#GivingTuesday Guild

#GivingTuesday partner Guild has put together a special package of its ad-free professional community platform to help charities to connect efficiently with a range of stakeholders.

This #GivingTuesday, qualifying registered charities in the UK and US can access an enterprise version of Guild for free and take advantage of an incredible opportunity to connect with employees, trustees and beneficiaries.

The offer includes expert community building support to help make your charity community a success. You’ll also be invited to join a dedicated community for charity and non-profit professionals on Guild

Guild has put together a run-through of the special #GivingTuesday offer for any interested parties below.

Your charity qualifies for the Guild if:

– you’re a registered charity in the UK or US with a turnover of less than £5,000,000

– you apply between 23rd November and 31 December 2021

Full terms and conditions below.

How do I get started?

Email the Guild support team at support@guild.co – they’ll arrange a personal onboarding session to show you how Guild works and help to set your new community up.

Once you’re up and running you’ll be provided customer success support to get the most out of using Guild for your communities and groups. These benefits are normally only available as part of the Enterprise plan, so are a #GivingTuesday special.

Why do charities use Guild?

Guild makes charity communications much simpler. You can create professional, GDPR-compliant groups, networks and communities to share information and connect the audiences who matter most to you. It’s mobile-first and easy to use and you can be up and running in minutes.

You can create groups or communities for your most important stakeholders, wherever they are. Bring together your trustees, alumni, regional or sector groups, project and campaign working groups. Your community might focus on marketing, grants, fundraising, research or operations. Whatever you need to collaborate on, you can use a Guild community.

What are the advantages of a Guild community?

You can:

– Customise and brand your groups

– Protext stakeholders and audiences with safe, separate GDPR-compliant groups

– Save time by managing multiple communities from a single account

– Keep things organised with separate threaded chats

– Signpost important information with pinned posts

– Raise your charity’s profile with a public group or keep everything private and secure

– Keep improving your results and engagement with simple analytics

– Connect and network with other charity professionals

Giving Tuesday Guild Gift – Terms & Conditions

a) We at Guild are giving something back to charities in the US and UK this #GivingTuesday. A version of Guild’s Enterprise plan, plus customer success support for free.

b) The gift is restricted to US and UK charities and non-profits registered on The Charity Register and/or The IRS Nonprofit Charities Database with a maximum turnover of £5,000,000

c) This offer ends at midnight 31st December 2021

d) Charities needing additional features, or who miss the deadline, should contact us directly – we do offer discounted rates for charities throughout the year.

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

Giving Tuesday partners Lepra UK talk about one of this year’s most imaginative #GivingTuesday campaigns.

British showbiz and sports stars turn Giving Tuesday into “Giving Shoesday”

A glittering cast of British screen and sports celebrities have put up their favourite footwear for a novel charity auction for one of the world’s leading leprosy charities, Lepra. 

For Giving Tuesday, Lepra, whose patron is Her Majesty the Queen, has attracted shoe donations from a star-studded line-up. They include Jo Brand, Martin Clunes OBE, Dame Judi Dench, David Flatman, Colin Jackson CBE, Joanna Lumley OBE, Dame Helen Mirren, Dermot O’Leary and Sir Tony Robinson.  

Why leprosy?

Many people are unaware that leprosy still exists, and yet for over 7 million people across the world it causes damage to their health, livelihoods and futures.  

600 people are diagnosed with leprosy every day and 50 of those are children.  By raising awareness and fighting the age-old prejudice the disease carries, Lepra aims to provide early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for people affected by leprosy.

About Lepra

Established in 1924, Lepra is a UK-based charity working in India, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to change the lives of people affected by leprosy.  To find out more about their work, take a look at their website www.lepra.org.uk

Why footwear?

One of the main symptoms of leprosy is nerve damage, meaning people affected are unable to feel pain. This leaves them vulnerable to burns, cuts, ulcers and injuries that can potentially lead to severe damage to fingers, toes, hands and feet resulting in permanent disability. Lepra’s made-to-measure footwear, first created back in 1959, prevents further damage and injury to feet, whilst helping to restore independence and dignity.

Why is Giving Tuesday so important to Lepra?

Back in 2017, as the global day of giving increased its presence, Lepra renamed Giving Tuesday, “Giving Shoesday”. Giving Tuesday helps to shine a light on the amazing work specialist shoe technicians do and highlight how something as simple as shoes have the power to transform a life.

