Together we can: a message from Pennies

We believe micro-donations matter, now more than ever. Here is our statement on how Pennies is working to support charities, businesses and communities during the coronavirus crisis.

Posted by Pennies

Published 25 March, 2020

We are in unprecedented times, and the challenges posed by coronavirus are changing daily.

Here at Pennies, we know that our friends across business, retail, hospitality and the charities sector are having to adapt incredibly quickly to global shifts in working, shopping, spending and service delivery. And while it’s important these sectors adapt well to protect their business, it’s also hugely important that companies and charities continue to serve their communities and beneficiaries in the best, and safest way, possible.

That is why Pennies is working hard to make digital micro-donations as accessible as possible right now. We know the power of micro-donations lies in the fact everyone can join in, can give a little as part of their daily life, and collectively make a huge difference for charities across the UK. Last week alone, we saw a big increase in the numbers of customers donating through retailers who offer Pennies online, and we’re hugely grateful. It also confirmed to us that the need for more opportunities to donate digitally has never been greater.

As our daily lives are changing, we want to make sure everyone has the chance to donate to charity where they can, especially online and in-app. We truly believe that micro-donations matter – now more than ever.

And the good news is if we each donate 35p a week when purchasing online, we could raise £1billion for charities that are losing income elsewhere whilst facing uncharted demand for their services.

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together the key information about how Pennies is working with each sector during this time and how you and your business can get involved – if you are able – to raise critical additional funds for the causes and communities who need our help. We also want to reassure all our partners and friends that our team is fully operational, and ready to support you however we can.

Retailers and merchants

If your business operates in e-commerce, or if you are shifting your operations online in response to coronavirus, adding Pennies to your checkout can give your customers the option to add a few pennies to their purchase for charity. This donation is optional, and your customers will receive no follow up, from the charity or from Pennies.

Your business nominates the charity you want to benefit from your customer donations – perhaps a long-term charity partner or a cause you know needs extra support because of coronavirus. You could also choose to support funds set up in direct response to the virus, like the Coronavirus Appeal run by the National Emergencies Trust and British Red Cross.

We recognise there are many challenging decisions to make at the moment, but we encourage retailers to think about enabling Pennies through their digital channels if they are able. It is a straightforward change – enabled through either our API, cartridges or plugins – and the team at Pennies are here to make it easy and support every step of the way.

To find out if Pennies would be suitable for your business, and for more information about implementing online and in-app, please email dion.christiansen@pennies.org.uk

Existing merchant partners

Your charity partners need support more than ever. If you already work with Pennies – having used the digital charity box in your physical stores or in e-commerce – and would like to find out how you can maximise impact from your customer donations, please also get in touch. Thanking customers for donations, and letting them know the impact their pennies are having, will encourage more people to donate next time they shop. For those previously using Pennies in-store, we can support by adding Pennies to your e-commerce platforms.

Remember you can also support additional charities, if you wish. If your business would like to campaign and support a new charity for a few weeks, or months – whether an emergency coronavirus appeal or a charity you know who needs additional help right now – Pennies is set up to support with charity changes. You can also split donations across a number of causes if you would like to.

To find out more reach out to your existing Pennies contact, or email simon.barker@pennies.org.uk


We know this period of change and uncertainty will hit you hard. Pennies’ primary goal has always been to help raise more funds for charities, by offering innovative digital fundraising tools on behalf of the whole sector. Never has this been truer than during this unprecedented time.

Pennies can offer your corporate partners, and their customers, a way to raise important extra funds for your work at a critical moment. If you have corporate partners with an e-commerce offering, please get in touch to discuss how we could support you, and them, with digital micro-donations.

Reach out to rob.dyson@pennies.org.uk or rozi.collier@pennies.org.uk to find out more.

Payments and e-commerce providers

Like all of us, payments services will be experiencing massive change as your customers shift their businesses online, and explore other innovative ways of taking payments safely. Building Pennies into the online payment journey is simple – if you’d like to find out how to add Pennies to your payment or e-commerce offering, or would like support sharing details of the Pennies opportunity with your merchant customers, please do reach out.

You can contact paul.seaman@pennies.org.uk to find out more.

Customers and donors

For the rest of us, the ask is a simple one. Even isolating at home, we can still come together digitally.

Millions of us are now buying what we need for ourselves and our loved ones online. If you see the option to give a little with Pennies please consider pressing ‘yes’ and making a small donation. If we can keep donating when we have the chance in our online life, our small acts can and will have a huge collective impact on the individuals, families, and communities being affected right now by the coronavirus.

What’s next?

We don’t yet know the full fallout of this period, nor what “back to normality” will look like. But there is something the Pennies community can do to make a difference.

While there has never been a greater need for micro-donations, there has also never been a better time for all of us to work together to innovate, use technology for good, and make a difference in our local, national and global communities – even from our own homes.

Pennies is here to support all the incredible partners across all the sectors we work with, and to welcome new businesses, charities and donors to the micro-donation movement. If you have any concerns about how the current situation might affect our work together, do reach out and let us know.

We plan to do everything we can to bring together this nation of generous people who, together, can get funds to where they matter most. Together we can.

From The Pennies Team

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Giving Tuesday 2023: Make a big impact with small change!
Giving Tuesday 2023: Make a big impact with small change!

At Pennies, we’re big supporters of giving – it’s at the core of everything we do. Since we started in 2010, we’ve aimed to encourage and make it easy for people to give to charity. That’s why we’re excited to support Giving Tuesday, a global movement that celebrates and promotes generosity.