Pennies, the electronic charity box launches across the UK today.  It is an easy, affordable, private and secure way for people to donate between 1 penny and 99 pence to UK charities, big and small, as they shop and pay by card.

All the money that’s given will go to charity and just 8 pence a week from half of the UK’s card-holders would generate an additional £89 million every year.

The UK public is cutting back the amount they donate to charities.  Findings from a consumer survey of 1,513 people show that as belts are tightened because of economic conditions:

    • 35 per cent have reduced the amount they give to charity, and
    • 4 per cent have stopped giving altogether peaking at 8% of 35-44 year olds, but
    • 29 per cent of the nation say they still give to charity often, rising to 40 per cent of the over 55’s.

Separately 8 in 10 of the public are concerned that charities will have to close crucial services, many delivered to the most vulnerable in our communities.

Against this environment, Pennies, the electronic charity box, has teamed up with its first retailer, Domino’s Pizza.  Pennies is available to Domino’s customers who order a pizza on-line and pay by card.  A second national on-line retailer is scheduled to go live shortly and plans are advancing with other retailers keen to make Pennies available both in-store and online in the New Year.

Created by The Pennies Foundation, a UK registered charity, Pennies harnesses the existing retail payments system. Donations are always pennies, never pounds and giving is a choice every time, no personal information, no forms and no commitment to give.  Donations can be made by one touch of a button on the Chip and PIN machine in-store or by one click of a mouse when shopping on-line.

Research indicates that more than 6 in 10 of the UK public will give to charity in this way (63%), rising to 74 per cent of younger adults (24-35 year olds).  More than a third (38%), say that they would donate some, most or nearly all the time with between 15 and 18 per cent willing to give whatever the ‘round-up’ is.

Retailers choose the charities to benefit from the majority of the money raised through their outlets.  For Domino’s Pizza this is Special Olympics Great Britain* which provides confidence building year-round sports training and competition to people of all ages with learning disabilities.

The remainder of the money collected in the electronic charity box will be distributed by The Pennies Foundation to charities delivering services to a range of people across the UK.  Consumers will know which charity is supported by the retailer before they decide to press ’YES’ and give their pennies.

With 43 million cardholders in the UK and almost 1 million card transactions an hour*, cards are the UK’s fastest growing payment method.  Pennies is open to all card-holders.  With support from a number of retail technology providers, the electronic charity box is simple for retailers to implement and open to all whether they operate in-store, online or both.

Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, said: “Pennies are powerful and a lot of people giving a little can make a big difference.  The more people who give a few pennies through the electronic charity box the more people can be helped. What’s exciting is that as more retailers join in, more charities can be supported.  I’m looking forward to Pennies becoming a familiar sight on our high streets and online and I’m delighted to be starting this journey with such a popular brand as Domino’s.”

Chris Moore, CEO, Domino’s Pizza Group said:  “We are delighted to be the launch partner for Pennies. It’s such a simple idea that I can’t believe it’s not already a common fundraising method. I’d like to thank our customers in advance for the generosity I know they will show and I’m really pleased that the bulk of the money raised through Domino’s interactive orders will benefit Special Olympics Great Britain, which is a fantastic charity.”

Karen Wallin, CEO, Special Olympics Great Britain said:  “Right now we and our volunteers help around 8,000 athletes with learning disabilities to gain confidence and live their lives to the full.  We aim to increase this number by a further 12,000 by the end of 2013.  Money raised through Pennies will help us make a difference in many more lives.”


For further information, please contact:

The Pennies Foundation Domino’s Pizza
Hilary McVitty Tel: 07507 837 326 Domino’s Press Office: 01908 580654
Marissa Gadeley Tel: 020 7861 3969 / 07553 203 324
Ben Dobson 020 7861 2525 / 07821 434 573

Notes to Editors:

The Charities being supported at launch:

    • 75% of the funds raised through Domino’s Pizza will go to Special Olympics Great Britain (
    • The remaining funds collected in the electronic charity box through Domino’s Pizza and other participating retailers will be distributed to these charities.

– Carers UK                                       
– Children’s Burns Trust              
– Children’s Hospices UK            
– Macmillan Cancer Support     
– NSPCC                                              
– RNIB                                                 
– Shelter                                             
– The Prince’s Trust                       
– Youth Music                                  

What some other people have said about Pennies:

Richard Curtis, Writer, Producer & Founder of Comic Relief
“It’s simple, it’s 365 days a year and it will change lives every day.”


Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic Gold Medallist
“Pennies is such an exciting idea and could change the face of how all of us give to good causes in the future. I have supported a number of charities for years and since winning my two gold medals, now have my own charity the DKH Legacy Trust. I really wish this new solution success and am hoping along the way my own charity benefits too!”


Fiona Phillips, Journalist, Broadcaster and TV Presenter
“The idea of sending pennies to charity at the touch of a button when you shop is absolutely brilliant.”


Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium
The electronic charity box from The Pennies Foundation is one of those simple ideas that will clearly resonate with consumers.   It is a strong proposition and I believe that it gives retailers a real opportunity to lead a sustainable development in the way we give to charity in the UK.”

Martina Milburn, CEO, The Prince’s Trust
“The Prince’s Trust is proud to be working with The Pennies Foundation on this innovative idea, which has the potential to change the way that people donate to charity on a regular basis. Small change can blossom into significant funds and we hope the public will be as excited by this idea as we are.”


Ciarán Devane, CEO, Macmillan Cancer Support
“Pennies has the potential to change mainstream charity giving by unlocking the electronic collection tin; making donating effortless, convenient and affordable. Macmillan is proud to be working on this sustainable initiative with Pennies, and we hope that the public are excited to see what a huge difference their small change can make to people who really need it.

 Research and data sources:
Research has been carried out three years running by Markettiers4DC through their Opinion Matters on-line panel.  The Pennies proposition has got more popular with the public over this time.  August 2008, 52% of people said they’d give this way (3,368 respondents), November 2009 it was 57% (1,108 respondents) and in October 2010, 63% (1,513 respondents).  The 2010 Opinion Matters survey was carried out between 8 and 15 October with a cross-section of people throughout the UK.

82% of the public are concerned that services offered by charities may close – survey by npf synergy, published May 2010.

£89m additional charitable income estimate based on 21.5m card holders donating 8 pence per week – 21.5m x 8 x 52 = £89.44m

The information on the number of cardholders in the UK is from The Payments Council report 2010.


Domino’s Pizza
Domino’s has worked with Special Olympics Great Britain for several years.  Funds have been raised through a combination of corporate giving and staff fund raising.  This is part of Domino’s commitment to the communities in which it operates.

Domino’s first UK store was opened in 1985 in Luton.  Today it has around 600 stores across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Globally you can buy a Domino’s pizza in 65 countries around the world, from Poland to the Philippines and Aruba to Australia.  Across the world it delivers more than 1 million pizzas every day. Pepperoni is the UK’s favourite pizza topping, in Japan its squid, and in India lamb and pickled ginger tops the pizza polls.

Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB)
Special Olympics Great Britain is the country’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition for adults and children with learning disabilities, regardless of their ability. The charity encourages every individual to become more self-confident, while improving their fitness, health and wellbeing by taking part, training and competing in 23 Olympic-type sports. Our athletes discover new abilities and talents. And for many, they have, for the first time, not only teammates, but mates.

A learning disability is a life-long mental disability. It affects an individual’s capacity to communicate effectively, learn new information and adopt new skills.

In Great Britain there are an estimated 1.2 million people with a learning disability.  When you consider families, friends and carers, the total footprint of those affected is near up to 12 million people.  200 babies will be born this week with a learning disability.  They will face discrimination all their life.

Special Olympics Great Britain was established over 30 years ago and has nearly 8,000 athletes in 135 groups in England, Scotland and Wales run by a dedicated army of over 2800 volunteers that act in a wide variety of roles from sport coaches to fundraisers. They are supported by a small staff team at the London head office.

Special Olympics and Paralympics are two separate organisations.  Special Olympics is recognised as the third member of the Olympic family, but it is not just a sporting event, it is for all people with learning disabilities between the ages of 6 to 80 with an IQ of 75 or less.   Paralympics provides elite-only level competition for multi-disabled groups including physical, blind and deaf.

The relevant software developments for the Domino’s launch were completed by Vexed Digital.
Vexed Digital is a full service independent digital agency based in London. They work with clients across all digital platforms from devising multi-channel e-commerce strategies and implementing them, through to
extending brand activity into the social space and building service led branded communities. Their mobile expertise dates back to the early days of WAP and now encompasses strategy and development for iPhone / iPad and Android.

Vexed was one of the first agencies to specialise in the social web and today continues to innovate across all digital channels, most recently mobile e-commerce. It has considerable strategic and technical experience and is able to simplify big, complex projects. Vexed has worked with Dominos Pizza’s UK for five years and developed its groundbreaking iPhone app (shortlisted for the Revolution and NMA Awards), Foursquare campaign and other aspects of its digital strategy. For more information, please visit:


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