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Near Neighbours February Training

Near Neighbours have three training days running in February at the low cost of £5 per day with lunch included, designed with faith groups in mind but is also relevant for those working with community organisation and charities.

All of the workshops are supported by a wealth of tools, examples and written resources that participants can take away for use in their project.

Please email for details on how to book.

Fundamentals of Fundraising

Thursday 7th Feb 9:30am to 3:30pm
Frank F Harrison Community Association
Cost: £5 (lunch included)

Develop Confidence & Skills in Fundraising for Faith Based Social & Community Action.
This training will look at sources of funding for faith based groups, how to apply, how to develop application information and how to fund-raise.

Click here to book your place.

Faithful Applications

Thursday 14th Feb 9:30am to 3:30pm
Frank F Harrison Community Association
Cost: £5 (lunch included)

Making Grant Applications for Social Action in Faith Based Organisations

This session will cover:
– Writing Techniques & Formats
– The Writing You Need Before Applying
– Writing The Application

Click here to book your place.

Faithful Organisation: Governance Training

Thursday 28th Feb 9:30am to 1pm
Frank F Harrison Community Association
Cost: £5 (lunch included)

The roles and responsibilities of Trustees, Directors. Committees, Staff, Volunteers and Membership in the Governance of Faith Based Community Organisations and Places of Worship.

A half day workshop that will explore topics of interest including:
• What is an Accountable Body
• Understanding Organisational Language
• Choosing a Legal Structure
• The Charitable Context
• Ensuring Trust & Credibility
• Why Risk Management
• Showing Who’s Involved
• Visionary Thinking
• Operational Planning
• Policy & Procedure
• The Good Committee
• Clear Budgeting
• Involving and Sharing Work

Supported by examples and good practice handouts using real life experience of national and local situations from a wide range of organisations and communities.

Click here to book your place.

Source: Near Neighbours

Five Ways You Can Improve your Digital Marketing

The digital transformation has changed the way charities interact with their supporters and donors. Here are 5 things you can do to keep up!

Nick Day from the Directory of Social Change offer some tips to help improve your digital marketing.  You can view the full article here


Do you need to pay the annual Data Protection Fee?

Did you know that from 25 May 2018 (does that date sound familiar?), the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 requires every organisation or sole trader who processes personal information to pay a data protection fee to the ICO, unless they are exempt.

Two charities are among over 100 organisations that have been issued with fines by the Information Commissioner’s Office because they have not paid their annual fee.

The ICO said it issued over 900 notices of intent to fine in September and has now issued over 100 final monetary penalty notices.  It is not naming organisations at this stage.

Fees pay for the ICO’s work investigating data breaches and complaints, its advice line and other guidance.

Paul Arnold, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the ICO, said: “Following numerous attempts to collect the fees via our robust collection process, we are now left with no option but to issue fines to these organisations. They must now pay these fines within 28 days or risk further legal action. “You are breaking the law if you process personal data or are responsible for processing it and do not pay the data protection fee to the ICO. We produce lots of guidance for organisations on our website to help them decide whether they need to pay and how they can do this.

If you’re not sure whether you need to pay a fee, take the ICO’s quick self-assessment, or you can find out more general information about the fee at:


Health & Young People in Sandwell – Your views wanted

iSandwell is a collaborative project between Sandwell Council, community organisations, and residents that looks to encourage the use of digital in the borough.

iSandwell Lab is one strand of the project – a safe space where local people can discuss ideas for social change in Sandwell on monthly topics that can lead to collaborative projects and/or campaigns, and influence content for our Digital Champion.

For this month’s iSandwell Lab theme we are looking into how we can get the community to use and better understand open data.

Digital Champion Leila Malik, from Tipton, has created a project that is collecting data on youth health issues, which can then be used as ‘data journalism’ to influence policy in Sandwell – here she is to tell you more…

“Why do people, generally, identify health issues only if they physically perceived?

You’ve all heard of the saying,

“don’t judge a book by its cover”

If someone looks alright from the outside does not always mean they are okay from the inside.

Mental health & physical health both reflect on a person’s well-being – the two should not be thought of as separate.”

Read the rest of Leila’s blog and take part in the survey.

Expert Tips on Growing Your Legacy Income

Don’t miss out on gifts in wills.

It’s a good time for charities to focus on legacy giving. The UK has an ageing population and those in the Baby Boomer generation — the wealthiest in history — are starting to think about passing on their assets.

The figures look promising: legacy income to UK charities for 2016/2017 was between £2.8 and £2.9 billion, up from £1.8 billion in 2012, according to legacy information provider Smee & Ford. More people are considering charities in their wills: 6.3 percent of all estates in 2016 contained a gift to charity, compared to 4.6 percent in 1997.

But there’s also a big, untapped opportunity. Smee & Ford calculate that if just one percent of those who didn’t leave a gift in their will in 2017 had done so, an additional £97 million could have been raised for charity.

How can fundraisers make the most of this potential? MissionBox heard from experts at the 2018 Legacy Strategy Summit — here’s what we learned.

