Pennies (electronic charity box)
|Tax ID No.||6418982 (company limited by guarantee)|
|Founded||November 6, 2007|
|Service(s)||Fundraising by micro-donations|
|Method(s)||Point of sale transactions|
|Revenue||£1.4 million (2011)|
Pennies, the electronic charity box is a micro-donation scheme in the United Kingdom, created by registered charity The Pennies Foundation. Its purpose is to raise funds for a variety of UK registered charities. The Daily Telegraph has described it as "a new channel for an old habit" that has adapted the shop counter charity box for the internet and card using generation.
Shoppers are privately invited to donate small amounts (1p–99p) to charity when they pay for goods and services by card in participating retailers. All the money raised through Pennies goes to charity. Pennies’ partner retailers nominate the charity or charities to benefit from donations.. In January 2013, just over two years after launch, people had donated 4 million times through Pennies, raising £1,000,000 for charity.
Retailers that have customers paying by card can easily implement Pennies on their payment system. Those with electronic stock control software set up Pennies as a stock-keeping unit. Sales staff are not involved in donations; when the customer is ready to pay for goods or services, the PIN pad prompts the customer with the option to round up or top up their purchase and add a donation to the payment.
Pennies launched online in November 2010 with Domino’s Pizza and has since partnered many other national, regional and local companies, both in-store and online. In its first year, Pennies received over one million donations, totalling £250,000, rising to £300,000 for the calendar year 2011. Pennies is available in store with The Entertainer, Zizzi Restaurants, The Fragrance Shop, The Rugby Football Union and London restaurant chain Drake & Morgan. It is available online with Domino’s Pizza, Travelodge and Evans Cycles.
By February 2012, one million donations had been made at Domino's; although the most common amount was 1p, the total had reached £230,000. Other businesses chose to offer customers the option to add a fixed 'top up' amount, such as the 20p donation at Zizzi's.
In June 2011, Pennies won an award in the 'fundraising' category of the Technology4Good awards (T4G). It was also nominated by Third Sector magazine in its Britain’s Most Admired Charities 2011 awards in the Most Innovative Charity category. In late 2012, Pennies won the 'Best Not for Profit IT Project' in IT Industry Awards held by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT and Computing magazine.
Pennies has also received messages of support from prominent figures in the retail and technology industry. Joanna Shields, former Vice President of Facebook, described Pennies as "a simple idea that removes friction from giving", and UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox has said that Pennies' "simple yet clever technology can make a real difference when the charitable sector needs it most".
The Pennies Foundation
The Pennies Foundation is a charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and a company limited by guarantee registered in England.
The November 2010 annual accounts showed that philanthropists and foundations had contributed over £1 million to The Pennies Foundation in cash and in kind as start-up gifts, to establish the charity's infrastructure and cover its running costs in the early years. Point-of-sale donations were accounted for separately as "'pennies' donations received" and set aside as "designated funds", to be passed on without deduction. However, the Foundation acknowledged in 2011 that at some future point, in order to be sustainable in the long term, it will become necessary to start retain a small percentage of each donation.
- Kara Gammell, Donate your change and help raise £150m, The Daily Telegraph, 22 Nov 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- Annual report, 30 November 2010, page 16.
- Charity Tech Insight, Pennies reaches GBP1m mark through micro-donations
- The Logic Group (24 June 2011). "The Logic Group and Pennies team on charity donations at point of sale". Press release. finextra.com. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Jill Insley (2 December 2011). "Charities for Christmas #2: Pennies". Guardian. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Merry Christmas from Pennies, The Pennies Foundation, 23 December 2011.
- Sophie Hudson (14 February 2012). "Domino's 'rounding up' donations through Pennies reach one million". Third Sector. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- "'Pennies with Zizzi' scoops RealIT Awards top prize". The Pennies Foundation. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- 2011 Winners, Technology4Good awards. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Pennies scoops Technology4Good fundraising award, The Pennies Foundation website, 8 June 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Gemma O’Reilly (22 August 2011). "Six contenders in the running to be named Most Innovative Charity". Third Sector. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Stuart Sumner (15 November 2012). "The UK IT Industry Awards". Computing. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Pennies_ebox_org, Vimeo
- Messages of support, Pennies website
- "Pennies Foundation to start making deductions". Third Sector. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2012.