Viewpoint: Challenges for our sector in 2017

As we enter 2017, there is no denying change is ahead. This change will be felt across retail, payments, tech and charity, as explored by the Pennies team in the latest in our Viewpoint seriers.

Posted by Pennies

Published 18 January, 2017

Whichever way your vote was cast in the EU Referendum last year, we can all appreciate that there is change and uncertainty ahead. This will be felt across retail, payments and tech – and of course charity, a sector that relies on the public feeling secure enough to give to others in need.

Positively, recent research from the Charities Aid Foundation, published in September 2016, showed almost a third of people now feel more inclined to volunteer locally, post-Referendum.

Less hopefully, our own annual research (due to be published next month) suggests that 34% of the public would reduce the amount they donate to charity should Brexit uncertainty increase the prices they pay in shops. However, encouragingly 39% said they would be more likely to make smaller, more ad-hoc donations in the same situation.

2016 saw growth in this kind of ad-hoc giving. For example an estimated 4.5 million people supported a cause on #GivingTuesday 2016, which took place on 29th November. It was also the number one trending topic on Twitter in the UK for most of the day.

In addition, a CAF and YouGov poll published in November last year estimates that 2.5million adults donated their first new £5 note to charity as part of the #FirstFiver campaign, a grass-roots idea that grew from a single tweet by fundraising consultant John Thompson and captured the public’s imagination on social media.

As those in the industry are aware, there is now a new Fundraising Regulator setting and maintaining standards for charities, for example, on how supporter data can be used when campaigning for funding. Pennies embraces flux in how people choose to donate and can help navigate new funds as changes in fundraising regulation come into effect, in part because Pennies does not require or collect any consumer data, just like the traditional charity box.

We will continue to transform occasional and smaller giving into a scalable and sustainable way to grow funds for hundreds of charities. Together, we will ride the tide and support the great work charities do in our communities.

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