The UK has a long-standing tradition of charitable giving. Last year alone the UK donated almost £10bn to good causes. And BT, as ever, was on hand to help make it possible...
BT’s support ensures Telethon success
When tragedy strikes, the world is galvanised to help. In the immediate aftermath of the Asian tsunami, hurricane Katrina, and more recently the Haitian earthquake, charitable fundraising made it possible to bring much-needed help to these devastated areas.
When an appeal is launched, telecommunications often plays a vital role in fundraising - and BT is uniquely positioned to help. Charity telethons – fundraising events broadcast on live TV – rely on the BT network and its staff manning the phones to handle pledges of support.
BT makes no profit from its charitable fundraising activities – every penny goes to the charity concerned. In its 2009 financial year the appeals supported by BT raised an astonishing £130 million.
Said Beth Courtier, community investment manager at BT: “BT’s involvement with charity telethons is a key strand of our community support programme. BT is in a unique position to assist and we are proud to be using our technology and expertise to help those most in need around the world.”
Over the years BT has supported numerous Telethons including:
BBC Children in Need
The BBC Children in Need appeal helps children who have experienced disadvantage. BT has shown its support since its first telethon in 1980 and continues to provide a wide range of support services that underpin the annual campaign. These include the core telephony network, the call centre infrastructure, advanced call routing, and network management applications – as well as providing volunteers to answer the phone lines and the online donation platform and supporting employee fundraising.
During the 2009 appeal, BT handled 210,242 calls from viewers across the country and collected more than £9 million of donations using its eDonate online giving platform. More than 5,000 volunteers in 52 call centres across the UK manned the phone lines and at peak times, the BT network was handling more than 58 calls every second.
Since 1985 Comic Relief has used laughter to help raise money for disadvantaged people and communities at home and abroad. BT has supported Comic Relief from the outset – as well as Sport Relief – with a broad range of networked IT services, employee fundraising and volunteering.
BT call centres are among those at the heart of Comic Relief, taking donations from hundreds of thousands of callers, and manned by thousands of BT people who give their time. BT’s eDonate platform provides a secure online back up for Comic Relief’s own website.
The Disasters Emergency Committee
Formed in 1963 the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is an umbrella organisation comprising 13 UK humanitarian aid agencies. It responds to major disasters worldwide, with BT providing call centre services and BT employees volunteering their time to answer the phone lines that take telephone pledges. Again, the BT eDonate platform is used for online donations.
Recent activities supported by BT include the DEC Congo appeal, which provided humanitarian aid to refugees. Recently, BT supported the DEC Haiti appeal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that hit the country’s capital Port-au-Prince.