All posts by Cathal

Dry January 2019

Key Dates for your Dairies

The New Year marks the beginning of all the national awareness days again. There are so many awareness days now that there is probably one to cover the majority of causes throughout the UK.

Does your charity make the most of upcoming awareness days that relate to your cause?

When planning your fundraising and upcoming campaigns, it may be beneficial to keep some of these days in mind. This is a great idea when you are launching a new campaign. You could tactfully plan to launch your campaign on a day that coincides with a national day of awareness to maximise your engagement rates.

There are too many to list, in fact, there are hundreds if not thousands. However, I have listed below some useful articles listing most of the UK’s awareness days. It might be a good idea to keep a note of some in your calendar.

There’s no time like the present – Dry January is currently happening as we speak. This lasts the entire month and is to promote a healthier you for the New Year by cutting out alcohol. Why not incorporate this into your fundraising? Encourage your supporters to donate to your cause as they save some funds by participating in Dry January.

Also in January; National Obesity Awareness Week and Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Throughout the Spring of this year we have seen awareness days for; World Cancer Day, Time to Talk, Eating Disorders Awareness week, No Smoking Day, Walk to Work Day, World Health Day, World Autism Month, Mental Health Awareness Week, National Human Trafficking week and Red Nose Day.

These are just to name a few, to help you and your charity begin your preparations for your Awareness Day Fundraising.

The URLs below outline the awareness days, weeks and months for the remainder of 2019, check them out to get yourself involved.

https://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/retain-and-improve/staff-experience/health-work-and-wellbeing/sustaining-the-momentum/calendar-of-national-campaigns-2018/calendar-of-national-campaigns-2017-table

https://changestar.co.uk/charity-calendar/

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from all the team at instaGiv

It is hard to believe that Christmas and the New Year are behind us now after all that excitement over the past 6 weeks.

We are delighted to say that many of our clients who had Christmas fundraising campaigns totally excelled their expectations and raised an amazing amount of money for their festive fundraising.

An incredible December

Our charities raised a combined £160,000 during the month of December and over 350,000 outbound SMS’ were sent. We are delighted with December’s outcome and are striving to be better in January and the coming months.

Raffles and Lotteries

December welcomed many single giving campaigns, the launch of over 5 new Christmas Raffles by our clients and also a number of festive competitions by The Silver Line, Children’s Heartbeat Trust, Mental Health UK and SAMH to name a few.

Our goals for this new year include to continually improve our customer service, continue to improve and provide the most flexible, user-friendly and efficient SMS donations and engagement service to our clients and climb the ladder with our new Raffles and Lotteries via SMS service.

New year, new you?

What has your charity got in the pipeline for your new year fundraising? Throughout the month of January, we will be offering our tailored platform demos again. These demos are designed to zoom into the requirements of your charity and focus on your particular needs for example;

  • Details on our in-depth reporting
  • Regular giving set up, text-to-give for beginners
  • SMS lotteries and much more

Our demos are not sales related and you are not obliged to sign up to InstaGiv after your online demo with one of our team members. It is a free service to help you see how mobile fundraising and engagement work with InstaGiv and the benefits that it can bring to your charity.

So if you’re considering introducing SMS as a fundraising tool or wishing to change providers, we will be happy to assist you with a demo, call or live chat to help aid your decision-making process. If you want to find out any more information about instaGiv and what we can do to help your charity, contact us at help@instagiv.com or fill in the contact us form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

Instagiv
Instagiv

8 sleeps until Christmas

17th of December – how has that happened already?

How has Christmas came around so quickly?
How has Christmas come around so quickly?

This year has flown in for us but then again, time does fly when you are kept busy. We are beyond delighted to see the success of our client’s festive Christmas campaigns for this year and they’re not over yet.

This time of year brings out the generosity in many people. According to the Charities Aid Foundations Annual Giving Report for 2018, November and December are the two peak months each year for charity giving.

People are more generous in November and December

This shouldn’t come as a shock as these months have Movember, Giving Tuesday and countless Christmas appeals. This year, we saw a rise in the number of campaigns being created by our clients in preparation for Giving Tuesday and in addition to that, there have been over 200 Christmas keywords requested in recent weeks.

