A pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness.

logoWho are they?

Where are they?
Orpington, Kent.

What do they do?
Raise money to provide grants for breast cancer charities.

How big are they?
C£150,000 raised last year.

What did they receive?
Microsoft Project, Office Professional Plus, Windows XP Professional, OneNote; Symantec Norton AntiVirus, 360 4.0.

The outcome?
Modern office IT, with no money diverted from charitable grants.

The ‘pink ribbon’ as a symbol of breast cancer awareness is an extremely successful brand, by any definition. So familiar is the icon, you might expect the UK’s Pink Ribbon Foundation to support an enormous organisation in its own right. Yet the charity has one of the leanest administration functions in the sector.

“We have very tight cost control,” says Jonathan Prince, one of the Trustees. “We keep it simple; we beg, borrow or steal what we need! 95% of what we collect is given out in grants, and we are building up a reserve for eventualities.”

These grants might go to any of the numerous UK charities that deal with breast cancer. “From small regional volunteer groups that are perhaps allied to a hospital, up to Marie Curie Cancer Care; to Imperial College, for research; sometimes to hospices,” explains Jonathan. “If you are a breast cancer charity then you can come to us for a grant. We raise the money through any number of means –primary school kids baking cakes with pink icing; sponsored 10k runs; there are some ladies currently cycling across the Alps…”

CTX facilitated donations to the charity from both Microsoft and Symantec. “Without this, we’d have had to exist with old software or pay full price, “Jonathan says. “But the rates from CTX – just a handling fee – were phenomenal. Now we have up-to-date communications. The core Microsoft products are ideal and we can now read Project documents that people send us; Symantec’s virus checker is an absolute must, and we update this every year.”

The Pink Ribbon Foundation is extremely keen on making itself accessible, recognising that applying for grants can be an onerous business particularly for its small ‘clients.’ It has kept its application form to four pages in length and asks for a straightforward explanation of what is proposed, plus a couple of progress updates throughout the year. Importantly, it also likes to engage with the outside world, encouraging dialogue and personal enquiries from prospective beneficiaries.

In this, Jonathan sees a small parallel with CTX. “More and more, organisations do hide behind a wall. But alongside their website, CTX’s staff are so helpful – they are very happy to have a chat and deserve praise for that – they help people who are less IT-savvy and present a friendly, personable face for the organisation.”





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