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  • 27 Jan 2016
    On Monday last week, Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP was warmly welcomed as a volunteer by local Berkshire charity, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. Mr Wilson MP, eager to gain hands on experience with a charity in his constituency of Reading East, contacted Localgiving last week to help him identify a group to work with. Longtime Localgiving member, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres, sprang to mind immediately. Dingley provides a unique space where young children with disabilities can go to develop skills through play. Parents and carers are also welcomed, providing a place to make friends, share experiences and gain valuable respite. Since joining Localgiving in 2011, Dingley has consistently inspired us with the life-changing impact it delivers to beneficiaries. Where better for Mr Wilson to learn more about the vital work that local charities and community groups do? Mr Wilson spent the morning of Monday 18th January with the staff and children of The Dingley Centre in Reading, taking part in ‘Learning Through Play’ sessions. Working in close partnership with other education and health care professionals, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres provide regular therapy sessions, as well as training and support for parents and carers. Throughout the morning, Mr Wilson MP was given the opportunity to see the benefits of the therapies on offer for children. He was even lucky enough to make some new young friends in the process! Two children shared their toys and interacted happily with him. Working alongside his mentor, Kathryn Mitchell, he motivated and guided a child to communicate with others through the exchange of a photograph to indicate what the child wanted to do. Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to volunteer at Dingley Family Centre today. The charity provides fantastic support to children and families across Reading and I hope that my morning of volunteering was helpful to them. I encourage everyone to dedicate some time to volunteering so that great causes like this can continue to help those who need it” Catherine McLeod MBE, CEO of Dingley Family & Specialist Early Years Centres, was equally enthusiastic about the visit, commenting that: “It was great to see our local MP taking the time to volunteer in a local charity, learning about the demands and joys of working in our sector. It has been a testing time for many charities, and so we were delighted to be chosen to host the Minister for Civil Society…Mr Wilson had the chance to interact with children and families, which will give him a valuable insight into some of the challenges that they face on a daily basis, and why the contribution of the local voluntary sector is so important.” Localgiving is delighted that the Minister for Civil Society has taken the opportunity to visit one of our member groups and is glad he enjoyed his experience with Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. We believe that through volunteering, MPs can gain a real understanding of the essential work carried out by local charities and community groups in their constituency every day.      
    1501 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • On Monday last week, Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP was warmly welcomed as a volunteer by local Berkshire charity, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. Mr Wilson MP, eager to gain hands on experience with a charity in his constituency of Reading East, contacted Localgiving last week to help him identify a group to work with. Longtime Localgiving member, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres, sprang to mind immediately. Dingley provides a unique space where young children with disabilities can go to develop skills through play. Parents and carers are also welcomed, providing a place to make friends, share experiences and gain valuable respite. Since joining Localgiving in 2011, Dingley has consistently inspired us with the life-changing impact it delivers to beneficiaries. Where better for Mr Wilson to learn more about the vital work that local charities and community groups do? Mr Wilson spent the morning of Monday 18th January with the staff and children of The Dingley Centre in Reading, taking part in ‘Learning Through Play’ sessions. Working in close partnership with other education and health care professionals, Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres provide regular therapy sessions, as well as training and support for parents and carers. Throughout the morning, Mr Wilson MP was given the opportunity to see the benefits of the therapies on offer for children. He was even lucky enough to make some new young friends in the process! Two children shared their toys and interacted happily with him. Working alongside his mentor, Kathryn Mitchell, he motivated and guided a child to communicate with others through the exchange of a photograph to indicate what the child wanted to do. Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to volunteer at Dingley Family Centre today. The charity provides fantastic support to children and families across Reading and I hope that my morning of volunteering was helpful to them. I encourage everyone to dedicate some time to volunteering so that great causes like this can continue to help those who need it” Catherine McLeod MBE, CEO of Dingley Family & Specialist Early Years Centres, was equally enthusiastic about the visit, commenting that: “It was great to see our local MP taking the time to volunteer in a local charity, learning about the demands and joys of working in our sector. It has been a testing time for many charities, and so we were delighted to be chosen to host the Minister for Civil Society…Mr Wilson had the chance to interact with children and families, which will give him a valuable insight into some of the challenges that they face on a daily basis, and why the contribution of the local voluntary sector is so important.” Localgiving is delighted that the Minister for Civil Society has taken the opportunity to visit one of our member groups and is glad he enjoyed his experience with Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres. We believe that through volunteering, MPs can gain a real understanding of the essential work carried out by local charities and community groups in their constituency every day.      
