Thursday, 26 June 2008

Autographed "SWEENEY TODD" Movie Script signed by Johnny Depp, Tim Burton and more

Never forget. Never forgive. When vengeance turns into a style of life and the purpose of all existence, living becomes a hell. This is a story of an ordinary man. A man of power stole his freedom, destroyed his family, punished him and in sorrow a new man was born. As he had not any other chance, except sailing the empty and desperate life. Welcome to the grave! Brilliant acting, appealing dramaturgy, scared atmosphere and fascinating music dip you in a specific air of feeling. Feeling of awaiting something to happen.

There is Johnny Depp autographed script up for auction on the Charity2Charity website. The Make-A-Wish Foundation UK receives benefit from selling this signed script. Make-A-Wish Foundation makes grants, helps and supports children and people affected with life-threatening illnesses. It is a chance for them to live. So get bidding to win this extremely rare item and make a donation! Is all for you, fans, from Johnny Depp on UK Charity Auction!!!

UPDATE: Auction is complete!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Barclays plans £4.5bn fundraising

Barclays has said it is planning to raise £4.5bn ($8.8bn) in a share issue to bolster its balance sheet.

The firm is to sell shares to new investors, such as the Qatar Investment Authority, and existing shareholders including China Development Bank. Barclays said the fundraising move would "strengthen its capital base". It is the latest British bank, following the Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS, to seek to raise money to ease the impact of the credit crunch. Barclays shares rose more than 5% in early trading in reaction to the share move.

New investors

The Qatar Investment Authority, the state-owned investment arm of the Gulf state, will invest £1.7bn in Barclays, making it a substantial new shareholder. A separate Qatari company called Challenger - controlled by Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr al-Thani - is to invest £533m in the business. Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Corporation, meanwhile, has agreed to buy £500m in new shares. The share issue will see existing investors, including China Development Bank and Singaporean investment firm Temasek, top up their holdings. The former will buy £136m worth of shares, while the latter will acquire £200m. Barclays has suffered losses from mortgage-backed investments, devalued by the slump in the US housing market, but not on the same scale as many top US and European firms. It recently gave an upbeat trading report, saying profits in May were well ahead of 2007. "Through our capital raising, we strengthen our capital base and give ourselves additional resources to pursue our strategy of growth through earnings diversification," chief executive John Varley said.
"We draw strength from the continued resilience of our trading performance."

Discount price

Under the terms of the share issue, all existing investors will have the opportunity to buy additional shares in the business. The bulk of the new shares, worth £4bn, are being sold for 282 pence, representing a 9% discount on their value at close of trading on Tuesday. British banks are tapping their shareholders for extra cash to shore up their financial position as credit markets remain unstable and earnings from key activities - particularly mortgage lending and investment banking - come under real strain. RBS Group has already raised about £12bn while HBOS is looking to raise £4bn. Barclays led the way in courting foreign investors when it sold a sizeable stake in its business to China Development Bank last year.
The Qatari Investment Authority already has significant interests in the UK, in effect controlling about 25% of shares in supermarket chain Sainsbury's.

Via: BBS

What You Should Know Before Giving To Charity

Despite the mortgage crisis and high gas prices, charitable giving in the United States reached a record of an estimated $306.39 billion last year.

That is a contribution increase of 3.9%, which is a good sign for charitable organizations hurting for money. For the past year, many non-profit organizations have seen overhead increase as a result of increased food and gas prices. Even so, this is the first time charitable giving exceeded $300 billion, according to the Giving USA Foundation, a philanthropy and research company.

So thinking of giving? Charitable giving might also benefit you the giver. How? Well, if you make a donation to a 501(c)(3) organization, then your contribution is tax deductible. The tax season for 2007 may have passed, but there’s still around six months to give for next year’s deductions. Of course, it’s important to know that when giving money or making a noncash donations, “that the organization must have a charitable intent for donations to be tax deductible,” says Michael Eisenberg, a CPA-PFS for Eisenberg Financial Advisors in Los Angeles, Calif.

