Organisation News

Annotation 2020-09-06 121355

Remember a Charity Week 2020

60% of adults in the UK don’t have a will and although they ‘would be happy to’ leave gifts to charity, only about 6 per cent actually do so. This is a huge opportunity for local charities to explain what the work they do and inspire people to leave them a gift for a community cause they care about.

Writing about legacies on and offline can be daunting. Knowing what to say, getting the tone right and knowing where to put the messages on your website or in your literature is challenging. This is where Google is your friend! Look online at how the big charities tackle legacy fundraising – legacy visions, language used, stories, how legacies are spent, information on will writing and the downloads they offer to supporters.

However, the most important consideration is making sure everyone in your organisation (staff, trustees and volunteers) know about your legacy giving program and are confident to talk about making legacy gifts as a way to support you. Presentations (internal and external) should include a slide about how you would spend a gift from a will. Repeat the message little and often by telling stories to help normalise the idea of legacies as a way to support your organisation. The more people who are confident talking about legacies and including them in their wider work, the greater reach you can achieve with your message. If your volunteers/staff find the subject uncomfortable, make sure they know who in your organisation they can refer enquiries to, so that the opportunity is not lost.

Finally, know the law. Approach a local solicitor to talk through the legalities of accepting legacies and put together the information a potential legacy donor and their will writer might need. Helpful information is likely to include your official name, address and registered charity number.

Being a small organisation shouldn’t stop you adding legacy to your fundraising strategy and seeking funds through gifts in wills from your supporters.

Before getting started I strongly recommend you read:

Institute of Fundraising https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/guidance/fundraising-with-individuals/legacies/#introduction

Code of Fundraising Practice https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code/specific-fundraising-methods/legacies

Charity Commission https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wills-and-charitable-legacies

Remember a Charity https://www.rememberacharity.org.uk/making-a-will/

Copy of #digital technology give small #charities a big impact (2)

The Digital Workplace for Charities

Digital is not something that you do, it is something that you are. It is a set of tools, practices and behaviours that your whole charity needs to adopt.

We have always encouraged small charities with limited resources to embrace digital solutions.

Working at home, social distancing, online fundraising and the offer of virtual services means that a digital workplace has never been more relevant to you than now.

What role can technology play in your charity and what are the best digital options for:

To meet your organisation’s purpose you should make sure all of the digital systems being used are up-to-date, connected to one another and well maintained and ensure your team have a digital skills and inclusion training programme to make the best use of your systems.

This week our social media will cover what you need and what’s available  

Surrey County Council Community Fund

Community Projects Fund

Surrey County Council have announced a new capital fund of £100 million over 5 years to support community projects. The Fund is planned to launch later this year and SCC would like representatives from voluntary, community and faith organisations to take part in a series of workshops, to help shape how the Fund will be managed.

The consultation workshops take place via Zoom on the following dates in August:

  • Thursday 20th 14:00 – 15:30 VCSF groups
  • Monday 24th 14:00 – 15:30 VCSF groups (18:00 – 19:30 Residents)
  • Tuesday 25th 14:00 –  15:30 VCSF groups (18:00 – 19:30 Residents)

If you would like to take part in one of these workshops, please contact matthew.snelling@surreycc.gov.uk

Community Projects Fund (Surrey County Council)

“The Community Projects Fund (CPF) is being designed to bring community-led place-making, or place-improving projects to life. It represents a significant opportunity for investment in communities in a meaningful and lasting way. It is being launched in recognition that communities should feel empowered to help shape their local area and builds on the lessons learned from the Council’s previous community grant fund, but aims to be much bolder, and to invest in large community-led projects in a way that will create a real legacy.

The CPF will provide £100m of capital funding to be allocated to community projects over a five-year period. It is intended to support projects put forward by residents, community groups and organisations that meet a set of criteria, designed to ensure the deliverability and sustainability of the proposals put forward. It will specifically provide capital funding – i.e. expenditure relating to an asset such as buildings, equipment, vehicles, public realm rather than cover revenue costs, such as for the running and administration of an organisation. It is intended to be separate to funding for programmes of work where the Council is carrying out its statutory function.

