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296 blogs
  • 16 Oct 2019
    Most people who work in the charity sector do so because, in some way or another, they want to make the world a little better. For those of us involved in marketing, our role is to engage people with our cause and persuade them to take action (donating, volunteering, building barricades etc). So far,  so simple. The problem is that the actions we take in achieving our goals are not neutral – no action ever is. Indeed, in some cases our actions have negative repercussions that can outweigh the good they are intended to achieve. To state ‘actions have consequences’ is not exactly ground breaking.  However, in recent years numerous charity scandals have come about specifically because charity marketers and fundraisers have become so blindly goal-orientated that they have entirely neglected to take into account the consequences of their actions. While very few charities are involved in actively (or knowingly) unethical behaviours, all of us must think more carefully about the potential wider impact of our marketing strategy and output.   If we are serious when we use the phrase “what I love about what I do is the knowledge that I am making a positive difference”, then we need to be consistently weighing up whether our intended ends justify our means. Of course, this is not a simple question and will rarely have simple answers. For example, if a charity successfully persuades donors to give £2 per month by using imagery that perpetuates “white saviour” myths, is this justified? My immediate response would be that the wider negative impact of this type of campaign does not justify the use of this imagery.  However, the uncomfortable truth is that these images are emotionally potent and therefore highly effective when it comes to persuading people to donate.   Sadly, this means that marketers who choose not to use such imagery are often playing catch-up.  As are those who take the time to ensure their images have alt-text so they are accessible to visually impaired people. As are those who opt against using aggressive sales techniques. Striking a balance between hitting targets and maintaining an ethical marketing strategy comes with serious challenges.  The reality is that, taking a more ethical route will often be more time-consuming, more resource sapping and will require far more creativity. Given these challenges, it would be significantly easier for marketing professionals to take these risks if they have the support and understanding of their senior management and board. Indeed, in an ideal world, this approach should be adopted into the wider culture and values of the organisation as a whole. In some cases  achieving this support will be easier than others.  However, given the arguments, I believe that the majority of board members and senior managers will be receptive because ultimately they are (one hopes) in involved in the voluntary sector for exactly the same reason as you and I. For more on ethical marketing strategy: People Before Stories: Working With Beneficiaries' Narratives 3 tips for building an ethical fundraising strategy
    9538 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Most people who work in the charity sector do so because, in some way or another, they want to make the world a little better. For those of us involved in marketing, our role is to engage people with our cause and persuade them to take action (donating, volunteering, building barricades etc). So far,  so simple. The problem is that the actions we take in achieving our goals are not neutral – no action ever is. Indeed, in some cases our actions have negative repercussions that can outweigh the good they are intended to achieve. To state ‘actions have consequences’ is not exactly ground breaking.  However, in recent years numerous charity scandals have come about specifically because charity marketers and fundraisers have become so blindly goal-orientated that they have entirely neglected to take into account the consequences of their actions. While very few charities are involved in actively (or knowingly) unethical behaviours, all of us must think more carefully about the potential wider impact of our marketing strategy and output.   If we are serious when we use the phrase “what I love about what I do is the knowledge that I am making a positive difference”, then we need to be consistently weighing up whether our intended ends justify our means. Of course, this is not a simple question and will rarely have simple answers. For example, if a charity successfully persuades donors to give £2 per month by using imagery that perpetuates “white saviour” myths, is this justified? My immediate response would be that the wider negative impact of this type of campaign does not justify the use of this imagery.  However, the uncomfortable truth is that these images are emotionally potent and therefore highly effective when it comes to persuading people to donate.   Sadly, this means that marketers who choose not to use such imagery are often playing catch-up.  As are those who take the time to ensure their images have alt-text so they are accessible to visually impaired people. As are those who opt against using aggressive sales techniques. Striking a balance between hitting targets and maintaining an ethical marketing strategy comes with serious challenges.  The reality is that, taking a more ethical route will often be more time-consuming, more resource sapping and will require far more creativity. Given these challenges, it would be significantly easier for marketing professionals to take these risks if they have the support and understanding of their senior management and board. Indeed, in an ideal world, this approach should be adopted into the wider culture and values of the organisation as a whole. In some cases  achieving this support will be easier than others.  However, given the arguments, I believe that the majority of board members and senior managers will be receptive because ultimately they are (one hopes) in involved in the voluntary sector for exactly the same reason as you and I. For more on ethical marketing strategy: People Before Stories: Working With Beneficiaries' Narratives 3 tips for building an ethical fundraising strategy
    Oct 16, 2019 9538
  • 08 Oct 2019
    Let me set the scene: We are in Israel, around 3,000 years ago, and a fight is about to go down between the Philistine’s mightiest warrior, Goliath and an unknown shepherd named David. Standing at 9 feet and 6 inches tall, covered head to toe in heavy bronze plates and carrying a sword the size of his opponent, Goliath is a thing of nightmares. In comparison, David is small and slight, wears no armour and is carrying just a few pebbles and a slingshot. The Israelite bookies aren’t anticipating an upset here, and the crowd are clamouring in the heat.  For the 80% of UK charities who generate under £100,000 in revenue each year, the charity landscape is beginning to feel as dangerous as that dusty battlefield. Weakened by decreasing funds, increased demand for services, volatile public trust and growing competition, these organisations have their work cut out. More than one in four Chief Executives of smaller charities feel strongly that they are ‘struggling to survive’. Despite making up 80% of the charity sector, these organisations bring in just 3% of total income. Let’s call these guys David’s. You can see where I’m going with this… On to the competition. Who are our metaphorical David’s up against? Well, they aren’t mighty in numbers - the charity sector’s Goliath is made up of a mere 1% of a total 168,000 registered UK charities. However, just like the Philistine warrior himself, they are enormous. That 1% generates a whopping 72% of total income to the sector. As you likely know, the fight does provide the Israeli crowds with an upset. David; the crowd behind him, more agile, and armed with different tactics, fells his opponent. So how can smaller charities learn from David’s success and continue to survive in an arena of Goliaths? Get your ‘crowd’ involved More than half of small charities income comes from individual donations. This means our David’s have a strong connection with their donor-base and can communicate with a personal touch. Goliath’s can find this trust very difficult to replicate. In one poll nearly half of the respondents said they trusted small community-based charities, whereas just 29% said they trusted national charities. This directly correlates with giving. The same proportion of people who trusted smaller charities were likely to donate to them, however only 17% said they were likely to donate to national organisations. Use your agility to your advantage David is small and nimble. Goliath, weighed down by his heavy armour and his size, moves as if coated in molasses. How can this same agility serve a charity’s mission? Well, put simply, a smaller charity equals a smaller team, and therefore a flatter hierarchy. Use this to your advantage, take bold, creative decisions to your board of trustees. In a world in which technology is fuelling growth, promise and incredible opportunity, the pace of organisational change is vital. Introduce new tactics Ultimately, David won the battle because he stunned Goliath with a new method of combat: his slingshot. The new method of combat for smaller charities? Technology. Technology has levelled the playing field across all sectors, and the charity world is no different. In fact, Goliath’s are more likely to cite ‘new technology’ as one of their top challenges in comparison to David’s. New tools on social media such as the donate sticker on Instagram is making it easier than ever before for charities to reach individual supporters. Plus, free services are available from other industry Goliaths, such as Google For Non-Profits. Contactless charity donation boxes allow charities to maximise their fundraising on the ground by tapping into a whole new donor base who just don’t carry cash anymore. Through this methodology, my very own ‘David’ TAP London, has raised over £100,000 from over 35,000 Londoners. So, to all the David’s out there. Don’t lose faith. Be personal, agile and most importantly – embrace new technologies. Polly Gilbert is the Marketing Director at GoodBox, a tech-for-good company which helps charities of all sizes better connect donors with charitable causes. She is also the co-founder of TAP London, a ‘David’ raising vital funds for London’s homeless.
