Charity tech update: June 2018

 In news, updates

In case you missed it: News highlights

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined BT £77,000 for sending its customers nearly five million emails promoting charity initiatives.  Between December 2015 and November 2016 BT sent 4.9 million emails about its fundraising platform My Donate, Giving Tuesday and Stand up to Cancer.  Read the full story.

A cryptocurrency donation platform has postponed the public sale of its tokens, the process of investing, because of regulatory concerns and lack of confidence in the market.  Giftcoin said it is now seeking equity investment and is offering people who invested during the pre-sale period the opportunity to convert their token investment to an equity investment – owning a share of the company. Anyone who has invested in the public sale will get their money back. Read the full story. 

Some 70 per cent of charities have seen a decrease in cash donations over the last three years, according to survey results published today by the Institute of Fundraising.  The survey results, released by the IoF as part of its submission to the HMRC’s consultation on cash and digital payments which closes today, showed that 171 of 245 member organisations surveyed reported either a significant or slight decrease in the volume of cash donations since 2015.  Read the full story.

Media Trust has announced that it will launch a digital skills training programme for the charity sector with financial and volunteer support from Google. Local masterclasses will run from September 2018 until June 2019 and are free for charities and community organisations to attend. More information is available on Media Trust’s website.  Read the full story.

Latest partnerships

The Citizen’s Foundation UK and smp

The Citizen’s Foundation UK, which helps underprivileged children in Pakistan access education, has appointed smp as its lead social media agency as part of a plan to move away from email marketing and focus more on social media. The agency will start by refreshing The Citizen’s Foundation’s paid social strategy with an initial focus on Ramadan.

Rukhsana Parveen-Cic, executive director at the charity said: “Donors in Pakistan and the United States have been supporting the programme, but TCF UK has struggled to establish a foothold in the UK market. We’re really excited about the potential for social media to spread the word about the extraordinary work of TCF.”

Pride in London and Addition by WPN Chameleon  

Pride in London, the community interest company behind the capital’s Pride event, has chosen to use a donation platform, goDonate, from Addition, which is part of WPN Chameleon, to begin taking one-off online donations. Alex Talcer, director of Fundraising commented: “Our theme for this year is ‘Pride Matters’, highlighting the importance of Pride as a platform for the whole community.  Many people won’t know that Pride costs more than £1m to put on each year, predominantly funded by the Mayor and our corporate & community sponsors. With the increase in the groups we represent, we are looking for new ways to support our work and make Pride bigger and better each year.”

Plan International UK and CommonTime

Plan is working with enterprise mobility specialists, CommonTime, to pilot ways for children and sponsors to communicate using mobile phones and tablets. Using standard email is not an option as it can take several weeks to translate messages and moderate content. It hopes that using CommonTime’s solution will make it easier and quicker for supporters and enable them to engage with children in new ways, such as by sharing digital photos and video, but also reduce the costs of communication.

Alan Gosschalk, director of fundraising for Plan, said: “Sponsors find it hugely rewarding building a personal connection with their sponsored child, and receiving updates about how Plan International UK is helping the community they live in.”

British Association of Landscape Industries and NetXtra 

The British Association of Landscape Industries has appointed NetXtra to help it build a new website. The trade association carried out a 12-month review of its current website which involved looking at what its members, the public and trade visitors needed.

It hopes to launch a new website by January 2019 and engage more members with enhanced features to support its 900 members. BALI’s marketing and communications manager, Darren Taylor, said: “It was vital that we secured a new long-term partner to help us deliver an enhanced website experience. Member feedback over the last year has helped me and the Landscape House team to produce an improved specification that better supports, engages and inspires member businesses and individuals by offering a fully integrated solution with our customer database.”


Zoe Amar is in the process of developing a new Charity Digital Code of Practice and she explained why charity leaders are central to helping the sector improve its use of digital technology. Read her article here.

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