”   Celebrate your volunteers this Give & Gain Day Whether you’ve registered for this year’s Give & Gain Day or have only just heard of it now, we would encourage you to take a moment during the week of the 16th May to celebrate the volunteers that support you. If you currently are engaging with corporate volunteers outside of Give & Gain Day, why not tell them about it and organise something with them the week of the 16th of May. You could also use Give & Gain Day as a perfect excuse to organise a meet up with your existing volunteers, reflecting on and celebrating their achievements and contributions to your charity! Whatever you end up doing, share you stories and pictures on Twitter and Instagram using #giveandgain Still got questions? Get in touch and let’s talk about how Give & Gain Day can support your work. Email: giveandgain@bitc.org.uk   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha    
    1835 Posted by Isabelle Neumand
  • Isabelle Neumand is Communications Coordinator for Business in the Community (BITC). She is coordinating communications content around Give & Gain Day, the largest celebration of employee volunteering globally. BITC is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, a business-led charity that mobilises businesses to tackle issues that are essential to creating a fairer society and a more sustainable future. What is Give & Gain Day? Business in the Community’s Give & Gain Day is the only global day of employee volunteering and it’s coming up soon. Give & Gain Day will happen on 20th May 2016 where it will see thousands of people from hundreds of companies volunteering. Employees from businesses will take some time out of work to volunteer for charities and community organisations. The big day is on 20th of May, but activity is also welcomed throughout the week of the 16th.   Skills Exchange Give & Gain Day activity varies from volunteers helping to refurbish a community centre, to running a sports day, or even bringing a disused green space back to life. Business in the Community is also seeing a growing number of activities focusing on skills exchange. Corporate employees offer their professional skills and experience to charities. Examples of previous skills based volunteering range from organising an employability workshop to mentoring ESOL students.   Start of a partnership between business and charity? Give & Gain Day is more than just a single day of volunteering. Every year partnerships between businesses and charities begin on Give & Gain Day. For example, last Give & Gain, a Community Conversation event was hosted at Waitrose George Street in Croydon. Waitrose are sponsors of Give & Gain Day.  The aim of a Community Conversation is for representatives from local businesses, charities, voluntary organisations and local government to come together and see how they can collaborate to improve their community. Businesses included Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and local accountancy company Owadally & King. Charities were represented by Pathfinders and Lives Not Knives. They spoke about skills shortages in Croydon and the wider problems of long-term and youth unemployment in the area. The event generated four monthly meetings to set out a delivery strategy!   What have charities from previous years said about Give & Gain? Last year, we ran a post-Give & Gain Day Community partner survey, in which 100% of Community Partners said they would work with business volunteers again, highlighting the importance of the time and skills volunteers give to community organisations. Half of the respondents also said that Give & Gain Day helped to raise the profile of their organisation. Stephanie Harvey from Providence Row, a homelessness charity described Give & Gain Day as an opportunity to “bring people on site to breakdown perceptions of homelessness and for our clients to mix with a wide range of people.” A quarter of respondents believed that the activities carried out on the day raised service users’ aspirations. Linda Trew, from the Parent House, a charity that offers guidance to parents through training, one-to-one support and work placements, said: “The direct contact that our beneficiaries were able to experience with the world of work made all our efforts behind the scenes very worthwhile.”   Celebrate your volunteers this Give & Gain Day Whether you’ve registered for this year’s Give & Gain Day or have only just heard of it now, we would encourage you to take a moment during the week of the 16th May to celebrate the volunteers that support you. If you currently are engaging with corporate volunteers outside of Give & Gain Day, why not tell them about it and organise something with them the week of the 16th of May. You could also use Give & Gain Day as a perfect excuse to organise a meet up with your existing volunteers, reflecting on and celebrating their achievements and contributions to your charity! Whatever you end up doing, share you stories and pictures on Twitter and Instagram using #giveandgain Still got questions? Get in touch and let’s talk about how Give & Gain Day can support your work. Email: giveandgain@bitc.org.uk   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack  5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha    
    May 04, 2016 1835
  • 12 Apr 2016
