arton ood or the story of Nottingham City Council s adventures in fundraising for Dolly Parton s Imagination Library

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1 arton ood or the story of Nottingham City Council s adventures in fundraising for Dolly Parton s Imagination Library

2 nce upon a time in a land far far away, in the ancient English City of Nottingham, two legends became entwined as Dolly Parton joined forces with Robin Hood In Nottingham, England, the legend of Robin Hood lives on when we do good deeds to support others less fortunate than ourselves. So a beautiful story began when Nottingham City Council, the municipal government for the City of Nottingham, teamed up with Dolly s Imagination Library. Their story was a crusade to win the hearts and minds of Nottingham people; to raise money for Dolly s charity and to help more Nottingham children to discover a love of books. Read on to learn about these good deeds and join Nottingham s band of merry outlaws on our mission to help Nottingham children. Simply follow the three chapters of this book to organise your own fundraising drive for Dolly Parton s Imagination Library. It s easy, great fun and most importantly it will make a huge difference to the lives of our children.

3 Chapter One: Find your Champions It s often said that everything happens for a reason. But one thing is for certain, nothing will happen unless you find your Champions! For your organisation to support the Imagination Library you will first need to find the Champions who will drive your fundraising activity. Councillor David Mellen our senior politician in charge of Children s Services Candida Brudenell our Strategic Director of Early Intervention Meet our Champions! David and Candida have been the driving force behind the Council s support for the Imagination Library. Could you be a Champion within your organisation? Here are five things that David and Candida made happen: Talk it up! David and Candida ensured that everybody at a senior level within the Council knew about Dolly s charity. This led to the Imagination Library being debated at our most senior political meeting, Nottingham s Full Council, at which all of the most important issues of the City are considered and debated. Recruit volunteers Candida and David identified a bunch of Can do people who volunteered at lunchtimes to form Team Dolly and organise our fundraising drive. The volunteers each brought skills to the table in terms of project management, marketing, internal communications and administration. Set the direction Candida and David set the direction for publicity and awareness raising activities - making sure to recognise the contributions of everybody who has helped to establish the Imagination Library in Nottingham so far. Create the right mechanisms Candida ensured colleagues were able to use the Council s workplace giving system to make monthly donations to the Imagination Library. To capture one off donations from members of the public we used a public fundraising website called MyDonate. Work in partnership Although the focus was on internal fundraising within the Council, David and Candida held true to the partnership governance of the Imagination Library in Nottingham. All partners were kept up to date with ideas as they developed and given opportunities to share their views. The relationship with colleagues from the Imagination Library was absolutely crucial and Dolly Parton s fantastic generosity will be explained further in our next chapter

4 Chapter Two: Have fun, but keep it focused on the kids! The secret to our successful fundraising drive was to devise a range of great activities that gave everybody a chance to get involved. And so Dolly Week was born Dolly Week was a whole week of fun and silliness to raise money for the Imagination Library. But we kept bringing our message back to the good work of the Imagination Library and why it is so important to inspire children to love books. In Nottingham data shows that our children can start school with reading skills up to 14% behind those of other children in the UK. Studies have proven that the Imagination Library can change this - by helping parents and children to enjoy exploring books together, looking at the pictures, talking about the stories and simply having fun. Here s five fun things we did in Dolly Week! A message from Dolly By far the highlight of our week was the public release of a personal video message to the people of Nottingham from Dolly herself. Local people loved Dolly for having a go at our City s traditional style of welcome by saying Ay up mi Duck! Watch Dolly s message by clicking here or search on YouTube for Dolly Parton s Imagination Library Nottingham! And Dolly s generosity didn t stop with her video message, she also gave us three new songs to play from her forthcoming album for children I believe in you. Bring in the babies We shared our offices with the children who will benefit from the Imagination Library. This was a great way to show Council colleagues how excited the children are to receive their books. Line dance at lunchtime The Council s most senior leaders demonstrated their support for the charity by performing a line dance routine in the staff canteen to Dolly s hit song Islands in the Stream. David sang the part of Kenny Rogers and Dolly s lines were sung by Councillor Jackie Morris, the Lord Mayor of Nottingham! Watch our performance by clicking here or search on YouTube for Dolly Parton s Imagination Library Nottingham! Dare to Wear We supplied a wardrobe of costumes to allow Council colleagues to dress up as the characters from the Imagination Library books. Here s the cast from the book Hairy Maclary! Dress as Dolly On the Friday of Dolly Week colleagues across the Council made a donation to come to work dressed as Dolly. This caused a lot of hilarity and people donated really generously. There are so many ways to have fun you ll be able to think of a million ideas! Why not hold a Bake Sale and encourage the best bakers in your organisation to whip up some buns in support of Dolly! Buy a life-size cardboard cut-out of Dolly and take her on a tour of your workplace - great for taking a selfie with! Download a photo app letting you put your face in Dolly s photo a great way to make your colleagues smile!

5 Chapter Three: Shout about it! Our stickers You ll need to create some communications tools to carry your fundraising messages about Dolly Week. Here s five things that helped us to shout our message from the rooftops! Social media played a crucial part in our fundraising campaign with our messages reaching over 1,000,000 people through facebook and twitter. We built anticipation for the launch of our Dolly Week by photographing Dolly s cardboard cut-out with City landmarks and asking What s Dolly doing in Nottingham? Find out on Monday! We created pages on our website to act as a hub for information about our Dolly Week activities and how colleagues could donate. See our pages at Nottingham s local paper, the Nottinghan Post Video of Nottingham parents Printed materials like flyers were really useful to hand out to colleagues and stickers were given to everybody who made a donation. Pull up banners provided a visual presence for the charity throughout the week keeping our campaign at the front of people s minds. Our dedicated website We secured great press coverage in the local newspaper, TV and radio stations throughout the week this really helped to raise the profile of Dolly s charity. We kept bringing the message back to our children and how much they benefit from the Imagination Library. Videos showing parents and children helped Council colleagues to understand the difference their donations will make. Watch our video by clicking here or search on YouTube for Dolly Parton s Imagination Library Nottingham! You can help a Nottingham child learn to read for just 2 a month Your money will help Dolly Parton s Imagination Library to give 0-5 year olds a new book every month. Our flyers castle cavendish reinvesting in our community The launch at Nottingham s Council House Social Media

6 Conclusion It really is easy to organise your own fundraising drive for Dolly Parton s Imagination Library. Just follow our three simple steps: Find your Champions! Have fun, but keep it focused on the kids! Shout about it! We really believe that our Dolly Week approach can give your organisation a great week of fun and raise crucial funds for Dolly s charity. As a result of our Dolly Week campaign more Nottingham children have been given the gift of reading and inspired to love books. We re confident that one day soon every Nottingham child will benefit from this amazing charity; and we know the difference it will make to their lives. In Nottingham City the legend of Dolly and Robin will go from strength to strength. Thank you for your kindness and support. The End

7 or more information about Nottingham s approach to Dolly Parton s Imagination Library please contact our Champion, Candida Brudenell, Strategic Director of Early Intervention, on castle cavendish reinvesting in our community

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