Embracing the world of online
To commemorate the first birthday of MyDonate (launched in April 2011), we’ve asked some key figures in the charity sector to tell us their thoughts about online fundraising, the use of technology and MyDonate. We begin with a Q&A with David Cosham, chief executive of KidsOut, which was one of the charities that worked with BT to develop the MyDonate service.
Hello David. To what extent has KidsOut embraced the world of online over the past 12 months?
KidsOut has enthusiastically embraced the online world in the last year. We realised that we needed to invest in our web presence to appeal to a wider rage of people and it has certainly worked well for us. We’re getting great results from our Google Adwords campaigns, which has increased the number of unique visitors to our website by a factor of seven during the same period.
How has MyDonate impacted on the charity's online fundraising strategy?
The timing of MyDonate was perfect for us, as it coincided with the launch of new website. It gave us something new and exciting to talk about, and our supporters have reacted very well to the promise of no administration costs being deducted from their donations. There’s still a way to go to get this message across more widely but, once people understand it, there’s no turning back.
Are you in the process of assessing how technology can be 'exploited' by KidsOut and its supporters in the future?
We always look for innovative ways to get out message across, to both supporters and to those who depend on our services. It’s sometimes tricky to know which technology to support, so I look for the charity to be a “fast follower” once there are strong indications that the latest thing has really caught on.
Do you consider KidsOut to be punching above its weight when it comes to being innovative and using technology? Is this something that has an effect on your 'brand'?
We have invested in new technology to support the development of our brand. Together with the work of our staff and volunteers across the country, has created our reputation and is enabling us to achieve our goals. Our main goal over the last year has been growth, both in fund raising and service delivery. Although many people are feeling the effects of the economic downturn, we continue to receive tremendous support from companies and individuals across the country. This means that KidsOut is helping thousands more disadvantaged children in 2012 than we’ve ever done before.