Our popular Meet the client series gives insight on the companies we support with legal services. This time, we talk to Alastair MacGregor, founder and COO of Do IT, a ‘market network’ that connects volunteers, individuals and organisations who all share a common goal - wanting to offer good things to do. Alastair tells us how at the heart of his business is creating a kinder world, where social wellbeing is a priority for all.
Name and job title
Alastair MacGregor, Founder and COO, Do IT
What is it your company does?
We’re a market network - a social network meets marketplace - of good things to do. Thanks to our technology, people build meaningful connections, do good things, and feel healthier and happier as a result. We know people want to do things that improve how they feel, but don’t always know where to go or what to do. So we’ve created a platform to help them offer their time with purpose, and to help people discover their purpose, enabling a kinder world where social wellbeing is a priority for all.
Who do you work with?
Our users are individuals and organisations offering good things to do. They are mostly charities and community groups, but also other organisations offering volunteer opportunities. Our customers are companies, charities, cities (local authorities) and central government departments.
How long have you been in business and how has your business grown?
The current company has existed for about two and a half years. Our charity, the Do It Trust that preceded it, has been around for about 15 years. We’ve more or less doubled our sales every year. This year, we had hoped to triple sales to about £1.5m.
What inspired you to start your business?
We set up Do IT for five main reasons:
- Connecting with other people in a meaningful way improves social wellbeing
- Doing good things makes people healthier and happier
- Volunteering is one of the best things that people can do to improve their wellbeing
- Data that’s controlled by the individual has a key role to play in helping people find what’s right for them
- Social wellbeing means a happier, healthier and more connected world
What have been the biggest recent challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
Building our new market network has been a challenge. There’s a lot of investment needed in the tech. We’ve been fortunate to have the UK’s biggest marketplace of volunteering opportunities as our starting point, so we’ve been able to grow from there. We now have around 40,000 organisations actively posting opportunities, and 150,000 individuals looking for good things to do, mostly volunteering.
Do IT is playing a lead role during the current pandemic – tell us more.
Do IT is the nationwide platform endorsed by government to connect hundreds of thousands of people looking to help with the charities and community groups nationwide needing help. The biggest challenge for volunteering at the moment (as evidenced by the problems experienced by NHS volunteers using the GoodSAM responder app) is meeting the sudden surge in volunteer demand. This is both in terms of the supply (volume, breadth and nationwide coverage) and the technology to effectively match volunteers with opportunities. Our platform’s strength is that it can meet those needs.
What are your hopes/goals for the next 1-3 years?
To become a leading market network for wellbeing. Initially in the UK, and then globally, in the $1 trillion wellbeing market.
What has it been like to work with Harper James?
It’s been great – Harper James have been incredibly professional and responsive. They immediately understood the challenges we have. Not only those of any small business, but those relating to building a piece of complex tech, and they have been able to help us navigate that from a legal perspective. Our legal team have given us confidence that the decisions we’re making now will put us on solid foundations as we realise our ambitions.