Pennies' electronic charity box 'going from strength to strength'

Written by Matthew Carter

Pennies has provided an example of effectively using new technology to increase charity fundraising at Christmas.

The microdonation organisation received an additional 107,000 contributions over the Christmas period thanks to its electronic charity box initiative, Civil Society reports.

This means the group has now been handed money on a total of 1.5 million occasions since it was launched in November 2010.

Over yuletide, Pennies recorded 281,385 donations, which represented an increase of more than 60 per cent on the 174,266 it received in November 2011.

Thanks to the generosity of consumers at the retailers registered with the service - who perhaps found themselves in a giving mood due to it being the season of goodwill - £72,500 was generated in December.

So high was the amount that it made up nearly one-fifth of the £365,000 handed to the charity since it was formed.

Indeed, it was revealed that almost £18,000 was generated in the space of just 48 hours, as people made the most of the charity fundraising technology available to offer up cash in their droves.

Two businesses received special commendation from the organisation for its charity fundraising efforts - the restaurant chain Zizzi and toy shop Entertainer.

Of the £18,000 of that raised in the two-day period, Pennies explained: "More than half of that came from customers shopping at the Entertainer, the first retailer to introduce Pennies at high street shop tills. Customers at Zizzi restaurants were also particularly generous in the run-up to Christmas."

The money generated through the scheme is currently being distributed to 27 charities in total.

A number of these worthy causes have been put forward by the participating retailers themselves and among those to benefit from the high level activity on the donations front over the festive season include Shelter - which was formed in 1966 - and the Children's Burns Trust.

This money is now being received at nine major outlets in the UK, where customers have the opportunity to make a donation to the initiative by agreeing to round up their bill to the nearest pound.

The money used to make up the difference is then sent forward to Pennies, from which the cash generated is distributed to the selected charities.

In an effort to keep up the promising outcome seen in December, the group is hoping many more retailers will adopt the charity fundraising technology and join up to the programme.

The setup could prove a massive hit among shoppers who would like to make contributions to charitable causes but do not know which organisation to choose.

By offering them the chance to give their cash while paying for other services, the approach makes it simple and convenient for shoppers to make a small contribution that is likely to make a big difference.

As such, not only will the money benefit good causes in need of all the help they can get, the donation will also make the giver feel better about him or herself and may encourage them to put forward their cash on a more regular basis. 
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