Tag Archive | "Charity"

Does 5% make Justgiving a digital friend or foe for Charity

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Does 5% make Justgiving a digital friend or foe for Charity


I have always considered justgiving to be one of those truly inspired and yet oh-so -simple, ideas that the Internet brought with it and one that has become fairly synonymous with its sector i.e. charity.

My first words last weekend, when my sister asked me to sponsor her to do a fun run, were ‘just email me your justgiving page details’. Imagine my surprise when she said she would ‘put my name on the form’…yes, believe it or not, she actually had a piece of paper and a pen and, horror of all horrors, NO JUSTGIVING page! I had no idea that people still did that and if I my memories of calling in the debts on those forms are anything to go by, she will be years collecting up her pledges, just as I was when I attempted my sponsored silence about 25 years ago.
However, collect her cash or not, what I hadn’t thought about until a recent chat with a charity who shall remain nameless – and why would I, I usually simply tick the ‘Gift Aid’ box and move on, was the 5%. I guess if I had thought about it I would have known and indeed felt it fair enough that justgiving received some kind of admin fee for their trouble and enterprising idea, but 5%? This seemed to be a bit of a hornets nest.

5 % of the circa £25 million donated via justgiving in this year’s London Marathon is, now, let me see… yes, £1,250,000. That is quite a lot of money diverted from charity even before we move onto the admin costs of the charities themselves. And, it seems that the normal card transaction fees are outside of this charge, making the 5%, or 5.75% if you include VAT, quite a hefty sum.

So, my question is this, is it wrong? justgiving are set up as a profit making private enterprise an d in answer to their critics state that “Fundraising costs in the UK [...] between 15% and 25% (source: www.charityfacts.org). So Justgiving’s 5% represents excellent value, especially for smaller charities with limited resources.”

I don’t know what to think about this. It is a dilemma and if I am honest, if I had thought of it, I would a) be fairly well off and b) doubtless be justifying my fee on the basis that some 5000 registered charities benefit from the £340million or so channelled through justgiving.

However, it seems that the gripe from charities is that not only do they have to pay the 5%, they also have to accept the rise and rise of justgiving as a charity brand in its own right, taking limelight from their own brands and marketing efforts. A whisper tells me that there are a couple of new entrants who are charging less than justgiving and allowing charities the option of white labelling their online fundraising tools.. so who are they, does anyone know? will they be the ones to level the playingfield and is there really a problem here, or is this a storm in the charity digital tea-cup?

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Hibiscus Red, Deaf and Disabled Filmmakers’ Event

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Hibiscus Red, Deaf and Disabled Filmmakers’ Event

Photo by Rachel Groves reproduced under CC attribution licence

Where will the next generation of Deaf and disabled filmmakers come from?

Hibiscus Red is a new charity created to inspire and support Deaf and disabled filmmakers and run  the London Disability Film Festival in 2010 (website coming soon). For our inaugural event a panel of experienced industry professionals will discuss the current state of Deaf and disability filmmaking in the UK – and what we can expect for the future. They will also consider the ongoing value of Disability Film Festivals all over the world.

Hibiscus Red are holding the launch event at The Delegate’s Centre, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT on Tuesday 9th June 2009, 6.30 – 8.30pm

Anyone with an interest in Deaf and disabled filmmaking is welcome to attend – whether you just want to find out more about the new charity, are a fledgling filmmaker or already established in the industry, please come along and join the debate!

Nik Powell           National Film and Television School, Director

Peter Kinkead      Hibiscus Red, Director
Julie Fernandez             Actor (The Office) & Disability Campaigner
Rebekah Polding            Film London, Audience Development Manager
Daniel Cormack             Actaeon Films, Director

If you’d like to attend, the event is free but spaces are limited and you must book a place by emailing your name to sarah.hibiscusred@gmail.com with HIBISCUS RED / BFI LAUNCH EVENT in the subject field.

This event is kindly supported by BFI Southbank, a fully accessible venue. Hibiscus Red are providing BSL interpreters on the evening.

** UPDATE: Hibiscus Red hav started a Fan Page on Facebook

Photo by Rachel Groves reproduced under CC attribution licence

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Three Keys to Successful Micro-Campaigns

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Three Keys to Successful Micro-Campaigns


With the advent of peer-to-peer fundraising, more charities are implementing micro-campaigns as an essential part of their fundraising strategy. A micro-campaign is any program conducted by an individual, over a short period of time, targeting a relatively small fundraising goal. As organizations realize the advantages peer-to-peer fundraising has over traditional charity-to-donor appeals, micro-campaigns are beginning to form an integral part of the “isosceles donor triangle.” Considering the nuances of this type of fundraising, there are three key elements to making sure your micro-campaign is as successful as it can possibly be.