    Jan 27, 2016 1501
  • 18 Jan 2016
    Myfanwy Nixon is the Marketing and Communications manager at mySociety, a charity that builds digital technologies that open up access to democracy. Starting as a UK concern, the organisation now works globally to help people deploy their software and empower their own citizens. For over a decade, mySociety has been running well-known and much-used websites that empower citizens — but you may be unaware that they all have features that can benefit charities, too. Here are four ways in which charities can use mySociety sites. They’ll all give you a helping hand in your day-to-day work, and they’re all completely free to use. Simple campaigning software If you ever ask your supporters to contact their MP, MEPs, or other elected representatives, you’ll know that that’s much more likely to happen if they don’t have to leave your website to do so. The functionality behind WriteToThem, mySociety’s contact-your-representative site, can be placed right on your own campaign page. Even better, your supporters don’t need to know the name of their representative before they send their message: WriteToThem works it out from their postcode. You can find full details for embedding the WriteToThem technology on your website here. Keep an eye on Parliament   For all sorts of reasons, it’s useful to know when key topics are being debated in Parliament: you can lobby MPs, monitor which representatives are sympathetic to your cause, put out newsletters while public interest is high, or tie activities in with stories in the news. But how do you make sure you’re not taken by surprise? TheyWorkForYou is mySociety’s parliamentary site, which publishes all of Hansard. It also displays forthcoming events. So far so good, but the site really comes into its own with its alerts service. Input the keywords which interest you, and it will send you an email every time they are mentioned in Parliament, or in Parliament’s future schedule. Find out how to set up your alerts for forthcoming business here. And this post explains how to receive an alert every time your chosen keyword has been mentioned in the day’s proceedings. A powerful research tool If your campaigning depends on facts, figures and maybe even previously-buried information, then the Freedom of Information Act could be a very useful tool. It gives everyone the right to ask for information from publicly-funded bodies. WhatDoTheyKnow makes the perhaps-daunting process of submitting an FOI request very simple indeed. It also publishes the responses in a vast online archive, so you can search through information that has already been released, too. Here is a step-by-step guide to making a request via the site. Improving communities FixMyStreet makes it really easy to report problems like broken paving, potholes or rubbish to the people responsible for getting them fixed. If you are a charity working within a local community, input your postcode for a quick browse of the site: this can be an immediate way to find out what the main issues are in your own neighbourhood. if you’d like this information to drop right into your inbox, sign up to receive an alert every time someone makes a report in your chosen area. FixMyStreet also provides an excellent way of keeping track of the improvements and repairs you have requested - reports are published online as well as being sent to the council. And if you’re a charity campaigning on behalf of people with poor mobility, sight impairment, et cetera, FixMyStreet can also be a useful resource for your supporters: they can use it to campaign in their own local area, against unsafe streets, unlit byways or inadequate parking spaces, and so on. mySociety If you’d like to find out more about our work, visit www.mysociety.org, where you can see lots more about what we do.     Found this Blog 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 Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar    
    2503 Posted by Myf Nixon
  • Myfanwy Nixon is the Marketing and Communications manager at mySociety, a charity that builds digital technologies that open up access to democracy. Starting as a UK concern, the organisation now works globally to help people deploy their software and empower their own citizens. For over a decade, mySociety has been running well-known and much-used websites that empower citizens — but you may be unaware that they all have features that can benefit charities, too. Here are four ways in which charities can use mySociety sites. They’ll all give you a helping hand in your day-to-day work, and they’re all completely free to use. Simple campaigning software If you ever ask your supporters to contact their MP, MEPs, or other elected representatives, you’ll know that that’s much more likely to happen if they don’t have to leave your website to do so. The functionality behind WriteToThem, mySociety’s contact-your-representative site, can be placed right on your own campaign page. Even better, your supporters don’t need to know the name of their representative before they send their message: WriteToThem works it out from their postcode. You can find full details for embedding the WriteToThem technology on your website here. Keep an eye on Parliament   For all sorts of reasons, it’s useful to know when key topics are being debated in Parliament: you can lobby MPs, monitor which representatives are sympathetic to your cause, put out newsletters while public interest is high, or tie activities in with stories in the news. But how do you make sure you’re not taken by surprise? TheyWorkForYou is mySociety’s parliamentary site, which publishes all of Hansard. It also displays forthcoming events. So far so good, but the site really comes into its own with its alerts service. Input the keywords which interest you, and it will send you an email every time they are mentioned in Parliament, or in Parliament’s future schedule. Find out how to set up your alerts for forthcoming business here. And this post explains how to receive an alert every time your chosen keyword has been mentioned in the day’s proceedings. A powerful research tool If your campaigning depends on facts, figures and maybe even previously-buried information, then the Freedom of Information Act could be a very useful tool. It gives everyone the right to ask for information from publicly-funded bodies. WhatDoTheyKnow makes the perhaps-daunting process of submitting an FOI request very simple indeed. It also publishes the responses in a vast online archive, so you can search through information that has already been released, too. Here is a step-by-step guide to making a request via the site. Improving communities FixMyStreet makes it really easy to report problems like broken paving, potholes or rubbish to the people responsible for getting them fixed. If you are a charity working within a local community, input your postcode for a quick browse of the site: this can be an immediate way to find out what the main issues are in your own neighbourhood. if you’d like this information to drop right into your inbox, sign up to receive an alert every time someone makes a report in your chosen area. FixMyStreet also provides an excellent way of keeping track of the improvements and repairs you have requested - reports are published online as well as being sent to the council. And if you’re a charity campaigning on behalf of people with poor mobility, sight impairment, et cetera, FixMyStreet can also be a useful resource for your supporters: they can use it to campaign in their own local area, against unsafe streets, unlit byways or inadequate parking spaces, and so on. mySociety If you’d like to find out more about our work, visit www.mysociety.org, where you can see lots more about what we do.     Found this Blog 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 Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar    
    Jan 18, 2016 2503
  • 15 Dec 2015