Last year Lepra shoe-technicians travelled over 24,000 miles and created 25,308 pairs of shoes.  A pair of custom-made shoes costs just £6 to make and yet has the power to transform a life forever.

What made Lepra choose an auction?

During their ninety-seven-year history, Lepra have delivered many auctions dating back to the 1960s. In 1979 their Ring Appeal; to raise funds for reconstructive hand surgery, received over 1,000 ring donations, including jewellery from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and other members of the Royal Family.  It raised over £80,000, the equivalent of more than £400,000 today!

The Giving Shoesday auction line-up includes shoe donations from Dame Judi Dench, who played ‘M’ in the James Bond franchise.  She has donated a pair of the size 5 Hobbs black suede court shoes (with a signed photograph) that would turn the head of any MI6 boss. Ex-England rugby star and TV pundit, David Flatman has donated his size 12 Asics trainers; well-used and well-travelled, they definitely belong to an active sportsman! Another donation from Sir Tony Robinson, is a pair of size 6 Karrimor hiking boots, complete with a short hand-written note. Having been worn during the filming of Time Team, they’ve definitely seen some history in the making!

The online auction, hosted by Dawson’s Auction House starts at 12.00pm on Giving Tuesday and runs until 12th December. The auction house has kindly waived their selling fee meaning that 100% of the sale price will go to Lepra.  Click here to place a bid.

Commenting on the auction, Helen Rackham Director of Fundraising for Lepra, said:

“Leprosy is one of the world’s oldest diseases; curable with a course of antibiotics yet devastating if left undiagnosed. Providing custom-made shoes is life-changing for people affected by leprosy; people who face extreme prejudice and discrimination. I am grateful that so many much-admired and recognised personalities have rallied to our cause by supporting our Shoesday event. With so many amazing charitable causes to support, it can be hard to capture the attention of the general public, particularly during a global pandemic, when most people think leprosy no longer exists!”

How can people get involved?

  • Firstly, BID in the auction, or DONATE on Giving Tuesday– every single penny you can give makes a difference.
  • Secondly, sign up to hear more about Lepra’s transformational work and become part of this amazing story. You can take follow them on social media; @LepraUK on Twitter, @Lepra on Facebook and @leprauk on Instagram.
  • Watch and share 2 videos around Giving Tuesday and Lepra’s footwear projects, which can be found here and here

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

Giving Tuesday partners GivenGain explore how past campaigns can help influence future ones ahead of Giving Tuesday 2021 on the 30th November. GivenGain’s Giving Tuesday starter pack is available here.


Lindsay Ndigiwe, Global Fundraising and Marketing Manager

One partner of GivenGain is Thembalitsha, which supports the work of the Thembalitsha Foundation in South Africa. Since 1997, the Thembalitsha Foundation has invested in change by providing healthcare, education and training in South African communities.

In 2019, Thembalitsha ran a Giving Tuesday campaign to support that vital work. They set a simple but clear goal – to beat the previous year’s fundraising total by more than 50%.

GivenGain spoke to the team there about what they learned from the experience.

In the lead-up to Giving Tuesday, how did you promote your campaign to potential donors? 

We focused on social media (Facebook and Instagram) and newsletters (MailChimp). We started planning about 90 days out but our external communications began about 30 days before #GT. In the week leading up to the campaign, we ramped up the frequency to finish strong. 

What did you achieve with the funds you raised through Giving Tuesday? 

The best thing about a general campaign on Giving Tuesday is that the funds are unrestricted. We all know how challenging it is to work with designated funding. The money we raised through our Giving Tuesday campaign last year really helped us fill in any end-of-year gaps that we still had in our budget.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with other charities thinking about creating Giving Tuesday campaigns?

Securing match donors ahead of time made reaching our goal way more achievable. This makes the smaller donations a lot more valuable. 

Also, remember to thank donors as soon as you can. GivenGain sends out custom automated responses, but we sent an additional thank-you with a graphic that we prepared in advance. 

Endangered Wildlife Trust

Tammy Baker, Business Development Officer

The Endangered Wildlife Trust has worked to protect threatened species and ecosystems for almost half a century.

In 2019 EWF decided to hold a 24-hour fundraising sprint for Giving Tuesday instead of a long campaign – and managed to raise record levels.

