Give A Book

Give a Book was set up in 2011 in memory of writer and playwright Simon Gray who loved to read and to share his reading. The charity helps to develop access to books and reading, working mainly in prisons and primary schools with partner organisations that include, Magic Breakfast, First Story, Book Clubs in Schools, Reading Ahead and Story Book Mums.

Give a Book donates books to a wide range of people at a time when they really need it and supports a range of programmes including Magic Breakfast Book Clubs in primary schools, and Story Book Mums, enabling parents in prison to create bedtime stories for their children.

In April Give a Book applied for a Tech Surgery for advice around how they were using technology as a team and how to improve their website. During the meeting with David, CITA’s volunteer, the discussion expanded to consider how Give a Book might use social media to help promote the charity and the option of setting up a membership initiative for donors.

With regard to Give a Book’s website David suggested a number of steps in developing a revised website, including preparing a short list of key requirements, identifying the main content and functionality to be supported and agreeing a budget. After identifying a shortlist of potential WordPress Website design/development suppliers the charity would then request proposals and design ideas from each potential supplier, select a shortlist and hold presentation of proposal meetings before selecting a provider based on a Balanced Scorecard.

Following the Tech Surgery David provided additional support via CITA’s free IT Consultancy service.

What difference did CITA’s support make?

Has it helped you in how you work?

“David was tremendously helpful to us. When we got in contact with CITA we were struggling to know what improvements were necessary for our website, what budget would be appropriate, and which kinds of developer to approach for the work. He helped us put together a draft proposal and advised on the shortlist of organisations to send it to.”

Have there been any cost savings?

“Hugely. Prior to David’s help our current web developer had quoted us a very large amount of money. We had also been approached by another developer who wanted to win our business offering the same service, at a tenth of that price. We were therefore confused about what was appropriate, so David helped us to find a budget in between the two extremes that deliver a website that would be sufficient for our needs yet still reliable and fully supported. By not going with the original proposal from the first web developer, we saved approximately £5000.”

What were you expecting from the advice session and how well did it meet your needs?

“I was expecting for it to be a down to earth discussion of technological needs in layman’s language, which is exactly what David was able to offer. He was organised and thorough, guiding us through a confusing world of technological lingo without over complicating anything. At the end of it we had a clear plan of action and a much better understanding of what we needed to achieve.”