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MP to Consult with Charities on Supporting Covid-19 Recovery

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked MP Danny Kruger to consult with charities over how they can continue supporting communities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Johnson has written to Kruger to ask him to work with civil society minister Baroness Barran to “maximise the role of volunteers, community groups, faith groups, charities and social enterprises” as communities recover from the outbreak.

This includes how data and technology can improve the help the voluntary sector can offer communities.

Opportunities for young people is another priority, as is how charities can support those who have lost their jobs and facing poverty due to the outbreak.

Charities’ role in supporting the NHS and local services, including libraries and older people support are other priorities, according to Johnson’s letter to Kruger.

Delighted to be asked by the PM to work with @dianabarran on proposals to sustain the amazing community response to Covid-19. We have seen society in action in this crisis – how can we empower & strengthen communities for the long term? Pls email me danny.kruger.mp@parliament.uk pic.twitter.com/T9kxSCwArP
— Danny Kruger (@danny__kruger) June 24, 2020

The letter praises the “innovation, flexibility and can-do spirit” of charities.

It adds: “As we enter the next phase of our response to the crisis, the recovery phase, we need to sustain and build on this goodwill.

“The recovery will be long and hard and it is clear that our communities will need help that goes beyond both statutory welfare and economic stimulus.

“Government has a role to play in supporting the voluntary effort and social entrepreneurialism that has proved so valuable so far, and will be just as vital in the years ahead.”

Kruger has been Conservative MP for Devizes, in Wiltshire, since last December and was previously Johnson’s political secretary.

He has been asked to consult with councils and MPs as well as charities on developing proposals to present to Johnson by 24 July 2020.

Source: Charity Times


Unlocking the Power of Community for Our Common Good

At Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) we want people in Oxfordshire to have better lives. For us, this means that no-one should have to sleep rough on our streets and everyone should have a place to call home; where every child has aspirations and the opportunity to thrive; and no-one has to experience the despair of loneliness, but instead can enjoy a true sense of belonging.

To make this a reality, we believe in unlocking the power within our communities enabling charities, businesses and the public sector (city, district and country councils) to work collectively in shared endeavour to improve opportunities for those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Therefore, with the new year 2020 almost here, I am delighted with the progress Oxfordshire Community Foundation has made during 2019 which has seen the launch of two key strategic programmes Growing Minds – a school readiness project to reduce educational disadvantage and Oxford Homeless Movement – a partnership of 38 organisations working to ensure that nobody should have to sleep rough on the streets of Oxford.   What better evidence of how Oxfordshire Community Foundation is already working in collaboration with others to unlock the power of community and starting to build an unstoppable movement for Our Common Good.

We believe OCF has a role to play at the heart of such social transformation, providing a voice for the community and the space for partnerships to come together.

We acknowledge that our aspiration to find local solutions to national problems is simply beyond the capacity of any one organisation. However, the real challenge we see is often not a lack of money but more a lack of co-ordination between all our various efforts as individuals and organisations.

Whenever, I talk about OCF, I am always minded to mention Our Common Good and the collective priority we share to inspire more “place making” by enhancing the role of national and local philanthropy to renew and empower communities to seek out ever more collaborations and cross-sector partnerships.

In 2020 Oxfordshire Community Foundation will be celebrating 25 years working across Oxfordshire looking to find local solutions to the national problems that are holding our communities back – homelessness, educational disadvantage, inequality and loneliness.  With this experience behind us we are becoming increasingly outspoken, seeking out every opportunity to share our knowledge and insight, adding our voice and influence to achieve greater impact.

To read  the full UK Community Foundations Article click here.

Source: UK Community Foundations


Laptop and notepad

eBay To Launch Training Programme For Online Charity Retail

Laptop and notepadeBay is launching a training programme to help charity retailers make the most of e-commerce opportunities.

Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions on retail, some physical charity shops remain closed. This is partly due to reduced footfall on the high street that is expected as a result of social distancing measures.

Therefore, eBay UK is urging charities to embrace online retail as a way to help raise funds in the face of the challenges posed by Covid-19.

It has announced plans to upskill at least 500 UK charities to boost their online sales through its new Charity Connect training programme, alongside giving grants to charities affected by Covid-19.

