Marcelle was a Finalist Women's Social Leadership Awards | Category Leader in the Workplace - Intermediary 2013
Marcelle Speller OBE, who co-founded, built and sold the hugely successful Holiday-Rentals.com business, applied her know-how to pioneer a digital platform that helps build communities by enabling the smallest, and therefore most vital, local community groups and charities to raise money, awareness and support online.
Working together with UK Community Foundations and other partners, Speller committed four years and £2.5m of her personal wealth to develop Localgiving.com. Inspired by the service that small, unregistered groups provide to their communities, Speller’s dotcom brainchild has given them access to new donors and new ways to increase awareness and raise funds. This includes social media and online matching using grants from the government’s Office for Civil Society and other private philanthropists.
In 2011, there were 278 charities on the website; today there are over 3300 charities online. In 2011, Localgiving.com generated £20,000 in donations. T;oday it has generated more than £3 million in donations. Last year the site had charities from 23% of the UK online; today it’s 100% with groups from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales on board.
One of the main obstacles faced by Marcelle in her quest to develop Localgiving.com was convincing many of the very groups she was trying to help that Localgiving.com would be beneficial to their sustainability. Many very small local charities are run by individuals with little or no IT experience who are sometimes uncomfortable with technology. One of Marcelle’s aims is to demystify the Internet for these individuals.
Marcelle’s solution was to offers groups practical help and advice on building a web presence and promoting their site by holding workshops around the country to explore alternatives to grants and traditional fundraising and to demonstrate online marketing and donation tools.
A dedicated Help Line is available when those tricky techy problems come up! And Localgiving.com provides marketing and PR support with dedicated marketing materials for local charity areas.
More about Local Giving and Marcelle Speller here.