New Big Society Network campaign aims to be ‘biggest fundraising event in history’

Big Society Network is preparing to launch a major Olympic legacy campaign called Britain’s Personal Best, which aims to become the “largest mass participation event in Britain, the biggest fundraising event in history and the most successful human development event in history”.

It will encourage people to set themselves challenges over the weekend of 4, 5 and 6 October 2013 and raise money for charities.  

A key strategic partner for the campaign is Acevo, whose chief executive Sir Stephen Bubb, wearing his other hat as chair of Social Investment Business, is currently investigating a complaint about the £199,900 Social Action Fund grant that was awarded to Big Society Network (BSN).

Acevo’s website states: “Acevo have recently partnered with the Big Society Network to support the launch of a new national campaign, Britain’s Personal Best. Britain’s Personal Best are looking to run a focus group session in London in early March to discuss the possibilities of the campaign and all Acevo members are welcome to attend. The initiative has also been cited as one of the projects for consideration for the Big Lottery’s new fund the ‘Spirit of 2012 Trust’.”


Civilsociety.co.uk has asked both Big Society Network and the Cabinet Office whether BSN used its Social Action Fund grant to develop Britain’s Personal Best, but neither had responded by deadline.  Earlier this month the Social Investment Business, administrator of the Fund, said it could not divulge what services had been delivered with the grant because of data protection laws, and last week a Cabinet Office spokeswoman said the grant had not all been spent yet and that “we are now assessing how BSN and the project is going to work in the context of the broader Olympic legacy”.

Other strategic partners of the BPB campaign include Acosvo, Navca, Groundwork UK and the Institute of Fundraising.

‘People want to know where their money is going’

Although there is nothing about Britain’s Personal Best on Big Society Network’s website, the concept is explained in a short film on its Vimeo page, presented by Sky Sports news presenter Charlie Webster.

Webster starts by saying “there was something special about the London Olympics” and that Britain’s Personal Best will “build on that sense of togetherness to create a new life-enhancing campaign and digital platform to build one of the largest fundraising events ever seen”.

She says: “To be effective we have to make giving a natural part of people’s everyday lives…every penny raised by the individual will go to their chosen charity or cause.

“People want to know where their money is going…we will work with charities to make sure the money is going to something specific and is not open-ended.”

The campaign will be backed by “top talent in the arts, sports and entertainment industries and launched with one of Britain’s biggest broadcasters”, Webster added.

According to background literature about the event on Acosvo’s website, Big Society Network’s chief executive Steve Moore is also chief executive of Britain’s Personal Best. Britain’s Personal Best’s chief operating officer is Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs, who was chair of Volunteering England until its recent merger with NCVO, and ex-CEO at Barrow Cadbury Trust.

The documents state that the organisers “envisage BPB to grow to be in league with the likes of Comic Relief”.

Technology ‘will outperform existing donation sites’

They claim the technology that will underpin the campaign will offer charities opportunities to engage with supporters in new ways: “There are many simple donations processing sites out there, but they do not develop the relationships that matter most to charities.

“Our online portal and mobile app will be a much more subtle and thoughtful way of attracting people online. Rather than potential donors just being sent a link and asked to donate to a cause about which they may not know anything, Britain’s Personal Best is a year-round programme of activity that attracts people first and foremost to human stories – of their friends and family tackling human challenges that mean a lot to them – challenges that are more deeply personal and therefore interesting to follow.

“The platform will be designed to be modern, innovative and engaging. Instead of users being overpowered with irrelevant content the experience will be tailored to their interests and connections found by aggregating graphs across multiple social networks.

“This has never been attempted by an online social enterprise ever before.”

This article was taken from Civil Society – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/fundraising/news/content/14775