Pen­nies, the dig­i­tal char­i­ty box

Exhibited by
Joe Saxton
April 20, 2017
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

Making fundraising easy is every charity's dream, and by allowing donors to give quickly, anonymously and without any hassle during cashless transactions, Pennies has achieved just that. There's no paperwork for donors to process or forms to fill in, and Pennies is tapping into the cashless revolution currently sweeping the United Kingdom. The numbers speak for themselves.

Summary / objectives

Pennies the digital charity box – a charity itself – provides a seamless and anonymous way for customers to add a few pennies to charity during a cashless transaction (e.g. card payment) at participating retailers – whether online, in-store, or in-app.

It does not collect any personal data, the retailer chooses the charity to support and it is a choice every time for the consumer to donate.


The UK public remains very generous, with the traditional collection box remaining the nation’s preferred way to give to charity. But Pennies’ recent research* reveals that around a third of us now leave the house without any cash every day and almost half of us (48 per cent) are not seeing, or have noticed a decline in, these physical collection boxes. So Pennies remedies this by offering a cashless donation option in participating retail partners. 

Over 60 retailers are currently part of the ‘micro-giving’ movement, including Domino’s Pizza, Boots Opticians, Ask Italian, Evans Cycles, Topps Tiles, Hobbycraft – with the likes of Dixons Carphone and Virgin Holidays rolling out. 

Pennies estimates that if every UK cardholder** donated just once a month at an average of 30p (roughly a penny a day) we could raise £175 million a year of new money for charity.

*conducted by Markettiers, November 2016
**based on data from Cards and Payments Association 2016


The introduction of a new Fundraising Regulator will mean tighter restrictions on charities in terms of using donor data – leading to charities seeking more data-free/anonymous ways of raising funds. 

Pennies follows the donation not the donor – and is a secure and private way to give a few pence. Additionally, the retailer need not prompt the customer because the option to give appears in the card terminal (or online or in-app); therefore, there is less pressure upon both the shop staff and the consumer. 

Other relevant information

Watch Pennies recent promotional video on YouTube, created pro bono by Bluejuice:

Creator / originator

Pennies & Bluejuice 

Influence / impact

Nearly 40 million people have made a donation using Pennies, over six and a half years - to the tune of almost £9m. This money has supported over 200 UK registered charities, impacting on causes and communities throughout the British Isles and beyond. 

This case study was presented by Joe Saxton, driver of ideas and founder of nfpSynergy, at SOFII's I Wish I'd Thought Of That event in London 2016.