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COVID-19: How it affected my maternity leave, my business and changed my focus!

With many returning to work in the office, and new patterns of working emerging across the employment landscape, the Director Team here at Pro-Recruitment Group are sharing their experiences and insights around the returning to work post COVID-19 Alison Humphries, Board Director, shares her experience of returning to the workplace after maternity leave, and rediscovering the unprecedented new ways of working. Alison: I am one of the owners of Pro-Recruitment, I have been in the business for 13 years and been in the working world for 20 years without ever really having time off. I went straight from education to work, even in my teen years I worked on weekends. Other than a 2-week holiday or a few extra days over the Christmas period I am admittedly a bit of a self-confessed workaholic! In October 2019 as I walked out of the office I was about to embark on a new journey through maternity leave…I was excited, I was nervous, I was scared. I was about to have a baby, my body, my heart and my head were about to be turned upside-down and on top of that I had to relinquish control of my business . To say this was going to be hard was an understatement, as i've been involved throughout the whole 'Pro-Journey', but after working with so many experienced consultants and developing and training a knowledgeable Management Team, I knew it was being left in good hands. Fast-forward to January 2020 I’d given birth to a beautiful little girl called Charlotte, everything was starting to get back to normal and I was feeling like my old self. Everything at work was going so well, I had been into the office and all of my teams were reporting success. As an owner of the business I was keen to know how the company was performing (that’s the workaholic in me), so I had committed to attend every Board Meeting from January onwards and I was so pleased that things were going so well. Maternity leave wasn’t so bad…I booked myself and my daughter onto swimming lessons, rhythm time, baby sensory…you name it we had signed up for it. It was important to me that Charlotte was sociable from day one and that I made some mummy friends in the local area. My focus slowly changed and allowed me to realign myself from the workaholic and enjoy being a mother. The Unthinkable During the week we would stay at our flat in London and at the weekend, we would head to a place that we had recently bought in the Midlands as it was close to my family. On March the 15th I waved my other half off to work. Unexpectedly I got a call at midday, he was coming home that evening and working from home indefinitely. The UK was being hit hard by COVID-19, it wasn’t going away and businesses across the country were telling people to work from home. Luckily for us at Pro-Group, we already had the infrastructure in place for us to make that swift move without causing to much disruption to our day-to-day work. Pro-Recruitment made this decision on March 15th and then what was to follow was unthinkable. We went into lockdown on March 23rd. The range of emotions that followed included fear, anxiety and dread. I had brought a baby into the world and this was our generation's war. Were we going to survive, how serious was all of this if the world was now in lockdown. Pro-Group was impacted heavily, like everyone else in the UK, we were moved to reduce our team size, we had to think strategically, we had to act fast, we had no idea how long this was going to last and if we were even going to have a business at the end of this. I was being informed of decisions that were being made, furlough schemes that we were using and many other things that were impacting our business and we had no control over any of it. I wanted to be involved in calls, decisions, meetings that were loaded with information, but I also had a baby that was breastfeeding, teething and was struggling to sleep - finding this balance was challenging, but upon reflecting, it feels like an accomplishment to balance work and life as this extreme level. How could we make this a more positive experience? We had to make this a positive experience, it became apparent as places like Wuhan started to ease their lockdown that this wasn’t going to last forever, we would come out of the other side. I took advantage of the time that we had as a new family of 3. My partner was there for every bath time and bedtime, he was there when we were having a bad day of crying just to ease things for me, even if it was only for half an hour so I could shower and have a cup of tea. We took advantage of the late summer evenings and beautiful weather; we have transformed our garden and I have become somewhat a pair of “green fingers”. We made time for each other and made every evening a time to cook, talk and enjoy dinner together. We became really close to our neighbours and would now consider them friends. All of these things would be interrupted ordinarily by work, travel and other outside factors. August came around, before I knew it I was thinking about heading back to work on 1st September. Our business had halved, I had relocated and life was so different. I had to put Charlotte into nursery and think of a back to work plan. Given the amount that I had been in touch with Pro-Group whilst I had been on maternity leave we started talking about my return fairly early on. I had a plan, a strategy and lots of time to think about how we could get out of the other side of this pandemic. Pro-Group had been excellent in considering my return to work I have come back to work 3 days a week and 1 day is working from home. I have the full support of my co-Directors and walking back into the office on Tuesday 1st September was daunting. It felt as if it was my first day at school again, I was nervous, had I forgotten how to do this? Turns out I haven’t thankfully, in fact I am even more focussed now than I have ever been. With only 3 days a week at work every minute counts. I have to be extremely productive on those days, I have time on the train to work and think of ways in which I can help my team, I am refreshed when I get to work and I feel like I have a new found energy and enthusiasm to help my company out of a slow market and back to winning ways. ​In Summary Maternity leave was completely interrupted by lockdown and COVID-19, but I tried to make the very best out of a very disruptive situation. I don’t feel like I have stood still for six months, the world hasn’t passed me by, I have had time to re-energise, re-focus and be in a better mindset coming out of this. Whilst it saddens me that the business I have helped to build for 13 years has changed dramatically, I have managed to better my personal life in a way I hadn’t imagined I would. In my opinion, flexible working and taking into account a good work-life balance and a happy home life is the most important thing in the world and allows you to be at your best when you leave your house in the morning ready to face whatever the world throws at you. For advice and information about returning to work after maternity leave, or for a more detailed discussion with Alison about her experience, email alison.keogh@pro-tax.co.uk or call on 020 7269 6312

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60 Seconds with: Benaifer Bhandari, Chief Executive of Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre

Benaifer Bhandari joined Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre as their Chief Executive in November 2018, prior to this she worked various roles at the breastfeeding support charity La Leche League GB. Benaifer speaks with Nicholas Ogden and Pro-Marketing about working at Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre where their mission is to enable BAME women to actively participate in society and make informed decisions that enable them to achieve their aspirations. Additionally Benaifer, kindly offers interview tips, and shares her views on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed/adapted fundraising. Tell me about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre? I started as CEO in November 2018 and it was a monumental moment for me. As a BAME woman, the door to CEO roles doesn't always open easily and I fell in love with Hopscotch in my preparation for my interview. It's a remarkable organisation that is built on compassion and sound governance practices. My previous charity, La Leche League GB, was the same. I served here as a trustee and as a director of the accreditation department. This involved heaps of international work, including complex policy writing which would serve the very different parts of the world where mothers breastfeed. Now at Hopscotch I have the privilege of working with colleagues who are experts in their own fields of health and social care, domestic violence, employment and welfare advice. We also have experts working with older and young BAME women. It's inspiring to be surrounded by such high skill levels and keeps me motivated to keep Hopscotch going fiscally and keep our work growing. We have an excellent reputation locally for being a one stop shop for women who need specialist BAME support, and we are now expanding around London to be able to share our knowledge and skills to help even more isolated and underserved women and girls. How do Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre differentiate themselves in the market? We are unique in the holistic approach we have. We run services which, individually, may be replicated elsewhere, but our centre puts all our services together and we work with each service user at her pace, according to her ability and motivations and working with the barriers she in particular faces. We move her seamlessly between services as she feels ready to disclose her needs and at all times being respectful of what it means to be a disadvantaged BAME woman in London. An example is a service user (B) who came to us seeking urgent support after surviving domestic abuse. Our advocate was there for B in her hour of need and in the weeks and months to come, making sure she was safe, fed and plugged into the statutory bodies needed. Our welfare advocate stepped in, as needed, for the housing and welfare issues which came up. In time B was able to express her desire to work (which previously she hadn’t been allowed to) and our employment development team supported her in improving her English and helped her work on her CV writing and interview skills. Eventually B was ready to step into the job market and chose to interview with our own Homecare service and was successful! She is now working flexibly as a care worker and having her own income for the first time in her life. Our Better Employment advisor is now working with her to develop her skills further with workshops which B can attend around her care work, so that she avoids the in-work poverty trap so many Londoners face and can start to dream big and live the life she deserves. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? We have a 23-person office-based team and 50 incredible care workers. We are nearly always recruiting, as grant funding comes in and we are always looking for more care workers to join our expanding Homecare service. We have a great social media presence where you will find all our opportunities and our website www.hopscotchawc.org.uk also has lots of information on how to apply. Always consider getting in touch first, have an informal chat with us so we can get to know you even before we’ve received your application. That’s a sure way of getting us excited to receive your email. How would your team describe you? This is awkward to respond to! OK, so we are accredited by various bodies like the Care Quality Commission and Advice Quality Standard. Here are bits from our last Matrix (Employment auditors) report:- “Leadership and management is another area of strength. A number of staff and partners commented on the fresh energy and new approach brought by the new CEO” “Increased networking, and with a background in counselling, an in depth understanding of women, but also how working with them can bring stresses” “A breath of fresh air, loads of new ideas, already adding things to our programme”. “The new composition of the Board has led to a timely review of Hopscotch’s vision, mission and objectives. Staff described being given relative autonomy; but it was also clear that there is a structured framework of meetings now in place at both manager and practitioner level to oversee performance” “I think we have finally got there in terms of managing things, the right level of oversight” What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t always listen to your teachers. Absorb the positive things one or two of them said to you over those 12 years. The horrid things said to you consistently are all about them and not you. You will find yourself attracting inspiring people soon enough and they will help you find your passion for working with those in need. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? Their smile and their answer to “Why Hopscotch?” Both tell me how comfortable they are expressing their connection to our charity and how they might fit into the family vibe we work hard at maintaining. How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic has changed or adapted fundraising? It has put Hopscotch and our many peer organisations at risk of closure. Through sheer hard work we have fundraised crisis money to be able to keep going until March 21 – but what happens when that money runs out? How do we replace the losses incurred in Homecare, our social enterprise, because of C-19? How do we continue our important work of reaching women who are unreachable by others? This uncertainty has meant a more ferocious fundraising strategy has been needed, including spending a lot of time thinking of creative ways to raise unrestricted income. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector (especially during this pandemic)? It’s not for everyone – you need to have a combination of empathy, determination and big picture vision. If this is you, there are lots of great platforms where jobs are advertised and then for charities like Hopscotch who cannot afford these platforms, call directly or go to the website and apply! There is crisis funding around, there are programmes starting or extending their run, so there are jobs out there right now – mostly only for the few months until the funding runs out, but it’s a great way to start. For those who can, I always say the best way to test the water and find out if the third sector is for you, is to volunteer. If you were not working for a charity or not-for-profit organisation, what would the dream be? I would work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds for whom either school let them down or isn’t the right place. I home educate my lads, so I have experience of another – non-institutional – way of learning where children are empowered and motivated and have the time to learn important skills like conflict resolution and socialising with people of all ages and abilities. Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity sector? The charity sector is filled with people who have to manage strict governance and tight finances, but who also think outside the box. Part of that is having the capacity to hire those who are passionate and have skills beyond academics. It’s a beautiful place to grow as a person, navigate life with like-minded people and have the opportunity to give hope – which could be directly to those in need or it could be indirectly by helping the organisation flourish. The third sector is surprisingly fast-paced, as funding comes and goes, needs fluctuate and people who care move about at quite a speed! Find your passion, work out what sector that fits into and then find the organisation that understands the needs of that sector. Volunteer with them until they have the space to take you on and then fly! Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? I am known for my views and actions against patriarchy but LOVE ‘Say Yes To The Dress’. Sshhh, don’t tell anyone! For more information on this article, or to find out how you can get involved in Pro-Marketing’s 60 Second interview series, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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COVID-19 Lockdown Reflection – Fundraising for The Voluntary Sector

On 23 March 2020 the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a televised address that brought in widespread lockdown measures. Four months on from that, the UK has now found itself in a position where some are returning to work, organisations are exploring flexible working measures more than ever before, and the fundraising and voluntary sector had an urgent surge in demand. Here is a brief reflection of how the fundraising landscape has changed, and the effects of the pandemic on future giving. History has shown that in times of crisis people often pull together to become their best selves, this was reflected by the March 2020 recruitment for NHS Volunteers to help COVID-19 being suspended as more than three times the expected number of people signed up. These responses were impressive and Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England was “absolutely bowled over” by this. During Lockdown Lockdown and self-isolation have enabled people to think about vulnerable people and causes in their communities. Hopefully, in turn this awareness and spirit will continue post COVID-19 to benefit the voluntary sector. Captain Sir Thomas Moore took donations in the run up to his 100th Birthday, in aid of the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. His efforts were a beacon of hope despite everyone’s hardships. With a target of raising £500,000, he had phenomenally raised almost £38million with over 1.5million donations, breaking records on JustGiving, the global online platform for charitable giving. However, research from Charity Aid Foundation found that although sentiment to give was high, 12% of Charities did not have the digital technology in place to collect funds online. As cash remains the most common way to give to charity (53%), many not-for-profit organisations who already had digital donation platforms in place, found a spike during the March and April months of 2020 found a spike in digital donations, whilst some reported a drop in donations due to lack of technical resources. Revolut has revealed figures highlighting a swell in charitable giving among UK consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The average amount given through Revolut Donations increased across all age groups during lockdown, by an average of 59%. Those in older age brackets gave significantly more than they did prior to lockdown, with the biggest rise seen in the 50+ age group, where donation amounts soared by 147%. Those aged 41-45 increased their average donation amount by 91% and those between 46-50 by 75%. But it wasn’t just older consumers who gave more to charity during lockdown, Gen Z increased donation amounts by an average of 13%, those aged 26-30 by 8% and those aged 31-35 by 23%. Post-Pandemic Post COVID-19 we should all continue to support vulnerable people and causes in our communities. Charities will learn a lot from this period to catalyse their efforts going forward. With 18% or charities reporting that they see the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to modernise into newer technical resources, many are now accelerating their plans to shift their fundraising towards online efforts Without doubt, this lockdown has hit many financially, but research from Opinium tells us that many charitable supporters encouragingly will be providing the same level or more support going forward once lockdown is lifted and life starts to return to normality. Of those that are donating more than usual currently, 12% say they will donate more money to charity when they start to return to normality, while three in four (76%) will continue donating at the same level that they are currently. Similarly, of those that are donating more than usual, one in five (20%) say they will do this more when things return to normal, while 70% will continue to donate at their current level. Kate Whiffen, Senior Research Manager at Opinium Research commented: Charities are currently going through some challenging times due to Covid-19... Knowing how charities can adapt and move forward in these times is key. We have heard some very positive stories from the public as to what makes them support more now and what would do in the future, but it’s the challenge of communicating and educating the long term impact Covid-19 will have on the charity sector and learning from new initiatives that have been successful that would work in the future. Charities will need to think of innovative ways of Marketing to support their fundraising efforts, with many events being cancelled, and cash donations becoming less regular, smaller charities have had a stronger recovery than the larger charities, which have been more greatly affected due to those wider event cancellations. Jo Barnett, Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving said: "Many charities have been impacted hard with reduced income during COVID-19...We’ve seen some fantastic ways people have been raising money for charity during lockdown, and there are lots of ways people are able to fundraise as we emerge from lockdown when the traditional routes are still not open to them. From virtual pub quizzes, running 5k in your back garden or taking part in a virtual 50k bike ride, we encourage people to continue to do what they can do to raise money to support the charities close to their hearts." To conclude, this period has been a pressing but eye-opening time for many organisations and people alike. NFP teams are exploring alternatives to raise funds, social media has seen a surge in charitable cause posts. Now more than ever, those who were not already regularly donating are now supporting causes closer to home and those affected by the pandemic. Who knows what else is to come in the second half of this year? However, let’s continue to pull our efforts together to help the most vulnerable in the hardest times. If you are looking for ideas or like to share your thoughts on this, please give Nicholas Ogden a call on 020 7269 6338 or email me nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Is this the end of office culture? What happens post COVID-19?