After finding the right cause, remember: The IRS requests that charitable write offs include documentation. So if you’re planning on making a charitable contribution, make sure to obtain a receipt or other documentation for record keeping purposes, even for small donations. If you’re giving $5 cash each week in your house of worship, your donations cannot be claimed at the end of the year without a receipt. Even if you’re dropping off clothes to the Goodwill, you must get a receipt back from the organization indicating your donation, and every item has to be identified with a value. (For items more than $5,000, there must be a more formal appraisal process.) The IRS allows you to deduct 50% of your adjustable income –although in some cases there may be limits of 20% to 30%. Organizations should be “sending you a letter,” by way of record, says Eisenberg.

Via: MainStreet

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Starting a Charity? Don't leave Money on the Table

When you're planning a special event, it's important to consider that there's money left on the table after the event, and that you should make the effort to go out and get it.

Here's what I see fairly frequently: The staff and volunteers of a nonprofit organization work hard to conceive, plan and put on a successful fundraising event. It may be an auction, an awards dinner, a golf outing or any of the hundreds of things Board members and staff dream up as a way for people to have fun while charities raise some money.

Putting on a special event is a huge involvement of time and energy. It takes a fairly large group of volunteers and places high administrative demands on the most dedicated and stalwart of staff members. In the end, what do you have for all that time and effort? A few more dollars in the till.

Special events, like direct mail, are heavy on the cost to raise $1, and therefore are pretty inefficient ways of raising money. An auction might bring in a couple hundred thousand dollars in an evening. But the time involved is thousands of hours of preparation.

Finding, cultivating and soliciting sponsors and donors of auction items; publicity; making the physical arrangements; providing the food and entertainment; putting together the invitation lists and sending the invitations; thanking the donors; all this must be done. In the end the nonprofit is spending anywhere from $0.45 to $0.75 to raise each dollar – IF they're doing the job in a relatively efficient manner; and many charities spend far more than this.

We must acknowledge, however, that special events – the "fun" of fundraising – are a necessary part of a well-rounded, multi-faceted fundraising effort. More than anything else, they are "friend raisers" because they bring together the charity's friends and supporters in a way where informal networking and "meeting and greeting" can be done. This permits time for cultivating and building relationships, which are so fundamental to the fundraising process. They allow new people a place of entry into the life of the nonprofit. They provide an outlet for the energies and passions of volunteers. So special events do play an important role in the overall development of the nonprofit organization.

But here's the rub: After putting in all that time and effort, when the auction or dinner or golf outing has been declared a resounding success, the nonprofit's staff are completely worn out and frazzled. They're glad simply to put the file in the drawer, go on to the next priority on their to-do list, and wait until next year when they must start the event process all over. "Thank God that's over!" is an expression one hears frequently the day after a special event. And rightly so, considering the intense work and energy that went into making that event happen.

From the standpoint of long-term fundraising success, however, this process of putting the event away until next year leaves tons of money on the table. After we bring all those people to the table, the golf links, the auction, what do we do with those names? We shove them into a drawer, or maybe give all the attendees of the event a code on the donor database, and let it go at that. In reality, the fundraising process has just started. But don't tell that to the special events people! They'll be after your head with an ax! No, this is the time for the calm, cool, collected major gifts specialist to step in and intensify the cultivation and major gift solicitation process with all those people who attended the function and with all those volunteers who helped make it happen.

By John G. Fike

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Experts to give free marketing advice

A new corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme called Marketing for Change is offering charities in Ireland free marketing expertise. Launched last week by Alternatives Marketing Talent House, marketers will volunteer their skills and experience to nominated charities for an agreed period.

Projects include assisting charities in how they are perceived by the public and the media, helping to launch fundraising or awareness campaigns, informing advertising and PR and helping to encourage volunteers to join.

Alternatives has selected 16 charities, including Child Fund Alliance, the Hope Foundation and World Vision Ireland, with over 30 projects signed up to the programme.

‘‘It’s a win-win-win. For the charities, they gain access to experienced marketers free of charge. For the volunteers, they will be able to provide high impact marketing contributions in an easy and flexible way,” said Aldagh McDonogh, programme director for the initiative.

‘‘In a nutshell, these companies hire in the best marketing talent for a dedicated period of time to complete a particular task which requires a skill that they don’t currently have in their business.

‘‘Instead of simply writing a cheque for a worthy cause our new programme is about investing yourself directly through your time and expertise in charities that really benefit from your input.”

