Where to go for free images

Free image from Unsplash.com by rawpixel

For those of you with Divi based templates on your sites, images have become more important as they can spice up your websites. I subscribed to Adobe Stock images at around £20 per month for a year, which I am now regretting as I have 120 credits and nowhere I can use them. While the images are excellent, there are other sources, many of them free, and for those of you in the NFP/ Charity sector, as we know paying for an image is a luxury you can ill afford. 

So here are two places I have been using. You probably have to sign up to both, but there is no money involved unless you wish to buy the contributor  a coffee or make a donation. However the images are licensed for free use.

Continue reading Where to go for free imagesFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Promotional Landing Page

Sometimes you need to run a promotion through your website, perhaps you are seeking a new trustee, volunteer, or you are recruiting for an important post. In several recent cases it has been needed to help promote a fund raising campaign.

How do you make sure people see it?

The obvious method of making sure everyone sees something that is both new and important is to modify your site’s home page.  Most people land on a home page. However this can make the home page a little messy depending on your website. There will not generally be enough space for you to highlight the event or opportunity without radically altering the home page for the website.

Another very simple way

There is a very easy way of highlighting something to all of your visitors; create a temporary landing page. This means everyone landing on your former home page will instead be directed to a temporary landing page with your key message on it. Apart from delivering your marketing message, you also need to let people know how to get to the real home page. Once on the main website people can navigate normally and would not typically see the landing page again until they choose to go to the root address of your site (the root address of your site is your domain name: http://www.wingrove-services.co.uk  without anything after the .co.uk).

How to create a temporary landing page

  1. Create a new page call it campaign or whatever title you wish to use. I will use campaign in this example.
  2. Create the content for your page. Keep your messages short, and simple. Limit the text to say one or two paragraphs and have an image on the page as well which is eye catching. A good guide here is that most people do not need to scroll to read all of the content.
  3. Make sure there is a call to action, for example a link that will take the person to a more detailed explanation of what you are asking people to do or to a fundraising page. More detailed explanations or “sales pitches” can be somewhere else, you don’t want to put it all on the landing page.
  4. At the bottom of the page add a link to the normal home page. This is so people know where to go to next. It is very important to cater for those that may not be interested in your promotion, or have already seen it.
  5. Test your page by saving it and viewing it. Does it work? Is it eye catching enough?  Make any edits to maximise the impact, and most importantly ask a 3rd party to check it. Many people are too close to what they are trying to achieve, so do check your interpretation of a mini sales pitch on your colleagues and friends.
  6. Once you are happy with the page the next job is to reconfigure WordPress so that your page called “campaign” becomes the new landing page for the website.
  7. Go to the menu on the left and choose Appearance, and then select Static Front Page.
  8. Most sites I have built have a separate Posts page which will be called News or News and Events or something similar. The front page will be called Home or Welcome or something like this. Your screen will look similar to the image below.front-page2
  9. Click on the small triangle to the right of the box marked as Home. From here you can select a new Front page, in my case it would be the page called “campaign“.  Once you have done this save your settings.

What has changed?

Your old home page is still on the site and works through the menu in the normal way. However anyone going to your website will now land on the campaign page BEFORE they get to your home page. So they have to read the content on this page before they can read the content on your site. So everyone will read it that visits your site.


It is best to run these for short periods, and better still to change this landing page content moderately frequently. Typically marketing campaigns warn people to expect that something is coming up without revealing all of the detail. These messages are often referred to as teasers.


One common problem I see with campaigns run by charities is they often leave it to the last minute. Plan your campaign, and depending on how important it is make sure they you are giving people plenty of notice. If you have a dinner dance fundraising event or a quiz night you should be looking at advising people 2 months in advance with a refreshed message 2-4 weeks before.  Remember that your visitors may only visit your site once a month or less.  The best campaigns are supported by a communications plan. This includes what you are going to say, and when you are going to say it, and what you expect to happen as a result. It is a document, it does not need to be complicated, but set your expectations here and check that you are meeting them.

