Fundraising and Charities

Wooden spoons at the ready for the Virtual Bake Off!

With the UK renowned for being a nation of bakers and most of us currently stuck at home, we are delighted to announce our first Virtual Bake Off challenge!

We’ve launched the challenge to provide us all with a bit of light-hearted fun in the run up to Easter, and to support the NET Coronavirus Appeal, which raised an amazing £11 million in just its first week to help those affected by the crisis.

As such, we’re encouraging absolutely everyone to take part: genius bakers or novices, individuals or families, and to bake anything you like – from brownies and cookies to cakes and scones. All you have to do is share your creations in photo or video form, whether they’re stunning successes or dismal disasters, in our special Virtual Bake Off online book.

As well as providing a lovely opportunity to connect with others virtually, as well as a great way to engage the family during lockdown, there will of course be prizes – and not just for the best baking. We’ll also have some celebrities both joining in and also judging the creations.

And, while entry is free, because we’re supporting NET we’re asking anyone who is able to give, to follow the link in the book, and donate to its appeal.

Of course, the more people we can get to join in, the more fun it will be, and the more money we can get to NET, so we’re also encouraging people to spread the word. Perhaps you could challenge your colleagues as well as your friends and family, or share the opportunity with your charity’s supporters!

Follow this link for more information, and to submit your entries.

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Julie PentecostWooden spoons at the ready for the Virtual Bake Off!

RNIB – Proudly acknowledging the generosity of our supporters

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people. RNIB recognises everyone’s unique experience of sight loss and offers help and support – this can be anything from practical and emotional support to campaigning for change, our reading services, and the products we offer in our online shop.

We want to ensure blind and partially sighted people are kept informed and can access the support they need.

Every day, 250 people begin to lose their sight and currently we can only reach one in three of the people who need our help the most. The organisation has a crucial role to play in creating a world where there are no barriers to people with sight loss. We want people to see differently about sight loss.

Legacy gifts are so important to RNIB and every gift we receive makes a huge difference. All of our services rely on voluntary income and a third are only possible thanks to supporters remembering RNIB in their Will.

We recognise and celebrate the generosity of those who have left legacies to RNIB through our Book of Remembrance. This is our way of saying thank you, for giving people the freedom to live their lives to the full. Every single person in our Book of Remembrance leaves a legacy that will make a significant and ongoing difference to people with sight loss, for years to come.

RNIB book of legators

Legacies help to create a world that concentrates on what people with sight loss can do, not what they can’t.

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Julie PentecostRNIB – Proudly acknowledging the generosity of our supporters

From podcasts to virtual events: 10 great sources of fundraising help & inspiration you might not know about

One of the many great things about the charity sector, both in the UK and elsewhere, is how willing people are to share what they’ve learned.

As well, of course, as the more ‘official’ resources from organisations, groups, associations, and charity media, there are all sorts of other useful and inspiring resources offered by people in the sector that you might not be quite so familiar with.

Here are a few that have caught our eye:

January saw the launch of a podcast by ChangeStar’s Richard Docwra. Making the World Better is fortnightly and sees Richard talk to people who are making the world better, exploring what they do, the issues they’re working on and why they matter, with each episode having a different guest. The first few shows have some brilliant people including CEOs of leading charities, political advisors, academics, fundraisers – and people who are working to help others in their local communities.

Another useful podcast is Four Minutes in Fundraising. This is hosted by CEO of Money4Youth Amicky Carol (Carol Akiwumi) and promises to make the principles and techniques of fundraising, such as digital marketing and fundraising, more accessible to everyone in these bite-size chunks.

Simon Scriver’s Amazingly Ultimate Fundraising Superstar Podcast is a popular one. In it, Simon, from Toast Fundraising, gets the lowdown on various issues and areas from experts in the field, offers quick tips on everything from how to get a speaking gig at a non-profit conference to making the most out of Giving Tuesday, and reviews the latest fundraising news.

The Do More Good podcast is recorded in pubs around London and beyond, and delves in to a variety of topics and interviews with people from across the spectrum, covering hot topics such as leadership, innovation, fundraising, current affairs and first-world problems over a pint or two.

Cracking Charity Chat from Beth Crackles is for those in the sector who want who want to hear from senior colleagues across the sector with each podcast giving examples of how things have worked in practice, demonstrating how good leaders approach the given subject area, and providing tips that people can apply in their own organisation. Beth’s most recent guest was Matthew Sherrington, a strategy and communications expert (Inspiring Action) chatting about his time at Oxfam, and Greenpeace USA, aligning strategy, comms, fundraising and campaigning and other big topics.

