Here are some top tips to help you get ahead this festive season and prepare for the new year, from fundraising to staff support, marketing and much more.
Giving Tuesday is on November 28th this year, and since beginning in 2012, it’s become a global movement that celebrates giving, collaboration, and generosity in one day. The Chartered Institute of Fundraising estimated that over £20m was raised in the UK during last year’s Giving Tuesday. So, is your organisation ready to get involved? Here’s how to maximise the opportunity:
- Show the work that you’re doing with real-life examples and say thank you to donors and volunteers.
- Make it personal. If you’re sending an email, include their name and thank them for their specific donation if you hold that data.
- Give examples of how funds are spent, such as ‘£40 will cover the cost of a family’s Christmas dinner’, ‘£20 will enable us to answer more calls to people in need over the holiday period’, or ‘£5 will cover the cost of a festive gift box’.
- Involve your team. Show pictures and videos of everyone getting involved and ask them to talk about the difference support makes in their words.
- Research shows that support for Giving Tuesday is particularly strong among younger people, so it may be worth a bigger focus on social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok if you have a presence there.
Visit Giving Tuesday UK for more examples and advice.
Do you need support to re-think your fundraising for the year ahead? We offer a Funding Advice Service for longer-term help with your income-generating strategy. Watch our short video. Our members can also fundraise through Yaldi, Glasgow’s Community Lottery where 50% of weekly ticket sales go straight to your group or organisation.
Supporting your Staff and Volunteers
While some charities (including GCVS) take the opportunity to close over Christmas and give staff a well-earned break, others may be less fortunate and need to cover their service throughout the festive season. In fact, for many, it may be their busiest time of the year. No matter your circumstances, it’s important to consider staff needs and communicate early, if you haven’t already, with information, advice and guidance on your policies.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Think about safety measures when planning staff parties – share helpful info on public transport and consider your arrangements to allow people to get home safely.
- Share a round-up of your organisation’s achievements during the year and what’s planned for the next. This could be through an all-staff email or at a team gathering. Its purpose should be to thank staff and get them excited for the year ahead.
- Be mindful of different religious views and people who may not celebrate Christmas. Staff (and volunteers) may want to swap public holidays over the festive season for days that suit their religion. Facilitating this can be a great way to show inclusivity.
- Not everyone enjoys Christmas, and some staff could even be facing burnout at this time. Try to be mindful of this in your communications and signpost support. Offer tips for staying well over the festive period and highlight local help available. A nominated wellbeing champion in your office also gives people someone to chat to.
- January is also often a busy time for recruitment, so it’s good to get ready. Please speak to our team about support in finding your next hire, and share your new year volunteer campaigns with Volunteer Glasgow and/or Volunteer Scotland.
Our People and Safety Services team provide a wealth of advice, resources and templates for your HR, Health and Safety and Recruitment needs. GCVS also offers a Payroll Service tailored to the third sector at affordable rates, and our Workforce Development team can help with your training needs so please visit our website for more details of these services.
Refresh your Marketing
The run-up to Christmas may be the perfect opportunity to think about a marketing refresh, but before doing so, it’s worthwhile looking back at this year’s performance.
- Review your marketing effectiveness by going back through social media and email campaigns. Spend some time in your Google Analytics for insightful information on where your web traffic is coming from and the most popular content.
- Set achievable goals for the new year, considering where your focus should be, what’s required and how you’ll measure effectiveness. It’s more helpful to set a limited number of specific objectives, such as ‘grow our volunteer base by 30%’ rather than generic goals around ‘raising more funds’.
- Update your branding. Canva has some fantastic tools that are easy to use regardless of your design skills and is free to non-profits. Set up a Brand Kit so your team can collaborate and create content that’s ‘on brand’ – great when you’re working with volunteers.
- It’s also an excellent time to review your website – particularly how accessible it is for your audience. At GCVS, we’re building a new website and found the results of a free accessibility audit carried out by Passion for Social really helpful. They also run webinars for broader accessibility advice.
Doing a simple refresh, such as reviewing your social media profiles and bios and updating your newsletters, can inject fresh engagement from your audience in the New Year.
Thoughts for The Year Ahead
Throughout 2023, we’ve seen positive moves in key areas for our sector, including Fair Work, Climate Change and Human Rights. It’s important to note that funders are looking more closely at organisations in these areas when reviewing bids, so they’re increasingly important on many levels.
- For more information on Fair Work, please read the findings and action points from our Research with the University of Strathclyde Business School. We will share valuable resources next year to support organisations in this area.
- Our Climate Team have been going strong since 2022, and talking with them is a great place to start if you’re a Glasgow group or organisation building or reviewing your environmental policies.
- Meanwhile, THRE offers regular training and helpful Human Rights and Equality resources, supporting Scotland’s Third Sector. Visit THRE’s website for more.
If you’re looking for a venue to host your end-of-year meeting or a January brainstorming session, the Albany Centre in Glasgow offers a variety of options. From January to March 2024, we’re offering a 20% discount on all room hires. Chat to the team on 0141 332 2444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with offer code WINTER20 to take advantage.
Finally, we would love for you to consider becoming a GCVS member. We offer opportunities to unite as a community of like-minded groups and organisations. By sharing stories, tackling challenges, and connecting with key policymakers, our aim is to provide a strong voice for the sector which supports your work and, in turn, local communities. We also offer our members discounts on paid services and other benefits, such as posting on our community noticeboard. We look forward to expanding our membership services in the New Year with fresh events and more, so please subscribe to our bulletin to receive news of these opportunities and much more!
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