Regional Development Programme

Equipping local charities and community groups with the tools, skills and confidence to fundraise online

Online fundraising training

We are all doing more and more online – including online giving. But many small local charities are being left behind. Lloyds Business Digital Index 2015 highlights that 58% of small charities lack basic digital skills, compared with only 23% of SMEs. In addition, 59% of small charities do not accept donations online

Localgiving’s Regional Development Programmes offer a proven solution: 
  • A package of training in digital skills to raise awareness and funds online.  
  • A year’s Localgiving membership for all local charities – including those too small to be registered and therefore cannot subscribe to other online giving platforms 
  • A small match fund campaign as an extra incentive to fund raise online    
  • A dedicated, locally-based Localgiving Coordinator

The programme is designed to empower local charities with the confidence to take control of their financial future, engage with online fundraising and gain access to the same kinds of online marketing tools available to larger charities. By doing this, we hope to help ensure the sustainability of the local voluntary sector, and support groups to continue to deliver vital services to their communities. 

We currently have Regional Development Programmes running in the South-West of England, Wales and London

Find out more

  1. Results of the pilot programme
  2. Training content
  3. Case studies


Results of the pilot programme

Localgiving piloted this programme in North Yorkshire from April 2013 to March 2014 with a generous £84,000 grant from the Peter Sowerby Foundation

The key results of the pilot were as follows:

  • 173 charities received digital skills training
  • 125 charities registered onto the platform
  • Strong partnership were built with 20 key local stakeholders
  • £90,614 was raised online
  • 25% of charities raised over £1,000
  • 20% of charities have regular direct debit donations, totalling £662 per month
  • At the start of the programme, 59% of groups were not confident about online fundraising. By the end of the programme, this number was reduced to 4%.

Training content

Our Regional Development Programme training content has been developed and tested by Localgiving over the last 4 years and is designed to guide charity staff and volunteers through the development of basic digital skills to the application and optimisation of an online fundraising plan. 

The programme is split into the following six core modules:

Basic digital skills

  • Introduction to the Internet and its basic functions
  • Review of how to stay safe on the internet
  • Implementation of email best practice

Introduction to online fundraising

  • Overview of fundraising theory and how it can be applied online
  • Review of existing fundraising efforts and incorporation into online activities
  • Creation of aims and goals for online fundraising

Introduction to social media

  • Introduction to social media channels
  • Identification of key channels for charity
  • Review of successful fundraising campaigns
  • Creation of a social media plan

Marketing and communications

  • Review of current communication channels
  • How to develop a supporter database
  • Identify options for building stronger relationships with supporters
  • Creation of a communications strategy

Free technology

  • Introduction to other free technology available
  • Identification of useful tools
  • Incorporation of tools into fundraising plan
  • Creation of a social media plan

Fundraising plan & application

  • Creation of a fundraising plan, incorporating communications and social media strategy
  • Delivery of fundraising plan with quarterly review points
  • Analysis and optimisation of activity

Case studies

Northallerton & District Centre for the Deaf 

Northallerton & District Centre for the Deaf joined Localgiving North Yorkshire project in 2013. Before this the majority of their funding came from weekly membership, raffles and their Christmas draw.

Catherine Farquhar, the Centre Coordinator, said that biggest barrier to their fundraising was not having enough time and resources. The money they did raise, barely covered their costs. Through Localgiving and a greater confidence in online fundraising, The Centre benefited from the North Yorkshire match funding campaign, raising over £1,500.

“The money raised through Localgiving has lessened the pressure and worry of whether we will be able to continue meeting as a group and has helped us raise enough money to even offer social outings and events.”says Catherine.

Grassington Singers 

Grassington Singers provides a social activity for older members of the community and performs regular concerts in the local area. The group joined Localgiving as part of the Peter Sowerby Foundation funded North Yorkshire Regional Development Programme in 2013. Prior to this, most of their fundraising was done through coffee mornings, stalls at events and other types of community fundraising. Unfortunately this did not raise enough money to sustain them, leaving them facing closure. 

At the start of the programme, the group stated that the biggest barrier to their fundraising had been a lack of fundraising experience, not seeing enough return from fundraising activity, not considering themselves to have a cause that naturally encourages donations, and a lack of confidence at using online technology.  All this that was overcome through the support of the Localgiving regional coordinator. With a newfound confidence, Grassington Singers have now raised £4,017.25 through Localgiving, allowing them to continue to rent their rehearsal space for another year and saving the group from closure.

Marion Field, Grassington Singers Secretary, believes that the money raised has had a massive impact on the attitude and outlook of the community. “The members are now in much greater spirits now, than when they thought closure was imminent, giving us renewed belief in our group. After all, if performers don’t believe in themselves, certainly no one else will!”

The Principle Trust

The Principle Trust offers disadvantaged and deprived children the chance of a holiday at the seaside. The group first came into contact with online fundraising when a supporter took part in a sponsored challenge to raise funds for the organisation. However, they had never considered implementing a full online fundraising strategy until they joined Localgiving in 2012. Through the one-to-one support and training workshops provided by the Localgiving Coordinator the charity has now dedicated more time to fundraising online and has raised over £8,000 through Localgiving in the past 2 years. 

Cherry Bugler, Development Manager at The Principle Trust said, “We are so pleased that we signed up to the initiative as Localgiving provided us with a platform to reach our supporters. Working with Localgiving and participating in their workshops has helped us to utilise the site to our full advantage, allowing us to raise thousands of pounds and much needed awareness of The Principle Trust. The funds raised have been used towards the purchase of three luxury holiday homes and have provided over 320 disadvantaged children in North Yorkshire some well deserved respite and enjoyment.”