A hospice has raised £250,000 to help provide end of life care for people after launching a new digital strategy.
St Kentigern Hospice in St Asaph enlisted top tech firm Livetech to help it raise money on the web through a new online shop and donations.
The Llandudno-based company which specialises in internet marketing, search engine optimisation, website design, and app creation, designed a sleek website for the charity.
St Kentigern Hospice is an eight-bed in patient hospice with day care facilities and provides unparalleled palliative care for those with life-threatening and terminal illness.
It has to rely on 80 per cent of its income from the generous donations of the public.
Trefor Jones, chairman of St Kentigern said: “Using online methods is an exciting development in terms of fund-raising and something we are looking to expand.
“Overall, we have already raised £250,000 through things like Just Giving pages for fund-raising efforts and the new website. We believe there is great potential to increase online income.
“For us it’s such a handy tool to reach out to the wide range of people that we have contact with. It’s a fast-track to talk to them and for them to talk with us.
“It’s remarkable that every age group, from children that are six and seven years old to people in their 60s and 70s, they’re all engaging with the digital world.
“The website built by Livetech has been very successful and it’s driven a lot of revenue. With revenue you need to tap every resource you can, and the website has been a very powerful tool for us. It makes life easier for people to donate money to us, and easier for us to handle it.
“The website is a way for people to gain information about is and the work we do to help people in their time of need. We can tell our story on the digital platforms.
“Livetech are really good at their job and we’re really fortunate in North Wales to have these skills available to us.
“We get less than 20 per cent of our money from government sources, so we need to raise more than 80 percent ourselves.
“We need to raise £1.4 million a year, so we still need to raise a huge amount through more traditional fund-raising methods.
“We’re very lucky because the Vale of Clwyd is a very generous area. We are very grateful for all the on-going support we receive because it is essential in terms of ensuring this vital service continues.”
Paul Levy, Managing Director of Livetech said: “St Kentigern really is a wonderful organisation. It’s a real privilege to work with them, and we’re delighted that the website we built for them has enabled to raise so much money.
“It’s essential for charities to be digitally aware. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways you can communicate with a target audience.
“You have to get the right balance between your website assets and your social media and get them working together. You want to get people sharing information as well.
“It’s about understanding people’s needs and what makes a difference to the organisation.
“From a fundraising point of view they’ve got such a lot on the go. They’ve got events, donations, the shops, and now they’ve got an online shop and online donations as well.
“We wanted to draw all those elements together in a way that was cohesive and well-branded.
“It’s all about people and the difference St Kentigern makes to their lives. We wanted to communicate that so people know that when they do give money they know that it’s going to a good cause.”
Laura Parry, fundraising manager for St Kentigern added: “We’ve got 10 shops across the area, we have fundraising events and we have loads of them going on, we support people in the community who are doing things for us like running marathons, cycling, organising karaoke evenings. We have a hospice lottery that’s drawn every week which has a top prize of £1,000.
“The digital strategy helps us to boost all of those things because it helps keep them at the forefront of people’s minds. People are generally becoming more digital in the way that they operate.
“People do more of their shopping on like and they look things up online find information out before they go to do something. So you might go online to find more information about an event.
“You might go online to find more information about something before you invest in it, and I think it’s important for us to have a web presence that is easily accessible to the general public, not just people who are techy.
“From a fundraising perspective the digital aspect is growing in importance. Having a digital strategy has changed the way we raise money. Social media has really boomed and that has had a big impact on things like the Glow Run we organised last year.
“The work by Livetech helps us keep the word out in the community about the work St Kentigern does.”
For more information about St Kentigerm visit www.stkentigernhospice.org.uk, and for more information about Livetech visit www.livetech.co.uk.