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  • 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.
    1529 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 1529
  • 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    
    2826 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 2826
  • 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.
    1376 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 1376
  • 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    
    2953 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 2953
  • 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    
    1274 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 1274
  • 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
    1440 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 1440
  • 09 Nov 2015
    With only three weeks to go until #GivingTuesday, now is the time to decide which groups or causes your company are supporting and, importantly, to dust off those fancy dress costumes stuffed behind the resource cupboard! #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. It is about showing that you care about important causes and about your local community. It is also about getting involved and having fun! Having started in the U.S in 2012, this worldwide phenomenon aims to utilise the power of social media to bring about real change. This movement brings people together across diverse sectors of society to celebrate and encourage charitable giving. Why you should get involved? Last year Localgiving raised an incredible £55,000 through public donations and had an amazing time doing it. This year we really want our corporate partners to share in this experience.  With a little bit of effort and a big dose of fun, together we can raise awareness and money for local charities across the UK. Where should we start? On December the 1st Localgiving are running a campaign called #GiveMe5. We are pledging to double 1,000 x £5 donations made on the day. As a business you can use your corporate profile and image to support local charities and causes you care about.  You can add your logo to our list of partners, HERE.  In doing so you will pledge to promote #GiveMe5 on #GivingTuesday. Encourage your staff to get involved and to use social media to promote the charity they’re supporting via our #GiveMe5 campaign. If you or your staff haven’t yet chosen a charity, you can easily find a group in your local area HERE. We literally want to see a show of hands!  Show who you’re supporting on #GivingTuesday with a  #GiveMe5 selfie - let your friends, clients, local community and the world know you care about local charities. What can we do in the office on the day? Here are just a few ideas for what you and your office can do to raise money through #GiveMe5 on December 1st 2015. Donate an hour Each staff member can donate the equivalent of one hour’s salary to a local charity through #GiveMe5. If your hour’s salary is £15 then you can make 3 x £5 donations to a charity of your choice. Give up and donate Can’t do without your daily cappuccino, croissant or crisps? Give up an item for 5 days and donate what you would have spent to a local charity. Remember to round up to the nearest £5 to ensure your donation is included in #GiveMe5! Feed your office; let them know it's Giving Time! Ask all of your employees to bring in one dish for an extended lunch or evening party. Each member of staff then donates £5 (the average price of lunch) to a local charity on Localgiving through #GiveMe5 The Giveaway SELL, SELL, SELL!! Encourage your employees to sell things they don’t need any more online for £5 and donate the money to a local charity on Localgiving Office quiz night Is there an Archimedes in HR? a da Vinci on Front Desk? See who’s the smartest with a classic office showdown. Everyone who takes part pays £5 to enter and the winner chooses a local charity or multiple charities to make £5 donations to. Fancy Dress Can you guess who Dave from Finance is supposed to be? Leo Sayer or Maroune Fellaini? Everyone donates £5 to take part (or not to for the more self-conscious folk) Of course, these are just our ideas; we look forward to seeing what you do on the day itself. And remember, in order to have a truly lasting impact on local charities and community groups we need to think beyond #GiveMe5 and towards providing future funding opportunities and key skills training. Our programmes and campaigns require significant resources. Through making a Corporate Donation to Localgiving you can help us make a tangible difference to communities across the UK. To discuss this further you can contact me on: darren.hall@localgiving.com     Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandThe Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroBig Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge    
    2300 Posted by Darren Hall
