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Deaf Advice Service Sheffield use Localgiving to find new donors

Kate Bushen is Advice Service Manager for the Deaf Advice Service Sheffield (DASS), a unique service offering advice and support for deaf people and their family in Sheffield and surrounding areas. With cuts right across the sector and less admin support available, Kate realises that everyone is having to get a bit more multi-skilled... including tech skills!

Why did you look for this tool in the first place? 
We’re core funded by Sheffield City Council, with other project funding coming in from other laces – like Lloyds TSB. But we needed a way to get direct donations in from members of the public and even users of the service (who are always asking how they can give something back to us). We’ve done this in the past with things like sponsored runs and people running marathons for us, and we’ve even been out at the Sheffield Wednesday ground shaking buckets! But we’ve never had a formal system before, and never had a fundraising widget on our website.

How did you find out about the tool?
It was mentioned to us by our Grant officer at the Council, and by the fantatsic people at the South Yorkshire Community Foundation.

What is this tool mainly used for? lets you set up a page on their website all about your organisation, so local donors wanting to find causes to support can find out all about you and donate their money! It also allows you to put this widget on your website, so people visiting you direct can also donate direct.

What do you use it for?
Well we’ve only been set up for a short amount of time, but it’s already bought in a bit of money!

What have been the benefits of using this tool?
The obvious benefit is the opportunity to raise more funds for our service. The advantage of this sort of fundraising is that we can go to the committee and choose what we spend it on, because our other funds are tied so closely to specific project outcomes there’s very little flexibility.

Hopefully we’ll get more donations in, and get the chance to do more of the ‘nice to have’ stuff that can add extra value to our existing services.
The other big benefit, of course, was how easy it was to set up – even for someone like me! I’d been putting it off and eventually sat down to do it dreading the whole process. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and painless it was!

Is there any cost attached to using this tool?
It’s completely free to set up, but there is a 5% admin fee deduction on donations made through the site. It’s worth reading the guidance so you know what you’re signing up to.

Are there any online tutorials available?
You honestly don’t need them. The site takes you through step by step, and tells you exactly what information you’re going to need up front. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can!

Did this tool need much of your or a colleague’s time to set up at the beginning?
It took me a bit of time, but I’m a complete technophobe! If you’ve got a bit more confidence and got all your blurb ready to go, it wouldn’t take long at all.

Are there any limitations to using this tool?
Not that I know of.

Do you have any top tips for using this tool?
1. Have a look at the list of the information you’re going to need and gather everything
together before you start.

2. Think hard about how you’re going to describe the impact of your organisation. You
have to fill in details about how £XX can pay for XX outcomes.

3. Leave yourself plenty of time to get everything worded and looking perfect. What you
say here could make the difference between money coming to you or going elsewhere!

Do you have any other recommendations of tools that could help you do something similar?