For something completely off the wall, try Four Fundraisers Talk **** – a written podcast that once a week sees good friends (and fundraising experts) Beate Sørum, Simon Scriver, Jen Love and John Lepp sit down on opposite sides of the Atlantic and chat about something reasonably fundraising related – such as Giving Tuesday, branding, and sexual harassment in the sector, which they then share. Check out the episode guide here, and it also has a helpful ‘What did I just read?’ section that explains the concept.

Over on Facebook, Fundraising Chat is an excellent group where those working in the sector can ask any question they like – from how to write a funding proposal, to what to do with too many charity places for an event, and what contactless or CRM solutions people recommend. It’s a hugely supportive forum that sees people give very generously of their time and expertise to help others.

There are also some great events. Pizza for Losers is ‘the failure inspired learning event for the charity sector’. Founded in 2019 by ‘Charity Nikki’  (Nikki Bell) to answer the need for honest and open conversations around failure, it offers a mailing list for regular failure survival tips, a really interesting podcast and occasional events – including pizza. Two are currently scheduled for June in the UK, taking place in Sheffield and London.

Fundraising Everywhere is the incredibly useful (and practical) virtual conference created to bring quality, affordable fundraising training to fundraisers across the world and hosted by Nikki Bell and Simon Scriver with a great variety of speakers, You can join from wherever you are, speakers are from around the world and subtitles are available in English, Spanish and Chinese, and all conference session are available after the event so people can also catch up in their own time. As well as two annual conferences, there are monthly webinars, and virtual support. The next events are the Fundraising Everywhere Festival in May, and Fundraising Everywhere Conference in November.

And finally, SOFII’s I Wish I’d Thought of That (IWITOT) has been running annually since 2012, and the 2020 event takes place in London on 21 April. It celebrates fundraising greatness and innovation and sees fundraising specialists present an idea that they feel changed the face of the sector, that’s replicable, and that everyone can learn from. Crucially, the idea cannot be their own, and at the end of the night, the audience votes to pick the winning presentation and idea. 2019’s event saw 18 fundraisers present the campaign they wish they’d thought of, with British Red Cross’s Camille St Omer Donaldson winning for her presentation on the Bloody Good Period campaign.

There are no doubt many more we haven’t yet come across, so do let us know if any of your favourites aren’t on the list!

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Julie PentecostFrom podcasts to virtual events: 10 great sources of fundraising help & inspiration you might not know about

What’s been going on at The Online Book Company?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks with a flurry of activity from charities wanting to ensure that their Legators are properly recognised through the median of an Online Book, as well as organisations commissioning individual books for various members of staff.

The first of these requests came from Hong Kong where sadly a partner in an international firm of accountants had died. In part due to the Coronavirus outbreak preventing people from meeting up, they felt an Online Book would be an ideal way for colleagues all over the world to add their comments and tributes, rather than trying to organise an actual card.

Next up was a call from the Marriott Hotel Group, who wanted to create an Online Book for a colleague moving on to pastures new. Once again, with messages pouring in from colleagues around the world, it has proved the perfect way to bring them all together. As someone there said: ‘How else could we get such engagement?’ Previously, they had had to resort to ‘scribblings’ on Post-it notes attached to a card.

Last week the Harry Gregg Foundation was also in touch with a request for us to create an Online Book of Condolence for him.  As some of you may well recall, former Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg was also a hero of the dreadful Munich air crash of February 6 1958 that decimated the famous ‘Busby Babes’ and saw 23 people killed. Harry passed away on 16 February at the age of 87, and we helped the Foundation launch this book after his funeral. It’s filling up with some truly wonderful stories and is a lovely tribute to a very special man.

Of course, as well as providing a place where people can come together to share their memories regardless of their location, our books can also include donation links direct to a charity, providing a valuable opportunity and prompt for anyone who wishes to donate to do so.

Coming soon too is the new version of our platform, which will enable charities and other organisations to offer individuals the opportunity to set up their own book, adaptable for a wide variety of purposes including remembering pets, and recording celebrations and travels. These will also offer a fundraising opportunity. It really is very exciting, so watch this space for more details!

 

 

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Julie PentecostWhat’s been going on at The Online Book Company?

A place to remember and celebrate our supporters

A place to remember and celebrate our supporters

Guy’s and St Thomas’ rank among the oldest and best-known teaching hospitals. They have withstood the Black Death, the plague, Wars of the Roses, the Great Fire of London and the Blitz.

Today, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s busiest and most successful foundation trusts, with a long history of clinical excellence and high-quality patient care.

The hospitals provide a full range of services for the local community in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. They also provide specialist services for patients from further afield, including in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular, women’s and children’s services, kidney care and orthopaedics.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity supports the hospital by funding specialist equipment, life-changing research and the small changes that are above and beyond what the NHS can provide. Donations help to make a big difference in the lives of our patients.

