Organised by The Office for Civil Society, part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Local Charities Day 2018 builds on the launch two years ago.
The new Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Mims Davies, said in a recent blog that Local Charities Day builds on the work of the recently published Civil Society Strategy, “where we committed to enhancing relationships between businesses, charities and local areas, to help communities grow”.
She adds: “This year, we are highlighting the importance of giving by encouraging people to pledge their time to a local charity, alongside championing the phenomenal and life-changing work of local charities, while shining a huge spotlight on local charity champions – the unsung heroes who always go the extra mile for their charity, the people and causes they support.”
Why should you join the conversation? By raising the profile of local charities among the public, it's a 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. 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 on the day, plus download the social media assets from the Local Charities Day toolkit. There is also a Local Charities Day Twibbon to add to your social media profile pictures. You can catch up on blog posts from the minister and local charities too.
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
The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) is offering free training and learning opportunities:
Webinars. Pick from a choice of 15 free 30-minute webinars covering everything from developing a fundraising strategy and building a case for support to fundraising from trusts and foundations and supporting and managing volunteers. Any charity across the UK can access the training.
Facebook Live. The FSI will be running two Facebook Live sessions: at 10 a.m. on 12 December, for the Developing Your Fundraising strategy webinar, and again at 10 a.m. on Local Charities Day (14 December) for the Community & Events Fundraising webinar. Follow the FSI's Facebook page to be notified when the sessions go live.
Encouraging people to donate to local charities
Localgiving is marking Local Charities Day with its annual Grow Your Tenner campaign. Launching at 10 a.m. on 11 December, this year’s campaign encourages the public to become long-term supporters of their local charities. Localgiving will match monthly donations for a full six months for donors who set up a direct debit to a Localgiving member for a year. All Localgiving members are eligible to take part and there is a match fund pot of £100,000.