Funding news

CFS website

£1.4 million granted by the Community Foundation for Surrey

The Community Foundation for Surrey announced yesterday that they’ve distributed £1.4 million to support local communities this year.

We’re very proud to be one of the CFS donors making a difference to our local North Surrey community.

Here’s what they had to say in their press release:

“As we begin a new financial year, we take this opportunity to celebrate another year of significant growth for the Community Foundation. The distributed figure of £1.4 million shows the growing community of philanthropic individuals wanting to make a real and lasting difference across Surrey and it’s thanks to these generous donors that we are able to award this level of funding to voluntary organisations across Surrey. This year’s awards have been more than any other year since the Community Foundation was established in 2005.

Over £2 million has been generated for the benefit of Surrey communities. This figure includes new donations into endowment funds as well as the income generated by these longer term funds and made available for grant-making, plus donations provided for immediate grant-making.

Our grants have positively impacted on the lives of 294 voluntary organisation and 151 individuals across Surrey.”

Particularly good news is the Surrey Mental Health Fund, which supports early intervention projects helping young people, has awarded £54,000 to 7 projects in the first round of grants. One of the projects receiving funding was the Prospero Theatre and Beth Wood their artistic director said:

“A huge thank you to the Community Foundation for Surrey for funding Sunnydown in the Community. Through drama and Mind Fitness the boys will learn much needed coping mechanisms and have the opportunity to make real and positive links with local groups”

This fund will be making a second round of grants in July. Have a look at the criteria for application details here

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Is Twitter a Good Tool for Nonprofits?

Twitter has around 330 million monthly active users – that’s a huge audience for your charity so how can you make it work for you?

We are always looking for new ways to use social media to extend our reach and tell our stories. Twitter is a great platform for attracting an audience quickly, allowing you to publicise volunteer roles and direct donors and supporters to your website. It’s also great for starting conversations and establishing your expertise.

To be successful on Twitter your charity needs to be doing several things in the right way.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Content – Don’t just tweet for the sake of it. To stand out from the Twitter crowd make your posts unique to your organisation and what your audience is interested in. Ask questions to promote engagement and use images/videos that are relevant and will appeal. Make your tweets human by telling your story and the stories of your beneficiaries and volunteers.
  • Who to follow – Follow influencers in your own area such as local government, councillors and other charities (local and national) Note who they follow and the hashtags they use in their tweets.
  • Use Hashtags # to reach a targeted audience. The biggest benefit of using twitter is the ability to put hashtags # in your posts allowing you to broadcast to people interested in specific topics. If you’re not sure which hashtags to include, look at the tags in tweets of other charities or use a tool like ingramer which gives a list of relevant hashtags for keywords/images. Twitter also shows trending hashtags for particular events or awareness days. Be careful to search a hashtag in the twitter search box before using it to avoid embarrassment.
  • Get attention with Mentions @ – When you mention another Twitter account in one of your tweets they’ll get a notification and if your tweet is interesting or beneficial to them they may retweet your post or mention you back.
  • Focus on getting retweeted – 78% of engagement with your tweets will be through retweets so make your tweets ‘retweetable’ by inserting links to posts and articles on your website and to interesting content from other sources. Retweet content from partnership organisations that you respect and value to encourage them to retweet yours.
  • Use Visuals – Images are more impactful than words and also not included in the Twitter word count! Make your Twitter image the correct size 506×253 pixels and use a tool like canva to create a single image with your message. Canva allows you to export your created image in the right size to each of your social media platforms.
  • Use tools to simplify media management – We use Hootsuite to manage our social media outputs but there are others like TweetDeck or Buffer
  • Analyse your twitter performance – Twitter have a great analytics tool that shows your performance over the last 28 days. It gives top tweets, mentions, retweets, new followers and many many more statistics and graphs, but even using the most basic stats will inform your future content and improve your tweeting.