  • With only three weeks to go until #GivingTuesday, now is the time to decide which groups or causes your company are supporting and, importantly, to dust off those fancy dress costumes stuffed behind the resource cupboard! #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. It is about showing that you care about important causes and about your local community. It is also about getting involved and having fun! Having started in the U.S in 2012, this worldwide phenomenon aims to utilise the power of social media to bring about real change. This movement brings people together across diverse sectors of society to celebrate and encourage charitable giving. Why you should get involved? Last year Localgiving raised an incredible £55,000 through public donations and had an amazing time doing it. This year we really want our corporate partners to share in this experience.  With a little bit of effort and a big dose of fun, together we can raise awareness and money for local charities across the UK. Where should we start? On December the 1st Localgiving are running a campaign called #GiveMe5. We are pledging to double 1,000 x £5 donations made on the day. As a business you can use your corporate profile and image to support local charities and causes you care about.  You can add your logo to our list of partners, HERE.  In doing so you will pledge to promote #GiveMe5 on #GivingTuesday. Encourage your staff to get involved and to use social media to promote the charity they’re supporting via our #GiveMe5 campaign. If you or your staff haven’t yet chosen a charity, you can easily find a group in your local area HERE. We literally want to see a show of hands!  Show who you’re supporting on #GivingTuesday with a  #GiveMe5 selfie - let your friends, clients, local community and the world know you care about local charities. What can we do in the office on the day? Here are just a few ideas for what you and your office can do to raise money through #GiveMe5 on December 1st 2015. Donate an hour Each staff member can donate the equivalent of one hour’s salary to a local charity through #GiveMe5. If your hour’s salary is £15 then you can make 3 x £5 donations to a charity of your choice. Give up and donate Can’t do without your daily cappuccino, croissant or crisps? Give up an item for 5 days and donate what you would have spent to a local charity. Remember to round up to the nearest £5 to ensure your donation is included in #GiveMe5! Feed your office; let them know it's Giving Time! Ask all of your employees to bring in one dish for an extended lunch or evening party. Each member of staff then donates £5 (the average price of lunch) to a local charity on Localgiving through #GiveMe5 The Giveaway SELL, SELL, SELL!! Encourage your employees to sell things they don’t need any more online for £5 and donate the money to a local charity on Localgiving Office quiz night Is there an Archimedes in HR? a da Vinci on Front Desk? See who’s the smartest with a classic office showdown. Everyone who takes part pays £5 to enter and the winner chooses a local charity or multiple charities to make £5 donations to. Fancy Dress Can you guess who Dave from Finance is supposed to be? Leo Sayer or Maroune Fellaini? Everyone donates £5 to take part (or not to for the more self-conscious folk) Of course, these are just our ideas; we look forward to seeing what you do on the day itself. And remember, in order to have a truly lasting impact on local charities and community groups we need to think beyond #GiveMe5 and towards providing future funding opportunities and key skills training. Our programmes and campaigns require significant resources. Through making a Corporate Donation to Localgiving you can help us make a tangible difference to communities across the UK. To discuss this further you can contact me on: darren.hall@localgiving.com     Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep by Lewis GarlandThe Sky is the limit for daring Granny WendyDawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroBig Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge    
    Nov 09, 2015 2300
  • 04 Nov 2015
    Richard Barker is the Marketing Manager at Bradford based Web Design Company Harrison Mann. He founded @CharityHourUK on Twitter and has been involved in over 50 charity events for charities close to his heart in Yorkshire. If you represent a charity and haven't yet discovered the Twitter Hour then you're missing out! You're missing out promotion and publicity for sure, but more importantly you’re also missing out on people. A Twitter Hour allows you to build relationships that could be vital to the success of the important work that you do. If you’ve not used a Twitter Hour before, it's simply a pre-arranged hour for a sector - or any specific group of like-minded people - to get together and talk about issues important to them. Complete with their own hashtag, they are accessible, browsable and chock-full of incredible links and relevant discussions. It's like joining a think tank for an hour from the comfort of your sofa! Why Charity Hour? @CharityHourUK is the immensely popular Twitter Hour for those of us involved in the charity sector, as well people looking to raise awareness of charity fundraising events. You can be assured of proper moderation and tip-top discussions with people from all over the UK sharing tips and advice. Meeting every Wednesday evening from 8-9pm with the hashtag #charityhour, it’s easy to get involved and well worth following. Each charity hour is broken up by five thought-provoking questions for you to get your teeth stuck into. With the creative juices flowing, you can be sure that the interactions will be well worth participating in. How Will You Benefit from Charity Hour? Here’s some reasons why you should get involved: 1. Network and build relationships The three most important words in running any successful charity are people, people and people. There is nothing more valuable than building relationships with supporters, the public, your beneficiaries and other like-minded individuals. Charity hour unlocks the doors to these people. 