Reason Digital provides online donations support for BBC Children in Need’s 2017 Appeal

Find out more about the robust tech platform used to capture and process PayPal donations for BBC Children in Need

Austin Clark | 28th Nov 17

BBC Children in Need is one of the biggest fundraising events of the year and online donations play an important role as more and more people use their smartphones not just to call the donation line, but to make online and text donations as well.

To cater for this, BBC Children in Need required a robust way to handle online donations to capture the outpouring of generosity on the BBC Children in Need Appeal Show.

With this in mind, digital social enterprise Reason Digital designed and developed a robust tech platform to capture and process PayPal donations for BBC Children in Need. The PayPal platform has been tested to withstand massive peaks in traffic, given the huge scale of the appeal.

The pages that the public see are designed to ensure as many people as possible complete the process including features such as: recommended amounts; examples of the difference donations make; secure pages; and a live donation ticker showing would-be donors how many other people like them are giving right now.

The platform is available to the public regardless of which device they use, with many donations coming from “multiscreen viewers” using their smartphone to give whilst watching the show from their couch.

In addition to donations, reporting was also an area where specific consideration and expertise was needed. A monthly report of donations wouldn’t work for an appeal night, so the platform has been designed to record and report donations in real time, allowing the donation totaliser on TV to be updated as the public makes donations online.

Built from the ground up

As well as building and optimising the secure donation platform, specialist developers from the Manchester-headquartered company were on hand on Friday night, ensuring that the platform was available and running at optimum capacity for the duration of the evening.

Matt Haworth, co-founder at Reason Digital said: “This isn’t just an online donation process. During the appeal show, BBC Children in Need receives many donations in a single evening, so we knew that the platform had to be designed and built from the ground up to meet the needs of the appeal.”

 “To ensure this, we built and tested the platform to withstand the sudden bursts of donations we expected and, as part of our work, we also monitored the performance of the platform on the night to ensure it provided maximum impact.”

“It’s an absolute privilege to do our bit to help BBC Children in Need continue its vital work improving the lives of children across the UK.”

Kerry Howard, head of operations (Appeal) at BBC Children in Need said: “We are extremely grateful for the generosity shown by everyone who has supported this year’s Appeal. The money raised will go on to make a lasting, positive difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the UK.”