It is widely believed that conventional office culture will not be the same beyond the Coronavirus pandemic. Here we take a closer look at what experts suggest this might look like. This pandemic will eradicate the traditional working environment. Here is what some organisations, leaders and reports suggest. Jes Staley CEO of Barclays said “The notion of putting 7,000 people in the building may be a thing of the past” Colliers found in a survey of 4,000 people working from home that 73% thought that their productivity was the same or higher, while 76% thought their work/life balance had improved. 81% wanted to carry on working from home for one day a week or more Keith Froud, Managing Partner of Eversheds Sutherland stated that they will “redirect more on technology rather than office space” Research from Upwork, a US freelancing firm, researched that by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. Today, millennials and Gen Z workers make up only 38% of the workforce, but in 2028, they’ll amount to 58%. So there will only be changes to come as the ‘New Norm’ makes its appearance. Organisations that operate with large corporate spaces will certainly need to think about the foreseeable future and will need to prioritise adhering to Government guidelines to keep their employees safe. However, businesses that can provide appropriate safety measures and contingency plans for their staff also have many reasons why they should continue to invest in office space and why larger organisations may need to reassess post pandemic before permanently abolishing office spaces. Why some businesses shouldn’t eradicate their office space and environments Melanie Phillips, journalist for The Times, comments that “Zoom shuts away the essence of humanity” and that senses are removed (and are irreproducible). These are key disadvantages for any businesses that are people focused Brodie Boland Associate Partner of McKinsey & Company suggests that remote working does not enable some people to get needed mentorship or help facilitate casual, unplanned but important conversations with colleagues Paul McDonald a contributor to Forbes discusses in detail in his article ‘Why A Positive Company Culture Is Especially Critical Today’ about organisations needing to create an inclusive and positive corporate culture. For many this can take the form of a fun place to work with development and social offerings that cannot be replaced remotely. Happiness is widely considered amongst many reports the most important factor for generating high productivity and therefore business leaders will need to take this into account when thinking about why their employees come to work for their business Here at Pro-Recruitment Group We are discovering in our sector that many are missing the office environment, shared working space and the buzzing team culture. As it stands, Pro-Recruitment Group is thrilled to be opening the office on a trial part-time basis in August, allowing the team the option to voluntarily come in on a rota whilst allowing for flexibility in hours. As part of this trial, Pro is generously reimbursing all employees’ travel costs and has already followed government guidelines with risk assessments and implemented strong safety measures. As an organisation we are delighted to be returning. Here is our advice to employers looking to reintroduce employees into the workplace. To conclude, there is no one-size-fits-all solution as some businesses will look to get rid of the traditional office environment whereas others will need it to continue and flourish. Regardless, the pandemic has provided a huge opportunity for change to the future of work which is exciting and interesting. For more information about your recruitment needs, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or email nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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60 Seconds With: Richard Davidson, Chief Executive at Sarcoma UK

Richard Davidson joined Sarcoma UK as their Chief Executive in July 2018, and has been working in the third sector for more than two decades. His previous roles include Director of Engagement at Anthony Nolan and Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Cancer Research UK. Richard is Chairman of Emilia Clarke’s charity, SameYou, which is dedicated to increasing access to rehabilitation services after brain injury and stroke for young people, and he is also a board member of SPAEN, the European network of sarcoma patient advocacy groups. Richard speaks with Nicholas Ogden at Pro-Marketing about working at Sarcoma UK, offers interview tips, and shares advice for those looking to progress their career in the charity sector. Tell us about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Sarcoma UK? I have worked in the voluntary sector throughout my career in public affairs, policy, marketing, fundraising and communications. I worked at CRUK, Anthony Nolan and now for a smaller organisation, Sarcoma UK as Chief Executive. How do Sarcoma UK differentiate themselves in the market? We are the only organisation in the UK that covers all types of Sarcoma, funds research, raises awareness and provides information and support. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? We could consider ourselves to be small but mighty (22 people in total). I always look for staff who really care about the beneficiaries and want to make a difference to the lives of people with cancer. How would your team describe you? I have no idea, but I would think they would say I am supportive, energetic and creative. What advice would you give to your younger self? When I started out, I worried too much. I would now advise myself not to. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? I always think you can tell quite quickly if someone has passion and desire, which is important to me. What personal and soft skills are most important when working in the charity sector? I look for empathy and an ability to relate well to people. You need to be able to adapt to other people’s styles and approaches. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector? Do it! People from other sectors have a great deal to offer, but do not assume that things will be easier and less pressurised. Often more is at stake in the voluntary sector. If you were not working for a charity, what would the dream be? I feel I will always be connected to charities, but I would love to live in an Italian cottage with space, fine weather, food and wine. A dog would complete the idyllic scene! Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity sector? Consider what you feel passionate about and choose roles that allow you to use that energy to make a difference. Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? I have a penchant for a Subway steak sandwich. ​ For more information on this article, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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60 Seconds With: Ben Hawley, Marketing and Communications Director at CALM

