Driving up donations with a new initiative

Lockdown has been a strange and challenging time for all of us and forced changes on the way that we all do business.

There has been a marked decline in business travel, with 60 to 70% fewer journeys from March to June 2020 – and even fewer since the November lockdown. We’ve all been forced to adopt the video call as a way to conduct business meetings at a time when physical meetings have been discouraged.

There has also been lots in the press about how charities have suffered with their incomes dropping as fundraising events have been cancelled.

We put these facts together and got thinking.

While The Channel Partnership is, by its nature, a people-to-people business and we always want to meet with our clients and prospects face to face, we have found during lockdown that many people are happy to replace a face-to-face meeting with a video call.

An incidental consequence of this is that The Channel Partnership has been spending less on travel costs.

What if we put the money we save on travel costs to a charitable cause? And what if we extend this beyond the time when travel is restricted?

So our idea is that, where we are happy to travel to a meeting and our clients elect to replace that face-to-face meeting with a video call, we will donate the travel expenses money we save to our nominated charity.

channel partnership chosen charity logo

Raising £3000* £5000 for our chosen charity in 2020/21

* In August 2020 we set a target donation of £3000 – but by February 2021 we had achieved it, and by the end of March we were close to £4500! So we’ve reset our target to £5000.

For every mile we save on travel, we’re donating 15p per to our chosen charity,  Charlton Farm Children’s Hospice, part of Children’s Hospice South West. We estimate a typical round trip to a business meeting is between 50 and 100 miles. So we could be typically giving £15 cash to this brilliant cause just for switching to a video call instead of hopping in a car or getting on a train.

We’ve no shame. We’re actively asking our clients to join us in this initiative.

What’s more every mile saved is also 400g of CO2 not emitted into the atmosphere. That’s got to be a win-win!

What does video calling mean for our business?

The truth is that most of what we do is listen. We listen to our clients, and then go away and deliver solutions to help them manage their credit risk. We can often do that as well on a video call as we can in person. And during lockdown we, together with our clients, have found it more convenient to jump on a call and talk about the rapidly changing economy and to just get things done.

We know there are always going to be face-to-face meetings, larger meetings, difficult and complicated information sharing, tricky claims that need to be resolved quickly – these are always better in person. Simpler, more routine issues, suit video calls well ­– and we’ve all become accustomed to them.

Net effect on business? Hopefully a positive one!

What is Charlton Farm Children’s Hospice and why choose them?

Charlton Farm in Wraxall, North Somerset, supports the families of children who are not expected to live to adulthood. By creating a place of love, happiness and friendship they help people face and overcome the emotional and physical strain of such terrible circumstances.

They have great facilities for the children, purpose-made for the converted barns they’re situated in. It is a beautiful setting enabling families to take time out and enjoy spending time together as a family.

Charlton Farm is part of the Children’s Hospice South West charity, and one of their three hospices for children with life-limiting conditions. They do wonderful work and I hope you join us in supporting their much-needed fundraising activities.

More details about their work can be found here.