Archive for the 'Support for Charities' Category

#charitytuesday: Crisis at Christmas

crisis blog

Crisis at Christmas is a lifeline for thousands of homeless people across the UK, offering support, companionship and vital services over the festive period. 4,594 guests came to Crisis at Christmas 2015 in London, Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh and Newcastle combined.

Crisis at Christmas provides immediate help for homeless people at a critical time – sadly, one in four homeless people spends Christmas alone.

Each year hundreds of our amazing volunteers not only selflessly give their time to give a Christmas to homeless people, but also take the opportunity to get sponsored for their shifts and therefore raise money for not only the Christmas appeal but also year-round services. Over the last seven years these volunteers have raised in excess of half a million pounds – a testament to their extraordinary dedication to ending homelessness.

How you can help

  • You can donate £10.00 to help someone towards a brighter new year
  • Donate £22.32 to reserve a place at Crisis at Christmas for someone who wouldn’t otherwise have a Christmas
  • Or donate £223.20 to reserve a whole table at Crisis at Christmas, giving ten people a Christmas

Alternatively, you can set up your own fundraising page to try and raise as much as possible for this fantastic campaign.

#charitytuesday: Walking home for Christmas


This December, why not carry your Christmas tree home, hand deliver Christmas cards or ditch your car and challenge yourself to walk home from work with a friend while raising money for a fantastic causeThe charity Walking with the Wounded is encouraging people across the UK to pull on their walking boots and Santa hats this Christmas in support of homeless and other vulnerable veterans.

Last year

Last year more than 2,000 people across the UK signed up to Walking With The Wounded’s Christmas campaign Walking Home For Christmas in a bid to have fun, get fit, and raise crucial funds to support veterans with physical, mental or social injuries. There were some amazing stories, including a Cheshire father and son who ‘stretchered’ their Christmas tree 10 miles home and a Suffolk super–granny walked 400 miles to relatives in Belfast!

The campaign saw more than 5,000 miles walked and raised enough to support more than 250 vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and regain their independence.

This year

In partnership with Virgin Money Giving, Walking With The Wounded is inviting people to join in again. It’s just £10, the charity send you a branded Santa hat and hi vis vest and you grab your friends and plan a walk anytime between 1st –  26th December, of any distance challenging for you.

This year walkers can also sign up as ‘Captains’ and lead a public walk to encourage more people to take part.

Walking With The Wounded events manager Andy Sloan said:

“We’ve been bowled over by the creativity and ambition of participants taking part and clearly having a lot of fun in their Santa hats. It’s a great way to have an adventure with friends or get to know colleagues better by wrapping up warm and walking together to  a destination, preferably featuring hot food or a sociable drink on the way. All while supporting vulnerable veterans who have little to look forward to this Christmas.”

Walking With The Wounded supports veterans with physical, mental or social injuries on their journey to long term security independence and employment.

How To Enter:

  • Sign up for £10 + postage at
  • Get your pack and Santa hat, plan your walk and tell your friends
  • Walk as far as is challenging for you, 1 mile or 100
  • Any time from 1st – 26th December
  • Share your story on Social Media using #WalkingHomeForChristmas

Need ideas for your walk?

  • The Long Haul – Go large and surprise yourself and a relative
  • The workplace challenge – why not try walking as a Teambuilding or client engaging exercise?
  • School’s out – Walk home from school or uni with parents or friends
  • The Team Outing – Walk to a pub for dinner
  • The Ingenious Idea – Hand deliver a present, Christmas cards or carry a Christmas tree home
  • The Train-ing Plan – Get off the train a stop early; great if you live too far to walk the whole way home!
  • The (long) dog walk – Take the lead and have an adventure


The A-Z of Fundraising Ideas


Coming up with a fundraising idea can feel daunting, like you don’t know where to start. But the good news is that what you can do to fundraise is absolutely limitless, and it doesn’t have to be hard work. You can do what you normally enjoy doing, something wacky, a personal challenge, or even an organised event.

Here’s our A-Z to get you started.


Abseiling, Auction, Apprentice, Animal art trail, Afternoon tea


Bake off, Bingo, Bring & buy, Bowling, Bag packing


Coffee morning, Car wash, Craft fair, Cook off, Clothes swap


Disco, Dress down day, Dye your hair, Dog walking, Dinner party


Eating contest, Easter egg hunt, eBay, Expedition, EasyFundraising


Fancy dress, Fire walking, Fashion show, 5-a-side, Flash mob


Give blood, Girls’ night in, Games night, Gig, Garden party


Head shave, High walking, Happy cents, Handcuffed day, Honesty box


Ice cream sundae party, Ice skating, Ice bucket challenge, Instead of presents, Indoor games


Jailbreak, Jeans at work, Jumble sale, Jazz night, Jurassic party


Karaoke night, Knitting, Kissing booth, Kayaking race, Krispy Krème doughnut selling


Limbo, Lads’ night in, Lottery, Lose weight, Lunch


Movie night, Mattress surfing, Mini golf, Marathon, Murder mystery


Night hike, Nightmare before Christmas party, No make up, Naked calendar, Name the teddy


Obstacle course, Office Olympics, Onion peeling competition, Outdoor cinema, Odd jobs


Pamper party, Pub crawl, Present wrapping, Picnic, Petting zoo


Quiz & Chips, Quit something, Queen’s chairlift, Q&A, Quidditch


Raffle, Racing, Roller derby, Random act of kindness, Retro party


Skydive, Scare maze, Scavenger hunt, Sports day, Sleep out


Time trial, Talent show, Tombola, Triathlon, Trekking


Upcycle, Underwear day, Umbrella dance, UV run


Vote off, Vampires Vs Werewolves, Vines, Visit as many places you can in 24 hours


Wine & Cheese Night, Walk, Water gun/balloon fight, World record attempt, Wax,


Xbox/Wii/PS4 night, X-Factor competition, X marks the spot


Yes day, Yacht race, Yoga, YOLO challenge, Yodelling competition


Zumbathon, Zombie run, Zero tolerance fines for annoying behaviour, Zimmerframe race, Zorbing

#VMGCorporatesLive: Tips for building a strong relationship


Long term relationships can be extremely lucrative for charities and save the stress of selecting and pitching to new corporates. Here’s our top 10 tips to turn your corporate fundraising partnership into something sustainable and long term.