    5356 Posted by Polly Gilbert
  • Let me set the scene: We are in Israel, around 3,000 years ago, and a fight is about to go down between the Philistine’s mightiest warrior, Goliath and an unknown shepherd named David. Standing at 9 feet and 6 inches tall, covered head to toe in heavy bronze plates and carrying a sword the size of his opponent, Goliath is a thing of nightmares. In comparison, David is small and slight, wears no armour and is carrying just a few pebbles and a slingshot. The Israelite bookies aren’t anticipating an upset here, and the crowd are clamouring in the heat.  For the 80% of UK charities who generate under £100,000 in revenue each year, the charity landscape is beginning to feel as dangerous as that dusty battlefield. Weakened by decreasing funds, increased demand for services, volatile public trust and growing competition, these organisations have their work cut out. More than one in four Chief Executives of smaller charities feel strongly that they are ‘struggling to survive’. Despite making up 80% of the charity sector, these organisations bring in just 3% of total income. Let’s call these guys David’s. You can see where I’m going with this… On to the competition. Who are our metaphorical David’s up against? Well, they aren’t mighty in numbers - the charity sector’s Goliath is made up of a mere 1% of a total 168,000 registered UK charities. However, just like the Philistine warrior himself, they are enormous. That 1% generates a whopping 72% of total income to the sector. As you likely know, the fight does provide the Israeli crowds with an upset. David; the crowd behind him, more agile, and armed with different tactics, fells his opponent. So how can smaller charities learn from David’s success and continue to survive in an arena of Goliaths? Get your ‘crowd’ involved More than half of small charities income comes from individual donations. This means our David’s have a strong connection with their donor-base and can communicate with a personal touch. Goliath’s can find this trust very difficult to replicate. In one poll nearly half of the respondents said they trusted small community-based charities, whereas just 29% said they trusted national charities. This directly correlates with giving. The same proportion of people who trusted smaller charities were likely to donate to them, however only 17% said they were likely to donate to national organisations. Use your agility to your advantage David is small and nimble. Goliath, weighed down by his heavy armour and his size, moves as if coated in molasses. How can this same agility serve a charity’s mission? Well, put simply, a smaller charity equals a smaller team, and therefore a flatter hierarchy. Use this to your advantage, take bold, creative decisions to your board of trustees. In a world in which technology is fuelling growth, promise and incredible opportunity, the pace of organisational change is vital. Introduce new tactics Ultimately, David won the battle because he stunned Goliath with a new method of combat: his slingshot. The new method of combat for smaller charities? Technology. Technology has levelled the playing field across all sectors, and the charity world is no different. In fact, Goliath’s are more likely to cite ‘new technology’ as one of their top challenges in comparison to David’s. New tools on social media such as the donate sticker on Instagram is making it easier than ever before for charities to reach individual supporters. Plus, free services are available from other industry Goliaths, such as Google For Non-Profits. Contactless charity donation boxes allow charities to maximise their fundraising on the ground by tapping into a whole new donor base who just don’t carry cash anymore. Through this methodology, my very own ‘David’ TAP London, has raised over £100,000 from over 35,000 Londoners. So, to all the David’s out there. Don’t lose faith. Be personal, agile and most importantly – embrace new technologies. Polly Gilbert is the Marketing Director at GoodBox, a tech-for-good company which helps charities of all sizes better connect donors with charitable causes. She is also the co-founder of TAP London, a ‘David’ raising vital funds for London’s homeless.
    Oct 08, 2019 5356
  • 24 Sep 2019
    The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park are doing an appeal with a target of £5000 to get the Burdick family monument repaired. The FoTHCP is the charity looking after the beautiful, atmospheric cemetery park, which opened in 1841 and closed for burials in 1966. It has been a public park ever since, a quiet escape for humans and nature, conservation volunteering, dog walking, and a children's nature club.   In February 2019 a storm blew over one of the first trees planted about 175 years ago, the only silver lime we had.. It hit the Burdick family monument, an Egyptian-style obelisk. The monument broke into seven big, heavy pieces, and it’s going to cost £5,000 to put it together again permanently and safely.   Our biggest challenge is to repair the monument as soon as possible, because if it gets below freezing this winter, frost can break cracks in the stone and make the repair even more expensive.       The monument is the family vault of James & Amy Burdick. They aren't buried here, but two of their sons are. James and Amy had 6 children. James Henry, William, Charles all died before their parents, but Alfred, Lydie and Ethel survived.   The Burdicks were part of the Burdick & Cook merchant shipping company in Poplar. Sadly the company was as lucky with their ships as James and Amy were with their sons. There was a ship with Lydie's name, but it was torpedoed in 1918 by a German submarine. The SS Buresk and SS Burbridge were also sank during WWI.   James Henry drowned aged 21 and was buried in Sebastopol in the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea, likely on company business. William died when he was 20 years old, and Charles was only 7. We're not sure yet what happened to Alfred and Ethel, but Lydie married a baronet and became Lady Greenaway.   If you'd like to see the Burdick monument for yourself, the cemetery park is open every day.
