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Tell us about Bostin People or a Bostin Place and help us celebrate Sandwell!

Sandwell Council is looking for Bostin People and Places to feature on their new Celebrate Sandwell website and on social media in the run up to the Commonwealth Games – and they  know that Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector has lots of absolutely fantastic folk.

It might be a Bostin Person, like Makena, who’s going to be one of Sandwell’s Queen’s Batonbearers, or you might know someone who goes the extra mile for others, has overcome diversity, achieved great things … or simply makes others smile.

A Bostin Place could be somewhere you run a group or club, a place you enjoy walking, cycling or exercising – or simply somewhere close to your heart in Sandwell.

Nominations can be made via the online form on the Celebrate Sandwell website or by emailing celebrate_sandwell@sandwell.gov.uk

Don’t be shy … nominate your Bostin Person / Bostin Place now!!


What to Consider When Buying Insurance for Small Charities

As a trustee of a small charity, one of your duties is to protect your charity and its assets and resources. Buying insurance is one of the ways that you can help fulfil this responsibility.

If you’re confused about what insurance cover you need for your charity, check out this article from Zurich Insurance. Using clear and simple terms, it explains about the different types of cover and answers some frequently asked questions. What to consider when buying insurance for small charities.

The government website also provides helpful guidance – click here.


Developing a Fundraising Plan Post-Pandemic

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on most charities’ fundraising plans, and many charities were struggling to maintain stability even before this. Small charity fundraisers have told FSI they feel like they have been in firefighting mode following the pandemic. Now is the time to take a step back, review and develop your fundraising plans for the future.

Here are their tips:

1. Start by reviewing what has happened over the last 18 months.

What worked well for you? What didn’t work – and what could you learn from that, to inform your future fundraising plans? Also think about how your organisation adapted and served its community, and how you can share that with your supporters. A SWOT analysis, which looks at your fundraising strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can help you to reflect and analyse both internal and external factors that can help or hinder your fundraising.

2. Look outside too.

What have other charities done, what interesting trends or innovations can you adapt for your own organisation? One of our members attended an FSI networking event a few years ago where she heard a speaker from Meningitis Now talking about their virtual fundraising events – something very new at the time! She came back to her charity excited about testing this with their supporters – so when lockdown came along two years later they already had a tried and tested product that continued to provide a vital source of income when all other events were on hold. Be open to new ideas and learning from others.

To read the full article click here.


Fantastic Volunteers and How to Find Them – Five Volunteer Recruitment Tips

The Directory of Social Change explain how you can reach out and find fantastic volunteers throughout the year, even in a post-pandemic world?

1 – Target
A common mistake people make when recruiting volunteers is suggesting that anyone is suitable for the vacant role. This approach is often driven by a fear that nobody will come forward. It’s a technique that can work for certain positions, typically those that require no specific skills or experience, just a warm body. For roles where some kind of existing competence is required, however, we should target, target, target.

Ask these questions:

What do you want the volunteer to do? What exactly will it involve? What does the person need to know or be able to do before they start?
Who would be the ideal volunteer for this role? What skills, experience, abilities etc. do they need? For example, if you want someone to code then say that. Get as a specific as possible.
Where are you likely to find them? Given what you need, where might you find those people in your community? Again, be specific and avoid generalisations.

2 – Ask
Once you’ve got your target group identified, go and ask them! Research consistently shows that people who don’t volunteer feel like they haven’t been asked to give time. Ask, ask, ask. Keeping asking. And when you’re done, ask some more.

3- Sell
More than just asking, however, you need to sell your volunteer opportunities like a business would sell its products – focus on the benefits of someone volunteering with you, not the features. When we buy something we don’t just look at what it can do but how it will help us. For example, all kettles boil water but some do it faster than others, some have built in water filters and some work with apps etc..

It’s the same with volunteering – show people how volunteering with you will meet their needs. Don’t just tell them what they will do or how desperate you are for help. Show them how you’ll boil water in a way that is better suited to their needs than the other kettles on the market.

To read their full article click here.

If you’d like a conversation about how to get your volunteer roles listed on Let’s Go Sandwell then give Kim Fuller a call on 0121 5251127.


Ten Top Tips for Making Your Organisation Attractive to Volunteers

The Directory of Social Change want to share with you their 10 top tip for making your organsiation attractive to volunteers.

1 – Provide enjoyable volunteering
People volunteer in their discretionary leisure time. With the unrelenting pressures people feel in modern life, they want to spend their precious spare time enjoying themselves.

Making volunteering enjoyable is critical if you want to attract and keep volunteers. You see you’re not competing with other volunteer involving organisations when recruiting volunteers. You’re competing with all the leisure activities that people could spend their spare time doing – going to the cinema, having a meal with friends, watching a sports event etc..

So, make your volunteering rewarding and enjoyable. Really understand what drives your volunteers, their passions and interests. Or, in the words of a famous kids TV show from my childhood, they’ll go and do something less boring instead.

2 – Give great customer service
Do you remember the days where if you bought something mail order you usually had to wait 28 days for delivery? In today’s internet enabled age we now expect next day delivery at a minimum. Expectations have changed.

Read their full article by clicking here.

If you’ve got a volunteer opportunity you’d like to share contact Kim Fuller on 0121 525 1127 to get it listed on Let’s Go Sandwell.


Can your organisation make One Small Change for autistic people?

One in every 100 people is autistic. Every autistic person is different, but for many autistic people a lack of understanding from the community, or overwhelming sensations can make everyday life more difficult. One Small Change is a local campaign (from Changing Our Lives(COL)) that aims to make Sandwell more autism friendly by asking businesses, community spaces and public services to make one small change to show your autistic customers that they are welcome and valued. 