2. Promote and educate Charity hour gives you a platform to share information and create awareness about the important work that your charity does. It is a great space to educate people about the specific needs that you are trying to meet. 3. Get answers to relevant questions By taking part in the discussions you can find sector experts willing to share their wisdom on issues pertinent to you. You can ask questions, poke through responses and gain insight. Twitter Hour Etiquette For both yourself and everybody else to get the most out of the Charity Hour, here are some simple things for you to think about: 1. Don’t forget to add the Charity Hour hashtag! A hashtag is like eye-contact - it lets everybody know that you want to get involved. Add it into your relevant tweets during the hour so your comments don’t disappear into the twit void. 2. Get involved As tempting as it is to sit on the sidelines, don’t! A fly-on-the-wall will not get much out of the experience. Respond to questions, ask more questions, retweet, mention and get stuck in. Try to stay on topic, remain focused and don’t go on too many tangents. 3. Be friendly, open and have fun Approaching the hour with an open-minded sense of fun, a polite and friendly demeanour, and above all a teachable spirit will help you and others get the very most out of it. Don't be a troll. Do chat with people as if you were sat across the table from them with a cappuccino. 4. Prepare and add value Do your part before #charityhour by using social media to include your supporters. This will help you have the biggest impact locally among your contacts. At the same time this will increase interaction traffic and add value for everybody. So get promoting, blogging, tagging and sharing. Get Involved Charity Hour is a tremendous opportunity for you to develop as a Charity. However Charity Hour is just one of the many Twitter Chats out there. So find local twitter hours in your town, city, county or country and get involved with them. Make people aware of your charity and try and create partnerships with companies and people who may want to fundraise for your charity. But whatever you do just remember that each Twitter Hour is all about interacting and discussions. People are behind each account so get to know everyone and enjoy them!   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    2028 Posted by Richard Barker
  • Richard Barker is the Marketing Manager at Bradford based Web Design Company Harrison Mann. He founded @CharityHourUK on Twitter and has been involved in over 50 charity events for charities close to his heart in Yorkshire. If you represent a charity and haven't yet discovered the Twitter Hour then you're missing out! You're missing out promotion and publicity for sure, but more importantly you’re also missing out on people. A Twitter Hour allows you to build relationships that could be vital to the success of the important work that you do. If you’ve not used a Twitter Hour before, it's simply a pre-arranged hour for a sector - or any specific group of like-minded people - to get together and talk about issues important to them. Complete with their own hashtag, they are accessible, browsable and chock-full of incredible links and relevant discussions. It's like joining a think tank for an hour from the comfort of your sofa! Why Charity Hour? @CharityHourUK is the immensely popular Twitter Hour for those of us involved in the charity sector, as well people looking to raise awareness of charity fundraising events. You can be assured of proper moderation and tip-top discussions with people from all over the UK sharing tips and advice. Meeting every Wednesday evening from 8-9pm with the hashtag #charityhour, it’s easy to get involved and well worth following. Each charity hour is broken up by five thought-provoking questions for you to get your teeth stuck into. With the creative juices flowing, you can be sure that the interactions will be well worth participating in. How Will You Benefit from Charity Hour? Here’s some reasons why you should get involved: 1. Network and build relationships The three most important words in running any successful charity are people, people and people. There is nothing more valuable than building relationships with supporters, the public, your beneficiaries and other like-minded individuals. Charity hour unlocks the doors to these people. 2. Promote and educate Charity hour gives you a platform to share information and create awareness about the important work that your charity does. It is a great space to educate people about the specific needs that you are trying to meet. 3. Get answers to relevant questions By taking part in the discussions you can find sector experts willing to share their wisdom on issues pertinent to you. You can ask questions, poke through responses and gain insight. Twitter Hour Etiquette For both yourself and everybody else to get the most out of the Charity Hour, here are some simple things for you to think about: 1. Don’t forget to add the Charity Hour hashtag! A hashtag is like eye-contact - it lets everybody know that you want to get involved. Add it into your relevant tweets during the hour so your comments don’t disappear into the twit void. 2. Get involved As tempting as it is to sit on the sidelines, don’t! A fly-on-the-wall will not get much out of the experience. Respond to questions, ask more questions, retweet, mention and get stuck in. Try to stay on topic, remain focused and don’t go on too many tangents. 3. Be friendly, open and have fun Approaching the hour with an open-minded sense of fun, a polite and friendly demeanour, and above all a teachable spirit will help you and others get the very most out of it. Don't be a troll. Do chat with people as if you were sat across the table from them with a cappuccino. 