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    Why January might just be the best time for Volunteer Engagement

Why January might just be the best time for Volunteer Engagement

So, when I was asked to blog about Volunteer Engagement for the January blog, my heart sunk and now we are here in January, it’s safe to say the January blues are here and in full effect. The parties are over, the weather is cold (minus 1 degree at the time of writing), and motivation is at an all time low. We’re all looking forward to the end of the month and the long awaited pay day! But even payday doesn’t offer any solace for our volunteers, they support us for free and yet their support is invaluable – so how can you keep them motivated and make January a brighter month for all? I’ve pondered this question and come up with a few suggestions!

Advertise your projects for the year- Why not use this time to show donors exactly what you have planned for the year and what events you will be running. This way it gives donors the choice to decide if there is particular project they wish to donate to. It may be a fun run they wish to sign up to and help fundraise, or there may be a specific project close to their heart. It may be a skydive that they need a few months to build themselves up for but the ability for them (and you) to plan ahead will be welcome as the year progresses.

Make ‘Blue Monday’  a happy day! – The last Monday before January payday has started to become known as Blue Monday. Why not use this day as a mini fundraising campaign to give people the opportunity to do something fun on this day. Local companies could ask employees to wear a bright colour on the […]

Twitter Tips for your Christmas Campaign

It’s almost Christmas and your festive fundraising is about to go into full swing. Have you ever thought about using Twitter to help you advance your donations? Technology Trust have published a very useful guide on how to make the most of Twitter for your Christmas campaign.

The guide offers a great step by step guide to three main features of Twitter, the first of which is Twitter Moments. This new feature allows charities to create a story and add Tweets that they have liked – or Tweets followers have sent –  to this story. This feature can be great for showing how a campaign is going or giving updates of fundraising events. See this moment recently posted by Children in Need to update on their Rickshaw Challenge.

Secondly, the guide references the use of media on Twitter. Statistics show that Tweets with images or videos receive a lot more likes and retweets. The article gives examples of charities making great use of media on Twitter such as Dogs Trust. Have a look at their page and see how almost every Tweet has an image with it, you will also note that the image is always relevant to the Tweet to make it as effective as possible. Why not post a video of a fundraising event, or even of one of your services in action? This is a great platform to show donors exactly what it is you do and how their money is spent.

The third feature highlighted is Conversational Ads. This is something that may be useful for a larger campaign as while it initially doesn’t cost anything, Twitter do charge for click-throughs. It’s definitely worth considering  how much you can benefit from this […]

Are you ready for #GivingTuesday?

Save the date #GivingTuesday 2016 is on Tuesday the 29th November

#GivingTuesday provides a welcome philanthropic antidote to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where frenzied shoppers trawl the web for the best offers on Christmas shopping. With newspapers reporting around £1.1billion spent in the UK on Cyber Monday last year it’s clear that people are enticed by these US born crazes and #GivingTuesday looks to be no exception.

#GivingTuesday is fast becoming a globally recognised event. This year, DonorPerfect have produced a handy document ‘The 2016 #GivingTuesday E-Book’ which gives advice on how to prepare for this growing phenomenon. The E-Book also provides answers to one of the big questions you are probably asking as you are reading this ‘won’t this take away from our usual Christmas fundraising?’. Surely if people donate their money on #GivingTuesday they are less likely to do this on your normal end of year campaign, right? DonorPerfect’s data shows that the answer to this is No! Participants of #GivingTuesday saw a 19.4% increase on all giving in December while those who did not take part only saw a rise of 8.4%. Figures show that this day is becoming more and more successful each year with total dollars contributed in the US rising from 13.5 million in 2012 to 45.7 million in 2014.

The E-Book also provides hints and tips of how to participate and make the most of #GivingTuesday for your charity along with a timeline of the weeks and days leading up to it and how best to utilise the initiative.

We’re interested to hear if any of you have already tried this? How did it work for you, was it a success?

Likewise, if you are planning on giving it a try […]

Have you read the CAF World Giving Index 2016 yet?

The Charities Aid Foundation(CAF) World Giving Index 2016 reports that more people are helping others than ever before, donating both time and money.

With so many tragedies happening all over the world on a daily basis it’s not surprising that we don’t often hear of all the good that happens. This uplifting report highlights the generosity of the world that is rarely reported in the press and shows that in a time when so many countries are at the centre of a humanitarian crisis, a significant number of people want to help.

The CAF World Giving Index 2016 reports that for the second year running Iraq has the number one position for the percentage of people helping a stranger. This, from a country in a state of civil war, shows another side which perhaps reflects the reality for people living in such conditions. Following the devastating earthquake in 2015, Nepal is shown as one of the most improved countries. As questioned in the report, is this down to the need of the population encouraging people to be more generous? It would seem that a nation in turmoil can also be a nation of great philanthropy.

