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#HDTDT: Virtual challenge events | JustGiving Blog

Have you ever looked at another charity’s campaign and thought…How did they do that? Our new event series #HDTDT asks charities like yours that very question, giving you the inside track on how they achieved amazing things. Watch the event on-demand

This month we celebrated all things virtual with our guest speakers from Downright Excellent, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development sharing their #HDTDT stories. 

We’ve pulled together some of their top tips to give you some inspiration for your virtual fundraising campaigns

Downright Excellent  

This March, Downright Excellent, who empower, inspire and support children with down syndrome invited people to walk 2100 miles for their TAKEON-21 Challenge to mark the Down Syndrome awareness day on 21st March.  Here’s their three top tips for running a success virtual challenge event:

Use your networks 

Your closest supporters can also ask their own networks. Spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues at the very start of the challenge because. By doing this we raised £5000 is one week! 

Engage on social media  

To boost engagement on social, every time someone was out walking, running or cycling, they asked people to post a selfie wearing a printed sticker which helped increase their social media followship.  

Make the challenge as accessible as possible  

To ensure everyone understood the challenge, they created a ‘how to’ video on the campaign page to help people get started with the challenge on JustGiving, track their miles and connect to strava. Check out the two min video here

The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) 

To kick start Lent, CAFOD asked people to take on the big Walk for Water challenge for those who don’t have access to water. The challenge? 10,000 steps a day – done your way. Every day. For 40 days. Here’s three key things they recommend you do for your next virtual challenge event:

Connections to the cause 

Having a strong story which links to your cause and supporters is key to success. Walk for water was a walking challenge with a clear story about a young man Abdella who lives in Ethiopia who walks 10 hours a day to give his family enough water to live on, so we asked people to ‘walk for water’ in order to raise money and help people like Abdella. 

Invest in promotions  

They invested time in trying new channels like TikTok and Instagram reels to reach younger audiences and as a result their social media saw engagement like never before. They were actively encouraging and replying to everyone to keep fundraising and really thanking them for their support, which made them come back every day of the challenge.  

Build a community  

They brought the appeal to life by building a community through Facebook where people could come together to share their challenges and daily progress. Creating a microsite was also an incredible tool for them – having a leader board where people could see how others are getting on with their challenges inspired others to fundraise more.  

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People 

Hearing Dogs For Deaf People launched the 28 challenge this February, asking people to choose a fun challenge that involves the number 28 – anything from 28 sit-ups a day, to not sitting down for 28 days! Here’s their three recommendations for creating an amazing supporter experience for your virtual challenge event:

Know your audience  

They sat down and thought, what could we do that would strike the right chord with our supporters and benefit them? They knew people were getting bored and tired in the lockdown, so they wanted the challenge to be of value to those who took part and give people something fun to focus on. The better you know your supporters, the more successful your campaign will be. 

Say thank you  

Stewardship was made better by celebrating and saying thank you. They would thank people along the way as part of their stewardship programme, but they also recorded a thank you video with one of their hearing dog beneficiaries talking about what it means for her for people to get involved in the challenge. Watch the video here

Make it easy for your supporters  

What would work for your supporters? What would be fun for them? They always take a supporter first approach with everything they do, so creating a special fundraising pack with a long list of challenge ideas helped people get started and provide inspiration. Keeping the challenge event simple yet fun made the end result more effective and helped them reach as many people as possible.  

Have you had a win with JustGiving and want to share your success story at #HDTDT?

Tell us your idea and we’ll be in touch.

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Candid launches ‘U.S. social sector’ dashboard | Philanthropy news

Candid has launched a U.S. Social Sector Dashboard, a free resource designed to “demystify” the sector by providing data on its scope, constraints, and potential.

Developed with funding from Amazon Web Services and Vanguard Charitable, the dashboard offers key data and insights about the makeup and impact of civil society, including previously unreleased statistics on the racial composition of leaders and funding flows to charities. According to the dashboard, the social sector, which employs 12.5 million people, comprises more than 1.81 million nonprofit organizations: 501(c)(3) charitable organizations (80 percent), which include public charities (73 percent) and private or community foundations (7 percent); 501(c)(4) advocacy and social welfare groups (4 percent); 501(c)(6) business associations (4 percent); 501(c)(7) social and recreation clubs (3 percent); labor unions and other 501(c)(5) groups (3 percent); and fraternal societies categorized as 501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10) organizations (2 percent).

According to the dashboard, religious organizations currently make up 18 percent of public charities, followed by those focused on human services (17 percent), community and economic development (15 percent), education (14 percent), sports and recreation (8 percent), arts and culture (7 percent), philanthropy and nonprofit management (7 percent), health (7 percent), and the environment and animal welfare (4 percent). In terms of funding flow, in 2018 public charities received $292 billion in contributions from individuals, $76 billion from foundations, $40 billion from bequests, and $20 billion from corporations; $174 billion in government support; and $1.6 trillion in earned income.

