Fundraising and Charities

Animal Requiem – Remembering Our Pets

When founder Rachel Fuller lost her much-loved pets, she sought to commemorate the profundity of that loss, and the joy of having animals by her side in life, with another passion she kept: music.

album cover Animal Requiem - Remembering Our Pets

Animal Requiem is the result of her skills as a composer, along with the collaboration and talents of Martin Batchelar, conductor Robert Ziegler, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Choir of London, as well as features from Sir Paul McCartney and Alfie Boe. Animal Requiem has had worldwide acclaim, touring between London to Los Angeles, and has released its album in both the United Kingdom and as of October 2019, it will be available to purchase in the USA.

Animal Requiem celebrates the love and loss of animals through an album of resonant, carefully composed and arranged, classical music.

All proceeds from donations, as well as album and ticket purchases, go to pet charities and small independently run animal shelters, to continue the pledge to support animal welfare, a value Fuller has sustained since Animal Requiem’s inception. Contributions can be made through ArkAngels on the Animal Requiem site.

The Online Book Company has paired with Animal Requiem to design a space in which people can grieve the loss of a much-loved pet in an online sphere that sympathises, whilst honouring the impact pets have on our lives and the role they play in encouraging our compassion and care.

Animal Requiem online book

The Book of Remembrance has received and published hundreds of memorial entries so far, where individuals express their grief through sharing pictures and exchanging memories of their pets, their quirks and their mannerisms. It is an online entity that has developed a community that takes solace in a reminiscent arena. If you are interested in publishing a memorial to a lost loved pet, you can do so in the Book of Remembrance here.

Animal Requiem is now available to stream on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon MP3, Deezer, and Google Play.

Article written by Lydia Hounat
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Julie PentecostAnimal Requiem – Remembering Our Pets

Tutankhamun’s treasures pay a final visit to the UK

There can be few finds in history to have captured the imagination more than the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt in 1922.

Discovered in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor by Lord George Carnarvon and Howard Carter, it took Carter six years to excavate the tomb of the boy king – who was crowned at 9 and dead by 19. By the time he had finished, he had uncovered more than 5,000 objects, many of which were made of solid gold, and including Tutankhamun’s incredible death mask.

As well as being famous for the many amazing finds the tomb held of course, it will forever be associated with the curse of the pharaohs, which, it is alleged, means that anyone who disturbs a mummy will suffer the consequences of illness, injury or death.

Bolstering this legend, Carnarvon famously died a few months after the discovery, from an infected mosquito bite, followed by a number of members of the team through various causes. Carter managed to live until 1939 but still died prematurely at the age of 64 from Hodgkin’s disease.

Hopefully the curse doesn’t stretch as far as sightseers. While many of the artifacts are held in Egypt, some have been on a global tour and with 4 November the anniversary of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter’s discovery, the exhibition is coming to London’s Saatchi Gallery.

TUTANKHAMUN: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh runs from 2 November until 3 May next year and includes 150 pieces from the tomb. This is three times the quantity seen in previous exhibitions, and more than 60 of these are travelling outside of Egypt for the first time. London is the third stop on the exhibition’s tour, with the show the final chance to see the treasures before they return to Egypt forever for permanent display at the Grand Egyptian Museum when it opens in 2021.

You can find out more and book tickets here: https://tutankhamun-london.com/

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Julie PentecostTutankhamun’s treasures pay a final visit to the UK

Cruelty Free International urges swift government action to protect animals after Brexit

Cruelty Free International works tirelessly to end animal experiments and cruelty worldwide.

With the UK due to leave the EU at the end of this month, one campaign it is currently backing, alongside 40 animal organisations, is #BetterDealForAnimals, which calls on the government to urgently incorporate recognition of animal sentience into law.

Under EU law, the UK has to abide by Article 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which obliges full regard to be paid to the sentience of animals when developing and implementing public policy. With Brexit however, this will be lost from UK law.

Following a petition back in March that urged the government to ensure animal sentience continued to be recognised after Brexit, it stated that it was committed to making any necessary changes required to UK law to ensure this was the case when the UK leaves the EU. However, so far it has been slow to act, and without this, after 31 October animals will no longer be legally recognised as sentient beings with no legal requirement for government to pay regard to their needs when formulating and implementing policy.

Cruelty Free International believes that it is essential that government act as soon as possible so that the country does not leave the EU without sentience being part of UK legislation. That legislation should set out the process for how all government departments will assess and report on animal sentience, and how they will handle any associated animal welfare duties in all policy areas covered.

It should also include a power to establish an Animal Welfare Advisory Commission to support government – including individual departments and public bodies – in discharging its duty to animals, providing independent and transparent advice.