Ben Hawley is Marketing and Communications Director at Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Ben moved from agency and joined the charity CALM in August 2017, and has since then worked with the Royals, Parliament and brands including ITV, Dave, Topman and Tesco. CALM is Pro-Recruitment Group's corporate charity partner and is leading a movement against suicide in the UK, running a free and confidential phoneline and webchat 365 days a year, and working towards breaking down the stigma around mental health. Ben speaks with Nicholas Ogden, Consultant at Pro-Marketing, about the work undertaken by CALM, the changing role of marketing and communications in the not-for-profit sector, and the personal and soft skills needed when working in the charity sector. Tell us about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Campaign Against Living Miserably? I am the Marketing and Communications Director at CALM. I joined the organisation 2.5 years ago having moved from an agency where CALM was a client. I’ve worked with CALM from the days when there were just 2 people and the cause was very specific to male suicide. In 2017, I got the chance to join for a short period of time to land some big campaigns and I haven’t left yet! How do CALM differentiate themselves in the market? We deal with a difficult issue, shrouded with stigma and taboo so are unapologetic about bringing it to the public’s attention. We’re all about breaking down barriers and shifting culture, so you need creativity and personality to do that. You also need an open door. We’re reliant on a mass of enthusiasm and desire for change. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? The marketing and communications team is 9 strong. The team is a mix of generalists and specialists. We’re at the size where we need people to adapt to change and opportunity so we look for a variety of skills. Drive and desire are very important, but we also need people with tenacity and sensitivity. What personal and soft skills are most important when working in the charity sector? You need to be compassionate and empathetic, especially when working with the issue we do. So people need an element of resilience but not in the absence of support. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector? The not-for-profit industry can benefit from skills, ideas and energy from a mix of industries. You certainly don’t need sector experience to land a job at CALM, diversity is key to growing and getting better. How do you think the role of marketing and communications in the not-for-profit sector has changed over the years? It has become a lot more complicated, there are now more channels available. It is important to be aware of what each channel offers you. It’s easy to feel like you should try everything and be everywhere you can be but you need a lot more insight into performance and understand the nuance. Driving clicks is great but if you’re chasing people around the internet, is this good for your brand? We try to focus on delivering the right message to the right audience and generating the best possible engagement. If not in charity marketing/communications, what would the dream be? A professional golfer! Not because I love golf, or golfers – it just seems very cushy. Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? Golf! Here at Pro, we have partnered with CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity which is close to our company. We will be working closely with CALM to create campaigns, increase awareness, and offer support through engagement and fundraising events. For more information on this article, or to find out how you can get involved with fundraising for CALM, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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60 Seconds With: Alison Goodman, Director of Income Generation & Communications at Noah's Ark Children's Hospice

Alison Goodman is Director of Income Generation and Communications at the award-winning charity Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. Alison has been with Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice for 6 years and they have recently moved into their brand new children’s hospice building – ‘The Ark’ in Barnet! The new site and facilities are amazing and will provide support for many babies, children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, as well as their families. This wonderful charity covers North and Central London as well as Hertsmere. Alison speaks with Nicholas Ogden, Consultant at Pro-Marketing about the incredible work undertaken at Noah's Ark Children's Hospice and offers advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity fundraising/marketing sectors. Tell us about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice? I am the Director of Income Generation & Comms here at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. Born and raised in Manchester, I came to University in London to train as a Primary School Teacher. After 10 years as a teacher and Special Needs Coordinator in Islington, I took a career break before what I thought would be a Deputy Headship, then a lifelong career as a Headteacher. During the career break I took a 6 week temp Community Fundraiser role at Terrence Higgins Trust, and left there 11 magnificent years later as a Major Donor and Celebrity Manager. After three and a half wonderful years as Head of Major Giving at Ambitious About Autism, I landed my dream job as Director of Income Generation at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice – my local hospice in Barnet. How do Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice differentiate themselves in the market? Noah’s Ark is a vibrant, young charity - ambitious for our children and families and committed to staff development. I have a dynamic workforce who are challenged professionally and given the opportunity to shine. That’s why we were named Fundraising Team of The Year at the Charity Times Awards. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? The first thing I notice about someone is their energy…and it tells me how they will fit in with the team. Cross team working is essential and I need to feel that any new member of staff will work well with current members of staff. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? The Income Generation & Comms Team is 17 strong. The team is a mix of subject matter experts and those new to the third sector who are learning on the job. I consider anyone with the right energy, attitude and skill set - so long as they are managed by someone with the right experience, they will be an asset to the team. How would your team describe you? My team would describe me as high in energy, a relationship builder with a keen eye for detail, and obsessed with donor care. What advice would you give to your younger self? I would advise my younger self to consider the third sector – it never occurred to me – I fell into it by chance. What personal and soft skills are most important when working in the charity sector? Anyone who has ever worked with me will know that I am obsessed with donor care and that I believe fundraising is all about relationship building. If you are a good communicator who is interested in people then the charity sector is an ideal place to use your skills. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector? I took a huge pay cut when I moved into the sector. I knew my skills were transferable but I didn’t have the experience. Be prepared to start at the bottom to get into the sector and then look around and see what area of fundraising appeals to you most: writing trust applications, staffing a school fair, event organising or pitching to a philanthropist - fundraising roles are diverse and not all roles suit everyone. How do you think the role of fundraising in the not-for-profit sector has changed over the years? Fundraising has become more professional over the years but in essence, good fundraising is as it always was: having a good case for support; finding the right supporters and then involving them at the right time and in the right way… and then looking after them. If not in charity fundraising/marketing, what would the dream be? I still dream sometimes of being a Head Teacher – but it’s really only in my dream because in reality, in this economic climate and with all the challenges and restrictions teachers have I think I’d feel very stressed and I’d hate it! Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity fundraising/marketing sectors? It’s a wonderful sector, exciting, challenging and collaborative. Find your niche and fly. Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? My guilty pleasure is far too regularly checking our website for online donations… but shh… don’t tell anyone. For more information on this article, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Top Tips for Writing an Impressive Marketing CV

