Funding news

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Life after Virgin Money Giving

Virgin Money has announced the closure of Virgin Money Giving, taking effect on 30 November 2021. The closure is unwelcome news for many of us in the UK charity sector and it raises important questions about the viability of donation platforms in the face of competition from other payment methods.

The good news for charities is that there are now lots of ways to collect donations:

But, for those of you who would like to continue using fundraising platforms because of the features and support they offer, here are your options from Charity Digital: https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/the-best-online-fundraising-platforms-for-charities-5324 

and an interesting podcast on the subject that's worth a listen https://charitydigital.org.uk/podcasts/podcast-virgin-money-giving-and-the-future-of-fundraising-platforms

More information:

https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/video-five-digital-fundraising-platforms-your-charity-should-know-about-9232

https://www.bhibcharities.co.uk/advice/the-best-online-fundraising-platforms/

 

 

Add a heading

Why do I need a charity newsletter?

Nonprofit newsletters get some of the best average open rates in email marketing (26%). Newsletters provide important opportunities to showcase the work you do, make appeals for donations and other support and raise awareness of the problems your charity tackles. Use your newsletter to connect with donors and volunteers, encouraging them to take action.

Email drives more charitable donations than any other online channel. 42% of donors prefer to hear from causes they support by email, 20% of donors said that emails made them more likely to donate again and 69% of subscribers said they were more likely to donate after receiving an appeal for a specific need.

Everyone gets more emails than they can ever read. A typical email receives no more than 15 seconds of attention - so make yours stand out. Use images, a good subject line and engaging opening paragraph. If a reader is not interested at the opening of your newsletter, they won’t read what comes later.

What else should you do?

  • ensure that your newsletter can be read on a mobile device.
  • personalise (use recipient names)
  • all non-profit newsletters should include a call to action - usually a request for donations, volunteers or an ask to social share
  • keep text to a minimum and focus on 1-5 stories or calls-to-action
  • have your donate button and social media icons at the top of the newsletter
  • enable social sharing
  • use images and video screenshots linking to your website or YouTube
  • send on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday - avoid Mondays and Fridays

Finally, remember you cannot email anyone without their permission, but you can build your email list by:

  • have a subscribe button on your website
  • promote through conversations with supporters
  • run a specific list building social media campaign
  • offer donors the option to subscribe in thank you messages

Subscribe to our e-news here!

More reading:

https://getanewsletter.com/en/blog/newsletter-introduction-examples-how-to-write-catchy-intros-for-your-newsletters/

http://www.thestorytellingnonprofit.com/blog/5-non-profit-newsletters-to-learn-from/

https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/campaigns/communications/e-newsletters

https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/everything-you-need-to-know-about-email-marketing-software-8734?

charity website

What does a good charity website look like?

The best charity websites are kind to users – not overloading them with choices or too much text, and instead making calls to action obvious and ensuring that users can easily find further information as needed. Here are our top tips to improve your site:

  • Give your website visitors what they want! Make your home page menu clear with no more than 6 options. Users need to be able to find what they need quickly so make your messages clear and concise to avoid overwhelming users with too much information. Guide Dogs is a great example of a clear, user friendly website with https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/
  • Be clear what your charity does, how website visitors can support you and what support means to the lives of your beneficiaries. Charity Water does this really well https://www.charitywater.org/uk
  • Use images for instant impact - donors respond to campaigns that feature a single, identifiable beneficiary. Care International UK has faces of beneficiaries on every page https://www.careinternational.org.uk/fighting-poverty
  • Make sure your website is device appropriate. You must consider how it's being viewed on smart phones, iPads and tablets. Comic Relief looks good on all devices https://www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday
  • Payment or sign-up processes should be as simple as possible. Not too many steps to complete and don't ask for unnecessary information in long winded forms.

More reading:

What Makes a Good Charity Website?

https://www.theukdomain.uk/what-makes-a-great-charity-website/

gaming for good (1)

Gaming for Good

Gaming and livestreaming were already big before the pandemic struck but participation has really taken off.  This is good news for charities because it gives us a new avenue for fundraising that appeals the generous Generation Z.

The idea may seem strange but gaming fundraisers are popular and effective https://fundraising.co.uk/2021/02/03/6-successful-gaming-for-good-livestreaming-campaigns/

How does it work?

Gamers share game playing with their friends and other gamers, who tune in to watch the game in action. This is called streaming and there are there are several platforms dedicated to gaming, the most popular is called Twitch, which was built specifically for streaming games. The gamer adds a donate buttons to their stream – like a donate button on a charity website which links to the gamer's fundraising page on a donation platform like JustGiving.

By hosting a donate button on screen, gamers engage their audience into making donations in return for gaming activity. A gamer could host a 24-hour gaming marathon or they could host a tournament with other gamers.

