Pennies, the electronic charity box, has received its one millionth micro-donation in just 12 months, raising over £250,000 from the public’s ‘spare change’ for more than 20 UK charities.  Could 2012 be the year of the micro-donation?

Breaking new ground, Pennies is a new channel for an old habit – dropping a few coins into a charity box on a shop counter – brought up to date to give consumers the choice to round up their bills when they pay by card. Retailers can now switch on the Pennies technology in stores, ranging from high street chains to corner shops, as well as for online and mobile purchases.

Major national retail partners, including Domino’s Pizza, Travelodge, Zizzi, The Entertainer and the Rugby Football Union, have already signed up to Pennies, allowing customers to give quickly, securely, privately and conveniently. As part of its anniversary celebrations, Pennies has announced a wide range of new organisations which have confirmed that they intend to go live with Pennies by early 2012, bringing the concept of micro-donations to increasing numbers of consumers. Getting behind Pennies are Screwfix, Shelter, Meatballs, GO Outdoors, Barracudas, BuySpares, Cardsave, Commidea, Ingenico and Simply Tap™.

Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, commented: “Pennies has collected over one million donations in just a year, through 5 retail partners so far, supporting more than 20 charities. With a run rate* of two million consumer donations per annum, we are truly starting to witness the ‘power of pennies’. Today we are announcing more retailers and technology organisations that are joining the Pennies movement as we head towards 2012, bringing the option to donate via Pennies to even more UK consumers. Clearly it’s early days, but we believe that 2012 could prove a real turning point for micro-donations.”

If every one of the 43 million cardholders in the UK gave once a month at an average of 30p (equivalent to a penny a day), it would raise more than £150m a year. The first year of Pennies has shown how businesses can make it easy for consumers to give their change to charity when they pay by card. Each retail partner nominates the charities to benefit from the majority of money their customers donate and Pennies ensures that a wide range of causes benefit from the scheme. The first retailer to implement Pennies, Domino’s Pizza, nominated Special Olympics GB, which has received over £120,000 to date.

 New retailers get behind Pennies

The new retail partners who are bringing electronic micro-donations to increasing numbers of consumers by early 2012 are as follows:

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

Bringing Pennies to small retailers

In addition, Pennies is working 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. In a new community initiative retailers who belong to the Cardsave network in Grimsby and Cleethorpes are joining the micro-donation movement by using ‘Pennies-enabled’ terminals, allowing their customers to support local charities whenever they pay by card. Over time, this way of enabling smaller retailers to give their customers the chance to make micro-donations could allow Cardsave’s 50,000+ merchants across the UK to join in the Pennies movement.

New technology partners

Commidea and Ingenico today announce they are the latest technology providers to get behind Pennies. Commidea, the UK’s leading managed service payments provider and part of the Point Group, has updated the Ocius Sentinel solution to allow its retail partners to adopt micro-donations through Pennies. 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 Pennies to launch the new community initiative in Grimsby and Cleethorpes with Cardsave.

New distribution channels

Mobile Money Network™ (MMN) is the first mobile technology partner to get behind Pennies, enabling retailers to offer their customers the opportunity to make micro-donations when they shop using their mobile phones. Consumers will 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.

Alison Hutchinson concluded: “One million donations in the first year? Let’s make it millions more next year! We believe that 2012 could mark a real step forward in micro-donations, adding to the British public’s overall giving by providing the option of donating their virtual ‘loose change’ in shops and restaurants, online and by mobiles. We are encouraging all retailers, technology companies, charities and consumers to join the Pennies movement!”


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