Cruelty Free International is asking supporters to encourage their MPs to urge the government to act now.

It’s an important campaign, and, with no government or lottery funding, the charity relies entirely on donations to continue its work. One way it honours its supporters is with its Book of Remembrance: a tribute to those who have left it a gift in their Will.  You can view it here.

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Julie PentecostCruelty Free International urges swift government action to protect animals after Brexit

Thank you – two little words with big impact

Thank you. Together, they’re two of the most powerful words we have.

And said to supporters, they can have the most wonderful effect, but when is the best time to do it, and how?

Common sense would suggest every time a supporter has done something for you, and of course, thanking someone for their time and money straight after they’ve given it is the right thing to do.

But it doesn’t have to be restricted to this. Throughout the supporter journey there are so many opportunities to say thank you, and to deepen that relationship, such as contacting supporters of an appeal a few weeks or months after their donation with an update on progress so far, thanking people for the length of their support, or on the anniversary of their gift.

It’s certainly worth doing. Last year’s Commission on the Donor Experience report found strong anecdotal evidence that, not only does thanking someone make them feel appreciated and valued, but that going that extra step to provide better quality, more inspiring content can also motivate supporters to become better advocates of the charity, and to give again.

There are lots of tips on how to ensure your thank you messages stick in the supporter’s mind in the report, including using engaging content such as case studies, photos and videos, sending handwritten messages, and picking up the phone, particularly when they have done something significant or unusual.

There are also some brilliant examples. SolarAid, for example, talks about how it always tries to add a personal note or handwritten message, so people really feel they are being thanked personally.

Recently too, the Institute of Fundraising’s Supporter Experience conference saw British Red Cross talk about how staff, including its CEO, took to the phones and thanked over 100,000 supporters personally over just five days.

More publicly, film can be both fun and effective. One video that’s now had over 33,000 views is Charity: Water’s fifth birthday video, which celebrates both its supporters’ achievements and the charity’s own.

West Suffolk Hospital Charity also created a beautiful video in 2015 featuring many of those who had supported them in 2014 and their stories.

Another idea is featuring people’s names in a book. Light Up A Life, which takes place over the festive period each year, sees hospices invite those who have lost loved ones to make a dedication to their memory on a Tree of Lights and a Book of Remembrance, such as this one from Willow Wood Hospice, with the books also providing a nice way to say thank you to supporters.

Social media can also be a good way of sharing impact and thanking supporters, and sector event #YouMadeItHappen is back for a second year this month, on 11 October. It’s a chance for charities to show people what they’ve achieved, thanks to their supporters’ help. NCVO, which is behind the campaign, has some advice on how to take part and some excellent examples of what kind of content works best when using social media to say thank you and show impact.

Lots of food for thought – and thank you for reading!

 

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Julie PentecostThank you – two little words with big impact

October is Free Wills Month

It’s Free Wills Month – the biannual event that brings charities and solicitors together to offer people aged 55 and over the chance to have a simple Will written or updated free of charge.

The last one took place in March and saw charities including Scope, National Trust, Stroke Association and RNLI take part, teaming up with the National Free Wills Network to offer supporters access to participating solicitors.

Even though charities promote it, there is of course no obligation for anyone who takes up the offer to leave a bequest or give a donation. But with 40% of people now saying they would be happy to leave a gift to a charity, promoting Free Wills Month is a great opportunity to raise supporters’ awareness of legacy giving and its value for your organisation.

You can find out more about it on the Free Wills Month site.

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Julie PentecostOctober is Free Wills Month

Our Thoughtful Legacy Benefactors

St Barnabas House is an independent charitable hospice located in Worthing, West Sussex. We provide end of life care services, both at the hospice and in the local community, to adults with advanced progressive life-limiting conditions.

Gifts in Wills are incredibly important to the work we do. In fact, the care costs of 1 in every 4 of the people we support are completely funded by gifts in Wills.

To thank those who we have received a gift from, we thought an online book would be a perfect solution. Not only does it give us a chance to thank and celebrate those we have received a gift from. It also allows their families a chance to see their loved one’s name remembered.

Rosie Last – Development Fundraiser

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Julie PentecostOur Thoughtful Legacy Benefactors

A short story about storytelling

With storytelling such a powerful way to motivate people to take action, it’s strange to think that it’s only really in recent years that it has risen to the fore as an important skill for charities – and other consumer-facing organisations – to have.

To examine how it first grew from zero to hero in the marketing world, LinkedIn in fact charted its rise over one key 12-month period, from August 2011 to 2012, using its member data to plot how, in just this short time, a momentum was created that has seen storytelling take the position it has today as a valued skill and an important campaign tool.