If you want your charity to run or help run a gaming fundraiser, try reaching out to local gaming communities or looking for gaming events that have occurred in your area. Maybe someone on your  charity team (volunteer/supporter/member of staff) has a passion for video games, and they can help organise hosting or participating in a gaming fundraiser. Look for gamers who might be interested in your cause https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/gaming-for-good-how-to-find-gamers-9003

More Reading:

Top tips for successful livestreaming and gaming for good

Just Giving Gaming

How to Get Started with Gaming Fundraising

Fundraising on Twitch

 

Impact Measurement Tools

Measuring Impact

You know that you are doing good things and your beneficiaries agree with you - but the only way to prove it is to set targets and collect data.

To inform your supporters, partners and funders you must measure what kind of difference you are making. Measuring your impact is essential and ensures you are achieving what you set out to achieve.

If you're new to impact measurement then go to the Inspiring Impact website and read about the impact assessment process and best practice. The Small Charities Coalition have put together a list some free and low cost impact measurement tools for when you're ready to get started:

impactasuarus.org

stateoflife.org

goodfinance.org

socialvalue.org/social-value-tools

outcomesstar.org.uk

measurewellbeing.org

Text to give

Text to Give - Donations by Phone

When did you last pick up your mobile phone?

When did you last use your phone to pay for something?

84% of the UK now own a smartphone - putting the internet in their pocket. On average people spend 2 hours and 34 minutes online on their smartphones every day. People can browse the internet, shop, view social media and download apps that allow them to do endless tasks.

It's not new, but the text-to-give process might be the answer for those charities looking for a safe, hygienic giving method that follows social distancing rules. It's a good option for donors too because it's quick, they use their own phones and they don't need to enter credit card information. Charities set up custom keywords preset to a specific donation amount and accept donations in a few quick steps.

£50 million was given in text donations in 2019, making it a serious fundraising contender as more and more people become comfortable using their phones to make payments.

To get started you need a text to donate service provider - have a look at the t&cs of DonrDonate or instaGiv for more information.

https://merchantmachine.co.uk/digital-wallet/

https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/the-best-uk-charity-text-donation-services-5632

https://www.whitefuse.com/blog/text-to-donate-giving

https://snowballfundraising.com/text-to-give-guide/#basics

https://www.nptechforgood.com/2021/08/01/how-to-effectively-share-text-to-donate-campaigns-on-social-media/

Copy of Copy of LEGACY FUNRAISING IS

Legacy Fundraising in 5 steps

March is Free Wills Month. More than half of UK adults don't have a will and this month it's possible to get a solicitor-written will in return for a small charity donation.

The publicity behind this campaign and Remember a Charity Week later in the year, is a great way for you to introduce/promote a legacy option in your fundraising messages. Here are the fundamentals to get you started:

  1. change the narrative because legacies are not about death - a gift to charity makes a lasting difference, not only for the next generation but for future generations https://stephenwgeorge.com/10-of-the-best-words-to-use-in-legacy-fundraising/2
  2. make it normal by including legacy fundraising in your everyday supporter conversations, emails and charity literature and on your website https://legacyvoice.co.uk/legacy-fundraising-tip-drip-your-legacy-message/
  3. tell stories to help your supporters see the difference their #legacy gift will make and include in all your charity fundraising marketing materials  https://www.goodworksco.ca/upon-time-telling-perfect-legacy-gift-story/
  4. make it easy for your supporters to find the information on your website or ask you a question https://blog.justgiving.com/5-charities-with-stand-out-online-legacy-fundraising
  5. watch the video from Directory of Social Change https://youtu.be/wmY4T57GvAM

Remember that as fundraisers you should be aware of the law - the Fundraising Regulator has the specifics regarding legacies https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code/specific-fundraising-methods/legacies

make it easy (1)

Social media - make it easy!

You want to inspire and motivate your audience to get involved with your charity by posting great social media with valuable content. You need engagement, retweets, likes, shares, followers, and all the other good things that comes with a successful social media profile. So the question is, what kind of social media content gets that kind of love and gives you the most value?

Who is your audience?

This is a group of people that you've identified that you want to appeal to and who are most likely to be interested in your charity. Your audience can be based on location, age, employment or behavior. Look at other similar charities to yours. What content are they publishing? What kind of voice are they using? Who are they appealing to? What's their call to action?

What is your goal for the social media post/campaign?

Your social media posts should have a purpose - this is a call to action CTA. Do you need donations? Sign up to an email list?  Volunteers? Publicising an event? Your call to action should encourage readers to engage with you further. Be clear what you want your audience to do.

What should you write?

We write about our successes, our beneficiaries, our volunteers, our community and we share local and national social media from partners and charities. Cause awareness and giving days can also be powerful themes for fundraising and social media awareness campaigns. Get ideas from 2021 Cause Awareness Days Days of the Year  Wikipedia’s List of Commemorative Months and download the handy calendar template from Hootsuite for your office wall.

When should you post?

Different audiences on different platforms read posts and view videos at different times of the day. For example, commuters consume social media on their journey to work. Homeworkers may read posts in the middle of the day. Twitter audiences are consuming in the early morning and engagement drops off later in the day. Use the Sprout Socials guide to experiment with posting at different times on different platforms.

How do you make it visually attractive?

