About us

Our history

From concept to high street

We couldn’t believe a ‘digital charity box’ wasn’t already a thing… so we made it.

Our vision has always been rooted in encouraging charitable giving, and in 2009 we could see that the world was changing – to a place where cash wouldn’t be king forever. Pennies was built on the belief that people and business want to give back to their communities, but as cash use decreases there are fewer ways to give back day-to-day.  Pennies thought that small change digital giving could well be the future – and so our digital charity box was born.

We launched with our first retail partner, Domino’s Pizza, on November 1st 2010 which gave us immediate national reach as their customers began to give when ordering pizzas online. Zizzi and Travelodge quickly followed and the pennies began to count in a big way.

As for Pennies, we’re a passionate set of people from backgrounds including retail, finance, payments and charity with one shared vision – that it should always be possible to donate a few pennies to charity whenever you pay digitally – in shops, online or in-app on the move.

We’re thrilled that our vision has become a reality. Our digital upgrade of the traditional charity box keeps the simplicity and anonymity of dropping a few coins into a collection can, and made it relevant for the ways people shop and pay today.

And along the way, we have built a movement that promotes the charity sector, encourages business to make a tangible difference and gives people a sustainable, affordable way to donate when they can.

Pennies is a fintech charity and a micro-donation movement that is protecting small change giving – and building a legacy of charitable giving in our society.

Our milestones

2010

November 2010
Launch with Domino’s Pizza online

 

2011

June 2011
Winner of Technology4Good award

November 2011
Pennies celebrates ‘One Year On’ and 1 million donations with a special event at BAFTA

 

2012

March 2012
‘Pennies with Zizzi’ is project of the year and wins category prize for Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility at the 8th Real IT Awards

October 2012
Domino’s Pizza launches mobile app including Pennies

November 2012
Winner of Best Not-for-Profit IT project in the UK IT Industry awards

2013

February 2013
Robert Leitão of Rothschild Global Financial Advisory becomes Pennies’ Chairman of Trustees

May 2013
Named as a Finalist of the Google Global Impact Challenge

2014

October 2014
Rontec become the first petrol forecourt retailer to offer Pennies, introducing the digital charity box to their forecourt stores at petrol stations

2015

September 2015
Pennies announces Sir Martyn Lewis as its first Ambassador

December 2015
Pennies celebrates reaching the 25 million donation mark at the end of 2015

2016

September 2016
Someone now donates via Pennies every 3 seconds on average.  Plus, Pennies goes international when Domino’s Pizza adds our digital charity box to its website and apps in the Republic of Ireland

2017

October 2017
Winner of Best Charity Initiative with payments partners K3 Retail at the Emerging Payments Awards

December 2017
Pennies is available in more than 5,000 shops across the UK, and raises half a million pounds in a single month in December 2017

2018

February 2018
The 50 millionth micro-donation is made with the digital charity box.  Plus CEO Alison Hutchinson CBE wins the Judges’ Award at the Card & Payments Awards for her work with Pennies.

2019

February 2019
Pennies is named one of The Financial Technologist’s Most Influential Fintechs for 2019 – the only charity on the list

2020

April 2020
Launch of Pennies’ COVID-19 Fundraiser, raising funds from our network of supporters for NHS Charities Together and the National Emergencies Trust  

Holland & Barrett implement Pennies’ digital charity box in their stores and online during the coronavirus pandemic in just ten days