Friday, 1 February 2013
If your charity is anything like the ones we manage there is always the need for good quality stock pictures to illustrate your publications, website and fundraising materials.
Hiring a professional to take photos is great but often out of the budget of most small charities and relying on volunteers to take photos at your annual conference can often lead to lots of out of focus pictures. And it is not always possible to get a designer to transform what you have in your head into an affordable design.
The last time we did a publication aimed at advertising an annual conference for a local based charity we found it impossible to get the photos they needed to make the flyers zing!
So we did some research into stockphotos and found some great sites and some great images we could use. One of the best, and certainly the most cost effective, was Fotolia,
Fotolia is a great resource for royalty free images, vectors and videos and is really affordable with prices starting from 54p.
They claim to have over 20 million images to sell and while we obviously haven't had the chance to look at all of them we have added our most commonly used searches and found a great selection to use.
Most small charities would probably find their Pay As You Go rate the most useful but currently they are offering 5 images for free when you register. Credits are available to buy and it seems that the starting rate is around £25 for 27 credits - more than enough for you to spice up your communications with images.
What do you use for your stock photos?
Saturday, 8 December 2012
1. Promote Gift Aid whenever you request donations
- Have some Gift Aid envelopes on display at all your events
- Emphasise the importance of Gift Aid on all publications
2. Encourage higher rate taxpayers to maximise their gift aid
The charity receives £1.25 for every £10 donated with Gift Aid. However higher rate taxpayers (40%) can help you receive £1.66 for each £1 donated. This is at no extra cost to the charity or to the donor and is very easy to claim.
3. Make sure everyone working/volunteering for your charity understands gift aid
This is important so everyone knows the benefits and can explain it to any potential donors
4. Give some easy examples about what the extra money will allow your charity to do.
Classic examples of this would be to say if you donate £10 we can buy, say, 4 tennis balls for our disability tennis programme but if you gift aid your donation we can buy 2 more at no extra cost to you or us!
5. Appoint a Gift Aid Officer who will be able to answer all queries and focus specifically on increasing your charity's use of Gift Aid.
Having someone specifically in charge of this programme will allow them to donate more time to this role.
6. Contact donors who haven't given you a Gift Aid declaration, explaining the benefits and ask them to make a declaration.
This can be beneficially if you have members/donors who are on a standing order and give regularly. Write them a letter explaining how it works and invite them to phone you in confidence if they have any questions.
7. Include Gift Aid reclaims in your fundraising targets and reports
Ensure that Gift Aid reclaims are given a separate column and acknowledge as such.
8. Put Tax Efficient Giving on your Management Committee agenda each year
Report back on what has worked and look at ways in which Gift Aid can be increased.
9. Make sure you have reclaimed tax on all eligible donations received in the preceding 4 tax years,
This can often represent quite a lot of money and is an exercise well worth doing.
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Green Text provides a useful resource for small charities who need to send out reminders to their members, committee members or volunteers.
With their SMScontact feature you send SMS text messages to contacts that you have created and stored within your online address books.You can create any number of address book groups and then add your named contacts in to those groups either manually, or through an upload facility. You can also create templates for commonly sent messages.
Once you have selected your recipients, entered your message, and chosen whether to send your Sender Id with your message or enable the recipients to be able to reply to your message, you then either send the message or schedule it for later delivery.
SMScontact provides you with the following capabilities:
- - Create and manage contacts in personal and global address books
- - Set your Sender Id to your choice of up to 11 characters
- - Send messages to one individual, members of a group, or an entire group
- - Choose to send either regular or extended length text messages
- - Receive replies back to your handset, email, or an online inbox
- - Schedule a message for later delivery
- - Create templates that are accessed by you and your user colleagues
- - Set the length of time a message should be tried for, before expiring
- - Check the delivery status of each message recipient
- - View your online interface in the language of your choice
- - Send messages in multiple languages
For more information visit their website www.gntext.com
Saturday, 1 December 2012
The Institute of Association Management is an independent professional body and was set up to develop, promote and share best practice for those involved in the governance of associations.
Who is it for?
Their members include association managers with a high proportion of these being chief executives and senior staff. However they also encourage applications from anyone working in the association management field.
What do they do?
The IofAM organise seminars, masterclasses and training programmes and members have access to updated industry news, a range of discounts and special offers.
Members are also entitled to use the designatory letters FIAM, MIAM or AIAM depending on their status.
For more information visit their website www.iofam.co.uk
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Two top tips for your email signature are
· Keep it simple
· Short and Sweet
But what information should you include in your signature to help publicise your charity?
Clearly the most important information is
1. Your name
2. Charity Name and communication address
3. Charity Number
4. Charity communications – Telephone, Website URL, Facebook, Twitter
However you can use your email signature to publicise your charity and help fundraise even if you are using your personal email (rather than your official charity one) by ensuring that you mention the charity.
Or how about considering adding a link to your charities JustGiving page? A very effective way would be to add the JustGiving logo and some text about how you got involved with that particular charity. In this context the more personal information you are happy to give the better (obviously within reason) by explaining why the charity is important to you you can make a plea without directly asking for money as well as to help raise awareness of the cause.
Saturday, 24 November 2012
From 31st December 2012 charities will need to ensure their Gift Aid forms have been updated according to the new guidance published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) earlier this year. This guidance was developed with the help of charity sector representatives to help ensure that charities give a full and correct explanation of the law to their donors before the donor makes the declaration.
In particular the new mandatory information that charities have to include on their forms explains the rule that the donor must pay enough tax to cover all of their charitable donations and not just the donations made to that charity at that particular time. Although this has always been the case by making it clear on the forms the charities ensures that the donor is making an informed declaration and understands the consequence if they have not paid enough tax to cover all the donations they make under Gift Aid, not just those to one charity or CASC.
Implications for your charity or CASC
HMRC will continue to accept Gift Aid claims on donations made using forms based on the wording in the old HMRC model declaration until the 31st December deadline.
However if you haven't already started the updating process you still have time.
1. Redesign your Gift Aid forms using the new wording. A template is here
2. In the meantime ensure that your staff/volunteers at least verbally explain the information to your donors (where possible)
3. If you have a Gift Aid declaration based on the old wording you do not need to ask a donor to supply a new declaration.
4. However it would be good practice to remind donors who have made enduring Gift Aid declarations of the rules on tax - can you include it in your next newsletter or in your next mailshot?
By following these simple changes you can be certain that HMRC will not challenge the associated Gift Aid claim on the grounds that the donor gave a valid declaration.
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
QR Code means “quick response” code. This small bar code works by being scanned by a mobile phone to quickly direct the user to a certain point – be it your charity website, exclusive content like video, pod cast or email sign up list.
Although large charities have used these for a while smaller charities often don’t see the benefits to them of using QR codes. But as smart phone usage soars this really is a must and you can do far worst things for your charity than make it really (and I mean really really) easy for your supporters to engage with your charity.
Generating a QR code for your charity is absolutely free and very easy to do. For this example we are going to set up a QR code for our MailChimp newsletter but other things you could do are:
- Direct visitors to your website
- Showcase a new campaign using a video
- Point to your Facebook Page
- Take visitors to your PayPal Donate Now button
Every MailChimp list comes with its own QR code which is really easy to find.
1. Go to Lists >Forms
2. Go to the Share it tab
3. The QR code for that signup form will be located under the Subscribe Form URL. Click on one of the three sizes to open the QR code in another window.
4. Now you can save your QR code to your desktop as a .png file and use anywhere you choose!