While charities face pressure to raise funds and meet their operating costs, we highlight free and cheap digital resources that can help Continue reading
Tuesday 9th May 12-1.30pm Meet the Funders Panel Continue reading
Virtual events are all the rage in the charity sector, but how can you make your stand out? We take a look at ten of the best virtual event ideas
As one door closes, another opens – following the closure of JustTextGiving we’ve put together this quick guide to a few of the best UK text-to-donate services.
We list some of the best free and cheap online fundraising platforms for charities.
With lockdown uncertainty putting the breaks on many fundraising events, learn how to manage communications and get a viable ’Plan B’ option for your supporters
Coronavirus has left face to face charity fundraising events in a lockdown limbo. For every gala, race and charity get together happening in spring that had to be cancelled, there are many more in summer and autumn that charities are finding they can’t really plan ahead for with any certainty.
But none of this means you have to leave your supporters in limbo. Event planning might be on hold but charities can plan their marketing and communications to reflect the new situation and take advantage of the opportunities from digital.
Here are some of our top tips:
In this time of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to communicate in a direct and honest way with supporters, who will be looking to you for information about how your mission is being affected and how they can stay involved.
Charity CRM experts Blackbaud offer this advice on their website:
“Don’t be afraid to be transparent with your donors about the challenges your organisation will face due to cancelled events, low ticket sales for performances and cultural attractions, reduced attendance at weekly services, and other factors due to the coronavirus.”
“Your supporters want to know how the causes they care about are faring, and earnest communication about your challenges allows you to give them the support they need.”
Donor management platform provider DonorPerfect offers a free email template with example wording for charities to use when contacting would-be event attendees, keeping the tone apologetic but grateful, and giving supporters lots more they can do to stay involved in your cause.
DON’T STOP FUNDRAISING – BUT DO IT SENSITIVELY
Don’t be ashamed to say that fundraising must go on, and to explain its importance to your cause. However, reassess how you position your messaging in any communications. Many people are responding to fundraising campaigns and are wanting to donate to help at this time of need, but it’s worth checking the wording, images, and messages to ensure they are still appropriate. After all, many people are facing financial worries of their own.
The Fundraising Regulator says: “Remind all fundraisers to keep to the principles set out in Section 1 of the Code of Fundraising Practice. In particular, fundraisers should be mindful that their behaviour is respectful and does not apply undue pressure, as people may be feeling unusually anxious at this time.”
KEEP FUNDRAISING MOMENTUM GOING
Your physical event may be on hold, but fundraising should take other forms. With digital fundraising, there are lots of ways to keep fundraisers engaged and encourage them to give in other ways.
Now is the time to ramp up your social media efforts and encourage supporters to post on their channels or your programmes. Promote your own consistent, unique hashtag or start promoting your cause against hashtags like #GivingTuesdayNow. Did you know that Giving Tuesday, the global online charity fundraising event, is running an additional day of giving this May as an emergency response to the pandemic?
Many charities are asking people to donate whatever they’re not spending money on, with online campaigns encouraging people to ’donate your commute’, grow their hair and donate the cost of a haircut to charity, or get sponsored to grow an ’isolation beard.’
Facebook birthday fundraisers are a great way of inviting people to donate in the name of your charity, while people are unable to go out and celebrate with family or friends, while virtual pub events are asking people to donate the cost of a pint to a ’tip jar’ on JustGiving.
PLAN TO GO VIRTUAL
If people can’t come to your event, bring your event to them by shifting fundraising online. As we covered in our recent article on virtual events, you can easily create imaginative and cost-effective online experiences for your participants from the comfort of their sofas.
Research indicates that lots of people are increasing their use of digital events, video conferencing and webinars, many of whom are trying it for the first time.
The London Marathon may have been cancelled, but keen runners can still join virtual races – like this example from baby health charity Tommy’s, where fundraisers are encouraged to carry out solo runs and use an app to track their progress.
With the addition of audio storytelling, there’s no end of creative ways to hold a virtual race – Fight for Sight’s virtual journey through the eye for National Eye Health Week in 2018 was a really great example.
And it’s not just virtual races, virtual event ideas include:
- A virtual gym session or exercise class
- Gaming or e-sports with live stream gaming platform Twitch
- Educational talks or entertainment events streamed on Facebook Live – like a virtual comedy or music night
- Interactive, educational webinars on your cause
- Virtual meet-ups hosted on Meetup.com
- A virtual craft-a-thon like knitting or painting
- A virtual bake-off on Twitter
- Fancy dress costume competitions for children
The ideas are as endless as fundraising in the physical world – just get out there and get promoting.
