In March 2022, a number of Pennies partner brands pivoted their micro-donations to help people in and fleeing the war in Ukraine, and customers responded in record numbers.
When the crisis in Ukraine developed, Pennies, as the UK’s leading micro-donation charity, was able to quickly react to the evolving situation.
Some retailer and hospitality partners decided to switch from their regular nominated charities to support humanitarian charity appeals, including the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, Choose Love‘s Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser, UK for UNHCR‘s Ukraine Emergency Appeal, and Oxfam Ireland’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
This swift movement had the potential to quickly raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to help provide critical support on the front line of the escalating and largest refugee crisis since WW2.
Within days – sometimes hours – roster of Pennies partners had moved to offer customers the chance to donate to Ukraine-supporting funds, including Domino’s, Whitbread, Holland & Barrett, Sofology, Outdoor & Cycle Concepts, ASK Italian, Papa John’s, Planet Organic, Adnams, Avicenna Pharmacy, and Rontec roadside retail outlets around the UK.
By late June 2022, around £340,000 had been raised from more than 1.1million individual micro-donations made by these merchants’ generous customers – an incredible feat, showing how the British public felt deeply moved and motivated to help its Ukrainian neighbours.
1 million donations in action
One story that reflects the impact consumer donations can have comes from DEC. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, local people have spent weeks in basements and bomb shelters trying to avoid the shelling and have struggled to find enough food for their families. DEC Member, CAFOD and Depaul Ukraine are working in partnership to bring nutritious food baskets to those most in need, delivered by volunteer cyclists in the city.
As of July 2022, some of Pennies partners including ASK Italian in the UK, and Holland & Barrett in the Republic of Ireland are still raising funds for other charities with ongoing Ukraine appeals indefinitely.
Alison Hutchinson CBE, CEO of Pennies commented:
“Micro-donations have been dramatically accelerating over the last 2 years with record numbers of partners joining the movement under globally challenging and remarkable conditions. And now, even as we are starting to see the impact of war, and a perfect storm of economic conditions hit household budgets, the UK public continues to demonstrate its unwavering generosity.
“I can’t thank them enough for the overwhelming contribution – in particular to the work of the many charities supporting the people of Ukraine.”
Find out more
Partnering with Pennies gives businesses a simple, flexible and powerful way to demonstrate support for causes their colleagues and customers care about. Discover how Pennies could work for your business or charity via the links below.