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How sales fundraising became a valuable part of Refuge’s community fundraising activity.

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Small businesses are essential for Refuge, as they bring in substantial income and raise awareness for us in local communities…Work for Good is a fantastic tool to facilitate this.

Jess Carmody - Senior Community Fundraising Executive at Refuge

About Refuge

Refuge is the country's largest provider of services for women and children experiencing domestic abuse and gender-based violence.

The challenge

During lockdown, Refuge saw a 120% increase in calls to their helpline and launched their campaign 'This isn't her first lockdown'. This ignited a huge wave of support from the public and although this was primarily aimed at individual supporters it also caught the eye of small businesses who wanted to do their part, by raising funds through their sales.

Previously Refuge have had to turn away support from smaller businesses donating under certain thresholds, due to the time and resource it took to set up the Commercial Participation Agreements. However, as demand grew from smaller businesses wanting to donate, they realised they needed to find a quick solution to be able to facilitate this type of fundraising, so turned to Work for Good for help.

The time-saving solution

Our digital CPA solution enabled Refuge to direct their supporters to Work for Good quickly and seamlessly using their branded profile page. Within minutes of creating their account they were able to accept donations of any size, streamline their stewardship of business supporters and save hours in team resources and admin.

Businesses create their Commercial Participation Agreement when they set up their fundraising campaign via the form below.

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Click to view enlarged image here.

Work for Good has been invaluable for our community fundraising income – since joining the platform in 2020, we have raised over £100,000 in pledges and donations.

Sales fundraising is a key part of Refuge’s community fundraising activity, with small businesses not only raising funds but awareness of issues surrounding domestic abuse.

The results

At present 98 small businesses ranging from bakeries to vintage boutiques have donated and pledged funds to Refuge, fundraising through sales of products and services. In addition to the donations of 87k, the charity has also received £53k in pledges. With the Work for Good platform taking care of the Commercial Participation Agreement, it has enabled the team at Refuge to accept more small business donations than ever before and therefore increase their income.

"The platform automatically creating a CPA for supporters means that our fundraising team can ensure that our time and effort is invested in stewarding our supporters and maximising fundraising, which ultimately helps women and children escaping domestic abuse. The dashboard helps us to clearly see pledges and donations, which enables us to identify our strongest small business supporters and plan ahead.”

Charity champions

One of the businesses that wanted to support Refuge was illustrator and maker Nicola Rowlands who ran a fundraising campaign from August 2020 to March 2021 through the sales of her lavender eye bags. She donated 10% from the sales of each lavender bag and in total raised over £725.

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“My feelings towards business have changed a lot over the past year or so and I really want to not only make a profit but make a change. I chose to donate to Refuge after hearing on the Radio that during lockdown domestic violence had risen - this is horrifying and I wanted to help in a small way” ⠀

Nicola Rowlands - Founder of Nicola Rowlands

Fine jeweller Christopher Thompson Royd crafted 240 hand cut, shaped and painted forget me nots to produce a range of exquisite earrings to raise money for Refuge and in total raised over £12,000.

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He continually used his own social media platform to raise awareness of domestic abuse issues writing that he had created the earrings:

“because for too many, lockdown at home is far from safe. It is Refuge who are supporting those fleeing domestic violence, and they are reporting a 70% increase in calls during this time. “

Small businesses have the power to make a difference to charities by using the voices and their platforms to raise awareness of issues beyond those that are already charity supporters.