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Business students develop charity fundraising plan for abandoned dogs and cats

16th June 2022

A consultancy project led by a team of students from Northumbria University, Newcastle, is helping a North East charity to launch a brand-new fundraising initiative.

Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, which helps thousands of lost, unwanted, neglected, abused and abandoned animals every year, is launching the first-ever charity mobile lottery to raise vital funds to secure its future.

The much-loved charity approached The Business Clinic at Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School, who they have worked with twice before, for consultancy advice about developing a marketing strategy for their mobile lottery.

The Business Clinic is an education scheme whereby a group of business students form a ‘consultancy firm’ to provide free advice for clients. Supervised by experienced tutors, students are asked to analyse the problem they are presented with, consider possible solutions and provide a detailed report and full presentation of their recommendations for their client.

Final year business students Liza Petho, Lili Toth, Anna Hall and Daniel Finta operating as Maven Business Consulting undertook extensive research exploring other charity lotteries, identifying key audience and player demographics and evaluating what digital marketing strategies should be implemented. 

Beth Codling, Digital & Partnerships Manager at Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, was very impressed with the students. She said: “In the past we have relied on legacies to fund our work, but we now recognise the importance of being financially independent so that’s why we are launching a mobile lottery.

“We thought it was the perfect opportunity to get The Business Clinic involved, and the students were brilliant. They were so passionate about the project and the research they carried out was fantastic. It was great to get an outsiders’ view of how we could develop the lottery, and their recommendations have really made us think about what we need to do to make it a success.

“This is the third time we’ve worked with The Business Clinic and we’ve been continually impressed with the high standard of work and professionalism. As a charity the investment in time alone is worth working with the University, as we could not have justified the time or expense to carry out the level of work the students have done. We’re really excited about launching our mobile lottery and can’t wait to take on board Maven Business Consulting’s recommendations to make it a huge success.”

The new fundraising lottery solution, created by Donr, a digital fundraising platform, will enable charity supporters to win up to £10,000 while supporting their favourite charity – using just their mobile phone number.

Team member and final year business student, Anna Hall, 22, from Northern Ireland said: “It was great to be able to work on a real business project, and the practical experience I gained has been invaluable. We had to collaborate as a team to plan our approach and meet Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter’s brief within the agreed timescale.

“It was really motivating to know that we could make a difference to the charity by putting all of our business skills and knowledge into practice to develop a new marketing strategy for the shelter. We’re really pleased that Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter are going to implement our recommendations to promote their new mobile lottery.”

Since its inception in 2013 the pioneering Business Clinic has provided free student-led consultancy advice to some 600 clients with an estimated value of £3.3 million.

Nigel Coates, Director of the Business Clinic for Northumbria University, said: “Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter are a fantastic charity, who have a great story to tell with recently celebrating their 125-year anniversary. They are one of many organisations who see the benefit of working with our students and it’s great to see them returning year after year with a new and exciting project.

“The Business Clinic is not only a great experience for our students, but a huge opportunity for all types of businesses from SMEs and multinationals through to not-for-profit organisations to get the kind of comprehensive advice they might otherwise be unable to access.

“The feedback we have been given is extremely positive across the broad range of organisations we have worked with recently and we’re looking forward to supporting more businesses in the years to come. We’d encourage any firms considering getting involved to get in touch.”

To find out more about free consultancy support please visit The Business Clinic.

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The Business Clinic

The Business Clinic is an education scheme whereby a group of business students participate in a ‘consultancy firm’ to provide advice for our clients. The service is offered for all types of businesses from SME’s, multi-national and through to not for profit organisations.

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