The Accelerator Programme

NICVA is working with The Community Foundation for NI and Department for Communities to deliver the Accelerator Programme, to improve the skills and confidence of people in our sector and strengthen organisations at this critical time.

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Using LinkedIn to Connect Recording

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Camilla Long from Bespoke Communications delivered a session on Using LinkedIn to connect on 11 February as part of the CFNI Accelerator Programme funded by The Department for Communities.

If you missed it you can watch the recording below.

Some tips from Camilla on improving how you use LinkedIn:

Focus on your purpose

  • Use LinkedIn as a platform for sharing your purpose
  • Many corporate partnerships come from networks with your staff and volunteer body.
  • All great and inspiring leaders all think act and communicate – the golden circle – Why? How? What?
  • Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care?
  • Look at your social selling index- this will allow you to see who good you are at making the right connections

Ways to improve your connections

Couch to 5 K

  • My network accept/reject requests
  • Reply to messages
  • React to your notifications
  • Engage with 2-3 posts on your home news feed
  • Check who has viewed your profile

Supercharged – do these twice a week

  • Search and send requests on your network – make it personal
  • Post consistently twice a week
  • Get your profile in tip top shape - Make sure you have a professional photograph,.You can use Canva to make a banner for you or your organisation.
  • People connect with people – best to have a personal account in LinkedIn

What content works?

  • Think about your audience – What do they need? What help can you give them?
  • Audience will ask WIIFM – what’s in it for me?
  • You are not the hero of your content
  • Shows to your first degree connections – if they engage then it shows to their first degree connections – this amplifies your message
  • Write for a reading age of 12 years – you may be the expert in your field but others are not. Make them conversational.
  • #broetry – how to write for LinkedIn and advice
  • Avoid links in the post – the alogrum will download that, put links in the comments
  • If you share content then include context.
  • Only tag a couple of people
  • Think about how your audience is feeling and respond to that

Watch the webinar here:

NICVA Using LinkedIn to connect - with Bespoke Communications from Bespoke Communications on Vimeo.

 

For more information and help contact Bespoke Communications.

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Starting a Social Enterprise resources

Amanda Johnston from Social Enterprise NI (SENI) along with 3 social enterprises delivered a session on Starting a social enterprise as part of the CFNI programme funded by Department for Communities. 

Amanda Johnston from SENI gave an overview of What is A Social Enterprise, what is the differences between operating as a charity and as a social enterprise and whether community groups/charities should consider starting a trading arm of a social enterprise and the differing legal structures you can be operate as, including the importance of having a board.  

Three other speakers spoke about their experience starting and running social enterprises:

Reasons to make it legal

  • Limiting your personal liability - If your business gets into debt you personally may be liable.
  • The legal framework you choose helps create your identity.
  • Your legal framework will set the rules and regulations about how you trade

Things to think about

  • Need to have clear aims for their business
  • What are your mission and objectives?
  • How are you going to be financed?

Reasons to start a social enterprise

  • Someone has experienced or identified a problem they want to solve (and then solve it for other people)
  • All businesses should operate this way, and put people and planet on an equal footing with profit
  • Charities needing to earn more of their money to survive and thrive
  • Not wanting to rely on handouts or donations or volunteering to be sustainable
  • Being inspired by examples of successful social enterprises
  • See a gap in the market that they could income generate from

Things to consider when starting a social enterprise

  • Charity to social enterprise is changing the funding model
  • Decide on your legal structure
  • Find support and Get a mentor either from a support programme or someone you admire and respect
  • Finding and keeping best people – skills of board and staff team very important.
  • Business approach
  • Finding investment and funding

For more support and help go to the SENI website

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Social Media for fundraising recording

Louise Brogan from Social Bee delivered a session on using social media for fundraising as part of the CFNI Accelerator programme, funded by Department for Communities.

