AliveandGiving.com began life as a student project at University College London when Chester entered his idea into a competition. Chester had spent his gap year travelling and working within the fundraising industry in both the UK and Australia, where he was living the carefree surfer’s lifestyle. However, this was short lived as Chester’s active mind soon began to contemplate the issues he had observed in the industry and ways in which these could be tackled. Chester’s primary concern was with the coercive and sometimes aggressive tactics used within the industry that had given rise to the popular term ‘Chugger’. He quickly began to put together some ideas for a new fundraising website to encourage and facilitate considered giving. The idea was to help charities communicate themselves to potential donors, in a transparent and effective way.
Although, it wasn’t until Chester met Melissa that the project really began to build momentum. Melissa was also a student at University College London, studying for her Master’s in Social Development Practice. She was very keen to get involved in another social enterprise and thought that the idea was just what the industry needed. Together, (with some help from some caring souls along the way) they won the competition and found the funding to get the website up and running shortly thereafter.