4. Prepare and add value Do your part before #charityhour by using social media to include your supporters. This will help you have the biggest impact locally among your contacts. At the same time this will increase interaction traffic and add value for everybody. So get promoting, blogging, tagging and sharing. Get Involved Charity Hour is a tremendous opportunity for you to develop as a Charity. However Charity Hour is just one of the many Twitter Chats out there. So find local twitter hours in your town, city, county or country and get involved with them. Make people aware of your charity and try and create partnerships with companies and people who may want to fundraise for your charity. But whatever you do just remember that each Twitter Hour is all about interacting and discussions. People are behind each account so get to know everyone and enjoy them!   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    The Power of Storytelling: Six Top Tips by Mike Zywina  Get your charity’s voice heard by Duncan HatfieldHow Charities can tap into the hyperlocal by Zoe Amar  
    Nov 04, 2015 2028
  • 02 Nov 2015
    Data protection, the secret to a lasting donor relationship Over the summer the charity sector was faced with a host of uncomfortable headlines. This has rightfully led to some deep soul searching. Data protection was one area which was subject to particular scrutiny. Localgiving feel strongly about the need to protect donors. For this reason, we recently compiled a simple help sheet aimed at improving your understanding of how the Data Protection Act applies to charities and community groups. Make sure you take a look so that you know what you need to do to protect donor’s personal information and ensure you don’t break the rules when sending out marketing communications. If you’ve seen our help sheet for data protection, and you understand what you can and can’t do, read on for some practical tips to make it easier to do the right thing. 1. Create a simple donor database to help you keep things up to date We strongly recommend creating a donor database to keep your information accurate and up to date. Any basic spreadsheet software programme such as MS Excel can be used to easily do this. All you need to do is create a table with at least 3 columns like the one shown below:   Each time you get a new donor you can just add their information to the next row in the table. Then make sure you keep this up to date with any changes that your donors let you know about. If they tell you they no longer wish to receive communications from you then you need to update their record in this table.  You can also record more information in this database about your donors - for example their address or telephone number and the number of times or amount they have donated to you. Just make sure you keep things up to date. You can download our template to help you get started with managing your communications here. If you have a Localgiving account you can use the marketing report available in the “My Donations section” as a basis for your donor database. You can download it regularly to see if there have been any changes. Don’t forget if a donor has contacted you directly to say they don’t want your to contact them, you should not send them any more marketing information, even if they haven’t updated their Localgiving record. 2. Check your donor database before you send out marketing communications When you would like to send out an email to your donors you should check your new donor database to make sure you are not contacting people who have said they don’t want to be contacted. 3. Always ask donor’s permission before sending them marketing communications You should always ask new donors whether they are happy to receive future marketing communications from you when they first donate. If they donate to you directly you must ask their permission. Include a statement similar to the one on the right on forms your donor fills in. If they donate through Localgiving we will have already asked them. If they agreed, their contact details will be shown in the marketing report. 4. Include simple instructions for opting out of future messages in all marketing communications You should explain how your donors can opt out of future marketing messages each time you contact them. For example include a statement at the bottom of all your emails to say: “If you no longer wish to hear from our fundraising team please reply to this email and we will remove you from our mailing list”. You should make sure you update your donor database each time someone tells you they don’t want to be contacted anymore. 5. Protect donor’s personal information when sending out email marketing If you are using a simple email client like Gmail to contact your donors, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally share your donor’s email address with everyone on your mailing list by adding all the email to the “To” or “Cc” field.     You can do this easily by using the “Bcc” function when sending out an email. Put your organisation’s email in the “To” box and then add your donor’s email address to the “Bcc” box. This will ensure that each donor can only see their own email address.  6. Make sure everyone in your organisation understands their responsibilities to protect donor’s personal information Don’t forget to make sure that everyone in your organisation knows what they need to do. Everyone should follow data protection rules when it comes to sending marketing information to your donors. Always provide training to new employees and make sure to offer refresher training to existing employees at regular intervals.  --- This blog post is intended to help small charities and community groups get started with Data Protection. For more detailed information and advice specifically aimed at charities please visit the ICO website here.
