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Answers to some of the questions we’re frequently asked


Why does collecting pennies matter?

In the current economic climate the traditional sources of income for many charities are under immense pressure. The value of bequests is down, as is investment income, and as belts get tightened even regular donors are not always able to continue their commitment. Pennies adds much needed additional income to charities, in a way that consumers can afford, by giving them the option to give pennies not pounds.

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How can giving pennies make any difference?

If lots of people give just a few pennies, they will add up to millions of pounds. If only half of the payment card holders in the UK gave just 8 pence a week, it would add up to more than £89 million a year. Real help for many charities.

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What makes you think that people will give in this way?

We have talked to many people and carried out consumer research over three years. A common response has been “Why hasn’t someone done this before?” More than 6 in 10 of the people we interviewed said that they liked the idea and would give to charity in this way. More than a third said that they would donate this way some, all, or most of the time if they had the chance and 74% of under 34-year olds were keen to participate.  The more than 1.6 million donations we have received since launching in November 2010 reinforces the research findings that people want to give in this way.

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Which charities will benefit?

We’re passionate about being inclusive so over time. Our aim is that the money collected will go to charities of different sizes, serving a range of communities and causes. Information about the charities which benefit from your pennies is available as you donate and on this website. If you sign-up as a supporter we’ll email you from time to time to give you news and information.

As more retailers are “Pennies-enabled”, the number of charities that will benefit from your pennies will grow.

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Who will choose the charities to benefit and how will they be chosen?

Most of the pennies collected through an individual retailer’s outlets will go to the charity or charities they nominate, provided they meet the Pennies criteria. Many retailers involve their staff and customers when choosing these charities.

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What type of charities will be supported?

Retailers choose the causes they and their customers want to support. We just ask that the charity or charities are UK registered and meet our other criteria.

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Where will the money be used?

The majority of the money collected will be spent by charities working in the UK. However provided a charity is UK registered, funds can be used for projects outside the UK too. You can find information about the work of the charities that benefit on this site.

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Is there a charge for charities to benefit from Pennies?

There is no cost for recipient charities benefitting from donations so all the pennies can go straight to work supporting a range of charitable activities.

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How does Pennies work?

Pennies makes giving to charity easy and affordable for everyone, in essence a new channel for the old habit of dropping a few coins into a charity box on the shop counter, brought up to date for card and internet transactions. Pennies is multi-channel and available in-store, online and via mobile. We are actively engaged with a number of technology and service providers in the payments market and are continually looking for ways to make it easier for retailers to enable Pennies for their customers. We do not therefore have one stand-alone solution.

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Do you accept grant applications?

No we don’t accept grant applications.

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How can I be sure that my money will go to charity?

We promise that all of the money raised will go to UK registered charities. We’ll tell you which charities have received money and tell you about some of the people and projects that have benefitted. We will also publish a report each year showing where your money went, which will be available on our website.  You can see how much has been raised so far on our homepage.

We are a member of the Institute of Fundraising and of the Fundraising Standards Board.

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How is Pennies funded?

The Pennies Foundation, creators of Pennies, the electronic charity box, is itself a charity registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales. During its early years of development Pennies secured volunteers with a breadth of expertise but now has a small skilled team of part and full time employees as well as volunteers and specialist pro-bono support. The Pennies Foundation raises funds from many sources including philanthropists, foundations and commercial organisations. Pennies encourages a breadth of ways in which individuals and organisations can join in and help the micro-donation movement and thank everyone who supports us with time and resources. We retain 5% of the donations to support our work driving the Pennies movement for the benefit of all UK charities.

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Do I have to commit to round up every time I pay for something?

No, you don’t, and that’s one of the things that Pennies stands for, the choice to give a few pennies easily, quickly and securely when you want to with no commitment.

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Will other people know whether I’ve donated or not?

No, we have designed the process to be as private as possible. The choice to donate or not is yours every time. No one else is involved.

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Will Pennies mean people stop donating to charity in other ways?

People have been donating their spare pennies through charity boxes for a long time. All we’ve done is update it for payments made by card whether in store, online or via mobiles. In many ways Pennies is filling the void being left as cash spending reduces and charity boxes disappear.

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Which retailers offer Pennies?

Click here to find out which retailers are offering Pennies.

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Is there a charge for retailers to use Pennies?

We want to make Pennies as easy as possible for retailers to implement and start collecting donations. There are a diverse range of retail payment solutions which are often tailored by retailers. Typically there is no additional charge for retailers to use the Pennies feature.

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I am a retailer, how can I be part of Pennies?

We’d be delighted to talk to you. Here are some reasons why Pennies is a great initiative for retailers to join. To discuss, please contact us either by phone on +44 (0) 20 7600 9286 or by email to .

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I am a charity, how can I be part of Pennies?

We do not take grant applications.  However there are other ways to get involved with Pennies, read more about them here. Please feel free to contact us either by phone on +44 (0) 20 7600 9286 or by email to .

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