Tie in with social media

If you have gone to the trouble of placing a special page on your site do consider using social media too, to connect to it. Simply copy your URL (website home address) to Facebook or Twitter. So people can go directly to it, and share it with colleagues.

Check Success with Google Analytics

All sites I have built are attached to a Google Analytics account. This is free and you can have access to this information. It has been set up for you, not for me. You can use Google Analytics to check how many people have responded to your campaign. This is a very useful step, and one that should be encouraged, because through this method of testing results you can quickly see if a visitors behaviour has changed. If the visitors behaviour has not changed, then check to see why. Amend your solution to get the results you were aiming for.

Removing it

Don’t forget to remove it after the event or the marketing period has elapsed.

Log back into your site. Go to Appearance and Static Front Page and change the Front Page to your normal Home Page.


If you need help simply contact me and I can check what you have done.




New Year & Resolutions

Recruiting Volunteers & Donors

There are 31 days to the New Year, and 30 days before anyone thinks about what their New Year’s resolution will be. 

So now is a good time to think about a recruitment or fundraising drive for volunteers and/or donors for the New Year.

You could add something to your current news page with something about 2016 and New Year’s resolutions. Talk about what you do, the people you help, and some testimonials from your current volunteers. This is really about sowing some seeds in December. If you place something like this prominently on your site, you make it seasonally relevant (and therefore fresh!), plus some people will think about it over the next month and may return in the New Year.

Equally it could be a fundraising drive where you are looking to build a “friends of community” (supporters who make monthly small donations).

December is often a time when we all look back over the past year and think about what happened and equally look to the future and begin to make new plans. Don’t let the opportunity pass without doing something.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Cyber Monday and Your Organisation

Posted 30th November 2015


Pretty much every site I have produced has EasyFundraising embedded in it. I added these in because the concept is so compelling it would be foolish not to do so for any organisation looking for funding sources. It costs nothing to have it, and it costs your donors nothing to donate! The retailers provide the funds.

For those of you unaware of what it is; anyone purchasing goods online via the web can order them through their favourite online supplier, leave them in the basket, but do not check out. Then go to EasyFundraising and from there go back to their favourite online supplier and complete the purchase.

Why is that special?

Because when you made the payment you were effectively referred to your favourite online supplier by EasyFundraising, those organisations that participate (there are over 2000 of them) pay a referral fee back to EasyFundraising. A proportion of that fee goes to your chosen charity. Continue reading Cyber Monday and Your OrganisationFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Some thoughts on Sponsorship and recognising supporters

On some of the websites I have built, I have customised the template and added an area to recognise sponsors in the footer. This has worked reasonably well, but in this age of funding depletion and shifting loyalties, funder’s which were often considered to be regular supporters will change. So now your website is out of date.

I generally get requests to help in this area. It is more complex than conventional editing. One way to handle this is to locate the image in the media library which is normally a composite of several images, delete it and replace it with a file of the same name and size.  However this does not work if the media library is split into directories on a monthly basis. (You may not be aware of this, but the directory structure in WordPress is either a single directory or multiple directories based on Month and Year.)

Other complications

As I start to move over to Responsive (mobile friendly) sites, images generally scale but text stays constant as the width of the screen changes. If an image on your site has a live (clickable) area, then this may move as the image scales.  If you look at the image below, the letter A is “live” but the letter “B” is not. This is because I have created an area which is invisible but makes part of the image support a live link. These may shift as the width of a page is rendered.

A and B example

A solution

One way around this problem is to have a full width image at the bottom of your home page on your site. On this image you place the various logos of your supporters. You make the whole image a clickable link, and set the target destination to a page within your site which specifically recognises sponsors and supporters. (A friends page for example).

Example set of logos. The entire image is live. If you click on it you will be taken to another page.

In the example above the whole image is set up as a clickable link. As you move your cursor over the whole image it changes to a hand (On a PC).

If you click on it, it will take you to a special page.  On this page you could list each sponsor and carry a link back to their website to demonstrate your support.



There are several types of donations you will receive, broadly speaking they fall into the following categories:

Grants. These come from funding bodies, and it is likely you had to go through a process to receive them and were in competition with others, they will generally be in £x000’s

Fundraising Event. A one off event such as a table top sale or something your volunteers did to help raise some money. From £50-250.