    Catherine Raynor is Director of Mile 91, a story gathering team for charities and changemakers. Mile 91 helps charities capture stories that inspire action and encourage giving. We are all used to seeing household names profiled in big fundraisers like Text Santa and Children in Need or seasonal national newspaper appeals. These charities have big fundraising and communications departments with money to spend on professional filmmakers and copywriters. It is easy to feel daunted in the face of their storytelling might, but don’t be – local charities have stories that are just as powerful. Here’s some advice on capturing and telling great stories on a budget: Feel confident! The first thing to remember is to feel confident. You are operating right in the heart of your community. This means you see the impact of your work both firsthand and instantly. Unlike global or national organisations that often have head offices far away from their work, your stories are easy to access- they are right in front of you every day. Think about the ‘because’.  Stories don’t come from the ‘what’, they come from the ‘because’. What inspires people to volunteer or give is understanding the change and improvement their contribution can make. It is far more inspiring to read ‘Because of our meal service 68 old people in Wakefield will enjoy Christmas dinner with company this year’ than ‘we will deliver 68 meals on Christmas Day this year.’ Start thinking in terms of impact not intervention. Understand story structure. Storytelling is actually pretty formulaic and we learn story structure from a very early age. Good stories have a beginning, middle and end and more often than not they have a hero and a villain. For charity storytelling the beginning is the problem you are solving, the middle is what you are doing and the end is the change. The villain is the problem, the hero is you. If your stories have all three components and clearly show how the hero is conquering the villain you are doing well. Use free tools. There are many free storytelling tools and apps that can help you bring your work to life. Set up an Instagram account to share photo stories, use Audioboo for short interviews or Vine for short films. These are all really simple to use and can be connected to Twitter and Facebook so you can easily share your stories. Don’t miss the obvious. There are likely to be stories around you all the time that can bring your work to life. What does the 8-year-old enjoy about coming along to the community allotment on a Saturday? Ask them and snap a picture of them digging. What motivates that busy Mum to volunteer once a week? Ask her and you might uncover a really heartwarming story. Look for local expertise. You almost certainly have professional writers and filmmakers living in your area. Why not see if they want to volunteer a few hours or a day here and there to help you make professional films or to write some stories for your website or grant application forms.  Mile 91 uses words, pictures and film to help charities show the impact of their work on individuals, communities and the environments they live in. For regular tips on charity storytelling sign up to our blog: www.mile91.co.uk/blog/   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 Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar    
    1134 Posted by Catherine Raynor
  • Catherine Raynor is Director of Mile 91, a story gathering team for charities and changemakers. Mile 91 helps charities capture stories that inspire action and encourage giving. We are all used to seeing household names profiled in big fundraisers like Text Santa and Children in Need or seasonal national newspaper appeals. These charities have big fundraising and communications departments with money to spend on professional filmmakers and copywriters. It is easy to feel daunted in the face of their storytelling might, but don’t be – local charities have stories that are just as powerful. Here’s some advice on capturing and telling great stories on a budget: Feel confident! The first thing to remember is to feel confident. You are operating right in the heart of your community. This means you see the impact of your work both firsthand and instantly. Unlike global or national organisations that often have head offices far away from their work, your stories are easy to access- they are right in front of you every day. Think about the ‘because’.  Stories don’t come from the ‘what’, they come from the ‘because’. What inspires people to volunteer or give is understanding the change and improvement their contribution can make. It is far more inspiring to read ‘Because of our meal service 68 old people in Wakefield will enjoy Christmas dinner with company this year’ than ‘we will deliver 68 meals on Christmas Day this year.’ Start thinking in terms of impact not intervention. Understand story structure. Storytelling is actually pretty formulaic and we learn story structure from a very early age. Good stories have a beginning, middle and end and more often than not they have a hero and a villain. For charity storytelling the beginning is the problem you are solving, the middle is what you are doing and the end is the change. The villain is the problem, the hero is you. If your stories have all three components and clearly show how the hero is conquering the villain you are doing well. Use free tools. There are many free storytelling tools and apps that can help you bring your work to life. Set up an Instagram account to share photo stories, use Audioboo for short interviews or Vine for short films. These are all really simple to use and can be connected to Twitter and Facebook so you can easily share your stories. Don’t miss the obvious. There are likely to be stories around you all the time that can bring your work to life. What does the 8-year-old enjoy about coming along to the community allotment on a Saturday? Ask them and snap a picture of them digging. What motivates that busy Mum to volunteer once a week? Ask her and you might uncover a really heartwarming story. Look for local expertise. You almost certainly have professional writers and filmmakers living in your area. Why not see if they want to volunteer a few hours or a day here and there to help you make professional films or to write some stories for your website or grant application forms.  Mile 91 uses words, pictures and film to help charities show the impact of their work on individuals, communities and the environments they live in. For regular tips on charity storytelling sign up to our blog: www.mile91.co.uk/blog/   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 Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar    
    Dec 15, 2015 1134
  • 08 Dec 2015
    Mike Zywina is an experienced fundraiser and the founder of Lime Green Consulting, providing affordable consultancy to smaller charities specialising in fundraising strategy, events management and individual giving. He is also a trustee for AbleChildAfrica and an ambassador for Good News Shared.  Did you know that the average email open rate in the charity sector is around 20%? This means that for every five people that you write to, four of them won't read it – and for many charities the numbers are worse than that. In the age of online content, we read things quickly in a spare moment and are accustomed to punchy and engaging information, otherwise we switch off. People tend to be on several charity mailing lists, so trying to make your charity newsletter get noticed can be a real challenge. The problem As my day job involves providing fundraising support to small charities, I have a natural interest in charity news. However, many smaller charities rely on the old-fashioned method of sending newsletters as a mass email with a PDF attachment, which can be really ineffective. If you’re doing this then not only are you missing an easy opportunity to engage your supporters better, you may not be aware of how little they are engaging. PDF newsletters tend to look flat, dated and uninspiring. If you have a lot to say, it’s difficult to present it in a way that is friendly for the reader – newsletters running across five or more pages can be daunting! They can also fail to create that important call to action – the reader simply reads a couple of stories then either deletes the newsletter or files it away. Manually sending out mass emails with a PDF attachment can take ages, especially if you have to do it in batches of 50 or 100 to avoid issues with your email provider. This is also a sure-fire way to trigger spam filters, so many emails won’t ever reach your supporters' inboxes. Yet you’ll be working in the dark because it’s impossible to know how many people are opening them, what they’re reading and what they like to see. The solution If all this sounds rather familiar to you, it’s time to start using email marketing software. There’s no need to worry, a lot of this software is cheap, quick and easy to set up. This little technology upgrade will enable you to manage your email subscribers, design newsletter templates and send them out in one click. There are many advantages: Design an engaging email template to use quickly every time. This will give your newsletters a much more consistent and professional feel. Send mailings at the touch of a button. They're gone in seconds, there's no need to send them in batches and there's far less risk of getting caught in any spam filters. Manage content between your newsletter and website. Including shorter stories in your newsletter with links to full articles on your website will make your mailings more engaging and digestible. You can also see how popular your content is by monitoring which stories people click through to read fully (see below). Your best content will achieve more as it will be seen by both your newsletter subscribers and website visitors. See crucial statistics at a glance. This software lets you easily see how many people opened your mailings, who clicked on links and how many email addresses bounced. You can start to build a picture of what type of content is most popular and follow up with individual supporters who, for example, click through to an events sign-up page. Save time. People can unsubscribe with one click and are removed from your mailing list automatically. New subscribers will automatically join your list ready for your next mailing (bear in mind that you may still need to update any separate database/CRM).   If you’re worried about the time and cost involved, you shouldn’t be. There are many great email marketing packages which are cheap or even free. For instance, Mailchimp - which I use myself for our Lime Green Consulting mailings - is completely free if you have less than 2,000 contacts, and prices start at £6 per month after that. If you can design a PDF newsletter or do basic web page editing, you’ll be capable of using the software. The small amount of time that you invest up front in getting to grips with it will be outweighed by the ongoing time and efficiency savings. There really is no excuse for persisting with PDF mailings – it’s time to get out of the dark ages!   For further advice on supporter communication and fundraising, please visit limegreenconsulting.co.uk or download our free fundraising helpsheets.   Found this blog post 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 Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay Parris How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar      