What sort of campaign did you do for Giving Tuesday?

Our campaign was titled ‘It’s their future too’, focused on protecting and conserving some of our baby animal species. We used some cute fluffy pics of wild dog pups and interviewed the children of some of the staff who work for the EWT to ask them what they think grown-ups should be doing to save the planet.

How did you communicate your Giving Tuesday campaign with potential donors?

We launched our campaign via a mailer to our database the day before Giving Tuesday. We sent out 4 additional mailers on the day, letting people know how far off we were to our target – then finished off with a thank-you mailer the next day with the final amount raised.

What were you able to achieve with the funds you raised through Giving Tuesday?

As with all funds raised for the EWT, the money we raised went to keeping our staff doing what they do best: conservation in action.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with other charities thinking about creating Giving Tuesday campaigns?

I believe our campaign worked because we had a clear and concise message. Focusing on the fluffy baby animals we protect always pulls on people’s heartstrings. We also communicated how far we were from our target several times throughout the day to motivate people to donate.

Whether you’re planning a marathon fundraising campaign like Thembalitsha or a sprint like the Endangered Wildlife Foundation, you can find all kinds of great fundraising tips and resources in GivenGain’s Giving Tuesday starter pack. Head to their Giving Tuesday page to download it now.

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

Giving Tuesday partners Work for Good have put together some helpful tips and advice for small businesses on how they can get involved in Giving Tuesday and get their message out there.

Imagine the impact and incredible change in society if it was actually odd not to be doing good through your business.

The inspirational Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and Small Business Saturday UK, has noticed that many small business owners are reluctant to celebrate their acts of giving, suggesting that they felt it would somehow diminish the impact of their kindness.

Many businesses who fundraise for charity through their sales are bashful about this meaningful act of supporting good causes. However, we know if more of us celebrated our giving and philanthropy the more it would become normal and inspire more people and businesses to do good for others.

At Work for Good we believe everyone should be able to turn the work they do into good and be proud of their giving.

Why should small businesses get involved in Giving Tuesday?

Whether your business is fundraising for a charity through your sales, volunteering services or donating products to good causes, you should be proud of it.

A powerful way in the next few weeks to tell the world about your generosity, giving through your sales, social impact, and passion for good causes is to get involved with Giving Tuesday – the global day of giving.

Being part of a global movement that drives positive change, kindness, and philanthropy has multiple benefits and will not only make you feel happier but also prouder of your business.

Getting involved with Giving Tuesday is also great for business.

So whether you are a butcher, a baker or candlestick maker, pulling pints, percolating coffee, selling through Etsy or running a local law firm, using Giving Tuesday’s massive influence is a golden opportunity to amplify the good your business does.

Ideas To Help You Amplify The Good Your Small Business Does.

Highlight the charities’ cause or campaign:

Shining a spotlight on a cause that you care about and taking the time to support the charity alongside your fundraising demonstrates your values and shows your customers and community that you genuinely care. Talk about the impact the charity has and use your platform to inform people of the work they’re doing and why you’re supporting them. Blog posts and e-newsletters are a great way to do this.

Tell Personal Stories:

Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to tell your story and show the people behind your brand.  Telling your story helps to forge emotional connections, let your customers know your personal reasons for choosing to raise awareness for and support a particular cause. This can be very powerful, building loyalty and respect in a way that simply showing images of products or talking about services might not – remember people buy from people.

Become a Small Business Star:

If you are fundraising through your sales this festive season or have plans to, make sure you join the Small Business Star campaign.

It’s easy to get involved, pledge your support to your favourite charity, download the marketing toolkit and tell your customers and clients how your business is making a difference. Use the hashtag #SmallBusinessStar and tag in @WorkforGoodUK – so we can work together to spread the word about the mighty UK small businesses who use their business for good. 

Find out how to become a Small Business Star

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

After such a successful Giving Tuesday, we caught up with one of our founding partners, NatWest Group, to find out more about their #GiveBack2020 campaign.

For #GiveBack2020, NatWest donated over £410,000 to charities that its employees and colleagues support.

What did NatWest Group do for #GiveBack2020?

This was the 7th year we had supported Giving Tuesday, and for us, 2020 was hugely significant given this was positioned against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Recognising the devastating financial impact that COVID-19 had had on the sector, Giving Tuesday provided us a vital platform to highlight the need for our colleagues and customers to give back more than ever before, and help to make it easy for them to support the causes they care about.

