Communications and IT
This section can help you communicate using the most appropriate language, format, messages and timing, to influence the outcomes you want. It also has tips about using information technology (IT), and how it can help you
This can help your charity to:
- distinguish your organisation from others, to funders
- help audiences understand and connect with your organisation and its cause
- help your team operate more effectively
- attract income from a range of sources
- effectively manage the media
Where can we find fundamental advice on information technology (IT)?
These resources are designed to help you plan your IT needs to ensure you get the best value from the resources available to you.
CommunityNet's resource kit offers basic tips and tools for choosing software and hardware, PC security and safety for computer users. It will also introduce you to the internet, e-mail and how to browse the world wide web.
Sparc has published an overview of what to consider when planning an IT infrastructure. In particular it looks at selecting a database to store membership information.
VolResource is a UK site that brings together practical resources for people involved in charities, voluntary and community organisations, including relevant software, technology help, web services, and advice.
Introduction to the computer
the Free Management Library (USA) has technical information listed in the order in which a new computer user might learn about and buy a new computer, and connect it to the internet.
TechSoup.org's how-to articles, worksheets, and product comparisons are written for all levels of technical expertise and all sizes of nonprofit and social benefit organisations.
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How can we use communications to express our unique story?
These resources emphasise the importance of distinguishing your charity from others in order to attract volunteers, donors, and support for your cause, and suggest ways to "tell your story" effectively.
Marketing sports clubs
SPARC's website covers information on Effective marketing and Promotion in your sports organisation including selecting the right people, developing a plan, and using media.
CommunityNet's resource kit will help you plan and use your organisation's voice to infuence change, inform about services and events; and attract supporters by using effective communication tools.
ICT (information and communication technology)
the National Council for Voluntary Organisation's ICT resources webpage says a well structured ICT backbone will enable your organisation to deliver services efficiently, help you reach more people and do more with your money.
The Funding Information Service gives you a brief look at how you can get your message out using the media, including the key elements and content of a press release to help you get the most out of the media.
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This page has information about some communication and IT innovations and opportunities, and presents case studies to help you assess their value to your organisation.
Sport New Zealand has developed a nine step guide to using social media for organisations starting off. This was developed in early 2012 and is appropriate for any charity to use. The Sport NZ webpage also contains examples of some successful use of social media by organisations.
Mashable, the social media blog has published five essential tips for charities to get the most out of social media when promoting their cause. It also links you to the top 10 YouTube videos for social good.
This 2009 case study from Mediashift looks at Charity: Water and how they used social media to fund their projects using various platforms and strategies.
How-to guides: social networking
This CommunityNet webpage will help you set up Bebo, MySpace and Facebook pages as well as having links to templates, case studies and news on using Web 2.0 technologies for setting up and running community projects.
This National Council for Voluntary Organisations beginners' guide lists 10 tips to get you started using multimedia to communicate to your target audience, including what multimedia is, how it is delivered and how it can raise your profile.
Marketing, media & post
The Marketing, Media & Post Centre has been established by Our Community and Australia Post to provide community groups with the resources and tools to develop and spread their message to the wider community, and to build greater public awareness and support.
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How could we measure and report our non-financial information?
Non-financial information can complement your financial reporting, to provide assurance to funders, donors and supporters. These resources can help achieve this.
Telling your story
This Charities Commission information sheet outlines some of the benefits and opportunities of answering the question "what difference is your charity making?" by telling your charity's story through non-financial reporting.
New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants also has an essential tool for transparent reporting to assist not-for-profits in their efforts to attain best practice in their annual and financial reports.
Connecting with Donors
The Charities Aid Foundation's new report for charities offers real insight and practical solutions for gaining and retaining donors in the post-recession environment.
Social Return on investment
This position paper from New Philanthropy Capital focuses on listening to stakeholders and identifying the outcomes that are important to them, and then putting a financial value on these outcomes.
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Charities need to communicate with a wide range of people, who could include donors, funders, local councils, government and news media. This collection of resources can help you understand and connect with your target audiences.
CommunityNet's resource kit has information and checklists to help with planning communications via the media including the major pitfalls to avoid.
Press releases and recruitment messages
the UK's Volunteer Centre (Sefton) has developed guidelines on how to write and prepare successful press releases (including answering some common questions, such as why some news releases aren't published). It also has tips on how to use your communications to recruit the people you need.
CharityComms is the professional body for (UK) non-profit and charity communicators. They have produced a 90-page booklet that can help charities to work successfully with the media to promote their campaigns, change public attitudes, raise money and increase their profile.
CharityComms is a professional body for UK charity sector communicators. They have resources that can help charities with external communications and publishing, through to media relations, marketing communications and using “new” media such as blogs and social networking sites, as well as reputation and crisis management.
the Ministry of Social Development has a list of community networks that may be useful to charities who want to reach out to (for example) those involved in family violence prevention, or who are engaged with Māori/iwi, Pacific peoples, refugees and migrants, parenting groups, and social service providers.
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Where can we find guidance on improving our internal communications?
Internal communications require a different approach, especially when operating a charity, as your 'staff' may include volunteers, full time paid employees, part time employees, and members of a governing board or committee. These resources can provide ideas for strengthening your internal communications and solving communication issues.
Communication and consultation
KnowHow NonProfit website hosts Communication and consultation information to ensure effective communication with employees and volunteers.
Business Link (UK) will help you establish employee voice within your company with a variety of topics on engaging employees, and tips on improving employee engagemant.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's factsheet looks at internal communication and provides a 13 point strategy that will help to impliment a positive culture in your organisation.
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