    2020 Posted by Mike Zywina
  • Mike Zywina is an experienced fundraiser and the founder of Lime Green Consulting, providing affordable consultancy to smaller charities specialising in fundraising strategy, events management and individual giving. He is also a trustee for AbleChildAfrica and an ambassador for Good News Shared.  Did you know that the average email open rate in the charity sector is around 20%? This means that for every five people that you write to, four of them won't read it – and for many charities the numbers are worse than that. In the age of online content, we read things quickly in a spare moment and are accustomed to punchy and engaging information, otherwise we switch off. People tend to be on several charity mailing lists, so trying to make your charity newsletter get noticed can be a real challenge. The problem As my day job involves providing fundraising support to small charities, I have a natural interest in charity news. However, many smaller charities rely on the old-fashioned method of sending newsletters as a mass email with a PDF attachment, which can be really ineffective. If you’re doing this then not only are you missing an easy opportunity to engage your supporters better, you may not be aware of how little they are engaging. PDF newsletters tend to look flat, dated and uninspiring. If you have a lot to say, it’s difficult to present it in a way that is friendly for the reader – newsletters running across five or more pages can be daunting! They can also fail to create that important call to action – the reader simply reads a couple of stories then either deletes the newsletter or files it away. Manually sending out mass emails with a PDF attachment can take ages, especially if you have to do it in batches of 50 or 100 to avoid issues with your email provider. This is also a sure-fire way to trigger spam filters, so many emails won’t ever reach your supporters' inboxes. Yet you’ll be working in the dark because it’s impossible to know how many people are opening them, what they’re reading and what they like to see. The solution If all this sounds rather familiar to you, it’s time to start using email marketing software. There’s no need to worry, a lot of this software is cheap, quick and easy to set up. This little technology upgrade will enable you to manage your email subscribers, design newsletter templates and send them out in one click. There are many advantages: Design an engaging email template to use quickly every time. This will give your newsletters a much more consistent and professional feel. Send mailings at the touch of a button. They're gone in seconds, there's no need to send them in batches and there's far less risk of getting caught in any spam filters. Manage content between your newsletter and website. Including shorter stories in your newsletter with links to full articles on your website will make your mailings more engaging and digestible. You can also see how popular your content is by monitoring which stories people click through to read fully (see below). Your best content will achieve more as it will be seen by both your newsletter subscribers and website visitors. See crucial statistics at a glance. This software lets you easily see how many people opened your mailings, who clicked on links and how many email addresses bounced. You can start to build a picture of what type of content is most popular and follow up with individual supporters who, for example, click through to an events sign-up page. Save time. People can unsubscribe with one click and are removed from your mailing list automatically. New subscribers will automatically join your list ready for your next mailing (bear in mind that you may still need to update any separate database/CRM).   If you’re worried about the time and cost involved, you shouldn’t be. There are many great email marketing packages which are cheap or even free. For instance, Mailchimp - which I use myself for our Lime Green Consulting mailings - is completely free if you have less than 2,000 contacts, and prices start at £6 per month after that. If you can design a PDF newsletter or do basic web page editing, you’ll be capable of using the software. The small amount of time that you invest up front in getting to grips with it will be outweighed by the ongoing time and efficiency savings. There really is no excuse for persisting with PDF mailings – it’s time to get out of the dark ages!   For further advice on supporter communication and fundraising, please visit limegreenconsulting.co.uk or download our free fundraising helpsheets.   Found this blog post 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 Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay Parris How Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar      
    Dec 08, 2015 2020
  • 02 Dec 2015
    On 8th December we will be launching our Christmas Top 40 appeal campaign, so this is the perfect opportunity for your group to create your first appeal page! How to create an appeal page Appeal pages work in a similar way to fundraising pages. They include target bars and the facility for your supporters to leave comments. Funds raised through these pages are defined within your reports, making tracking your donations quick and simple. Please click here for our 'How to create an Appeal page' resource with an easy step-by-step guide to help you set up your first appeal.   How to run a successful appeal campaign You can also click here for our 13 tips for running a successful appeal which takes you through everything from making your ask to thanking your supporters.   Christmas Top 40 campaign Our Christmas Top 40 campaign will be running between 8th December and 8th January and we will be awarding £100 to the first 40 groups to raise £100 through a Localgiving Appeal page. In addition to 40 prizes of £100, the appeal to raise the most money between the campaign start and end dates will win our bonus Top Spot Prize of £1,000! So, even if you aren’t ready to set up your page from the 8th December, you could still win the top prize over the month that the campaign is running. Please click here for our more information about the campaign.  Contact Us If you have any further questions or need any assitance please give us a call on 0300 111 2340 or email us on help@localgiving.com.
    1665 Posted by Fergus Simpson
  • On 8th December we will be launching our Christmas Top 40 appeal campaign, so this is the perfect opportunity for your group to create your first appeal page! How to create an appeal page Appeal pages work in a similar way to fundraising pages. They include target bars and the facility for your supporters to leave comments. Funds raised through these pages are defined within your reports, making tracking your donations quick and simple. Please click here for our 'How to create an Appeal page' resource with an easy step-by-step guide to help you set up your first appeal.   How to run a successful appeal campaign You can also click here for our 13 tips for running a successful appeal which takes you through everything from making your ask to thanking your supporters.   Christmas Top 40 campaign Our Christmas Top 40 campaign will be running between 8th December and 8th January and we will be awarding £100 to the first 40 groups to raise £100 through a Localgiving Appeal page. In addition to 40 prizes of £100, the appeal to raise the most money between the campaign start and end dates will win our bonus Top Spot Prize of £1,000! So, even if you aren’t ready to set up your page from the 8th December, you could still win the top prize over the month that the campaign is running. Please click here for our more information about the campaign.  Contact Us If you have any further questions or need any assitance please give us a call on 0300 111 2340 or email us on help@localgiving.com.
