As a new business, starting during the pandemic, Julie Hegarty said “When COVID happened and lockdowns became the norm, it was pretty clear that charities were going to get hit hard – no events, no footfall, and importantly – no cash collection buckets!
“Looking at a post-pandemic world, we could also see how COVID was going to accelerate the already decreasing use of cash and that many people will hardly ever use cash again and shift to mobile banking. The future for traditional cash based fundraising initiatives is clearly limited.
Seeing an opportunity in the rise of QR technology and a need in the charity sector, Evershare.io pivoted. When we sat down with Julie, she told us: “What we came up with was a way of using established QR technology coupled with fintech open banking to create an ultra-low-cost solution to charity fundraising.
“We recognised immediately we had a solution that every charity, big or small, could use – online and offline, and from then on, we redirected all our energies into establishing Evershare as a fintech solution for the charity sector.”
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”the ongoing pandemic spurred us on to innovate.
When asked about the challenges of the pandemic, Julie predominantly saw opportunity and said “As regrettable as the circumstances are, the situation has forced us all into new ways of working that have helped rather than hindered our efforts to establish the business model.
“Zoom, for example, has actually made presenting the business much easier. The number of meetings the team has had with interested charities could not have been possible in the ‘old days’. We would have been running around the country getting to meet one or two charities a day, but now our next meeting is just a click away. If anything, it has accelerated our ability to launch.”
”just when they’re needed most, they’re getting hurt the most.
When discussing the importance of supporting charities Julie highlighted the harrowing fact that “A report in December 2020 showed that charities have lost close to £6bn in 2020.
“That made us think about the donation journey that needs to happen during and after lockdown, recognising in particular how people that were once happy to drop money in a collection tin held by a volunteer outside a local supermarket, may never be able to do so again.”
Julie and the team “firmly believe that cash is quickly disappearing from society, and it’s clear new ways have to be found for supporters to continue to fund charities”.
Evershare.io provides the opportunity for charities to utilise their unique QR code that can be printed on T Shirts, Placards, Flyers or digitally on emails or social media and link directly to bank to bank donations. As Julie said “the opportunities are enormous”. Check out the video below to see how it works:
”CSR is becoming more and more fundamental to businesses.
Commenting on the importance of CSR, Julie pointed to the many benefits of supporting charities, including the positive impact for teams.
“It has been proven that companies that are committed to CSR, have better staff retention, and more than ever, companies recognise that their employees want this.
“A London consultancy said recently that they were more likely to get candidates asking about the company’s CSR initiatives in the interview as they were about the perks and benefits of the job!”
In terms of how businesses can improve their CSR objectives, it was noted that “what many companies still lack is a way of making their CSR endeavours tangible and transparent to both their staff and the wider world.”
Evershare are looking to develop a “digital widget that companies will be able to show their staff, their suppliers and partners, including their chosen corporate charities, the benefit ‘Impact’ of their CSR programme that will help supporters and companies alike to be recognised for their support.”
”Businesses are absolutely crucial to the long term success of charities.
“Payroll giving, local and national partnerships through event sponsorship, employee participation and good old fashioned donations, are never more needed than now. It’s a well established model in the UK, which remains one of the most generous nations per head in the world.”
The pandemic is shining a light on the importance of supporting charities and how businesses can do that. Many, including Evershare.io and ourselves, are innovating to support this crucial sector.
Moving forward, Julie felt that tangible and transparent impact would become the crux of business to business relationships moving forward.
“We’re pretty convinced that companies who partner one another will begin to expect more transparency and clear evidence of each other’s commitment to CSR that actually delivers in real terms – whether in health and research, overseas development or local clubs and societies.
“As a business, we know we have a unique contribution to make and hope the Evershare QR fundraising code will be part of the post-pandemic solution to charitable giving across the country, and across all causes.”
The Elevate article series is designed to use our platform to elevate the voices of charities and businesses doing good that we admire & learn from.
One of our core values is ‘Elevation – supporting and uplifting organisations & charities creating positive action for a better world.’ We hope you enjoy the series!