Including images is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase engagement. Our brain can interpret images much quicker than text making your post much more effective. Top tip - make your images the correct size for the platform! We use a free version of an easy to use graphic design platform called Canva and Hootsuite have a guide to getting the sizes right. Remember to use images that belong to you or those from a royalty free site - we use pixabay or unsplash

Finally ... make it easy

Posting diverse, interesting content at the right time on the right platform is made much easier by using a scheduling tool. We use Hootsuite. It allows us to plan our content in advance and schedule appropriately across 3 platforms for free. Read about Hootsuite and other scheduling options here.

thriving-communities FB

Thriving Communities Fund

The Thriving Communities Fund will support local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise projects that bring together place-based partnerships to improve and increase the range and reach of available social prescribing community activities – especially for those people most impacted by COVID19 and health inequalities.

Voluntary, community and faith sector (VCFS) organisations can apply for between £25,000 and £50,000, but to be eligible all applications must:

  • Include 20% match funding, which could include in-kind contribution
  • Evidence a commitment of three core partner organisations – including at least one partner organisation from the arts and culture sector – at the point the application is made.
  • A statement of support from the relevant social prescribing link worker(s)
  • Commitment to work with partner organisations from all of the following sectors in the course of the funded period: Arts, and culture, including libraries, museums and heritage; Sport, leisure and physical activity organisations; Financial wellbeing, advice, food and practical support; Environment and nature-based organisations;  Non-statutory health and care organisations, working with social prescribing link workers.

To support the VCFS to apply for Thriving Communities, Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands are running a matching funding and partnership panel. This panel will provide the eligibility requirements set out above. In addition, any applications made to the panel which are unsuccessful at securing Thriving communities funding, will be considered for full funding from Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands.

How it will work:

  • VCFS organisation develop their ideas and application, inline with the Thriving Communities application form.
  • If you would like to apply to the SCC/Surrey Heartlands Panel for match funding or partnership commitment, please send a draft copy of your Thriving Communities application to: Rebecca.Brooker@surreycc.gov.uk by 5pm on 5th January, along with the cover template attached, showing clearly what match funding you require.
  • Applications will be reviewed on 6th January by the panel, which will include a social prescribing link worker and representatives of arts and culture, leisure/physical activity, environment and health sectors.
  • The panel will review the applications and decide which will receive match funding and the partnership commitment.
  • Applicants to the panel will be informed whether they have been allocated any match funding by 5pm on 6th January.
  • Applicants will then need to finalise their Thriving Communities application and submit it online, in line with the Thriving Communities requirements and deadline of 8th January.
  • A second panel date will consider if any applications can be fully funded from SCC/Surrey Heartlands if they are unsuccessful at securing Thriving Communities funding.

 

Additional information:

  • The offer of match funding and partnership commitment does not guarantee the applicants success in the Thriving Communities fund. The applicant must apply to the Thriving Communities Fund independently of applying to the panel.
  • Match funding will only be paid on an applicant’s successful award of Thriving Communities funding. If an applicant is unsuccessful at securing Thriving Communities funding, the match funding will not be paid.
  • Applicants can apply to the panel for match funding, partnership commitment or both. What they require should be clear in their application, using the cover template attached.
  • The panel aims to support VCFS application to the Thriving Communities fund. It does not stop applicants progressing an application to Thriving Communities independently. Applicants who do not wish to apply to the panel for match funding or partnership commitment, may progress their application directly with Thriving Communities if they wish.
  • The panel is open to application which will support Surrey residents within all Surrey NHS areas.
  • We understand that deadlines for Thriving Communities are very short, especially with Christmas holidays. We have tried to accommodate these deadlines as much as possible. Applications that are not sufficiently finalised to apply for Thriving Communities will still be considered for potential full funding by SCC/Surrey Heartlands, but applicants will need to share their idea with the panel by 5th January deadline as above.
  • Projects within the Thriving Communities fund will run for a year including planning and delivery time. They are expected to commence on 15 March 2021, and end on 31 March 2022.

 

who are we_ what do we do_ who do we help_ how do we spend our money_

Funders Read Your Charity Website

These days, funders look at your website when you make an application. This is your window to the outside world and it should be current, easy to find, and up to date.

Good website content can:

  • Demonstrate professionalism to funders
  • Show how wisely and economically you spend your budget
  • Demonstrate the impact of your projects and services
  • Showcase your volunteer and community involvement
  • Generate traffic from search engines when your site matches relevant queries
  • Measure what interests your site visitors by using website analytics to be more strategic

Make sure that who you are and what you do is up-to date. Be prepared for funders to check out your website for background information about your projects, beneficiaries and services.

Show the impact of your organisation's work. Create a space on your website where you feature content that describes work you’re doing, whether in the form of statistics, video, photos, testimonials, stories, or a combination of them all.  A variety of content will create compelling impact pages.

Images get your audiences attention - studies show that people only remember 10% of what they hear once 72 hours have passed. However, if you pair a relevant image with your material, people can remember 65% of the information after three days. Humans process images at an incredible speed which makes them the perfect way to communicate in today’s short-attention world.

Read The Beginners Guide to Nonprofit Website Content for content inspiration

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