Give A Little is a “game changer” at CRUK high value events

Cancer Research UK has expanded its use of Give A Little and is now using the platform to collect cashless payments at high value events as well as with corporate partners for employee fundraising and for face to face fundraising.

Written by Vicky Hewlett May 5, 2023

Verity Eaden, Cancer Research UK’s Events and Partnerships Executive explains: “We were using PDQ card machines to process donations at our high value events but we had experienced ongoing problems with them. The team didn’t find them reliable, particularly with regards to connectivity and we had a number of occasions where the machines would stop working, which for high value fundraising events, was a nightmare! A member of my team talked to CRUK’s Giving Platforms Programme Manager, Sophie Marshall, who is championing the use of Give A Little and CollecTin internally, to find out if there could be a better way to collect contactless donations at our events.”

The High Fundraising Value team runs around seven events a year including the Emeralds & Ivy Ball, which raises up to £1m and Turn the Tables, a lunch event now in its 20th year. The format consists of a politician interviewing a journalist rather than the other way around - hence the name, Turn the Tables - to an audience of around 130 guests. Recent politicians included Sir Kier Starmer and Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan. Guests make donation pledges and take part in a silent auction during the two hour lunch.

Verity continues: “When a guest makes a pledge, the volunteers immediately go and take a payment using the CollecTin (which uses Give A Little software). If an audience member asks the politician or journalist a question, they are asked to make a £100 donation so it is really helpful to give them a quick way to pay and to be able to capture the income for the day. The team found it so much easier to connect the CollecTins to the WiFi and the Give A Little software is really easy and intuitive to use. It’s a much simpler process in comparison to the PDQ machines. It was also really easy to show volunteers how to use the devices and as our team is based in the same office as the Giving Platforms team, they were able to set up the CollecTins for us so they were ready to go with a short turnaround time.”

On the amount raised, Verity adds: “Compared to previous events, we collected more donations on the day because the CollecTins and Give A Little are more reliable and the guests could easily see that the CollecTins are contactless donation devices so they were more likely to flag down a volunteer and ask to make a donation. The fact that we can add CRUK branding and customise the campaign displayed on the CollecTin through our Give A Little account makes such a difference. We definitely found that at the National Comedy Awards, which is a collaboration with Channel 4 and Hungry Bear Media in aid of Stand Up to Cancer and takes place at The Roundhouse in Camden. The SU2C branding and CollecTins really stand out so when we walked the devices through the crowd, people were more likely to donate.”

The ability to separate fundraising streams through Give A Little’s list of campaigns feature, has also helped the High Value team at events where they need to identify funds donated as part of the auctions, raffle or general donations.

Verity explains: “We have an upcoming fundraising event called Foreign Sisters, which brings together international women of influence and this year we’re holding a pledge, raffle and a live auction on the day. For that event, we will set up separate campaigns on Give A Little for each fundraising stream and the volunteer operating the CollecTin will pre-select the relevant campaign, to enable the donor to contribute to the raffle, auction or pledge/donation. Each campaign will be customised with different payment amounts, with the ‘choose your own amount’ also enabled.” 

“When we were using the PDQ machines, we had to separate all the paper receipts from each transaction into separate envelopes, sort them on the day and cross reference the transactions with a spreadsheet back at the office, which took a long time.

Now we have all of that information online through our Give A Little account, which is an absolute game changer!

We can now easily see the exact amount we have banked. Before it was much more manual as we would send the receipts to the banking team and have to wait for the finance summary. Give A Little gives us the security of knowing the amount we banked on the day, which is amazing - it makes our lives so much easier.”

On what CRUK team likes the most about using Give A Little and CollecTin at High Value events, Verity summarises: “We like the flexibility of being able to select different campaigns for different events and customise those campaigns with specific branding. For example we hold a sports quiz event in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund and it’s really crucial to display relevant branding as it really centres the cause when people are donating. We also like how easy it is for our volunteers to use Give A Little and CollecTin. Some of the volunteers will be helping out at our events for the first time so the ease of use saves a lot of time. The time saving that the platform gives us post event, is also significant as it helps us to follow up with our high value donors even quicker. It’s also really useful to be able to experiment with different donation amounts so we can see what worked best after the event and tweak for the next one.”

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