community

Untitled design (1)

Employee, Business, Community

We have over 20 years experience in matching corporate volunteering activities with local not-for-profit groups. In 2021 we facilitated the employee volunteering of 530 local business volunteers with North Surrey charities. Lockdowns and social distancing were not a barrier to 63 team events and Christmas saw a bumper year of Angel Tree Gift donations by local business employees to vulnerable members of our community. More than 1,300 gifts and monetary donations of £25K have supported 23 charities and their beneficiaries.

So, why is corporate volunteering good for business? Raising your profile and building customer confidence is key to business success. Encouraging your employees to volunteer has been shown to build a positive company-consumer relationship. 88% of consumers said they were more likely to spend money for a company that supports and engages in activities to improve their community.

Recruiting and retaining excellent employees is another reason for engaging with communities. Creating a better work-life balance is becoming increasingly important for employees. By facilitating a workplace culture where your employees are encouraged to support their causes by volunteering, builds a stronger more productive and connected team. Tackling a real issue and providing a solution is a morale boost for volunteers and creates pride in their socially responsible company.

Why do you need us to help you? We have a unique insight into the charitable sector of North Surrey, with strong connections to charities and voluntary groups and a good understanding of what they need and who is best placed to help them. Many of our community and voluntary sector organisations have little or no budget and will really value your enthusiastic volunteers. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, gardening or helping at a children’s party, using your skills or learning new ones - VSNS will find a project that fulfils the passions of your employees, and enables you to do something truly rewarding as a team.

We are already putting challenges in place for 2022 and looking forward to a busy, exciting year of employee volunteering in North Surrey. Our services are at no cost for you or the charity.

Contact tj@voluntarysupport.org.uk to discuss how we can help you connect.

Add a heading (2)

Micro Volunteering

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:

Post Pals volunteers send cards, letters, emails and small gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK.

Pachamama Project volunteers make reusable sanitary pads for refugees worldwide

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.

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!

Paxmead - Monday 1

Menzies prepares the Paxmead Riverbase for summer childrens activities

Children have not been able to enjoy the river based activities at Paxmead for the last 18 months.  Two hard working teams from Menzies chopped, cut back, gardened and moved the campfire circle to help get the site ready for the summer activities on the river.  Gill was delighted with all their hard work which has enabled them to get the base looking in great shape and ready for action fo the children.
Penrose club

Enterprise Rent a Car Egham painting at the Penrose Club

A fantastic team from Enterprise Rent a Car Egham did a great painting job of the railings and fences at the Penrose Club House in the blazing sunshine.  Marilyn the club co leader was delighted with the refreshed exterior and praised the team members who took time out to give back to the local community
Untitled design

Compass Group Chertsey donate Rucksacks to Just a Helping Hand

Compass Group who are one of the UK’s top catering, hospitality, and business support providers, based in Chertsey, have been helping the local homeless with the donation of rucksacks.

Megan at Just a Helping Hand told us

“To have this amazing donation of rucksacks is honestly just incredible, and we are truly grateful.

We have many distributors who issue rucksacks to those who need them most. One such group is women who are released from prison. Many of these women being released are homeless and some come from domestic abuse situations.  We take this into account when filling these rucksacks.

Can you imagine the feelings of these women when they open their rucksack and find such lovely things as a wash bag filled with deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, nail file, and lip balm.  But there is much more – including a pack of new socks and underwear, a flask (with refill information for free at local outlets), hat, scarf and gloves, meal vouchers, and a small Bible.

Such an act of kindness makes such a difference to them from both a practical and an emotional point of view.  It has been said to us that such generosity from a stranger provides a real sense of being cared for and thought about.  This can ease anxiety, provide hope, help with depression and even remove thoughts of suicide”

 

make it easy (1)

Social media - make it easy!

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.

social proof fb

Use Social Proof

The Rule of Social Proof: ‘If others are doing it, it must be the right thing to do.’

92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of marketing. People care about what others think and you can use that to attract new donors and supporters.

Tell the stories of your beneficiaries and supporters in text and pictures. A good story will spark emotion and empathy in your reader and persuade them to answer the call to action on your donate page. Images in the online world increase engagement by 313%. Not everything can be expressed with words, but nearly everything can be explained with visuals. Pictures help us relate to content, which will increase credibility and trust in your cause.

Use numbers on your website donation page. Show the number of people who have already given or who have fundraised for you to motivate visitors to donate. Tell your readers your total so far if you have a target amount to raise, this inspires them to help you reach your goal.

If you’ve received positive mentions from credible media sources, influencers or publications, put them on your website as well as key quotes from experts. Don’t forget to include social media buttons on your website pages to demonstrate broad support for your organisation and so people can easily share your content.

The internet has made social proof a powerful way to influence social behaviours.  By building and increasing the visibility of social proof for your cause, you more clearly demonstrate the value of your organisation to prospective donors and fundraisers.

https://zapier.com/blog/power-of-empathy/

https://www.globalgiving.org/learn/listicle/photography-tips-for-fundraising/

 

howard-riminton-CjI_2QX7hvU-unsplash

More Than Just a Thank You

Did you know that thanking someone for a donation within 48 hours makes it 400% more likely that they will donate to you again? Research shows not being thanked continues to be the most common reason people give for not making further donations to an organisation.

You spend a considerable amount of time and budget finding donors - shouldn’t you spend as much time making sure they stick with you?

Thanking donors should not be a chore, it should be a genuine recognition of their gift. Lack of appreciation is bad manners and a waste of an excellent opportunity to start a conversation. This is your best chance to tell your story, explain what the donation will mean for your beneficiaries and build a relationship with the donor.

NCVO survey found that 70% of donors felt that the thank you was important but that many acknowledgements were dull and predictable. What a shame!

There are lots of great examples out there but the principles are:

  • keep it short
  • make it personal (use their name)
  • be quick (less than 48 hours)
  • thank them for something specific (ideally the amount £)
  • tell a short story on how the donation will be spent
  • include your website link
  • close with another thank you

Treating donors as long-term partners who share your passion for the cause will go a long way in securing further support and hopefully repeat donations.

Have a look at an excellent example from Charity: water

https://www.sumac.com/how-to-write-a-great-donation-thank-you-email-with-examples/

https://www.charitydigitalnews.co.uk/2019/11/13/seven-steps-to-turn-one-time-donors-into-repeat-givers/

© Copyright 2017 Voluntary Support North Surrey. Privacy Policy. Registered Charity Incorporated Organisation Number 1141587