The Fund was already being developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic however it takes on new importance in the context of recovery and supporting the rebuilding of local communities and groups that have been affected.

Co-design workshops

Surrey County Council want to ensure the CPF meets the requirements of accessibility and deliverability for all communities and potential applicants. We want to ensure the fund is a success and communities benefit.

The aim of the co-design workshops are to test the grant criteria and process that has been developed with residents and community representatives to ensure they will enable the Fund to operate successfully and do not exclude any parts of the county or groups in the community from being able to access it. During the workshops participants will be taken through the application process; helping us to identify any potential barriers to accessing the Fund, or parts that can be streamlined or simplified. The workshops are also being designed to identify the level of support those putting bid applications together, and subsequently delivering projects may require.

The workshops are being designed in collaboration with Council officers and undertaken by an external provider who will facilitate the sessions. They will take the form of five remote 90-minute workshops, each with 4-5 participants. Three of the workshops are proposed to include representation from the VCFS. Ideally we’d like to identify a range of VCFS organisations – in terms of skills, scale or focus – who would be willing to participate.

The findings and recommendations from the co-design work will be used to inform any changes to be made to the process and criteria as required prior to the launch of the Fund.”

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Lockdown Loneliness

Do you know an older person who is living alone, rarely leaves the house, has recently suffered a bereavement, is in poor health, disabled, has sight or hearing loss, or doesn’t seem to have close family living nearby?

You could ask them if they need any help with tasks such as shopping, posting letters or picking up prescriptions and medicines.  Practical help may be an absolute blessing to them but what if they really need a chance to talk to someone for more than just a few words on the doorstep?  And they want to have a good old chinwag over a cup of tea to cheer themselves up?

During lockdown telephone befriending was a fantastic way to connect isolated people with their community & offered by many national and local groups .  Now with lockdown easing, local befriending services are opening up where possible to offer face-to-face meetings between befrienders and befriendees, socially distanced in the garden, the park or at a café, but now giving that closer contact.

Your contribution could be as simple as a weekly telephone call to an isolated older person, or extend to regular home visits for a chat and to help with shopping.  Read the difference it made to one person below:

“I lost my wife a year ago and had given up on most of the clubs and things we used to do together, so when lockdown happened in March I had already run down the number of friends we used to be in contact with.  We never had kids so I’ve no family local, just a couple of brothers up north.  It hit me really really hard not being able to go out – although I’m 80 I still enjoy walks and wandering round the town centre.

Suddenly I found myself totally isolated from everyone it felt.  The only contact I had for the first month was when the council arranged for food parcels but I felt so lonely and sad by myself. Everything on the tele was about the virus, virus this virus that, it made me really anxious to even go in the garden.

Then the lady from the council suggested me having a befriender to phone me each week. I didn’t want to at first but then I began to enjoy the calls. I don’t have a computer so we just talked on the phone, me and the young lad. Didn’t know what he looked like until things got easier with lockdown and Jack came over and sat in the garden with me.  Can’t tell you how great it is to have that to look forward to each week.  He stays quite a while, sometimes more than an hour, but it’s not difficult to fill the time.  We talk about all sorts of things and laugh a lot. “

There are a number of local charities offering befriending services if you know someone who needs support or you would like to volunteer:

Runnymede: Runnymede Befriending Service

Spelthorne: Age UK Surrey

Surrey Heath: Time to Talk and Surrey Heath Age Concern

15 sec without words

The 15 Second Bounce

Charities must diversify their fundraising strategy, raise their digital profile, increase their supporter base and generate online donations – an out of date website and ignoring social media is not an option.

Your website should be the centre of your communications. Visitors to your site are interested in the people you help, how you help them and how they can get involved.