Remember that Twitter is a place to connect and have meaningful conversations. Think about what your audience wants to know, not what you want them to know. Use visuals and humour, even if your cause is serious. If you’d like help with anything social media related please contact us info@voluntarysupport.org.uk and follow us on @volsupportns

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GASDS Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

If your charity has events where you accept donations you should be reclaiming gift aid from HMRC using the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme GASDS. The maximum donation for which you can make a claim on the GASDS scheme is currently £20 but due to rise to £30 in April 2019, and it’s important to note that donations are not a membership or ticket fee

The rules are straightforward, you must already be registered for gift aid and have made a gift aid claim. Your charity can then claim a payment equivalent to gift aid on cash donations of £20 or less, without the need for the donor to complete any paperwork, or for the donor to be a taxpayer. GASDS Claims are made alongside Gift Aid claims using the Charities Online template provided by HMRC. Note that an individual donation can only be eligible for one type of claim. It is either eligible under Gift Aid or the GASDS but not both.

HMRC states that to make a GASDS claim you must have claimed Gift Aid in the same tax year as you want to claim GASDS and without incurring a penalty in the last two years. You must also have claimed Gift Aid in at least two of the last four tax years (without a two-year gap between claims). Your GASDS claim can’t be more than 10 times your Gift Aid claim – so if you receive £100 in Gift Aid donations in a tax year, you can only claim on up to £1,000 of small donations under GASDS for that year (when you actually submit the claim is irrelevant). The maximum GASDS claim is £2000.

I found a really good example on the stewardship.org.uk website:

A charity receives £8,800 in a tax year in eligible cash donations with documented Gift Aid donations of £800 and small cash donations of £8,000. The charity can make claims on all of its donations; £800 under the Gift Aid scheme, and £8,000 under the GASDS because the matching principle allows for a GASDS claim of ten times that of the Gift Aid claim for donations received in the same tax year. The charity will receive £2000 in GASDS (25% of £8000) which is currently the maximum and £200 (25% of £800) in Gift Aid from their £8800 donations.

Good to note that you should inform your supporters that they need to commit to Gift Aid to allow you to make a GASDS claim.

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Telling Your Story for Digital Fundraising

Telling people the mission of your charity is no longer good enough. It has become increasingly obvious in the last few months of blog reading and webinar listening that digital fundraising in 2019 will be all about telling stories about your organisation and stories about the people you support.

Whether we like it or not social media has changed the way we communicate with one another. Social media use is growing; 68% of adults use Facebook; 73% use YouTube and 82% of Baby Boomers use social media sites. When we hear a story, we relate it to our own experiences and how we feel about it. Your story should inspire your supporters to take action and share with their own personal social networks.

Story telling is the perfect way to communicate in personal terms your charity’s mission, impact and to engage with your donors and supporters. Use your website, emails and your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube ….)  to inform the world about what you do and how you are helping your community. The benefits of telling the right story will be bigger donations, increased media coverage for your cause and better connections with your current and new supporters.

A good story turns people from passive to active. Making readers understand and empathise with the subjects of your story, is 100% more effective than explaining what you do in a dry academic report. Great stories resonate with an audience. Decide who your story is appealing to and craft it accordingly. Your story will take shape when you have identified: your most active supporters; what they like; what motivates them; what makes them happy/sad and what’s important to them.

Why not put together a series of stories on the same subject from different perspectives to appeal to different donor age groups and motivations.

Everyone in your organisation should be collecting stories: beneficiary stories; organisation stories; supporter stories; volunteer stories; event stories; donor stories; community stories – the list is endless. They should also be collecting images and making videos! If you want to showcase your organisation and the amazing things you do – what better way to do it than to engage those who do the work every day as well as the people in your community who benefit.

Finally, remember that donors fund people – not organisations – so make your stories about people!

NCVO

Why Should I be an NCVO Member?

The National Council of Voluntary Services supports the voluntary sector and volunteering because we’re essential for a better society.  They support 14,000 member organisations – a third of the voluntary sector workforce in England and help us all by providing expert advice, news and current third sector legislation.

Every day in our North Surrey community ordinary people make a difference through voluntary organisations and volunteering. In our work to support those groups we make regular use of the information provided by the NCVO.

What benefits do they offer to members?