    8522 Posted by Suzanna Maas
  • The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park are doing an appeal with a target of £5000 to get the Burdick family monument repaired. The FoTHCP is the charity looking after the beautiful, atmospheric cemetery park, which opened in 1841 and closed for burials in 1966. It has been a public park ever since, a quiet escape for humans and nature, conservation volunteering, dog walking, and a children's nature club.   In February 2019 a storm blew over one of the first trees planted about 175 years ago, the only silver lime we had.. It hit the Burdick family monument, an Egyptian-style obelisk. The monument broke into seven big, heavy pieces, and it’s going to cost £5,000 to put it together again permanently and safely.   Our biggest challenge is to repair the monument as soon as possible, because if it gets below freezing this winter, frost can break cracks in the stone and make the repair even more expensive.       The monument is the family vault of James & Amy Burdick. They aren't buried here, but two of their sons are. James and Amy had 6 children. James Henry, William, Charles all died before their parents, but Alfred, Lydie and Ethel survived.   The Burdicks were part of the Burdick & Cook merchant shipping company in Poplar. Sadly the company was as lucky with their ships as James and Amy were with their sons. There was a ship with Lydie's name, but it was torpedoed in 1918 by a German submarine. The SS Buresk and SS Burbridge were also sank during WWI.   James Henry drowned aged 21 and was buried in Sebastopol in the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea, likely on company business. William died when he was 20 years old, and Charles was only 7. We're not sure yet what happened to Alfred and Ethel, but Lydie married a baronet and became Lady Greenaway.   If you'd like to see the Burdick monument for yourself, the cemetery park is open every day.
    Sep 24, 2019 8522
  • 09 Sep 2019
    The nights are drawing in, the leaves are colouring, the air is beginning to cool, children are yelling on their way to school, advisers are skulking in Westminster Hall, and it turns out your team’s big summer signing isn’t the new Messi after all. Autumn is officially here! Each season comes with its own set of fundraising opportunities. In this blog we highlight a few events for you to hang your fundraising hat on this Autumn. 22nd September (week of) - Harvest Festival This ancient festival (coinciding with the Harvest moon, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox) celebrates the end of the harvest season. Traditionally linked with charity, particularly sharing food, this is a great opportunity for poverty focussed charities and community groups to highlight their vital work. 27th October - Diwali Diwali, the 5 day Hindu festival of lights celebrates both Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and the triumph of good over evil (I’m sure we can find a fundraising angle there). This festival, celebrated by 1 billion people worldwide including Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists as well as Hindus, gives ample opportunity for some South Asian themed fundraising fun – from food and fireworks nights to lantern making workshop. 31st October - Halloween  When the spirits rise with ghastly cries, and the maggots crawl from hollow eyes, and the hairy-legged spiders creep and the reaper comes to help you sleep… Halloween provides an excellent opportunity to hit those fundraising ghouls! This year the 31st is also (the latest) Brexit day - draw connections as you wish. Read our Halloween blog for some ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre 2nd November - Day of the Dead Día de Muertos, a Mexican tradition celebrating departed ancestors, gets bigger and bigger each year here in the UK. Why not throw a Day of the Dead fundraising party – complete with  face-paints, sugar-skulls, decoration, libations, salsa rhythms and tasty tostadas? 5th November – Bonfire Night Remember, remember the 5th of November ...  Who doesn’t love wrapping up warm, writing your name (as if you write anything else) in the cool air with a sparkler, and watching the night sky come alive with colour? A stall selling hot food and drinks and marshmallow sticks would go down a treat! I hope these ideas give you some food for thought. Let us know about your group's autumn fundraising plans and, as ever, we’ll be happy to share your fundraising events and feats in our blog, newsletter and across our social media channels. 
    7795 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The nights are drawing in, the leaves are colouring, the air is beginning to cool, children are yelling on their way to school, advisers are skulking in Westminster Hall, and it turns out your team’s big summer signing isn’t the new Messi after all. Autumn is officially here! Each season comes with its own set of fundraising opportunities. In this blog we highlight a few events for you to hang your fundraising hat on this Autumn. 22nd September (week of) - Harvest Festival This ancient festival (coinciding with the Harvest moon, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox) celebrates the end of the harvest season. Traditionally linked with charity, particularly sharing food, this is a great opportunity for poverty focussed charities and community groups to highlight their vital work. 27th October - Diwali Diwali, the 5 day Hindu festival of lights celebrates both Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and the triumph of good over evil (I’m sure we can find a fundraising angle there). This festival, celebrated by 1 billion people worldwide including Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists as well as Hindus, gives ample opportunity for some South Asian themed fundraising fun – from food and fireworks nights to lantern making workshop. 31st October - Halloween  When the spirits rise with ghastly cries, and the maggots crawl from hollow eyes, and the hairy-legged spiders creep and the reaper comes to help you sleep… Halloween provides an excellent opportunity to hit those fundraising ghouls! This year the 31st is also (the latest) Brexit day - draw connections as you wish. Read our Halloween blog for some ideas to help you make a little money from the night of the macabre 2nd November - Day of the Dead Día de Muertos, a Mexican tradition celebrating departed ancestors, gets bigger and bigger each year here in the UK. Why not throw a Day of the Dead fundraising party – complete with  face-paints, sugar-skulls, decoration, libations, salsa rhythms and tasty tostadas? 5th November – Bonfire Night Remember, remember the 5th of November ...  Who doesn’t love wrapping up warm, writing your name (as if you write anything else) in the cool air with a sparkler, and watching the night sky come alive with colour? A stall selling hot food and drinks and marshmallow sticks would go down a treat! I hope these ideas give you some food for thought. Let us know about your group's autumn fundraising plans and, as ever, we’ll be happy to share your fundraising events and feats in our blog, newsletter and across our social media channels. 