Charity Connect aims to help charity retailers to build an effective online presence through dedicated customer service, onboarding assistance, promotional support and a tailored eBay training programme.

Charity Connect will begin next month with a series of free weekly webinars for new and existing charity sellers on how to boost sales on eBay, including follow-up one-to-one sessions with e-commerce experts. Training will begin from Tuesday 7 July and is free for charities to book.

The charity initiative follows the blueprint of Retail Revival, a 12-month pilot programme with small businesses in Wolverhampton, where over 60 companies increased sales by 33% on eBay with revenues of over £7m through intensive eCommerce training and support.

eBay has also awarded unrestricted grants totalling £1.7m to the 250 charities on its platform which have been most affected by declines in online sales during the pandemic.

To read the full Civil Society New article click here.

Source: Civil Society


Online Donations to Foodbanks Showing Signs of ‘Compassion Fatigue’

Donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites have declined in May and June after peaking at the beginning of the lockdown, according to data from the University of Kent.

Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby and Dr Tomas Petricek from the University of Kent gathered information on donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites GoFundMe, Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving using data-scraping software.

They found that in February, before the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, fundraising appeals for foodbanks raised about £8,000-£10,000 a week. From early March, the figure started increasing very quickly, going from £50,000 a week at the beginning of the month to £1m week after 23 March, when the national lockdown was imposed.

After that initial peak, donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites started to decrease. They amounted to about £600,000 a week in early May and fell to £125,000 a week in early June.

‘Level of support is falling’

The research is partial, because it does not look at other donation channels, such as direct donations via foodbanks’ websites, corporate support, or donation boxes in supermarkets, among others. The crowdfunding websites are scraped every two weeks, so some short-term appeals could also have slipped through the research net.

But it suggests that donors are showing signs of “compassion fatigue”, decreasing their levels of support at a time when need is likely to increase further, the authors of the research have said.

Peter Taylor-Gooby, professor of social policy at the University of Kent, said: “The findings indicate how the amount raised took off in step with the numbers of coronavirus cases and the numbers claiming out of work benefits.

“The results so far show great and unexpected public generosity. Many people gave money to help vulnerable fellow citizens. But the level of support is falling. As the numbers of cases declined from April onwards, so did the income from the appeals.

“Official statistics show that, although the pandemic is in retreat, the number of benefit claimants continues to rise. All commentators believe even more people will lose their jobs as furloughing is wound down and the recession bites home, with a possible further impact from Brexit. Demand for food parcels will rise further. We can expect more urgent appeals for funds.

“Pandemic is widely seen as a common threat. Will people be as generous when we move into recession and very high unemployment? The indications of compassion fatigue are disturbing.”

To read the full Civil Society news click here.

Source: Civil Society News


Ray Lock: There’s A Lot The Charity Sector Can Learn From Military Charities About Data

It’s times like these you give and give again. Foo Fighter’s lyricist Dave Grohl’s song about ‘love and hope and compassion’ is an apt description for a sector whose heart is defined by a desire to help people lead better lives. When it comes to my own sub-sector (Armed Forces charities), rather too often we’re perceived as being in competition and uncollaborative.

Both accusations are unfair, and our pandemic response might even offer an example to other sub-sectors.

At the heart of our sub-sector lies Cobseo – the Confederation of Service Charities. A membership organisation of some 300 charities with a board of permanent and elected members (such as SSAFA, The Soldiers’ Charity, Help for Heroes), it compares in some ways to the United Nations. It has no executive authority, but gains its strength from the willingness of its members to subordinate their own individual concerns for the greater good of the whole. It helps that the chair is a distinguished retired officer, used to dealing with devious and obfuscating political leaders (abroad of course) and therefore well able to take uncomfortable truths to the Whitehall corridors of power. Like the United Nations, it has been tested in times of crisis.

When, in common with all charities, those supporting the Armed Forces community were faced with an overnight fall in voluntary income at the start of lockdown, Cobseo was able to use the research that we (Forces in Mind Trust) had commissioned from the Directory of Social Change over a period of seven years.

To read the full Charity Times article click here.