However, it is not only the nations suffering adversity that share their generosity. Per the report, the UK is ranked 8th in the top 20 countries with 69% of people donating money and 61% helping a stranger. Interestingly only 33% of people in the UK said they had volunteered their time. The UK did, however, move down two places in the ranking from the 2015 report where they were ranked 6th.  The USA have maintained their ranking of 2nd with Australia, Canada and New Zealand all remaining in the top 10 […]

The role of charities in post-Brexit Britain

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) have published a report based on their research exploring the public attitudes towards their local community post-Brexit. The report, A Stronger Britain: How can charities build post-Brexit Britain? looks at the impact that political developments during the months pre and post-Brexit have had on society and the role the believe charities should play.

CAF found that nearly 14 million people feel that their community is now more divided than it was pre Brexit with only 17% of people feeling more positive about people in their local area. This points to post-Brexit Britain being a nation with tensions running high and problems such as racism increasing. The National Police Chiefs Council states that hate crimes rose by 57% in the days immediately following the referendum. CAF’s finding show that 46% of people believe that charities can help to improve community cohesion.

The report also suggests that charities are to play an integral part in making an independent Britain work by ensuring that they provide support to those most at risk and also providing opportunities for people from all backgrounds to mix and rebuild communities that have been affected by Brexit. The report shows that 84% of people think charities are best placed to speak up for the disadvantaged and to help influence government policies.

Findings from the report show that 56% of people believe local charities should receive more support from councils and 51% from central government. CAF suggest that more people are now more active in a political or social cause with 9 million people saying they now feel more inclined to volunteer in their local community. This increase in people wanting to be involved in their communities is a great thing for […]

Fundraising Central launches Client Voice!

Do you often wish you could effectively demonstrate the impact of your work? Do you struggle to find the time to gather the thoughts and feedback of your service users?

Over the years we have worked with numerous charities who struggle when it comes to finding an appropriate, affordable solution to service user consultation and the evaluation of projects and services.

Next month, we are launching a new venture Client Voice –  set up specifically to deliver this kind of feedback. Client Voice will specialise in gathering the feedback you need through consultation, research and evaluation, all with a focus on service-user engagement.

We believe that evidence-based service development, building on the expertise of service users, is integral to the development and continuation of effective projects. Also, as many of you will be aware, this is fast becoming a requirement of funders.

Louisa has previously worked with Community Research Company (CRC UK), an innovative training and research company, founded by Jon Adamson and Graham Fletcher. Their work specialised in social research and evaluation and also provided training and support for peer-led research. Louisa was involved in a number of key pieces of research including:

o Mixed-methods research – including survey, depth interviews, focus groups and a peer-led research project – funded by AstraZeneca and undertaken on behalf of National Homeless Charity, DePaul UK and as part of Making it Matter: Improving the health of homeless young people.

o The co-facilitation of training and workshops as part of a youth-led research project on child poverty in Leicestershire – the findings of which are incorporated into the 2011 report Child Poverty in Leicestershire.

o Depth interviews and focus groups with service users of Women at the Well, a day centre […]

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    Christmas is coming (sorry) – are you ready to maximise your fundraising?

Christmas is coming (sorry) – are you ready to maximise your fundraising?

With Christmas fast approaching (only 95 days to go!), it’s time to start thinking of how you can maximise fundraising during the season of goodwill. This time of year sees people embracing the festive spirit and offering their support to charities in many different ways, much more so than at other times of the year. December is the  month that fundraisers can expect to generate a higher amount of income through individual giving than any other month of the year.

If as a fundraiser, you are finding yourself thinking “Oh no, Christmas! I don’t want to dress up as Santa and stand in the town centre freezing with a bucket again!”, fear not! For here we have some alternative methods to fundraising at Christmas. While Christmas Markets and Carol Services are very effective and festive, there are other ways to maximise the Christmas spirit in terms of fundraising. Here are 5 Christmas tips for alternative fundraising methods:

  1. Corporate Partners – I know from my own experience in the Corporate Sector that December is often the month of ‘festive fun’ at work. This month see’s fundraising days and events such as ‘Christmas Jumper Day’. Having a relationship with a Corporate Partner can be very useful to charities at Christmas time. There are many ways they can help with fundraising, from fundraising events to asking their employees to donate their last hour of pay for the year. You could even ask that they have donating buckets at their Christmas parties, as we all know people are more charitable after a few drinks!
  1. Search Engines – The technology era is upon us, and we are spending more and more time online to do our shopping than we […]