Today, telecommunications plays a vital role in fundraising.
We’ve been there from the very first telethon for BBC Children in Need held back in 1980, because we know we’re uniquely positioned to help.
Every year we provide telephony and network management for all the UK fundraising telethons including Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, BBC Children in Need; Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) and Soccer Aid.
These live TV shows are a real example of mission critical communications. Our networks are painstakingly reconfigured by an expert team each time to allow the vital calls to get through as quickly as possible.
But it’s not just about reach and technology. It’s our people that really make it happen.
As well as fundraising behind the scenes, when telethons go live the phones are manned by a willing army of BT volunteers all across the UK
185,000 calls from viewers were handled during the broadcast of the BBC Children in Need telethon on 19th November 2010 - helping raise a record breaking £39 million on the night.
And for Sport Relief 2010, BT took a staggering 386,978 calls to the donation line during the live TV show, peaking at 210 calls per second, helping to raise almost £30m by the close of the live TV appeal.
This year we’ve topped all previous records. 12,000 BT volunteers in the BT Tower and 150 call centres handled 765,777 calls on Comic Relief night, 18 March, to enable a record breaking total of £74,360,207 to be raised during the live telethon. During the event BT handled its seven millionth call since the first Red Nose Day event back in 1988.
Read more about BT and telethons in our case study.