Organisation News

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

 

empty bowl2

Combat Food Poverty with the Foodbanks of North Surrey

In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children.

An estimated 8.4 million people struggle to get enough to eat. This includes many households with people in work, families with children, as well as older and disabled people.

There are dedicated community groups in North Surrey taking action to ensure people are able to eat and to address the root causes of people’s difficulties and they need your support. All this week we’ll be highlighting how you can help these organisations and tackle food poverty in our local community.

Between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, the Trussell Trust’s food bank network distributed 148,640 three-day emergency food supplies to people in the South East of England. More than half of these went to childrenFood poverty affects children who lack free school meals during the holidays; parents on low incomes going without food so that their children can eat; working people whose low wages leave them struggling to buy healthy food; or older people unable to prepare meals without support.

An estimated 4.7m people in the UK reported they went a full day without anything to eat at all due to lack of money. Based on these estimates, the UK – the 6th largest economy in the world – ranks in the bottom half of European countries, on par with Hungary and Latvia.

Summer holidays are a misery for parents struggling to feed their children and you can do something about it. No matter where you live in North Surrey you can make a donation to your local foodbank (see details below) or become one of their dedicated volunteers.

Contact alison@voluntarysupport.org.uk for more information about volunteering for a foodbank in your area

Runnymede Foodbank, Runnymede

Manna Foodbank, Spelthorne  Sunbury Foodbank, Spelthorne  Stanwell Foodbank, Spelthorne

Besom, Surrey Heath

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!

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Trustees – Volunteers Week 2019

Trustees are literally the foundation of all nonprofit organisations. They are the volunteers who help control how the charity is run and responsible for making sure it is doing what it set out to do and that it has the funds to achieve its aims.

Trustees use their skills and professional experience to support the charity’s cause or causes, working together with the other trustees as a team.

One of the most important things charities need from their Trustees is someone who is committed to the organisation and enthusiastic about what they stand for. It is important that they recruit people from a wide range of backgrounds who offer a variety of different skills and experience.

Richard is a trustee for Egham Education Trust:

“I’m 23 years into a great career with Microsoft and I consider myself the luckiest person alive. I have a decent income, a loving family and a roof over my head. I don’t think I would have ended up in this position if it wasn’t for the Egham Education Trust, which stepped in when I needed it most to help me with financial support, so I was able to afford my education after I left school. The Trust set me on the road for a career in technology and I’ve always been grateful. Now it’s time for me to give back, to help others get the opportunities which I was given to live their lives to the fullest. I’m back at the Egham Education Trust, but this time I’m helping them find people who are in need like I was. It’s a chance for me to give back to the charity that did so much when I needed it the most, and it’s a simple thing to offer my time and skills to volunteer with them.”

Recruiting new trustees is an ongoing issue for most non-profits. Finding someone who has the right skills and experience, a connection with your cause and enough free time to make a genuine contribution can be time consuming.

For the sake of diversity don’t limit your recruitment process to personal connections. Use your social media channels, create a dedicated page on your website and use our Surrey-wide volunteer recruitment database Volunteer Plus (contact alison@voluntarysupport.org.uk for more information)

You can also go national using resources listed by the Small Charities Coalition

As you can see from Richard’s experiences, being a trustee is enormously rewarding. If you’re interested, have a look at our trustee volunteer roles – we have opportunities from a diverse range of local charities.

As we’re so fond of saying … we really do have a volunteering role for everyone!

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Volunteers Week 2019

Volunteers Week is celebrated between 1st and 7th June every year. It is a week in which the UK celebrates volunteers and says thank you to them for the contribution that they make. There’s lots of information about events and how to get involved on the NCVO website and still time to organise a thank you for your volunteers.

For us Volunteers Week 2019 is a busy time of year, we have information events to celebrate, inform and thank volunteers in our community and also our annual Runnymede and Spelthorne Volunteer Awards 2019 ceremony at Royal Holloway University. There are 15 million people in the UK who regularly give their time to local communities and our awards recognise some of those amazing volunteers in our own community. It’s an inspiring, fun evening where we get to meet lots of old friends and make some new ones!

‘Wanting to do good’ remains the most important reason to volunteer. 46% of people say improving things and helping others remains the most common reason why they volunteer. 31% of people said they gave time because the cause was important to them.

Being a volunteer means having time to give, which can make work and family commitments a barrier to volunteering. However, locally we have found increasing numbers of local businesses are interested in help with employee supported volunteering (ESV), where the employees of a business take paid time off to volunteer during work hours. Approximately 11 million employees in the UK are taking part in ESV schemes, estimated at two billion pounds worth of support to deserving charities. By helping tackle local issues, employers can benefit both themselves and the communities in which they operate. Contact us to find out how you can get your business involved. We’d also love to hear from you if you’re a charity with a project that you think a team of volunteers can help with.

There are also ways to volunteer that only take a little time but mean a great deal to the charities and their beneficiaries. If you’d like to volunteer and need help finding the right role please get in touch with alison – there really is something to suit everyone!

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