Charity announces huge growth in online sponsorship income | Action Medical Research

Charity announces huge growth in online sponsorship income

31 January 2003

Leading medical research charity Action Research has released figures detailing exceptional growth in its unique online sponsorship system. In 2002, income from online sponsorship donations rocketed to over £30,000, up fifteen times on the previous year. Action Research runs a range of regional, national and international events, including sponsored treks, charity cycle rides, abseils and skydives. The groundbreaking system allows event participants to set up their own online sponsorship account, which also carries their photos and personal messages. The system works by giving event participants their own personalised web page, which has all the facilities necessary for their family, friends and colleagues to sponsor them online. Sponsors can donate safely and securely online using their credit, debit or CAF card. The donation is automatically added to the participant’s sponsorship account, so that he or she can check their running total. Commenting on the results, Action Research Webmaster Daniel Sartin says, “Crucially, the effect of paying by plastic seems to encourage minimum donations of £10. This, along with 24-hours access, ease of collection and savings on administration, has contributed to the significant growth.” Website design company Fat Beehive Ltd developed the online sponsorship system for Action Research. Tom Moreton, Fat Beehive’s Managing Director says, “We’re delighted to have been able to help Action Research in this way. We have many voluntary sector and not-for-profit organisations amongst our client list and were more than happy to be involved in developing this extremely successful system.” Moreton continues, “The key was to provide a process that is as simple and streamlined as possible. An integrated help system that guides the user through setting up their own account, and sponsors through making their pledges online, smoothes the process. With Online Credit Card clearance in place, there is less processing work for Action Research and the money reaches the charity much sooner.” The system makes the whole business of asking for sponsorship and collecting donations so much easier. Using email, trekkers and cyclists can ask their friends and colleagues to sponsor them directly using the online facility. By encouraging this, the Charity believes it has actually increased potential income as event participants reach far more people, more quickly and Gift Aid can also be claimed easily on these donations. Sartin continues, “This success hasn’t happened without a lot of time and effort. We’ve been working hard to promote the system to our event participants, and the results speak for themselves. We’ve also launched a new section on the site to give people ideas on how to promote their online accounts.”

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