    Dec 02, 2015 1665
  • 30 Nov 2015
    Zoe Amar is Director of Zoe Amar Communications. She also writes for The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network about charities and digital marketing. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are amongst the biggest social networks, and your charity may well have a presence on them, however nascent. Their one downside is that they are now very crowded marketplaces. To stand out on Facebook you will have to invest in ads, which many small, local charities may not have the budget for. Whilst it’s vital to maintain a presence on global networks, the answer to true engagement may lie closer to home in hyperlocal social media. Hyperlocal sites, which are focused on targeted geographic segments, such as Birmingham Updates or Sheffield Forum, are a perfect fit for small charities. According to a recent report by Cardiff University and Nesta, there are more than 400 active hyperlocal websites in the UK, compared with 1,045 local papers. 17 per cent of people online in the UK visit hyperlocal websites or apps every week for news about their local area or community, and Ofcom have noted that this trend is set to rise. Such sites are most likely to cover community activities e.g. festivals, clubs and societies, local councils and the services they provide, but some feature investigative journalism about local news. Those aged 35-44 are more likely to have used hyperlocal. With all that in mind, more charities should tap into the power of hyperlocal. Anecdotally, hyperlocal sites are often the first place people look when they want to find out what is going on in their community, and Nesta reports that community events, services, local weather and traffic are the most popular content types. So how can small, local charities use these sites to build relationships with their local communities? 1. Understand your audience. Talk to people in your audience and find out where they get their information about what’s going on in your area. Is it the local paper? Or is there a blog for your area? Or a local mums’ group on Facebook? Establish where conversations are taking place and then join these forums to see what people are talking about. 2. Get to know the people behind the sites. Find out who runs your favourite hyperlocal sites. Like you, they are likely to be passionate about the place you live in and want to bring people together. Build a relationship with them and they will be much more likely to publicise what you do. 3. Look at how your charity could add value. As someone who’s advised many charities about how to use hyperlocal, I don’t recommend joining sites and broadcasting about your events or campaigns. Take time to understand how you can add value. For example, suppose you are organising a coffee morning. Give people a reason to come along as well as supporting a great cause, such as that it’s a nice rainy day activity for mums with children. This will help you establish a long term relationship. 4. Have a clear ask. How can your community help you? Do you want them to donate, volunteer, or use your services? Make sure you have a strong call to action and a good reason for people to take it. If your charity wants to campaign, fundraise or build a community around your brand in your community then hyperlocal could help you go a long way.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay Parris    
    2962 Posted by Zoe Amar
  • Zoe Amar is Director of Zoe Amar Communications. She also writes for The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network about charities and digital marketing. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are amongst the biggest social networks, and your charity may well have a presence on them, however nascent. Their one downside is that they are now very crowded marketplaces. To stand out on Facebook you will have to invest in ads, which many small, local charities may not have the budget for. Whilst it’s vital to maintain a presence on global networks, the answer to true engagement may lie closer to home in hyperlocal social media. Hyperlocal sites, which are focused on targeted geographic segments, such as Birmingham Updates or Sheffield Forum, are a perfect fit for small charities. According to a recent report by Cardiff University and Nesta, there are more than 400 active hyperlocal websites in the UK, compared with 1,045 local papers. 17 per cent of people online in the UK visit hyperlocal websites or apps every week for news about their local area or community, and Ofcom have noted that this trend is set to rise. Such sites are most likely to cover community activities e.g. festivals, clubs and societies, local councils and the services they provide, but some feature investigative journalism about local news. Those aged 35-44 are more likely to have used hyperlocal. With all that in mind, more charities should tap into the power of hyperlocal. Anecdotally, hyperlocal sites are often the first place people look when they want to find out what is going on in their community, and Nesta reports that community events, services, local weather and traffic are the most popular content types. So how can small, local charities use these sites to build relationships with their local communities? 1. Understand your audience. Talk to people in your audience and find out where they get their information about what’s going on in your area. Is it the local paper? Or is there a blog for your area? Or a local mums’ group on Facebook? Establish where conversations are taking place and then join these forums to see what people are talking about. 2. Get to know the people behind the sites. Find out who runs your favourite hyperlocal sites. Like you, they are likely to be passionate about the place you live in and want to bring people together. Build a relationship with them and they will be much more likely to publicise what you do. 3. Look at how your charity could add value. As someone who’s advised many charities about how to use hyperlocal, I don’t recommend joining sites and broadcasting about your events or campaigns. Take time to understand how you can add value. For example, suppose you are organising a coffee morning. Give people a reason to come along as well as supporting a great cause, such as that it’s a nice rainy day activity for mums with children. This will help you establish a long term relationship. 4. Have a clear ask. How can your community help you? Do you want them to donate, volunteer, or use your services? Make sure you have a strong call to action and a good reason for people to take it. If your charity wants to campaign, fundraise or build a community around your brand in your community then hyperlocal could help you go a long way.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:   Storytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroHow to make friend with the media by Kay Parris    
    Nov 30, 2015 2962
  • 30 Nov 2015
    Partnerships between local charities, businesses and larger organisations can have mutual benefits for all parties involved, but many local groups tell us they have a hard time making these partnerships a reality. Networking and finding the right people to engage with is crucial - whether your organisation is looking to secure extra funding, co-operate on service delivery or even pool resources.  Have you ever been asked for a specific name when phoning an organisation, rather than being able to be put through to a department, or a secretary of a Manager? It was something I constantly encountered and fell foul of working in my first Business Development job, before I discovered Linkedin. Now it’s a piece of cake to find out exactly who I need to speak to within a department of a company. I’ve even found tricks to use Linkedin for more than just searching for a name. There’s a kind of art to using the social media site and a respectability within business, which allows us to use it for networking. In this blog I’m going to share some of my Linkedin tricks, so you and your group can also benefit. I should start off by saying, that not everyone needs a Premium, paid for account, to make the most of Linkedin. Actually, very few people do. Despite what looks like an all singing all dancing resource, for many small charities and community groups with limited finances, a standard account will more than do. 1. Numbers count  One of the useful things to look for in a well networked contact is the number of connections they have. This will always show as “500+” on their profile, if you’re not connected. Connecting with these people can give you access to a huge range of people with expertise and knowledge that can really benefit your group. 