    Sep 09, 2019 7795
  • 23 Aug 2019
    It can often be difficult to keep up with the latest trends in the digital world. Everything from up and coming artificial intelligence, chat bots and the likes of Alexa voice control, to new releases and platforms updates, can result (and often, not result) in exciting and purposeful change for charities. In this blog, Social Misfits Media’s Angharad Francis takes a look at what we can expect to see in the second half of 2019! E-commerce within apps What could be easier than being able to buy all your favourite products whilst scrolling through social media? According to DigiDay, like social media giants Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat have now released a new feature allowing users to access shops within the app itself. This is powered by Shopify, and aims to increase engagement rates and dwell time within the Snapchat app. For now, this new option to have an e-commerce store within Snapchat is limited to select accounts. However, other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram already allow brands to showcase shoppable products. Creating social media campaigns focusing on e-commerce opportunities could work particularly well around the Christmas period, whereby charities could showcase their goods, such as Christmas cards or clothing, to raise funds for a given campaign. Meaningful Engagement The more engaging a social media platform is, the more time a user will spend on it. One platform doing this well is Instagram, with their Stories feature. From GIFs, to countdowns, to quizzes and polls, there are endless options for users to experiment with, and create engaging stories to share with friends and family. Most recently, Instagram have released their new “Chat” sticker within Stories. This simple feature allows users to ask their followers to join a new chat group. Charities could use this to discuss a new report, a specific goal, or to have a Q&A with their CEO, allowing their audience to gain additional insight into the organisation and connect better online. If creative skills and resources are not a constraint, another new feature charities could use on Instagram is the new AR feature. This feature, created to increase dwell time within the platform, allows users to design their own effects within stories. Charities could use this as a way to create a more personalised experience for their audience, for example if a charity is selling a new product to raise funds, they could use the AR filter as a way for users to try the product on in their story before purchasing. Facebook Groups Although the Facebook algorithm continues to push user-generated content with its meaningful conversations update, platform users are increasingly turning to groups to communicate. Charities can create a group for their organisation, in order to generate organic engagement and awareness, and allow conversation with their audience beyond a Facebook page. Alternatively, if there is a lack of capacity and time to invest in social media, charities can engage in existing groups as a brand. The benefit of this is that instead of setting up a new group, charities are able to communicate with their audience using an already engaged group. This could help them to raise awareness of a fundraising event, locate volunteers or ask supporters to sign a petition. Podcasts The popularity of Podcasts continues to increase, not only with countless new comedy and lifestyle podcasts, but also within the charity sector. In the UK, the number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years, from 3.2m (7% of adults aged 15+) in 2013 to 5.9m (11%) in 2018. In addition, Google recently announced that it will start surfacing podcasts alongside videos, images, news, and web pages related to a user’s search. This will make podcasts more discoverable, allowing an online audience to easily find and listen to them through Search.  Here, Kirsty Marrins lists her top ten charity podcasts, including our sister company Lightful’s charity podcast, Reclaim Social, which interviews people within the charity sector and looks at how they use social media to focus on sharing positive and inspiring news. Although this may require a certain level of time and resources, podcasts are a great way for charities to broadcast their latest news to new and existing audiences in an engaging and accessible way. I hope you found this article useful; if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Angharad Francis is a Community Manager at Social Misfits Media, who work exclusively with charities, foundations, social enterprises and non-profits to help better use social media to reach their goals.  Photo credits: Top - Thought Catalog, Bottom - Pete Pedroza.
    4418 Posted by Angharad Francis
  • It can often be difficult to keep up with the latest trends in the digital world. Everything from up and coming artificial intelligence, chat bots and the likes of Alexa voice control, to new releases and platforms updates, can result (and often, not result) in exciting and purposeful change for charities. In this blog, Social Misfits Media’s Angharad Francis takes a look at what we can expect to see in the second half of 2019! E-commerce within apps What could be easier than being able to buy all your favourite products whilst scrolling through social media? According to DigiDay, like social media giants Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat have now released a new feature allowing users to access shops within the app itself. This is powered by Shopify, and aims to increase engagement rates and dwell time within the Snapchat app. For now, this new option to have an e-commerce store within Snapchat is limited to select accounts. However, other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram already allow brands to showcase shoppable products. Creating social media campaigns focusing on e-commerce opportunities could work particularly well around the Christmas period, whereby charities could showcase their goods, such as Christmas cards or clothing, to raise funds for a given campaign. Meaningful Engagement The more engaging a social media platform is, the more time a user will spend on it. One platform doing this well is Instagram, with their Stories feature. From GIFs, to countdowns, to quizzes and polls, there are endless options for users to experiment with, and create engaging stories to share with friends and family. Most recently, Instagram have released their new “Chat” sticker within Stories. This simple feature allows users to ask their followers to join a new chat group. Charities could use this to discuss a new report, a specific goal, or to have a Q&A with their CEO, allowing their audience to gain additional insight into the organisation and connect better online. If creative skills and resources are not a constraint, another new feature charities could use on Instagram is the new AR feature. This feature, created to increase dwell time within the platform, allows users to design their own effects within stories. Charities could use this as a way to create a more personalised experience for their audience, for example if a charity is selling a new product to raise funds, they could use the AR filter as a way for users to try the product on in their story before purchasing. Facebook Groups Although the Facebook algorithm continues to push user-generated content with its meaningful conversations update, platform users are increasingly turning to groups to communicate. Charities can create a group for their organisation, in order to generate organic engagement and awareness, and allow conversation with their audience beyond a Facebook page. Alternatively, if there is a lack of capacity and time to invest in social media, charities can engage in existing groups as a brand. The benefit of this is that instead of setting up a new group, charities are able to communicate with their audience using an already engaged group. This could help them to raise awareness of a fundraising event, locate volunteers or ask supporters to sign a petition. Podcasts The popularity of Podcasts continues to increase, not only with countless new comedy and lifestyle podcasts, but also within the charity sector. In the UK, the number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years, from 3.2m (7% of adults aged 15+) in 2013 to 5.9m (11%) in 2018. In addition, Google recently announced that it will start surfacing podcasts alongside videos, images, news, and web pages related to a user’s search. This will make podcasts more discoverable, allowing an online audience to easily find and listen to them through Search.  Here, Kirsty Marrins lists her top ten charity podcasts, including our sister company Lightful’s charity podcast, Reclaim Social, which interviews people within the charity sector and looks at how they use social media to focus on sharing positive and inspiring news. Although this may require a certain level of time and resources, podcasts are a great way for charities to broadcast their latest news to new and existing audiences in an engaging and accessible way. I hope you found this article useful; if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Angharad Francis is a Community Manager at Social Misfits Media, who work exclusively with charities, foundations, social enterprises and non-profits to help better use social media to reach their goals.  Photo credits: Top - Thought Catalog, Bottom - Pete Pedroza.
    Aug 23, 2019 4418
  • 19 Aug 2019
    The best charity campaigns are often based on beneficiary narratives. The personal stories of those who have been affected by the issues we address or who have benefitted from our support can be moving, inspirational and add a sense of real urgency to a campaign. However, while these stories are elixir for us charity fundraisers and marketers, we must remember that they are loaned not owned. In many cases our beneficiaries are highly vulnerable people, be it asylum seekers awaiting a decision or young people who have recently escaped gang life. Ensuring the protection and wellbeing of those people who have lent us their stories should always be our priority. In this blog we look at some of the actions we can take to ensure that our beneficiaries and their stories are treated with the sensitivity and respect they deserve. People before stories: Always begin by considering the level of need and life situation of the people whose stories we are telling. However proud we are of what we have achieved, or however perfectly their story fits our campaign goals, if the individual is in a vulnerable situation, or a focus on their past could have any negative impact, we may want to reconsider using their story. Get (Informed) consent: People can only really be deemed to have consented if they fully understand what they are consenting to. We should ensure the people we are working with know how and where their stories and images will be used and that they are aware of any potential repercussions. Use their own words: Being given the opportunity to tell your story can be hugely empowering. However, by equal measure, losing control of one’s story can be damaging.We should try to give our beneficiaries the platforms and opportunity to tell their own story, in their own words.   Protect identities: We must think carefully about what measures should be taken to protect the identities of beneficiaries. Depending on the circumstances and vulnerability of the person we are working with, we may look at changing their names and voices or using actors or illustrative images. Stay positive: The same story can often be told in different ways. Charity campaigns too often paint their beneficiaries as passive victims who were in need of ‘saving’. While the whole point of most campaigns is to show our impact – this should not be done in a way that dismisses the agency of our beneficiaries. Remain media aware: If our beneficiaries are open to talking to the press is vital that we fully prepare them for interviews and that we accompany them if required. Moreover, we need to try to ensure that we only work with sympathetic, trusted journalists and media outlets. Whatever measures we put in place, there is always the potential to lose control of a story and we must be ready to react and provide all necessary support to our beneficiaries in these circumstances. While working with beneficiaries’ stories, of course, comes with challenges – this should not prevent us using them. Not only are real-life stories more engaging and persuasive than anything we could produce from our desks but, I would argue, the ‘nothing about us without us’ principle obliges us to put their stories at the centre of our work whenever we can. It is simply a matter of making this our mantra: people must always come before stories. For more marketing and fundraising tips and guides, why not visit our Resources Page.   
