Startup Diaries: Disrupting the Charity Fundraising Sector
Andrea Fragata Ladeira shares the story behind her not-for-profit company Care2Save, which provides a sustainable and long-term source of fundng for charities across the UK.
I spent my early years in Nepal, first in Kathmandu and then amongst the farm huts of Pokhara, where my parents were doing missionary work. I look back and I think my experience in Nepal has certainly shaped my character and outlook on life as I was only three when my parents made the inspirational decision to go out there to help people.
At that time, Nepalese life was all I knew. We were conscious of rabid dog attacks, the toilet was a hole in the ground and I walked to school with my brother along a dried up river bed, which in certain months was impassable.
I may be 40 now but the sights, sounds and especially the vivid smell of the moment we stepped off the plane in Nepal will never leave me.
While I did witness the very worst of abject poverty, open sewers and families living in squalor, I also encountered incredible human kindness and compassion.
I think my desire to make a difference can be traced back to my experiences in Nepal.
When I was six, we returned to my grandparent’s Welsh family home and my brother and I were convinced their house was a palace. The Western world was like a paradise. I remember asking my grandmother how to work the toilet. When Christmas came and we unwrapped three years’ worth of gifts I was overwhelmed, but as a child you soon adapt to your new life.
I loved to work, and worked in many places throughout my teenage years: a hairdressers, a fish and chip shop and on a market stall, but there was one job in particular that helped to put me on the path I’m on now. A neighbour was employed at a local residential care home and told me she thought I’d enjoy it. She was right - I loved every minute of it and I was fascinated by the residents’ stories. My strongest memory of that job was that it was such a happy place.
It inspired me to want to work at St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice, where I am the Commercial Director, in addition to being CEO of Care2Save.
After earning a degree in Film, I began my career in corporate marketing. I moved into the third sector with St Luke’s just five years ago, when I came back to Wales with Callum and Maxwell, my two boys.
It was because of my work at St Luke’s that the idea for Care2Save came about. At the Cheshire-based hospice we sit and eat lunch alongside the residents. We all accept that hospices like ours, which deliver palliative care to those near the end of their lives, care for predominantly older people. But I remember one day sitting down to lunch beside a woman who was almost my own age, and I was shaken by the realisation of how precious life is. It was like looking at my reflection and I immediately found myself asking ‘what have I done in my life?’
I’m an incredibly visual person and I have a wall in my office where I write my ideas or create mood boards. The rule is that ‘if it goes on the wall, it will happen’ and this is where Care2Save started.
Part of my role is ensuring that St Luke’s has an on-going source of funds and Care2Save was originally conceived as a way to do that. However, once I understood the full potential of the idea, it was a natural progression to use Care2Save to create a new income stream for all charities.
The dream for Care2Save is to give everyone the opportunity to ask themselves, ‘how would I like to change the world?’ and actually do it.
We want to create a global ethical finance and retail model which changes the way people buy all services and products and allows them to support any charity close to their heart at the same time. Care2Save can and will create a revolutionary long-term funding source for good causes around the world. Setting up such a world-changing initiative has not come without its difficulties and we have certainly encountered a couple of issues on our journey.
Primarily, people think Care2Save is ‘too good to be true’. Care2Save has been created entirely for the benefit of charities and not for personal financial gain. We have no shareholders and our board of trustees are volunteers.
Myself and the team here have often come up against the question ‘what’s the catch?’ and our answer is simply, there isn’t one.
Charities struggling to raise funds is an issue across the board and Care2Save offers a new, sustainable and long-term source of income at no extra cost to the supporter. Some people may be familiar with businesses who operate in a similar way, distributing a small amount of commission to the charity sector. However Care2Save is completely different, we are a not-for-profit organisation and all of our commission goes to charity.
People’s doubts can stem from the fact that we are asking consumers to do something different with their money. We are creatures of habit and making small changes such as where to shop for insurance or how we do our food shopping, can make us a little uncomfortable. Having the animation on the website is an excellent referal for us. The short video allows our message to be perfectly conveyed in an entertaining way, ensuring people not only recognise Care2Save as a good idea, but then act on this and actually purchase through the service.
The coming weeks are actually a really exciting period for us, the website is due to become transactional and we have 55 brand new high street names coming on board.
As people begin to see big brands that they know and trust supporting Care2Save we can only see the initiative getting bigger and better.
Andrea Fragata Ladeira, 40, founder of ethical finance charity & service, Care2Save, which will create an unprecedented long-term income stream for UK charities by offering home and contents insurance – with more services coming on board shortly – with 100% of the introducer fee going to charity. 80% to the charity of the consumer’s choice, the remaining 20% to the Care2Save Charitable Trust which will distribute all profits to hospices and palliative care projects around the world.
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