  • NCVO Knowhow has step-by-step how-to guides and case studies, template documents, toolkits and policies on a wide range of essential subjects including governance, volunteering and HR. They have information and guidance on topics from how to start a charity, to funding, managing people and volunteers, and governance.
  • Online training in the Studyzone – where you can watch courses on topics including governance, communications, volunteer management and strategy.
  • Follow them on social media to get up to date national and political news on the UK voluntary sector @NCVO and @NCVOvolunteers
  • Funding Central provides access to a grants database and weekly emails of tailored funding advice and information. This service is free to organisations with income under £100,000.

There are so many other ways for you to benefit from their support and for those of you with an income of less than £30,000 membership is free.

Have a look at what they offer and how you can be a member here

 

 

 

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Charity Donation Sites Comparison

Choosing the best donation site for your charity can get complicated very quickly. There are lots of options to consider:

  • What are the donation site’s fees?
  • Is Gift Aid collected automatically?
  • How many other charities are on the donation site?
  • What extras are available?

The cost of being on a site should be weighed up against the visibility of your cause to the general public:

  • If your website attracts a lot of visitors and the public are donating to you by clicking through to the donation site via your website, why not collect donations directly using a payment gateway like PayPal who charge transaction fees only.
  • If you’re a small charity and don’t get much web traffic, you may want to be on a known donation site where the public can find you by searching for a cause they want to support.

A large number of charities on a well-known donation site can be an advantage since it gives the donator confidence in making a donation. They trust that the causes are genuine and that their bank card details are secure. A lesser known site will have less charities and less visitors but will cost less and you may just want to use the site to process donations and gift aid.

Do you have supporters who raise funds by taking part in events? Some sites allow them to create an individual fundraising page and any money raised is paid directly to your charity. Most collect Gift Aid and offer optimisation for mobile giving which is an important consideration since 24% of all online donations were made on a mobile device in 2017.

Have a look at the table from White Fuse of the top donation sites and the costs to the charity for £100 raised per month and read the site comparisons to help you make a decision about which site is best for your charity:

Just Giving

Just giving is the market leader so, as you’d expect, they have a very refined product. One big plus is that many fundraisers will have used this before for other charities. However, the fees are some of the highest.

Virgin Money Giving

Another very established option with a decent interface but high fees.

Wonderful

Wonderful is a relatively new entrant with no fees (not even for payment processing) and a modern clean interface. Not as many features as the bigger sites but definitely worth a look.

Golden Giving

Golden Giving is another low-cost option, with charges equivalent to BT My Donate.

Everyclick

Everyclick is distinctive because it allows people to raise money for your charity by simply browsing the web. If you refer your supporters to Everyclick and they use it to browse the web using the Everyclick search engine they will pay you a small commission.

The Big Give

The distinctive element of The Big Give is the matched giving functionality. Time-limited matched giving provides a great context for small charities to run direct fundraising campaigns.

Local Giving 

As the name suggests, the focus of Local Giving is local charities. Their website homepage features a postcode-based search to match up donors and fundraisers with charities in their local area.

Raisely

Where all the other options on this list prioritise their own branding and only let charities upload their logo, Raisely offers a fully customised fundraising system that allows the charity much more control over the design and branding.

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Christmas Fundraising Campaigns

It’s official! People give more to charities at Christmas – CAF research suggests a total amount donated for 2017 of £10.3 billion with the highest month of giving in December.

The urgency of Christmas is an ideal way to connect with your supporters and encourage them to engage in as many ways as possible: volunteering, campaigning, fundraising and attending events, via email and phone. It’s also a great way to reach new supporters, so if you are planning a Christmas campaign, take a look at these practical tips from experienced fundraisers.

You need to be clear about what it is that you want to get from a Christmas campaign. Whether it’s fundraising or recruiting volunteers, getting your message right before you start with campaign mechanics is important. Show why you need support particularly at this time of year. Tell real stories (from last year) about the problems your organisation solved and what difference donations made to people’s lives. Making your Christmas story impactful is crucial – tell your audience what the problem is an how you are fixing it with their help – have a look at how to tell your fundraising story for practical tips and a template.

