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Comic Relief

cloudThing built a Gift Aid solution from the ground up using Dynamics 365 to ensure fiscal efficiency through automated checking of information and big data analytics..

The Client

Comic Relief

Comic Relief is a British charity which currently employs more than 300 individuals. Founded in 1985, it addresses the general public in biannual events alongside Children in Need, another major charity. It creates high-profile telethons to raise money for poor and similarly disadvantaged individuals from all walks of life. Famous for running campaigns such as "Red Nose Day", Comic Relief is said to have raised more than £85 million pounds since 2015 alone.

The Challenge

What did we need to do?

All charities rely on Gift Aid as a major source of revenue, essentially adding an extra 25p to every pound donated by the public. When you are a charity as large as Comic Relief, this adds up to millions of pounds reliant on consistent, auditable paperwork for every single donation received.

Huge amounts of Gift Aid contributions can be written off if a charity if found to have as little as 2% of total donations non-compliant. It is quite easy for a gift aid contribution to be seen as non-compliant as one wrong character or spelling mistake on a claim can mean an incorrect name or address.

With donations coming from multiple channels such as mobile, online, events, over the phone and more, it was crucial to develop a modern solution that could amalgamate and validate thousands of claims in a scalable, automated manner.

Solution Overview

Dynamics + Azure Processing

We successfully designed and delivered a new solution as a service based on the Microsoft cloud. We blended business and technical architecture to create a custom Microsoft Dynamics 365 plugin which would take advantage of automation to continuously check all claim data for syntax errors or missing fields, and flag those which need to be corrected.

Solution Elements


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Azure Processing

UX Design

The Outcome

Comic Relief’s in-house staff could now focus on proactive work, rather than manually checking data for errors across multiple spreadsheets, they could focus on fixing the errors found by the software’s clever business rules to identify non-compliant claims.

The application also takes advantage of big data computing power available within Azure to process the upload, validation and processing of claims, meaning the solution can process huge amounts of claims at once, with minimal waiting time. As part of our build future philosophy, business rules can easily by customised by the customer, to ensure that if HMRC rules change, the system can still ensure compliance with minimal effort.

The solution is currently used by Comic Relief and has helped them be confident when forecasting Gift Aid revenue. At cloudThing, we are proud to have built a scalable, long term solution which will help charities ensure they can claim back the millions gifted to them by the public for good causes around the world.




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