Almost every type of our SMS fundraising range being used this season from Single Giving, Raffles, Lotteries, Competitions, Event type, Outbound SMS and Registration campaigns.

CAFs giving report also illustrates the different age groups and how often they tend to give to charitable causes. This is a great starting point when going into the year with fresh fundraising and campaign ideas as it allows you to aim to provide each of your demographics with the different ways to give that suit them best. See the end of this article for the link to the full report.

With just over one week to go, we would like to wish everyone the best of luck with their remaining fundraising campaigns. We can’t wait to hear how you all got on with your fundraising efforts.

Happy Christmas from instaGiv

From all of us here at instaGiv, we hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you need any help or assistance over the festive period with your fundraising campaign or would like to set up a last-minute fundraiser contact us on help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv

Use PSMS in a broadcast or DRTV appeal

Premium SMS
Premium SMS

Trying to get your supporters to actively engage and donate on a regular basis can be tricky – especially heading into the new year. A great way to get in front of them at the right time is with Premium SMS (PSMS).

You can use PSMS in a broadcast outbound text, DRTV appeal, social event or any type of fundraising activity.

Last minute crisis

Sometimes things pop up last minute or unannounced, like an unfortunate incident. This could result in a disaster appeal and you may choose to send a broadcast SMS to gather donations or actively advertise your text code as widespread as possible, to raise awareness and ask for donations.

In terms of the outbound SMS, if you have a list of recipients or a database of opted-in supporters gathered from using our consent feature. You can use these to send an urgent text asking them to reply with one of your donation keywords, to give to your cause. You can use this as a single one-off donation, or to subscribe your supporters to regular giving which is monthly gifts.

To use PSMS as a standard text-to-donate campaign it is as simple as creating your text code, customising your campaign and advertising it to your supporter base. The journey is very straightforward as we like to focus firmly on the donor experience.

Keyword

Texting a donation is as simple as texting a KEYWORD to 70###. While we have fixed price points for all our donation keywords, we also offer our clients the full flexibility of giving their donors the option to give more or less than the default amount, without having to create additional keywords and campaigns.

All donations and responses to outbound texts are recorded on your InstaGiv platform. You can view your inbound report which captures the finest of details right down to the donation amount, date and time and content of inbound texts.

Our regular giving reporting is something we often get praised on also, keeping tabs on donor retention can be somewhat exhausting and hard to do, with our regular reporting we make it so much easier for fundraisers. Our system is equipped to capture and record data right from the number of sign-ups per month, repeat donations, number of SKIP/STOPS per month, cumulative retention statistics and much more.

Quick turnaround

Our turnaround time is very quick. We aim to have all new requests actioned and set up within the same working day. Often enough, we can do this very soon after the request or registration is received.

Find out more information

If you’d like to find out any more information on PSMS, shortcodes, a member of our team would be more than happy to talk you through the process. Fill in the form on our contact page and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Alternatively, please contact us directly on 028 7087 8220 or email us at help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv

 

Giving Tuesday – Give Back this Tuesday

Giving Tuesday 2018
Giving Tuesday 2018

#GivingTuesday is one of the biggest days of the year in Britain for the charity sector. It is the one day people have the chance to do something kind and give back to charity. Both individuals and businesses get involved, doing what they can to help those in need just before Christmas – one day can make a world of difference.

Giving Tuesday started back in 2014 and since then has grown to be bigger and better every year.

Doing our bit

The team here at InstaGiv and our sister company, Zymplify, are doing our bit for charity on Tuesday the 27th of November.
We have decided that with this time of year being cold and wet out, it would be worthy and beneficial to donate all our old clothes to one of our local homeless charities.

We have been swamped in recent weeks with both supporters and charities enquiring about setting up a text code for their cause in preparation for Giving Tuesday. Text giving is quick, easy, efficient and effortless, which is probably why most charities today have text as a donation collection method.

it’s not too late to set up your text code for the UK’s biggest giving day, with 6 days left it gives you plenty of time to set up your campaign, customise it to suit your cause, and watch the kind donations flow in.

