Digital round-up: BT and TechHub seek technology to change lives

Plus: Free workshops planned for charities focusing on Facebook and Google ads; Muslim Aid ask donors to make their Zakat count during Ramadan

BT and TechHub have launched a new competition to find new technologies aimed at improving people’s lives. The Better World Innovation Challenge is designed to recognise the innovation efforts of small-to-medium enterprises that are creating opportunities for those who might find aspects of their lives challenging. This could include technology that helps people with disabilities to better engage with activities they love most or enables disadvantaged people to find opportunities that will improve their lives.

The winning company, which BT said could be a charity or a non-profit organisation, will be given £10,000 as well as the opportunity to trial its product or service with BT employees and customers. BT will act as an incubator for the winner's technology, giving it six months’ support with access to the company’s R&D, commercial and marketing expertise and resources. BT added that there there could be opportunities for the other finalists to work with the company as well. TechHub is also offering the winner six months’ flexible access to its London office in Tech City, to provide access to workspaces and industry events.

Facebook and Google logos

Platypus Digital is offering free workshops for charities that want to reach more people through two big digital channels, Facebook and Google, with the first event to be held on 13 June in London.

The workshop will cover a range of topics, including: Google advertising explained; what the Ad Grants programme is and how to get it; charities that are smashing Google Ad Grants and how they’re doing it; Facebook ads explained; what you need to create Facebook ad campaigns; charities that are smashing Facebook advertising and how they’re doing it; and how to learn both Ad Grants and Facebook ads.

Matt Collins, managing director of the charity digital agency, said that further workshops were being planned on the same theme, although other subjects would be considered, as would workshops outside the capital if there was sufficient demand from the sector.

"We know that most charities have very limited time and resource to devote to digital," Collins said. "So it’s vital that they can devote what resource they do have to the two big digital channels that will get them real results.

"Google and Facebook have absolutely cornered the online advertising market, accounting for as much as 73 per cent of all online ads between them. They are now truly tried-and-tested platforms. We want to show charities what’s possible and help them get started."

woman smiling

Muslim Aid has launched a major campaign to raise £6m during Ramadan, with activity across a range of media outlets.

The charity is asking people to make their Zakat count during the month as it focuses on raising money to help the new-born babies of Gaza and Syrian refugees. Zakat is a religious obligation for all adult Muslims who meet the criteria, as opposed to a charitable contribution. If a person’s personal wealth, or what they own, is more than the cut-off amount, the person owes Zakat. It is usually calculated as 2.5 per cent of income.

The pre-Ramadan campaign has gone live across Muslim Aid's digital channels and other media, and will be followed by a mixed marketing campaign running across the UK during the month of Ramadan – on more than 150 billboards, 385 bus rear panels and outdoor digital boards around the country.

Rosina Louafi, creative director at Muslim Aid, said: "We have put the donors at the heart of our creative campaign and aim to capture the positive feelings associated with Ramadan and giving Zakat. We believe our supporters will identify and relate to the strong eye-catching imagery and are now looking forward to seeing this roll out. We have set ourselves an ambitious target of increasing our fundraising by an additional 20 per cent this year."

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