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Covid-19 has Pushed Charities to Embrace Digital

Covid-19 has accelerated a digital evolution with the charity sector, according to a report published today.

The 2020 Charity Digital Skills Report provides insights into how UK charities have adapted to Covid-19.

Between March and May, the authors heard from 429 charity professionals about how they are using digital and what this means for trends around skills, governance, leadership and strategy across the sector.

This year’s report finds that the pandemic is the biggest cause of digital disruption in the sector this year. Covid-19 has pushed charities to “embrace digital with the aim of staying relevant, helping more people, developing new ways of working, fundraising and delivering service offerings”.

Before Covid-19, 30% felt that a lack of understanding and buy-in for digital from trustees was one of their biggest internal barriers. For those responding post-Covid-19, this had decreased to 15% of respondents.

Post-Covid-19 is defined as 20 March 2020 onwards, as that was when the government announced the closure of schools and shops.

More than half of charities do not have a digital strategy
The report finds that just over half of the charities that responded, 51%, still do not have a digital strategy. However, 39% have an organisational strategy that includes digital, or a digital strategy, and it’s a priority for them.

Half of the charities cited lack of funding as the biggest barrier they face to digital progress, and 48% of respondents said that their charities have not accessed any digital funding over the last year.

Most charities, 66%, rate their board’s digital skills as low or having room for improvement, down 2% from 2019. Only 4% are investing in digital training for trustees, down from 7% last year.

Baroness Barran, minister for civil society, said: “The annual Charity Digital Skills report continues to provide invaluable insights into the sector’s evolving uptake and engagement with the opportunities that digital provides – something that nearly all of us have experienced recently. Coronavirus has fundamentally transformed charities’ daily operations and the need to offer digital alternatives for everything from services to fundraising, which has proven important now, more than ever.

“Over the last few months, charities and wider civil society have worked tirelessly in their efforts to support vulnerable people and communities, and the sector has proven to be one of our greatest strengths. Boosting digital skills and capability will be central in bolstering the resilience of the sector through recovery as civil society continues to play a vital role in helping tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Read the full Civil Society article by clicking here.

Source: Civil Society


Getting Started with Editing Software for Charities

Creating great content isn’t just for digital whizzes. We’re all creators now and using video and imagery can motivate digital fundraising efforts, so it is important to make sure content is sharp where possible. With editing software, charity digital professionals can create Instagram worthy photos and professional videos.

Starting with a few digital concepts, we showcase some of the most popular editing software tools available for users of all levels.

What are the key digital elements in photos and videos?
Starting with the basics, digital photos and videos have key elements which for the most part, are editable. Understanding pixels, size, sound, and picture quality impacts the extent to which photos and videos can be edited.

Pixels, in both videos and images, determine the quality and sharpness of the visual. Roughly, a pixel is a very small area of the screen, perhaps the size of a pinprick, which displays colour. Take lots of pixels together, and an image is formed. The resolution of the screen, video or photo tells you how detailed the picture is. At a low resolution and large size, pictures and videos will appear blurry and ‘pixelated’.

Digital sound works in a similar way. The term ‘high-res audio’ is a measure of how good the sound quality is by both the sampling rate and bit depth. Digital Trends online magazine explains that the sampling rate is the number of times sound is capture digitally per second, while the bit depth is the number of bits of information taken per second. Both measures need to be high to have high quality sound.

What elements are editable in photos?
Photos can be relatively easy to edit, particularly as many charity digital staff are already familiar with basic editing features for email marketing and other communications.

When selecting photos, remember that the resolution is important. The raw, unaltered content may ultimately be the deciding factor of how you use a photo because the resolution is very difficult to improve. Realistically, making the image smaller might work, but blowing up the size will dilute the quality of the image.

Basic photo editing software can then help with exposure, colour, contrast, sharpening, and for more experienced editors, layering. Editing software can fix problems of over-exposure, enhance colour, sharpen silhouettes, and add special effects like focus, blurred background, or filters. For more complex images, layers can also be edited – software can change a single layer of a multi-layered image.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News


The UK Civil Society Almanac 2020 is here

The annual UK Civil Society Almanac is now available to download.

Drawing on a range of sources, the Almanac provides a snapshot of what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteering and its impact.

