The Pennies Foundation welcomes its inclusion in the Government’s Green Paper ‘Giving’, published today, 29 December 2010.

The idea of rounding up has been in existence for some years and The Pennies Foundation has been working since early 2009 to: turn a good idea into a simple, practical solution that appeals to the majority of consumers; can easily, quickly and cost-effectively be implemented by retailers; will, over time, benefit a large number of charities of all sizes.

The result is Pennies, the electronic charity box, a new channel for the old habit of dropping a few coins into a charity box on the shop counter.  Pennies brings this way of giving up to date with  an easy one-touch process, which gives shoppers an opportunity, if they want, to give a few pence to named charities as they pay by card, in-store or online.

To achieve this we have worked with many organisations over many months including technology providers, retailers and charities.  We have also sought consumer’s views in surveys over three years (2008, 2009 and 2010).  The majority of the UK public say that they would like the chance to give this way, 63% in October 2010 up from 57% in 2009 and 52% in 2008.  It particularly appeals to younger people (under 34) where 74% say that this form of giving works for them.

Consumers like the fact that they can make a difference by giving just a few pennies, that it’s a choice not a commitment to give and that it’s private with no pressure or hassle to give.  All the money that’s given goes to charity and consumers will know which ones.

Pennies went live for the first time at the start of November 2010 with first retailer, Domino’s Pizza.   Their customers can choose to round up to the nearest pound as they buy online.  In the first six weeks more than 80,000 of their customers donated a few pennies and between them have already given over £20,000 which will all go to a group of 11 UK people charities, large and small.

We look forward to further discussions with the Cabinet Office in the New Year.


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