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.
According to the Mental Health Foundation 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Everyone experiences stress differently. Sometimes it may feel obvious when you're feeling stressed but at other times it may creep up on you. Mental health charity Mind have guidance on signs of stress and how it might make you feel.
If you feel overwhelmed and need help to get your wellbeing back, we've put together some local and national links with ideas for self care and agencies who can help you.
NHS recommended Apps https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/apps/
NHS Every Mind Matters https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/stress/ and https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/anxiety/
Mind Matters Talking Therapies SABP https://www.mindmattersnhs.co.uk/
Woking Mind https://wokingmind.org.uk/
Helplines and Crisis Contacts https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/helplines-and-crisis-contacts
Finally, why not try the Stress Management Society '30 Day Challenge’ which encourages you to pick one action each for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing to carry out every day. It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits which could enable you to turn useful knowledge and techniques into positive change https://www.stress.org.uk/stressawarenessmonth/
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”
March is Free Wills Month. More than half of UK adults don't have a will and this month it's possible to get a solicitor-written will in return for a small charity donation.
The publicity behind this campaign and Remember a Charity Week later in the year, is a great way for you to introduce/promote a legacy option in your fundraising messages. Here are the fundamentals to get you started:
Remember that as fundraisers you should be aware of the law - the Fundraising Regulator has the specifics regarding legacies https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code/specific-fundraising-methods/legacies
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health. Talking about your feelings isn't a sign of weakness. Talking about your feelings is part of taking charge of your well being and doing what you can to stay healthy.
At the moment we are all worried. Don't suffer in silence - talk to someone:
If you are in crisis please call the Crisis Mental Health Helpline 0800 915 4644 - open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for mental health advice and support
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.
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.
Mentoring can have a significant impact on a young person’s life, prospects and outlook. In addition to better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored young people maintain better attitudes toward school - 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs - 27% less likely to start drinking - 81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who do not. Being a mentor gives a young person someone to rely on, provide emotional support, educational and career guidance and generally be a guide.
Interested? Here are a few local ideas:
Forward Trust - make a difference to the lives of ex offenders and people with drug and alcohol issues
Surrey Care Trust - work with vulnerable families who need help to cope with life’s challenges or support taking their next steps in life
PACT – Prison Advice and Care Trust volunteers support prisoners resettling back through practical and emotional support
or have a look at some of the many and varied mentor roles on our volunteer website
The Thriving Communities Fund will support local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise projects that bring together place-based partnerships to improve and increase the range and reach of available social prescribing community activities – especially for those people most impacted by COVID19 and health inequalities.
Voluntary, community and faith sector (VCFS) organisations can apply for between £25,000 and £50,000, but to be eligible all applications must:
To support the VCFS to apply for Thriving Communities, Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands are running a matching funding and partnership panel. This panel will provide the eligibility requirements set out above. In addition, any applications made to the panel which are unsuccessful at securing Thriving communities funding, will be considered for full funding from Surrey County Council and Surrey Heartlands.
How it will work:
Ian Goodchild Centre (First Floor), Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3SY
6 The Sainsbury Centre, Chertsey,
Staines Library (First Floor), Friends Walk, Staines TW18 4PG