05 Apr 2012

Fuelling our fundraising ambitions

Firoz Patel, chief executive of Childreach InternationalTo commemorate the first birthday of MyDonate (launched in April 2011), we’ve been asking some key figures in the charity sector to tell us their thoughts about online fundraising, the use of technology and MyDonate. Here, Firoz Patel, chief executive of Childreach International, answers the questions.

Hello Firoz. To what extent has Childreach International embraced technology in recent times - as a means of growing its activities?

As the majority of our fundraisers are students and young people it is vital we embrace technology and use it to keep in touch with the needs of our fundraisers. Over the past few years we have trialed many different fundraising platforms and in 2011 switched to BT MyDonate as it provided best value for money and high quality of service. Last year we developed a fundraising portal that acts as a resource for our fundraisers to share ideas and offers support ensuring we do everything in our power to help them hit their fundraising totals.

Has this attitude been echoed by the charity's fundraisers?

At Childreach International we have seen how technology has changed the way fundraising is carried out. Fundraisers have become more creative with their methods of raising money, often using video and social media to help increase awareness of their cause to help encourage donations. As the majority of our fundraisers are young people, our participants are well educated in the ongoing developments in technology that enable them to do this.

MyDonate is one year old...what impact has the service made to your organisation, its supporters - and also to the cause?

By switching to MyDonate we will save around £100,000 across the course of the year. This comes from a saving in the transaction fees and also the highly competitive card transaction costs. This saving is already funding some of our projects overseas providing thousands of children in the developing world with access to education, health and protection. BT MyDonate also provides our fundraisers with a high quality service that allows them to track and monitor their fundraising in a clear and accessible way.

Has MyDonate been a success for your organisation? Is there an alignment with Childreach's strategic direction?

Since switching to MyDonate more of our fundraisers are not just hitting their totals, but surpassing them. In fact MyDonate means we can benefit from a better use of online facilities helping us to reach more young people every year; it provides a better service to our fundraisers; it allows us to spend more money on projects and not on systems; it means a greater use of multi-media and social media – reflecting how our organisation engages with students; and it gives us interactive ways of fundraising

And so Firoz, what next in terms of Childreach International’s online fundraising ambitions?

We have set ourselves some ambitious goals for the years ahead, starting with an increase in Challenge Event signs ups by 20 per cent every year for the next three years. BT MyDonate provides us with a great platform to make this both possible and manageable.

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