    1291 Posted by Louise Boyd
  • Data protection, the secret to a lasting donor relationship Over the summer the charity sector was faced with a host of uncomfortable headlines. This has rightfully led to some deep soul searching. Data protection was one area which was subject to particular scrutiny. Localgiving feel strongly about the need to protect donors. For this reason, we recently compiled a simple help sheet aimed at improving your understanding of how the Data Protection Act applies to charities and community groups. Make sure you take a look so that you know what you need to do to protect donor’s personal information and ensure you don’t break the rules when sending out marketing communications. If you’ve seen our help sheet for data protection, and you understand what you can and can’t do, read on for some practical tips to make it easier to do the right thing. 1. Create a simple donor database to help you keep things up to date We strongly recommend creating a donor database to keep your information accurate and up to date. Any basic spreadsheet software programme such as MS Excel can be used to easily do this. All you need to do is create a table with at least 3 columns like the one shown below:   Each time you get a new donor you can just add their information to the next row in the table. Then make sure you keep this up to date with any changes that your donors let you know about. If they tell you they no longer wish to receive communications from you then you need to update their record in this table.  You can also record more information in this database about your donors - for example their address or telephone number and the number of times or amount they have donated to you. Just make sure you keep things up to date. You can download our template to help you get started with managing your communications here. If you have a Localgiving account you can use the marketing report available in the “My Donations section” as a basis for your donor database. You can download it regularly to see if there have been any changes. Don’t forget if a donor has contacted you directly to say they don’t want your to contact them, you should not send them any more marketing information, even if they haven’t updated their Localgiving record. 2. Check your donor database before you send out marketing communications When you would like to send out an email to your donors you should check your new donor database to make sure you are not contacting people who have said they don’t want to be contacted. 3. Always ask donor’s permission before sending them marketing communications You should always ask new donors whether they are happy to receive future marketing communications from you when they first donate. If they donate to you directly you must ask their permission. Include a statement similar to the one on the right on forms your donor fills in. If they donate through Localgiving we will have already asked them. If they agreed, their contact details will be shown in the marketing report. 4. Include simple instructions for opting out of future messages in all marketing communications You should explain how your donors can opt out of future marketing messages each time you contact them. For example include a statement at the bottom of all your emails to say: “If you no longer wish to hear from our fundraising team please reply to this email and we will remove you from our mailing list”. You should make sure you update your donor database each time someone tells you they don’t want to be contacted anymore. 5. Protect donor’s personal information when sending out email marketing If you are using a simple email client like Gmail to contact your donors, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally share your donor’s email address with everyone on your mailing list by adding all the email to the “To” or “Cc” field.     You can do this easily by using the “Bcc” function when sending out an email. Put your organisation’s email in the “To” box and then add your donor’s email address to the “Bcc” box. This will ensure that each donor can only see their own email address.  6. Make sure everyone in your organisation understands their responsibilities to protect donor’s personal information Don’t forget to make sure that everyone in your organisation knows what they need to do. Everyone should follow data protection rules when it comes to sending marketing information to your donors. Always provide training to new employees and make sure to offer refresher training to existing employees at regular intervals.  --- This blog post is intended to help small charities and community groups get started with Data Protection. For more detailed information and advice specifically aimed at charities please visit the ICO website here.
