Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Arts Lose Investment

In the wake of yesterday's news - Companies reduce arts donations:
Investment by businesses in the arts has dropped to its lowest level for seven years, despite a government drive to encourage philanthropy.
Thought I'd resurrect this little video on why the arts are important both culturally and in economic terms: 

Friday, 10 February 2012

Issues In Sustainable Development

I think this is a very important issue, and one that development workers globally will be sympathetic towards.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

World Trade Game

(image courtesy of

If you want to explore the implications of a 'world market', this is a great workshop game. I played this during VSO training in 2007. Ideally, you need around eighteen people, but the more the merrier. 

The aim of this game is to help the participants understand how trade influences the development of a country and to create interest and discussion about the world trading system in an enjoyable and non-academic way. 

It really is an eye-opening exercise and hugely recommended for international volunteers and development workers.

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Bristol Pound

(Image courtesy of Images_of_Money)

This is an innovative idea:

A group of independent traders in Bristol are launching their own currency, with the backing of the council and a credit union.

The "Bristol Pound" will be printed in notes, and also traded electronically:
There are other local currencies in the UK, but this is the first which can be used to pay local business taxes...
"Big companies just hoover up money from a local area,"...

...if people really want to support independents, they can quite literally put their money where their mouth is...

How about a Voluntary Sector currency?

Perhaps that would help to more accurately chart the ebb and flow of funding within the sector, and lead to greater co-operation between charities?

Friday, 3 February 2012

M&E: Two Types of Data

(Image courtesy of iconolith)

When planning your monitoring and evaluation strategy, remember that there are two types of data you need to collect:

  1. Qualitative Data: People. People’s thoughts, stories, experiences, ideas, feelings, feedback.
  2. Quantitative Data: Numbers. How many, how often, what percentage, statistics, finances.
Quantitative data can tell you how often something is happening, but not why. Qualitative data gives you the background, but doesn't tell you to what extent something is happening.

Think about how to gather both types of data for an accurate overview of your project.

See Also:

Easy Monitoring & Evaluation: Qualitative Data
Easy Monitoring & Evaluation: Quantitative Data

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Volunteer Worth to Your Organisation

(Image courtesy of 104k)

Having just discussed the cost to charities of volunteers leaving, it's always worth having a go at quickly calculating the worth of volunteers to your own organisation.


Because you can use that figure as 'in-kind match funding' against funding bids. I'll discuss this at a later date, or check out my Theory of Fundraising training.

NCVO have a good section on volunteering.

A condensed version of calculating volunteer worth goes like this:

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

With just five volunteers giving ten hours per week, your organisation has effectively obtained £28,488 worth of skilled and semi-skilled labour in a year. 

Worth knowing.

See Also:

$38 Billion Lost Because Volunteers Leave