Unique Fundraising

Supporting People, Processes and Growth

What if there is potential in your data which if released would steer you to increased growth and success? What if a meeting with one of our specialists could help you uncover that potential?

That’s what happened to Unique Fundraising. They are experts in acquiring long-term monthly donors for UK charities through face to face contact. This contact is made by being active in carefully selected retail or event locations.

The quest is firstly to use IT to plan and manage locations (referred to as “pitches”), fundraisers and identify new prime sites. Secondly to help each fundraiser focus on relating to the supporter and to provide clarity and transparency to their clients.


Field Connectivity and Supporter Acquisition
Each fundraiser goes into the field equipped with an iPad installed with a specially developed “Unique App” which connects to a live central database. However the locations often have neither Wi-Fi or a 3G signal.

Unique Fundraising IT Manager, Tom Colmer said “We’d be really engaging well with a potential charity supporter – and then lose them because the lost connection meant we couldn’t sign them up. We can’t afford for that to happen. We needed the whole process to happen securely on the local iPad – including the installed address and bank data validation.”

“AFD Software were the only organisation that had a full range of name, address and bank validation solutions ready for mobile platforms – including iOS. Roll out took just two days.

Now we are saving thousands of pounds and opening new “pitch” opportunities in network ‘dead-spots’.” Tom continued: “The following week our data centre went down for 45 minutes. Prior to the roll-out of installed address and bank validation for our fundraisers out on the street, this would have lost our partners £3,600!”


Wealth in Data
Dominic Peel is the Data Analyst and Researcher at Unique Fundraising, he explained: “We had a database of about 20,000 venues where we had worked or could work – but most records just had the store and town name. The poor quality data prevented us from using the experience and value this data represented to support our growth plans with analysis. We wanted it complete and accurate with a geographic location for each site.

We also wanted to understand the demographics of supporters we acquired in relation to the sites and the surrounding area. This would help us know where and when fundraisers would be best deployed and what additional sites would be most likely to deliver the best outcomes – and to grow.


Extracting the Wealth
In just two weeks we had ‘rescued’ the data, protected the substantial investment it represented and put ourselves in a position to analyse and predict pitch performance. We now have 23,000 accurate, geocoded locations. We are in the process of controlling future data entry using Postcode Plus. We saved an estimated £40,000 and 4,000 man hours of manual intervention with AFD Refiner and were amazed that Refiner could provide complete accurate addresses from such scant data.”


Demographic Analysis
IT Manager Tom Colmer: “In addition to this we plan to use the Censation Geodemographic Classification system to analyse the backgrounds of over 100,000 supporters in relation to the locations where they signed up. This new knowledge helps us hone our efforts for our partners and repeat patterns of success.”


Control and Transparency
Tom continues “We need to pay for the pitch location by the hour – so with the data appended using AFD Refiner we can check and know that each fundraiser is in the right place at the right time and the pitch is not vacant! This transparency fulfils resource management requirements and ensures our staff are only working in locations where we have official permission.”


Each stake-holder wins
Tom goes onto say: “We, our Partners, and our fundraisers love the results of switching to AFD Software. In a sensitive and competitive environment we are operating at a higher level and able to deliver measurably more supporters, better process efficiency and better resource allocation.

AFD Software’s implementation has allowed Unique to further strengthen its proposition to charity partners and released the time we need to develop those relationships and build the business.”


Tom concluded: “We started talking with AFD Software because of field connectivity issues, and our AFD consultant Jonathan carefully worked through our business model with us. Doing this really added value to our business and the result is a much deeper and wider solution. AFD were also flexible in tailoring their solutions to our specific needs. The benefits are both tactical and strategic, immediate and long-term.”


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