    Nov 02, 2015 1291
  • 27 Oct 2015
    Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. There’s been a lot of excitement this week about the new Star Wars film. But this blog is not about that, although it is about Yoda. Yoda and charities.OK, let me explain. I want you to walk with me around London’s Trafalgar Square, let’s say at around 10 on a weekday morning. What do you see? A bit of a crowd of tourists about to head into the National Gallery maybe? Some others taking selfies by the fountains? Maybe an artist has begun a chalk drawing on the pavement? Sure, but there’s something you may have missed. It’s in this picture. The foreground, not the background. Easy to look straight past, eh? But these trollies contain the gear that keeps Yoda flying in the air. If you hang around, you can watch them gradually building the structure. Eventually he looks a little like this: Flying Yoda is pretty impressive, and there’s a few of them around now. In fact, I took this picture of him in York.  But why am I writing about flying Yoda in this blog about charities? Well… Flying Yoda has a few things to teach us. Let’s be clear about what keeps us flying Like this Yoda, all charities need a support structure to make it look like we’re flying. But I wonder whether we’re not selling the general public a line that we’re ‘all about the flying.’ At times we exaggerate – or at least over claim – the benefits of what we do, or the numbers of people we’re reaching with our services, potentially to our detriment. It’s very rare that one organisation’s services provide the ‘magic bullet’ that solves all issues. Furthermore, if we need to provide administrative or support functions to be as effective as possible, let’s be clear about how integral this is to our processes and to achieving positive outcomes. Otherwise we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to our sector. The unseen also has great value We need to be clear why our organisational costs (whether they’re office costs, overheads or staffing) are so important, not just in providing our services but in keeping the show on the road in so many different ways. Similarly, I worry that we are often in danger of undercharging for, and consequently undervaluing, so much of what we do. We are not circus acts And this is the most important point. Do you think anybody in Trafalgar Square actually thinks they're witnessing magic? Isn't part of the fascination in wondering how it's done? We, as charities, need to shatter the often held perception that should be able to perform our miracles for free. We need to explain why we’re the right people to do the job.We need to be clear both about the benefits of what we do, and the expertise we bring to finding the solutions. We are professionals. What we are doing is so important. Let’s stop hiding it beneath a long cloak. May the force be with you.   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 The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    2195 Posted by Richard Sved
  • Richard Sved, founder and director at 3rd Sector Mission Control, is a charity consultant specialising in fundraising, charity strategic planning, governance and communications. There’s been a lot of excitement this week about the new Star Wars film. But this blog is not about that, although it is about Yoda. Yoda and charities.OK, let me explain. I want you to walk with me around London’s Trafalgar Square, let’s say at around 10 on a weekday morning. What do you see? A bit of a crowd of tourists about to head into the National Gallery maybe? Some others taking selfies by the fountains? Maybe an artist has begun a chalk drawing on the pavement? Sure, but there’s something you may have missed. It’s in this picture. The foreground, not the background. Easy to look straight past, eh? But these trollies contain the gear that keeps Yoda flying in the air. If you hang around, you can watch them gradually building the structure. Eventually he looks a little like this: Flying Yoda is pretty impressive, and there’s a few of them around now. In fact, I took this picture of him in York.  But why am I writing about flying Yoda in this blog about charities? Well… Flying Yoda has a few things to teach us. Let’s be clear about what keeps us flying Like this Yoda, all charities need a support structure to make it look like we’re flying. But I wonder whether we’re not selling the general public a line that we’re ‘all about the flying.’ At times we exaggerate – or at least over claim – the benefits of what we do, or the numbers of people we’re reaching with our services, potentially to our detriment. It’s very rare that one organisation’s services provide the ‘magic bullet’ that solves all issues. Furthermore, if we need to provide administrative or support functions to be as effective as possible, let’s be clear about how integral this is to our processes and to achieving positive outcomes. Otherwise we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to our sector. The unseen also has great value We need to be clear why our organisational costs (whether they’re office costs, overheads or staffing) are so important, not just in providing our services but in keeping the show on the road in so many different ways. Similarly, I worry that we are often in danger of undercharging for, and consequently undervaluing, so much of what we do. We are not circus acts And this is the most important point. Do you think anybody in Trafalgar Square actually thinks they're witnessing magic? Isn't part of the fascination in wondering how it's done? We, as charities, need to shatter the often held perception that should be able to perform our miracles for free. We need to explain why we’re the right people to do the job.We need to be clear both about the benefits of what we do, and the expertise we bring to finding the solutions. We are professionals. What we are doing is so important. Let’s stop hiding it beneath a long cloak. May the force be with you.   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 The Power of the Twitter Hour by Richard Barker   
    Oct 27, 2015 2195