Now you must decide which channels to use. Websites should be the centre of any fundraising campaign, with the campaign stories (updated weekly) and clear instructions on how to donate and how a donor can make a difference. Post every day on Twitter and Facebook in December and make your tweets and posts count by using actual photos of your beneficiaries or better still – moving images – GIFs or video. Creating video using your phone has never been easier with lots of information on YouTube and the internet on how to do it. We’ve been using a tool called Lumen5 and also Facebook stories to create little videos – if we can do it you can too!

24 days of content for website and social media is daunting but if you write a content plan and use a scheduling tools like Hootsuite or TweetDeck you’ll find sending multiple messages across different channels much easier. Be imaginative with snippets of information, personal stories, New Year plans and resolutions, reflections on the year past and a donation count of how much you have raised so far. Get inspiration from fundraising blogs

For email campaigns, keep the message succinct and poignant; try for 250 words or less. Weekly updates on a shorter message can keep the momentum more effectively than a single lengthy email. Try to personalise if you can to stand out from other Christmas appeals. Email subjects are just as important – avoid the spam filter by not using language like ‘free’, capitalised words or exclamation marks and remember only to send to those who have given permission.

And most importantly, make it easy to give. Bold and hyperlink key phrases and sentences to your website donation button. It’s crucial to have a seamless donation process in place —don’t make your willing donors work hard just to give you money. This process needs to be mobile friendly too, or you’re leaving money on the table.

Finally, keep one thing at the front of your mind: this time of year needs to be all about your donors so remember to tell them how the campaign went and to THANK them for their donations and support.

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Facebook Donate Button

Use your organisation's Facebook page to raise money by adding a donate button, which allows your supporters to donate directly to your cause.

To apply for a donate button, make sure that your charity's Facebook Page is categorised as either "Charity" or "Charitable organisation" and that your page admin is making the application. For Business Manager admins, access the application via https://business.facebook.com/donate/signup

 

You're now ready to complete the next three steps:

 

1. Submit your page for approval and verification

 

2. Make sure your page follows Facebook's community standards

 

3. Provide your organisation's bank account details to collect donations

 

Collect all your financial information before starting to set up your donations account and be aware it typically takes 2-3 weeks to be reviewed after submission.

 

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Shop with AmazonSmile

What is it?

AmazonSmile first launched in the USA and then expanded to the UK in November 2017. Originally it only benefited 11 major charities, but now small and large UK registered charities can sign up.

How does it work?

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. When you shop the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity.

How do you sign up?

1. As the authorised representative of your charity go to org.amazon.co.uk

2. Search for your organisation using your charity number and enrol

3. Create an administrator account and accept the participation agreement after reading carefully

4. Verify your email address

5. Submit your bank account information

6. Upload a copy of your bank statement to verify your banking information

7. Send your supporters instructions on how to use AmazonSmile to benefit your charity

8. Start shopping!

 

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PayPal Giving Fund

Paypal and eBay are now offering registered charities (of all sizes) a great way to raise additional funding via a service called the PayPal Giving Fund. 

Once you have created a PayPal account for your charity you can then enrol to the Giving Fund for free and your charity will appear on the PayPal website and app, allowing the public to make direct donations. Enrolling to the fund also displays your organisation on eBay for Charity and your supporters can then sell items and donate all or part of the proceeds to your charity. Your charity will also be part of Go Fund Me, where supporters can run individual fundraising campaigns on your behalf. 

They also offer additional tools such as a donate button for your website to allow you to accept direct donations without having to use a 3rd party online donation site. They can also provide PayPal Here card readers which would let you accept chip and pin or contactless donations in person at fundraising events.

Enrolling for the fund is straightforward;

  1. Create a business account for your charity with PayPal and follow the instructions on how to enrol for the PayPal Giving Fund.

 2. Encourage your supporters to donate to you on PayPal, eBay and other online platforms by putting a donate button on your website

PayPal processes the website donation and provides a receipt to your donor and transfers the funds to your charity without charging any fees

Read the PDF guide on how to enrol

 

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