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Help spread the word on Friday 15 December

Originally published: December 2017

Local Charities Day returns on Friday 15 December 2017 placing the spotlight on small local charities and the inspiring work they’re doing in communities across the UK.

Organised by The Office for Civil Society, part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the awareness day builds on the launch of Local Charities Day in 2016.

Minister for sport, tourism and heritage, Tracey Crouch, said in a recent blog that this year’s awareness day “will highlight the work of small charities that are making remarkable differences in their communities.” The day will also focus on the “unsung heroes and celebrate the commitment of amazing volunteers who devote their time to improving the lives of others,” Crouch added.

Why should you join the conversation? Small charities are facing turbulent times, according to a report published by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales in March 2017. By raising the profile of local charities among the public, it's chance to celebrate the great work they do up and down the country every day, and help secure funding and support.

So, how can you get involved and champion the voice of small local charities?

Raising awareness of small local charities

First things first, get your charity registered on the Local Charities Day map (set up by the Office for Civil Society): small local charities can pinpoint their location on the map and provide a description of what they do to raise public awareness.

#LocalCharitiesDay on social media

Next, get your social media activity up to speed. If you haven’t done already, sign up to the DCMS’ Thunderclap to encourage your supporters to get behind the day. In the lead-up to the event and on the day itself, make sure any content you post includes the hashtag #LocalCharitiesDay to help spread the message far and wide.

Also, keep an eye on the DCMS social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) for news and updates from the day, plus download the social media assets from the DCMS toolkit. You can also catch up on blog posts from the minister and local charities.

Media coverage for your charity

Get in touch with your local newspaper or radio station to see if they might consider running a short piece on the day about the local charities in the area. Otherwise, listen out for national coverage in the media in case there are opportunities to piggyback on stories. It's important to know what journalists are looking for: have an interesting story and case studies to hand who can speak about the issues they're facing and how your charity is helping.

Build your skills on Local Charities Day

If you’re looking to polish up your fundraising skills, the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) is offering additional training and learning opportunities.

  • Webinars. Join three 1.5 hour webinars covering community and events fundraising, major donors, and supporting and managing volunteers. Any charity across the UK can access the training.
  • Twitter Q+A. Got a burning fundraising question to ask? Pose your question to @TheFSI using #LocalCharitiesDay and #AsktheFundraiser.
  • Facebook Live. At 1 p.m. on 15 December, there will be a 30-minute Facebook Live session looking at how charities can diversify their income.
  • Top tips. Watch fundraising experts, including director of the Tony Elischer Foundation, Susan Morgan; and Chris Domer, head of business development at Localgiving, share their top tips in a series of videos.

Competitions and incentives for Local Charities Day

The FSI is also running a competition for you to to win a £100 cash prize for your organisation. All you have to do is complete this sentence in 140 characters or less: “Local charities are important because...” and either email your response to will@thefsi.org or tweet @TheFSI using #LocalCharitiesDay.

Meanwhile, Localgiving is also running two competitions for members (there are over 2,600 local charity and community group members in the UK):

  • The Localgiving member that gets the most retweets for a single tweet on the day will win a prize of £100 to support their work
  • The individual who donates to the most Localgiving members on the day will win £100 to be distributed across the organisations they have supported

If you’re looking for other ways to get involved in Local Charities Day, check out the DCMS toolkit featuring a range of activities.

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