And among reporting nonprofits, 60 percent of CEOs identified as white, 10 percent as Black, 5 percent as Latinx, 3 percent as Asian/AAPI, 1 percent as Native American/Indigenous, 3 percent as multiracial/multiethnic, and 1 percent as additional ethnicities, while 17 percent did not disclose. Among board members, 66 percent were white, 15 percent Black, 7 percent Latinx, 5 percent Asian/AAPI, 1 percent Native American/Indigenous, 2 percent multiracial/multiethnic, and 0.4 percent additional ethnicities, while 4 percent did not disclose.

“Candid exists to get people the information they need about the social sector to do good. Many of our tools focus on one organization, one grant, or one issue at a time; that kind of focus can be critical for decision makers,” said Candid executive vice president Jacob Harold. “This new dashboard builds on that focus by offering a fuller picture of the social sector as a whole. We hope that this tool will help people build a better understanding of the nonprofit and philanthropic ecosystem and its central role in our society.”

(Photo credit: GettyImages/Prostock Studio)

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UW–Madison receives $20 million for Letters & Science building | Philanthropy news

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has announced a $20 million lead gift from brothers and alumni Jeff Levy (’72) and Marv Levy (’68, JD ’71) in support of a new academic building in the College of Letters & Science.

Construction on Irving and Dorothy Levy Hall, named for the parents of Jeff and Marv, is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2025. Once complete, the building will establish a unified home for the Department of History and nine other L&S academic departments, programs, and centers that currently are spread across eight facilities on campus. The five-story building will feature nineteen classrooms as well as a space where students can gather and interact informally with each other and their instructors to maximize collaboration.

The Levy brothers own and operate Phillips Distributing Corporation in Madison. Their commitment was contingent upon the Wisconsin state legislature and governor including the project in the 2021-23 state budget with $60 million in state support, which occurred earlier this year.

“We envision this vital new facility as a highly collaborative and state-of-the-art learning environment for all,” said College of Letters & Science dean Eric Wilcots. “We are immensely grateful to the Levy family for their support of this vision. Our students deserve classroom space that enhances interactive learning and engagement through cutting-edge technology. They also deserve a building that inspires, rather than intimidates. The Levy family’s gift will reverberate through future generations, touching many lives.”

“We are proud to help make this building a reality. We hope it will be a central educational location for the undergraduate experience at UW-Madison,” said Marv Levy. “Our hope is that by honoring our family legacy of charitable giving with this gift, we can offer to future generations some of the opportunity that the UW has provided us.”

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U.S. nonprofit sector uneven in impact and recovery, report finds | Philanthropy news

While nonprofits have contributed significantly to U.S. society and economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of the sector is uneven in both impact and recovery, a new report from Independent Sector finds.

Based on aggregated survey and research data from multiple sources in four categories — financial resources, human capital, governance and trust, and public policy and advocacy — the second edition of the Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector (43 pages, PDF) found that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic varied by subsector and organization size, with arts organizations and those that rely on fees for service hit especially hard. Yet, even as 40 percent of nonprofits saw declines in total revenue and all subsectors except social services saw drops in gross output, the sector contributed 5.9 percent of GDP in 2020 — up 0.4 percentage points from 2019. And while 57 percent of nonprofits cut overall expenses, 64 percent suspended services, 44 percent reduced the number of programs or services, and 47 percent reported serving fewer people in 2020, Independent Sector’s Trust in Civil Society survey found that, as of early 2021, 57 percent of surveyed Americans had received nonprofit services and 84 percent expressed confidence in the ability of nonprofits to strengthen American society, up 3 percentage points from 2020.

According to the report, the sector’s advocacy efforts in 2020 helped secure notable federal resources that served as financial lifelines to nonprofits, particularly through the Paycheck Protection Program, payroll tax credits, and temporary universal charitable deduction. In addition, a study by Nonprofit VOTE found that voter engagement efforts helped reach underrepresented communities and narrow participation gaps.

The report outlines recommendations in each category to strengthen the sector, including prioritizing flexible funding, developing a shared understanding of equitable financing, promoting evidence-based practices to close workforce diversity and equity gaps, building capacity of virtual volunteering, improving the quality and depth of metrics for equity and “healthy” governance, improving digital access and literacy, and establishing public policy advocacy as a core competency of nonprofit management and governance.

“We have much to do to build the nation we, as changemakers, dream of becoming,” wrote Independent Sector president and CEO Dan Cardinali in the report’s foreword. “What can galvanize us to greater positive action? It’s that the everlasting human qualities of resilience, kindness, and collaborating for collective progress do not fade easily. They are within our grasp every day, giving all of us hope and confidence. The health of our nation is the sum of the richness and diversity of our members and sectors working together, elevating dignity, honoring our differences, and building for the common good.”

(Photo credit: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank)

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