The recording from this session is available below. Here are some tips from Louise:

  • Think about which platform is right for your organisation
  • Audience – who is your audience and which platforms are they on, demographics, psychographics
  • Your audience is not everyone, you need to be specific
  • Be of value to your audience
  • Shorter is better, 90 minutes
  • Create a conversation – if people feel involved then they will support you. People connect with people
  • Make it easy for people to donate – you can add donate button to FB
  • Canva.com is a great resource for images
  • Instagram stories is great way to build story to engage people and give people inspiration
  • Facebook is reaching people where they are - know what time your audience is online
  • Your content should Educate, Entertain and Engage
  • Use Facebook Live to engage people
  • Always reply to people who comment on your post
  • Reuse your content when appropriate eg when topical in news, special days/weeks - Mental health awareness day
  • Use the measurement tools to find out what works and doesn't eg Facebook Insights, analytics

Watch the webinar:

Social Media for Fundraising from NICVA on Vimeo.

 

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Developing corporate partnerships - recording and resources

On 11 November we hosted a webinar as part of the CFNI Accelerator Programme funded by Department for Communities on Developing Corporate Partnerships. This was delivered by Hilary Hanberry from Business in the Community with guest speakers.

This webinar was attended by 50 people and  included how to effectively engage with the corporate sector,  BITC’s 5 Principle Community Investment model and tips from business representatives. The main presenter was Hilary Hanberry from BITC. She was joined by 5 guest speakers from the corporate sector - Jenny Barkley, Belfast Harbour Commissioners; Jane Carr, Southern Health and Care Trust; Roisin Sarsfield, Veolia Water; Gwyneth Compston, Power NI; Owen Keogh, Lidl. Below are some tips and advice that they shared from their experience. The recording of the session is also available below.

Hilary Hanberry, Business in the Community

Hilary started by outlining why we should develop partnerships with corporates and that it is a two-way process.

  • People are people – it’s about relationships.
  • Volunteering is a great opportunity to engage
  • Skills match – linking skills of business sector to charities
  • National Business Response Network – think about what support you need – not necessarily skills
  • It’s about partnership
  • There is an appetite to help
  • Think about sustainable development goals SDGs) and how your organisation can help companies them meet them in a strategic way. Familiarise yourself with the goals and articulate how your organisation tackles them.

She also described the Community Investment Model – BITC encourage companies to use this to look at a key social issue. Eg Danske Bank working with voluntary and community organisations on social issues and SDG. The 5 stages of this are: 

  1. Identify social needs
  2. Work in partnership with communities and voluntary and community organisations
  3. Plan and manage community investment
  4. Inspire and engage employees, customers and suppliers
  5. Measure and evaluate

She highlighted a quote from the Simon Sinek Ted Talk

“People don’t buy what you do…people buy why you do it”

Jenny Barkley, Belfast Harbour Commissioners

  • We need you as charities and community organisations to tell is what the needs out there are
  • Longer term mutually beneficial to both organisations
  • Align to sustainability goals
  • Think about volunteers or board members of your charity who are staff members in a private company. They could approach their company.

 Jane Carr, Southern Health and Care Trust

  • Partnerships should not be primarily about raising funds, it’s about raising awareness
  • Get staff involved to fundraise and volunteer
  • Relationships are key

Roisin Sarsfield, Veolia Water

  • Develop a meaningful relationship with charity
  • Companies want to learn about the charity what it does and its impact
  • Should not be transactional – it should be transformational 

Gwyneth Compston, Power NI

  • Be present
  • Communicate people to people – it’s about relationships
  • Work towards a shared purpose
  • Be ambitious, don’t be afraid to ask
  • Make it impactful
  • Share information with each other
  • Don’t just come asking for money – think about opportunities to volunteer, share goals, communicate messages, share skills
  • 2 way relationship win win

Owen Keogh, Lidl

  • Think about the impact
  • Lidl have voucher donation fund, food donations, charity partnerships, funding for schools equipment
  • Keep engaged – food retail is a dynamic industry that is always changing
  • Use the right channels and business networks
  • Have volunteer opportunities for staff to be involved in
  • We get a lot of requests but we need to focus on what’s important to local store network

Watch the recording here:

Resources

Business in the Community

Skills Match

 Ambitious partnerships article

UN Sustainable development goals

Remarkable partnerships - 5 tips to creating corporate partnerships

Third Sector Article on corporate partnerships

NPC Building more impactful corporate-charity partnerships

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Information Governance and Cyber Security resources and recording

On 15 October, Get Safe Online Global 24, NICVA hosted an Information Governance and Cyber Security webinar as part of the CFNI Accelerator Programme.

