UK charity takes £150k Greentree software prize

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Concern Universal raises millions annually for people in poverty.

Ian Williams, Executive Director, Concern Universal

Without Greentree GAME ON, we could never have funded such a solution. It’s absolutely brilliant.

UK-based charitable organisation Concern Universal has won the £150,000 prize in the GAME ON business competition, run by software provider Greentree International.

British businesses had to convince a judging panel that they had a compelling case for a new ERP system. The judges selected 10 finalists from scores of entries, and the winner was decided 50-50 by the judges and a public vote on November 28th.


Concern Universal’s initiatives support hundreds of thousands of people in Africa, South America and Asia. They include agricultural development, healthcare, education, disaster risk reduction, and human rights advocacy.

“We try to give people who live in poverty a voice,” says Systems & Services Co-ordinator Vivienne Mair, “and we’re just so grateful for what our supporters did to help us win this competition, on behalf of those people living in poverty who couldn’t vote for us.”

“We also want to thank Greentree and all their partners for giving us the opportunity to apply for a once-in-a-lifetime system like this,” says Concern Universal’s Executive Director, Ian Williams, “because without Greentree GAME ON there is absolutely no way we could ever look at funding such a solution. It’s absolutely brilliant.”

GAME ON quadrupled traffic on Concern Universal’s Facebook page and became the third highest channel of traffic to its website during the competition.


Concern Universal intends to make its Greentree system accessible to its staff across the globe. Project managers in the different countries will not only be able to manage their project data more effectively; they’ll be able to see what their colleagues in other countries are doing, and gain valuable insights.

For its UK headquarters, having real-time visibility of their projects worldwide will revolutionise their work.

“The benefits of this will be huge,” says Vivienne. “At present our people don’t have time to share information because it’s not easy to access the data, so Greentree will also be a communication tool that will help them to manage their projects better.”


Concern Universal prides itself in the fact that only 7p in every pound is spent on administration – the average for charities is 15-25p. Where other charities have seen donations deplete or stagnate, CU’s annual turnover has grown from £10-12m in 2011 to £15m now, and is expected to grow to £20m by 2018.

“We’re a lean, mean poverty-fighting machine,” Vivienne says. “Our supporters want to be sure that the money they so willingly donate is spent on helping people in need, so we owe it to them to keep our costs down. We’re ecstatic about how Greentree will eliminate the need to take on more administration staff to handle that expected growth.”


Harry Mowat, Greentree UK’s Managing Director, says notifying Concern Universal that they’d won was probably the most rewarding phone call he’s ever made.

“Their jubilation is an experience I’ll never forget,” he says. “The judges were absolutely won over by Concern Universal’s proven track record of efficient management and effective distribution of funds to people in need. They knew what Greentree could do for them, they clearly demonstrated the benefits it would bring, and then they rallied that vital public support. It was a fantastic effort.”
Harry says all 10 finalists truly deserved their place on the shortlist.

“The number of votes that were cast was staggering, which proves that tens of thousands of companies and individuals were really excited about giving their chosen finalist a chance of winning the grand prize. Also, it’s great that it’s been won by an organisation that does so much good.”

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