Funding news

brexit

What a No-Deal Brexit Means for the Charity Sector

We’re a little fed up of the deal or no-deal Brexit scenarios being discussed ad nauseam in the press. With 31 October looming and no resolution in sight what should charities do to prepare for a no-deal?

An important Brexit consideration for many charities is their staff. Employment laws will be affected but there’s unlikely to be an overnight change in employment rights in the event of no deal. Take steps to familiarise yourselves with Home Office Guidance to allow you to support and advise your EU employees.

In times of economic difficulty, need increases, and the work of voluntary organisations becomes more important. Currently a no-deal Brexit UK economy is predicted to go into recession which will affect charity funding available at local and national level and lead to a rise in demand on charitable services, especially for those working in poorer communities. The press is predicting food and medicine shortages due to customs-check chaos and a fall in Sterling by 10%, which would increase the cost of imported goods and services. It would also further reduce the purchasing power of charities operating abroad. Charity boards should be reviewing risk, existing financial position and funding streams in advance of the departure date.

A recent report states that a third of charities are over-reliant on one source of funding and those charities said losing their major source of funding would lead to the charity’s demise. Brexit aside, voluntary organisations must remain financially robust to cope with the needs of beneficiaries and their communities. Considerations of current and future funding sources should already be part of your fundraising strategy but a no-deal Brexit will mean further diversification and new ideas to compensate for a shortfall. It takes at least 6 months for most grant applications to be fruitful and your fundraising should take advantage of all your physical, human and digital assets – it should be creative and imaginative  – check out different ideas on the internet and try adapting other charities fundraising successes to what your organisation could achieve.

Being aware, discussing and planning for Brexit related issues at trustee and board level is a good way to avoid unwelcome surprises – download and read the full guidance from NCVO or watch the webinar on what a no-deal means to the UK charity sector.

If you need help writing or updating your fundraising strategy please contact suzie@voluntarysupport.org.uk

mobile-phone-1917737_640

Digital Fundraising

Digital fundraising is simply fundraising online using digital technology. Alongside traditional fundraising, digital techniques should now be part of your fundraising strategy.

90% of adults in the UK are internet users and 80% have a smartphone which they use to browse the internet. We spend an average of 24 hours per week online, using a mobile for phone calls is only considered important by 75% of smartphone users, compared to 92% who consider web browsing to be more important. This is an audience of 48 million people to whom you can tell the story of your organisation and ask for support.

These statistics should convince even the most sceptical and techno-phobic trustees that your organisation need a digital fundraising option. There a number of online channels you can use to fundraise:

  • Website – your website is a window to your organisation and should set out your cause and impact. The site should have a clear donate button and allow donors to easily and securely make donations.
  • Giving Platforms – depending on your website traffic and finances you can choose from a number of different options – have a look the options
  • Social Media – use your social media platforms to promote your organisation, tell stories of your beneficiaries and ask for donations. Facebook and Instagram now allow donations to be made directly to UK charities without fees.
  • Donate As You Spend – There are a number of different schemes – Amazon Smile and Give As You Live are just 2 ways for your supporters to raise funds for your charity through everyday online shopping

On Monday 21st October, I’ll be running a free Digital Fundraising workshop in Camberley – open to voluntary organisations, covering the subject in greater detail and offering ideas and information on adding digital to your fundraising strategy.

training

Training for Charities and Voluntary Organisations in Surrey

Learn new skills to improve your charity knowledge this autumn at training and workshop events covering a wide range of subjects:

