In 2008, British entrepreneur Marcelle Speller and the UK Community Foundation Network (the national body of the UK’s 57 community foundations) launched LocalGiving.com, a searchable web-based directory of Britain’s local charities and community groups. The following year, Ms. Speller donated her half of LocalGiving.com’s shares to the Ardbrack Foundation whose mission is to support communities worldwide through the impact of technology. LocalGiving.com has demonstrated its usefulness in collecting and sorting information from a host of small organizations.
LocalGiving.com has provided the inspiration and guidance for RHODI’s:
- Information gathering systems
- Standardization of information
- Web-access interface (making the information available online)
- Content management (easily searchable and updated)
- Page template design (based on drop-down menus)
- Ability to take payments
LocalGiving.com provided RHODI with a series of best-practices guidelines and has shared the ‘lessons learned’ of the past four years. These included advice on sustainability (for example, the use of match funds, membership fees and corporate sponsorships), updating mechanisms (such as incentives for directory members to keep their information current), developing a help desk (for example, developing escalation policies in times of technology crises), as well as measurement and reporting.