Key highlights include:
• 19.4m people volunteered at least once a year during 2018/19 through a group, club or organisation
• The voluntary sector contributed £18.2bn to the economy in 2017/18, representing about 0.9% of total GDP
• The voluntary sector has a paid workforce of 909,088, 5% more than in 2018

Click here to view the UK Civil Society Almanac 2020.

 


Invitation to Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG Annual General Meeting

You are invited to attend Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 23 July 2020, from 6 – 7 pm.

This will be a virtual meeting.

Please confirm your attendance as soon as you can, by email at SWBCCG.engagement@nhs.net or call 0121 612 1447.

You will be sent joining instructions once you have booked a place.


Sir Lenny Henry wins Special Recognition in Fundraising Award

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has awarded Sir Lenny Henry with the Special Recognition in Fundraising Award for his contribution to fundraising.

The one-off award was announced yesterday morning just before Sir Lenny began his opening plenary at this year’s Fundraising Convention, presented entirely virtually for the first time.

The award was made in recognition of Sir Lenny’s achievements with Comic Relief and for his continued role in championing diversity and inclusion across the creative arts.

Henry co-founded Comic Relief in 1985 with comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis in response to the famine in Ethiopia. Through a series of telethons on the BBC, expanded with the introduction of Sport Relief, Comic Relief had by 2015 raised over £1 billion for charitable work in Africa and in the UK.

The first live fundraising show was held on 4 April 1986, and the first Red Nose Day campaign was held on 5 February 1988.

Henry is also a campaigner for the greater representation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the entertainment industry.

He addressed the issue of diversity and representation in the charity sector in his opening plenary, together with sharing his experience of fundraising through Comic Relief.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: UK Fundraising


Decline

Pandemic Impact Means Inevitable Shrinkage of Voluntary Sector

DeclineWhile it is too early to determine the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the charity sector’s finances, the sector will inevitably be smaller in the immediate future at least, according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

NCVO publishes its annual UK Civil Society Almanac today, which looks at the charity sector’s finances. Because of the time delay in charities’ accounts being compiled, audited and published, the latest data covers the financial year 2017/18.

It shows modest income growth in the sector during 2017/18, reserves back to their pre-financial crisis level and employment in the sector at a record high. However, with government income at its lowest ever level and public money the main source of income growth, the forecasted post-Covid economic downturn is likely to have a direct impact on finances.

Income

In more depth, the Almanac shows a modest income growth in the voluntary sector of 2% in 2017/18. This was the same level as for the previous year, 2016/17, and confirms a trend of the levelling off of  faster growth seen in the years prior, according to NCVO. Total income went up by £1.2bn between 2016/17 and 2017/18 to £53.5bn, but almost half of this increase came from two individual legacies that totalled £555m.

While  voluntary incomes were not hit as hard as expected during lockdown with a  joint survey by the Institute of Fundraising, NCVO, and Charity Finance Group showing that voluntary income from the public dropped by 14% whereas trading income fell by 72%, NCVO warns that this may  represent a lagged effect as was the case following the previous recession in 2008/09.

The Almanac also shows that while government income grew £280m from the previous year to £15.7bn in 2017/19, this was its lowest point on record as a proportion of the sector’s total income, at 29%. This, it says, reflects other income streams outpacing growth in income from government with the increased reliance on other sources of income further suggesting that decreased income from the public will have a negative impact on the sector.

Reserve levels completed their recovery to pre-financial crisis levels, reaching £63.5bn in 2017/18: just over the previous high of £63.2bn in 2007/08.

Additionally, NCVO notes that it took seven years to recover its net assets to pre-2008 levels following the global financial crisis. The speed of bounce back this time will vary for different subsectors, it says, and will largely depend on the overall economic recovery.

To read the full UK Fundraising Article click here.

Source: UK Fundraising


Help YMCA prevent Youth Homelessness in the midst of Covid-19

For any teenager, experiencing family breakdown is one of the most challenging life experiences that they could ever face. However, the risk of homelessness for 16-18 year olds leaves them with an even more daunting prospect during the Covid-19 outbreak, as many teenagers are left wondering what will happen and where they will go.

Since the outbreak hit the UK, YMCA Open Door has been helping over 50 young people across the Black Country who have found themselves in the precarious position. The Open Door project has been placing young people at risk of Homelessness with Host families for over 10 years, but at this particular time, there is even more need for more Hosts – people who have a spare room within their house and a caring heart.

Find out how you can help


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


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