As we reach the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown, Janet Morgan, one of our volunteer researchers, explains what the pandemic meant for givto and charitable giving.
givto is a new digital solution that enables people to give to a different charity each month with one single Direct Debit. Users sign up and are presented with three different charities to choose from each month, including national but also much smaller, local charities in their area. This gives the user the flexibility of choice, an opportunity to give to charities they may never have known about otherwise and to help their local community.
I joined the volunteer team in February 2020 just before lockdown, helping to develop the brand and the usability of the website.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and we were thrown into national lockdown, I don’t think any of us at givto realised just how relevant this change in how we were living would be to the givto idea. Lockdown created two key shifts in how we came together which in fact mirrored some of the key benefits of the givto concept.
Firstly, digital tools were suddenly rocketed into the lives of a huge number of people. Up to that point, many were simply using digital tools for banking or shopping, holidays or insurance, and others had not embraced the digital world much at all – either by choice, fear or lack of know-how.
The availability of Zoom and Teams meant people like my 90 year old mum can now see her family and take part in the quiz on a weekly basis. Never have we as a family seen each other more than at this time! Digital tools have become an often essential lifeline for communication, social interaction and business transactions for many of us.
Secondly, we saw communities come together to acknowledge and thank NHS staff and key workers for all their hard work with the Thursday night ‘Clap for Key workers’. I know in my street I got to meet neighbours, albeit from across the road with a wave and smile, who I had never met before.
This was echoed in a new sense of community that was emerging, with neighbours beginning to look out for each other, people shopping for those who were housebound, volunteers helping to feed hospital staff, and a growing sense of caring about those who lived nearby.
This sense of caring for your local community, along with the growing use and acceptance of digital tools, go hand in hand with givto’s ethos and what its unique offer is all about.
Launching givto in the current climate feels as if we are offering a service which combines both these shifts just at the right time; enabling people to donate to local community charities through a convenient digital tool.
To me, it certainly feels like the silver lining to what has been an incredibly challenging time for so many of us.
Join givto today at www.givto.org