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Create expert panel to screen ideas, advises online giving consortium

Create expert panel to screen ideas, advises online giving consortium
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Create expert panel to screen ideas, advises online giving consortium

IT | Kirsty Weakley | 9 May 2012

A panel of digital experts should be set up for entrepreneurs to present online giving ideas to, according to Spring Giving, a new digital consortium, in its report on digital giving.

In the report, published yesterday, Spring Giving said the panel would be able to provide feedback with a view to then providing funding to develop the idea.

The report highlights that: “Entrepreneurs struggle to meet the right people in charities who can agree to proceed with an idea. Conversely, large charities find themselves inundated with entrepreneurs who claim their idea will raise millions, but actually raises little or disappears without a trace.” It suggests that Big Society Capital is a potential source of investment.

Andy Hamflett, programme director at Spring Giving, told civilsociety.co.uk that: “We thought it would be really useful for people to be able to get an idea of the up and coming in the sector.”   

He added that the idea was still at an early stage but that he saw the panel being made up of “a range of different sized charities and people from different business backgrounds”.

Spring Giving was set up by the Big Society Network last autumn in partnership with the Nominet Trust and Nesta to promote technology-enabled philanthropy. The report was authored by Hamflett, Sarah Hughes from Charity 21 and Joe Saxton from nfpSynergy and based on interviews with a range of stakeholders, including fundraisers, technology innovators and third sector commentators.

The report, More than shaking an online tin – How can we take technology-enabled giving to a new level also suggest setting up a matchmaking website for charities and technology companies and the creation of an online universal gift aid database that would mean donors only have to sign up once and then every charity that they make donations to would be able to claim gift aid.

Steve Moore, chief executive of Big Society Network said in the foreword to the report: “We believe that the next two decades will see an opening up of philanthropy – enabled by networks, informed by data and motivated by the values of sharing and participation.”

Barriers

The report found that the charity sector still lags behind the commercial sector and highlights 11 barriers:

  1. Lack of digital fundraising strategy and energy – lack of tech-competent staff and joined-up thinking across organisations
  2. Charities are risk averse and culturally hesitant – they are often slow to understand and invest in new technology
  3. Lack of co-ordination and infrastructure – the report highlights too much bureaucracy at banks validating charity accounts
  4. Lack of budget.
  5. Lack of proven technology – or that technology does not always translate into the right project.
  6. Apple – has consistently refused to allow in-app donations.
  7. Lack of collaborations stifling innovation.
  8. Lack of understanding about consumers.
  9. Global payment - payment infrastructures are often not able to cope with global donations.
  10. Lack of trust that online and mobile payments are secure.
  11. Digital divide – not everyone is online yet

The report also points to a number of successful programmes such as JustGiving, Charity Technology Trust’s online lottery programme and the Pennies Foundation. About those successes it concluded: “Giving money is by far the most mature mechanism and those who have succeeded in it have not done so purely by luck, for serious amounts of financial backing, forward planning, market awareness and technical prowess have been vital.”

It also includes a range of case studies and is available to view online here. 

 

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