Customers at The Entertainer have raised over £100,000 for charity in just six months by donating their electronic ‘spare change’. The donations, made through Pennies the electronic charity box, gained a boost in the run up to Christmas, culminating in a massive peak of nearly £13,000 raised in the pre-Christmas week.
The majority of the money raised by The Entertainer is shared equally between four children’s hospitals: Liverpool’s Alder Hey Imagine Appeal; Birmingham Children’s Hospital; Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal which fundraises for Bristol Children’s Hospital; and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The remainder will be divided between ten other registered charities covering a range of causes including the elderly, cancer support and arts & education.
The Entertainer was the first high street shop to enable the micro-donation scheme. The generosity of The Entertainer customers is clear with nearly half of those who could donate in December choosing to. Managing Director, Gary Grant,said: “People are inclined to be generous, and we have provided this very simple option for them to easily donate their small change. It has been amazing to see how those micro-donations add up to make a difference. Our traditional charity boxes would generate less than £2000 a year so it has been tremendous to see the donations come in so quickly and easily with the electronic charity box.”
The Entertainer is one of the largest retailers of toys in the UK with 65 stores across the nation and plans to open a further 12 in 2012. Owners Gary and Catherine Grant’s experience in buying and selling toys since 1981 is key to the on-going growth of the company, which enjoyed a 28% overall increase in sales compared to Christmas 2010.
Sarah-Jane Marsh. Chief Executive Officer, of Birmingham Children’s Hospital said: “Thank you to every single customer from the Entertainer who uses this fantastic method of giving to worthy charities. As a children’s hospital caring for some of the sickest, and most complex patients from all over the country, it is wonderful to have the generosity of the general public to help us make even more of a difference to their young lives. It just proves that even by giving a little, you can achieve so much.”
Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, which created Pennies said: “We have always known that pennies are powerful, but we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of The Entertainer’s customers. More than from 350,000 individual donations have been made in such a short period of time, demonstrating how quickly those pennies can add up. We are so pleased that The Entertainer’s customers have embraced micro-donations and are making a real difference to sick children’s lives. ”
The remaining quarter of The Entertainer customer donations have been shared between ten other UK charities supporting other causes that the public care about like cancer support, disadvantaged young people and homelessness.
Pennies is available with seven other retailers including Domino’s Pizza and Travelodge, as well as in Zizzi restaurants. So far more than 1.5 consumer donations have been received through Pennies, raising over £380,000 for a total of 27 UK charities showing how pennies really do add up to make a meaningful difference.