Orange’s Innovation Lab wanted to engage customers in a new way of using their mobile devices. A way in which the power of the network and the individual behind the device could make a difference.

Orange ran a competition to find ways in which technology could get young people involved with charities. So through the programme we also had the chance to get entrepreneurial. We kickstarted the award-winning image bank that’s helping raise money, and save money for good causes and facilitates innovation in giving.

Orange released the first version of our idea in an app and the response was so overwhelming that we took it one step further and created photofoundation. We came up with the idea of a totally new kind of online image bank – one where businesses buy and charities receive a contribution for all images sold. Users donate photos and charities can use them for free, or business can buy them and the users who’ve donated decide which charities benefit. We really enjoyed working on this one as it played to our strengths: design was crucial to the idea behind photofoundation, and we were able to create a buzz with a viral social media campaign.

ClientOrangeServicesImage sharing platformLink

The results

In the first four weeks 188,000 images were contributed and since March 2011 we’ve created a 2,000-strong online community of users and are now working with 48 charity partners.

We won a £50K Innovation in Giving award managed by Nesta and funded by the Cabinet Office, which has helped develop the platform, and in 2011 we won the Charity Times Best Use of Technology Award.

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