    I want to tell you about my right knee. Have you got a minute? You see, I had surgery to reconstruct my Anterior Cruciate Ligament a couple of months ago and have been recovering since. Don’t worry, I won’t show you my scar, though it’s really cool. Next time, maybe. No, instead I want to tell you about the lessons I’ve learned while recovering, lessons that I think can be applied to charities. So, please read on. Balance patience and impatience I’ve learned that I need to be patient. Time is the greatest healer, and all that. Getting better will take a while. And yet I need to be impatient as well. I need to push it along a little, try exercises out, make it hurt a little in order to improve. And I’ve found balancing these two contradictory mindsets quite tricky. I’ve realised that we face this issue all the time in charities, particularly with fundraising. We need to think about long term goals while at the same time trying for ‘quick wins’ and doing the painful smaller jobs that will push us along the way. We need to have both sets of targets in our heads at the same time? Be patient and impatient. “Good leg to heaven. Bad leg to hell!” Stairs are a bit of a killer after knee surgery. As you’d expect, I suppose. But there’s a mantra that has helped me to remember the best way of tackling them. Start with your good leg if you’re going up, and start with your bad leg if you’re going down. Simple, but effective. But how is this applicable to charities? Well, leading with your ‘good leg’ and focusing on your strengths when things are on the up makes sense, doesn’t it? What is more counterintuitive is that when times are tough we need to focus even more on what’s not working so well. How can it be strengthened? Think about regression to the mean Sometimes, I’ve noticed that my knee pain on an afternoon, say, is greater than it was a few hours earlier. And this can be upsetting, until I remember that generally, things are a lot better than they were a week ago. In other words there are repeated blips but I need to focus on the overall trend. This is what is known as regression to the mean, and I think charities do not account for it enough. We tend to focus on short term blips, and think they indicate a broader trend. They don’t. Let’s ensure that our analysis has some decent longitudinal basis. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be paying attention to sudden peaks or troughs, but we need to ensure that what we infer from them is correct. “Don’t limp like House!” Hugh Laurie may have scared us all silly in The Night Manager recently, but I wanted to talk about a previous character of his, House M.D. Remember how House limped with his walking stick? When I progressed to a single crutch, my physio was quite clear in his instruction: “Don’t limp like House!” In other words, again counterintuitively, I learned to hold the crutch on my good side, rather than leaning into it on the other side. This was a general lesson to me, and I think for charities too. Our weaker areas grow stronger not when we lean into them or overly support them, but when we think about our function as a whole body. If a fundraising initiative isn’t working well, for example, assuming we can see potential and want it to grow, let’s consider how it fits into the work of the department and the organisation as a whole. How can we draw strength from our constituent parts? So there you have it. That’s what charities can learn from knee surgery recovery, all courtesy of my physio. Four simple… erm… steps to think about, and you’ll be up and running in no time. 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 How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarBig Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge   
    2686 Posted by Richard Sved
  • I want to tell you about my right knee. Have you got a minute? You see, I had surgery to reconstruct my Anterior Cruciate Ligament a couple of months ago and have been recovering since. Don’t worry, I won’t show you my scar, though it’s really cool. Next time, maybe. No, instead I want to tell you about the lessons I’ve learned while recovering, lessons that I think can be applied to charities. So, please read on. Balance patience and impatience I’ve learned that I need to be patient. Time is the greatest healer, and all that. Getting better will take a while. And yet I need to be impatient as well. I need to push it along a little, try exercises out, make it hurt a little in order to improve. And I’ve found balancing these two contradictory mindsets quite tricky. I’ve realised that we face this issue all the time in charities, particularly with fundraising. We need to think about long term goals while at the same time trying for ‘quick wins’ and doing the painful smaller jobs that will push us along the way. We need to have both sets of targets in our heads at the same time? Be patient and impatient. “Good leg to heaven. Bad leg to hell!” Stairs are a bit of a killer after knee surgery. As you’d expect, I suppose. But there’s a mantra that has helped me to remember the best way of tackling them. Start with your good leg if you’re going up, and start with your bad leg if you’re going down. Simple, but effective. But how is this applicable to charities? Well, leading with your ‘good leg’ and focusing on your strengths when things are on the up makes sense, doesn’t it? What is more counterintuitive is that when times are tough we need to focus even more on what’s not working so well. How can it be strengthened? Think about regression to the mean Sometimes, I’ve noticed that my knee pain on an afternoon, say, is greater than it was a few hours earlier. And this can be upsetting, until I remember that generally, things are a lot better than they were a week ago. In other words there are repeated blips but I need to focus on the overall trend. This is what is known as regression to the mean, and I think charities do not account for it enough. We tend to focus on short term blips, and think they indicate a broader trend. They don’t. Let’s ensure that our analysis has some decent longitudinal basis. