Handheld computers boost street fundraising

Scope has increased Gift Aid donations by nearly 10 per cent by giving street fundraisers handheld computers to capture donors' details.

Handheld computers: Gift Aid boost
Handheld computers: Gift Aid boost

The disability charity found the number of new direct debit donors signing up to Gift Aid rose from 82 per cent to 91 per cent when it tested the personal digital assistants in London and Manchester in June.

Other organisations began testing the equipment for prospecting purposes in April (Third Sector Online, 24 April 2008) but no research on its impact in this area has been conducted yet.

The system, devised in collaboration with fundraising consultancy Bluefrog and face-to-face specialists Gift Fundraising, only stores donor information on the computers for a short period until it is sent to a central database and encrypted for use by the charity.

"The devices are more efficient, secure and faster than paper-based registration," said Mark Foster, supporter acquisition manager at the charity. "They enable information to be processed quickly, allowing donors to sign up on the spot, which is perhaps why they encourage a higher rate of Gift Aid declaration."

Scope plans to roll out the new system across all of its street fundraisers in England and Wales in the coming months.


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