We were delighted to have a range of experts with us to share their knowledge and experience in this field. It was good to be part of the Get Safe Online Global24 campaign and to represent NI in the line up of events.

Joe Dolan, Head of NI Cyber Security Centre (NICSC) started the session of by describing the world of cyber crime and why cyber security should be a priority for all individuals and organisations.

Caroline Mooney, Regional manager NI Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) then spoke about cyber security and the legislation relating to this in the GDPR.

Matt from National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) gave an overview of the Small Charities guide and practical tips on what measures to put in place to keep you and your organisation safe.

Stephen Gray, Head of Information management NICVA outlined things we need to consider as voluntary and community organisations and how we can put all of the advice into practice.

Watch the webinar:

Resources

NICVA's GDPR Toolkit

ICO’s data protection hub for small organisations including checklists, toolkits and simple guides. 

NCSC Small Charity Guide

NI Cyber Security Centre Advice and guidance

Get Safe Online have lots of useful resources

Scamwise 

Haveibeenpwned - To check if your account has been involved in a data breach click here

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Success in funding applications(CFNI) webinar resources

On 14 October Lynn Kennedy from NICVA delivered a webinar on Success in Funding Applications as part of the CFNI Accelerator programme funded by Department for Communities (DfC). 

Lynn outlined how to find the perfect funder for your project or organisation, described the application process and gave an overview of what makes an application successful.

She started by saying that the funder needed your organisation/project in order to deliver their mission and reach the people they wanted to, so it was important to have a partnership approach.

She also highlighted the importance of choosing the funder carefully, quoting Stephen Covey - "If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, each step we take only gets us to the wrong place faster"

Lynn then described the range of different types of funder and the type of questions you should ask when choosing a funder or funding scheme, such as:

  • Are you eligible to apply?
  • Do you meet their current funding priorities?
  • Do they offer the size of grant you need?
  • Will they fund exactly what you need?
  • Is match funding required? In kind or cash?
  • Do you need to have a partner(s)?
  • Can you meet any additional requirements?

Some tips

  • Remove the risk for the funder - well governed organisation, project objectives clear, management systems in place, complete and realistic budget
  • Evidence the need - surveys, focus groups, vox pops, audits, research, interviews
  • Put people first
  • Cost a project realistically 
  • Make the impact of the project clear - what difference will it make?
  • Have all of the documents prepared and ready in good time
  • Get in touch with the funder and take any advice they offer

Resources

GrantTracker - almost 900 funding schemes for voluntary and community organisations in NI at your fingertips

NICVA's fundraising advice hub

The Fundraising Regulator - Code of Fundraising Practice

The National Lottery Community Fund and full cost recovery  - Guidance for applying for project overheads

NICVA's GrantNet funding conference videos and resources - Halifax, TNL Community Fund and Trusthouse Charitable Foundation

Esmee Fairburn Video funding from a funder's perspective

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Identifying and managing risk (CFNI) webinar recording

If you missed our webinar on Identifying and Managing Risk on 7 October 2020 you can watch it now via the link below. 

This session, which is part of CFNI's Accelerator Programme, was designed specifically to help organisations identify and manage the pertinent risks at this challenging time. The webinar was jointly delivered by Denise Copeland, NICVA and Nicola O'Neill, Risk Management Consultant at Marsh Ltd.  

Denise outlined the key risks that organisations are facing at the moment, including disruption of activities, working from home, returning to premises, financial, governance and compliance.  She has included links to further related resources below. 

Nicola outlined the function of the risk register, including what makes a good risk register as well as the importance of using a risk management framework.  She highlighted that: 

"strong risk management and oversight of principal risks creates resilient organisations that can respond and adapt in the face of disruption and changing environments." 