    4192 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • The best charity campaigns are often based on beneficiary narratives. The personal stories of those who have been affected by the issues we address or who have benefitted from our support can be moving, inspirational and add a sense of real urgency to a campaign. However, while these stories are elixir for us charity fundraisers and marketers, we must remember that they are loaned not owned. In many cases our beneficiaries are highly vulnerable people, be it asylum seekers awaiting a decision or young people who have recently escaped gang life. Ensuring the protection and wellbeing of those people who have lent us their stories should always be our priority. In this blog we look at some of the actions we can take to ensure that our beneficiaries and their stories are treated with the sensitivity and respect they deserve. People before stories: Always begin by considering the level of need and life situation of the people whose stories we are telling. However proud we are of what we have achieved, or however perfectly their story fits our campaign goals, if the individual is in a vulnerable situation, or a focus on their past could have any negative impact, we may want to reconsider using their story. Get (Informed) consent: People can only really be deemed to have consented if they fully understand what they are consenting to. We should ensure the people we are working with know how and where their stories and images will be used and that they are aware of any potential repercussions. Use their own words: Being given the opportunity to tell your story can be hugely empowering. However, by equal measure, losing control of one’s story can be damaging.We should try to give our beneficiaries the platforms and opportunity to tell their own story, in their own words.   Protect identities: We must think carefully about what measures should be taken to protect the identities of beneficiaries. Depending on the circumstances and vulnerability of the person we are working with, we may look at changing their names and voices or using actors or illustrative images. Stay positive: The same story can often be told in different ways. Charity campaigns too often paint their beneficiaries as passive victims who were in need of ‘saving’. While the whole point of most campaigns is to show our impact – this should not be done in a way that dismisses the agency of our beneficiaries. Remain media aware: If our beneficiaries are open to talking to the press is vital that we fully prepare them for interviews and that we accompany them if required. Moreover, we need to try to ensure that we only work with sympathetic, trusted journalists and media outlets. Whatever measures we put in place, there is always the potential to lose control of a story and we must be ready to react and provide all necessary support to our beneficiaries in these circumstances. While working with beneficiaries’ stories, of course, comes with challenges – this should not prevent us using them. Not only are real-life stories more engaging and persuasive than anything we could produce from our desks but, I would argue, the ‘nothing about us without us’ principle obliges us to put their stories at the centre of our work whenever we can. It is simply a matter of making this our mantra: people must always come before stories. For more marketing and fundraising tips and guides, why not visit our Resources Page.   
    Aug 19, 2019 4192
  • 06 Aug 2019
    Our Appeal pages are a proven way to raise funds and awareness for a new project or an urgent need. Appeal pages can help you focus your supporters’ attention on a particular issue - whether it be the need for extra funding for specialist equipment to make your activities accessible, funding for unforeseen costs such as break-ins, or urgent support for individual beneficiaries. From a pure fundraising perspective -  Appeal pages are an incredibly effective way of bringing in donations quickly. On average Localgiving groups raise 70% more through appeal pages than through fundraising pages. Over the last 12 months our groups raised an average of  £696 through appeals compared to £405 through fundraising pages. Moreover, Appeals provide an excellent opportunity to build awareness of your cause and grow your supporter community. Most effective Appeals make good use of beneficiary stories - enabling you to  highlight the issues you address and the difference you make in a relatable way. Furthermore, Time sensitive appeals are far more likely to be considered ‘newsworthy’ than a general call for support.  We have hosted and helped promote some truly inspirational, life-changing appeals over the years, ranging from saving community services to flood relief. Here are just a couple of our favourites! The Dahlia Project - Leyla Hussein, a leading anti-FGM activist and psychotherapist, set up the Dahlia Project to provide a safe space and therapeutic support for victims of Female Genital Mutilation. When the Dahlia Project came into financial difficulties in 2017, Manor Gardens Welfare Trust set up an appeal on Localgiving. Through harnessing the power of the traditional press, blogs and support from podcasts such as the Guilty Feminist, the appeal successfully raised over £100,000.       Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal - In December 2015, the Community Foundation for Calderdale launched an appeal in response to the Boxing Day flooding after the River Calder burst its banks overnight. Their campaign raised over £2.5m in total, £250,000 of which was generated through their Localgiving appeals page. The fundraising campaign went on to win several awards. Borderlands - Borderlands, a Bristol based refugee charity, have successfully used Localgiving appeal pages to raise funds for individual beneficiaries and their families. Their appeals have ranged from helping beneficiaries pay for family reunion to supporting them to access legal support to help fight deportations. Through focussing on the needs and narratives of their beneficiaries, Borderlands have consistently given an emotional pull and sense of urgency to their appeals. Since joining Localgiving Borderlands have raised nearly £12,000 through their appeals. So, have you been inspired to set up an Appeal?   As a Localgiving member, all you need to do is log in to your Localgiving charity account and go to the "My Pages" tab and click on the button that says "Create an Appeal Page". You can download our 13 tips for running a successful Appeal here, and remember, we are always happy to help promote your fundraising activities through our social media channels or blog. Not an Localgiving Member Yet? Find Our More