Legacy and in memory gifts are integral to funding improvements for our hospitals and it’s important that we show our gratitude for these very special donations. With this in mind we created a remembrance book to celebrate our legacy and in memory supporters. By giving something back we are also able to create a lasting connection with our donors.

Emma Simpson – Legacy and In Memory Fundraiser at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity

 

 

 

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Julie PentecostA place to remember and celebrate our supporters

In-memory givers prove three times more likely to pledge a legacy

With legacy giving such a vital income source for so many charities, it was interesting to read of the link between giving in memory, and legacy pledges late last month.

Research carried out by Legacy Foresight, analysts of the legacy and in-memoriam sectors, revealed that remembrance is an important motivation for leaving a legacy, with supporters who had a known in-memory connection to a charity three times more likely to pledge a legacy to it. They were also twice as likely to be legacy prospects than standard regular donors giving via direct debit or standing order.

Remembrance also had an impact on how much people bequeathed. Residuary legacies (a gift given out of an estate once all debts, taxes and specific legacies have been paid) from those with a known in-memory connection were two-thirds greater in value, when compared with those left by supporters with no known in-memory connection, while pecuniary legacies (the gift of a specified amount) were double the size.

Legacy Foresight’s research showed that many people are leaving in-memory gifts in their wills too, with two in five legacy donors including at least one. Three out of five of these in-memory legacies had been preceded by a previous in-memory gift, with donations often made at or after a funeral.

Most were left in remembrance of parents, partners and in-laws, as well as friends, with three-quarters of in-memory legacies going to health-related charities.

The figures emphasise the importance of good donor stewardship during that long journey from giving in-memory or making a legacy pledge. And in fact, an earlier March 2019 survey by Legacy Foresight among its charity consortium members showed that 84% expected to be investing more in legacy stewardship over the next five years with 46% feeling it hadn’t yet become a big enough priority in their organisation.

The findings also included some tips on legacy stewardship, finding the best activities to be those that show the impact of their gift, while conveying magic, and surprising and delighting supporters. Many of the charities it questioned said they offered legacy supporters special ‘behind the scenes’ access with everything from invites to new ward openings at Great Ormond Street Hospital, to walks with a Guide Dog puppy.

It’s certainly food for thought, and for further reading, Legacy Foresight’s reports can be downloaded from its site.

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Julie PentecostIn-memory givers prove three times more likely to pledge a legacy

Fundraising without a budget? Here’s a new idea!

What if you could engage and delight your supporters – and raise funds – for just the price of a couple of links on your website?

fundraising without a budget

This month at The Online Book Company, we’re excited to announce a brand new product to help you do precisely that. Set to launch in mid February, it will enable you to raise funds simply by offering supporters the opportunity to create their very own Online Books that they can fill with their photos, videos, and memories and share.  As with other social media platforms like Facebook people will have the option of sharing with family and friends all over the world.

The Books are suitable for a whole range of purposes: supporters sponsoring or adopting an animal could create a book about them with their adoption certificate, pictures, video, thoughts and memories, while others could use them to record and remember special events such as birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries.

For charities, there is no risk and for those coming on board with us before the end of April 2020 requires no financial outlay.  Through our platform we will provide your own fully branded microsite for you to direct supporters to.  Once on the microsite, they will be able to choose from a selection of templated book covers, or create their own.

The books can be branded to your charity, and each one will initially cost the individual £12.50 + VAT per year: £5 of which we will return to you annually as a donation.

The Books are simple to create, easy to update and share, and can also be printed. All the supporter has to do is upload their photos, memories and experiences into our simple system, and then publish their creation online.

As the perfect way to keep memories alive, these Books will be something people can continue to add to, and revisit. For those who also wish to have a physical copy, there will be the option to print the books, using our specialist print partner.

If you’d like to learn more about how these Books could help your charity, please do give us a call on 01872 226800 to make an appointment for a non-committal screen share, and we’ll be happy to show you!

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Julie PentecostFundraising without a budget? Here’s a new idea!

Festive glow: Christmas light trails around the UK

The festive period is upon us and Christmas is just a few short sleeps away, so to help get everyone in the mood, here is a selection of the Christmas light trails taking place around the country. Here’s hoping for dry starry nights, steaming mugs of hot chocolate, and some wonderful nights out.

Festive glow Christmas lights

Christmas at Stourhead
While other National Trust properties have been putting on Christmas light trails for a few years, this is the first time Stourhead in Wiltshire has done so. Christmas at Stourhead sees a Tunnel of Light with over 100,000 pea-lights, Singing Trees, and glowing blossom and twinkling hedgerows leading visitors on a path towards thousands of illuminated lights on Fibre Optic Lawn. There is also a Laser Garden, and a scented Fire Garden among other attractions, and the chance to enjoy a hot drink and some marshmallows.  Father Christmas is also rumoured to be putting in an appearance.

