Fighting for a British icon.

Red Squirrel survival trust logo
Who are they?
THE RED SQUIRREL SURVIVAL TRUST.

Where are they?
Office in London, but working nationally.

What do they do?
Aim to ensure the survival of the native British red squirrel.

How big are they?
One full-time, one part-time member of staff.

What did they receive?
MS Office Professional Plus.

The outcome?
This new charity starts off with industry standard software.

It’s widely-known in Britain that the Red Squirrel has diminished in population – but perhaps many people don’t appreciate quite how totally this much-loved native mammal has disappeared from our island. In fact, as a sobering distribution map on the Red Squirrel Survival Trust’s excellent website demonstrates, this once-thriving animal has practically disappeared from all but the far North of England, South and Central Scotland and small areas of Wales.

rsst image

With a high-profile patron in HRH The Prince of Wales, the Trust is a new charity, set up to support the work of the many small local Red Squirrel conservation groups and to raise funds and national awareness of the issue.

“We have a small shared office in King’s Cross, and run a very lean operation,” explains Joshua Perry, Director of the Trust. “We aim to keep overheads as low as possible so that we can devote more to work in the field.”

As a start-up, the Trust – in Joshua’s words – “had nothing in terms of IT – we had some volunteers working on their own computers.” Having worked with CTX at a previous charity, Joshua contacted the donation scheme to secure much-needed software – in this first instance, Microsoft’s wide-ranging Office Professional Plus suite.

“I can’t think of a single organisation these days that doesn’t need IT,” he says. “We need it for essential projects that we run with partner organisations, and as a basis for good financial management. Additionally, for example, we can use MS Publisher to do some of our marketing ourselves, rather than having to pay somebody else to do it. But people much prefer to give charities money for their core cause, and charities have a responsibility to keep costs down. This donation saved us several hundred pounds.”

With his experience in the sector, Joshua is perceptive about how charities can get the most from IT, and is enthusiastic that CTX continues, stressing that it must be “as flexible as possible – to suit the little guy.” He is certainly clear about the benefits of the CTX programme to organisations such as his. “I think that it’s particularly valuable to the very small charities,” he says. “with CTX you can have the tools to run your organisation as if you were running a large private business – but spend very little in the process.”

 
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