The start of 2018 has been a tumultuous one for the charity sector, with some high profile organisations rocking the public’s faith with serious governance and safeguarding concerns. Clearly there is a great deal of work to be done attitudinally and organisationally but we have every faith that the sector can and will improve its practices.

Overall these exposures do not seem to have dented the public’s urge to support those in need – as evidenced in the Charities Aid Foundation’s UK Giving survey 2018 released last month. It suggests that donations have not been negatively hit by international and home grown safeguarding and governance scandals. And, admittedly prior to the stories we saw emerge in the first quarter of this year, individual donations to charity increased by more than £600m in 2017 according to the research. Reasons to be cheerful?

See a penny…

There were momentary jitters from certain commentators when the fate of 1p and 2ps seemed to hang in the balance last month, a very tangible manifestation of a ‘less cash’ society. But in reality, and as Civil Society’s Kirsty Weakley recognises, the sector does not rely on physical pennies by any means. As we see every year, collection tins are disappearing but the unit of pennies persists and becomes the digital world’s small change.

the fate of 1p and 2ps

Jim Bowes, CEO and co-founder of Manifesto, echoes the need for charities to adapt to the trend, suggesting that they embrace a ‘dual transformation’; both ensuring efficiency in existing operations, but also investing and future-proofing new revenue by going digital. We recommend a chat with Pennies…

GDPR is not a Star Wars droid

We talked a little about GDPR in the last Viewpoint, the introduction of which is racing towards us at pace (just a few weeks away). A new YouGov survey released last month reveals that 72% of Brits have not heard about GDPR, despite it protecting the data rights for all individuals within the EU as of 25th May. Perhaps foreshadowing the revelations of the Facebook data scandal we have seen – and many users’ shoulder-shrugging resignation about it – 58% of YouGov’s respondents appeared to believe they no choice but to hand over their personal data in return for products and services.

Pennies final forecast

We believe that the charity sector can play a role in educating the public and its donors with clarity about data, and Pennies will continue providing that option to give in the same way we always have; a choice every time and no personal data ever captured or collected. Retailers like this, customers like it, and data-free giving will be a topic and practice that will grow over the coming months.


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