Be quick though, as our “Tuesday” keywords are starting to run out!

Find out more information

If you’d like to find out anymore information on shortcodes, a member of our team would be more than happy to talk you through the process. Fill in the form on our contact page and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Alternatively, please contact us directly on 028 7087 8220 or email us at help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv
Short code

The Benefits of using Dedicated Short Codes

Short code
Short code

Dedicated short codes are still an incredibly useful tool to raise money for charity. Over half of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones in 2018. As well as that, over 92% of people in the UK have mobile phones. Because of this, we’re pretty sure SMS marketing is still a really effective way to reach out to people in a personal way.

Wealth of benefits

There is a wealth of benefits that come with SMS marketing. One of those is the use of dedicated shortcodes. Shortcodes are an easy and efficient way to boost donations for any charity. They are short, snappy and are easy to remember. Let’s look at some of the benefits in greater detail…

  1. The 70### shortcode is dedicated to your charity. It’s the shortcode your supporters will associate with you and your cause. When someone sees or hear it, they will know it’s in relation to your charity as no other InstaGiv clients get used of it.
  2. Unlimited keywords. You pay a monthly fee for the ownership of your dedicated short code and with that, you can use our unlimited keywords allowing you to create multiple campaigns at no additional cost.
  3. You can use any of our products alongside your dedicated shortcode. These include; Single Giving, Regular Giving, Registration, Event, Address Capture and our outbound SMS tool.
  4. Having the flexibility of having unlimited campaigns on your dedicated code opens an umbrella of opportunities. You can create and launch as many new text-to-give campaigns as you want to at no additional cost. In turn, you’re helping to increase SMS income and raise further cause awareness.
  5. When using a dedicated short code, you do not have to wait for approval from our end or have to check a keywords availability. It’s your shortcode, so you can create and have access to new campaigns instantly.
  6. Not to mention all clients get full use of our Mobile Fundraising and Engagement platform at no extra cost. Here you can customise the thank-you response message sent to donors, add Gift Aid to your campaigns, send response/donation/address request outbound texts, add consent to your campaigns to gather opt-ins, view totals and inbound reporting in real time and much more.

Find out more information

If you would like to find out any more information on shortcodes, a member of our team would be happy to talk things through with you. Fill in the form on our contact page and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Alternatively, please contact us directly at any time on 028 7087 8220 or email us at help@instagiv.com.

 

Instagiv
Instagiv
Gift Aid

Is your charity making the most of Gift Aid?

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What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid gives charities the opportunity to get an additional 25% for each £1 donated by their supporters.

Traditionally, declarations were collected via forms, with quite a lot of paperwork involved. Nowadays, it is friction-less, efficient and with a much faster turnaround.

Gift Ait is one of the most important tax reliefs for charities and it’s worth over £1.2 million to the charity sector every year, according to HMRC.

Are you promoting your donors?

Research from HMRC shows that people respond the most when they are prompted to include Gift Aid in their donation. They also responded well when they are told exactly how much was claimed the year previous and what the money went to.

You must be transparent with your donors and tell them exactly how this money is spent. Explain what more could be done if everyone claimed it on their donations.

You also need to ensure your volunteers, and supporters fully understand what the Gift Aid system is and the benefits of it. HMRC have also stated that people who understand Gift Aid are more likely to claim it when donating.

Make the right claims

Education is so important when it comes to Gift Aid. You want to make sure your employees or volunteers are explaining it fully to your donors and supporters in order to eliminate any flawed claims.  It is estimated that around £45 million is made in mistaken claims every year – more than £15 million lost due to fraud.

To ensure you are keeping on top of all your donations, regular audits and internal checks are the best practice. You should also contact long-standing donors who claim gift Aid to ensure they are still paying tax.

How can InstaGiv help you?

We have modernised the way you manage your Gift Aid from your supporters, by solely capturing it with SMS. This integrated system is completely automated, that reports in a user-friendly manner to successfully make your Gift Aid claim with HMRC.

