It’s celebration time here at Pennies; not only does November mark our first anniversary, but we’ve also got a series of exciting announcements to make. Most excitingly, we’ve hit our one millionth donation. We’re very proud that micro-donation through Pennies has proved so popular, not forgetting that the ‘spare change’ that’s been donated has raised a much needed £250,000 for over 20 charities.

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since our first retailer, Domino’s Pizza, switched on Pennies a little over a year ago, how time flies. They weren’t alone for long as four other retailers followed suit, who are going to be joined by six more in the coming months ensuring that 2012 is going to be exciting for us. These guys are all signed up to help us to bring electronic micro-donations into mainstream giving:

• Screwfix – the UK’s leading cross-channel supplier of quality trade tools, plumbing and electrical supplies is joining the Pennies movement to raise funds for its chosen charity partners

• Shelter – a leading UK charity working with, and campaigning for, the homeless and those in bad housing. From next year Shelter’s charity shops will use Pennies to help raise additional funds for their work

• Meatballs – the new restaurant is bringing Pennies to its Farringdon base, raising money for Luton and Dunstable Hospital

• GO Outdoors – the outdoor retailer, with 34 stores around England, Scotland and Wales, will be raising money for Mountain Rescue England & Wales, the national coordinating body for mountain and cave rescue teams in England and Wales

• Barracudas – the operator of UK’s favourite day camps for kids has nominated the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity

• BuySpares – a leading online retailer of appliance spare parts and accessories

Do keep an eye on our website, as each of will have their own page when Pennies goes live. But they are only one part of our birthday announcements. As you know, technology has always been a key ingredient here at Pennies, and we are very excited to say we are branching out in that area too.

Commidea and Ingenico are the latest technology providers to get behind Pennies. Each will make it even easier for retailers to adopt the scheme. Commidea, the UK’s leading managed service payments provider and part of the Point Group, has updated the Ocius Sentinel. Ingenico, a leading provider of payment solutions, has developed a secure and automated method to allow retailers with standalone terminals to securely collect Pennies donations. It is this development that has enabled us to launch a new community initiative in Grimsby and Cleethorpes with Cardsave, that will see Pennies made available to small businesses for the first time.

We’ve just begun work on this with Cardsave, the provider of point of sale card processing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses, to enable smaller retailers to switch on Pennies to support charities in their local area. This week saw our first throng of retailers in Grimsby and Cleethorpes switch on Pennies, with many more set to join them in the near future. Over time, this way could allow Cardsave’s 50,000+ merchants across the UK to join in the Pennies movement.

As if that wasn’t enough news for one day, we do have one more nugget to share. We are entering the world of mobile apps with Mobile Money Network™ (MMN). You will soon be able to donate using MMN’s new Simply Tap™ mobile application with an extra tap at checkout. This means retailers are now able to support Pennies via multiple purchasing channels: in-store, online and by mobile.

There you have it, hopefully you will agree that it has been a great 1st year for us at Pennies, with one million micro-donations raising over £250,000 for more than 20 UK charities, all generated from your ‘spare change’. We really appreciate your help in getting us to this stage, without all of you continuing to donate and support us it wouldn’t have been possible, and hope you will help us make our second year even bigger and better.

Thank you.

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