    4006 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Our Appeal pages are a proven way to raise funds and awareness for a new project or an urgent need. Appeal pages can help you focus your supporters’ attention on a particular issue - whether it be the need for extra funding for specialist equipment to make your activities accessible, funding for unforeseen costs such as break-ins, or urgent support for individual beneficiaries. From a pure fundraising perspective -  Appeal pages are an incredibly effective way of bringing in donations quickly. On average Localgiving groups raise 70% more through appeal pages than through fundraising pages. Over the last 12 months our groups raised an average of  £696 through appeals compared to £405 through fundraising pages. Moreover, Appeals provide an excellent opportunity to build awareness of your cause and grow your supporter community. Most effective Appeals make good use of beneficiary stories - enabling you to  highlight the issues you address and the difference you make in a relatable way. Furthermore, Time sensitive appeals are far more likely to be considered ‘newsworthy’ than a general call for support.  We have hosted and helped promote some truly inspirational, life-changing appeals over the years, ranging from saving community services to flood relief. Here are just a couple of our favourites! The Dahlia Project - Leyla Hussein, a leading anti-FGM activist and psychotherapist, set up the Dahlia Project to provide a safe space and therapeutic support for victims of Female Genital Mutilation. When the Dahlia Project came into financial difficulties in 2017, Manor Gardens Welfare Trust set up an appeal on Localgiving. Through harnessing the power of the traditional press, blogs and support from podcasts such as the Guilty Feminist, the appeal successfully raised over £100,000.       Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal - In December 2015, the Community Foundation for Calderdale launched an appeal in response to the Boxing Day flooding after the River Calder burst its banks overnight. Their campaign raised over £2.5m in total, £250,000 of which was generated through their Localgiving appeals page. The fundraising campaign went on to win several awards. Borderlands - Borderlands, a Bristol based refugee charity, have successfully used Localgiving appeal pages to raise funds for individual beneficiaries and their families. Their appeals have ranged from helping beneficiaries pay for family reunion to supporting them to access legal support to help fight deportations. Through focussing on the needs and narratives of their beneficiaries, Borderlands have consistently given an emotional pull and sense of urgency to their appeals. Since joining Localgiving Borderlands have raised nearly £12,000 through their appeals. So, have you been inspired to set up an Appeal?   As a Localgiving member, all you need to do is log in to your Localgiving charity account and go to the "My Pages" tab and click on the button that says "Create an Appeal Page". You can download our 13 tips for running a successful Appeal here, and remember, we are always happy to help promote your fundraising activities through our social media channels or blog. Not an Localgiving Member Yet? Find Our More
    Aug 06, 2019 4006
  • 26 Jul 2019
    Henry Rowling is co-founder of Flying Cars - an innovation, insight and strategy collective for charities and cause-driven brands. Henry has over a decade of experience working for some of the UK’s leading charities in strategy, innovation, product development and digital fundraising. We know that times are tough in fundraising. More than ever in a rapidly changing world, falling response rates in traditional channels and supporters with mushrooming expectations bought about by slick digital services - the need to innovate and do things differently is greater than ever. At Flying Cars we speak to charities large and small daily who want to find new ways to engage their audiences because the old ways are not working as well anymore. But the future is not as bleak as you may think. Through following an audience-led, iterative approach that tests and learns routinely, freeing up time in your work life by stopping the things that aren’t working, and investing in yourself and your team to learn new skills – you can succeed on a budget. Here’s how in 12 steps. Create space to innovate. Kill off projects in your portfolio that deliver marginal impact after several years. Without freeing up time you won’t have resource to deliver innovative projects Identify the most pressing problem you are trying to solve – without a problem – there is nothing to do! Pin down your core audience – who are you interested in involving in the solution to this problem? Who is best placed to help you solve it? Speak to your audience – conduct some insight work. Beware the internal echo chamber Follow an innovation methodology – Nesta has a lot of resources on their website Be networked – relentlessly build your networks of contacts inside and outside your organisation – successful innovation means using diverse brain power to solve problems in a new way Use your size to your advantage – being small means you can be nimble – don’t get bogged down in complex sign-off – find the quickest route to delivery In a small organisation you should be able to speak to your beneficiaries relatively quickly – co-create ideas with them if you can Use some of the many free tools available to test, prototype, mock up, learn new skills, smoke-test, analyse and conduct insight Test as cheaply as possible – innovation preaches lean-testing – this means getting a version of your product in front of the potential audience quickly and cheaply Don’t be afraid of failure – failure is an important part of building new solutions – if there is no failure – you aren’t trying hard enough Speak to me to talk about any impending projects you have or if you’d like a cheat sheet of free prototyping tools you can use. I would also be happy to connect you to others in this space.   
    6467 Posted by Henry Rowling
  • Henry Rowling is co-founder of Flying Cars - an innovation, insight and strategy collective for charities and cause-driven brands. Henry has over a decade of experience working for some of the UK’s leading charities in strategy, innovation, product development and digital fundraising. We know that times are tough in fundraising. More than ever in a rapidly changing world, falling response rates in traditional channels and supporters with mushrooming expectations bought about by slick digital services - the need to innovate and do things differently is greater than ever. At Flying Cars we speak to charities large and small daily who want to find new ways to engage their audiences because the old ways are not working as well anymore. But the future is not as bleak as you may think. Through following an audience-led, iterative approach that tests and learns routinely, freeing up time in your work life by stopping the things that aren’t working, and investing in yourself and your team to learn new skills – you can succeed on a budget. Here’s how in 12 steps. Create space to innovate. Kill off projects in your portfolio that deliver marginal impact after several years. Without freeing up time you won’t have resource to deliver innovative projects Identify the most pressing problem you are trying to solve – without a problem – there is nothing to do! Pin down your core audience – who are you interested in involving in the solution to this problem? Who is best placed to help you solve it? Speak to your audience – conduct some insight work. Beware the internal echo chamber Follow an innovation methodology – Nesta has a lot of resources on their website Be networked – relentlessly build your networks of contacts inside and outside your organisation – successful innovation means using diverse brain power to solve problems in a new way Use your size to your advantage – being small means you can be nimble – don’t get bogged down in complex sign-off – find the quickest route to delivery In a small organisation you should be able to speak to your beneficiaries relatively quickly – co-create ideas with them if you can Use some of the many free tools available to test, prototype, mock up, learn new skills, smoke-test, analyse and conduct insight Test as cheaply as possible – innovation preaches lean-testing – this means getting a version of your product in front of the potential audience quickly and cheaply Don’t be afraid of failure – failure is an important part of building new solutions – if there is no failure – you aren’t trying hard enough Speak to me to talk about any impending projects you have or if you’d like a cheat sheet of free prototyping tools you can use. I would also be happy to connect you to others in this space.   
