At a time of reported uncertainty – at home and abroad – over a third of Brits (39%) say they might make more ad hoc charity donations, according to new research commissioned by digital charity box, Pennies.

Click to expand infographic

Click to expand infographic

The survey, which questioned over 2,000 UK adults, also revealed that in the event of shop prices going up, a third again (34%) might reduce the amount they felt they could give to good causes.

Howard Lake, publisher of UK Fundraising, responding to the research said:

“Charities are indeed having to diversify their sources of income, and there is no question that digital is playing – and will continue to play – a pivotal role in enabling people to give in convenient ways, including little and often. Recognising how and where people choose to give is also important.”

This trend is echoed in Pennies’ research, says Chief Executive Alison Hutchinson CBE;

“The British public still value the feeling of making a contribution to causes and communities around them. In fact, we are delighted that the majority of our research respondents still want to support charities.

“What is changing, clearly, is the ways in which people wish to give – and for a growing number this is by what we term ‘feel good giving’; smaller, more ad-hoc acts of doing good.

“One way charities might work with this preference is by harnessing small, digital payments – that aggregate pennies into thousands of pounds when we all give a little.”

Pennies enables retailers to prompt customers to give a few pence to the retailer’s chosen charity, when they pay by card, in-store, online or in an app – and it is entirely anonymous.

Matthew Williams, CEO of Topps Tiles, a Pennies retail partner, added,

“It has been hugely satisfying to invite our customers to be part of our long-term commitment to our chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

“Our customers have been incredibly supportive and the numbers choosing to donate using Pennies has not only surpassed our expectations, but continues to grow. We are incredibly grateful to our customers for their generosity and proud to support Macmillan through Pennies.”

In 6 years, Pennies has enabled over 38 million customer donations, raising £8.5 million for over 200 charities.

Partners include Topps Tiles, Boots Opticians, The Entertainer, and Hobbycraft, with more high street brands due to roll out in 2017.

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For more information and enquiries please contact: Rob Dyson,, 020 7600 9286

Notes to Editors

The research
2025 UK adults were surveyed by independent consultancy Markettiers 4DC between 28 October and 7 November 2016

About Pennies

  • Pennies (registered charity no. 1122489) is the digital upgrade of the traditional charity box, enabling customers to donate a few pence to charity at the point of sale when paying by card; whether in-store, online or in-app.
  • Pennies has raised £8.5m supporting over 200 UK charities.
  • Over 38 million customer micro-donations have been made across 60 retailers with Pennies to date.
  • Pennies estimates that if the UK’s card holders donated 30p once a month over £175m would be raised for charity every year.
  • Pennies is enabled in a number of well-known retailers including Domino’s Pizza, Ask Italian, Boots Opticians, Topps Tiles, The Entertainer and Screwfix.

How Pennies works

  • Pennies is the digital equivalent of the traditional charity collection box. These ‘micro-donations’ are always under 99p, anonymous, quick, and the customers’ choice every time.
  • The retailer chooses the charity that its customers can support. No data is collected, and there is no follow up; it really is about dropping a few pence in a charity box – but via your debit or credit card.
  • Simply press ‘YES’ on the payment machine in store, or click the ‘Donate’ button online, to make your pennies count – and give your small change a big purpose.


  1. Karen Gallagher

    Hi there, I heard Alison on Radio Ulster this morning and I would be keen to see specifically the Northern Ireland breakdown of this research if is available?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards

    • Pennies

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks so much for getting in touch – and we’re really pleased you heard Alison’s interview this morning. Our Head of Comms will be in touch shortly via email. Thanks again for your interest in the digital charity box. Together we can help unlock millions of untapped funds for charities.

      The Pennies Team


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