As a marketing expert looking for a new role, your CV can strengthen your personal brand, showcase your skillset and sell yourself as the right marketing professional for your ideal role. However, it can be a daunting task to sell yourself in your marketing CV. Here are the main steps to follow to write an effective CV and the biggest mistakes to avoid! 1. Make sure your marketing CV is tailor made When writing a marketing CV it’s always good to tailor it to the role or company that you’re applying to. Unfortunately, when it comes to CVs, one size doesn’t fit all. Don't just use the exact same CV for every role you apply to, edit it each time (even just slightly) to fit the specific role. As a marketing professional, you would never invest your budget in a campaign or spend time on design work without understanding your target audience and analysing customer behaviours before shaping your message. Approach your marketing CV in the same way! What areas of marketing do you specialise in? Are you a digital marketer, an SEO specialist, a content marketer, a social media expert, a or a multi-channel marketer? What kind of organisation do you want to work for? Are you looking to work for a marketing agency or for an in-house role? Maybe you want to join a large organisation with opportunities for international travel, or a small start-up with growth potential? These are the essential questions you should ask yourself before applying for any role, and tailoring your CV accordingly. 2. Quantify your most relevant experience Do you have any marketing qualifications? Fact and figures are a great way to reinforce your results and help you stand out. What specifically did you achieve in your last role - maybe you increased engagement across social media channels, won new clients, generated % ROI with a new marketing campaign, or increased traffic to your website through content creation? Think of your marketing CV as the About Us page on your website - it's your chance to sell yourself and showcase why you are the right choice. Highlight your relevant qualifications, marketing experience and your career achievements. Use your CV as a chance to highlight your unique selling points and don't include unnecessary details - stick to showcasing your skills and experience that make you the ideal person for the role. 3. Write an effective introduction As a marketing professional, you know more than anyone how an introduction or heading can either draw people in, or make them move on. Be selective and creative. When it comes to the introduction, or executive summary, of your CV, you need to think like a content marketer - highlight the reasons you are well suited to the specific role in a conversational way, explain your unique selling points and ensure that the employer wants to find out more about you. This is not only about creativity but also using your SEO knowledge to concisely summarise and include the relevant keywords, experience and skills to make your potential employer want to read on. Some companies may use an Applicant Tracking System and scan your CV for the inclusion of certain key elements before a human actually sees it. Identify key words and phrases from the job description and include them in your introduction, as well as throughout your CV. 4. Highlight your wide range of skills When applying for a marketing role, you of course want to make the experience and skills on your CV as specific as possible, particularly when applying for a highly specialised role. However, don't underestimate the value of your other skills and don't entirely miss them out. These include organisation skills (for managing multi-channel campaigns), numeracy skills (for analysing campaign performance and budgeting), digital skills (even without coding you'll need to show your aptitude for technology), communication skills (for written and video content, as well as communicating with your team, wider company and clients), and leadership and people skills (for understanding customers and clients, and managing a team effectively), as well as many more. 5. Protect your personal brand and keep formatting simple Although it is good to be creative and stand out, it is not always the best idea to do this through formatting. Employers will receive so many applications that basic errors could end in rejection. Bad formatting, typos, awkward layouts and inconsistencies can damage your brand and halt your application before it's even started - don't make that mistake! It’s always a great idea to put the order of your previous jobs in chronological order, and date them so it’s clear where you worked, when and how long for. If you don't do this, it instantly sends out the wrong message and reflects negatively on your organisational and communication skills and almost immediately disqualifies you from progressing further. While it’s fine to show a bit of personality in a CV do not go over the top. Nearly 40% of respondents in a YouGov poll put poor design down as a reason to disqualify an applicant. So what counts as over the top? Unusual fonts for one - stick with Arial, 11pt in black, it's easily read, smart and formal. What paper should you use? Easy - white A4. Do you need any snazzy borders to jazz it up? Absolutely not. Remember this is a professional document with the aim of selling you in a few seconds. You’ll definitely stand out using unusual formats, fonts and colours but not in the way that you want. Bullet points are your friend here. They’re to the point (no pun intended), easy to read and are great for people who are reading in a rush. Keep your CV clean and simple and let the content sell itself. 6. Honesty is the only policy It goes without saying that all information must be accurate and correct. Most companies carry out thier due diligence, so only note the skills you have, the systems you are capable of using, and the marketing knowledge you have gained in your career. There we have it - if you follow this advice and avoid the big mistakes, your marketing CV will be infinitely better and will strengthen your personal brand, showcase your skillset and sell yourself as the ideal marketing professional. If you need any further CV help or a professional point of view, then our expert marketing recruitment consultants are always happy to give you a few pointers. For more information on this article or for help with your marketing CV, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Pro-Marketing - What's in Store for 2020?

2019 was a successful and record-breaking year for our marketing, communications and fundraising recruitment team. January started with the exciting official launch of Pro-Marketing as the latest of our charity and NFP brands, reflecting the growth of the Pro-Recruitment Group family, and our Not-For-Profit team has grown more successful throughout the past year. So where did it all begin? Prior to joining Pro-Recruitment Group, I worked for a global recruitment agency where I specialised in permanent Marketing and Communications roles for a variety of sectors. I wanted to join a team where I could become more of a market specialist focusing on permanent, contract and interim hires in a market that would give me greater fulfilment. Being a regular fundraiser and participant in charity challenge events away from work, meant that a move to recruit in the third sector was appealing and natural. I was given the thrilling opportunity to set-up Pro-Marketing which existed for a year without a brand while still seeing success, and so 2019 started with the exciting official launch of Pro-Marketing as the latest 'Pro' brand on our charity and Not-For-Profit team. We have had an incredibly successful second year as a team, and an impressive first year as our own official brand. Highlights so far! It has been highly enjoyable working such varied marketing, communications and fundraising roles as part of the charity and Not-For-Profit team at Pro-Recruitment headed up by Claire Stradling. I have enjoyed starting a new division establishing some long-standing relationships with a wide range of organisations across the UK. Partnering with a variety of large international charities through to small start-ups has been exhilarating and each recruitment campaign has offered different challenges. My clients have included high-income, well-established organisations through to smaller more niche charities. This year, we also released our Marketing & Fundraising 2019 Salary Guide. Based on the numerous jobs we've worked on in the last 12 months, our latest market update provides comprehensive and detailed salary guides for both permanent and temporary positions at all levels for the key roles and job functions across marketing, communications and fundraising. It also details notable trends and news within the sector, as well as the current skills in demand to strengthen operations. This has been a big project here at Pro-Marketing and has had an incredibly successful outcome - you can request your copy of our salary guide here to help you with your career move or recruitment needs. Our work throughout 2019 has enabled us to notice trends within the market. We found 2019 to be a year of increased fundraising recruitment, with more and more of our clients engaging us to consult and seek support on fundraising hires. Recent GDPR developments which have slashed fundraising databases inevitably drove a greater interest in talented email marketers and compliance professionals, which has been evident throughout the past year. With social responsibility becoming more a relevant issue in this age, charities are also finding that their greater brand transparency and accountability are attracting commercial talent into the sector. In an ever-changing digital landscape, the way charities' brands and stories are being conveyed are becoming more important, and more diverse across a range of audio/visual channels, meaning that digital and story based roles are becoming more at the heart of marketing and communications campaigns and in higher demand. Away from talent searching, I have had the great pleasure of being involved in the following: In September 2019, I took part in the RunTheRiver event along with a group of colleagues from Pro. We joined thousands of runners and ran 5k along the banks of the River Thames, raising funds for TeachFirst. This year, here at Pro we have announced our new corporate partnership with CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably. This small charity is leading a movement against male suicide, and we are proud to be partnered with them to raise awareness and funds to support this worthwhile cause. Over the past year we have participated in various events and set-up fundraisers in support of CALM, and we hope to do the same going forward in 2020. Focus for 2020! Here at Pro-Marketing, we are looking forward to widening our client base focusing on mid to senior level roles on a permanent, contract and interim basis. Please do get in touch with us to find out more about our exciting opportunities for 2020! Going forward into this year, we are also looking to expand the Pro-Marketing team! Why join the Not-for-Profit team here at Pro? If you are looking for a new opportunity as part of an exciting, close-knit team, and want to kickstart 2020 with a brand new role, then get in touch with us on 020 7269 6338. For more information and to find out more about how Pro-Marketing can help you in your job search, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Corporate Charity Partnerships - What are the Benefits?