    Jul 26, 2019 6467
  • 16 Jul 2019
    Good stories are personal. Great stories make your supporters feel like they are a part of them. If your supporters can interact with your story in real-time–by making a donation or volunteering–it means you are giving them an avenue to get invested in your cause. That kind of storytelling is uniquely useful for nonprofits. Your efforts as an organization directly help the people in your stories and involve your donors and volunteers. So how do you tell personal, interactive stories? The ways you communicate with your audience is just as important as the story itself. Choosing your storytelling medium Traditionally, email, social media, etc. are all good ways to get your story out to your supporters. It’s efficient, letting you reach a ton of people at once. And it works, convincing a lot of them to make a donation to your cause. But ask them about the gift a week later, and most would have already forgotten all about it. It’s evident in the numbers–The average nonprofit receives a repeat donation from less than half their yearly donors*. A significant amount of supporters stop giving because they don’t remember donating and because of minimal or non-existent communication on the part of the nonprofit.   Today’s donors crave and are more likely to remember authentic, personal interactions with the organizations that they support.  Doing that means reaching out to people as individuals, and a channel like text messaging is excellent at that.  Text messaging in the UK Smartphone ownership is only set to grow in the UK, with a predicted 92% ownership by 2023. With the texting being so ubiquitous, it makes sense for charities to use texting as one of their primary modes of communication with supporters. Another factor to consider is what donors really want from your communications.  According to the 2014 UK Giving Report, 68% of respondents agreed that charities proving their impact was most likely to be valued by supporters. You probably want to show your supporters the successes you have had in your campaigns. The challenge is showing the impact in a way that reaches people. Supporters aren’t going to visit your website unless they have a reason to, and the standard email open rate is not very impressive. Communicating the impact your organization makes towards your campaigns needs to be done in a way that is direct and likely to be seen.  A channel that has a high chance of being read, like texting lets you do that and make your communications personal at the same time. Using text messages to tell and promote stories Messaging, whether it is through SMS, Whatsapp, or even Facebook Messenger, lets you have conversations with your supporters in real-time, without having to meet face-to-face. That means being able to provide updates on the people you are helping and answer questions as your supporters ask them. Of course, it’s not possible to reply to every text in person. You could automate texts to go out based on keywords in the messages you receive and jump in whenever you need to. Storytelling in the form of a text conversation Having conversations about your charity’s missions and goals can be made more personal and persuasive through peer-to-peer texting. With a messaging software, a single volunteer can have around one thousand conversations every hour.  For example, an initial text message could introduce them to your latest campaign and ask them if they would like to know more instead of asking them for a donation up front. If they respond positively, you can send a link to your donation page. After a successful donation, thank them through the same conversation. One thing to note about storytelling through text messages is that the story is in the form of a conversation. For it to be most effective, you need to keep them updated on how your mission is progressing, and how their support is helping your cause. Keep your supporters up-to-date and invested with your cause through follow up texts. Your next text could tell them about the funds raised from the last campaign: Your final update should let them know about how their funds were used and tell the stories of those who were positively impacted by your campaign. Your supporters will appreciate your transparency and willingness to keep them looped in. An invested and informed supporter is more likely to make further donations or volunteer for your cause. How else can you use texting? An alternative to peer-to-peer texting is to use text messages strictly as a way to link to your blog and website. This can be a broadcast message to all your supporters, telling them they can learn more about your campaign by following the link. There can be many other ways to use texting to engage your supporters. You can send reminders to campaigners and supporters to attend upcoming events and rallies (with their corresponding venue/timing details). Depending upon the volunteer’s role, you can also send texts reminding them of their respective duties on upcoming campaigns. It is evident that telling a charity’s stories in a way that can bring in donors and keep them engaged needs nonprofits to rethink donor communications. Channels like texting let supporters talk to you directly and make them feel like they truly are an important part of your cause. Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a California-based Voice and SMS service company bridging the communication gap for political campaigns and advocacy groups. When he is not working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. *2018 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report  
    6863 Posted by Augustus Franklin
  • Good stories are personal. Great stories make your supporters feel like they are a part of them. If your supporters can interact with your story in real-time–by making a donation or volunteering–it means you are giving them an avenue to get invested in your cause. That kind of storytelling is uniquely useful for nonprofits. Your efforts as an organization directly help the people in your stories and involve your donors and volunteers. So how do you tell personal, interactive stories? The ways you communicate with your audience is just as important as the story itself. Choosing your storytelling medium Traditionally, email, social media, etc. are all good ways to get your story out to your supporters. It’s efficient, letting you reach a ton of people at once. And it works, convincing a lot of them to make a donation to your cause. But ask them about the gift a week later, and most would have already forgotten all about it. It’s evident in the numbers–The average nonprofit receives a repeat donation from less than half their yearly donors*. A significant amount of supporters stop giving because they don’t remember donating and because of minimal or non-existent communication on the part of the nonprofit.   Today’s donors crave and are more likely to remember authentic, personal interactions with the organizations that they support.  Doing that means reaching out to people as individuals, and a channel like text messaging is excellent at that.  Text messaging in the UK Smartphone ownership is only set to grow in the UK, with a predicted 92% ownership by 2023. With the texting being so ubiquitous, it makes sense for charities to use texting as one of their primary modes of communication with supporters. Another factor to consider is what donors really want from your communications.  According to the 2014 UK Giving Report, 68% of respondents agreed that charities proving their impact was most likely to be valued by supporters. You probably want to show your supporters the successes you have had in your campaigns. The challenge is showing the impact in a way that reaches people. Supporters aren’t going to visit your website unless they have a reason to, and the standard email open rate is not very impressive. Communicating the impact your organization makes towards your campaigns needs to be done in a way that is direct and likely to be seen.  A channel that has a high chance of being read, like texting lets you do that and make your communications personal at the same time. Using text messages to tell and promote stories Messaging, whether it is through SMS, Whatsapp, or even Facebook Messenger, lets you have conversations with your supporters in real-time, without having to meet face-to-face. That means being able to provide updates on the people you are helping and answer questions as your supporters ask them. Of course, it’s not possible to reply to every text in person. You could automate texts to go out based on keywords in the messages you receive and jump in whenever you need to. Storytelling in the form of a text conversation Having conversations about your charity’s missions and goals can be made more personal and persuasive through peer-to-peer texting. With a messaging software, a single volunteer can have around one thousand conversations every hour.  