Looking at its data, LinkedIn found that in early summer 2011, practically no marketers listed storytelling as a skill on their profile. Jump to two years later however, and almost a quarter of a million marketers did so: 7% of all marketers worldwide.

So what changed? Well, according to LinkedIn, what began as a buzzword that wasn’t taken particularly seriously started to gain more prominence in August 2011 when Coca-Cola launched its Content 2020 strategy, which saw the brand state its aim of moving from creative excellence to content excellence, listing storytelling as something it wanted to evolve.

Ears perked up. By January 2012, 5,000 marketers listed storytelling as a skill on LinkedIn. By February branded content featured in a new Cannes Lions award and that number had jumped to 10,000. The story continues: a high profile and later Cannes award-winning Chipotle ad, books on the subject including the reissue of a Seth Godin classic, media coverage, and more, until by August 2012, 25,000 marketers had listed storytelling as one of their key skills on LinkedIn.

Since then of course, it has continued to grow and to be recognised as a serious marketing discipline, and what’s clear is its immense value for charities.

Storytelling is something any charity can do, because every charity has compelling stories to tell about the difference they are making, powered by supporter donations.

It also doesn’t have to cost the earth. Mind for example lets people tell their own stories through blogs, promoted on social media:

https://twitter.com/MindCharity/status/1148990017475403776

Cornwall’s own ShelterBox gets its workers to do short vlogs for social media from where they are working, explaining the situation, and what they are doing to help thanks to supporter donations:

https://twitter.com/ShelterBox/status/1142824635697778693

Dogs Trust also uses social media to show the impact of its work, telling lovely inspiring stories about the dogs it has rehomed from the animal’s perspective, using photos provided by their owners. The stories very neatly explain how the charity helped that individual animal – which of course couldn’t have been achieved without supporters’ donations – and the happy ending of its new forever home.

https://twitter.com/DogsTrust/status/1150776280591273985

The Donkey Sanctuary uses social media too, promoting its compelling stories about donkeys it has rescued, and driving traffic to its site where it posts them in full, often accompanied by Donate Now or Find Out More buttons to make it easy for those inspired to help to do so. It also sends out regular mailings including some of these stories, accompanied by beautiful photos taken at its own sanctuaries.

https://twitter.com/DonkeySanctuary/status/1147928361131544577

Of course, what all of these examples have in common is that while they highlight a serious issue – be it mental health problems, abandoned animals, or overseas disasters, they also show what the charity in question is achieving, thanks to the help of supporter donations, managing to draw attention to the need for funds in a positive and motivational way.

What a great way of showing impact and winning support.

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Julie PentecostA short story about storytelling

Safari in the UK – our pick of this summer’s charity art trails

As our thoughts turn to summer holidays and fun times, many of us are looking for things to do that will entertain all ages, involve fresh air and new sights, and that also won’t break the bank.

Ticking all those boxes and with the added bonus of benefitting a range of good causes, there are some great art trails going on around the UK over the next few months, so if you’re not sure what to do or where to go this summer, why not combine travel with charity and visit a trail or two?

Here’s our selection of the art trails on offer between now and November, taking in a range of cities and even including an island or two – and each of them benefitting local charities.

Wallabies Gone Wild 2019

Wallabies Gone Wild 2019

Wallabies Gone Wild is taking place on the Isle of Man for 14 weeks from 24th May to 1st September with wallabies all over the island. There are 26 large wallaby sculptures designed by local and national artists and sponsored by local businesses, and 38 small ‘Wallababy’ sculptures that have been designed by the island’s schools and community groups. It benefits Hospice Isle of Man.

Elmer the Pathwork Elephant 2019

Elmer the Pathwork Elephant 2019

Elmer the Pathwork Elephant is appearing in a few locations this summer. From 15 June to 7 September, Ipswich is playing host to 55 individually designed elephants based on the much-loved children’s character. Visitors will also be able to meet the Learning Herd: 84 ‘young Elmers’, who will be popping up in special locations all across town. 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of both St Elizabeth Hospice – the charity benefitting from Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk – and Elmer.

In celebration of Elmer’s special anniversary, there will be two other Big Parades taking place around the country: in Plymouth and Tyne & Wear. Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth takes place from 8th July – 16th September with 40 sculptures dotted around the city for St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, while the Great North Parade in Tyne & Wear will see over 50 elephants waiting to be found from 21st August – 1st November, benefitting St Oswald’s Hospice.

