christmas

Making sure Christmas happened in Surrey Heath #goodnews

Making Christmas happen in Surrey Heath!

For many people this year, Christmas was a time of extreme loneliness, but Surrey Heath charities made a massive effort to tackle this.

The Rotary Club of Camberley staged a Virtual Christmas Day Drop-In for two hours for anyone by themselves fancying a chat on Christmas Day.

Camberley Besom and the Rotary Club of Camberley put together 180 and 80 Christmas hampers respectively, of which 18 were made up from donations by SHBC councillors and staff.  Normal food bank parcels were also available for the festive period. The Old Dean Community Group in partnership with St Martin’s Church supported local people in hardship with food parcels including vegetables donated by the local allotments, fresh pastries and a fresh chicken voucher.

Lightwater Connected, Windlesham Caring and Bagshot Care combined efforts to take part in the Windlesham Parish scheme to provide a Christmas meal for those living alone on Christmas Day. Through the support of local restaurants volunteers were able to deliver meals to nearby residents who were lonely or vulnerable.

Our two local befriending groups the Time-to-Talk Project from VSNS and Surrey Heath Age Concern supported their clients with a special gift in Christmas week delivered personally as well as a friendly call.

Camberley Alzheimer Café hosted a special Christmas Social on 21 Dec in addition to their monthly zoom meeting for anyone living with dementia and/or carers recognising the isolation that some people feel during the festive period.

Ingenuity, sharing resources and using connections to help their community is a good news story worth telling.

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Local Business Generosity in North Surrey this Christmas

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.

 

 

 

Christmas fundraising campaigns

Christmas Fundraising Campaigns

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

Six Creative Ideas for a Christmas campaign from Third Sector

Christmas fundraising ideas from Charity Excellence

How to create a great end-of-year campaign message infographic

Everything you wanted to know about Christmas campaigns from Virgin Giving

Wild Apricot’s ultimate guide to year end giving

End of year giving toolkit from Blackbaud

Move Your End of Year Event Online

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.

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Match Funding and In-Kind Funding

Match funding is a straightforward concept. It involves a funder agreeing to match, or partially match an amount of funding already pledged to a charity project. It’s an attractive option for funders because it gives assurance of the nonprofit applicant’s capacity to raise adequate funds.

There are two types of match funding: “actual” and “in-kind”.

Actual match funding is hard cash.

In-kind match funding is non-cash funding of free goods or services, such as volunteer hours, that can be given a value and be included in the project budget. If you have a shortfall to reach the neccessary match funding amount and you can offset some of your project costs with volunteer contributions this could be an option.

If your funder will accept in-kind match funding, you can claim the value of volunteer hours providing you outline how you will keep accurate records and provide evidence of the costs and include in the breakdown of expenditure on the application form.

Your funder may have their own rules of how to measure the economic value of volunteer hours and services. If not, make your own calculation by multiplying the total volunteer hours by an hourly wage rate, either using the national minimum wage or median hourly wage. The minimum wage probably underestimates the value, while the median wage may overestimate it. Calculate both and decide on a reasonable figure between the two.

Create a plan showing volunteer activities e.g. role description, hourly rate and work schedule detailing timescales and volunteer hours. Use your volunteer cost and plan to make an accurate and realistic in-kind contribution for your applications.

Often for larger capital projects, funders will only grant funding when other applications have been successful and the project looks likely to reach completion. Using goods and services in-kind contributions will reduce the project balance and make the finish line seem more achievable and therefore more attractive to other funders. In-kind contribution/match funding also shows your commitment to the project by documenting community and volunteer involvement and and your ability and potential for hard work to make the project a reality.

Even if match funding is not a requirement, document pledged volunteer hours and free products and services and include them in your application – every little helps!

https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/library/fundraising-focus-match-funding/

https://funraise.org/blog/all-your-nonprofit-needs-to-know-in-kind-donations/

 

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Your Christmas Donor Journey

We know that December is the biggest month of the whole year for donations. 30% of annual giving occurs in December and 10% of annual giving occurs on the last 3 days of the year. Hopefully your campaign will be ready for the 1st which is now only a month away – no pressure!

Since 54% of donors prefer to donate online, your Christmas campaign planning should include work on your website and smoothing your donor journey.

Your website

When was the last time your website was updated? A Christmas campaign will bring new and old visitors and your site must look fresh and current so that new visitors are engaged and old friends are reading something new.

Hopefully you understand the importance of storytelling for your organisation. It’s kind of the defining element of your online work. The most basic and usually most effective approach is the story of one individual and how your organisation helped them. Make your site all about human stories – especially at Christmas – it’s a great time to tug heartstrings and gives urgency to your fundraising.

Smooth your donor journey

Let’s hope all your planning has been rewarded with lots of people visiting the donation page on your website. How easy is it for them to make a donation? Have you tested it? What about donating using mobile or tablet? These are really important considerations since 24% of all online donations in 2018 were made using a mobile device.

Make it easy. Don’t distract visitors from the action of donating. Reduce the number of steps involved, the less clicks, the less chance your donor will bounce. Make your donation page only about donating and the key information needed to complete the transaction. Remove any other calls to action like newsletter sign-up forms or volunteering information and ask for as little personal information as possible with the minimum number of fields to complete.

Check the speed of your website – slow speeds kill conversions. 47% of visitors expect websites to load in two seconds or less — and 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds. This means that if your site takes more than three seconds to load, you lose almost half of your visitors before they even arrive on your site.

In November, December and January there’s typically a 19% increase in online donations compared to other quarters of the year so make the most of your end of year fundraising by getting ready and getting it right!

Some reading for inspiration:

https://www.lightful.com/blog/social-media/charity-christmas-campaigns-2018/

https://www.charitydigitalnews.co.uk/2018/10/24/7-tips-for-planning-your-charity-christmas-email-campaigns/

https://www.charitydigitalnews.co.uk/2019/10/28/christmas-in-october-the-most-memorable-charity-christmas-campaigns/

https://my.virginmoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Knowledge-Takeaway-12-days-of-social-v0.3.pdf

 

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