What small change could you make?

You could: 

  • start a quiet hour in your shop or café; 
  • find autism awareness training for your staff or volunteers;
  • create a social story on your website so customers know what sensory environment to expect;
  • speak to autistic staff or customers about what change they would like to see.

How do you get involved?

  • Sign up by contacting holly[at]changingourlives.org
  • Tell COL where your organisation is starting from. Some will never have thought about being autism friendly before, others will have made lots of small changes in the past. Either is fine!
  • Speak to autistic people that you already know. You may already know of autistic customers or staff involved in your organisation. You could start by finding out what would make things easier for them.
  • Check out some of the changes that other organisations are making. COL will share examples of small changes on their website and on social media. These may inspire your change.
  • Make the change and tell COL about it. Tag COL on social media (Twitter: @positive_lives Instagram: @changingourlives) using #OneSmallChange and share your stories or photos about the changes you’ve made.

Free Digital Skills Training From Home

Free Digital Skills Training from the comfort of your home with the Community Foundation.

They are a grassroots not for profit organisation who support people in inner-city areas to improve their lives by helping them to change their conditions and creating opportunities for people to reach their full potential.

Community Foundation is now offering free face-face and online digital skills training. You could also get a free Tablet with free data sim card if you are eligible!

Would you like to learn how to:

  • use a computer
  • surf the internet safely or shop online
  • send & receive emails
  • use Microsoft packages
  • meet friends and family on Zoom/Teams

To register, please contact:

Community Foundation-Quayside Tower, 11th Floor, 252-260 Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2HF

Tel: 0121 643 6490

Email: info@thecommunityfoundation.org.uk


North Smethwick Development Trust Seeks New Trustees

Being part of the North Smethwick Development Trust (NSDT) is both exciting and challenging. We are looking for team players with a variety of skills who will help to drive the organisation forward from its current position to one that is stronger, more confident and with increased credibility with our members.

Are you…

  • Passionate about communities and want to make a difference?
  • Do you have experience of the issues faced by our charities caused and want to give something back?
  • A good communicator?
  • Team focused?
  • Flexible and Objective?

If, the answer is yes, then why not become a Trustee?

Our vision is:

“North Smethwick Development Trust (NSDT) will work to achieve the social, economic and environmental regeneration of North Smethwick”. We do this through our 4 ambitions:

  • Improving health and wellbeing
  • Reducing the impacts of poverty
  • Supporting our children and young people
  • Being proud of our community

If you would like to use your skills and experience to become a Trustee/Director to help us shape the activities and services for local people living in North Smethwick, we very much look forward to hearing from you. We are particularly keen to encourage people under the age of 30 to join our Board and women.

Trustees

For information regarding the role of a Trustee, please see www.charitycommission.gov.uk

We are looking for committed individuals to expand the range of Trustee skills as well as to consolidate existing skills with an eye to succession planning. We require dynamic and motivated people who are sympathetic to the aims and objectives of NSDT to fulfil these voluntary duties. Trustees contribute valuably to the Board by giving strategic direction; setting overall policy; defining goals and setting targets; evaluating performance; ensuring the charity’s effective and efficient administration and financial stability.

We want to have a wide range of people on the Board and seek to be representative of the diverse communities of North Smethwick. There is no need to have previous trustee experience to apply as training will be provided. An interest in supporting communities is necessary.

Trustees are expected to:

  • attend up to seven meetings a year including quarterly Board meetings (all currently on Thursday evenings) and an annual planning day;
  • contribute advice and support on charity and trust topic; and
  • attend events.

All travel and out of pocket expenses will be paid.

How to apply: If you would like to express your interest in this position, please do contact our CEO for more information or to receive our Trustee/Director Recruitment and information pack, available on request from our Chief Executive Officer and Company Secretary, Jennifer Harrison BEM at jennifer.harrison@nsdt.org.uk


Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Tickets for Schools, Clubs and Groups

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (28 July – 8 August) will be the biggest multi-sport event to be staged in the UK for a decade. The Games will create a fantastic legacy, especially for the next generation, and we want as many people as possible to experience the Games.

GROUP TICKETING PROGRAMME
The Birmingham 2022 Group Ticketing Programme provides an opportunity for schools, clubs and community groups to attend the Games together. The programme is available for a number of selected sessions across nine different sports;

  • Athletics and Para Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket T20
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rugby Sevens
  • Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis

HOW TO ENQUIRE
1. Visit: https://www.birmingham2022.com/tickets/schools-groups/
2. Submit the expression of interest form to enquire about a group booking.

Once submitted, the request will be reviewed by Birmingham 2022 and you will be notified on the status of your request no later than Thursday 30 June. For a group booking, a minimum of 11 tickets can be purchased for a session.

All bookings are subject to Birmingham 2022 approval and are subject to availability. Terms and Conditions must be agreed to before you submit a request.


What does the cost of living crisis mean for charities?

The charity sector is not immune from the cost-of-living crisis. In his blog, Richard Sagar, Head of Policy, Charity Finance Group, sets out what the crisis means for charities, how to mitigate this, and says that they will ultimately be expected to do more with less.

With inflation above 7% (and it set to increase in the year ahead), outstripping wage increases and with tax increases and a failure to uprate benefits squeezing incomes for many households, we are experiencing a cost-of-living crisis not seen for decades.  And with 4 in 10 people expecting their finance to get worse over the next 12 months, it is a problem that is likely to be with us for some time.

As you might imagine, the charity sector and perhaps more importantly the beneficiaries they serve, are not immune from this crisis.

Click here to read the full article.

 


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