Business Charity Awards: Charity Partnership, Telecoms and Technology – Nominet with Samaritans for Digital Transformation Partnership

For an outstanding partnership between an organisation in the telecommunications and technology sectors and a UK charity

What was the partnership?

The tech-for-good company Nominet and Samaritans embarked on a strategic partnership in January 2019, drawing on the business’s technical expertise and philanthropic resources to support the digital transformation of the suicide-prevention charity.

What did it do?

Within the digital transformation partnership, Nominet supported Samaritans to research, design and build three new digital and data services: an intelligent volunteer dashboard that allows workers to prioritise their time according to the greatest need; a self-help tool to support service users in coping with suicidal thoughts; and a web-chat service to improve communication with younger users.

Why did it win?

Since the introduction of the intelligent dashboard, waiting times on Samaritans' written-word services have dropped from almost 11 hours (January to June 2018) to an average of six-and-a-half hours (July to December 2019) over email. Over the same period, SMS text response times have fallen from 36 minutes to 22 minutes.

For the first time in Samaritans’ history, the charity can create a national picture of need and channel preferences and spikes in demand daily, weekly and across the annual cycle, allowing it to rota volunteers according to need and demand. A six-week marketing campaign run by Nominet in December 2019 and January 2020 to fund the development of the charity’s web chat raised more than £150,000 and had 12 million-plus views.

What did the judges say?

Jessica Hughes, community investment manager at Southern Co-Op, said: “This partnership brings skill sharing to another level. It's an amazing example of tech for good and of a clear and relevant partnership where strategies are well aligned.”


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