UCL Innovation and Enterprise



21 August 2013

Taking a student’s business and turning it into a major player in charity giving

Who are CharityCheckout?

UCL alumnus, Chester Mojay-Sinclare (BA Philosophy 2011) spent his gap year travelling and working within the fundraising industry in both the UK and Australia when the idea for AliveandGiving came to him. The website creates a way to give to charities in an open and considered way.

colourful hands

AliveandGiving.com is not-for-profit and sponsored by UCL and UCL Business. It launched in 2009 and is an ongoing concern. But the idea developed, as so many do, and in 2011 CharityCheckout was launched.

CharityCheckout is a charity donation system for charities who want a website offering regular giving options, branded donation pages and a Gift Aid reclaim service to make donating easy.

How did UCL help?

CharityCheckout won a UCL Bright Ideas Award. The award recognises the potential of an idea right from the early stages and provides the funds for students to develop an idea and turn it into a profitable new business.

“We have regular meet-ups and consult with Chengiz Tarhan from UCL Business and Tim Barnes from UCL Advances – UCL basically funded our first year.”

CharityCheckout was the first company to take advantage of the Student Business Hatchery – dedicated work space in central London, offered to UCL student businesses at no cost. In addition, ‘residents’ benefit from access to the Advances team and business advisors as well as support from the other companies in the Hatchery.

“Without UCL Advances we would never have got off the ground.” Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Founder, CharityCheckout

What were the results?

CharityCheckout worked with the UCL Advances SMILE mentoring programme which supported the company in the vital, early stages. A business mentor devised an investment plan and through the network of mentors, Chester met the company’s event lead investor, founder of a very successful restaurant chain and a UCL alumnus himself. Having this high profile investor on board made the possibility of securing further investors more likely – in fact it became a reality.

By April 2013 the company was working with over 300 charities employing seven staff members and aiming to increase to 12 in the coming months.