2. Building your network  Connecting with one individual enables you to easily link with their colleagues, board members and other people with a close relationship to that company. Once you have this initial contact all of these other people become “2nd degree contacts”. As a result, you end up getting a branching effect, that after a while turns into a much wider network. 3. The higher the better? It is worth noting that the most senior members of an organisation are not always the decision makers. However, being linked to a Chairman, or CEO means you’re far more likely to be accepted as a Connection by those who are. 4. Board members are frequently members of multiple boards Linkedin can also be useful for approaching those senior members of an organisation. Establishing these links makes it far easier to ask them to support your cause, financially or otherwise at a later date. Board members are frequently members of multiple boards. Linking with these individuals will therefore give you access to numerous useful contacts across different organisations. 5. Groups Another excellent way to build your network, is to join relevant groups. In my experience, once you are in a group, speculative requests to connect are far more positively received. Moreover, using your group as a means to publish posts is a great way to become better known. 6. The all important Profile This brings me onto your profile itself. People will want to see if you could be a valuable connection to them. For this reason it's advisable to use the mantra of - if you wouldn’t put it on your CV, don’t put it on your profile. The same goes for your picture. Make it professional and explain what you’ve done in other roles, rather than just listing them. While I wouldn’t advocate putting every job you’ve ever had on your profile, a wide range of roles does help to link you to others. For some 2nd degree contacts and other wider contacts, your “Done Business With” drop down tab will allow you to send an invitation. 7. Sharing works for everyone One of the areas people often feel hesitant about is adding a connection who could be considered competition, be it for funding or clients. Don’t be! Generally speaking, while they will have access to your connections, you will also have access to theirs and that could be very valuable. Particularly in the charitable and voluntary sector, people often share knowledge. A partnership that could be useful to you, may already have been developed by a competitor who couldn’t make use of it themselves. Information sharing is useful to all of us. Of course all of this comes with a very large caveat that a partnership can never be purely online. What Linkedin does best is let you know a little about the person you want to speak to. Even if you’re simply looking up a job title on Google, putting in Linkedin at the end of your search could really help. Sometimes my first point of call is simply to search for a company in a geographical area to get an understanding of its structure and personnel. However you use Linkedin, it is a great thing to have in your networking armoury.
    1436 Posted by Katie Ford
  • Partnerships between local charities, businesses and larger organisations can have mutual benefits for all parties involved, but many local groups tell us they have a hard time making these partnerships a reality. Networking and finding the right people to engage with is crucial - whether your organisation is looking to secure extra funding, co-operate on service delivery or even pool resources.  Have you ever been asked for a specific name when phoning an organisation, rather than being able to be put through to a department, or a secretary of a Manager? It was something I constantly encountered and fell foul of working in my first Business Development job, before I discovered Linkedin. Now it’s a piece of cake to find out exactly who I need to speak to within a department of a company. I’ve even found tricks to use Linkedin for more than just searching for a name. There’s a kind of art to using the social media site and a respectability within business, which allows us to use it for networking. In this blog I’m going to share some of my Linkedin tricks, so you and your group can also benefit. I should start off by saying, that not everyone needs a Premium, paid for account, to make the most of Linkedin. Actually, very few people do. Despite what looks like an all singing all dancing resource, for many small charities and community groups with limited finances, a standard account will more than do. 1. Numbers count  One of the useful things to look for in a well networked contact is the number of connections they have. This will always show as “500+” on their profile, if you’re not connected. Connecting with these people can give you access to a huge range of people with expertise and knowledge that can really benefit your group. 2. Building your network  Connecting with one individual enables you to easily link with their colleagues, board members and other people with a close relationship to that company. Once you have this initial contact all of these other people become “2nd degree contacts”. As a result, you end up getting a branching effect, that after a while turns into a much wider network. 3. The higher the better? It is worth noting that the most senior members of an organisation are not always the decision makers. However, being linked to a Chairman, or CEO means you’re far more likely to be accepted as a Connection by those who are. 4. Board members are frequently members of multiple boards Linkedin can also be useful for approaching those senior members of an organisation. Establishing these links makes it far easier to ask them to support your cause, financially or otherwise at a later date. Board members are frequently members of multiple boards. Linking with these individuals will therefore give you access to numerous useful contacts across different organisations. 5. Groups Another excellent way to build your network, is to join relevant groups. In my experience, once you are in a group, speculative requests to connect are far more positively received. Moreover, using your group as a means to publish posts is a great way to become better known. 6. The all important Profile This brings me onto your profile itself. People will want to see if you could be a valuable connection to them. For this reason it's advisable to use the mantra of - if you wouldn’t put it on your CV, don’t put it on your profile. The same goes for your picture. Make it professional and explain what you’ve done in other roles, rather than just listing them. While I wouldn’t advocate putting every job you’ve ever had on your profile, a wide range of roles does help to link you to others. For some 2nd degree contacts and other wider contacts, your “Done Business With” drop down tab will allow you to send an invitation. 7. Sharing works for everyone One of the areas people often feel hesitant about is adding a connection who could be considered competition, be it for funding or clients. Don’t be! Generally speaking, while they will have access to your connections, you will also have access to theirs and that could be very valuable. Particularly in the charitable and voluntary sector, people often share knowledge. A partnership that could be useful to you, may already have been developed by a competitor who couldn’t make use of it themselves. Information sharing is useful to all of us. Of course all of this comes with a very large caveat that a partnership can never be purely online. What Linkedin does best is let you know a little about the person you want to speak to. Even if you’re simply looking up a job title on Google, putting in Linkedin at the end of your search could really help. Sometimes my first point of call is simply to search for a company in a geographical area to get an understanding of its structure and personnel. However you use Linkedin, it is a great thing to have in your networking armoury.