Please remember that donors fund people not organisations.

You have 15 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention – this is called the 15 second bounce. In those 15 seconds you must stir emotion, empathy and invite engagement.

Menu Options: You should have no more than 5 menu options with short, call to action words:

About    Get Help    Get Involved   Contact Us   Donate

Mission statement: The message on your home page must be simple and immediate ‘We’re ending homelessness and rebuilding lives’

Fundraising: It must be obvious to the donor who you are fundraising for. Donors and funders will check your site to see what you do with your money. Tell beneficiary stories and have project pages with images and totals raised. Keep pages and interest fresh by updating regularly.

Donations: Your donate button should be in the top right of your website and visible on every page. The button should be a different colour from other menu options. No more than 3 clicks to donate from anywhere on your site. Where possible offer different donation values and tell the donor what their money buys.

Tell Stories and Use Images: Site visitors want to hear about real people and their lives. They want to hear stories and quotes from volunteers and beneficiaries about how your intervention improves lives and makes a difference. If you have vulnerable beneficiaries, try copying the image creativity of larger charities to get around the problem of showing faces. Don’t bury your stories deep in the website – they should be easy to find.

Calls to Action: Every web page, email, Tweet, Facebook post should have a call to action – donate, volunteer, contact, support, sign up, share.

Mobile Friendly: Google penalises websites which don’t display well on mobiles or tablets. In 2018 25% of all online donations were made on a mobile.

What are you for? Who do you benefit? Where are they? Show faces and tell stories. You have 15 seconds before I bounce.

Self Help Guide from Amigo

Amigo’s Self Help Interactive Services Guide

During this COVID-19 pandemic our time spent in lock-down has made it easy to become overwhelmed so we’ve produced a guide which you can download here – highlighting the range of free online services that can be used to relieve your stress or anxiety and help you to cope with your mental health.

Our new Amigo project manager Leeah Jones has created this helpful guide and encourages you to actively take part in some of the online activities and have a go at downloading some of the apps.

Please contact us if you are unsure about how to access any of the services in the guide, or you are new to the online world.

The Amigo project supports people who need encouragement to move forward on their journey of recovery from mental ill health. We match our buddy volunteers with people who need help to make connections within the local community in order to boost confidence and increase motivation. If you think you would benefit from a buddy or you would like to be a volunteer buddy please read more about the project and complete our contact form.

The project covers the residents of several boroughs; Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, West Elmbridge and Woking.

FB live streaming

Livestreaming Charity Events

Charities are using livestreaming for fundraising events with great ingenuity and success.

Event Ideas:

Has your charity had a successful event that could be made virtual or could you try something new? ow.ly/4ywM50Ae06N 

Choose the right platform:

Facebook Live – people have and use Facebook accounts and are more likely to find your event because they are on the platform anyway http://ow.ly/eYiM50AfgoO

Twitch – known as a gaming platform it has increasingly been used for charity fundraisers an allows fundraising goals and rewards for donations http://ow.ly/paSE50AfgoM

YouTube – best and least technical option with built-in features including a virtual tip jar for donations http://ow.ly/awoT50AfgoL

Zoom and other meeting platforms – connect and communicate with clients, donors and supporters http://ow.ly/Y1KJ50AfgoK

Sell Tickets:

The most effective platforms can help with ticketing, marketing, bookings, payments and donations, giving out essential information about the event http://ow.ly/RtXr50AhzD2

Use Subtitles:

90% of people watch videos with the sound off. There are free online tools such as Clideo, Adobe Spark to add titles to your videos and YouTube also generates subtitles.

Call to Action CTA:

Tap into the energy from your event to inspire people to take action. Tell them what do you want them to do – buy tickets for another event, donate, volunteer, sign up, share on their social media?

St John’s Ambulance have a great guide on livestreaming your event http://ow.ly/rEcK50AfgoN

open for business (1)

Open for Business

Many of our local charities have a new ‘normal’ – adapting their existing services so they can be accessed virtually and creating new online services for their users.