Our-Wullies Big Bucket Trail 2019

Our-Wullies Big Bucket Trail 2019

Up in Scotland, Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail is taking place across a number of cities. It kicked off on 17th June and continues until 30th August. Oor Wullie can be found in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness, and benefits Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, ARCHIE Foundation and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Go Wild Gorilla Project

In Jersey, gorillas are taking over, benefitting the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. The Go Wild Gorilla trail sees 40 life-size gorilla sculptures, painted by a range of artists, dotted around the island for three months from 27th July to 14th October. Sculptures of young gorillas will appear first in local businesses and shop windows, painted by schools and community groups. Each of the 40 life-size sculptures will be sponsored by a local business, helping to raise money for a new indoor home for Jersey Zoo’s own gorilla family.

World Horse Welfare

Appearing in three locations, World Horse Welfare has created a 40-sculpture, multiple-location The World Horse Trail to tell the stories of horses helped by the charity and to highlight other areas of its work with horses in sport.  There is the Windsor Borough Trail, the Show Trail and the Farm Trail to discover. The trails will see horse sculptures appearing in a number of locations including at the charity’s Rescue and Rehoming Centres around the UK, and in several locations around the Royal Boroughs of Windsor and Eton to the end of July.

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria

Also around Windsor, a three-month display of painted lions is taking place from August to October to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria with 100% of the proceeds going to Thames Hospice, Windsor Lions, Tusk and Look Good Feel Better. The Lions of Windsor trail includes lion and cub sculptures decorated by UK artists, designers and illustrators, including Dame Zandra Rhodes, and sponsored by businesses, organisations and schools across the region.

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Julie PentecostSafari in the UK – our pick of this summer’s charity art trails

Alzheimer’s Society – client spotlight

Gifts in Wills (or legacies) make up a large proportion of charity income, so it can be easy to get swept away in big numbers. As charities, our supporters are at the heart of what we do and, though legacy giving is very different to other types of fundraising, this sentiment still rings true. When we receive a legacy we may not be able to thank that person directly, but we can show our appreciation of their gift in different ways.

Our Book of Remembrance is one way we can do this: we offer family and friends the option to put their loved one’s name in the book. We have both a physical and an online book, with many requesting for their loved one’s name to be written in both. The names and messages in the physical book are written by a professional calligrapher, and friends and family members have the opportunity to either come in and see the book or be sent photos of their loved one’s entry. The online book is a wonderful way for those unable to come and see the physical book to view the entry 

Welcome to Alzheimer Society Book of Remembrance

Another way the Legacy team remembers our wonderful supporters is in our team meetings, which always finish with ‘story time’. This is an opportunity for the Case team to share some of the incredible Legacy stories which they are sent. When possible, the Case team ask friends and family members to share some memories of their loved ones, and we are very lucky that many do choose to share their stories. The Case team tell us some of these wonderful stories, meaning that we leave our meetings remembering the incredible people who chose to support us in such a special way.

Occasionally we may then ask the next of kin whether we can use their story to help with fundraising. There is nothing more compelling than the heartfelt reasons why someone has supported us in this very special way.

If you’d like to find out more about how gifts in Wills help Alzheimer’s Society fund a quarter of our vital work, or would like any more information, please contact legacies@alzheimers.org.uk

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Julie PentecostAlzheimer’s Society – client spotlight

Take a look at our latest book for The Leprosy Mission…

It’s been another busy month at the Online Book Company and we’d love to share our latest project with you, the online Book of Remembrance for The Leprosy Mission

Book of Remembrance for The Leprosy Mission

A Christian international development organisation, the charity helps thousands of people affected by leprosy across Africa and Asia, supporting more than 50 projects in 10 countries every year. It provides a whole range of services from healthcare and rehabilitation, to education and vocational training, small business loans, housing, fresh water supplies and sanitation.

The scale of its work means gifts in Wills are an important and highly valued source of income for the charity.

To pay tribute to those kind enough to remember The Leprosy Mission in their Will, it asked us to help it launch an online book: a special place where these generous people can be remembered and honoured.

The book complements the charity’s physical Book of Remembrance, which is kept at its head office, and makes these tributes more widely available. It also includes an explanation of the charity’s work, and words of thanks for its supporters. 

In addition, the book contains some lovely photos as well as paintings by the late artist and writer Eddie Askew who served The Leprosy Mission for 37 years with his wife, Barbara, firstly at Purulia Leprosy Home and Hospital in India, and later as The Leprosy Mission International’s office in London.

As always with our books, the listings of those remembered within are set out in alphabetical order, making it quick and easy to navigate, and if you hover your mouse over a name, you can also see where they lived, and the date they died.

Please do take a look. It’s a fantastic book for a very worthy cause!

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Julie PentecostTake a look at our latest book for The Leprosy Mission…