In 2002 when Makerble's founder Matt Kepple was at university, he started sponsoring a child called Miguel using his student load. It was fantastic - something his parents had always done and he had wanted to do for a while. It wasn't long however before Matt was low on funds and needed to cancel his sponsorship; but he missed the updates he used to receive from Miguel.
He had an idea: sponsorship was £18 a month. What if he asked 18 friends to donate £1 each?
He asked them and it happened. Sponsor a Kid for a Quid was born and lots of others joined in.
The Evolution of the idea
In 2006 inspired by a Megabus slogan for £1 intercity travel whilst on a bus trip between London and Birmingham, Matt had the idea to apply the Sponsor a Kid for a Quid concept to projects by charities tackling all causes so that everyone could get updates on what their donations achieved, similar to how people received updates from the children they sponsored.
Makerble is born
Makerble started in 2013 and launched in 2014 after a year of building up a marketplace of charities across every cause who would share with donors where their donations went. The concept was now: ‘Come to Makerble to find and donate to projects who will tell you where your money goes’ in the same way as once upon a time, Miguel had shared those stories with Matt.
But we hit a roadblock. The people who wanted to donate were incredibly excited but charities faced all sorts of challenges in communicating what they achieved. Why? Because external communication is the last step in an internal process that looks a bit like what is summarised in these five steps:
We spoke to hundreds of charities and most of them wanted to reach that final communication state with donors. Each of them was at a different step in the above process but one thing was clear. Spreadsheets were the best bet that some charities had. Other charities used lots of different tools to collect data and the truth was that migrating information from whichever system they used - if they used one - was an admin headache. We needed to make the process easier in order for our communication dreams to come true. The current tools weren’t fit for purpose.
Makerble’s Impact Tracker
We’ve built some tech now that, if you work at a charity, takes you through the entire process above. You can draw inspiration from what other charities measure, plug in the metrics that you’ve decided to use to measure what you do, collect quantitative and qualitative data from programme staff and then curate and share it with your donors. Think of it as a one-stop shop for all of your teams. It’s our hope that we’ve made the art of communication, and all of the steps before, a whole lot easier by bringing it all into one place so that the headache is minimised. We’ve released what we have in an imperfect state so we can continue to take feedback. Let us know your ideas and check out our video tours of Makerble!