    Nov 30, 2015 1436
  • 18 Nov 2015
    With #GivingTuesday just around the corner, there’s no better time to get your social media pages up to date and to make it simpler for your supporters to donate! One really useful recent update made by Facebook allows you to add a free “Donate Now” button to the top of your organisation’s Facebook page. By linking the button to your Localgiving donation page, you can make it easier for supporters to give. To help you benefit from this, we thought we’d give you a little advice on how to get started. Firstly, you need to make sure that your Facebook page is set up under the category “non-profit organization”. If your page is currently set up as something else, you can change its category by following this quick guide from Facebook. To add the “Donate Now” Button just follow these simple instructions: 1) Go to your Page’s cover photo and click “Create Call to Action”. 2) This will give you a list of possible “Call to Action” buttons. Scroll through these buttons and choose “Donate Now”.                3) Below this list you will see a box with the title “Website”. This is where you need to add the URL of your Localgiving page. We recommend that you add your donation page URL here. This way your donors will only be one click away from donating! To find your Donation Page URL first open your Localgiving page in a new tab and then click on the “Donate Now” button at the top right of the page.                                                                                                                                                             When you are on this page simply copy the URL in the address bar.     Then paste the URL into the box titled “Website”.   4) Once your URL is written in this box, all you need to do is click “Create” and, Voila, your “Donate Now” Button will be live!     Once your “Donate Button” is active you can even find out how many people have clicked on it. Just click on the button, hover over “view Insights” and you will see a graph showing how many people have clicked on each of the last 7 days.So, now you are fully equipped with a shiny new “Donate Now” Button – it’s time to tell your supporters. Why not encourage them to donate £5 through Facebook on December 1st as part of our #GiveMe5 match fund campaign!   Found this Blog 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 friend with the media by Kay Parris Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield    
    3135 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • With #GivingTuesday just around the corner, there’s no better time to get your social media pages up to date and to make it simpler for your supporters to donate! One really useful recent update made by Facebook allows you to add a free “Donate Now” button to the top of your organisation’s Facebook page. By linking the button to your Localgiving donation page, you can make it easier for supporters to give. To help you benefit from this, we thought we’d give you a little advice on how to get started. Firstly, you need to make sure that your Facebook page is set up under the category “non-profit organization”. If your page is currently set up as something else, you can change its category by following this quick guide from Facebook. To add the “Donate Now” Button just follow these simple instructions: 1) Go to your Page’s cover photo and click “Create Call to Action”. 2) This will give you a list of possible “Call to Action” buttons. Scroll through these buttons and choose “Donate Now”.                3) Below this list you will see a box with the title “Website”. This is where you need to add the URL of your Localgiving page. We recommend that you add your donation page URL here. This way your donors will only be one click away from donating! To find your Donation Page URL first open your Localgiving page in a new tab and then click on the “Donate Now” button at the top right of the page.                                                                                                                                                             When you are on this page simply copy the URL in the address bar.     Then paste the URL into the box titled “Website”.   4) Once your URL is written in this box, all you need to do is click “Create” and, Voila, your “Donate Now” Button will be live!     Once your “Donate Button” is active you can even find out how many people have clicked on it. Just click on the button, hover over “view Insights” and you will see a graph showing how many people have clicked on each of the last 7 days.So, now you are fully equipped with a shiny new “Donate Now” Button – it’s time to tell your supporters. Why not encourage them to donate £5 through Facebook on December 1st as part of our #GiveMe5 match fund campaign!   Found this Blog 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 friend with the media by Kay Parris Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan Hatfield    
    Nov 18, 2015 3135
  • 16 Nov 2015
    Will Knock is Operations Manager at Diversity Role Models, a national homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying charity. This week (16-20 November) is Anti-Bullying Week, which is a key moment in the year for Diversity Role Models. We deliver pupil workshops and teacher training in schools to tackle the root causes of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. This year for Anti-Bullying Week, we’ve launched a new fundraising campaign. But creating an engaging campaign is a challenge for small charities like us. We don’t have dedicated marketers, we don’t have a huge budget, and we can only commit limited staff time to it. So here are the three key questions that we asked ourselves and found helped us to build our campaign without spending too much money or time. What content can you reuse or repurpose? It would be amazing to create lots of new multimedia content for a campaign, but it’s often not possible. So we began by asking what we could repurpose. This helped us identify three professionally-produced videos of our volunteer role models telling their stories that we’ve recently completed for a different project. Using stories like Ryan’s adds emotional weight to our campaign and gives us something to build it around. Most small charities have great existing content. Think about what you already have as a quick, cheap and easy way to start building a campaign. What new content can you easily create? Reusing content is great, but it still helps to have new content for a campaign. It doesn’t have to take hours or money to produce; there’s lots that can be produced quickly. For our campaign, we’ve taken supportive quotes from our patrons and turned them into quote pictures using a tool behappy.me. It’s a quick way to create new content that can be shared. How can you use social media effectively? Using social media effectively helps extend the reach of a campaign. But it does take some forethought. We started with our patrons, who have far more followers than us. So think about who could usefully share your campaign and ask them in advance. Be as specific as possible, including writing a suggested tweet and when you’d like them to post it. We also wanted to help donors engage beyond just giving money. We put in place a simple mechanism for them to leave their messages of support, which we’ll be sharing on social media all week. The aim of all this is to create a buzz on social media, get people sharing what’s going on and inspire them to be part of it. Learn from what you do So those are just a few thoughts of what we’ve found helpful in getting ready for this week’s campaign. Some of it will work, some of it might not. When the campaign’s over, we’ll be sure to evaluate it. That way we’ll be able to identify what worked and what didn’t. We’ll repeat what worked, and for the rest we’ll keep experimenting until we find something that does. You can find out more about Diversity Role Models on their website, where you’ll also find their Anti-Bullying Week campaign page.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroBig Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge    
    1388 Posted by Will Knock
