Supporting LittleBitz has been saved
Revolutionizing the charitable world by making giving easy, gratifying and effective – supported by the Deloitte Impact Foundation
Via the Deloitte Impact Foundation, Deloitte colleagues use their expertise to support a new direct giving platform, LittleBitz. From administration to legal work and from financial statements to cyber security. Learn more about this initiative and the involved colleagues’ experiences.
Giving back to society
Remy Maarschalk is one of the Partners within Deloitte's Audit & Advisory business and started the work Deloitte is doing for LittleBitz. Before starting this project, he also joined other Deloitte Impact Foundation initiatives.
Remy: 'During my career I have always wanted to make impact as a professional for our clients but also give back to society. I think we are privileged working at a professional service firm and there are a lot of persons who should receive our attention and support. After being involved in different initiatives privately and through Deloitte I was immediately interested to support Deloitte’s initiative to set up an Impact Foundation a few years ago. I first become involved in JINC – a foundation which aims to improve learning experience of college students in Amsterdam - to act as a facilitator for the course “Ondernemen doe je zo” provided to VMBO students. So when the request came in to start supporting LittleBitz I immediately said “yes”.
LittleBitz was at that time an initiative that wanted to make a change in “donations” to those in need in foreign countries. The initiative wanted to use digital data driven tooling to allow an effective donation process. We all felt at Deloitte that this was (and still is) at the heart of professional service believes as “digital” and “data” are trends with which we have vast experience. For the outset this gave a kick start to the cooperation between LittleBitz and Deloitte.'
LittleBitz set out to revolutionize the charitable world. Large non-profits have seen their amount of donations decline over the years as people believe less and less in the efficiency and effectiveness of their (potential) donations. LittleBitz was created with the goal to introduce ‘direct giving’. Direct giving means that your donation reaches an individual, as opposed to a project or organisation. Donations were formed by little bits of cash, generated through small, daily transactions. Research has shown that people themselves know best what they need. Poor people benefit less from funds spent on predetermined goals, than if they are provided with direct cash to be spent as they seem fit. Direct giving creates long-term independence for people in need, and gives a boost to the local economy.
LittleBitz’ direct giving platform is also a way to increase people’s confidence in non-profit organizations, as it guarantees that their donations will be delivered in full to a specific person in need, and in the most cost-efficient way. Other non-profits have started to acknowledge the necessity of a direct giving platform. Pepijn van Dijk, director of LittleBitz: 'It’s wonderful to see that our energy and vision have inspired others. The implementation of some of our ideas by larger organizations is a satisfying result.'
Deloitte's support for LittleBitz
Remy: 'Our contribution to the project first started with providing administrative support. Together with Jeroen and Niels we first investigated with the LittleBitz team their needs at the near term but also at the longer term. We helped implement a finance system and administration set up. Niels at the same time provided advise from a nonprofit perspective regarding ANBI status and annual report requirements. Subsequently our service expanded via Deloitte Legal, Peter and Maria, who helped structuring contract arrangements between LittleBitz and NGO’s but also with the UNHCR, who provided databases of people in need. Also as LittleBitz used an app driven solution our security and hacking experts became involved. During a nonprofit hackathon event LittleBitz’ app was tested by our experts. It has been really a team effort to support LittleBitz on its journey from “initiative” to “live platform”.'
Sofia works within Deloitte Audit in the Financial Services Industry. Sofia: 'Within LittleBitz I was responsible for the administrative support for the organization. As an auditor, it was a broadening experience to see and work on the ‘other side of the table’. My tasks included day to day financial administration, making sure that LittleBitz was in control of their finances. I also took the lead in ensuring that the financial statements of LittleBitz gave a careful and accurate representation of the past year. But working in a smaller environment like LittleBitz, their needs were much more fluid.
I have been able to work closely with LittleBitz, looking over sales pitches and brainstorming about the financial aspects of potential new directions the organization could take. LittleBitz gave me the possibility to apply my knowledge to different setting than the audit setting, and to develop new knowledge and technical skills in return as well. During my time with LittleBitz, I have gotten to know the organization as very innovative and flexible, with a great product that can significantly improve the quality of donations.'
