Since 2010, we’ve proven that micro can become something really big! You don’t have to climb a mountain, run a marathon or donate your life savings to make a difference – together, we’ve shown that just by giving a few pence at a time it’s possible to raise millions of pounds for hundreds of charities.

This year, on our ninth birthday, we are launching a year of activity as we countdown to 10 years of the digital micro-donation movement, on 1st November 2020.

Pennies turns 9

Domino’s Pizza were the first to partner with Pennies, giving this customers the opportunity to round up their pizza order in support of then charity partners, Special Olympics GB and Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. Nine years ago today, Monday 1st November 2010 at 10:17am the first donation was made, and the Pennies team were huddled around a computer screen waiting to order their pizza and try to  make the first ever Pennies donation.

The best memory I have was that when we were ordering our pizzas from Domino’s and they were in the basket – we were waiting patiently for the Pennies option to donate to go live. Then when it did we immediately pressed yes to “round up”, checked out and thought we would be first to donate… but when we analysed our data to check the time of our donation, we realised we were actually 4th

From then on we knew we were onto something that the UK public would like and engage with, of course because Pennies is anonymous we don’t know who the 3 people were that beat us to it but thank you for starting this micro-donation movement!!  The rest has become history as millions of people choose to add a micro-donation at the checkpoint across many different retail and hospitality brands every month.

Alison Hutchinson CBE, CEO at Pennies

Over the last 9 years we have enjoyed working with a growing number of payments and technology providers to unlock tech for good, giving retail and hospitality businesses the opportunity to join the movement. We have now seen over 80 million micro-donations made through Pennies and aren’t stopping there. We hope to reach 100 million micro-donations during 2020 and are excited about all of the things our 10th year holds.

Having started as a volunteer, donating some time to start-up charity Pennies at the tail-end of 2010, I didn’t for a moment expect to be now celebrating nearly 9 years as Systems Manager. If the three factors that make a rewarding career are challenge, impact and people then Pennies has ticked all those boxes.

The challenge of working with the ever-evolving fintech industry, the impact that processing 80 million donations has had on the 500+ charities we have helped, and the pleasure of working with my colleagues at Pennies and our technical and merchant partners, has meant that the past nine years have been as fulfilling for me as they been successful for Pennies. And of course none of this would be possible without the incredible generosity of consumers across the UK and Ireland.

Neil Ambrose, Systems Manager at Pennies

Over the next 365 days keep an eye out on our website and across our social channels for the latest updates, news and exciting announcements. Join the conversations and celebrate the 10th year of the digital micro-donation movement with #pennies10.

We would like to thank every business, organisation and individual that has played a part over the last nine years. From our funders, partners, supporters to the consumers donating their digital change you have made a conversation around the kitchen table about the possibility of digital micro-donation into a reality, raising millions of extra funds for the causes and communities around us.

Amazed as we were to raise £3,000 in the first week, it is even more amazing 9 years later to be averaging £100,000 per week! At the start we expected a handful of donations. In the first week we got 12,000 and now we average 400,000 donations every week.

Peter Nugent, Finance Director at Pennies


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