When: To 30 December
Where: Stourhead, Stourton, Wiltshire
Link: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead/features/christmas-at-stourhead-2019

Blenheim Palace
Treetops will glisten and the Great Lake and the waterfall will shimmer and sparkle at Blenheim Palace this Christmas, while a one-mile glittering path will lead guests through the world-famous Parkland in a magical after dark experience. New for this year too are Sky-Lights, a colourful aerial light show, and The Cascade’s dynamic waterfall. There are also mesmerising and immersive ribbons of light at Vines as well as the quieter glow of flowers along Blenheim’s beautiful Snowdrop Walk.

When: To 5 January
Where: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Link: https://www.blenheimpalace.com/christmas/

Longleat Festival of Light

This winter, Longleat’s annual Festival of Light takes myths and legends from across the world as its theme. The legends on display include St George slaying the dragon, the giant Kraken engulfing a full-sized ship on the lake, the minotaur, King Midas, Medusa and Thor. There is also a life-sized recreation of a palace from the Arabian Nights and in total the festival features more than 3,000 lanterns, using 50,000 LED lights and 30,000 metres of silk.

When: To 5 January
Where: Longleat Safari Park, Warminster, Wiltshire
Link: https://www.longleat.co.uk/festival-of-light

Westonbirt Arboretum Enchanted Christmas
Westonbirt Arboretum has a new Christmas trail for this year, created by fairies who have been casting their spells over the trees to transform it into an enchanted wood full of woodland characters. There is also the Arboretum’s Christmas village to visit where visitors can create some Christmas arts and crafts, explore the market stalls and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine.

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 29 November to 22 December
Where: Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury
Link: https://www.forestryengland.uk/westonbirt/enchanted-christmas

Christmas at Kew
Christmas at Kew is now in its seventh year, and sees dynamic laser projections illuminate the Temperate House, and a dazzling arch lead to a cascade of glowing silvery shards at the Treetop Walkway. Visitors can also walk amongst immersive vines with changing ribbons of light, and wander beneath the branches illuminated with the glow of Will-o’the Wisp. Holly bushes will also sing, there will be a Tunnel of Light, and the Palm House Pond finale will see jumping jets of light dance across the water to the sound of Christmas classics.

When: To 5th January
Where: Kew Gardens, London
Link: https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/whats-on/christmas

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Julie PentecostFestive glow: Christmas light trails around the UK

Flight Lieutenant Walker: a compelling tale of bravery from the RAF Benevolent Fund

With Remembrance Day taking place last month, we found ourselves in a thoughtful mood and, by way of remembering our lost heroes, taking another look at The RAF Benevolent Fund’s Online Book of Remembrance.

One entry in particular leaped out at us. A lovely and touching tribute to Flight Lieutenant William Louis Buchanan Walker, it is also a compelling slice of history, including as it does, an account of his experiences in the Second World War.

Fl. Lt. William Walker oldest surviving pilot from Battle of Britain

Born in 1913, Flight Lieutenant William Louis Buchanan Walker was 99 when he died, which had made him the oldest surviving pilot from the Battle of Britain.

Starting out as a brewer, Walker joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve on 2 September 1938, undergoing pilot training at RAF Kidlington, Oxford, and called up a year later on 1 September 1939, the day World War II broke out.

Posted to No. 616 Squadron RAF at RAF Leconfield in East Yorkshire as a pilot officer on probation, he flew the Supermarine Spitfire.

The tribute page takes the reader through comedic as well as plain hair-raising tales of his derring dos during the war – including the day he entered an air battle whilst still in training, only to be told later he’d gone up with his guns empty, and the time, with a bullet in his right ankle, he was forced to bail out of his Spitfire at 20,000 ft, landing in the English Channel and forced to await rescue whilst clinging to a shipwreck on the Goodwin Sands.

It’s stories like this that really bring home the realities of fighting in the First and Second World Wars, leaving us truly in awe, and so very thankful for what people like Walker did for us.

Happily Walker made it through the war safely, and went back to brewing, before turning to poetry in his retirement. One of his poems, ‘Our Wall’, was inscribed on the Battle of Britain Memorial in Kent alongside the 2,937 names of The Few in July 2010 as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations.

Our Wall

Walker’s story is just one of many incredible tales told in the RAF Benevolent Fund’s book. What a wonderful way of paying tribute to some very special people, and of truly engaging supporters with the cause.

You can take a look at the book and read William Walker’s tribute page in its entirety.

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Julie PentecostFlight Lieutenant Walker: a compelling tale of bravery from the RAF Benevolent Fund

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

Contact Us – personal Online Book enquiry form.

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Julie PentecostAnimal Requiem – Remembering Our Pets