Age UK worked with Innovation in Giving awardee Ecomodo to develop a new giving programme to both generate income and create greater social impact.
In a strong example of open innovation, the UK’s largest charity for older people partnered with social enterprise Ecomodo (a platform for sharing skills, goods and empty spaces) to catalyse giving and help realise its vision of a world where older people flourish.
Relying heavily on individual – often one-off – donations, Age UK identified two main giving challenges: first, finding enough new, regular contributors to meet its growth targets and second, encouraging people over 50 to get involved in fundraising efforts.
Building on Ecomodo’s existing platform, Age UK explored a new business model based on skills-sharing – and encouraging older people to actively engage in society – called Wealth of Experience. The original project plan proposed testing the concept across a region of the UK, however based on the findings from the market research it was decided to scale back to only one community – Bromley and Greenwich.
Wealth of Experience connects local residents who need a specific task doing with time bank volunteers who can do it. All tasks are undertaken in return for a suggested donation to Age UK Bromley & Greenwich and helps to support older people in need within the local community.
The programme proved to be successful in linking people willing to donate their skills to people willing to donate – meeting the objective of generating income and social impact. Skills for sharing included IT help, DIY, knitting and gardening. Visit the Wealth of Experience blog to find out more.
The longer term financial viability of the idea and the delivery model used in the pilot are still under review however early indications are that there is interest in continuing with the project beyond the pilot, even if this is done offline.
Age UK was awarded £68,579* to support the front and back-end development of the platform, salary contributions for key staff at Age UK and Ecomodo and market research.
*The original award was £120,000 however this was reduced to reflect a simplified version of the programme’s pilot.
Innovation Manager at Age UK