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Covid Recourses for voluntary and Community Groups in Sandwell

The new COVID-19 restrictions do not mean activities organised by community and voluntary organisations have to stop.

Community & voluntary sector sessions focused on activities like physical exercise, education, supporting vulnerable people, youth groups, charitable and voluntary work are allowed to exceed the limit of 6 people based on their individual risk assessment.

Be really stringent on social distancing, handwashing etc – and always take attendees’ details for purposes of contact tracing. There is guidance on how to produce a poster with a QR code for your community venue which you can access here . This is an easy way for you to know who has been in your venue and help with test and trace moving forward.

Your public health team can help you stay COVID-19 safe. Get in touch via

What Is The Future of Remote Working For Charities?

Charity Digital News examine how the last few months of remote working have brought charity service delivery in line with people’s wider experience of digital services – and how the pandemic will shape the future of charity service delivery.

The last few months have seen many charities rapidly digitise their services in order to survive. Initially, these changes were born out of necessity. Faced with an unprecedented lockdown, charities had to move service delivery, fundraising and other operations online – with many small charities taking the first steps on their digital journey.

But several months down the line, most of these changes look like they are here to stay. Charities have been able to increase their reach and their impact – with virtual events and digital service delivery removing barriers to accessibility and helping organisations expand their base beyond their immediate geographic areas.

Much of this change has been driven by remote working. What has been thrust upon the sector as a short-term necessity has begun to look like a long-term solution. The flexibility of remote working offers benefits for both charity workers and service users.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News

5 Best Practice Tips to Make Your Charity Social Media Posts More Accessible

Charity social media is about bringing people together. But you can’t do that if you’re unintentionally excluding some of your audience.

Over the past few years, charities have put significant focus on inclusive website design that accounts for a wide range of diversity among users and the barriers they might face when interacting with digital content.

These limitations fall broadly into three categories – permanent (like when someone has a disability, visual or cognitive impairment), temporary (such as when someone is recovering from a stroke or has an ear infection) and situational (for instance, someone interacting with content whilst holding a baby, in a very loud place or somewhere where they aren’t safe to play content out loud).

Accessibility encompasses a wide range of different audience challenges. And for many organisations, ensuring that everyone has equal access to their information and content is a vital part of their mission.

But accessibility goes far beyond just your website. It is also crucial to reaching new audiences and building relationships with diverse groups of supporters and advocates. Has your charity thought about the content you’re putting out on social media platforms?

Here are some quick social media best practice tips and accessibility features to get you started.

Make sure your built-in accessibility features are enabled

This is probably the first you should do to make your social content more accessible. Explore the settings of the platforms you’re on and enable any accessibility features, as some may not be turned on by default. In Twitter, for example, you have to dig for it in ’Settings and Privacy’ > ’Accessibility’. Take the time to familiarise yourself with them, and with the latest accessibility updates from the platforms you use.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Safeguarding Adults Board Survey

The Safeguarding Adults Board would like to hear individual’s experiences of being supported through the Safeguarding Process in Sandwell. 

If you work with any individuals who have been supported by the Safeguarding Team could you please direct them to this survey? You may have referred the individual yourself and have a relationship where you may be able to support them to share their views.  The information gathered will be used to improve the service and therefore individual’s experiences.

The Closing date for responses is 31st October 2020

If you have any queries relating to the survey, please contact

How Grant Making Practice has Changed Following COVID-19

Charities are having to be increasingly savvy as they look to compete for a smaller pool of funds from grantmakers amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 has transformed the relationship between charities and grantmakers, such as corporate partners, government funders and foundation trusts.

There is simply less money for funders to invest and distribute to good causes, amid financial uncertainty globally caused by the pandemic.

According to National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) data and research manager Lisa Hornung: “Investment values have fallen in 2020 and so will have the reserves of some organisations.

“In the longer term, the fall in investments will impact on the ability of grantmakers to give out funding to the sector, since many of them are heavily reliant on investment income.”

The pandemic has also altered grantmakers’ funding priorities, with long-term recovery from the pandemic and supporting at-risk communities increasingly key to their decisions.

Knowing what grantmakers want to spend their falling funds on is key to success for charities amid COVID-19.

Targeting grantmakers is especially important as many charities are currently being left vulnerable by an over-reliance on public donations, which have been hit by the cancellation of in-person fundraising events and charity shop closures during lockdown.

The fall in public donations to charities could be around £1bn, according to estimates in July this year by online fundraising platform Omaze.

According to Blackbaud Europe’s Status of UK Fundraising 2020 Benchmark Report, 27% of charity professionals say their income has fallen, an increase on the 21% who said there had been a decline in 2019.

Diversifying income streams, especially by ramping up the search for grant-giving could ensure the long-term future of those charities reliant on the public.