Make it personal.
Micro-fundraising has one primary advantage over regular fundraising: you begin your campaign with existing relationships, to varying extents, with every donor. Whether or not they are passionate about contributing to a cause or an event, your donors are likely to have at least a passing interest in contributing to you. Therefore, a micro-campaign should begin and end with your story. Why do you care about this cause? What has been your experience with the organization you’re fundraising for? How has your participation in this organization or this campaign affected you? What are you going through to train for the race, compete in the dance-a-thon, or participate in the protest? A micro-campaign hinges on your relationships – you are the biggest draw for your donors at the outset, so make it personal.

Make it high-tech.
Perhaps as important as what you say, is how you say it… not to mention where and when! The Internet can be your best asset when it comes to engaging your donors. Peer-to-peer fundraising tools streamline your donation and appeal process, and using any of the wide variety of social media platforms can help make the appeal stronger, timelier, or more accessible. You can expand the reach and portability of your campaign by using an application on Facebook, posting notes, inviting friends to attend your event and keeping them updated on your progress through status updates. For more detailed progress reporting, you can keep a blog and allow donors to subscribe via RSS. An indirect but important way that social media can help your campaign is by connecting you with other micro-fundraisers and cause leaders to share inspiration, motivation, tools and tips for meeting your goals.

Make it matter.
By running a micro-campaign, you have the unique opportunity to cultivate not only donors, but fellow cause champions. Use your appeals to educate friends and family about the cause or the organization you’re supporting. When doing this online, you equip them with the resources they need to engage as deeply as you have. While the primary purpose of a micro-campaign is to generate funds, one of the largest influences you can have on your cause is to generate the type of passion that spurs others into action, allowing your micro-campaign to multiply organically and at no further cost to you. One evangelist is worth much more than one donation.

Though micro-fundraising takes place on a small scale, the difference between a good micro-campaign and a great one can become exponential when applied across a dedicated base of cause champions. Fundraisers need to recognize the tools at their disposal and work to make their communication with donors as personal as possible. Organizations should always be on the lookout for ways to give their volunteers technology that will increase the reach and convenience of their fundraising efforts. Ultimately, fundraisers should strive to create fellow fundraisers in parallel to creating donors. When participants craft their appeals with these principles in mind, micro-campaigns can have enormous impact on a nonprofit’s total fundraising strategy.

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Brand ‘Management’ – it is all about control…or is it?

The lexicon used in reference to brands and those who ‘run’ them usually explores words such as ‘guardian’, ‘manager’, ‘owner’ and even ‘police’.

Control over brands has been sought after and fought for through courts and high courts and this is perhaps no surprise given the wealth attached to some of the super brands.

However, social media is changing the rules. It is like the ‘Right to Reply’ show screened by channel 4 from 1982 – 2001 and the newer Whistleblower series, only with more power, more voices and greater reach. Thinking that we can totally control what is said is second in foolishness only to trying to ignore what is said about ‘our’ brands, and non-engagement is not a viable option.

However cynical one might be about the arguably extreme actions of Skittles in giving over their entire site to Twitter last month, it has to be said, that it was a brave move and one that signalled Mars’ move  from denial to embracing the latent power of social media. One could argue that this is a little like taking your much loved and nurtured child out for their first ever bike ride, taking off their stabilisers and sending them headlong down a steep hill, but, the principle remains that the brand police over at Skittles have decided to get active and see what the world is saying about (and therefore to) them.

It’s not just the commercial sector that has its Brand Guardians, the Third Sector does too and the challenges are the same; how do you preserve the lovingly crafted and tended values, tonality and standards of your brand, whilst talking so that the supporters will listen and listening so that they will talk? It is a question of dialogue and social media is just that but, the challenge for brands is that their definition of dialogue has historically been to run focus groups and then ‘own’ the conversation..  so, what now the audience have started to backchat?

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Web-based media and its potential to change the Global Consciousness and halt dangerous climate change

We have the technology to deal with climate change, but it is a crisis of consciousness that we must now address.

People can change each others opinions using information and argument more than ever before. The potential of web-based communications between people may be able to deliver the revolution or revolutions, of consciousness that avoid us cutting the throats of the next generation. To quote Churchill:‘ The odds were great; our margins small; the stakes infinite.’
A great many people are going to make a great deal of money out of climate change because the business case for keeping yourself and your children is equal to the entire assets of consumers in aggregate.
Our cherished tradition of putting an ‘x’ on a piece of paper every 5 years is redundant. Democracy has been, at this crucial moment, usurped by events. Politicians cannot possibly respond to the climate crisis in time, but, the World economy can be turned on a dime through the voting power of the consumer.
Every dollar, pound or yen is a vote for the Corporation. I predict, with confidence, that giant new consumer movements will soon develop…but nobody yet knows how…..

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