Before working at Localgiving, I ran a number of projects for a small disability charity in West London. Of course, as anyone who has worked for a small charity would understand, my remit was what may be called "loose".
Amongst editing our newsletter, covering reception and cleaning boats on the Thames - a lot of my time was spent simply getting to know, appreciate and empathise with our clients - as people, not cases.
There was the young man whose passion for planes was matched only by his fixation with gilets. The girl who struggled with bullying on weekdays but at weekends was touted as a future paralympian. The folk who hung out for hours in our foyer for no better reason than this is where they felt most at home.
Small charities are the lifeblood of our communities: the clubs, shelters, choirs, museums and food banks. These groups understand the needs of their communities and have the local knowledge and relationships necessary to fulfil them.
Sadly, they often struggle to gain the recognition and resources their work deserves - and demands. Our recent study into the sustainability of the local voluntary sector found that just 47% of charities were confident of their long term viability.
At Localgiving we are determined to repaint this picture. Through helping local charities to grow their digital skills and build their confidence with online fundraising, we hope to give these groups greater control over their funds and, ultimately, over their futures.
Raise extra funds and awareness for your cause this Small Charity Week
Small Charity Week is an excellent chance for grassroots groups to gain the attention and acclaim they deserve. Both in the lead up to the week and during the week itself, Localgiving will have a number of opportunities specifically tailored to local groups. These range from match funds to free annual memberships. If you know, work for, or represent a local charity who may benefit, here is how you can get involved:
1) Our #GiveMe5 match fund campaign offers charities the chance to have donations doubled!
We’re running a special #GiveMe5 match fund on Fundraising Day - Thursday the 16th June. We will be doubling 1,000 x £5 donations made through localgiving.org on the day.
Our last #GiveMe5 campaign, held on Giving Tuesday 2015, raised over £36k for 548 charities in 24 hours. This represented a 581% increase in donations compared with a normal day. All Localgiving members will be automatically be included in the campaign.
2) Free Localgiving memberships for local charities
All groups that attend a Localgiving or FSI training session between now and the 10th of June will receive a voucher to get your first year’s Localgiving membership absolutely free!
Can’t make a training session? Don’t worry! We’re running a free webinar on how to make the most out of the #GiveMe5 campaign on Wednesday the 25th May, from 12pm - 12.45pm. All groups need to do is attend the webinar and they’ll receive a free Localgiving membership voucher after the event.
3) Telling and spreading our member’s amazing stories
Throughout the week we will also be sharing our member’s incredible stories, as well as providing actionable advice from the experts on our active charity sector blog.
At Localgiving we are really excited about Small Charity Week, particularly by the active role we are playing in this year’s programme. If you have any questions about #GiveMe5, or our other activities, please get in touch: email@example.com
Lewis Garland is Communications Executive at Localgiving, a membership organisation for local charities and community groups in the UK. He has worked extensively in research and project management with grassroots organisations both in the UK and South Asia.