There are two ways to capture it, via SMS or via a web form. You can select which one you prefer in the setup of your campaign in the overview area.

For both methods, the Gift Aid ask is sent via SMS at a delay after the supporter receives their thank your response message. Supporters reply to the text with their details, and for the web form method, supporters click the URL and complete the form.

The Gift Aid ask is sent out at a delay, for example, 5 minutes after your donors receive the thank-you response message. Gift Aid can be claimed on future donations and those made in the past four years.

Addresses are captured and stored in a dedicated area of your InstaGiv dashboard, where you can easily download all declarations, in preparations for processing.

Our form has been approved by the HMRC and is fully compliant. Both the form and the SMS capture all details needed and has the appropriate legal terminology.

Book a demo today

To find out more, request a demo or a call-back today. One of our friendly team members will go over everything in more detail with you.

Alternatively, for more information on this additional guidance on licencing, please contact us at any time on 028 7087 8220 or email us at help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv

Overwhelming Support for Raffles and Lotteries

Raffles and lotteries
Raffles and lotteries

It’s been over 2 months since we launched raffles and lotteries with InstaGiv and we are overwhelmed with how it has gone down with our clients.

Having recently launched this new product, the response has been massive. We spent months developing the latest development and we’re so glad you guys love it too.

Following pressure from the charity sector and AIME networks, they introduced a range of shortcodes during the summer. Along with the approval of HMRC, these shortcodes (72xxx) now allow SMS entries for society lotteries and raffles to be vat exempt.

Find out all about it

In case you’re still not in the loop, we recently held a webinar where we covered all things raffles and lotteries. In the webinar, we discuss:

  • how you can introduce this into your fundraising
  • how you can incorporate SMS with your current offering
  • what license you need
  • what an ELM is and much more

We are happy to schedule calls with any UK registered charity who is interested in learning more. We take pride in the fact that we guide you step by step through your SMS fundraising and engagement journey with InstaGiv.

Catch up on demand

If you missed our webinar last week, luckily, we have recorded it and uploaded it to our YouTube channel. Here, you can watch and listen to the full recording filled with facts and FAQs. Watch our Raffles and Lotteries webinar here.

Have you downloaded our brochures on Raffles and Lotteries via SMS yet?

Many UK charities hold their own weekly or monthly lottery or one-off raffles with us. At InstaGiv, we are giving you the opportunity to use SMS as a means of collecting entries and monies.

With our built-in address verification system, the only thing the charity needs to do is issue tickets and contact the winner. It’s that easy! At present, we have two price points for you to choose from along with many thoughts and ideas to share with you.

Book a demo today

To find out more, request a demo or a call-back today. One of our friendly team members will go over everything in more detail with you.

Alternatively, for more information on this additional guidance on licencing, please contact us at any time on 028 7087 8220 or email us at help@instagiv.com.

Instagiv
Instagiv
Halloween fundraiser ideas

Halloween Fundraising Ideas

Halloween is fast approaching and there is no time like the present to organise a festive fundraiser. Halloween gives the perfect backdrop for any kind of party or event. Why not spice up your spooky get-together and raise some money for charity too.

To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve come up with 5 great fundraiser ideas. Whether it’s in work or just for fun, you could organise a ghostly gathering this Halloween for a good cause.

Halloween
Halloween
  1. Pumpkin Carving Competition

This is something we’re having in our own offices and I cannot wait. My carving skills are next-level and I think I have a great chance of coming in 1st place.

Get your work colleagues together and gather up your pumpkins and have some fun. Donations can come in the form of an entry fee.

  1. Spooky Sponsored Walk

A well-organised run or walk in your local town is a fantastic way to get everyone together and raise as much money as possible. If you have the funds, you can give out medals to those who cross the 5K finish line.

Again, you can ask people to donate a certain amount to enter the race and ask them to raise their own sponsorship funds a week prior to the event.

  1. Dunking for Apples

If you host a Halloween party every year, why not make it exciting and have a ‘Dunking for Apples’ competition this year. You could ask people to donate for every dunk and raise much-needed funds really quickly.