We delivered a campaign to promote Giving Tuesday to our colleagues globally, encouraging them to think about how they could #GiveBack2020, and signposting them to our colleague charitable giving programmes, including our three days volunteering leave. We also ran a Payroll Giving campaign to incentivise more colleagues to join this scheme, recognising that establishing a regular income is hugely important for charities. For every new joiner to the scheme, and for existing members who increased their monthly donations, we gave a charity donation of £125. We also encouraged colleagues to use their voice to share the #GivingTuesday message on social media.

For our customers, we engaged with 1.45 million MyReward current account holders, encouraging them to exchange their reward points for a charity donation, and we matched donations up to £50.

How did NatWest Group find #GiveBack2020?

Due to COVID, we had to pause a number of our employee volunteering programs, and with many individual fundraising events also cancelled, Giving Tuesday presented us with that perfect moment in time to highlight other ways our colleagues and customers could give back, be that through donations and volunteering their time. The day was also about shining a light on the charity sector and celebrating the societal value it creates and the lives that these wonderful charities help day in day out.

“Giving Tuesday is one of those moments where we can stop and give back”

What impact will the money raised have?

We’re a really diverse organisation, with colleagues operating in the UK and overseas so our approach is to  support our people to give back to the charities and good causes they are passionate about. We were overwhelmed by the response we received from our colleague Payroll Giving campaign. As a result, NatWest Group donated almost £315,000 to the fantastic charities that our colleagues support each month. Due to the new joiners and increased donations, those charities will see an annual increase in over £300,000 of donations if our colleagues maintain their levels of monthly giving. Through our customer campaign, 11 charities received donations which totalled £292,959, which includes matched funding of £100,000 from NatWest Group.

What’s special about Giving Tuesday to NatWest Group?

Giving Tuesday is one of those moments where we can stop and give back, as well as taking part in a huge global celebration. It helps us shine a light on important causes and support our colleagues’ and customers’ charitable giving. The Giving Tuesday team is fantastic at guiding you through everything with advice and tips. Everything the team provides to their partners makes the whole day really easy and flexible.

Any advice or top tips?

Get involved! If your business has a charity partner, Giving Tuesday is a brilliant opportunity to show your support and rally colleagues around a cause. If you don’t have a charity partner, the flexibility of Giving Tuesday means you can support your colleagues to donate to their favourite charities in all kinds of ways, which is the approach we took. The more people that get involved with Giving Tuesday, the better!

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

Tiny Tickers is a small charity working to improve the detection, care and treatment of babies with serious heart conditions. For #GiveBack2020, the Tiny Tickers team smashed their Giving Tuesday fundraising target of £2000 and raised £6267! But how did they do it?

This Giving Tuesday, 12 babies will be born with congenital heart disease

What was your campaign for #GiveBack2020?

When the pandemic hit, we were sadly forced to pause some of our core activities, such as training sonographers and placing life-saving equipment in maternity wards. However, this did give us the opportunity to extend our family support services and, as 2020 went on, we realised this work was never more needed by our beneficiaries.

Families are dealing with their child’s heart surgery being postponed or moved to a different location, and parents are now separated during appointments and hospital stays with their child. The journey for our beneficiaries has become even more challenging than usual. Through our support work, we help these families in a number of ways.

Part of this support work involves sending support packs to parents who have just found out their baby has a serious heart condition. Starting on Giving Tuesday, we decided to add a special hug button to these packs. The hug button is a little token to let families know they are not alone because the whole heart community is here for them. By donating £10, supporters can send a family a support pack with a hug button.

Thanks to our success on Giving Tuesday, we’re able to send support packs to over 600 families!

A support pack from Tiny Tickers with a hug button

When did you start promoting your #GiveBack2020 campaign on social media?

We started talking about the appeal on our social media about a week before Giving Tuesday. It’s important to put out a few teaser posts to generate interest in the appeal, but not overdo it before the day itself.  

However, we had been planning the day behind-the-scenes months in advance. We’ve learned it’s really important to get the whole team involved as soon as possible and to have our strategy in place.

What’s special about Giving Tuesday to Tiny Tickers?