  • Will Knock is Operations Manager at Diversity Role Models, a national homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying charity. This week (16-20 November) is Anti-Bullying Week, which is a key moment in the year for Diversity Role Models. We deliver pupil workshops and teacher training in schools to tackle the root causes of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. This year for Anti-Bullying Week, we’ve launched a new fundraising campaign. But creating an engaging campaign is a challenge for small charities like us. We don’t have dedicated marketers, we don’t have a huge budget, and we can only commit limited staff time to it. So here are the three key questions that we asked ourselves and found helped us to build our campaign without spending too much money or time. What content can you reuse or repurpose? It would be amazing to create lots of new multimedia content for a campaign, but it’s often not possible. So we began by asking what we could repurpose. This helped us identify three professionally-produced videos of our volunteer role models telling their stories that we’ve recently completed for a different project. Using stories like Ryan’s adds emotional weight to our campaign and gives us something to build it around. Most small charities have great existing content. Think about what you already have as a quick, cheap and easy way to start building a campaign. What new content can you easily create? Reusing content is great, but it still helps to have new content for a campaign. It doesn’t have to take hours or money to produce; there’s lots that can be produced quickly. For our campaign, we’ve taken supportive quotes from our patrons and turned them into quote pictures using a tool behappy.me. It’s a quick way to create new content that can be shared. How can you use social media effectively? Using social media effectively helps extend the reach of a campaign. But it does take some forethought. We started with our patrons, who have far more followers than us. So think about who could usefully share your campaign and ask them in advance. Be as specific as possible, including writing a suggested tweet and when you’d like them to post it. We also wanted to help donors engage beyond just giving money. We put in place a simple mechanism for them to leave their messages of support, which we’ll be sharing on social media all week. The aim of all this is to create a buzz on social media, get people sharing what’s going on and inspire them to be part of it. Learn from what you do So those are just a few thoughts of what we’ve found helpful in getting ready for this week’s campaign. Some of it will work, some of it might not. When the campaign’s over, we’ll be sure to evaluate it. That way we’ll be able to identify what worked and what didn’t. We’ll repeat what worked, and for the rest we’ll keep experimenting until we find something that does. You can find out more about Diversity Role Models on their website, where you’ll also find their Anti-Bullying Week campaign page.   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroBig Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge    
    Nov 16, 2015 1388
  • 10 Nov 2015
    There is a real sense of excitement when you see donations being made to local groups, especially when you have the connection with them to know the impact those donations will have – whether that’s the ability to pay for new uniforms for staff, helping to pay the rent on their building or paying for a training programme. Our September Match-fund was particularly exciting for me because it was the first campaign I have been involved in since taking up the post of Localgiving Coordinator in Northern  Ireland. For some groups, this was the first time they had ever fundraised online, while others were seasoned pros. In all cases, the enthusiasm was palpable. To those organisations hesitant about online fundraising, here are my top myth-busting pieces of advice: You don’t need masses of time to fundraise online We provide you with as many resources and all the support you need to get started.One thing we know for sure – groups do not need more work when they are already busy with service provision -doing what they do best! That’s why Localgiving try to make it as simple as possible for our members. St John Bosco Community Association told us that we made it “simple and easy” and there was no extra workload for them! That’s our aim! You don’t need your own specific campaign Although it can help improve your reach, we can work through ideas with you.  One of the main benefits of the match fund opportunity is that it gives organisations and groups a ready-made campaign to connect in to and it changes the narrative of their fundraising asks. Some groups said they feel hesitant in asking their supporters for donations unless it was for a specific issue or project. We heard from An Droichead that the campaign helped them to focus on their financial capabilities and really motivated their staff and volunteers to get involved in the fundraising effort. You don’t need to be a big charity to benefit Some groups are solely volunteer led and most work within small communities.  Northern Ireland Children’s Enterprise told us of their surprise at how easy it was for small organisations to get donations - ‘normally you associate online fundraising with big national charities but it was so well organised that small organisations like us were able to get involved’. You don’t need to be a techy whizz Whether you’re a digi-dynamo or tech-trainee, anyone can get involved with online fundraising. Localgiving work with groups with a wide spectrum of technological abilities. One of our aims is to increase confidence and capabilities among our members when it comes to using technology, digital media and our own website. This will increase the reach of your group and hopefully increase the amount of donations coming your way! Getting to know and understand the work you and other local groups across Northern Ireland are doing has been truly inspiring. I am excited about supporting you in future, particularly helping you improve your fundraising capabilities, enabling you to do what you do best, even better!             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 you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma Beeston   Both images are courtesy of Northern Ireland Children's Enterprise
    1530 Posted by Sian O'Neill
  • There is a real sense of excitement when you see donations being made to local groups, especially when you have the connection with them to know the impact those donations will have – whether that’s the ability to pay for new uniforms for staff, helping to pay the rent on their building or paying for a training programme. Our September Match-fund was particularly exciting for me because it was the first campaign I have been involved in since taking up the post of Localgiving Coordinator in Northern  Ireland. For some groups, this was the first time they had ever fundraised online, while others were seasoned pros. In all cases, the enthusiasm was palpable. To those organisations hesitant about online fundraising, here are my top myth-busting pieces of advice: You don’t need masses of time to fundraise online We provide you with as many resources and all the support you need to get started.One thing we know for sure – groups do not need more work when they are already busy with service provision -doing what they do best! That’s why Localgiving try to make it as simple as possible for our members. St John Bosco Community Association told us that we made it “simple and easy” and there was no extra workload for them! That’s our aim! You don’t need your own specific campaign Although it can help improve your reach, we can work through ideas with you.  One of the main benefits of the match fund opportunity is that it gives organisations and groups a ready-made campaign to connect in to and it changes the narrative of their fundraising asks. Some groups said they feel hesitant in asking their supporters for donations unless it was for a specific issue or project. We heard from An Droichead that the campaign helped them to focus on their financial capabilities and really motivated their staff and volunteers to get involved in the fundraising effort. You don’t need to be a big charity to benefit Some groups are solely volunteer led and most work within small communities.  Northern Ireland Children’s Enterprise told us of their surprise at how easy it was for small organisations to get donations - ‘normally you associate online fundraising with big national charities but it was so well organised that small organisations like us were able to get involved’. You don’t need to be a techy whizz Whether you’re a digi-dynamo or tech-trainee, anyone can get involved with online fundraising. Localgiving work with groups with a wide spectrum of technological abilities. One of our aims is to increase confidence and capabilities among our members when it comes to using technology, digital media and our own website. This will increase the reach of your group and hopefully increase the amount of donations coming your way! Getting to know and understand the work you and other local groups across Northern Ireland are doing has been truly inspiring. I am excited about supporting you in future, particularly helping you improve your fundraising capabilities, enabling you to do what you do best, even better!             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 you Pitch for the Elevator by Emma Beeston   Both images are courtesy of Northern Ireland Children's Enterprise
    Nov 10, 2015 1530