Source: Charity Times


Public Fundraising Can Return But Under Restrictions Say Regulators

Charities’ public fundraising can resume amid the government’s easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures, according to guidance released by The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

But the umbrella bodies have warned charities need to ensure they comply with latest government and devolved administrations’ restrictions around social distancing and avoid staging events that are likely to attract mass gatherings.

The guidance has been prepared by the two organisations after talks with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

“The recent changes to lockdown restrictions in England mean that public fundraising may return,” said the Fundraising Regulator.

“It is important to remember that some methods of fundraising, such as community fundraising events involving large groups of people, or mass participation events, cannot safely resume under current social distancing rules.”

Two sets of guidance have been released. The first covers the overarching principles which should be applied to all fundraising methods. While the second offers specific advice on public fundraising, including door-to-door, street and fundraising on private property.

For fundraising to return safely, it is important that organisations carefully consider the risks associated with each type of fundraising activity they carry out. New guidance from @FundrRegulator and @IoFtweets highlights the issues you should consider www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/more-from-us/coronavirus-advice
— FundraisingRegulator (@FundrRegulator) June 26, 2020

“I want to be clear that public fundraising activities should only resume if it is safe to do so,” said the Fundraising Regulator’s head of policy Priya Warner.

“It’s the responsibility of individual charities to exercise judgment about when and how to resume fundraising, and this should only be when thorough risk assessments have been carried out, and informed decisions based on each individual organisation’s unique circumstances have been made.”

Daniel Fluskey, Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s head of policy and external affairs, added: “Public fundraising activities have been rightly on hold during lockdown, but with the return of non-essential shops and other businesses resuming activity, it is appropriate for charities to be thinking about how they can restart fundraising in a safe and responsible way.

“This guidance sets out the key considerations that organisations need to be thinking about as they plan their return to fundraising activities in line with social distancing requirements.”

Source: Charity Times


Age UK Sandwell – Supporting Veterans

The service is available to all veterans, aged 50 and over, whether they served in the Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy or Merchant Navy, in Regular or Reserve forces and includes time spent during National Service.

How we can help:
We can help with a broad range of matters, including:
• Managing at Home – support to access services enabling you to live independently at home, understanding your housing options, ensuring you have enough support at home and accessing aids and adaptations.
• Money – We can ensure that you are claiming all of the welfare entitlements available to you, including relevant service related benefits and grants. We can also advise and review other money matters such as utility bills, pensions, tax and bank accounts.
• Safety – We can help with accessing equipment and adaptations in the home, assist in accessing local authority support services and direct you to other services and age appropriate products.
If we are unable to help then we can put you in touch with someone who can.

Get in touch:
Emma Humphries – Community Support Manager
Tel: 07426 713 788 or 0121 437 0033
Email: emma.humphries@ageuksandwell.org.uk
This is a completely free service and funded by – Because Veterans Should Not Be Forgotten Supporting Veterans


Why More Charities Should be Using LinkedIn

Charity Digital News examines why engaging with LinkedIn’s audience of conscientious professionals should be part of all charities’ social media strategy.

LinkedIn is an effective social media platform for the voluntary sector. But too often it is being ignored by charity marketers in favour of more familiar platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Even when LinkedIn is used, it can be seen as an afterthought, with content for other, more personal style social platforms merely copy and pasted in.

But it is a mistake to ignore LinkedIn’s engaged and professional focused audience and the distinct social media marketing advantages it offers.

Here we will examine the benefits of using LinkedIn for charities and how it can help in their wider social media strategy.

Understanding LinkedIn

According to research cited by LinkedIn, almost all (96 per cent) of UK business to business (B2B) marketers use the platform for content and six out of ten describe it as “highly effective”. Around eight out of ten of all their leads for new business come from LinkedIn.

Knowing more about LinkedIn, its audience and functions are key for charities in harnessing this marketing power.

The platform is primarily used for professional networking, which means its user base is highly engaged, keen to network and receptive to social media marketing campaigns. They are a B2B group of professionals who want to see relevant content for their job and are eager to learn from other professionals across a wide range of sectors.

The right content

Creating strong content that appeals to this professional user base is key. This includes recruitment announcements, such as board appointees and new hires. Promoting the work of your volunteers and firms that are volunteering or fundraising for your good causes is also effective.