A good corporate partnership can be mutually beneficial for both charities and sponsors. For charities, these benefits include increased funding, support and visibility, and organisations can benefit from good PR, brand building and the chance to make a difference and support a worthwhile cause. These partnerships are becoming more strategic, often tackling issues that staff care about whilst ensuring that sponsorship has the greatest possible impact. So, what are the main benefits of establishing strong corporate partnerships where the two sides can work together to bring about lasting change? Benefits of Corporate Partnerships for Charities One of the biggest (and most obvious) benefits of corporate partnerships for charities is funding. However, while the giant novelty cheque and one-off donation may have summed up how these partnerships worked in the past, organisations are moving instead towards more long-term strategic partnerships. Data gathered by LBG in 2018, the global standard in measuring and managing corporate community investment, showed that more than 70% gave strategically and less than 20% went in ad-hoc donations - a reverse from that of a decade ago. This shift can only have a positive impact on charities as funds will be raised in a structured manner, providing a longer-term sustainable income for charities, and partnerships will go beyond one-off donations. Another major benefit of corporate partnerships is increased awareness and visibility. Not only do these partnerships allow charities to reach a wide employee base, but they can also reach and engage with the organisations larger network. Communication and marketing plans can be invaluable in the context of a charity’s corporate partnership. The online and offline presence of a charity across a company’s network - whether this be branding on the company website, promotion across social media channels, offline collateral or fundraising activities and challenges which are promoted by an organisation - will increase awareness and engagement with a cause. While corporate partnerships offer benefits for charities themselves, they also offer the opportunity for charities to help a wider group of people by connecting them with teams and individuals who could benefit from the important work the charity does. A charity like CALM, for example, offers mental health training for managers and works with organisations to improve workplace wellbeing and help colleagues to take a proactive approach to looking after each other. Benefits of Corporate Partnerships for Organisations Selecting the right partner charity can prove to be invaluable for organisations. Partnering with a charity which shares an organisation’s core values will invite interest in a cause, invoke passion, and can increase staff engagement at all levels. Connecting with and supporting a charity, particularly one that means something to employees, will only have a positive impact on staff. On another note, businesses are increasingly investing time and money into causes important not only to their employees but also to wider society. CSR is a driving factor behind businesses dedicating time towards supporting charities and helps companies be socially accountable - to itself, its stakeholders and the public. Commitment to corporate partnerships has been driven by customers and employees who want businesses to be seen to be going the right thing, and commercial organisations are taking brand perception more seriously than ever. Corporate partnerships are a big way for organisations to improve their reputation and Dominic Cotton, founder of the CSR consultancy Epiphany found that the majority of consumers - particularly younger ones - will be more attracted to (and pay more) for a service when it comes from a company that is actively seeking to solve social problems. Increased awareness can benefit commercial businesses as well as the charities they are supporting. Implementing a well-thought-out marketing and fundraising plan will increase a charity’s visibility, but will also increase engagement with an organisation’s brand. For example, Peterborough United Football Club recently launched a social media campaign #UnitedWeWalk with Alzheimer’s Society involving short video clips and highlighting the impact of dementia to encourage people to take part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk - increasing visibility of, and engagement with both the charity and the football club. Creative projects can help both parties stand out, a prime example of this being the Big Knit Campaign - an imaginative approach taken by Innocent which has raised over £2.65 million for Age UK and has become one of the most recognisable charity corporate partnerships in the UK. Here at Pro, we have partnered with CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity which is close to our company. This charity is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. We will be working closely with CALM to create campaigns, increase awareness, and offer support through engagement and fundraising events. For more information on how you can support our corporate charity CALM, or for help with the recruitment of Corporate Partnerships professionals into your organisation, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Fundraising Challenge Events Facts

This week, Pro-Recruitment Group have the wonderful opportunity to be joining thousands of runners on the banks of the River Thames for a twilight 5k or 10k. The prestigious RunTheRiver 2019 event is taking place on September 17th and Pro-Recruitment Group is proud to have 8 participants who will be running through some of London’s most iconic landmarks. All funds are being raised for Teach First, a social enterprise which aims to address educational disadvantage in England and Wales. This organisation is providing a fantastic education campaign for children across the UK and Pro-Recruitment Group are very pleased to be able to offer this charity some support. New challenge events and sporting fundraisers are often pursued and attended by the terrific staff at Pro-Recruitment Group. Charitable reports show that these events are a growing format of fundraising for UK charities. Within our Pro-Marketing charity and not-for-profit team, my colleague Ethan and I have recruited for numerous challenge events roles and as such we are familiar the importance of these events for charities. On this topic, below are a few UK challenge event facts that have been identified by Third Sector News, 2018 Sports Fundraising Monitor and other reports: Total collective fundraising raised form the UK’s largest sports and challenge events rose by more than 10% in 2018 to a total of more than £150 million The top five sports and challenge events in terms of money raised in 2018 were: -Virgin London Marathon -Simplyhealth Great North Run -Prudential Ride London -Royal Parks Half Marathon -Brighton Marathon Weekend Running has been the biggest constant driver of growth in sports fundraising accounting for an impressive 62% of all online sports fundraising pages reviewed (beating cycling, swimming, and triathlons) 92% of fundraising event participants would consider supporting the same charity again Sporting and community events are the two areas where most charities are seeing an increase in demand. Challenges and events are considered an important part of a charity's fundraising, accounting for between 25 – 50% of overall annual income. For an additional third of charities, events accounted for between 15 – 25% of annual income. It is also interesting to note that these reports suggested that the number of fundraisers signing up for shorter distance challenges of 10K and less has grown rapidly. Despite these events typically being a lower average value in fundraising it perhaps shows that people who are looking to improve their basic fitness levels whilst fundraising for good causes is becoming more popular. Charities that can support and encourage these individuals in a safe environment may be able to inspire them to be repeat fundraisers by stepping up to higher-value and more challenging distances. I work for Pro-Marketing at Pro-Recruitment Group in the Charity and Not-For-Profit team focusing on mid to senior-level Marketing, Communications, Fundraising and Events recruitment appointments across all levels on a permanent, contract, and interim basis. I welcome anyone to share their thoughts on this topic and to please check out our latest roles too!