Single donations. Largely coming from the public or from the commercial sector, from £1 to several £100.

Repeat donations. Generally from a person that knows what you do and wishes to support you on a regular basis. Often in the form of a standing order directly to your charity account, or through a 3rd party collecting on your behalf such as Virgin Money Giving.

While the latter group monthly contribution may be small, the fact that it is there each month is arguably of higher value to you than the single donations. The question is what can you do to encourage repeat donations to your cause, grow the volume of donations, and how can your website help in this regard. Continue reading FundraisingFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Crowd Funding – a source of donations?

Crowd Funding is not a new phenomena, it has been around for at least 5 years if not longer. The principle is that you advertise what you want to do and how much money you need to do it and the “crowd” (people like you and I) offer to put money up to help you to achieve your goals.

The idea originally came as an alternative method of funding compared to seeking venture capital or going to the bank to start a business. So in these cases you are seeking a share of the business or organisation. However I have seen this extended to apply to charitable causes and projects. In this case there is no return on investment for those donating.

We would like a website…. but

Each year I get enquiries from organisations that do not have a website, but would like one. I provide a summary of the costs and the process, then I don’t hear anything else. I chase it to find that they cannot afford it, even at my very low acquisition cost.

It seems to me that these organisations are stuck in a rut. They are short of funds, and are having to be very selective on what they spend them on. We all know that local government funding is disappearing for many charities providing family services for example, so I fully understand the problem. However with a website, they would have a presence on the internet, they can be located, they can seek funding through it, direct funding providers to it to establish their value proposition. So it seems to be a chicken and egg problem. Is there a way around this?

Returning to Crowd Funding

I have looked at some sites that specialise in raising capital, it would seem feasible to document a project where a website and hosting can be provided to a charity based on crowd funding for say £200-£300 in the first year. If you know of any Not-For-Profit or charitable organisation that might be interested in this approach please put them in contact with me. I would be happy to give it a try.

Crowd Funding applied to your organisation

Of course it follows that this concept could be used to help your organisation. First you need a value proposition, what is it you are going to do, or want to do? Write it up and get it on a crowd funding website as a project. Then advertise it through your website, your facebook or twitter accounts.

I suspect it is unlikely that a single benefactor will pop up from the internet, however for a given project, it may be easier to raise £200 from 40 people assuming you have the connections. Using social media to make this happen will extend your reach to more than those you directly connect to. If you look at some of the projects they are more compelling than others.

If you are interested in this area (either something that you wish to pursue for your own organisation, or as a joint venture) contact me and I will help you look into it. Use my contact us page to drop me a line.

I will be doing some research on it over the coming months, and may initiate a project to learn how it all works. If I learn anything more I will add an article on it.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Promoting Sponsors

As I pretty much exclusively deal with charities, most of you are seeking support through traditional funding sources which we all understand have been drying up during the recession, and will probably continue to do so. Some of you however are looking at novel ways of getting sponsorship from organisations.

There is currently an example at the bottom of the home page for Home-Start Gosport and Fareham based on the south coast.

In this case anyone landing on the home page and working their way down the content can see that the organisation is recognising the sponsorship of the Local Property Index. It is simple to add an image, and place a link under the image to the sponsors site. If the sponsors site is using Google Analytics then they will be able to tell how many referrals came from the website.

Some may consider an advert like this to be a little too obtrusive, it could have been added elsewhere. This is ultimately a decision made by the client.

However the lesson here is know that it is easy to do (and remove) and it can generate revenue for you with the right sponsor.

You can see the site here: http://www.homestartgosportandfareham.org.uk go to the bottom of the page to see the implementation.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Starting a Campaign

I have been providing some help to Home-Start East Herts this month. They are about to run a fundraising scheme called 100 Schools for Home-Start.

One of the issues in running such a campaign is how to do it effectively through your website.

Depending on when you are reading this it may have changed. The home page can be located here: http://www.homestarteastherts.org.uk and looks like this.  Continue reading Starting a CampaignFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail