Towards the end of last year, I was closely monitoring the growth of a new start-up, GoodBox, which is on a mission to pioneer the fundraising sector with contactless donation platforms.
The company is currently offering three products that allow donors to ‘Tap to Give’ – i.e. donate to charities through contactless technology – and is preparing to fully launch later in 2018.
So far, it has launched in 12 Church of England cathedrals, five hospitals and seven museums. As part of this, GoodBox had a trial with the Natural History Museum, during which time visitor donations increased by a remarkable 22%.
So, what should we make of modern donation platforms and what are their implications?
Companies such as GoodBox are making it easy for charities and good causes to take donations from a contactless bank card (and other contactless payments). As you might expect, they are being placed strategically, such as exhibition exits to (literally) tap in to our good intentions as we leave.
Such technologies are crucial since half of British adults have less than £5 with them at any time. What’s more, it has been found that one in seven people walk away from a potential donation because they don’t carry cash.
GoodBox has the added benefit of having screens that can switch between images and campaigns, making it a more engaging way of donating than simply putting money in a museum collection box. It will also encourage charities to be bold in how they solicit donations using imagery, complemented with clear and concise messaging.
A GoodBox used at the National Portrait Gallery, for example, asked people to tap and give £5, with this simple message alongside: ‘Help us to grow and share our collection for everyone to enjoy’.
While it may take more time to analyse the true impact of new platforms such as GoodBox, the signs are positive.
The manner in which it makes donating so simple should be encouraged, and this might have the potential to increase donations, with a previous NSPCC trial finding that the average donation was three times higher when done via card compared to cash (£3.07 vs. £1)
The greatest impact, though, might be in ensuring the younger generations are accustomed to a culture of donating. Platforms such as GoodBox are so important for engaging younger people who have been brought up on technology. It is also building on the findings of the Charities Aid Foundation, who reported that 35% of young adults would use contactless payments to give to charity if they had the option.
To summarise, new innovations such as GoodBox are important developments to keep watching. For now, it might be that cash is still king when it comes to donating (55% of all donations are still made in coins or notes) – and contactless donating won’t be applicable to all charities.
There are also some pitfalls to contactless giving – charities don’t get to learn about their donors, for instance, and the findings of some trials suggests that contactless technologies are best used strategically, such as at special fundraising events.
Overall, the positives are outweighing the costs, and it is showing that the sector is moving in the right direction. It is important for the sector to now make the most of, and learn lessons from, new donation tools.
Do you think these new donation platforms are a good thing, or unnecessary? Tweet us @OfficialCause4, we’d love to hear your thoughts!