Blog posts used on charity websites can also be repositioned for a LinkedIn audience.
Links to interesting, professional articles, that will assist a wide range of people in their job, are also of interest.

Be warned though. This audience is not interested in personal content. So, while a cute picture of your CEO’s dogs may work Instagram, it is less likely to appeal to LinkedIn’ users.

In addition, political news that is not relevant to people’s working life is not welcome by this audience. Such issues can also be divisive in the workplace. Treat them as such on LinkedIn.

Instead, LinkedIn users are looking for content that can help in their job and working life. This is why recruitment opportunities can be so appealing.

The quality of LinkedIn’s audience is clear, but the platform also has the quantity of audience to back up its use in marketing. As of May 2020, it boasted more than 690 million users, across 150 countries. Around half are regular, active users each month.

Source: Charity Digital News


Get Creative or Lose Supporters, Charities Warned

UK charities risk losing vital supporters if they don’t ‘get creative’ and allow donors to have more creative freedom, fundraising experts have warned.

Studio Republic, the designers behind the 2.6 Challenge – which was launched to replace the postponed London Marathon in April – and fundraising experts, Funraisin, have urged charities to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and allow supporters to be involved in fundraising in a more creative way.

The comments come as part of a white paper on the future of fundraising, which was launched this week to demonstrate why creative methods of fundraising such as the 2.6 Challenge, which raised £10m for 3,000 charities, are vital for the sector to combat ‘donor fatigue’.

Fundraising has taken a hit over the past few months as major events have been cancelled and charities have been forced into finding new ways to raise much-needed money.

Captain Tom Moore – a 100-year old veteran who raised millions for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden – demonstrated how the general public are increasingly drawn to more creative ways of raising funds.

Studio Republic and Funraisin said collectively, they’re aiming to ‘break-down the current conditioning of limitations’.

“Once the dust settles, the new normal will be a hyper-congested market and an economy under immense pressure,” Funraisin COO, Keith Williams said.

“Charities will not just be competing as a sector for donations, but will be competing with every other consumer good or service. Charities are the pillar and essential for every corner of the community.

“The 2.6 Challenge and other campaigns during the pandemic have proved that creativity & technology effectively engage fundraisers. Where the world has redefined what matters, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the world better.”

Studio Republic director, Fleurie Forbes-Martin added: “Fundraisers have seen and experienced a more flexible way of supporting causes close to their heart and they won’t want to revert back to the rigidity of traditional methods.

“Now it’s up to charities to meet these new fundraiser expectations head-on. The second half of 2020 is an opportune time to invest in the sophistication of planned events and campaigns.”

Source: Charity Times


Decline

Coronavirus: Spending on Frontline Services in Decline as Income Continues to Fall

DeclineSpending on frontline services is in decline as charities battle with an increase in income loss, new research has shown.

In a survey conducted by ACEVO and researches at the Centre for Mental Health, more than half of charities (54%) said spending on frontline services has worsened in the last month.

The organisations surveyed 124 charities for the second consecutive month on financial changes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Charities were quizzed on new business and donation income, cashflow, FTE number of employees, reserves and spending on frontline services.

The overall score for June sat at 42.8 out of a maximum of 100, which is deemed a negative score, showcasing the financial deterioration among the sector.

A score of 50 means no change, and a score of 100 means every area has improved.

The score is, however, higher than April’s score of 30.8, suggesting that although challenges are worsening, it’s at a slower rate.

New business and donations were worse for 40% of charities responding; 36% reported worse cashflow and 44% reported that reserves had got worse.

Furthermore, in a new development, the number of charities reporting spending on frontline services was lower than the previous month increased sharply from 30% in April to 54% in May.

ACEVO said these findings suggest that charities that have been relying on reserves to maintain frontline services are now having to reduce their activity at a time when they are never more needed.

“In April, the chancellor announced emergency funding for charities to support the relief effort but much of it is yet to reach charities,” Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at ACEVO said.

“This money was always too little, and it is now also too late to stop charities from being forced to scale back frontline services at a time when they are never more needed. The government needs to act urgently to increase funding to charities and civil society groups in order to reduce the risk of further harm being caused to people and communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Source: Charity Times


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