At the start of the covid-19 pandemic, Outlandish built a new web platform in just over 24 hours, which enabled businesses to support community groups and charities with urgent needs. Since this rapid deployment we’ve iterated development several times to evolve the site into a mature business and community matching tool.

The Client

Business in the Community (BITC) is a large membership organisation that has been dedicated to responsible business since 1982. The charity works with more than 600 members, uniting efforts for social and environmental impact in communities.

The Brief

BITC wanted to act as a broker to match businesses with organisations who had the greatest need at the height of the pandemic. The minimum viable product (MVP) had to make it easy for organisations such as micro community groups and small charities to submit requests for support, and make it simple for businesses to post offers. At the same time it was essential to make the matching process more efficient for the BITC admin team than the existing spreadsheet-based system.

After a rapid MVP deployment, Outlandish has developed the platform’s functionality over two years, based on user learning and BITC’s evolving needs.

Our Solution

We’ve made a range of enhancements to technical infrastructure.


We have not run another iteration of design work but have also made some changes to the front-end experience.


Screenshots showing two steps of two journeys with buttons to offer support, request support, and view requests. The second two screens show the 'current requests' view where users can filter the support type or region.
Two screenshots showing two different journeys – journey 1 shows that users can choose which type of support they view; journey 2 shows that they can filter current requests by support type of region.

The Tech

During MVP development we had prioritised speed and ease of construction by working with familiar technologies. We have continued to use these to support the website development:


We know that sometimes it can feel really scary to push out a website or digital product as an MVP at a rapid pace without it feeling “perfect.” But using this approach can enable fast delivery of a “good enough and safe enough” product that starts meeting essential needs immediately, which can be developed upon and improved over time based on iterations of deployment, learning and feedback.

Delivering the Covid business response platform fast meant that commercial organisations with substantial resources could get help to people who needed them, without delay, at a time of severe national crisis.

The focus of the matching platform has remained on channelling the resources and skills of businesses to support communities and small businesses to survive. At the time of writing in May 2022, the tool has met over 5,000 different community requirements.

The help delivered via the platform ranges from the donation of computer equipment to support home schooling, to keeping a community pub afloat, and getting personal protective equipment and other essential supplies to hospitals.

Going On

We keep in touch with BITC to respond to their support requests and reflect on joint learning about how the platform can be made most useful to businesses, community groups and BITC’s support matching team.