  • Working with your Trustees – As a chair a big responsibility is finding and managing good trustees. It is not made easier by the fact most trustees are typically volunteers and have limited time and varied backgrounds. So why not come along to the launch of the working with trustees series where you can meet other chairs and learn good tips and tricks – Tuesday 24/9/19, 6pm-8pm, EC4V, London, £40 or free to AoC members, contact events@associationofchairs.org.uk
  • Trustees Duties and Responsibilities – Do you think your trustees understand their responsibilities or if you are a trustee are you confident with what is expected of you? During the seminar there will be a practical look at what it takes to be an effective trustee – 8/10/19, 4:30pm-6:30pm, Guildford Harbour Terrace GU1 3DA, Free, contact gordonreid@barlowrobbins.com, 01483464224
  • Recruiting Trustees – The focus of this trustee event is Recruiting Trustees. It will be an opportunity for the trustees of local nonprofits to share issues and successes and to hear about best practice in recruiting trustees https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/recruiting-trustees-event/
  • Grant and Trust Application Writing – One day free fundraising course for non profit organisations in Surrey concentrates on structuring and composing applications for grants and trusts (national and local) https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/application-writing-for-grants-and-trusts/
  • Social Media and Website Training – One day free social media and web training workshop for not for profit organisations in Surrey led by colleagues at Surrey County Council https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/website-and-social-media-workshop/
  • Volunteering and the Law – This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn about or refresh your knowledge on volunteering and the law. It is designed as an overview of the current legislation relating to volunteers https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/volunteering-and-the-law/
  • Digital Fundraising – One day free fundraising course for non profit organisations concentrates on the increasing importance of using digital in all it’s forms to raise funds for your charity https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/digital-fundraising-training/
  • Successful Volunteer Management – One day free course covering the basics for developing a successful volunteer programme, including interaction and practical activities to allow participants to practice the skills needed to manage volunteers https://voluntarysupport.org.uk/event/successful-volunteer-management/

Sign up using the hyperlinks or contact details and we look forward to seeing you there!

new skills

New Term – New Tricks

NCVO announced this week that 36% of voluntary sector employers believe their staff are missing digital skills. This skills gap is a serious strategic weakness when we should be using technology to raise funds, increase cause awareness and reduce costs by working more efficiently.

There are 5 main digital skills identified as essential for organisations to participate in and contribute to the digital world:

  • communication
  • handling information and content
  • transacting
  • problem solving
  • being safe and legal online

Lloyds Bank Charity Digital Index found that 48% of charities do not have all five digital skills and ‘problem solving’ is the area with the greatest gap. Only 64% of charities are using digital tools and online resources to solve problems, online feedback to improve services, and analytics to optimise websites performance.

To improve your skills we have 2 events in October. On 2/10/19, in the lecture theatre above Weybridge Library, colleagues from Surrey County Council are offering a social media and website workshop with sessions covering:

  • Social Media and Marketing – How should I use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and everything else?
  • Running a website – Where do I start, what should I think about
  • Web/Content writing – Why should I write differently online?
  • Our website is live, what now?
  • How do I measure who is visiting my website? What do they look at? What do they like or dislike? When should I make changes?

There will be an open panel discussion with all presenters for submitted questions or questions from the floor. Tickets available on Eventbrite.

I’ll be running a Digital Fundraising course on the 22nd October, a free one day course for non profit organisations concentrating on the increasing importance of using digital in all it’s forms to raise funds for your charity. I’m also available one to one for any digital or social media enquiries you have – if I don’t know the answer I’ll find out! Email me at suzie@voluntarysupport.org.uk

There is some good news – although there is still room for improvement, the resourcefulness of UK charity sector seems to paying off with the digital capability of UK charities has almost doubled since 2014!

instagram (2)

Fundraise with Instagram

Last week Instagram announced that eligible UK charities and supporters can now raise money for their charity on Instagram using donation stickers. The great news is that like Facebook, 100% of the money raised using the Instagram donation sticker goes to your organisation.

To be eligible to receive donations through donation stickers your UK registered charity must:

  1. Register with Facebook to use its charitable giving tools (to use donation stickers your charity must be approved to accept Facebook payments)
  2. Link your Instagram profile to your organisations Facebook page
  3. Convert your Instagram profile to a business profile

Once you’ve completed these steps, your organisation’s Instagram account is eligible to be fundraised for on Instagram Stories.

Now you can create your own Instagram photos/stories about your cause and add a donate sticker for your charity. You can also ask your supporters to do the same on their Instagram stories and photos to raise money for you.

It’s a straightforward process:

  1. Take a photo or video using your Instagram account
  2. Tap the sticker icon in the top of phone screen

  1. Selection the DONATION sticker from the options

  1. Select your charity from the list displayed
  2. Tap Send to and then Share with your friends

Facebook has made suggestions on best practices for using Instagram donate stickers:

Kick start your donation story with photos and video of what your cause is and why it matters and what the donations will help to accomplish. Use the creative tools to make it visual and post donate sticker in lots of stories for exposure. Keep people up to date with your campaign with milestones and achievements. Finally, use the highlight feature to pin your story to your profile so that your supporters have access to your donation story for more than 24 hours.

