Industry leaders joined together today to celebrate the breakthrough that Pennies, the electronic charity box, has made for British fundraising in its first two years.  The charity has already received millions of consumer donations and is showing accelerated growth going into 2013, with the announcement of major new partners.

  • Pennies achieves 100% growth in its second year
  • 3.5 million consumer donations
  • 50 charities benefit

Ian Chesher - Pennies eventMinister for Civil Society Nick Hurd MP, Chairman of the British Retail Consortium and Chief Executive of Kingfisher plc, Ian Cheshire and TV presenter Fiona Phillips were amongst the speakers addressing the packed auditorium of senior executives at BAFTA.

At a time when charitable giving in the UK is reportedly decreasing, falling by 20%1, Pennies has bucked the trend by achieving well over 100% growth in its second year.  Consumers have shown how much they love this simple and affordable way to give to charity by donating their electronic pennies 3.5 million times.  The micro-donations are adding up fast, with Pennies on track to reach the £1 million milestone around the end of the year.  That money is impacting the lives of thousands of people supported by the 50 charities that have already benefited or are due to do so.

Major national retail partners including Travelodge, Zizzi and The Entertainer are joined today by DFS, Evans Cycles, luxury brand Gieves & Hawkes, Monarch Airlines, The Fragrance Shop and many more as ‘micro-donations’ hit critical mass on the high street and online.

A number of existing partnerships have expanded as well including Domino’s Pizza that has seen an 18% increase in donations now that Pennies is available with its mobile app, giving customers the opportunity to round up for charity both online and via their smartphones.

Technology has been critical in advancing the micro-donation movement and 2013 looks set to see Pennies make a step change on this front, by securing a range of new partners that will make it even easier for thousands of merchants to adopt Pennies across different channels including Barclaycard, Sage Pay, VeriFone, Servebase, Intershop and Iridium Corporation.

Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, commented: “It has been inspiring to see how quickly millions of UK consumers have chosen to donate their electronic pennies, adding together to make a significant difference to so many UK charities.  We’ve always known that the British public is generous and thanks to the many partners announcing their support for the Pennies movement today there will be even more opportunities to join in.”

Nick Hurd, MP, Minister for Civil Society, commented: “It has been fantastic to see an innovative idea like Pennies mature so quickly.  I encourage other businesses to join the movement for the benefit of charities across the country.

Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive, Kingfisher plc and Chairman, British Retail Consortium commented “Pennies has quickly proven to be a big success with consumers.  Retailers have a unique role to play with their access to millions of consumers.  Now is the time for the Retail Industry to get behind the Pennies movement”

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Notes to Editors:

1 Figures from UK Giving Report, November 2012: £11.6 billion (adjusted for inflation) donated to charity in 2010/11, compared to £9.3 billion in 2011/12 – a fall of 20 per cent. 

2 The new retail partners announced today, and their chosen charities, include:

    • Drake & Morgan – raising funds for Kids Company, an organisation working therapeutically with vulnerable children and young people.
    • Gieves & Hawkes – raising funds for QEST, which offers grants for education in modern and traditional crafts and trades, and Walking With The Wounded, which funds both the re-training and re-education of wounded servicemen and women.
    • Monarch Airlines – currently supporting a group of ten charities covering a range of causes.
    • The Fragrance Shop – raising funds for Rays of Sunshine, a children’s charity granting the wishes of 3-18 year olds who are living with serious or life-threatening illnesses.
    • Evans Cycles – raising funds for Special Olympics GB, who will use the donations to develop a new cycling programme, giving people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in cycling.  Special Olympics GB are the country’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition programmes for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Pennies is also announcing a number of new charity shop partners, which are joining a growing number of charities switching on Pennies in their retail outlets.  They include:

    • Tenovus – Cancer charity bringing care, treatment, support and research to the heart of communities.
    • CLIC Sargent Providing support and information for children and young people with cancer, and their families.

More than 20 charities have signed up with Pennies to collect donations from 180+ of their own shops.



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