If you’re from a local council, public body, charity or working in neighbourhoods, we can help with everything from consultancy, development and training to doing. Our aim is to change the way the public and the public sector talk to each other.

How to link to Paypal using the Facebook Donate Now button

Posted on 7th September 2015 by

Adding a Paypal donate button to your Facebook page has never been easy – and as Facebook has changed over the years it’s become impossible without adding third party apps and that’s only of you know where to start looking.

Thankfully with the role out of the integrated Donate Now button to non profit facebook pages there is now a fairly simple way off taking Paypal donations via your page and we’ve even put together a quick guide to help you.

Before you start though, if you want to use Paypal to collect donations you need to have an account set up just for that so that you don’t fall foul of their charges, information can be found on their site.

How to add Paypal to your Donate Now Facebook button.

Search Paypal for the “Donate Button” page, or alternately click this link here, it will take you directly to the page you need.

Log in with details of the account that will be receiving the donation.

NB: It is important that this account is set up for your organisation, using a public email address as this will be visible on the donate page.

You will then see the following screen;

add paypal to facebook donatebdutton

Work your way through the following settings: Read the rest of this entry »

How to use the new Facebook “Donate” button for your Charity in the UK

Posted on 3rd September 2015 by


In 2013 Facebook rolled out a “Donate” button  limited to specific charity partners.

Now Facebook has made it possible for all charities to add a  Donate Button on their facebook page (if you’re still using a profile or a group for your organisation’s main Facebook activity this won’t work for you).


We’ll talk you through how by using a local Birmingham Charity – the fantastic Birmingham Conservation Trust with the their Coffin Works – as an example.   (Transparency – Nick Booth used to be a trustee of BCT)

The donate now feature works through the pages call to action button, but the donate option is only available to pages that are set up as non profits. So to begin check what you have your page set up as.

Log into facebook and visit the page you want to set up a  “donate now” button for. You must be an admin of the page to have access to this.

Underneath the page title it will tell you what your page is set up as, in the case of Birmingham Conservation Trust (in the example below) they are already registered as a Non-profit – but if you’re not it’s easy to change.


Go to your pages about section: Read the rest of this entry »

Persistence pays off…. ward committee restarts live streaming.

Posted on 31st July 2015 by

Last year we provided support to councillors at the Billesley Ward ctte for them to experiment with low cost live streaming.  They tried it once as a learning exercise – 15 months later they back with this….

It’s just shows that patience and persistence pays off and something we find all the time: that the skills you help someone develop today can turn into fruitful activity much later. Bravo Cllr Alex Buchanan for taht persistence.

Do hyperlocal websites fall foul of Leveson and the new press regulator and libel laws?

Posted on 13th July 2015 by


Last week I spent a couple of hours at a consultation in Birmingham run by the Press Recognition panel, which is the regulator set up to oversee the creation of (a?) new press regulator(s) following the Leveson Inquiry and the Royal Charter. (I know this has already got a bit “what?”, but stick with me.)

I was there because I’m interested in what it means for hyperlocal websites (which we have helped people set up over a number of years).  Especially the implications for those run for the love of their community,  sites like B31voices or WV11 –  not run for the money. Talk About Local has already questioned whether hyperlocals fall within Leveson and I wanted to be clear one way or the other…

So this is how my thinking has evolved…. if you find an asterix next to an assertion I’m not 100% sure this is right – or that I have conveyed it correctly (some things may be accurately reported but are factually wrong!)

This is a disaster!


This is what I picked up from the press recognition panel.

  • Under the new law a publisher is someone(two) who publishes either online or in print and has two or more authors.  So according to this a publisher would include a number of no pay hyperlocals.
  • In the autumn the law of how a libel action is brought will change for publishers.
  • If you are part of a recognised Royal Charter approved press complaints body – complaints against you will come through that and will be resolved through mediation.  If someone does sue you they will be required to pay both their’s and your legal fees*.
  • If you are not part of a recognised complaints body people can sue you and you will be required to pay both yours and their legal fees.

This leaves two or more person hyperlocals that are not in it for the money very exposed. The conversation, involving myself, Dave Harte and others, at this consultation included various thoughts that I took down in note form…

The mere threat of bankruptcy can stop people publishing,  Does this mean we need a hyperlocal regulator to provide this protection to hyperlocals?  Who pays for it, do the hyperlocals need to pay for it? How to create one as cheaply as possible?  Could there be a cooperative? Are hyperlocals aware of their potential exposure?

This also seemed to have implications for student journalism and perhaps even for sites like Birmingham Newsroom – blogs published by public services.  two or more people writing them?  Then they are publishers.

The two people from the press recognition panel were very clear that hyperlocals fall within the change of law.


Oh hang on. Phew, I think…


That was last Wednesday evening and I left worried about the future of hyperlocals.

On Thursday I spent the morning at #commscamp15 and popped along to the legal session run by David Banks.  He was talking about other changes in libel law and I shared what I thought I had learnt from the night before – and my concerns about it.

Someone else in the session looked a bit more closely at this.  Kelly Quigley-Hicks dug out the legislation and (I think) established that the understanding I (and others) had gleaned from the consultation was wrong.  The hyperlocals I’m concerned about are exempt… this is what she writes:

What is the definition of a ‘publisher’? If you have more than two people publishing news-related content, you may be defined as a publisher and be sued for libel as outlined in the Crime and Courts Act 2013. Exceptions include public bodies and charities publishing “news-related material in connection with the carrying out of its functions.” and multi-author blogs that come under “microbusiness” definitions

Checking her working I find the law says “exclusions from the definition of relevant publishers” include:

Public bodies and charities

6   (1) A public body or charity that publishes news-related material in connection with the carrying out of its                  functions.

(2) “Public body” means a person or body whose functions are of a public nature.
Company news publications etc

7   A person who publishes a newsletter, circular or other document which—

(a) relates to a business carried on by the person, and

(b) only contains news-related material on an incidental basis that is relevant to the person’s business.

8  (1) A person who, in carrying on a micro-business, publishes news-related material where either condition A or condition B is met.

(2) Condition A is that the news-related material is contained in a multi-author blog.

(3) Condition B is that the news-related material is published on an incidental basis that is relevant to the main  activities of the business.

(4) “Micro-business” means a business which—

(a) has fewer than 10 employees, and

(b) has an annual turnover not exceeding £2,000,000.

(5)  The number of employees is to be calculated as follows—

(a) find the total number of hours per week for which all the employees of the business are contracted to work;

(b) divide that number by 37.5.

(6) “Employee” has the same meaning as in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (see section 230 of that Act).

(7) “Multi-author blog” means a blog that contains contributions from different authors.

So this appear to mean that most hyperlocals are not included.

So questions to resolve….


  1. Is this right, are most hyperlocals excluded, therefore don’t need to join a press complaints body?
  2. If this is right what is the libel law that now applies to hyperlocals (who pays the legal bills)?
  3. Does this exemption apply to student publishing online as part of their course?  After all universities are not micro-businesses.

Any answers?


Kelly  found this, which suggest others think there is confusion…  http://www.englishpen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Who_joins_the_regulator_5_Nov_2014_English_PEN.pdf