A case study shared by one of Tiny Tickers’ beneficiaries

Giving Tuesday is a really good opportunity to get everyone involved, from trustees to supporters. Our main way of communicating with our supporters is via social media and #GivingTuesday fits in really nicely with that. It’s also a fantastic chance to get creative with your campaigning.

Why should charities become a Giving Tuesday partner?

We have a great relationship with the Giving Tuesday team. They’ve always been very supportive of our Giving Tuesday appeals by sharing our posts on social media.

Tiny Tickers’ Top Tips

Link your Giving Tuesday campaign to an existing campaign. Last year, our campaign centred around our existing family support work. In 2018, we raised money to place pulse oximetry machines in hospitals, again this was an existing appeal. This way, your supporters will already know about your campaign, so they can get involved straight away.

Set a fundraising goal that your supporters can get behind. Last year our target was £2000 and we really built momentum around meeting it (and then smashing it!) during the day and afterwards. We had a ‘hug-o-meter’ (like a totaliser) on social media so everyone could see our progress.

Get your whole team involved with your Giving Tuesday strategy and make sure that everyone knows their role. Make sure you plan your campaign in advance.

Get your beneficiaries involved. We always choose a few case studies to focus on and they send us photos, videos and quotes.

Stay engaged on Giving Tuesday. Interact with your supporters on social media, try videos, Q+As, updates on your target. As our Head of Fundraising said after our 2018 campaign, ‘We didn’t just schedule and hope. We lived and breathed it.’

Keep in touch after the day. Thank supporters and show them what a difference their support has made.

A Giving Tuesday thank you from CEO Jon and his daughter Zoe

Would you like to become a Giving Tuesday partner? Sign up here!

A photograph which judges said captured the very essence of inclusion and the power of sport has won the inaugural Giving Tuesday photo competition.

Taken at Lord’s Cricket ground, the winning entry shows two young boys taking part in the Lord’s Taverners charity’s Super 1s programme, a national award-winning cricket scheme for young disabled people aged 12-25.

Giving Tuesday is the international day dedicated to charitable pursuits, be it donating, volunteering or raising money for charity. What began in America in 2012 as an antidote to the shopping day known as Black Friday, Giving Tuesday is run in the UK by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and now happens in over 60 countries.

The judging panel – BBC News photo editor Phil Coomes, MP Susan Elan Jones, and Head of Marketing at CAF Caroline Forbes – chose the winning entry from a shortlist of six images that sought to capture with a single image the very spirit of the charity they represent.

Commenting on the winning entry, Susan Elan Jones MP said: “This picture is the very definition of inclusion.”

CAF’s Caroline Forbes said: “All of the entries managed to tell a unique story of the power of charity  – this winning shot somehow helped us share in the joy of this young man doing what he loves.”

The young man in the image, Sam Alderson, has a rare genetic condition called TAR syndrome and felt isolated at home before working with Lord’s Taverners, where he is now both a regular player and an accredited coach who works for the charity.

Lord’s Taverners Super 1s programme offers year-round cricket activity, allowing young people to benefit from everything that sport can give, including confidence, the value of teamwork and a sense of achievement. The charity also works with people from deprived areas to increase opportunities to regularly play sport, and empowers volunteers, coaches and teachers to deliver training sessions.

About the competition

The Charities Aid Foundation launched the Giving Tuesday photo competition to give  our charity partners the chance to share the variety of incredible work they do and to encourage more people to support amazing causes. The winning image will feature on this year’s dedicated Giving Tuesday website in the UK.

Others shortlisted for the contest include:  Chance for Childhood, which  works with vulnerable children in Africa; Glass Door, a London-based homelessness charity that partners with churches to give shelter; the Royal Albert Hall, which delivers innovative education and outreach programmes; and Motivation, a  charity which provides wheelchairs and services for disabled people in developing countries.

From L-R: Chance for Childhood, Glass Door, Royal Albert Hall, and Motivation

CAF would like to thank the judges and charities who took part in the contest.

We had an amazing Giving Tuesday 2019 launch on Wednesday 26th June.

Porter Novelli generously hosted us on their 7th floor terrace overlooking the South Bank. We had incredible speakers including CAF’s chief executive Sir John Low, Porter Novelli’s global CEO Brad MacAfee and Giving Tuesday creator Henry Timms.

We also got the chance to hear from some of our fantastic partners Tiny Tickers, PayPal and Sightsavers.

