Posted on May 29, 2018 by staff

‘LinkedIn for charities’ expanding outside London


The co-founder of a new digital start-up using technology to ‘level the charity playing field’ is expanding to the North after a successful pilot in London.

Miia Kankaanpaa is co-founder in whatCharity, a new online platform which allows companies and individuals to find, rate, communicate and trade with charities of their choice.

Each charity registered on the platform is given a profile searchable by a number of criteria including size, location, mission and reviews.

“It’s really hard to find charities that are ideally close to your heart and home’ – you typically just hear about charities that have the marketing budget,” Kankaanpaa told BusinessCloud.

“Only 1.5 per cent of charities get 70 per cent of the sector’s income – so smaller charities in particular are really crying out for support.

“We want to become a hybrid of TripAdvisor and LinkedIn for the charity sector – you can search for charities, learn how can you help and give testimonials.

“We’re all about increasing transparency and levelling out the playing field for charities overall.”

Kankaanpaa, along with founder and CEO Tiia Sammallahti, piloted the platform in Surrey and London and are now gearing up to expand to North West, including Manchester and Liverpool.

The pair will be running workshops in Manchester and Liverpool on 5th and 6th of June respectively to raise awareness about the platform and get local charities on board.

The whatCharity platform also includes a tool that allows company employees to find new fundraising and volunteering opportunities close to their heart, home and office.

“What we provide for SMEs is a voting platform that allows employees to choose from pre-selected charities and vote for a charity they want to engage with,” Kankaanpaa said.

“With this approach we give employees a chance to have their voices heard and it also helps organisations become more purpose-led, which is a bit of a buzz word at the moment, but we all know that not many companies will exist in 10 or 20 years if they only focus on profit and bringing value to shareholders.

“You also have to bring value to society.”

Kankaanpaa is also the CEO and founder of MGH Performance, which provides sales and leadership consultancy services.

Kankaanpaa joined Nokia in 2006 and became head of sales excellence at Microsoft in 2014 after the tech giant bought Nokia. She left the company in April 2017 to focus on MGH Performance.