Watch the recording here:

 

 

Further resources

Risk Management

Marsh Risk and managing risk guide

CCEW Charities and risk management

Health & Safety

NICVA guidance on public health advice 2 Oct 2020

NICVA return to premises webinar

NICVA risk assessment on returning to premises safely

Supporting mental health in the workplace webinar

Involving volunteers webinar

Finance

Job Support Scheme (end of furlough)

Managing finances and options for sustainability in uncertain times webinar recording

Fundraising in this new context webinar recording

Managing finance in difficult times webinar recording 

CCEW Managing financial difficulties in charities

CCEW internal financial controls for charities

Governance, GDPR and cyber security

Annual General Meetings during Covid

NICVA article Beware of coronavirus scams

Cyber security small charity guide

Trustee responsibilities under GDPR webinar recording

GDPR Toolkit

Accelerator Programme

This webinar is part of the Community Foundation for NI Accelerator Programme, funded by DfC. The Accelerator Programme aims to improve the skills and confidence of people in our sector and strengthen organisations at this critical time.  NICVA is delivering a series of webinars from September 2020 to March 2021, for more information visit www.nicva.org/article/the-accelerator-programme-with-cfni-and-nicva

 

        

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Fundraising in this new context: webinar recording and resources

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On 30 September NICVA facilitated a 'Fundraising in this new context' webinar as part of the CFNI Accelerator Programme funded by the Department for Communities.

Lynn Kennedy, NICVA's Fundraising Advice Officer, Nadine Campbell, Chair of the Institute Of Fundraising NI and Head of Fundraising for Age NI, and Joanne McDowell from the Fundraising Regulator in NI all gave presentations followed by a question and answer session for participants. The recording and resources are available below.

NICVA

Lynn started by highlighting some recent surveys evidencing the state of our sector at this time. The latest NICVA survey showed that 18.3% of organisations had lost 75% or more of their normal income and  26% had lost 25%- 50%. 31% expected their income to fall by 51-75% in the next 6 months. NfpSynergy survey - 28% gave less in the last 12 months than previous years. Charity shop income, on street collections & event participation all down significantly since January. While Direct Debits, website giving and membership have held up well, and increased in some cases. She then outlined the need to review your fundraising strategy with increased agility and new cases for support.  She also shared some tips:

  • Understand your cash flow
  • Scenario plan review your planning process, shorter timeframes
  • Use skills of fundraisers effectively and invest in them
  • Inform and involve your board
  • Update and use your case for support
  • Strip out activity that does not perform
  • Keep communication open internal and external

Lynn also gave some examples of useful planning tools to use all available in the resources below.

IOF/Age NI

Nadine gave an overview of the role and work of The Institute of Fundraising NI and pointed to a number of useful resources and webinars that they are running. She then posed some questions that fundraisers need to know the answers to such as:

  • How much £ do we need to raise to keep all our services going?
  • What is the ratio of how many people need our help, versus the number we actually help?
  • What has our income shortfall been this year (taking into account funding losses)?
  • If we raise this shortfall what does it mean, what services will continue?

As Head of Fundraising in Age NI Nadine has had to make changes to the way they fundraise and adapt their fundraising strategy to suit the current situation. She gave us some tips:

  • Revise your case for support
  • Keep your supporters updated via phone, mail and email
  • Work collaboratively across all teams 
  • Long term planning is difficult. Focus on the here and now.
  • Use social media and make it engaging with videos

Fundraising Regulator

Joanne gave an overview of the work and role of The Fundraising Regulator, mentioning the Code of Fundraising Practice, Registration and the levy, the Fundraising Preference Service and complaints. She pointed people to a short video on the Code of Fundraising practice that explained it well. She then described the parts of the Code and how people could use it to help direct their fundraising practice, including digital fundraising, returning to public fundraising and working with others. Joanne gave some details on the guidance available on the FR website and useful webinars and resources for the sector.

Surveys on the Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 Fundraising Guidance

Fundraising Regulator Coronavirus Guidance

Fundraising Regulator IoF Fundraising Guidance during Coronavirus

Fundraising Audit & Planning Tools

Watch the recording here

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Managing finances and options for sustainability in uncertain times Webinar recording

NICVA facilitated a webinar on 24 September 2020 on 'Managing finances in uncertain times and the options for sustainability.'  