Read the full Charity DIgital News Artcile by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News

The Importance of Authenticity For Charity Virtual Events

2020 has been the year of the virtual fundraising event. But with the sudden boom of charity activity now taking place online, it can be even more of a challenge for charities to move audiences to give and take part. Especially when there are so many competing voices vying for peoples’ attention.

In an increasingly content-saturated world, it can be challenging for charities to get their message heard when there is so much out there already. Transparency and authenticity are the key to successful and sustained charity communications and donor relationships.

The importance of defining your message charity’s is invaluable to lasting and memorable donor relationships and ultimate growth. By clearly outlining your mission, and connecting the format and style of your event to your cause, you can help your audience to better understand your mission.

Anyone can throw a virtual fundraising event together these days, but how do you take a great idea and make it your charity’s own? How do you make it memorable, compelling and human without the traditional face to face element?

The key lies in carefully defining your event’s message and relating it to supporters in a way that feels authentic, by keeping your charity’s story centre stage. Here are a few pointers.

Tie your fundraising activity to your mission

When thinking of an idea for your virtual fundraising event, try and come up with something that has a direct impact on supporters and is tied to your cause. Is there a way you can give back something of value to those fundraising for you? If you’re a foodbank, you could run an online cookery class and ask people to donate. If you’re an education and awareness charity, it could be a virtual quiz related to your area of expertise.

To read the full Charity Digital news article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

How to Make Zoom Training More Interesting

It’s hard to learn anything if your attention is wandering or you are falling asleep.

So, if you hope to deliver effective training to your charity staff then it’s important to make the training sessions interesting.

That in itself can be a challenge, but the task is made far more difficult when you are delivering the training session remotely to staff working at home using a video conferencing platform such as Zoom.

Whether you are maintaining your digital leadership by upskilling your charity staff, or onboarding new people who will be doing remote working, here are some ways to ensure your Zoom sessions hold everyone’s attention so they get the most out of their remote training.

To find out more information about this, please view

Three Ways to Increase Your New Digital Project’s Chance of Success

How might you help your project be successful? How can you stack the odds in your favour?

Check if you’re planning to do these three things.

1. Run a solution-finding project
Look at your plans. Are you thinking about building a solution or finding a solution? The difference is important. It’s the difference between old and new ways to build digital services.

The old approach
‘We’ve specified the solution up front, we think we know what it needs to do, and how it needs to work. We’ve worked this out either by people telling us what they need, or because we had a good idea. Now we just need to get on and build the solution.’

A new approach
‘We’ve got a problem we want to solve and some ideas for how we might achieve it. But we understand that we’re making some assumptions and probably haven’t found the right solution yet. So we’re going to investigate the problem further through user research. Then we’re going to run some tests on what we then think are possible solutions.’

Do you see the difference?

Even after you’ve built and launched a digital service, you should continue to use this ‘solution finding’ approach to making changes or adding features.

2. Understand the difference between user and social value
How much do you understand the difference? It’s okay if you don’t yet. User value is a tech term that, until recently, wasn’t used much in the voluntary sector. So let’s start with social value.

Social value is something we do know a lot about. It’s the value of an intervention or service in terms of how it affects a social problem. It’s pretty interchangeable with “social impact” or “social outcomes”.

To read the full Catalyst blog click here.

Source: Catalyst



International Charity Fraud Awareness Week – October 2020

Are you a charity trustee, volunteer or professional adviser? Want to learn more about fraud and how it can effect your charity? Join The Fraud Advisory Panel for International Charity Fraud Awareness Week, taking place between 19 and 23 October 2020.

What is international charity fraud awareness week?
International Charity Fraud Awareness Week brings together everyone involved in the charity and not-for-profit sectors to raise awareness and share good practice in tackling fraud and cybercrime. This award-winning campaign is led by a coalition of over 40 charities, regulators, law enforcers, representative and umbrella bodies, and other not-for-profit stakeholders.

Why is it important?
All charities, NGOs and not-for-profits are susceptible to fraud and can be targeted. Those providing services and supporting local communities may be especially vulnerable to fraudsters attempting to exploit current national and global crises to carry out fraud and cybercrime. This means that now – more than ever– charities need to be fraud aware and take steps to protect their money, people and assets from harm.

This year’s campaign has three core messages: be fraud aware, take time to check, and keep your
charity safe.

Find out more by visiting their website by clicking here or in their Support Pack by clicking here.

Source: Fraud Advisory Panel

The Foundation for Social Improvement Birmingham Online Training – 7th October

Booking for The FSI’s next online regional training event is now open for small charities in Birmingham and Midlands area. This event supported by the 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust will be delivered online, offering 60 delegate training places over 1 day so that small charities, wherever they are, can access the skills they need to become self-sustaining.

You can access a choice of 3 full day interactive webinars covering the popular topics: Developing Your Earned Income, Supporting and Managing Volunteers, Major Donor Fundraising. Spaces normally fills up fast, so book your heavily subsidised place today!


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