For those of you new to Instagram here’s a couple of links to help you get started:

How to get started on Instagram

Creating an Instagram story

 

pound notes

Payroll Giving – a great way to donate to charity

Payroll Giving is a scheme run through HMRC which allows employees to make simple, tax-effective donations to any UK charity or good cause. Employees can give to any organisation recognised as charitable by HMRC.

Employers who pay employees or pensioners through PAYE must set up a Payroll Giving scheme through a Payroll Giving agency, using the list of organisations approved and monitored by HMRC to set up a scheme.

Deductions are made each time payroll is run by the employer, with the donation taken from employees’ pay before tax but after National Insurance. The donations are then sent to the Payroll Giving agency who pass them on to the chosen charities. Some agencies charge an administration fee, although the employee can opt for the fee to be deducted from their donation.

Advantages of making a donation to charity through payroll giving are:

  • charities get more of your donation because giving comes out of your salary after National Insurance, but before tax. This means that you get tax relief on your donation which can be passed onto your charity.
  • charities can rely upon regular donations.
  • reduces administration for charities because donations are made before tax, charities don’t have to claim gift aid.

As an employer, most corporate organisations realise how important Corporate Social Responsibility is, both for their reputation as a responsible business and a good employer. By having a payroll giving scheme, businesses can offer a genuine employee benefit and boost their CSR at the same time. Choosing a charity for the whole organisation to support each year can also be a great employee engagement activity, with additional fundraising events from time to time building team spirit and pride in the organisation.

And finally the good news from HMRC is that employers can deduct any costs of running the scheme from their business profits before tax.

Details on the HMRC website

 

 

cyber attack

Free Cyber Security Webinar 18/7/19

Three quarters of charities haven’t invested in cyber security, despite 22% of UK charities of all sizes being targeted by attackers last year. 44% of charities aren’t protecting themselves from cyber attacks because they simply don’t see themselves at risk, leaving them vulnerable to costly security breaches (the average cost of a cyber breach to a charity in 2019 is nearly 10k).

But cost shouldn’t be your only concern — funders, supporters and beneficiaries are increasingly asking for charities to show how they are protecting data and taking cyber security seriously. It is increasingly a priority issue for organisations. 75% of charities (vs. 53% in 2018) now rate it as a high priority. Among these organisations, the most common attacks are:

  • phishing emails (80% of businesses and 81% of charities experiencing breaches or attacks)
  • others impersonating their organisation online (28% and 20%)
  • viruses or other malware, including ransomware (27% and 18%)

Many charities are taking action on cyber security as a result of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but could take a more proactive approach around staff engagement and training:

  • 49% of charities, directors or trustees are only updated once a year or less on cyber security (if at all)
  • Only 29% the staff dealing with charity cyber security have the right skills and knowledge

In a survey, just over half of charities identified cyber security as a key priority, but almost three quarters said they hadn’t invested in cyber security.

A great starting point is to have a look at the Government’s 10 Steps to Cyber Security and for your board of trustees to recognise their responsibilities in protecting information and not merely as in IT issue.

Learn the common cyber attacks and how to spot the danger signs by taking part in the free National Cyber Security Centre webinar https://charitydigital.org.uk/ncsc-cyber-essentials/ on Thursday 18th July.

 

 

 

big-give-logo

The Big Give Christmas Challenge

One donation, twice the impact.

The Big Give runs the UK’s biggest match funding campaign, The Christmas Challenge. For 7 days, it offers supporters of registered UK charities the opportunity to have their donation doubled.

How does the Christmas Challenge Work?

The Christmas Challenge is a match funding campaign where donations to participating UK charities are doubled. The match funds come from two sources – charities secure some of these (pledges) over the summer. These funds are then boosted by funds from a Big Give Champion who contributes to the match fund. This collective pot is used to double donations from online supporters when the campaign is live.

After the campaign in 2018, charities reported:

  • 94% attracted new donors
  • 63% said that current supporters gave more
  • 89% increased their confidence in online fundraising
  • 73% reported an increase in profile having taken part in the campaign
  • 50% said they received a pledge promise from a new supporter

Who is eligible to take part?

You must be a UK-registered charity with a Charity Commission number or tax-exempt status.