Source: UK Fundraising

Director’s 36-mile canal swim for charity

A WELL-KNOWN North West businessman is to swim the Manchester Ship Canal to Liverpool to raise money for charity – and awareness of his company’s plans for Merseyside.

Peel Holdings’ development director, James Whittaker, aims to complete the 36-mile Ocean Gateway Challenge and launch a £50bn regeneration of the Manchester Ship Canal corridor and Liverpool Estuary areas.

The firm’s ambitious plans include building a number of skyscrapers on both sides of the Mersey in Liverpool and Wirral in a project worth more than £10bn.

Mr Whittaker also aims to raise £250,000 for The New Children’s Hospital Appeal for Manchester, of which Everton FC star Phil Neville and wife Julie are patrons.

He said: “My aim is three-fold. Firstly, the opportunity to raise further funds for The New Children’s Hospital Appeal.

“Secondly, I am looking forward to highlighting the assets of the Manchester Ship Canal through our Ocean Gateway plans.

“The Ocean Gateway is an important development for the North West.

“And finally, to finish the 36 miles would be a massive personal achievement I would be delighted to accomplish.”

Phil Neville said: “We are thrilled James has decided to donate all the funds raised to The New Children’s Hospital Appeal, and wish him the very best of luck.”

Source: Liverpool Daily Post

Monday, 9 June 2008

Second Life: Disability charity sets up virtual advice service

A charity that helps the parents of disabled children contact each other and access services has set up an office in the virtual world of Second Life.

The charity, Contact a Family, is using government funding to create the digital office to support its work giving parents information and mutual support.

Mark Robertson, Contact a Family's head of information, explains: "The first place anybody goes for information these days is the internet. There are issues with accessing support in real life, even popping out to a local advice centre. Online and telephone support is and has been for some time important to parents of disabled children."

Second Life, a virtual reality world where users can adopt new identities (avatars), conduct business and even raise families, may seem an odd place for the charity to reach its audience.

But Contact a Family insists it is are only going where the parents already are. As those caring for disabled children may find it hard to leave the house and get help, many seek refuge in the virtual world and in online communities.

"It's an attractive and new way of reaching parents," says Robertson.

The office started running a fortnight ago and is open online every Wednesday from 10am to 4pm. Parents, represented by their avatars, can stop in for a chat with a staff member. Alternatively, they can come by when the office is closed to browse.

"We don't have to be open to use the office. It's a bit like an online library," says Robertson.

Visitors have included one mother whose son has a rare condition called dyskeratosis congentia, of which there are only 66 known cases in the world. The adviser was able to give her the contact details of a parent support group and the leading medical specialist for the condition. Other parents have dropped by wanting to meet people in the same situation.

"There's been small numbers, but it's really early," says Robertson. "If it's successful it will take time." If enough people do drop by, real world meetups may be on the cards.

Contact a Family also runs support groups on social sites Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, as well as its own network, It has also set up its own YouTube channel.

The charity's online support project was created with funding from the Department of Children, Schools and Families' parent know how initiative, a programme intended to develop new channels to reach parents who are not as well served by traditional sources of support.

Source: Guardian

UK to send further £10m aid to Ethiopia

The UK government is to give a further £10 million in aid to Ethiopia, it was announced last night.

The contribution, which is in addition to the £5 million announced last month, is in response to the worsening humanitarian situation. Drought and steep hikes in food prices are having a devastating impact on children and families in parts of Ethiopia. Around 126,000 children are in need of urgent treatment for severe malnutrition and this number is likely to rise, according to Unicef.

The humanitarian agency estimates that 3.4 million Ethiopians will need emergency food aid in the next three months, and that six million children are now in danger of malnutrition.
The World Food Programme has said around £73 million will be needed to feed children at risk of starvation.

Douglas Alexander, the international development secretary, said a team from the Department for International Development will be arriving in the country from today to assess the situation.

The Ethiopian government is expected to launch an emergency appeal this week. Ethiopia came to the world's attention in 1984 when a major famine saw eight million people at risk of starvation. It prompted the Band Aid fund-raising single Do They Know It's Christmas? and the Live Aid charity concerts.

Margaret Aguirre, of the International Medical Corps, a US aid agency, said the numbers of those affected were soaring. She said: "We're overwhelmed. There's not enough food and everyone's starving and that's all there is to it."