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be paying attention to sudden peaks or troughs, but we need to ensure that what we infer from them is correct. “Don’t limp like House!” Hugh Laurie may have scared us all silly in The Night Manager recently, but I wanted to talk about a previous character of his, House M.D. Remember how House limped with his walking stick? When I progressed to a single crutch, my physio was quite clear in his instruction: “Don’t limp like House!” In other words, again counterintuitively, I learned to hold the crutch on my good side, rather than leaning into it on the other side. This was a general lesson to me, and I think for charities too. Our weaker areas grow stronger not when we lean into them or overly support them, but when we think about our function as a whole body. If a fundraising initiative isn’t working well, for example, assuming we can see potential and want it to grow, let’s consider how it fits into the work of the department and the organisation as a whole. How can we draw strength from our constituent parts? So there you have it. That’s what charities can learn from knee surgery recovery, all courtesy of my physio. Four simple… erm… steps to think about, and you’ll be up and running in no time. 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 How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe AmarBig Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge   
    Apr 12, 2016 2686
  • 05 Apr 2016
    The UK is one of the richest countries in the world and yet 1 in 7 people live in food poverty - meaning they struggle to obtain healthy, nutritious food. Meanwhile, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year, almost 50% of which comes from our homes. So, what can we do to tackle this? Here’s five tips to help you cut down. 1. Share - three technology solutions to help you connect with your community Olio is a free app which connects neighbours with each other and with local shops and cafes so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. FareShare and the Irish social enterprise FoodCloud have announced a collaborative partnership designed to help UK retailers address the issue of edible surplus food. If you are a charity or community group that uses food to support people, you can sign up to FareShare FoodCloud and collect good quality, surplus food from Tesco stores for free! Casserole Club is an online platofrm that brings together volunteers to share extra portions of home-cooked food with people in their area who aren’t always able to cook for themselves. Currently operating in Staffordshire, Cheshire West and Chester. 2. Grow - local community groups across the UK are growing food Dorking Community Orchard is a nearly two acre site located on the western end of Dorking. The orchard is home to 100 fruit trees as well as several mature fruit and nut trees. The site is maintained as a community orchard. The site is free and open to the public. The Orchard is available for school groups and community events. The Growing Project Pensilva is a community business that delivers weekly veg boxes or fruit bags with  superb food grown locally to organic standards. The Growing Project provides people of all abilities and from all walks of life with the opportunity to learn new skills, socialise, get fit and gain valuable training and work experience. Everyone is welcome to come and join in, whether you’re a seasoned allotment-eer or an spade-less newbie. They convene every Wednesday from 10 a.m. and a hearty lunch is always provided. Bring your wellies! Petworth Community Garden is a group of local volunteers of all ages and abilities, who meet together weekly to tend their organic community garden. They share the gardening tasks, along with tea, cakes and seasonal soup, and each take home fresh, free, organic fruit and vegetables. 3. Learn - local community groups who support people to connect with their environment Sacred Earth is dedicated to supporting life and learning. They aim to assist in regenerative culture through nature connection. Their programmes, courses and community events are vessels to help people of all ages establish healthy relationships with themselves, with each other and with the more-than-human world of nature. From a medicinal herb garden to an organic and bio-dynamic farm. Global Generation connects people to each other and their natural world by creating hands-on and reflective opportunities. They combine activities such as supporting bees, carpentry, urban food growing, cooking, and eating together with dialogue, story, creative writing, silence and stillness.   4. Meet-up - local people working on community sustainability Blackshaw Environmental Action Team (BEAT) began as an environmental group but in the last few years has worked on broader sustainability issues. BEAT has installed a community wind turbine to generate a regular income for the community, created two community orchards in Blackshaw Head and helped to establish community allotments in Charlestown. Transition Network aims is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities to self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions. The Conservation Volunteers work across the UK to create healthier and happier communities for everyone - communities where their activities have a lasting impact on people’s health, prospects and outdoor places. 