Could interactive donation kiosks drive charity donations in 2021?

26 May 2021

Using an interactive screen

With every passing year, it seems there is a greater choice when it comes to marketing and brand building. 

But why are so few of the brands pushing boundaries those that actually have something truly positive to put back into the world?

The charity sector has suffered as much as any in the last 12 months, with families who might generally have put aside a tenner a month forced to hold back on account of COVID. In addition, many fundraising events, such as the London Marathon, have also been cancelled - eating into a huge source of funds for organisations across the charity sector. 

With the threat of the pandemic now gradually receding, it’s time for charities and trusts to rebuild their reserves and dive into the latest marketing opportunities. And perhaps the most obvious candidate is the digital display.

But how could digital displays catalyse a major uptake in donations for charities if they’re willing to invest?

Access to cash

We’ve been steadily migrating into a cashless society - even before COVID hit but now, with social distancing and hygiene still at the forefront of so many minds, it’s only accelerated the move. 

Cash payments in the UK have dropped from 63% to 34% in the last decade. For charities whose bread and butter has historically been collecting cash on high streets, this could prove a wake-up call.

It’s important that charities can adapt to trends and attitudes but this is not something that comes cheap, particularly when you factor in balancing resources between physical and digital promotion. 

For many charities, there’s been a significant lack of funding over the past year, so finding enough funds to tip the scales on that balance might be an issue. That’s where interactive donation kiosks come in.

What is an interactive donation kiosk?

The concept behind an interactive donation kiosk is simple - a digital display that allows users to make charitable donations by simply swiping their contactless payment cards

They work similarly to the digital serving stations that have become commonplace in McDonald’s across the country, only you’re potentially saving someone’s life rather than ordering a Happy Meal.

This not only mitigates the security risk of having volunteers standing around with buckets full of change but it makes the entire process faster and more convenient. Certain models are also touch-free, which is particularly important in this post-COVID age. 

Digital donation futures

While online and phone donations are still a popular method of giving to charity, more than half are still made offline. For older customers, these digital kiosks offer the perfect ‘baby steps’ into digitising their donations. 

For everyone else, however, it gives them so much more control over how and when they decide to donate.

Perhaps most vitally, however, is how each donation and interaction can be traced and used to collate patterns and trends to help deliver more targeted campaigns in the future. There is nothing as powerful in the modern world as data and even charitable organisations need to start releasing the power that big data holds whilst, of course, ensuring compliance with GDPR.

Digital fundraising isn’t just online, it’s happening on the streets too. With more of us returning to those streets in the coming months, there has never been a better time for charities to invest in their physical-digital futures.

Image: GaudiLab /

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