Guests got the chance to ask questions and gather ideas from our Giving Tuesday ambassadors including RBS and Reason Digital.

It was a wonderful evening with lots of heart-warming stories and inspirational ideas.

If you were not able to join us, please use the links below to check out the recordings from the event.


Sir John Low – CAF Chief Executive

Brad MacAfee – Porter Novelli Global CEO

Henry Timms – Giving Tuesday Creator

Jon Arnold – Tiny Tickers Chief Executive

Sarah Fleming, Senior Commercial Manager in the Charity and Financial Inclusion team at PayPal

Corinna May – Digital Fundraiser at Sightsavers

Full recording


Almost everyone’s at least heard of Instagram. But perhaps you’re not sure how best to use it for your charity. Especially if you’re a smaller organisation with limited resources.

For this year’s Small Charity Week, running between the 17th-22nd June, the Small Charities Coalition is launching their Big Support Small campaign, where they’re encouraging charities of different sizes to work together to have a powerful impact.

So we thought we would take this opportunity and share some handy tips on how you can best use your resources to speak to your audience on the second most engaged network after Facebook – Instagram.

Let’s start with some juicy stats

  • There are 1 billion monthly active users and 25 million business profiles
  • Users like 4.2 billion posts per day
  • There are 95 million posts per day and 500 million stories a day

And most importantly: it’s your chance to tell your story and reach donors, volunteers and advocates.

Before you start using Instagram

  • Think about your charity’s objectives and who you want to reach
  • Decide on how Instagram will help you meet your objectives and what part of the journey the platform will take your audience on
  • If you have capacity, create a one pager outlining your strategy for Instagram and if you can, add a timeline of events. This will save you time in the long run and help you see if the platform is working for you

Setting up your profile

  • Make sure you always have the latest version of the app – it’s always being updated with new features and will prioritise content which uses them
  • Set up your business account. This will link to your Facebook page and allows you to access additional insights
  • Make sure you use an on-brand Instagram profile picture such as your charity’s logo
  • Your “bio” (the description at the top of your profile) is one of the first things your visitors will see. You have a maximum of 150 characters; use them smartly to let people know what you’re about and give them a reason to follow you. Include who you are and what you do, and be sure to add a hint of personality. Keep it simple. You can also use emojis, as well as add an address and contact number. Make sure you include a link to your website. A special hint: check out Linktree

Instagram stories

It’s all about the “in the moment” experiences on Instagram, which are growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing. People are now more likely to go straight to your story rather than scrolling through their feed.

Aim to post stories daily if you want to feature before other organisations at the top on the feed.

Stories are great for events and behind the scenes pictures and videos. Your stories are also ‘Discoverable’, which means that people who don’t follow you can see your posts too!

You also get a nice two for one perk, as you can link to both your Instagram and Facebook stories simultaneously – all within the Instagram app.

To boost your reach:

  • Tag partners
  • Use hashtags
  • Share other people’s stories who’ve tagged you in theirs
  • Remember: you can share posts within your story
  • Use as many features as you can to beat those pesky algorithms

You can also include your podcast by sharing it from Soundcloud – so if you do have a podcast, this is definitely worth doing.

Instagram has recently announced that they’ll be introducing a donate button within stories, with no processing fee for donations and the full amount will go to the charity. Another reason why your charity should be on Instagram!

I love this ‘Ask a question’ example from the Woodgreen animal charity:

Instagram stories example

There’s now even a quiz sticker:

Instagram quiz sticker

Image and video posts

We’ve all got stories to tell and there are many ways to express them. We can achieve this through imagery and video, which is especially effective on Instagram.

You can add volunteering stories, share impact stories, share donor stories, case studies, behind the scenes clips and so on.

The beauty with Instagram posts it that you can use various sized images, which won’t get cropped in the feed, unless you want them to of course.

Instagram image post


Experts say you should use high quality photos on Instagram; but it’s sometimes difficult if you don’t have a top of the range mobile phone or DSLR camera. As long as it’s not blurry, people can see exactly what it is and there’s a great story behind it, then post it. It’s all about being “in the moment” and sharing this with your audience.

If you want to use filters on your images, always use the exact same one to create your unique style and to keep your feed looking consistent.

