Plan International UK is trialling a new way of using mobile phones to make it quicker and easier for supporters to communicate with children they’ve sponsored.
At the moment the charity has 81,000 UK-based sponsors who are paired with 86,000 children in 50 developing countries. Sponsors and children currently communicate by letter – enabling the sponsor to find out how their support is helping the child and their community.
Plan is working with enterprise mobility specialists, CommonTime, to pilot ways for children and sponsors to communicate using mobile phones and tablets.
Using standard email is not an option as it can take several weeks to translate messages and moderate content.
It hopes that using CommonTime’s solution will make it easier and quicker for supporters and enable them to engage with children in new ways, such as by sharing digital photos and video, but also reduce the costs of communication.
The charity’s staff will receive a copy of every message before it is delivered to the intended recipient so that they can approve or reject the messages depending on content. Rejected messages are automatically returned to the sender, with a brief description of the reasons for rejection and suggestions on modifying the content.
Alan Gosschalk, director of fundraising for Plan said: “Sponsors find it hugely rewarding building a personal connection with their sponsored child, and receiving updates about how Plan International UK is helping the community they live in.”
Plan is using funding from its ongoing relationship with the People’s Postcode Lottery to fund the pilot.