Last week we reviewed the first 6 months of 2008 seen through the posts on the Justgiving blog, so now it’s time for part 2 – we know you’ve been chomping at the RSS bit in anticipation…
Who says summer is quiet? We started it off presenting our thoughts on avoiding digital divorce at 2gether08 and then moved on to the IoF National Convention, after which we grouped the thoughts of Justgiving’s Tom (and many others) on social media and charities. Gemma got some lovely praise, and we noticed an important trend change: that Facebook referrals to Justgiving were bigger than Google.
As well as celebrating the first birthday of our widget, we made an ill-fated (by September) move to a new payment processor and featured a rather unique fundraising video. Justgiving’s Mike survived a skydive, and a bunch of us braved a lot of mud and rain (summertime!) to run the JP Morgan Chase corporate challenge. That all paled into insignificance against Ben Stiff, who skated from John O’Groats to Lands End to raise money for CORDA.
Whilst our developer Elie was busy quitting smoking for charity, we made some more improvements to our infrastructure and promoted a new ITV program. Important, but not as interesting, was the information on paying charities Transitional Relief and Gift Aid.
The story of Theo and Daisy’s big adventure cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats was coupled with the founder of Carsonified, Ryan Carson, shaving his head for AbilityNet as well as a summary of some more quirky events. But then came my favourite fundraising activity of the year – Simon Guerro, who was giving up cheese for a month for charity (complete with a truckle-load of cheesy puns).
We started the month by showcasing how to start well on Justgiving, announcing the switchover of Charity Accounts and revealing our new payment provider to be the old one. The story of Rent a Date for Charity followed a note on refunds, and we shared the slides from a presentation on Online fundraising: harnessing technology to build and maintain relationships.
The amazing Grant Logan was featured again, this time with a Big wheelchair pull – quite a contrast with a Guitar Hero marathon also raising money through the site. Our fundraiser of the month was Kirsty Ashton, who’d raised over £70,000 for When You Wish Upon A Star. We finished with a video of where our new servers live (more interesting than it sounds) and welcomed everyone to our new blog, and our bloggers!
Wow, what a month. Our fundraiser of the month was Tom Buckley, who’s amazing challenge is almost at an end. We also caught up with Nick Jacques and his fundraiser son Alex, Steve Weatherley and his attempt to swim the channel, before a third interview with a fundraiser – Major Phil Packer and his goal to raise £1 million for Help for Heroes. On a sad note, we remembered Tom Clabburn, and paid tribute to Graham Lees, who died whilst on a fundraising cycle ride.
An interview with our charity site of the month, BullyingUK, was followed by hints on fundraising in the credit crunch as part of blog action day. In the midst of everything, the most talked about fundraising campaign of 2008, the atheist bus campaign, took off spectacularly to raise over £100,000 in a week. After our away day, we wrote about a webinar on the Internet and Fundraising and we released our brand new Charity Support area.
An appealing month, November, filled as it was with our advice on creating appeal pages on Justgiving after we wrote about not one, but three appeals. We saw the power of joining online fundraising with TV, ran through the online fundraising lessons to be learnt from the atheist bus campaign and revealed Charlotte Harris as our new Head of Client Services.
With the changes to VAT, we had to update a lot of tech and finance systems in under a week. That effort was impressive, but not as much as the fireman taking on Antarctica for Henshaws Society for Blind People! We also interviewed the fab Dee Jackson about her fundraising efforts and got some great tips of the fundraiser of the month, Jamie Markham.
And so to the end of the year: we started with Simon’s Justgiving edition of the 10 best ways to use Facebook to fundraise. And for this festive time, as well as putting up a Christmas tree, we created our own Advent Calendar, packed with lots of tiny tips on using Justgiving more effectively.
We also remembered Eileen Dallaglio, mother of former England rugby ace Lawrence, who supports a fundraising page in her honour. And finally, we finished with part 1 of That was the year that was (blogged) and another great fundraiser of the month, Seb Green.
** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
We hope that you’ve enjoyed the review of the year, it’s certainly been a busy one at JG Towers – but we’re ready for more work and making even more improvements to the site next year. It just leaves me to wish all the fantastic users and wonderful charities who use our site a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year on behalf of the whole team at Justgiving.