Make your legacy offer visible
Visibility is key, and there are a number of ways to get the message across that your charity is looking for legacy gifts.

Think about embedding that legacy message across your fundraising activity — this will help to normalise the idea, and prompt supporters to remember you when it comes to writing a will.

Dan Carter, global legacy director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), gives an example: “People are inspired by your cause, so we use that. We’ll use a webinar to introduce the guy heading up our ivory campaign in Malawi and talk about the difference people’s support is making. But in that webinar we’ll also say something about the ways we’re funded — legacies being one of them.”

And consider creating a dedicated ‘gifts in wills’ page on your website. This can highlight the huge difference these gifts make, and let supporters know what practical steps are involved in signing up. Many people find the idea of making a will daunting, so an offer to help draft one can be a big draw.

To read the full MissionBox article click here.

Five Email Automation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Successful charity email marketing automation is all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. But your subscriber’s inbox will be full of emails jostling for their attention – get one element wrong and you can easily put them off from wanting to hear more from you.

Here are five common mistakes that charities make when planning their email marketing automation, and how to avoid them.

1- Forgetting a welcome email

If you are not immediately sending a welcome email after a sign up, you are missing out on a golden opportunity.

This email will be by far the first most important email you send to your subscribers as you’re giving them a great first impression at the point when your readers are most engaged with your charity.

The ideal welcome email should:
1.Welcome your subscriber.
2.Introduce the reader to the organisation and its mission.
3.Explain what your subscriber will expect to receive from now on.

2- Not using the appropriate tone

All audiences want authenticity and your automated emails have to sound natural, flowing and not robotic. Your automated messages for repetitive tasks need to seem human and personalised, so it appears that you have created each individual message.

Refresh the first email content written. The first set of your campaigns will probably need to be edited and updated as time goes on.

Analyse the messaging and ask yourself which emails are being opened and when and, bearing this in mind, if the emails should be adjusted.

Have a clear call to action in your emails, and focus your email’s text, images, and design to guide your readers toward this outcome and according to their behaviour.

3- Failing to plan appropriately

Planning automation takes time and effort so don’t think a good job can be done in a jiffy. You need to have an objective and balance both your short-term and long-term goals.

Your workflow automated emails need to be mapped and thought out carefully. You need to plan what you want the condition to be for the action to trigger an email to go out, and what responses they will receive when your subscribers interact with your emails.

Plan carefully how you will add in more subscribers and how long the automation should last, how they behaviour with your emails will change the direction of their own email journey and how their automation journey will end.

Dedicate time to find out who is clicking on which link and engage fully by incorporating automated decision points, and take your subscribers down different journeys.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

7 Tips for Planning Your Charity Christmas Email Campaigns

As autumn stretches into winter, it’s time for charities to start thinking about planning their Christmas email marketing campaigns.

Christmas is traditionally a time of warmth, sharing and support and that’s why it’s also a good time for non-for-profit organisations to ask for help.

It’s a good idea for charities to start their planning early and send emails well before the Christmas period, especially if they are using automated journeys and triggered emails – whatever your ask, there’s nothing worse than trying to get a campaign together at the last minute and sending it out too late to make a positive impact.

Here are some best practice tips for getting ahead early.

1. It’s all about timing
As with any email campaign, timing is crucial. Even though you can ask for support at any time of the year, email campaigns that are launched in December are key to nurturing relationships. Campaigns at this time should be well-timed requests for support and plotted out carefully around certain days and key events.

If you are starting your campaigns in November and you are not selling anything from your charity shop, you may wish to avoid sending emails running up to and on Black Friday as inboxes will be very noisy.

Don’t forget to make the most of #GivingTuesday at the beginning of December (this year’s is November 27th). Every year a wide range of fundraising campaigns are run in the non-profit sector around #GivingTuesday, which has turned into Britain’s biggest day for charities, raising millions for good causes.

Although viewing rates may be lower, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and News Year’s Day are days where your audience will be more in the festive spirit so a campaign on these days will be very well received and appreciated, especially from a charity they are volunteering for, following and/or supporting.

2. Make Christmas email content special
It’s no secret that Christmas can a stressful time. Find a balance of promoting your mission and taking a humorous or fun bent to your communications.

Be imaginative with content – include snippets of information, reflections and personal stories and think about using short, snappy videos (studies have shown that videos increase open rates). Make your supporters and donors feel special and keep them wanting to support you further by offering them an exclusive or seasonal surprise.

Other seasonal ideas include sharing your organisation’s or your staff’s resolutions and next year objectives, which can be a fun way to highlight your human side to your email audience and reach out to new supporters whilst sharing your serious social responsibilities and values.

Don’t be afraid to be a bit light hearted during the Christmas period and experiment. Did you know, for instance, that emails about cocktails have an 85% click-through rate on average during the last two weeks of December? How about including a few in your charity Christmas campaigns and tracking the results?

There are lots of ideas for email content out there – here are just a few to think about (they are mainly aimed at commercial organisations, but many can be reimagined in a charity context).