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Charity Times - 19/08/2019

CAMPAIGNS Charity is 'overwhelmed' by selfie campaign More than 19,000 people have participated through a social media campaign from mental health charity YoungMinds encouraging people to share pictures of themselves as five-year-olds. The charity's #5YearOldSelfie campaign aims “to help young people going through a difficult time and encourage empathy, love and compassion towards themselves.” Emma Thomas, chief executive of YoungMinds, said the charity was keen on making better use of digital channels to deliver services. She said: "Through exploring new digital solutions, collaborations and partnerships we can develop further support and opportunities to meet [the needs of young people and their families]." Civil Society Celebs share family photos for dementia campaign The Alzheimer’s Society has launched an online campaign showcasing the family photos of celebrities, including Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Philips, singer Roy Stride and actress Sally Lindsay, who have a personal reason to support people with dementia. Six celebrities are participating in the campaign to promote the charity’s Memory Walks, sponsored walk events taking place in September and October. Charity Digital News Campaign focuses on threat to rhino reproduction The Save the F***ing Rhino fundraising campaign from Save the Rhino International is focused on the threat posed to rhino reproduction and the populations of the most endangered rhino species in the world. There are fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos and fewer than 70 Javan rhinos, according to latest figures from the charity. The charity says the campaign is the “biggest, boldest and most urgent” campaign in its 25-year history. Charity Digital News WORKFORCE Call for 'urgent action' to tackle sector racism A campaign has been launched which calls for “urgent action” to tackle racism in the charity sector. The move follows Citizens Advice apologising and promising to launch an investigation after a training slide designed to assist its staff when working with BAME communities was criticised as “horribly racist.” Fatima Iftikhar, who uncovered the training material last week, said it was not a “one-off.” She is encouraging people to share their experiences of racism in the sector. “A few of us are coming together to launch this campaign #CharitySoWhite to kick-start wider conversation and action in the charity sector . . . We want people to understand that the Citizens Advice training is not a one-off shocking incident and that urgent action needs to be talking about institutional racism across the sector,” she said. Civil Society EU nationals in no-deal fear The 3 Million, which represents EU nationals in the UK, has said that plans by the home secretary, Priti Patel, to end rules allowing EU nationals to move to live and work freely in the UK suddenly in the event of no deal, were "reckless". Nicholas Hatton, co-founder of The 3 Million, said: "Ending freedom of movement without putting legal provisions in place for EU citizens who have not yet successfully applied through the settlement scheme will mean millions of lawful citizens will have their legal status removed." Stephanie Dawoud, spokesperson for Imix, an immigration communications charity, said: "It will be up to employers, the NHS and landlords to check whether someone has the right to be here or not. It is another announcement that feeds into the worst fears of EU citizens in the UK." The Guardian Charity criticised over £434k pay for boss Family planning charity Marie Stopes International has been criticised for handing chief executive Simon Cooke a £434,000 pay package in a year that saw it cut 1,100 jobs. Mark Flannagan, a former chief of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer who now works at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, called the remuneration deal “obscene,” adding that Mr Cooke should turn down a bonus equal to his basic salary of £217,250. Writing in Third Sector, Mr Flannagan said: “I cannot see how anyone can justify almost doubling what is already an extremely large salary for a charity boss.” Daily Mail Third Sector DIGITAL Outward Bound Trust is going digital Charity Digital News reports on how the Outward Bound Trust is going digital with digital transformation "quick wins" including a new digital portal for trustees that embraces technology already in place. Rob Sharpe, Digital Transformation Project Lead at the outdoor sport and activity charity, said: “The platform uses existing technology and has been a fairly short sharp win in terms of pulling the technology together . . . Because we’ve built it on existing infrastructure there is no additional cost to the Trust in doing this, but it will hopefully make a big impact in the way we engage with trustees moving forward.” Charity Digital News More than a third of charity staff lack digital skills Analysis by NCVO has found that over a third of voluntary sector organisations have reported that their staff don't have necessary digital skills. Thirty-six per cent of voluntary organisations said their staff are missing such skills, compared to 33% in private organisations and 53% in the public sector. Megan Griffith Gray, NCVO’s head of digital, data and planning, said the digital skills gap is a “serious strategic weakness for the sector.” A new initiative called the Catalyst, of which NCVO is a founding member, aims to provide more support for charities to boost digital skills. Civil Society RISK International Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019 International Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019 takes place between October 21st and October 25th and seeks to help the charity sector become more resilient to fraud. The main aims of the week are to: raise awareness of the key risks affecting the sector; promote and share good counter-fraud practices; and promote honesty and openness about fraud. A key feature of this year’s campaign is a free online awareness hub developed by the Fraud Advisory Panel, UK Finance and the Charity Commission. It's a one-stop shop for information, guidance and case studies, bringing together charity professionals from across the globe to discuss and share ideas on how to protect the sector. GOV.UK UKFundraising Charities report growing number of data breaches The Information Commissioner’s Office received reports of 118 data breaches from charities in the three months to March 2019 - exactly double the number received in the corresponding period of 2017/18. The charity sector accounts for 3.6% of the total number of incidents reported to data regulator. Civil Society LEGAL Shelter threatens Glasgow with legal action Shelter Scotland has sent a letter to Glasgow City Council (GCC), accusing the local authority of acting "unlawfully" in denying homeless people temporary accommodation. The charity says it has prepared a legal case to seek a judicial review at the Court of Session in the event of no response from GCC. Graeme Brown, Shelter Scotland director, said: "Quite simply, enough is enough. The facts are clear; Glasgow City Council is breaking the law; homeless people are being forced on to the streets.” Glasgow City Council robustly denied the charity's claims and accused it of creating an “unhelpful distraction.” “Rather than raising money for court action, it would be helpful if Shelter worked constructively with us to tackle the pressing issue of homelessness. We share a common aim and threats of legal action are an unhelpful distraction to this crucial work,” the local authority said in a statement. The Scotsman Third Force News The Times Woman admits Dogs Trust fraud A Northern Ireland woman has admitted abusing her position at a dog welfare charity to defraud it of more than £5,000. Adrianne Peltz pleaded guilty to using a Dogs Trust credit card for personal expenditures. The Dogs Trust is the UK's largest dog welfare charity and cares for more than 15,000 dogs each year through a network of 20 rehoming centres in the UK. A Dogs Trust spokesperson said: ""We have taken appropriate steps to recover the funds where possible, so that we can put them back into the vital work we do." BBC News FUNDRAISING Amazon to donate unsold items to charity Amazon says it will donate to charity hundreds of thousands of brand-new products that fail to sell. The company has announced a new programme that will ensure unwanted or unsold products from its third party merchants will go to a selection of British charities, including Barnardo’s, Newlife and the Salvation Army. A series of recent investigations had revealed that Amazon has previously sent millions of products to incineration or landfill when they cannot be sold. The Times Third Force News UKFundraising OTHER OSCR seeks new chief executive The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is seeking a permanent replacement for David Robb, who stood down as chief executive at the turn of the year after seven years in the role. A spokesman for OSCR said: “This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in OSCR’s vision for effective regulation which contributes to a flourishing charity sector in which the public has confidence.” Third Force News Back to Charity Times archive >>​​

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Should Charities Be Looking Outside of the Sector for Fundraising Talent?

