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When we first developed LiveBase® back in the mists of the 1990’s it was to provide an easily managed  dynamic element for web sites that were, for the large part, static and updated via FTP. LiveBase was first  used to power the news and events sections of the National Trust website and it’s second use was for similar  sections on the Caravan Club website.

As well as providing a multi-level structure, LiveBase also provided the page authors with considerable control over the publication of them such as specifying the earliest date and time they could be displayed. This was a major requirement for news items and allowed the creation of press releases during press embargoed periods, only displaying them when this was past. Additionally, users could set an expiry date after which a page wouldn’t be displayed.

A major aspect in the development of LiveBase was building in the flexibility to allow users to achieve whatever they needed in the presentation of their pages and it wasn’t long before LiveBase was actually being used to manage whole websites – a true content management system, although the term hadn’t really been coined back then.

Although many features have been added to LiveBase over the years (and LiveBase21 is on the way) the key features inherited from it’s early development – such multi level content, page display control and full templating – still provide the core of the system. Seems to keep users happy.

Checkout our LiveBase page here.

® LiveBase is a registered trademark of Systematic Marketing Limited

clownCoulrophobia – the medical term for fear of clowns – is quite common, although not always a pathological fear, you sense they are creepy.

Well it turns out that there is a good reason for this. While psychologists think it stems from their transgressive behaviour (unpredictable and antisocial), neurobiology has a different take and is much deeper.

Exaggerated facial features pushes the clown into the “uncanny valley”.

 

This phenomenon was identified by Masahiro Mori ( a robotics professor ) in 1970 and is used to describe the feeling people get when something appears not quite human.

uncannyvalleySo people are quite happy with robots that look human or look distinctly not human, but get distinctly uncomfortable when they look nearly human. If you plot this on a graph there is a steep drop off at some point, hence the “valley”.

 

Thanks to  Dr Max Pemberton’s column for reminding me of this interesting fact.

Check out Wikipedia for more info.

motivationEnthusiasm and motivation are the best habits fundraisers can have.  Schedule some time daily to create your enthusiasm habit; here are five things you can try:

  1. If you haven’t come across it yet, make time to read Hildy Gottlieb’s article, The Sound a Thank You Makes.  Try putting her concept into practice and regularly spend some time on the phone with your loyal donors and volunteers.
  2. Spend time ‘in the field’ with those who do the important day-to-day work of your charity.  It’s not only energising, it puts an entirely new perspective on your work.  Take along a digital camera to capture some impromptu shots.
  3. Take a Trustee out to coffee.  It’s amazing what you’ll learn when you schedule some time to sit down with your Trustees one on one.  Find out what made them get involved with your charity – and what their view of success is.
  4. Query your database for – no not for the usual *top donor* listing – but for your twenty most loyal donors.  Put together a mailing of information packs with a note asking them to pass a pack on to their friends.
  5. Step outside of your comfort zone. The non-profit world can be an insular one.  Instead of always spending your training funds solely on fundraising courses, take a motivational workshop or online marketing course.  You’ll be surprised at the differences and advantages!

We hope you’ve enjoyed #FundraisingFortnight and would love to hear your feedback!

seedIf you think that anybody can fundraise you are mistaken.  Fundraising takes skills and hard work; the best fundraisers can make a huge difference to the fortunes of your charity.  Appoint a smart, fast-learning team and offer them plenty of training and support.  Bear in mind that it’s important to hire a fundraiser to raise money and not because you believe they have an address book full of instant donors.

#FundraisingFortnight

ask-for-donationsMost Trustees would like to raise money simply by broadcasting how great their cause is, how great their need is, and then waiting for donations to roll in. However, even the best newsletters and media articles don’t raise much money. Asking people directly and passionately raises money, and there’s no shortcut to this. However, stopping people in the street is more likely to irritate than enthuse them; media advertising is generally ineffective (except if you’re a children or animal charity), so if you want people to give you money, be prepared to ask for it with a proud, direct and passionate ask, whether it is in person, over the telephone, by letter or to a room full of supporters.

Be specific in what you ask for; there is no such thing as giver-fatigue, however there is a nagging fear in most people’s minds that their donation is not being well spent, that it will go on administration or fundraising.

#FundraisingFortnight

The last few years have been particularly tough for the charity sector as it’s had to find new ways to operate and interact with the government whilst meeting the needs of those it serves.

A period of economic growth followed swiftly by recession has seen income levels under pressure at exactly the time when charity services are most needed.  With fewer corporate donations and government grants available to charities, you need to ensure that fundraising is at the top of your list of income priorities.

During the next two weeks we will be posting a daily strategy / piece of advice which will help take your fundraising to the next level.

Day 1: Remember that fundraising takes time

fundraising

Raising money from donations is not an instant task, nor a quick one.  And of course, the bigger the amount of money, the longer preparation takes and the longer lead time needed.  Any organisation which wants to increase its income level from donations should not expect to see a return before 18 months.

#FundraisingFortnight

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How are you getting on with the new requirement to submit Gift Aid claims electronically?

Our latest software, GiftAider  makes submitting your claims painless.  It fully integrates with your existing system and is very simple to use.  It manages the whole process whether you submit 1 or 500,000 donations at a time. As well as keeping the submission records for audit purposes you can validate the data before uploading to HMRC to save time. All data is encrypted for security – (just don’t forget the password as there is little we can do to help in that case!).

Click here to request a free trial, or let us know if you’ve got any questions.

This is a calculator that you write on. Very clever and very easy to use and it’s free!

  • Works on your smartphone (Android- iOS)
  • Works on your tablet (Android- iOS)
  • Use your handwriting to write any arithmetic formula.
  • Write and calculate mathematical expressions in an intuitive and natural way with no keyboard
  • Supported mathematical symbols:
    • +, -, x, ÷, +/-, 1/x, ()
    • %, √, x!, |x|
    • x, xy , x2
    • cos, sin, tan
    • acos, asin, atan
    • ln , log
    • π, ℯ,
  • Scratch-out gestures to easily delete symbols and numbers

Take a closer look here http://www.visionobjects.com/en/webstore/myscript-calculator/description/

“If a friend or family member was having a heart attack or was choking, would you know how to help them? The free app features simple, easy advice on 18 everyday first aid scenarios, as well as tips on how to prepare for emergencies, from severe winter weather to road traffic accidents.”

This app is both an instructional manual for you to learn from and a quick reference guide (with videos) of what to do in an emergency.

All the data is stored locally so you don’t need an internet connection to access this life saving information.

Available for Apple iOS and Google Android. More info on the UK Red Cross website.

Why wouldn’t you have this on your phone?