Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, HOMELINK had to cancel all planned fundraising activities in 2020, a significant issue given demand for support rose during this period. As a result, like so many other charities this year, we were forced to find ways to fundraise online.
As a small charity comprised of four part-time staff and a team of volunteers, adapting quickly to online fundraising was a stretch for us. To overcome this problem HOMELINK needed to find external support, on a pro bono basis—herein lay the difficulty.
Thankfully the Media Trust, a national charity that supports not-for-profit organisations, runs a programme to match those requiring help with voluntary support from media professionals from across the creative industries. HOMELINK was teamed with Selvi Sahin Altunoz, a Facebook Strategic Partnership Manager, whose aim it was to help amplify our charity’s voice and encourage community engagement with our online fundraising activities.
With Selvi’s help we were able to sound a Sussex-wide call-to-action to support our ‘Home is where the craft is’ creative challenge and online auction. Selvi helped HOMELINK devise the social media strategy for this work and set-up a Facebook Premiere event presented by designer and TV presenter, Linda Barker.
The results? They were fantastic. Our fundraising auction raised nearly £6000–over half of our yearly fundraising target; our Instagram followers doubled and Facebook community increased significantly. Linda Barker’s video was viewed over a hundred times and our social media posts reached an online audience of over 100,000 people across East Sussex and the Lewes District area.
Selvi said: “Working with HOMELINK was a fantastic experience and extremely rewarding. Firstly, the success of the auction and the impact delivered for HOMELINK was undeniably gratifying. Secondly, the team were so pleasant to work with and really made the project worthwhile, with their dedication to its execution and gratitude from beginning to end. And last but not least, it was incredibly satisfying to use my work skills in an advisory capacity, and to deliver something truly meaningful to a cause that I feel strongly for”.
HOMELINK’s Development Officer, Georgina Clare, said: “The team at HOMELINK are so grateful to the Media Trust for proving such a fantastic scheme. For a small charity to have a skilled digital media professional volunteer her expertise has been a real blessing, particularly at such a difficult time for the sector. Working with Selvi for the past ten weeks has not only helped us deliver a successful fundraising campaign but has also developed the digital skills within our team. We’re beyond grateful!”
Alongside Selvi’s support, HOMELINK has also been fortunate to have other volunteers and creative professionals contribute to our fundraising activities. We are particularly grateful to Rosemary Lewis, Alison Tighe and Linda Cripps for their tireless efforts to help make our auction a success.
Freelance cameraman and editor, Nic Small, did a fantastic job producing our Facebook video. And talented Senior Designer, Martin Dyer—from the Lewes-based print, design and delivery agency KIND – produced the exceptional ‘Home is where the craft is…’ webpages. We are so appreciative of their time and creative talents.
Finally, special thanks go to the very brilliant Martha Robinson, Director of MRComms, who has been HOMELINK’s Communications Consultant for the past eighteen months.
Martha has contributed so much to the work of HOMELINK. She has been behind the successful delivery of our Glyndebourne Gala,#homes4families campaign launch and ‘Home is where the craft is’ auction—we are so grateful to have Martha on the team.
HOMELINK would not be able to function as a charity without the support of its volunteers. If you would like to join us, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.