Recruitment of fundraising professionals in the third sector is becoming more and more difficult - especially for more specialised roles. Charities tend to recruit from within the sector, but the fundraising landscape is changing and perhaps it is time that recruiters started looking for fundraising talent from outside the sector. Why is there a lack of fundraising talent in the charitable sector? There are several reasons that this lack of fundraising talent in the third sector can be attributed to. Salaries can be lower and benefits packages aren’t as good as the commercial or corporate sector, and fundraising skill sets are becoming more niche. Just like marketing roles where it is becoming more common for professionals to specialise, this is the same for fundraising. There are various different fund disciplines - including community, events, major donor, trust and foundations and corporate - each of which currently requires a more niche skillset and relevant experience than, say, street or telephone fundraisers. It is also fair to say that charities often make high demands whilst seeking fundraising talent, which is understandable considering fundraisers are a charity’s main source of income and the backbone of an organisation. However, perhaps charities are looking in the wrong place? Charities are often reluctant to stray from the requisite ‘charity sector experience’, which in reality is a rather vague and undefined requirement. Many recruiters in the charitable sector value more specialised skills and ‘tried and tested’ fundraisers, and are reluctant to look for candidates with a broader skillset including those transferable and soft skills that are so important in a potential employee. So, what can charities do to increase their fundraising talent pool? Perhaps it is time that charities considered the vast and diverse talent pool outside of the sector itself. Candidates from outside the third sector can find it tricky to move into charity fundraising, but in actual fact, many of these people have similar roles in a commercial setting and therefore have the relevant broader and softer skills needed to succeed. Bringing in candidates from the commercial or corporate sectors offers several advantages. Not only do they present a chance to absorb some of the successes from corporate sectors, but they can also bring in fresh approaches and ideas and offer a commercial and unique approach. But what actually makes a good fundraiser? Someone who is organised, persuasive, emotionally intelligent, focuses on team success, who has a passion for a cause and brand, and someone who can really ‘sell’ the organisation. These are all qualities that can be found in a huge variety of candidates outside the charitable sector, including professionals in sales, business development, marketing, PR and communications, to name but a few. Those with experience in marketing, PR and communications should perhaps be the easiest to recruit from outside the sector, as these roles require skills that are often directly transferable across sectors and that can be applied to a charity fundraising setting. Events professionals, in particular, probably offer the most relevant skillset. However, it is also not uncommon for salespeople or recruiters to move into fundraising, particularly corporate and major donor fundraising, which relies on building accounts with companies and firms - all transferable skills that should be valued by talent recruiters in the charity sector. People with voluntary experience should also not be overlooked. A charity worker who gets paid can be equally monetary-driven as passion-driven, whereas having voluntary experience demonstrates passion, commitment and dedication to a cause - invaluable skills in an employee in the third sector. More often than not, people who are looking to move into charity fundraising from outside the sector are overlooked, despite the other skills they have which would make them the perfect candidate for the role. If charities recruited from the corporate and commercial worlds, they would find a vast untapped talent pool who have proven experience in generating income, negotiating with high net worth individuals, and building and maintaining good relationships - all of which can easily be adapted to fundraising. Ultimately, when recruiting fundraising talent in the charity sector, it is important to start considering candidates from outside the sector and thinking about who is the best person for the job. Instead of simply focusing on where their previous experience has come from, maybe it is time to focus instead on where someone’s relevant and transferable skill set can add value to the charitable sector. For more information on this article, or to speak to Nicolas Ogden about your fundraising recruitment needs, contact him on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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The Importance of Marketing for Small Charities

As of October 2018, there were 168,186 registered charities in the UK and for smaller charities, marketing is an essential way to make sure that you stand out. Working in a marketing role within a small charity does come with some challenges, but there are various low-cost ways to utilise marketing tools and techniques to increase engagement, promote your charity’s cause and raise awareness to achieve your organisation’s goals. Smaller charities have smaller departments, which means most roles available are ‘all-rounder’ roles, with the opportunity to pitch in on different aspects of marketing within your organisation. While large organisations may have a designated digital marketing manager, or 3 or 4 marketing managers with split responsibilities, small charities tend to have one manager who covers all aspects of the organisation’s marketing, including digital, website, print and social media. Marketing in any organisation is dependent on the funding available, which is a challenge faced by small charities. When it comes to the charitable sector, funding depends on the target audience, the cause of the charity and how established they are. For example, an organisation like Age UK has a healthy income stream in the form of legacy fundraising, while other charity funding is more campaign and events focused. Smaller charities, in particular, may rely on community fundraising in the form of buckets, small partnerships and small community events. Marketing is an incredibly important tool for any organisation, but smaller charities need to ensure they market their brand and cause more often. If Cancer Research stopped marketing for a year they would no doubt still receive funds and donations due to their reputation and size, but this would not be the same for small charities. Therefore, it is especially important for those smaller charities to utilise the funding available to them and make the most out of the low-cost marketing opportunities out there to increase engagement, promote their cause and raise awareness. So, what marketing tools and opportunities are available for smaller charities? There is a huge amount of scope for charities to excel online, and digital marketing has changed the face of charity fundraising in recent years. Charities like the British Heart Foundation and the NSPCC have paved the way for better website experiences and mobile apps for charities. Of course, smaller charities have a smaller budget to work with, but digital marketing can be a very wise investment as it is a cost-effective way to reach the largest audience possible. Digital marketing allows your charity to reach both a national and international audience and techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO) - the process through which your organisation can improve visibility in Google search results - can help your charity to be found online. SEO, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and social media marketing are all marketing techniques that can highlight your cause, drive traffic to your website and enable your charity to speak to and engage with a huge number of supporters globally. Charities tend to underutilise social media, although recent years have seen charities using social media more and more to reach new audiences. Ian Hurlock, director of customer experience at Lightful, a social media management platform for charities adds that social media allows charities to “be more creative while reaching goals”. A strong social media presence is a good way for small charities to increase awareness and engagement from supporters, and it doesn’t cost much! Challenges as the #MannequinChallenge and the #IceBucketChallenge are examples that demonstrate the power of social media as a means of digital fundraising for charities. There are, of course, opportunities for paid social media advertising to strengthen your charity’s online presence, but there are many free or low-cost ways to utilise channels as well, from customised filters to trending hashtags and video content. According to the haysmacintyre / Charity Finance 100 Index, which analyses how UK charities use different networks, Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social media platforms for charities. Don’t restrict your charity to just one online site, make sure to utilise as many channels as possible (as long as they are channels that play to your charity’s strengths) including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and YouTube. There are also opportunities for charities to get free or low-cost marketing support from a huge range of companies, including the social media management tool Sprout Social and email marketing tool MailChimp which offer discounts for charities. Additionally, there is support available from huge brands like Microsoft, Google and YouTube including: G Suite for Nonprofits which helps your organisation to collaborate more effectively with smart, secure business apps like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Drive and Hangouts Meet Google Ad Grants which allows your charity to reach more donors online, raise awareness and recruit volunteers with in-kind advertising on Google Search YouTube Nonprofit Program which enables you to engage supporters with video content, reaching a global audience and amplifying your cause Google Earth and Maps which allows you to develop compelling data visualisations to track and share your charity’s impact Microsoft for Nonprofits which offers a range of products for free for NGOs and charities to help you get the most out of technology Corporate partnerships are another great way for smaller charities to get reach and engagement, as well as additional funding and support. More and more UK companies are moving away from one-off donations towards long-term partnerships with charities, and here at Pro, we have recently voted for our new corporate partnership with CALM, a small charity leading a movement against male suicide. To conclude, marketing can be an essential tool to ensure that your small charity stands out. Whether this is investing time and funding into digital marketing, utilising techniques such as SEO or social media marketing across various channels, or making the most out of the free or low-cost marketing tools available to you, there are various ways in which you can increase engagement, promote your charity’s cause and raise awareness. For more information on this article, or if you are looking for a Marketing professional to join your small charity, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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