Jon Douglas, Director of Business Development at Givergy, talks about raising money for charities.

Givergy is an award-winning company that was founded in 2009, helping charities raise more at their fundraising events and online. During the last twelve months, Givergy has seen raised over £25 million for more than 1,200 incredible causes through an array of interactive fundraising products. Jon Douglas, Director of Business Development, tells us more...

We came up with the idea when... Cancer Research UK were looking to replace pen and paper silent auction bid sheets with technology at their Gala events in 2011. We initially adapted our sister company’s technology, VPAR - Live Golf Scoring, and applied it to silent auction bidding and live pledging. Still interactive, fun, wireless and easy to use it plays on the competitive side of each of us and simply raised the charity more than their traditional efforts.

The biggest challenge is... recruiting talent fast enough to support our fast-growing, global tech start-up.

The average day is spent... Every day is very different but each day is certain to include some element of jumping between tasks to do with all aspects of the business, keeping our customers front of mind – strategy, sales, marketing, operations, product etc. One thing is for sure though, it will consist of meetings, emails and coffee!

The team consists of... 48 ‘A-game’ players that will expand to 75+ by the end of 2016 in nine offices around the globe.

My favourite quote... “Small acorns grow into big oak trees!” This refers to supporting all events we can – even the smallest ones have, over the years, developed into much larger events than ever anticipated. No event is ever too small!

I am where I am today because of... I can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes.

I am who I am because of... My desire for everything to reach its full potential.

The best advice I've been given... If you need something done then give it to a busy person and never turn down a coffee.

In five years I’d like to be... Happily reflecting on where we have taken Givergy since 2011 having realised our 2020 strategy and also consulting to other small / medium size firms enabling them to reach similar goals.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... Standard working hours go out of the window... the web doesn’t ever go to sleep!

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us... When it comes to tech and development requirements you can’t say ‘yes’ to all clients – no matter how much you want to assist them.

Staying true to your product roadmap and timeline is absolutely key in order to do what you do well rather than try and do a little bit of everything. For the first few years we tried to do everything we were ever asked including quiz and voting technology but since 2013 we have solely focused on fundraising products, silent auctions and pledging. By narrowing our focus it has really allowed us to expand at the rate we have done and in a ‘relatively’ controlled manner while still delivering an exceptional range of products to our customers.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date... Winning our first award in 2013. The Best Digital/Technology Partner – Charity Facing given by the Institute of Fundraising and voted for by those in the industry to reflect all our hard work.

January 2016