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Small Charities: 6 Steps To Improving Your Fundraising Strategy

For small charities, promoting your cause on a large scale can be challenging at the best of times. Caroline Thwaites, Fundraising Manager at RASASC Guildford, breaks down the approach she took…

Here at the Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC), Guildford, I am the Fundraising Manager. I work on a part-time basis, trying to juggle the demands of work and family simultaneously. Fundraising Manager sounds very grand, but as most fundraisers in small charities will know, being the Fundraising Manager also means I am Fundraising Assistant, Database Manager, Major Donor Fundraiser, Corporate Fundraising Manager and Trust and Foundation Lead and Event Manager as well as Tea Maker (my colleagues may dispute this!) and Maintenance Assistant.

For me, working for a small charity is a fundraiser’s dream. In a small charity you can come in, make an impact and see the results of your endeavours daily. Meeting our clients and seeing and hearing the work of our ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) and thinking I helped to get this funded is what truly motivates me.

1)     Build relationships
If you are working as the fundraiser for a small charity, then there is simply no hiding. This is not a job that can be done from behind a desk. Fundraising is ‘friend-raising’ as cheesy as this sounds. People need to like you and trust you in order to invest in your cause and they can only do this if they meet you. A faceless email does not work- they need to see you. We invest time in meetings and relationship building and recognise that time invested in this way does yield results.

2)     Diversify your income structure
When I joined RASASC our Operations Manager had also just joined. We quickly realised that the charity was overly reliant on statutory funding which makes us vulnerable to shifts in policy or a change in administration. And so, we decided that we wanted to look to diversify our funding mix so that we kept the statutory income but focused on generating income from grants and trusts as well as community and corporate.

Our long-term aim is to move to an income structure which sees:
• 1/3 from statutory sources
• 1/3 from grant making trusts and foundations
• 1/3 from corporate and community

To read the full Charity Choice article click here.

How to Write an Evaluation Report

Writing an evaluation report helps you share key findings and recommendations with internal and external stakeholders. A report can be used to suggest changes to how you work, to communicate your value to funders, or to share good practice with other organisations. It can also be the starting point for reporting in creative formats.

You will need:

  • data that you have collected and analysed
  • an understanding of the people who will be reading your report
  • helpful colleagues to read your drafts.

Consider Your Audience
Think about the people you are reporting to so you can tell them what they need to know.

You should consider:

  • what kind of information they need (eg whether they need to know more about the difference you’ve made or the way in which you’ve delivered your work)
  • how they would like the information presented (eg as tables, case studies or infographics), and when
  • why they need the information and what you want them to do as a result
  • whether there are any accessibility needs that you need to consider (eg does the report need to work on a screen reader?).

Plan Your Report
Having a clear structure makes your report easier to read. Before you write, plan your headings and subheadings. Most evaluation reports will include the following sections.

  • Executive summary: a synopsis of your key findings and recommendations
  • Introduction: a brief description of what you are evaluating, the purpose of your evaluation and the methods you have used (eg surveys, interviews)
  • Findings and discussion: information on what you delivered, how you delivered it and what outcomes occurred
  • Recommendations: actions that need to be taken to respond to the evaluation findings

To read the full NCVO guide click here.


Six Key New Trends for Charities on Digital, the social enterprise born from the CRM software giant, Salesforce, has released a large-scale report into the global non-profit sector.

The Nonprofit Trends Report surveyed 461 decision-makers at charitable organisations in the UK, US, Canada and Australia/New Zealand, examining the ways charities resource and manage technology for programme delivery, engagement and impact measurement.

They have pulled out some of the most important trends and statistics for charities to be aware of:

1. 64% of non-profits have seen increased demand for transparency of funds over the past year.

Whether it’s budget allocation, programme results, impact measurement or engagement metrics, charities are facing increased pressure to be more transparent about how their funding is gained and used.

2. 42% say more programme and service visibility is one of their top 3 priorities.

Charities are not just under pressure to be more transparent about their funding – those in the survey cite ‘giving constituents greater visibility into services and programmes’ as their top priority overall for service delivery.

3. A third (33%) of charities say that gaining a full view of their programmes, data and finances is in their top 3 priorities.

Transparency starts from within. Survey respondents say that gaining a full view of their organisation themselves – including donor management, marketing, volunteer management, and finance data – is their fourth highest priority overall, with a third of charities putting this in their top three.

4. 53% of non-profits are easily collecting programme data… but less than half know how to analyse it.

More than half (53%) of non-profits find it easy to collect programme data. But putting that data into action is less than straightforward – fewer than half (47%) say it’s easy to analyse it.

5. 73% of non-profits grapple with tracking the impact of their efforts.

The lack of ability to properly make sense of the data charities collect is leading to a whole range of struggles when it comes to tracking and quantifying things like impact and performance.

When asked about the challenges that non-profit organisations face, as many as 73% say they struggle with the ability to track the impact a specific programme or service is having on its recipients.

6. Only 27% of non-profit leaders say improving their data management is a top priority.

Despite the increased demand for transparency into funding and visibility into services and barriers with analysing data and tracking impact, only 27% of non-profit organisations prioritise improving their data management.

Source: Charity Digital News

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