1. Build a wider network.

As well as dealing with Corporate Social Responsibility Managers, are there people who look after community objectives, HR contacts etc.? The more people you know, the more opportunities you can create.

2. Keep in regular contact

Make communication a top priority. Updates on planned activities and concise regular communications will keep you front of mind.

3. Suggest new ideas / opportunities

New opportunities such as volunteering, presenting an award, meeting your trustees etc. will help you maintain a high level of engagement.

4. Go to the top

Are you sure your updates, news of your successes etc are making it all the way to the top of the organisation? Can you produce a report, update, personal thank you card etc. that lends itself to being shared with a senior team?

5. Keep one eye on the future

Sharing a long term vision can be powerful. Even if you can’t continue as Charity of the Year, can you suggest ways in which the corporate can continue to support you?

6. Knowledge is Power

What are the objectives/plans/issues/benefits of the corporate? Getting under the skin of an organisation will not only help you think of activities that may be of use, but it also help you sound knowledgeable and engaged when you talk to them.

7. If you say you’re going to do something, do it

Putting in that initial research at the beginning of the process means you won’t overpromise. With any relationship, proving you’re a reliable partner is crucial so be sure to meet agreed deadlines and objectives.

8. Provide meaningful updates

Sending additional information and sharing milestones (such as amount raised to date) will provide your corporate with invaluable assets.

9. Make it as hard as possible to break up!

“Tell me something and I’ll forget it, show me something and maybe I’ll remember it, involve me and I will remember it” – Confucius.  If people feel part of something, it makes it harder to let it go.

10. Learn from feedback

Encourage feedback on your partnership and use the information to suggest ways of continuing the successes to date and improve your relationship management.

Royal Parks: Make Every Mile Count

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This weekend will see 16,000 people run through the beautiful Royal Parks of London at the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon. If you’re competing, you’ll want to make every mile count when it comes to your fundraising.

“Dyeing” to race

If you’re feeling brave (or very showbiz), why not auction off among your friends and colleagues the chance to dye your hair – or beard should you have one – for the big race? Do a chart offering a range of shades you’d be willing to wear for the race – perhaps making pink or purple being the most expensive – and the highest bidder wins. Just ask them to make a donation to your fundraising page in return.

Dress to impress

Should you be a sports fan – you could offer to wear your rival sports team’s shirt if you raise up to a certain amount? That should get some of your “friends” donating! Or even add some added fancy dress in return for extra quids on your fundraising page.

Boosting your fundraising

If you try either of the above, or have your own idea, why not let us know in the comments section below?

#VMGCorporateFundraising: Top tips for pursuing corporate funding


Approaching and pitching to a potential corporate partner is a daunting task for even the most experienced charity fundraisers. Which business do you approach? Who do you contact? What do you say?

We’ve put together these top tips to answer all these questions and more to get you started.

The warmest link

Find a link between your organisation and theirs: this can be your location, target audience, objectives or personnel – do your existing supporters have contacts? Make sure that your ideals align so you know a collaboration will work successfully and don’t let the size of a company put you off – large companies often try to support local charities. When you’ve chosen which company to contact, simply call up to get email addresses for the Corporate and Social Responsibility Manager, the Health and Wellbeing Manager or the General Manager to start your ask. 

Be prepared

Before you enter discussions with a company, thoroughly research their business and yours so you can propose a relevant and realistic partnership. Referencing their biggest achievements will show you know something about their business and a bit of flattery may go a long way!

Shake it up with tailor-made comms

Your first email and proposal need to be tailor-made for each corporate that you contact. Emphasising your connection will help your emails stand out and highlight the potential success of your relationship. As well as being bespoke, your email should be concise, explain your fundamental mission and outline what makes your charity special. Aim to secure a face-to-face meeting from your initial contact.

Mutual benefit

Corporate partnerships are a valuable source of income for charities, but you also need to stress what you can do for your corporate partner in return and make this the focus of your communications. Although you can be flexible with what you can offer, researching the company will help you propose something bespoke and attractive initially. Ideas could include:

  • PR (brand building advertising, social media, comms, news, publicity, joint branding)
  • provide expertise and resources for staff
  • health and wellbeing support
  • event hosting
  • skills swap
  • volunteer team building days
  • employee/client engagement

Finally, you also need to be upfront and specific about not just how you want them to help you, but how you will use those funds or effort to support your charity’s mission.

It’s all in the detail

A proposal with a detailed offer and ask, a campaign page mock-up, joint branded collateral and an outline of what data, updates etc. you will provide will bring the partnership to life for your corporate. Highlight a tangible outcome from your partnership for both sides. Once you’re up and running, provide as many updates, images, case-studies etc. as possible so they can appreciate the difference they’re helping you make.

Our Corporate Toolkit contains the top tips above, along with email templates, great campaign page examples and case studies to help your campaign. it will be available from Monday 10 October.

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