Thursday, 28 August 2014

Hola! VPN

Ex-pats and those working overseas are going to love this.

It's a free VPN (Virtual Private Network). A little tool that allows you to access things like BBC iPlayer and home TV channels even when you're out of the country. There are lots of VPNs available, but most of them charge you. Hola is completely free. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Going Mobile

We've talked before about text giving and apptivism, but that only works if charities get to grips with what phone users want to see. This article warns Charities failing to address shift to mobile devices.

The widespread failure among charities to address the new challenges presented by the shift to mobile and tablet devices as the primary point of access to the internet is highlighted by the following findings:
  • Of the 50 charities surveyed, only three (6%) had created donation journeys specific to mobile devices.
  • Four in ten charity (42%) websites are not optimised for mobile devices in any way.
  • Even where a site is optimised for mobile devices, the donation screens of four in five charities (80%) then revert to desktop donation journeys which are poorly suited to mobile.

Animal charities came top when it came to having the most donation-friendly websites, having made the greatest efforts to adapt their websites to the increasing volume of visits via mobile and tablet devices. Environment and health charities had the least donation-friendly websites.

Hmmm. If one or two charities are falling behind, perhaps it's their problem. If so many of them are, maybe it's a problem with skills transfer in general?

Just for once, wouldn't it be nice to see the onus on the techies to teach the newbies? Rather than adding to the increasing list of all the world's ills that charities are failing to address, perhaps app developers and mobile giants could set up straightforward, easy to understand, plain English step-by-step YouTube tutorials for training charities in using their products? Maybe even software that automatically deals with the change in device?

I'm sure it's not for lack of enthusiasm these charities are falling behind in the technological race. There are just too few hours left in the day, between researching cancer and rounding up mistreated animals, to read the instruction manuals.

How about meeting them halfway? What is good for the Voluntary Sector can only be good for business, and humanity at large? 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Tell it Like Gandalf

An entertaining article on the importance of telling a good story: The storytelling secrets charities can learn from Gandalf

Talk to any charity fundraising or communications professional about what's needed to engage with supporters online and they'll say "good content". But what exactly is "good content"? 
Good content is about storytelling. Storytelling is not exactly new - people have been telling stories since time began, passing them down from generation to generation. However, about 70 years ago this process changed. Television altered the way stories were delivered - instead of people taking an active role in storytelling, they became passive consumers.

It talks about digital marketing, turning stories into donations, and the impact of imagery.

Are we sitting comfortably?

Monday, 4 August 2014

Call for Evidence

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has today launched a call for evidence as part of a review into the voluntary sector’s finances, alongside its partners Charity Finance Group, the Institute of Fundraising, Navca and Small Charities Coalition. 
The call for evidence, which is open to all voluntary organisations, provides the opportunity for respondents to tell their story about the impact of the recession on their organisation and how they have adapted to the changing funding environment. 

The call for evidence closes on 30th September 2014. If you're a UK charity and you'd like more information, contact Aidan Warner, NCVO External Relations Manager: UK 020 7520 2413 /