Another new year is upon us and as well as making all those important changes and new beginnings in your personal life, why not adopt that approach to your community group or charity?
Here are our five must dos for the year ahead:
According to a poll on Opinion Matters, 50% of people don’t give to local charities because they don’t know enough about them. Despite being passionate about our causes, as a sector we are often reluctant to shout about the great work we do as we are spending time delivering our vital services. Try and make time to network and promote what you are doing to different audiences.
Top tip: Don’t be afraid to repeat your news or stories on social media as your followers are not online 24/7.
Measure your impact
This is often thought of when it comes to meeting funding requirements but it is also very important to show how your organisation is making a difference. Traditional feedback forms and surveys still have a place in the world but several charities now use CRM packages to use data and measure outcomes.
Top tip: Don’t forget to use the analytics tools in your website or e-bulletin packages to monitor user or audience interaction.
Engage more with social media
Community groups and charities are gradually getting on board with social media despite the findings of the Charity Digital Skills Report 2017. It is not enough to simply have a page. Charities need to embed social media into their overall strategy so that they are interacting with the outside world and gaining support whether through donors or volunteers. The digital potential for the sector is vast and currently untapped. If the subject scares you, why not try and recruit a volunteer to maintain your social media presence?
Top tip: Schedule your posts to save time but don’t duplicate the same info across different platforms
Consider partnership working
Writing funding bids is always a challenge, particularly now in a more competitive market. Funders may be more likely to look more favourably at joint or consortium bids. As well as two heads being better than one in the bid-writing process, two successful organisational track records, two organisations’ policies, two organisations’ workforce is also better than one and puts you in a stronger position.
Top tip: Don’t forget that partnership working can include working with businesses or organisations from other sectors
Evaluate your volunteer programme
As part of the volunteering cycle, the evaluation of your programme then leads into the planning and ongoing success of the whole volunteer journey. Your evaluation should include some of the examples shown in measuring impact (above) but also the input of volunteers through supervisions or surveys. Assessment should take place at all stages of the volunteer programme, not just at the end so ask yourself questions like ‘Do I need so many screening methods during recruitment?’, or ‘Are my role descriptions up to date on the Volunteering West Cheshire website?’
Top tip: Check your volunteering strategy (or write one if you don’t have one)
For support on any of these areas or if you have any questions or tips then please get in touch with us.