For example, an initial text message could introduce them to your latest campaign and ask them if they would like to know more instead of asking them for a donation up front. If they respond positively, you can send a link to your donation page. After a successful donation, thank them through the same conversation. One thing to note about storytelling through text messages is that the story is in the form of a conversation. For it to be most effective, you need to keep them updated on how your mission is progressing, and how their support is helping your cause. Keep your supporters up-to-date and invested with your cause through follow up texts. Your next text could tell them about the funds raised from the last campaign: Your final update should let them know about how their funds were used and tell the stories of those who were positively impacted by your campaign. Your supporters will appreciate your transparency and willingness to keep them looped in. An invested and informed supporter is more likely to make further donations or volunteer for your cause. How else can you use texting? An alternative to peer-to-peer texting is to use text messages strictly as a way to link to your blog and website. This can be a broadcast message to all your supporters, telling them they can learn more about your campaign by following the link. There can be many other ways to use texting to engage your supporters. You can send reminders to campaigners and supporters to attend upcoming events and rallies (with their corresponding venue/timing details). Depending upon the volunteer’s role, you can also send texts reminding them of their respective duties on upcoming campaigns. It is evident that telling a charity’s stories in a way that can bring in donors and keep them engaged needs nonprofits to rethink donor communications. Channels like texting let supporters talk to you directly and make them feel like they truly are an important part of your cause. Augustus Franklin is the founder and CEO of CallHub, a California-based Voice and SMS service company bridging the communication gap for political campaigns and advocacy groups. When he is not working, he is either making toys with his kids or training for a marathon. *2018 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report  
    Jul 16, 2019 6863
  • 12 Jul 2019
    It is a known fact that the UK has seen a spike in youth violence, particularly knife crime, over the last couple of years. Sadly, the news has become all too familiar: another grinning picture of a lost kid, another grieving parent’s pleas for the violence to end, another youth worker discussing the impact of local government cuts, another politician with a soundbite playing to his or her agenda. Most of us, read these ‘by-numbers’ articles, feel a pang of sadness, anger or guilt – and then move on with our lives, much as we do when we hear about a famine or war in the global south. Sometimes however the reality of the situation is driven home a little harder. Last year a 16 year old was shot-dead one road from my house in Tulse Hill in South London. On this occasion it was impossible to ignore the deafening-silence of the neighbours and friends stood behind the police tape. Then, just a matter of days ago, my friend’s son, who is 15, was threatened at knife-point and interrogated about whether he had any gang affiliation. This happened just yards from his house - in broad day-light. My friend’s voice trembled as she told me that, what made this so hard was that this had happened in the very place that both she and her son had been brought up – the place they call home. Nowhere felt safe anymore. Like thousands of young people in London and across the UK, my friend’s son is now approaching adulthood in a state of fear and faces stark questions around how to remain safe in this environment. Of course, there is not single cause or single solution. The government, police and schools undoubtedly have huge roles to play, particularly when it comes to addressing the underling socio-economic issues at play. However, in many cases it is the people living and working in the affected communities who have the best understanding of the dynamics on the ground and therefore the best solutions for tackling these issues at the local level. At Localgiving we work with grassroots organisations across the UK who work tirelessly, to tackle youth and gang violence and its multiple causes. Many of these groups have been set up by people who have first-hand experience of these issues, some by parents of victims and some by former gang members themselves. These groups are embedded in their communities and are therefore, not only acutely aware of the specific dynamics of the situation in their area, but also find it far easier to gain access to, and the trust of those they aim to help. This is a particularly important factor, given that many of the communities most adversely affected by the uptick in youth violence have also experienced a break-down in trust with police and local authorities. The type and level of support offered by these grassroots groups varies considerably. Many services are tailored to the specific needs of the young people they work with and communities they work in. Some groups provide peer-to-peer support, some provide safe spaces for healing, some help secure safe, stable housing and provide their young people with training and education opportunities. One thing they all offer however is hope. Hope that there is a way out of the current cycle of violence and evidence of the tangible difference that people can make in their own communities – even when faced with the most painful and seemingly intractable social problems. Below are some of the amazing groups on Localgiving who work to tackle youth violence and its causes.  Jags Foundation (Croyden, London) Real Action (Kensington, London) St. Matthews Project (Lambeth, London) Aik Saath - Together As One (Slough) The New Cross Gate Trust – “carrying knives costs lives” campaign (London) Safe (Oxford) Newark Youth London (Newark London) Prospex (Islington, London) Copenhagen Youth Project (Islington, London) Lambeth Action for Youth (Lambeth, London) C2C Social Action (Northampton) Fitzrovia Youth In Action (Camden, London) Fast Project (Battersea, London) Sports4Health CIC (London) The Reasons Why Foundation (London) The Jan Trust (Haringay, London)
    15183 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • It is a known fact that the UK has seen a spike in youth violence, particularly knife crime, over the last couple of years. Sadly, the news has become all too familiar: another grinning picture of a lost kid, another grieving parent’s pleas for the violence to end, another youth worker discussing the impact of local government cuts, another politician with a soundbite playing to his or her agenda. Most of us, read these ‘by-numbers’ articles, feel a pang of sadness, anger or guilt – and then move on with our lives, much as we do when we hear about a famine or war in the global south. Sometimes however the reality of the situation is driven home a little harder. Last year a 16 year old was shot-dead one road from my house in Tulse Hill in South London. On this occasion it was impossible to ignore the deafening-silence of the neighbours and friends stood behind the police tape. Then, just a matter of days ago, my friend’s son, who is 15, was threatened at knife-point and interrogated about whether he had any gang affiliation. This happened just yards from his house - in broad day-light. My friend’s voice trembled as she told me that, what made this so hard was that this had happened in the very place that both she and her son had been brought up – the place they call home. Nowhere felt safe anymore. Like thousands of young people in London and across the UK, my friend’s son is now approaching adulthood in a state of fear and faces stark questions around how to remain safe in this environment. Of course, there is not single cause or single solution. The government, police and schools undoubtedly have huge roles to play, particularly when it comes to addressing the underling socio-economic issues at play. However, in many cases it is the people living and working in the affected communities who have the best understanding of the dynamics on the ground and therefore the best solutions for tackling these issues at the local level. At Localgiving we work with grassroots organisations across the UK who work tirelessly, to tackle youth and gang violence and its multiple causes. Many of these groups have been set up by people who have first-hand experience of these issues, some by parents of victims and some by former gang members themselves. These groups are embedded in their communities and are therefore, not only acutely aware of the specific dynamics of the situation in their area, but also find it far easier to gain access to, and the trust of those they aim to help. This is a particularly important factor, given that many of the communities most adversely affected by the uptick in youth violence have also experienced a break-down in trust with police and local authorities. The type and level of support offered by these grassroots groups varies considerably. Many services are tailored to the specific needs of the young people they work with and communities they work in. Some groups provide peer-to-peer support, some provide safe spaces for healing, some help secure safe, stable housing and provide their young people with training and education opportunities. One thing they all offer however is hope. Hope that there is a way out of the current cycle of violence and evidence of the tangible difference that people can make in their own communities – even when faced with the most painful and seemingly intractable social problems. Below are some of the amazing groups on Localgiving who work to tackle youth violence and its causes.  Jags Foundation (Croyden, London) Real Action (Kensington, London) St. Matthews Project (Lambeth, London) Aik Saath - Together As One (Slough) The New Cross Gate Trust – “carrying knives costs lives” campaign (London) Safe (Oxford) Newark Youth London (Newark London) Prospex (Islington, London) Copenhagen Youth Project (Islington, London) Lambeth Action for Youth (Lambeth, London) C2C Social Action (Northampton) Fitzrovia Youth In Action (Camden, London) Fast Project (Battersea, London) Sports4Health CIC (London) The Reasons Why Foundation (London) The Jan Trust (Haringay, London)
    Jul 12, 2019 15183