Last week, I was fortunate enough to go and pick up an award for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. We were very excited to be nominated for the ''Best example of voluntary sector innovation'' at the NEF Innovation Awards as the chance to do things differently is one that we, as a charity, relish and recognition of that fact is always appreciated.
"The Innovation Awards were established to recognise and celebrate the very best in UK innovation and provide an opportunity for individuals and organisations to celebrate their innovation and gain recognition for the role they play in inspiring and motivating others."
Pledgeit was nominated because of it's "clarity of intended purpose, uniqueness of approach, potential impact and social benefit". Pledgeit is a fundraising platform, and it was born, as many innovations are, out of a need for change but a lack of resource to do so. Constraints have an amazing ability to make you think differently. Just as a changing market forces marketers to create new ideas and products to fit the new trends, so it was in fundraising. Since we began in 1960 our fundraising methods, like every charity’s, had remained pretty much the same. There is an effective standard model of sponsorship - the fundraiser says they will do something daring/difficult/exciting and their friends and family donate in support, almost always before they have actually completed the challenge. However across the charity sector, in recent years fundraising fatigue has set in. People are growing tired of sponsorship.
We needed to find a new way to engage fundraisers. We wanted to reach more than our traditional audience: those affected by blood cancer, whilst at the same time promoting positive actions. And so, Pledgeit was born.
Pledgeit is a revolutionary new fundraising platform which reverses the traditional model of raising money for charity. On Pledgeit, you can challenge a friend to complete a challenge, anything from ‘complete that mountain climb you’re always talking about’ to ‘face your fear and hold a spider for ten minutes’. Then you spread the word on social media and get all their friends to pledge the amount they think it’s worth to see their friend complete the challenge. If, and only if, your friend completes the challenge the money is taken and 100% of it goes directly to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Not only did we build Pledgeit from inception to launch in 6 months, but we did it in-house, keeping all skills learnt within the organisation. This in itself was a "brave" (another word for innovation) step and one thing I am utterly grateful for since it meant we built great relationships with committed fundraisers who provided us with invaluable information about how people want to fundraise.
One of the things I love about this charity is the freedom we have to try new things and do things differently which is allowing us to become market leaders in our field in a number of different areas.
“It isn't all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning.”
― Gene Roddenberry