This session, which is part of CFNI's Accelerator Programme, was designed specifically to help organisations with their financial governance, both in dealing with the current financial crisis and planning a way forward. 

Dr Rosemary Peters Gallagher, Moore NI, outlined the key aspects of managing finances at these times, from understanding your budget to examining overheads and understanding how your costs are apportioned.  She highlighted the importance of understanding restricted and unrestricted funds and using designated funds, reserves and possibly investments to manage at present.  She discussed using scenario planning which should include trigger points and action plans.  Rosemary also gave an overview of carrying out financial due diligence for organisations considering merging.   

Jenny Ebbage, Edwards & Co Solicitors, then highlighted the key considerations when thinking about merging with another organisation.  She outlined the drivers for merger and models that can be used as well as the 15 steps to merge.  Jenny also covered legal due diligence as well as deal breakers and considerations for post merger.  She also highlighted her top tips for organisations considering embarking on a merger.  

Please watch the following recording of this webinar 

Managing finances and options for sustainability in uncertain times webinar from NICVA on Vimeo.

 

Further resources

Collaboration NI - Useful articles and tips on collaborating and merging 

Charity Commission guidance on Mergers and Closures

Charity Commission guidance on Developing a reserves policy

Managing a charities finances  planning, managing difficulties and insolvency (Charity Commission for England and Wales)

Accelerator Programme

This webinar is part of the Community Foundation for NI Accelerator Programme, funded by DfC. The Accelerator Programme aims to improve the skills and confidence of people in our sector and strengthen organisations at this critical time.  NICVA is delivering a series of webinars from September 2020 to March 2021, for more information visit www.nicva.org/article/the-accelerator-programme-with-cfni-and-nicva

 

        

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The Accelerator Programme with CFNI and NICVA

NICVA is delighted to be working with The Community Foundation for NI and DfC to deliver the Accelerator Programme, to improve the skills and confidence of people in our sector and strengthen organisations at this critical time.

The Accelerator programme is for organisations in the voluntary and community and social enterprise sector, their volunteers, board members and staff. The aim is to equip organisations to move to their next stage of development and to strengthen them to thrive within the current environment. The programme focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to be well governed and compliant, as well as on how to improve how they fundraise and be innovative in their approach.

The programme is going really well so far. Between September and December we held 7 webinars and over 200 people attended from over 100 organisations. If you missed these sessions you can find the recordings below. 

We have the first dates added for 2021 and will add new dates to these on an ongoing basis. Click the links below to register and you will be sent a link to the online session.

Dates  for 2021

Date Time Topic
17 February 2021 11am - 12.30pm Introduction to business planning
25 February 2021 11am- 12.30pm Digital Fundraising
11 March 2021 11am- 12.30pm Measuring your impact

Recordings of previous webinars

Date Time Webinar
24 September 11am - 12.30pm Managing finances in uncertain times and the options for sustainability - RECORDING
30 September 11am - 12.30pm Fundraising in this new context - RECORDING
7 October 11am - 12.30pm Identifying and managing your risks - RECORDING
14 October 11am - 12.30pm Success in funding applications RECORDING
15 October 11am - 12.30pm Information governance and cyber security RECORDING
11 November 11am - 12.30pm Developing corporate partnerships RECORDING
3 December 11am -12.30pm Preparing to Tender RECORDING
20 January 10am-11.30am Social media for fundraising RECORDING
27 January 11am-12.30pm Starting a social enterprise RESOURCES
11 February 11am-12.30pm Using LinkedIn to connect RECORDING

 

This is a great opportunity to leverage learning and good practice in support of a more resilient and sustainable voluntary sector. At the Foundation we're delighted to be working with NICVA and DfC to provide this opportunity at such a key time"  

Siofra Healy, Director of Philanthropy CFNI

Following a turbulent 6 months we are really pleased to work with CFNI and DfC to begin our recovery plan for the future by focusing support on the key areas that make a real difference in developing and supporting organisations.   

Una McKernan, Deputy Chief Executive NICVA

   

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