For some time now, platforms such as Give as you Live Online have been the secret weapon in the fundraising arsenal of UK charities and not-for-profit groups, which include schools and residents’ associations. Simply by asking their supporters to use these affiliate shopping websites, not-for-profit organisations have generated thousands of pounds in extra funds for their cause. Indeed, Give as you Live Online alone has to-date helped raise more than £10million for UK charities, winning awards for its easy-to-use software and commitment to the charity sector.
What more and more SBMs are now recognising is that these platforms also offer an easy income-generating opportunity for schools. By using them to make online purchases for goods you would be buying anyway, you can bring in new funds straightaway. What’s more, encouraging teaching staff to do the same when they make personal purchases, such as clothing and holidays, provides a quick and effortless way for them to support the school without asking for additional financial or time commitments.
Give as you Live Online, for instance, has more than 4,300 retailers on its site, including Amazon, Booking.com, Trainline, Viking, John Lewis & Partners and Argos. This means schools can purchase anything from stationery and office supplies to sports equipment and travel for staff development days through the site. Retailers pay a percentage of each spend back as commission (this percentage varies by retailer).
Half of the commission it receives is used to cover the site’s running costs, and the other 50% comes straight back to your school. ‘We are constantly pushing the boundaries for free fundraising solutions,’ says head of marketing Laura Gorin. ‘Innovative product development and a team of highly skilled and passionate individuals means we can help schools and PTAs boost their fundraising by purchasing online and generating free funds.’
Bishop Gilpin CofE primary school in southwest London has so far raised nearly £5,000 using the site. ‘Give as you Live Online is a revolutionary fundraising tool,’ says Jo Whelan, charity representative for the school’s friends association. ‘It is such a simple way of fundraising – hassle free and with no cost to yourself. Just do some online shopping and see that total rise.’