UK business “accelerating opportunities” for consumers to donate millions with micro-giving

6th August 2020 | Blogs, News

By Pennies


Charity micro-giving is “becoming as normal as shopping itself” says Pennies, the fintech charity leading the micro-donation movement in the UK, as it announces consumers have made 100 million donations with Pennies, to support charities in the UK. 

As businesses find new ways to operate that embrace social distancing, but still offer customers an experience, many are responding to a growth in ethically driven consumers by adopting micro-giving, says Alison Hutchinson CBE, CEO of Pennies.

Hutchinson states: “Over the last 10 years, the business sector has steadily accelerated this charitable micro-donation movement and it’s fantastic we have now passed over 100 million consumer donations - raising £25M for over 600 different charities”

“Retail and hospitality businesses who partner with Pennies can give their customers the option to donate at the point of sale when paying digitally, in-store, online and in-app – and where they have had the opportunity, consumers have digitally donated in their millions. We are delighted how well the UK public is embracing technology as a force for good, especially in recent months where the need has been so great.”

A recent Nunwood/KPMG survey in (June 2020) found the “new consumer” is more altruistic, prioritising community and integrity over deals and profits, and that they want business to show how they are giving back, illustrating further demand for this type of giving.

Meanwhile, new forms of funding can’t come soon enough as UK charities are expected to lose £12.4bn in income for the year, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of Fundraising, the NCVO and the Charity Finance Group in June 2020.

Hutchinson continues: “Retail and hospitality holds a strong hand to make a vital and scalable impact on national, regional and local charities. What we’re seeing, brilliantly, is business becoming a bigger part of a solution, and movement, which can help heal communities and engage colleagues – not to mention bolster ESG programmes.”

At the height of the lockdown in April, health retailer Holland & Barrett added Pennies’ donation option to its website, app and stores in under two weeks, meaning customers could add a 50p donation to purchases in support of the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal. On average, enough money is raised each day that it could fund 20 blood pressure monitors for patients self-isolating and unable to leave their home.

Nick Collard, Chief Customer & Digital Director at Holland & Barrett said: “Enabling Pennies in-store and online at Holland & Barrett was a natural decision for us, to offer our socially-minded customers an opportunity to support those on the front-line during the COVID-19 crisis. We knew we wanted to adopt digital micro-donation quickly and across channels, and the Pennies team made this a smooth and seamless process. Customers immediately 'got it' and have been donating with enthusiasm.”


Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Rob Dyson, Head of Marketing and Communications

0300 302 0172 / 

About Pennies 

Pennies is an award-winning fintech charity (registered no. 1122489) with an important mission: to protect and grow micro-donations - ensuring the public has digital ways to keep donating the small amounts of money that are so vital for charitable causes. Pennies aims to build a community of givers and turn small acts of kindness into powerful impact for the charity sector. Because micro-donations matter – now more than ever.

Pennies runs ‘the digital charity box’, the digital upgrade of the traditional charity tin, designed to fit with our increasingly cashless lifestyles. Donating a few pence to charity when paying by card or mobile wallet is as simple as a single press of a button or click of a mouse.

As our daily lives are changing, Pennies wants to make sure everyone has the chance to donate to charity where they can, especially online and in-app. The opportunity is urgent, and ground-breaking in its possibility: there is a potential if each of us gave around 35p a week, for UK consumers to raise £1bn a year for charity.

Pennies and its partners have a decade of driving multichannel innovation, proven market experience and leadership in the UK micro-donation movement. Pennies has enabled an incredible 100 million small change digital donations to date through its digital charity box, raising over £25 million in extra income for more than 600 charities.

Pennies’ ‘digital charity box’ is live across a breadth of 60+ retail, hospitality and service sector leaders across the UK, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, including Domino’s, Holland & Barrett, The Entertainer, Boots Opticians, Screwfix, Hobbycraft, Topps Tiles, and thousands of Rontec and MFG roadside retail outlets. 

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