5. Get inspired ReJuice re-directs food surpluses from local markets/supermarkets and transforms it into healthy socio-enviro friendly soups and smoothies. Rubie in the Rubble makes handmade chutneys and jam, made as much as possible from surplus fruits and vegetables, fresh from farms and markets before they’re discarded. Toast Ale is made using a Belgian recipe that includes fresh, surplus bread that would otherwise be wasted. It has a malty taste similar to amber ales and wheat beers. All profits go to the charity Feedback to support the fight against food waste  
    1479 Posted by Cara Sanquest
  • The UK is one of the richest countries in the world and yet 1 in 7 people live in food poverty - meaning they struggle to obtain healthy, nutritious food. Meanwhile, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year, almost 50% of which comes from our homes. So, what can we do to tackle this? Here’s five tips to help you cut down. 1. Share - three technology solutions to help you connect with your community Olio is a free app which connects neighbours with each other and with local shops and cafes so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. FareShare and the Irish social enterprise FoodCloud have announced a collaborative partnership designed to help UK retailers address the issue of edible surplus food. If you are a charity or community group that uses food to support people, you can sign up to FareShare FoodCloud and collect good quality, surplus food from Tesco stores for free! Casserole Club is an online platofrm that brings together volunteers to share extra portions of home-cooked food with people in their area who aren’t always able to cook for themselves. Currently operating in Staffordshire, Cheshire West and Chester. 2. Grow - local community groups across the UK are growing food Dorking Community Orchard is a nearly two acre site located on the western end of Dorking. The orchard is home to 100 fruit trees as well as several mature fruit and nut trees. The site is maintained as a community orchard. The site is free and open to the public. The Orchard is available for school groups and community events. The Growing Project Pensilva is a community business that delivers weekly veg boxes or fruit bags with  superb food grown locally to organic standards. The Growing Project provides people of all abilities and from all walks of life with the opportunity to learn new skills, socialise, get fit and gain valuable training and work experience. Everyone is welcome to come and join in, whether you’re a seasoned allotment-eer or an spade-less newbie. They convene every Wednesday from 10 a.m. and a hearty lunch is always provided. Bring your wellies! Petworth Community Garden is a group of local volunteers of all ages and abilities, who meet together weekly to tend their organic community garden. They share the gardening tasks, along with tea, cakes and seasonal soup, and each take home fresh, free, organic fruit and vegetables. 3. Learn - local community groups who support people to connect with their environment Sacred Earth is dedicated to supporting life and learning. They aim to assist in regenerative culture through nature connection. Their programmes, courses and community events are vessels to help people of all ages establish healthy relationships with themselves, with each other and with the more-than-human world of nature. From a medicinal herb garden to an organic and bio-dynamic farm. Global Generation connects people to each other and their natural world by creating hands-on and reflective opportunities. They combine activities such as supporting bees, carpentry, urban food growing, cooking, and eating together with dialogue, story, creative writing, silence and stillness.   4. Meet-up - local people working on community sustainability Blackshaw Environmental Action Team (BEAT) began as an environmental group but in the last few years has worked on broader sustainability issues. BEAT has installed a community wind turbine to generate a regular income for the community, created two community orchards in Blackshaw Head and helped to establish community allotments in Charlestown. Transition Network aims is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities to self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions. The Conservation Volunteers work across the UK to create healthier and happier communities for everyone - communities where their activities have a lasting impact on people’s health, prospects and outdoor places. 5. Get inspired ReJuice re-directs food surpluses from local markets/supermarkets and transforms it into healthy socio-enviro friendly soups and smoothies. Rubie in the Rubble makes handmade chutneys and jam, made as much as possible from surplus fruits and vegetables, fresh from farms and markets before they’re discarded. Toast Ale is made using a Belgian recipe that includes fresh, surplus bread that would otherwise be wasted. It has a malty taste similar to amber ales and wheat beers. All profits go to the charity Feedback to support the fight against food waste  
    Apr 05, 2016 1479