Martin is Managing Director of Convio’s UK operations. He founded UK-based Baigent Digital 14 years ago, which was then acquired by Convio in July 2011. Martin has rich experience of understanding what clients need to achieve and creating a vision of how digital technology can support that – and has built the UK team to meet these challenges. He has led major digital projects for leading UK nonprofit organisations such as Cancer Research UK, Scripture Union and British Red Cross and over 50 other charity organisations.
In his own time, Martin has little time to put his feet up with three young daughters all under 10 to entertain, but does make time for mountain biking and acting as a volunteer production manager for events run by Northampton Youth Ministry Office.
Posted by Martin Campbell at Apr 05, 2012 10:49 AM CDT
Categories: Nonprofit Trends, Technology, Usability
If you're too young to remember where you were when JFK was shot, you might well remember where you were on December 26, 2004 when a massive tsunami caused a deadly natural disaster around the Indian Ocean. I'll remember that day well because I was on call as the manager of the British Red Cross' online donations and messaging platform. Of course the disaster prompted a flurry of activity at the Red Cross which sent aid to the region both directly and through local partners, and mobilised thousands of supporters to donate goods and cash in support of the effort.
One of the reasons that the date is so firmly etched in my memory is that the Red Cross did not use a cloud hosted solution. That meant that physical computers had to be racked and configured in pretty short order just to cope with the surge in demand caused by this significant event.
When looking at their future online platform requirements, I'm finding that the charities we work with are all very interested in what the cloud can offer. This is where the charity sector's specific needs really need to be addressed. There are some general reasons why cloud computing is gaining adoption and is seen by many as "a very good thing", but what I have found is that those charities choosing it aren't always doing so for the reasons that commercial organisations adopt the cloud. In our world, there seem to be three key strengths of the cloud which just can't be matched any other way:
So whatever systems you're considering for online - don't just read the standard stuff which applies to commercial organisations - cloud applications are super-charity-friendly in special ways!
When I’ve volunteered for charities before, especially when I am raising money – it has been striking how important it is to get the right support from the charity itself. With a small local charity you might get lucky (as I did) and have someone from the charity show up when you’re drumming up sponsorship or at the event itself, but when things get to a larger scale, it’s difficult to keep that level of support high, especially when the people giving that support may well be volunteers themselves.
Reflecting back on my own experience, I’d take away the following to anyone who’s thinking of planning or for that matter improving a fundraising event:
For an example of this done really well? Check out the Cancer Research UK “Relay for Life” website which brings together the cause, and tools and the practical help and guidance needed for both individual fundraisers and for the volunteer team that supports and co-ordinate them. Behind the scenes – the joined-up platform provided by Convio TeamRaiser means that the fundraising, volunteer management and reporting tasks are all completed online within the tool, giving a huge amount of practical help to those who are giving up their time to the charity. For me this really sets the standard in what I look for in terms of support and practical help in getting great results for the charity.
On 1st July 2011, Convio entered the UK through the acquisition of Baigent Digital, one of the UK’s leading online fundraising and web agency supporting charities.
Having founded Baigent Digital and worked in the UK charity sector for 14 years, it’s been a very interesting experience for me to engage with Convio and the US nonprofit sector in-depth recently and as an organisation it’s enabled us to learn a lot:
When looking across the pond, there are a few striking differences between charities here in the UK and nonprofits in the US.
However, what’s been even more striking has been the similarity between the US and UK organisations, in particular the fragmented/siloed structures and practices that organisations are frustrated about and seem stuck in. Here in the UK we seem to be particularly struggling with this problem, especially because we’ve never before had a single joined-up solution of technology and services for fundraising. We’re very excited to see what a difference Convio can make to charities here on this side of the pond.
We’re looking forward to sharing your experiences in the US in person during Summit in October, but in the meantime I hope the video/photo will give you all a flavour of our team and culture!
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