  1. Pumpkin Pie Bake Off

Forget about the Great British Bake-off, this year it’s all about the Pumpkin Pie Bake Off. Get your friends together and have some fun in the kitchen. After you’ve carved your spooky Halloween decoration, you can use the contents to make a tasty (or not so tasty) treat. The winning pie can win a prize!

  1. Bonfire event

This one might be a bit harder and will only work if you have the space and health and safety for it. A festive bonfire event with sparklers and fireworks could be the event-of-the-year. You could ask your local council are they doing anything for the Halloween holidays and suggest they partner up with a local charity to raise some funds while doing so.

InstaGiv

Using the different holidays throughout the year is always a wonderful way to help promote your cause, by launching a fundraising campaign. At InstaGiv, it is around this time of year that all the different holiday friendly keyword requests start to come in, recently we have had some of our clients request new campaign keywords such as; scary, fright, Halloween, ghost, creepy, Santa, merry, Christmas and much more.

Why are they doing this? Well because SMS is the quickest most effective and user-friendly method of collecting donations. It beats standing out in the freezing wintry weather with collection buckets. In addition to that, each donor gets an instant “thank you” response message, this is fully customisable to the charity, allowing you to increase engagement with your donors further by perhaps, inserting a link into the response message or asking them to opt-in to hear more about your cause.

Book a Demo today

To find out more, request a demo or a call-back today. One of our friendly team members will go over everything in more detail with you.

 

Bake for a Day Off MacMillan Coffee Morning Success

Last week we hosted our first ever coffee morning and we were delighted with how the event turned out. We raised a massive £330 from all our cash and SMS donations. Thank you so much to everyone who got involved and donated.

To make things more exciting, we teamed up with two of our neighbouring companies to organise a bigger coffee morning with extra the fun. LANDED and Zymplify are situated in the same office as us, so we thought why not get together and host something exciting?

We mightn’t have an in-house Paul Hollywood, but we still had our own Bake Off, but with a twist. We got everyone involved in an exciting competition where they would all ‘Bake for a Day Off.’ The winning cake would win a free day of annual leave to use whenever they wanted – who wouldn’t want to enter?

Some of the silly contestants – you can tell they are all taking this very seriously.

The Big Event

We asked everyone to donate £5 to enter the competition and saw loads of people entering. We were shocked by the amount of cake that arrived on Friday morning. Shocked, but loved it!

The Contestants

We had over 15 entries that were all equally delicious. We sampled several different Cheesecakes, a few Duffins (that’s a muffin that tastes like a doughnut in case you didn’t know) and a few traditional Victoria Sponges.

The winner

Our Graphic Designer, Johnny, blew every other contestant out of the water and won the competition with his Pavarotti’s Pavlova.

The winner!

It was sensational! In joint second place was a Flake and Crunchie Roulade by our Client Success Executive, Grace McGinnis and a Victoria Sponge by our Head of Finance, Michael Green.

Joint 2nd place went to a Victoria Sponge and a Roulade.

 

Third place went to ME! My Cookie Dough Salted Carmel Brownies went down a treat with our audience.

And I came 3rd!

 

After all the eating and voting, we had a raffle because what fundraiser event is complete without a raffle? Loads of our friendly neighbouring businesses donated prizes including Campsie’s Electrical, Bonds Jewellers, Super Valu, Bob and Bert’s, Jam Jar and The Anchor Bar and Restaurant. Thank you so much to everyone who donated prizes.

How much did we raise?

Between the Bake-Off competition and the raffle, we raised an incredible £330. We were so pleased with the final result and again, would like to say thank you so much to everyone who donated.

The money raised from the national Bake-Off events goes straight to MacMillan’s pioneering charitable services. So far, £3,099,459 was raised from all the coffee mornings hosted across the UK. To give you an idea of how much this will help, it costs just £28 for a MacMillan nurse for an hour to help people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.

If you’d like to keep up-to-date with all things InstaGiv, check out our Facebook and Twitter. Or you can follow us on our brand-new Instagram profile.