The future is contactless


noun British informal
“The action or practice of approaching passers-by in the street to ask for subscriptions or donations to a particular charity.”

Since charities began, community fundraising has been a significant source of income. The use of chugging has become the most popular way of generating unrestricted funds; holding buckets in the street and asking passers-by to pop a couple of quid in for a good cause.

One of the challenges of late for charities is that people carrying and paying with cash has significantly decreased, a 22% decline since 2006, in fact. Meaning that the amount of spare change the general public has in their pocket is considerably less.

But, with new technology comes opportunity. The early adoption of contactless donation buckets is being trialled across the country. No spare change? Don’t worry – just tap here with your contactless cash card to donate.

Last week, we spent an exciting few hours with Help for Heroes (the leading charity for the armed forces community), seeing this amazing technology in action. Help for Heroes has implemented contactless donation boxes at their Transport for London event. The intelligent devices were branded up with the charity logo and gave commuters a choice to tap with their card or phone, to donate a set amount of £3, instead of putting their loose change in a traditional collection bucket.

It was truly incredible to see such technology in action, being used for the greater good and the feeling among the general public was unanimous; utterly amazed. They were blown away that such a use of technology had been adapted to allow such a quick and easy method of giving money.

But, it’s not just Help for Heroes that are trialling this technology to drive more donations to their charity. There have been some incredibly creative examples & experiments using new donation devices.

Blue Cross
The Blue Cross took the nations love for dogs and partnered that with the latest technology, creating contactless donation coats for their mascot pooches. In a fun campaign, the Blue Cross made adjustments to the currently used service dog coats, allowing for the device to sit comfortably without distracting the dog. Their furry fundraisers were then taken out and about on the streets and to events, showcasing a wonderful new way to donate to the charity.

Suffice to say, it went down a storm, creating a buzz of press activity and a flurry of donations. Quite rightly so.



Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK integrated contactless donation technology into benches, scattered across parks in London. In an aim to represent the rest that people with cancer need when pursuing daily life, they wanted to encourage others to take a break and donate at the same time.

The campaign also gained national press attention for its innovative use of the devices and gave the general public a whole new way of understanding and interacting with the charity.


With this type of innovation in the sector, some charities are swiftly ahead of others when it comes to capturing the public’s money. Those early adopters of the technology are reaping the financial rewards, as well as a fantastic PR angle too!

What’s even more exciting for us, is the application of this type of technology at an event. Traditionally donors have been prescribed to pledge money at charity dinners, committing to buying an auction item or raffle ticket and paying after the final hammer has come down. But with the use of this technology, the scope for collecting money up-front is endless.

If you are involved with a charity that is looking for ways of energising your event, we’re experts at implementing successful strategies to maximise donations on the day / night, so please do get in touch.

D&G Group