Implementing bookkeeping software
Jeroen Wieringa is a senior manager in the SME Amsterdam practice, advising startups an traditional entrepreneurs. At a very early stage he was involved with setting up the administration and selecting the bookkeeping software.
Jeroen: 'We assisted LittleBitz with setting up a bookkeeping system which was ready for the ambition of the organization. It was very nice to make an impact with my knowledge on a charity initiative in a startup phase.'
Maria van Duijvenbode works within Deloitte Legal and leads the financial regulatory team. Maria: 'When Deloitte’s Impact Foundation introduced us to this innovative charity project we did not foresee that we would be working together with LittleBitz for over 2 years! LittleBitz is not your typical charity. It is continuously looking for innovative possibilities of donating to people in need. Our support has therefore been broad, and requires a smooth coordination between all legal experts involved; from assisting LittleBitz to remain “in control” of privacy and data of their users to drafting cooperation agreements and terms and conditions, as well as assessing LittleBitz’ business model in accordance with Dutch financial regulatory laws. Assisting LittleBitz has been very rewarding work: our support has been immediately put into practice and also increased the possibilities for LittleBitz to raise donations for a noble and worthy cause. We are happy and thankful to be a legal business partner of LittleBitz.'
Hacking for LittleBitz
Peter Rozier works within Deloitte Cyber Risk practice and leads the Deloitte Impact Foundation Hacking for Charity initiative. Peter: ‘Through our Hacking for Charity initiative we support nonprofits and charities with our cyber risk knowledge, free of charge. Last year we were asked to perform a pen test for LittleBitz to test and improve their Cyber Security. Together with a team of 10 colleagues, we performed the test in 2 evenings and found some interesting results. It was great to see the appreciation that LittleBitz had for our work. Our effort had really made an impact on the security of their platform, and on their users!’
Advise on accounting standards
Niels Adegeest is a senior manager in the Public Sector audit practice of Deloitte. Niels: 'Remy Maarschalk introduced me to the Impact programme within Littlebitz. Part of their road to maturity, LittleBitz was looking for support to comply to Dutch accounting standards, in particular the standard for charity organisations. One of the demands of the Dutch Tax Authority (Belastingdienst) to provide the ANBI-status to Littlebitz, is a full compliance to these reporting standards. I was able to advise Littlebitz on their accountings standards in order the comply to the standards. Helping them was a good example of sharing my knowledge and to make impact; The ANBI status helps Littlebitz to pay less taxes, increasing the effectiveness of their actions.'
During the project, Deloitte colleagues have always coordinated efforts in close communication with Pepijn van Dijk, director at LittleBitz. Below, he shares his view on the contributions Deloitte has made to the project the last two years.
Pepijn: 'Since the early start of LittleBitz, Deloitte has been one of our loyal partners in developing our societal impact. Our ambition to really make a difference, was met by Deloitte’s energy and unwavering support. Deloitte’s efforts have been critical in building the platform and the organisation. What started out as administrative support and accounting service, developed into legal advice, finance system support and hacking & security services. Working together with the professionals of Deloitte has been a great pleasure. Deloitte’s Impact Foundation does a tremendous job.'
Remy: 'LittleBitz as a independent platform has come to a crossroad in which in its current set up a significant capital contribution would be needed. Regardless of the outcome of this process we have seen that LittleBitz already has made an impact: on NGO’s regarding the change that was needed in “giving”, on large Dutch corporates regarding their responsibility to act and become involved and on payment companies to facilitate tech driven solutions to allow “giving” . And last but not least on Deloitte, that the Deloitte Impact Foundation can truly help in sharing our knowledge and experience. That impact will stay as a testimony for the LittleBitz initiative.'
The Deloitte Impact Foundation
Through the Deloitte Impact Foundation, Deloitte is committed to bring a positive impact to society. We share our core competences, knowledge and network in societal initiatives to make an impact in the fields of education & employment, sustainability and endurability. Read more about the Deloitte Impact Foundation and view our other initiatives.
Why does the Deloitte Impact Foundation exist? What is its purpose? How does it work? Read more here.
Contributing to a society in which people are empowered to participate and in which everybody profits from technological progress, supported by the Deloitte Impact Foundation.