Submit Stage 1 Application by 19th July 2019

Complete Stage 2 (Collect your Pledges) by 30th August 2019

Check your eligibility and click here to get started

 

 

lottery

Local Authority Lotteries Generating Local Funding

Community lotteries are becoming increasingly popular. The idea is to make a positive difference to communities, passing as much money as possible on to good causes while allowing people to choose where their money goes. For local authorities a lottery can be used to raise funds to cover expenditure on local community projects, arts centres or parks and leisure facilities. 

Historically, local authorities have awarded grants to support voluntary organisations, but funding has been reduced following central government cuts and the lottery provides the means for community groups to help themselves fundraise using their page on the community lottery website.

Locally, there are currently 4 community lotteries in operation: Guildford, Surrey Heath and Rushmoor are run by the lottery operator Gatherwell, and an independently operated lottery in Tandridge. The success of others around the UK suggests that this is an idea that will be adopted by more local authorities trying to bridge the gap between services and funding.

How does it work?

For groups in Surrey Heath, once a voluntary organisation has met the criteria and been accepted for the lottery, they are given their own Surrey Heath Lottery page which can be shared with their supporters and used to generate ticket sales. Groups keep 50% of all ticket sales made on their page and the funds are paid to them directly each month.

The draw for the Surrey Heath Lottery takes place every Saturday night with results posted on the lottery website, Facebook and Twitter. 60% of ticket sales go to good causes – 50% to the voluntary group’s own cause and 10% to a fund supporting all good causes in Surrey Heath.

There is no fee but your organisation must provide services benefiting residents, have a constitution and bank account and have no restriction on membership. See the terms and conditions here.

Interesting to note that by comparison the National Lottery contributes 28% of ticket sales to good causes while the Health Lottery contributes just 20%

 

 

free

Small Charity Week 2019 – Share Your Skills

We know you’re dedicated, thrifty, resourceful and excellent at networking.

The strength of being a small charity is the trust in our cause from the local community. Being established, embedded and connected allows us to offer person-centred, quick decisions and long-term solutions.

The disadvantages of being small are the lack of human resource, time and budget for running costs.

This Small Charity Week I wondered how I could help you with those challenges and had a lightbulb moment as I looked at all the bookmarked pages on my internet browser.

We use free versions of apps and tools to save time, read blogs and join webinars to access free training and network with other voluntary groups and charities for free expertise and resources.

Here’s a run down of our favourite, free (or reduced cost) things:

Social Media is time consuming but essential to raise your profile. We use Hootsuite to set up our posts for the week ahead – the free version allows scheduling of 3 different channels. Pocket to save articles and links that would make interesting content. Survey Monkey to find out what our beneficiaries are thinking. Mailchimp to create and send multiple emails. Pixabay and Unsplash for amazing free images to make our social media visually engaging. We create videos using Lumen5 and Mojo and use Canva for graphic-design of correctly sized media images

Technology and software are expensive, but for UK registered charities the Tech Trust offer discounted technology from world leading providers. We use Sage Accounting, Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Office and One Drive through this program. Website creation and maintenance used to be a dark art, but WordPress (or other website content management systems) make it easy to create and maintain simple free sites.

Training is important and free training not easy to find. VSNS offer volunteer management, trustee, social media and fundraising training. Surrey Skills Academy run courses throughout Surrey both classroom and online. NCVO Knowhow have templates, how-to guides and e-learning on hundreds of topics, some are member only access but small charity membership is free. Media Trust has a resource hub and offer free training – I’ve attended 2 amazing conferences in London in the past year. Webinars are also a great way to learn – you’ll find details in many of the fundraising blogs below.

and finally … Fundraising

We publish up to date funding information from local and national funders. I read lots of fundraising blogs (White Fuse, Charity Choice, UK Fundraising, Not for Profit Tech for Good ….), NCVO have a grant finder called Funding Central, Amazon and Facebook now have ways for users to donate (with Instagram likely to follow soon) and there are a variety of donation pages at little or no cost.

Currently, there are over 136,000 registered small and micro charities in the UK, making up 82% of the charity total. More than half of them (58%) have an income under £10,000. There are also estimated to be between 600,000 to 900,000 unincorporated organisations that are too small to register.

Our networking is second to none – so this Small Charity Week pay your knowledge forward and share your skills with other small charities. Make all our lives easier and our causes mightier!

© Copyright 2017 Voluntary Support North Surrey. Privacy Policy. Registered charity No. 1141587. A company limited by guarantee No. 752663.