"What's particularly concerning is that the moderately malnourished are soaring. It's increasing so much that it means those children are going to slide into severe malnutrition.

Source: The Scotsman

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Fundraising Idea of the Month: Parental Support

The success of any school fundraiser is based on parental support; the more parents you get involved the more successful you will be. Here are a few points for you to consider getting and maintaining this crucial support.

Put a lot of time and effort into communicating all relevant information to the parents in a timely manner. With the need for parents to work nowadays it is critical that they have plenty of warning to prepare their time schedules, financial budgets or both to support their child and therefore the school. If they find out at the last moment what is going on they might withhold their support even if they could do what you are asking for.

Communication is a two way street! Listen to what your members, in this case Ä parents, are saying to you. If you donÌt listen to them carefully then how will you hear when they are trying to tell you that they donÌt like what you are doing. If they donÌt like what you are doing and you arenÌt listening then you are headed for tough times.

In this age of advanced communications, there is no excuse for not getting the information out at the appropriate time. Use old methods like meetings, newsletters, bulletin boards new methods like a web page. A mix of all methods available is a usually a good way to go.

Be specific in what fundraisers you are planning. Written fundraiser plans are excellent in this regard as it makes sure that confusion is kept to a minimum. Surprises, last minute inspirational fundraisers, are also kept to a minimum and as a result parents can plan ahead to give you maximum support. Do a few fundraisers and do them well is very good advice.

Never miss an opportunity to show your appreciation for all support no matter how big or small. A simple thank you at the right time can go a long way. All those small inputs add up and without them you will find it hard to have any real success over an extended period of time. Show them that you respect them by making sure everyone knows where the money they raised was spent and why. Support will very quickly evaporate if you are seen to resemble a secret sect.

About the Author:

Doug Nash lives in Logan City in Queensland, Australia. He has graciously consented to share a fundraising idea with us every month. Although many of the ideas aren't new, each of them has a unique flair that comes from being developed and refined half a world away from ours. Visit his web site at for more fundraising ideas.

Charity walkers on starter's orders

MORE than 100 fundraisers will be tackling a 21-mile walk along the canal from Devizes to Bath in aid of The Forever Friends Appeal charity for the Royal United Hospital, Bath.

The Vanessa Kyte Canal Walk, which takes place tomorrow, is in memory of Vanessa Kyte, one of the Appeal's fundraisers who lost her life to cancer in November 2007.

Vanessa's family and friends have decided to follow in her footsteps and together raise funds for state-of-the-art medical equipment for the Cancer Unit at the RUH.

The walkers will be joined on the day by a team of families with their babies and buggies and up to 20 canoeists, who have chosen to raise funds for the Appeal's NICU space to grow' Campaign - in aid of premature babies.

They will be setting off from Devizes Wharf at 9am and will be joined by Cllr Jane Burton, Mayor of Devizes.

The walk will then pass through Bradford on Avon at lunch time and finish at Queen's Square in Bath.

Vanessa Kyte raised more than £100,000 for various local and national charities following her diagnosis with breast cancer in 2000.

Her sister Nic Noble, from Warminster, said: "I'm really hoping for good weather on Saturday and I'm so pleased to hear that there are so many people joining us along the route.

"I can't wait to meet lots of new faces and have some really good chats with everyone who is joining together on this one day to support their local hospital."

By Wiltshire Times

Monday, 2 June 2008

Fundraising concert to aid quake victims

A MAJOR fundraising event to help the victims of the recent earthquake in China is to be held in Edinburgh tomorrow.
The Wings of Life concert will feature a mixture of Chinese and Western dance and music.

The idea for the concert came from Chinese students studying at the University of Edinburgh.

All funds raised will go towards helping victims of the quake in Sichuan Province, which is estimated to have killed at least 68,000 people and has left more than five million homeless.

The event has been organised with the help of the Chinese Consulate in Edinburgh and the Chinese community in Scotland.

The concert will feature the renowned Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe from China, who will perform the spectacular Thousand-hand Bodhisattva dance.

The dance was first performed at the closing ceremony of the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

The concert is being held at the McEwan Hall, Teviot Place, and starts at 7.30pm.

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