About Cash For Kids
Cash For Kids is a network of local charities, which operate across 22 areas around the UK. Northern Ireland is served by Cash For Kids NI, whose sole mission is to help the thousands of disadvantaged children across the province. They provide essential support to children aged 0 – 18 who are disabled, disadvantaged or suffering from abuse or neglect.
What was the challenge?
Flashback to 2017, Cash for Kids came to us with the challenge of creating a software platform to manage their day to day fundraising campaigns throughout the UK; the charity provides vital support via a grant giving process, whereby grants are awarded to both individuals and organisations to provide a helping hand where it is needed most.
A particular focus was their annual Mission Christmas campaign, which aims to ensure that no child will go without a gift at Christmas. The campaign asks the people of the UK and NI to buy a gift and to drop it off at a local collection point, for distribution to those who are in need.
We created an online platform tailored to Cash For Kids. The ‘GivingisEasy’ platform provides the following functionality:
- manages their day-to-day fundraising campaigns across the UK
- allows campaigns to be set up and managed in one central location but tailored for each region.
This system is largely back-end management, but includes user facing pages for the peer to peer fundraising, sign-up forms for fundraisers and those seeking funds and donation pages.
Specifically for Mission Christmas, the following features were essential:
- An online facility for companies and organisations to sign up to be drop off points.
- An online facility for organisations (social services, carers, Women’s Aid etc) to sign up to request gifts for children.
- An online searchable map of all drop off points and information about the campaign for people looking to donate.
- Online management for the process of approving gift requests for children and the subsequent collection, sorting and distribution of gifts.
For the 2019 campaign specifically, there were some key changes, the biggest of which was to improve the sign up process for the multiple target audiences. We removed the various forms and condensed this to one larger form, meaning individuals or companies could sign up to become a drop off point for gifts or collect cash or fundraise all in one step.
We also digitised the form applicants complete when picking up their requested gifts, these are particularly important in terms of auditing but could sometimes be misplaced or damaged. Now applicants are given an iPad or they can use their own mobile device to sign and collect their gifts.
To help improve donations, we developed a gift certificate feature for 2019 so that people could donate money to buy gifts for disadvantaged children as a gift to someone else.
Over the last number of years, the Cash for Kids project has seen continuous innovation, from the original custom fundraising platform through to the emergency appeal application and culminating in the most recent collaboration with Amazon Business, where we developed a “first of its kind” integration that has transformed how people donate gifts.
The web application has enabled each volunteer to process, record and distribute gifts to 380,054 children across the UK in 2019.
It enables more people to apply for gifts, more businesses to become a drop off point and more people to donate. Cash For Kids volunteers can now efficiently operate the campaign from initial call to action, right through to ensuring the smooth management of collecting all the gifts, sorting them and distributing them to those who need them in time for Christmas.
The 2019 Mission Christmas campaign was by far the most successful one to date. The key goal was to ensure that every child that was applied for, received a gift and the charity were delighted to announce that they had achieved this via the campaign. Across the whole Mission Christmas campaign, £14.6 million was raised in gifts and cash helping 380,054 children.
The success of the campaign relied on this technology and its ability to support applications and donations quickly and efficiently. The charity estimates that a total of 2 weeks worth of time was saved in resources due to digital innovations.
Locally, 13,360 children were provided with a gift, these were children who otherwise would have received nothing on Christmas morning. In total, 562 stores signed up to be drop off points for the gifts – collecting a total of £576,435 worth of presents, with a further £33,547 of cash donations.
Covid Emergency Appeal
In early 2020, following the outbreak of Covid-19, the charity’s general fundraising and regular income streams disappeared overnight. Yet because of the pandemic, more vulnerable children and their families needed help and support than ever before.
To support this appeal, GCD worked at speed to develop a custom web based emergency appeal application within the ‘GivingisEasy’ custom cloud platform to efficiently manage all fundraising, donations, grant applications and fund distributions for the appeal.
The appeal and accompanying app was briefed to GCD on 18th March 2020 and the team designed, developed, tested and released the application 9 days later. The application included online donation forms with integrations with Google Pay, Apple Pay and Paypal. It included workflows to support the submission of grant requests and the creation of bacs export reports.
The appeal launched in April 2020 to support children and families hardest hit by the immediate social and financial impact of the pandemic, raising funds to provide grants to help cover the cost of essentials such as food and heating. One of the main goals for this development was to raise the funds, and then turn around applications from point of submission to funds in the bank account of the beneficiary within 24hrs.
This was one of the first response campaigns in the UK delivering support to families in crisis, before even the government’s “Emergency Appeal” could react and respond.
It is the lightning speed response of the Cash for Kids and GCD as their digital partner
In just two weeks, the appeal raised and distributed the incredible sum of £1,129,418, with over 225,000 children benefiting.