Pennies, the electronic charity box, reports the number of consumer micro-donations it has received has doubled in the last six months taking the total to two million. According to the company, this has raised £500,000 to support a growing number of UK charities.
The Pennies scheme, which launched 17 months ago, gives consumers the option to donate a few pence to charity with a touch of a button when they use a debit or credit card to purchase goods and services.
All the money raised goes to charity, with the retailer nominating the charities they want to support with the majority of donations they collect. The remaining money raised is shared amongst charities that cover a broad range of causes designed to appeal to a mass audience. The capacity to give in this way is incredible, said Pennies. If every one of the 43m cardholders in the UK gave 30p once a month (equivalent to a penny a day), it would raise more than £150m a year.
Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, said: “We have been delighted to see the public embracing micro-donations and joining the Pennies movement. The money raised so far is already making a big difference to so many people’s lives. We look forward to seeing that £500,000 figure continue to rise, as more retailers switch on Pennies and more charities benefit.”
To date Pennies has supported 29 charities, large and small, with some receiving significant sums. Domino’s Pizza was the first retailer to adopt the Pennies scheme in November 2010 and its nominated charity Special Olympics GB (Northern Ireland customers donate to Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice) has received over £185,000, which it is already using to deliver a range of projects including a scheme to recruit up to 12,000 additional athletes with learning difficulties and 2,500 new volunteers.
Pennies is already available in 10 national retailers including Domino’s Pizza, Zizzi restaurants, Travelodge, GO Outdoors and Screwfix; as well as a number of smaller merchants, and momentum is growing as more and more retailers switch on Pennies, said the company.
Kingfisher group’s Screwfix recently became the latest retailer to switch on Pennies. John Mewett, marketing director for Screwfix, said: “We believe Pennies is a really simple and sustainable way to offer our ongoing support to our nominated charity Everyman. We were delighted by the immediately positive response from our customers, which exceeded our expectations. Once added together their pennies will make a huge difference to the great work that Everyman does.”