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.
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.
Confronted with a global pandemic many local corporates have been responsive, engaged and extremely generous looking into ways to keep their CSR going and making sure they are still engaged and helping the local community.
Local businesses including Enterprise Rent a Car in Egham, ADP Chertsey, Compass Chertsey. Alcon Camberley, Enterprise Aldershot, Spirit Energy, Visa and CHEP Addlestone have donated over 900 Christmas gifts to charities in Surrey Heath, Runnymede and Spelthorne.
Besides the gifts several local corporates have donated over £12,000 to local charities across the boroughs. Recipients include the Runnymede Foodbank who received £2,500 for Tesco Vouchers and Just a Helping Hand who received £1,450 to help the homeless in Runnymede. Alcon Eye Care Specialists in Camberley bought and filled over 100 rucksacks for The Hope Hub and Spirit Energy in Spelthorne have bought and filled arts and craft bags for children in Foster Care in Surrey.
With many elderly and vulnerable residents being isolated and unable to leave their homes corporates have organised zoom events to write Christmas Cards which will be delivered through the Salvation Army, Age UK Surrey and Purple Angels to lonely individuals in our community.
We want to say a big thank you to all our local businesses who are working hard to ensure that their collective effort can support those most in need this Christmas.
The Communities and Prevention Team at Surrey County Council are working to create an online training resource platform to support community volunteers. The platform will provide links to training covering a wide variety of subjects, share challenges and problems, and then provide a space for people to share practice.
In the meantime they have put together a list of training opportunities to investigate further:
In addition you may be interested in:
Loneliness Digital Classroom with the British Red Cross, which aims to help people learn new skills to help them support people experiencing isolation/loneliness. There are 2 sessions are available. One for 10-19-year-olds and the other one for adults aged 19+. Email: RedCrossEducation@redcross.org.uk or call: 0344 412 2734 to book a place.
Financial Essentials for Charities – an online course to support finance professionals and charity leaders and help drive sustainable finance strategies and decision-making (cost £155.99)
Please remember that we offer volunteer recruitment and management training and fundraising training throughout the year at no cost – for more information get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you want to volunteer but the same old reasons of not enough time or unable to commit to a long term role keep holding you back?
Micro Volunteering is the answer – bite-size tasks with no commitment to repeat and with minimum formality, involving short and specific actions that are quick to start and finish. It’s a perfect way for you to do something good or give back, mostly from home, because 80% of micro volunteering takes places online.
We’ve put together a variety of microvolunteering ideas and there really is something for everyone:
Positivity by post volunteers send positive cards or packages to anyone who has a chronic illness/disability or mental ill health in the UK.
Post Pals volunteers send cards, letters, emails and small gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK.
Loving Hands volunteer crafters knit, crochet and sew for charities and groups all over the world.
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers who lend their eyes to solve tasks big and small to help blind and low-vision people lead more independent lives.
FCancer volunteers donate their skills by the hour to support cancer charities (eg. photography, coding, writing and design) and help beat cancer.
Campaign to End Loneliness has ways for you to get involved locally or nationally with campaigns and ideas.
Dementia Friends volunteers learn about dementia so they can help their community by raising awareness and understanding.
Give Nature a Home volunteers build homes for nature where they live.
Hedgehog Homes volunteers help hedgehogs when they go into hibernation by creating permanent structures in their gardens.
United Nations Online Volunteers (UNV) allows volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world. Some of their projects do require a little more time and commitment.
Zooniverse enables volunteers to take part in real cutting edge research of all kinds, from classifying galaxies to counting penguins to transcribing manuscripts, there’s a project for everyone.
Missing Maps volunteers help to map areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people. Many of the places where disasters occur are ‘missing’ from any map and first responders lack the information to make decisions regarding relief efforts.
Furlonteer connects skilled professionals with remote volunteer opportunities. If you’ve been furloughed, are taking time out, searching for your next role, or employed with time to spare they have opportunities for everyone.
Remember – many people doing small actions can make a big impact!
Sorry to mention the ‘C’ word but if you haven’t started already, it is time to plan and launch your Christmas fundraising campaign.
Christmas inspires people to give and 18% of all charitable giving takes place in December. The most popular month to start Christmas campaigns is November so now is the time to set goals, plan your message with great stories and supporting data, identify your channels and get it out there.
We’ve put together some of the best seasonal guides and blogs for ideas and inspiration – good luck!
Send a charity e-card from Virgin Giving to allow supporters to send e-Christmas cards and then donate you the money they saved on cards and stamps
How to organise a virtual Christmas party for your supporters
Use your Christmas fundraising to better engage your supporters and turn one-off involvement into ongoing support in 2021 and please remember to thank everyone who supports you.
The main duty of trustees is to advance the purposes of the charity and to always act in the charity’s best interest.
Trustees take ultimate responsibility for the fundraising activities of their charity, even when they have delegated these roles. They are responsible for ensuring the charity is compliant with the law, ensuring agreements with third party fundraisers are in place and that the relevant licenses/permissions are in place. The way charitable institutions and third-party fundraisers ask for support affects people’s trust and confidence in fundraising.
The Code of Practice from the Fundraising Regulator sets out the behaviour expected from all fundraisers. It includes treating people fairly and with respect, explaining your cause in a way which does not mislead people, and being sensitive to people who may be in vulnerable circumstances.
As the regulator of charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission expects charities that fundraise to do so in a way which protects their charity’s reputation and encourages public trust and confidence in their charity. Trustees face challenges in getting fundraising right and the guidance from the Charity Commission is essential reading to support them in their responsibilities.
There are currently more than 800K trustees in the UK, volunteering across range of small and large charities. With 90K trustees vacancies and 74% of charities saying they find it difficult to recruit what are your advertising options?
Use your social media, website and e newsletters – post your role on Twitter and use @TrusteeshipM
Use your assets and connections – trustees and supporters may work for major companies, or belong to professional networks where they can promote your organisation and role.
We can post your role on our Voluntary Support North Surrey volunteer role database
NAVCA have a great resource with information and best practice to get your recruitment started – download the PDF here
If you need more guidance please get in contact with email@example.com
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.
Ian Goodchild Centre (First Floor), Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3SY
6 The Sainsbury Centre, Chertsey,
Staines Library (First Floor), Friends Walk, Staines TW18 4PG