"This is the future for the British Heart Foundation...to generate all of this free stock ourselves." Shop Manager, British Heart Foundation
British Heart Foundation - Breakthrough Zones


avg increase in OTC sales in the shops


shops, 2 regions


weeks of focused activities

British Heart Foundation spends millions of pounds every year on vans collecting donation bags from people’s homes. The organisation recognised that if they could decrease the dependency on the vans, they could increase the amount of money spent on saving people’s lives.

The Challenge

BHF quickly targeted increasing the level of Over The Counter (OTC) donations they receive from the general public, in order to save what was spent on van collections. They also recognised that by involving their shop managers, employees and volunteers, they could find the solutions and energy to make it happen.

The Solution

Using the power of involvement, we embarked on a six-week Breakthrough Zone across 7 shops in the UK to facilitate focused brainstorms and idea generation with shop employees and volunteers old and new. The time was dedicated to brainstorming new ways to tackle that week’s activities and help increase OTC sales and decrease van dependency, while taking into consideration things that did and didn’t work in previous weeks.

Individuals were rewarded and recognised for their input; as everyone became comfortable the participation naturally increased. Following from the sessions, each shop was then empowered to put their ideas into practice.

Activity ideas included:

  • Using car boot sales to collect items and hand out bags for the collection of further donations.

  • Building relationships in the local community through churches, pharmacies and targeting commuters on their way to and from work.

  • A 'Bag a Mile' activity in Pontefract - for every bag donated the employees completed a mile on a cross trainer and rowing machine.

The Results

As well as upskilling the shop managers and giving them the confidence to empower their people, the other main outcome of this program is the learning, ideas and activities which are helping to shape a wider program of involvement, and make a significant difference to the OTC sales and van collection cost across the retail network.

The immediate results really did speak for themselves. Across all of the shops in the Breakthrough Zone, every single one saw a significant improvement in sales, confidence levels and dedication to try different ways of engaging within their communities. By allowing each store to take ownership of activities and involving them in the decisions, they became more invested and more committed to seeing them through to get the desired results.

Volunteers who had never taken part in raising donations and sales really got on board and enthusiastically took part. By giving everyone the freedom and tools to come up with their own ideas, they became more invested and dedicated to making sure they got the right results.

Get in touch!
+44 (0) 20 7720 0105

Give Ashley a call to find out more about our work with British Heart Foundation, or to discuss how INVOLVE can help your business.