In this difficult time, it’s imperative that charities maintain fundraising through the right platforms and messaging Continue reading
Lauren Swain, Wales Development Manager for Localgiving, highlights some of the fundraising activities that organisations in Wales are proactively undertaking at this difficult time.
The support of donors to online fundraising campaigns during the coronavirus epidemic has been unprecedented and it is making such a huge difference to frontline services.
What is Localgiving?
The Localgiving Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the local voluntary sector by supporting local charities and community groups to use technology to expand their reach and impact. We run an online fundraising platform, localgiving.org, and provide free training to not-for-profit organisations to enable them to improve their digital skills.
Online fundraising refers to all donations made via the internet, typically by individuals. We are the leading independent non-profit online fundraising platform and the only platform that specialises in supporting small, grassroots organisations. Through our platform we have supported over 6,000 local charities and community groups to raise over £25m. We have distributed over £5m in additional funding through grants and match funding.
We run projects across the UK that provide tailored support, including free one-to-one and group training in mastering online fundraising, along with ongoing mentoring. These projects also provide groups with ring-fenced match funding to support their online fundraising efforts. We have been delivering a dedicated programme across Wales to support local charities and community groups for four years, supporting over 350 organisations across all 22 counties. 93% of these members have raised more income as a result of our support. We are currently working closely with local causes to coordinate their response to Coronavirus.
How are community groups and grassroots charities fundraising at this time in Wales?
We have already seen a 300% increase in donations to grassroots organisations using our platform. We have seen this support come through in three different ways:
- Safeguarding future work
Firstly, there have been donations to organisations to help them survive during the shutdown and to raise money to come back stronger when services are able to resume. One example is With Music in Mind, who provide singing and social groups for older people to reduce loneliness and increase wellbeing. They are fundraising to avoid closure and to continue their work as soon as possible.
- One-off donations
Secondly, there have been floods of one-off donations to organisations that the public is well aware are essential at this current time. This has been most prevalent amongst Foodbanks. Anglesey Foodbank have raised over £2,000 in the last couple of weeks and Cardiff Foodbank have raised over £20,000! These are services that help those facing the reality of being unable to feed themselves or their families. This is particularly vital for those facing additional financial hardship through loss of employment, benefit delay, illness or reduced income at this time.
Thirdly, a number of organisations have launched crowdfunding campaigns to ensure that projects supporting vulnerable people are able to continue, launch or adapt. Localgiving is already working with over 30 organisations to deliver crowdfunding campaigns in response to Coronavirus. One third of these organisations are in Wales. Their work is locally focused, delivering services to those in need at a grassroots level. The current list of organisations that we are supporting can be found here: localgiving.org/campaign/covid-19.
Examples of the organisations that we are working with in Wales:
- Age Connects Neath Port Talbot – raising funds to operate a telephone befriending service and to distribute shopping or prescriptions to vulnerable older people.
- Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales – raising funds for a telephone counselling service for isolated kidney patients in Wales and distributing a hardship fund for kidney patients who have lost their jobs, are not able to work or cannot access benefits to fund necessities.
- Chinese in Wales Association – raising funds for vital PPE equipment for frontline workers at local GPs, care homes and hospitals, such as face masks and medical gloves.
Why an online donation can make a difference quickly
Online fundraising is unrestricted income that can go directly to where the need is greatest. Localgiving quickly deposits funds directly into each organisation’s bank account. The majority of organisations are already delivering services across their local communities and this funding will be put to use straight away to enable them to support more people in need. Research shows that donors to crowdfunding campaigns are more likely to end up volunteering time in comparison to a usual donor.
Please consider how you can support these vital community groups and local charities during these testing times!
Localgiving is always happy to help with online fundraising and we will shortly be releasing tips around raising income at this time. Please get in touch if you would like to talk through any needs or ideas by calling 0300 111 2340 or emailing email@example.com
Due to the coronavirus pandemic charities in Wales are losing income as fundraising events are cancelled and individual donations decrease. Alison Pritchard, Sustainable Funding Manager at WCVA, has some advice for charities on how to enhance their online fundraising presence.
In March of this year CAVO organised a Continue reading