Video use is increasing year-on-year. In 2017, 74% of all internet traffic was video; that’s risen to 80% in 2019. You can only upload videos between three and 60 seconds long in your Instagram feed. Just recently however, Instagram has started to allow users to add longer videos to the feed via IGTV (Instagram TV). These act as a preview to the longer versions which can be watched via IGTV all within the same app. Remember IGTV is vertical, so be sure to film in portrait.

Following hashtags

Make sure you follow relevant hashtags so you can track and engage with content. Especially any campaign hashtags you’ve created, as this allows you to see what others have posted even if they’ve forgotten to tag you.

Instagram following Hashtags

Make sure to like and comment on posts relevant to your charity – this will increase your brand awareness and make you visible to those who don’t know about you. Your profile will be recommended to other users too.

And remember…

The more comments you get, the more likely your post will appear in your followers’ timeline and search feed. This will help you reach more people. It might mean that you appear in the search feed of people who don’t follow you; they could then see your post and may choose to visit your profile and follow you as a result.

Basically, engagement = more eyeballs in the search feed.

Use insights

You can use insights to help you see when your followers are most engaged. Tailor your content to these times of day, and think about who your audience is most likely to be. People also generally go on social media during the commute to and from work and lunchtimes. Also think about when they’re at home in the evening and weekends. More people are now using their phones whilst watching TV or simply hanging out.

I’ll leave you with some final tips

  • Posts that include another handle gain 56% more engagement – don’t forget to tag people or organisations who are relevant to your content
  • Posts with at least one hashtag gain 12.6% more engagement – incorporate all appropriate hashtags into your post
  • Posts with a location receive 79% more engagement – try and include one wherever possible
  • Photos see more engagement than videos on Instagram.

Many charities struggle to find enough volunteers to help out over the festive season.

The local volunteering centre in Sutton sought to tackle that issue by launching a Giving Tuesday campaign that highlighted ways people could give back to their community in the run up to Christmas.

The team at Volunteer Centre Sutton (VC Sutton) also decided to use Giving Tuesday as a launching pad for an advent calendar, to reveal a new volunteering role from a different voluntary organisation every day in the run up to Christmas.

“Both our Giving Tuesday campaign and the advent calendar that followed offered potential volunteers a huge range of opportunities to choose from. It’s the first time we have run this promotion and we were inundated with requests by the end.”

Jo Dawson, marketing and digital media coordinator at Sutton Volunteering Centre

Showcasing a range of opportunities

Prospective volunteers could choose from a range of opportunities, from helping out with a Christmas Day Dinner for young people who have recently left care,  to giftwrapping and raising funds for Sutton Shopmobility, a charity providing equipment for hire for people with mobility issues.

Young carers are treated with gifts

Speaking about the campaign, Jo Dawson, marketing and digital media coordinator, said: “I knew that Giving Tuesday was an important event in the sector and it seemed like a great opportunity to promote volunteering as a way of giving time. Both our Giving Tuesday campaign and the advent calendar that followed offered potential volunteers a huge range of opportunities to choose from.”

As a result, the centre saw an amazing engagement rate from existing and new supporters, with one of their Facebook posts being shared multiple times and reaching over 3,000 people.

The team were also able to grow their audience, increasing their newsletter subscribers by 26% through the campaign.

‘Inundated with requests’

Talking about the planning behind their Giving Tuesday campaign, Jo said: “We contacted all our organisations with newsletters as well as putting the call out on social media. We asked them to let us know about any short-term volunteering opportunities over the festive period, as well as any longer term opportunities that they wanted us to include in our advent calendar.

“It’s the first time we have run this promotion and we were inundated with requests by the end. It was fantastic to be able to highlight the range of voluntary sector organisations and the range of opportunities in Sutton.

“We also used Giving Tuesday to highlight the many local giving schemes that were taking place such as the Christmas shoebox appeal run by Sutton Night Watch.”

Jo added: “I think it was important for us to show the range of opportunities out there. And there are flexible opportunities too, where people don’t have to commit too much of their time.

“We can talk to potential volunteers, find out what interests them and what skills they want to use, how much time they can commit and find them the ideal role. There’s definitely something for everyone.”

Day to day, the centre works with charities large and small to help them recruit volunteers –they have a relationship with around 400 groups in the area, so were able to use this vast network to capitalise on their advent calendar campaign using Giving Tuesday.

To read more about volunteering opportunities in Sutton, visit https://vcsutton.org.uk/