Fujitsu Team raises £14,625 for The Prince’s Trust

Fujitsu’s Mudassir Husain explains his recent work with the Prince’s Trust Technology Leadership Group, and the importance of helping charities during the economic downturn.

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Good causes often get forgotten in difficult times. With financial stability and job security taking precedence, it is inevitable for charity to move closer to home.

But charities need more support than ever in times of recession, and the technology industry has a significant role to play.

The Prince’s Trust needs £1 million a week to continue its vital work, and the money raised by the TLG will help the UK’s most vulnerable young people into work, education or training.

Fujitsu is a patron to the Trust, and our fundraising team ‘Monkey Business Entrepreneurs’ have managed to raise over £14,000 since August 2008. We strongly encourage more industry colleagues to do the same.

The challenges

Running a charity campaign in your spare time brings numerous challenges, but none more so than the backdrop of economic doom and gloom that is currently gripping the world. With companies investing cautiously and reviewing their financial position more attentively, how do you persuade them to support charities?

Economic conditions aside, some people struggle to find the time for fundraising activities. But we’re living proof that a small group of people can make a big difference. Our Fujitsu team were geographically dispersed and came from all parts of the company for this challenge; a test in its own right. But we all managed to find at least a few spare hours each week to make the campaign a huge success.

Monkey Business Entrepreneurs: Our story

Our own campaign has been a real test of organisation, creativity and determination. Above all else, however, it has been a test of our entrepreneurial skills and business acumen. Fujitsu took part in the Trust’s ‘Million Makers’ challenge - a national competition that challenges teams of employees to compete against each other, raising as much cash as possible for The Trust.

We were tasked with planning and delivering fundraising activities and were provided with an investment seed to launch our ideas.

By the end of October 2008 (our campaign’s halfway point) we had barely raised £1,000. It was a real low point, but we were determined to turn the project around.

We concluded that our bigger ideas were too risky to provide the expected returns in the current climate, so our main approach was to focus on several smaller activities with each team member tasked to raise £1,000 each.

We improved our communications channels and weekly progress reporting made clear where progress was being made. The leadership team risk assessed each idea to ensure our investments were of sound value and supported team members in their first fundraises. It was a real test of character for us.

We undertook a variety of fundraising events, from raffles to fun runs to car washes. We even developed and launched DonateByPixel.com – a referral website inspired by the Million Dollar Homepage, where individuals and businesses can purchase advertising space at £2 per grid square.

Our team remained focussed on the end goal and the money began to pour in. By January we had raised £7,000 and had one final month remaining.

The TLG Big Debate Fundraiser

In order to boost the total to our £10,000 target, we needed to organise something pretty special, and fast.

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