Manifesto wins JustGiving Award for Best Use of Technology

Our beautiful JustGiving Award for Best Use of Technology

Last week Just Giving hosted an awards ceremony to acknowledge people and organisations who’d contributed in significant ways to Just Giving over the last 12 months. Manifesto had been nominated with Cancer Research UK for our work on Dryathlon, a campaign to inspire people to stop drinking for January and raise funds for CRUK in the process.

Dryathlon was a phenomenal success and inspired 40,000 people to raise over £4m to beat cancer.

We only had a couple of tickets for the event at the Troxy Theatre in Limehouse so, since many of the team had worked tirelessly on the project, the previous week we’d cut out little bits of paper with people’s names on them to decide who’d get to go. Simon and I came out of the winners (no malarkey involved I swear). I even wore a suit coat for the occasion, which was a little bit like putting a little shiny hat on a tricycle riding circus bear.

Before the event had started proper, Simon and I had an interesting discussion with a couple of the guys from appiChar. They’d built a product that plugs fundraising data into Salesforce, a CRM product. Then we discovered they were up against us for the award, so we politely excused ourselves and went to rubbish them to the judges.

We were sat at our table with a fairly diverse bunch of folk from Manifesto, JustGiving, Cancer Research UK, and others, including Keren Goff, an amazing fundraiser who works tirelessly with charities. She’d dyed her hair pink and blue (CRUK’s colours) for the occasion, and had a matching French manicure, and was about to shave her wild hair all off for fundraising, and also run the London marathon. Slightly beyond me, but I’m glad there are people out there doing it.

Claire Lomas won an award – she ran a marathon in 17 days wearing a bionic suit. Phenomenal commitment and perseverance on her part, and I also think the robot suit is immense too. Apparently built by Argo Medical Technologies, and able to help a woman paralysed from the waist down walk 26 miles.

For the award Manifesto were up for, “Best use of Technology”, we faced some real competition, including Great Ormond Street Hospital and the guys we met in the foyer. Simon and I thought that because Manifesto had only been allocated 2 tickets for the party that we weren’t really in with a chance (even if the project did raise £4m in two months), so we weren’t really expecting what happened next.

“The award goes to Manifesto and Cancer Research UK for Dryathlon!”

I don’t mind admitting my heart was hammering pretty hard at that moment, especially as we’d come to the decision that I’d be the one who had to make the speech if we won. Mercifully as I was on my way to the stage to say who knows what, Ed from CRUK walked up and collected the award.

Simon, Ed and I in our awards finery

At the bar after the awards, I met David Whitney, the Technical Architect at Just Giving. He was dressed in head to toe black, had very long hair and was bearded. I was going to ask him about his favourite metal bands which would likely have been interesting, but instead thought I should keep the conversation on track and had a chat about the future of technology at JG, including how they plan on developing the JustGiving API we used on the Dryathlon project.

By that stage I was feeling pretty wrecked and had an early start the next morning (unlike Simon *cough*) so I hightailed it home in a taxi. The next night we threw a party at Manifesto’s favourite local, The Narrow Boat, to celebrate with the members of the team who hadn’t been able to make it to the awards. Simon brought the purple perspex G along with him, and although I begged off early, by the looks of the expense receipts various members of the team were in high spirits.

All in all it was great effort by the Manifesto team, and one we’re going we’re going to repeat over and over until we need to get a trophy cabinet installed in the office to hold all the awards we’re going to win.

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  1. Congrats again guys, it was good getting the chance to meet you all, and I’m sure the future is looking pretty bright for further projects.

    Oh and I’m partial to Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, Opeth, Strapping Young Lad, Alice in Chains. You know, polyrhythmic technical prog/death metal, Gothenburg “melodeath” and old 90s hard rock and weird alternative.

    • Curtis Fox says:

      Thanks mate. We all worked long and hard on the project, including server resizing on New Year’s Eve at 9pm. Because we have no lives.

      Nice list of bands by the way. If you’re into Meshuggah (and I am) you might enjoy (if you don’t already) Fredrik Thordendal’s Special Defects, a one album side project which is kinda prog space jazz metal. Pretty awesome. Also, Alice in Chains rules, and will never, ever go out of style. Maybe a beer at the Black Heart or the Dev might be in order at some stage.

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