It may look different, but they are still there to help and still able to offer support to our community.

We’ve been talking to local charities who are ‘open for business’ and finding out how they have changed and adapted. Take a look at what the Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath groups are doing.

FB fundraising

Don’t Stop Fundraising!

Charities still need to raise money – incomes have been drastically hit but the demand for services are increasing.

  • Go digital – over the last few years I’ve encouraged you to introduce digital fundraising as part of your fundraising strategy. Now more than ever your website should reflect what your charity is doing in the community, with good news stories of business as usual or how your services have evolved because of COVID. Use all the avenues available via links from your website – donation pages, Facebook donate, Instagram donate, Amazon Smile and charity shopping fundraising sites such as EasyFundraising.  Hold virtual events using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet or virtual sporting events using sports platforms such as Strava.
  • Get personal – use this time to send direct personalised messages to your existing supporters and tell them what the pandemic means for your charity in terms of your finances, delivering your services, beneficiaries, staff and volunteers. Ask your trustees to talk directly to your funders to ensure they are aware of your financial situation, they may be in a position to extend your funding or help you reapply for different streams.
  • This is an emergency – if you are in real trouble, now is the time to tell your supporters and community that you will not survive without their support. Highlight what closure will mean for your beneficiaries – now is the time for an emergency appeal. To avoid saturation and donor fatigue why not think about having a joint campaign with other local charities.

COVID is not going to be over – even after lockdown is lifted. The emotional fallout will impact on the community for years to come. Fundraising will not be the same and we will all have to learn new skills to survive.

https://www.strava.com/

https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/the-best-online-fundraising-platforms-for-charities-5324

https://fundraising.co.uk/2020/03/30/virtual-fundraising-ideas-during-the-coronavirus-lockdown/

https://www.techradar.com/uk/best/best-video-conferencing-software

 

 

heroes

Always looking on the bright side of life ….

Under Covid-19 lockdown the voluntary landscape changed dramatically almost overnight. But despite the necessary suspension of face-to-face services, community spirit has fought back – and improvised. With fantastic new Covid-19 support groups being set up in most areas to localise help with shopping and prescriptions, many of the established voluntary groups have also revamped their offer through both online and telephone contact.

Camberley Care for example was forced to cease its neighbourhood driving service as a precautionary measure for its volunteers’ wellbeing but instead has organised its team to support all regular clients by ensuring they receive friendly chats each week and are linked up to Surrey Heath Prepared, the new Covid-19 hub across the borough.

Another inspirational story is Surrey Heath Age Concern which has similarly set up a support network for its regulars with their befrienders continuing to maintain contact with their clients over the phone with friendship and practical essentials. Staff are also working in partnership with Surrey Heath Prepared to combat loneliness through telephone befriending.

The Time to Talk befriending service that normally offers visits to anyone over 18 has adopted a similar strategy moving to telephone and online calls to keep in touch. Elaine Hawes, the Time to Talk manager, says:  “I am really proud of our volunteer befrienders who have continued to support the people they usually visit with phone calls and text messages and with practical things such as collecting shopping and prescriptions. They have been such a source of support at a difficult time”.

In Lightwater the Lightwater Resilience Plan grew out of a merge between the already existing, successful LIVE group and Windlesham Parish Council. One of the group leaders Windsor Rackham said “We have pulled together over 300 volunteers to make contact with, and look after, all 2700 households in Lightwater with shopping, prescription collection, and helping to resolve all the many issues surrounding self-isolation and long periods of quarantining”.  LRP have linked to Surrey Heath Prepared for the duration of the corvid-19 pandemic in order to access their food bank facility and the security checks on new volunteers, demonstrating the power of combining voluntary resources at this difficult time.

With Covid-10 support groups being overwhelmed by offers of volunteers we can only hope that after coronavirus is past, every cloud really does have a silver lining and this revived community spirit will carry on.

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