How Poppyscotland’s charity donation boxes engaged thousands of supporters

How Poppyscotland’s charity donation boxes engaged thousands of supporters

In October 2020 Poppyscotland distributed 10,000 poppy boxes into 500 locations for the Scottish Poppy Appeal in advance of Remembrance Day. As well as highly traffic areas such as supermarkets and stations, the boxes were also utilised by 56 corporate partners, including NatWest, OpenReach and Barclays. To reach a large-scale cashless audience across the country and generate loyal supporters, each charity box was upgraded using smart stickers. Touch-free, the stickers were able to trigger a branded experience for quick smartphone donations and marketing opt-in.  

Speaking good thyngs

“Operating Scotland’s largest annual cash fundraising appeal in the midst of a global pandemic presented us with considerable challenges, but the Thyngs technology allowed us to add an important new digital channel for our supporters to use. It has also helped us to future proof the Appeal, with the move towards a cashless society accelerating rapidly as a result of the pandemic.”

Gordon Michie – Head of Fundraising and Learning – Poppyscotland

The challenge

Since the pandemic, generations around the world have been encouraged to use contactless payments and avoid handling physical cash where possible. This amplified the existing movement towards cashless payments pre-Covid. Given the historic reliance on cash donations, this could have resulted in a catastrophic drop in income for Poppyscotland at a time when their vital services for the Armed Forces community were needed more than ever.

Protecting volunteers from the risk of infection meant thousands of them were unable to collect as they normally would. Poppyscotland needed a secure and easy-to-use cashless payment solution that worked even when their volunteers couldn’t be there in person.

The cashless solution 

Each donation box included NFC and QR technology to enable all supporters with a smartphone to make a contactless donation. Instead of layering the hardware into an advanced touch-point, one side of the cardboard box had a QR code, and the other had an NFC-enabled poppy. Poppyscotland embraced creativity and the benefits of NFC by making poppy boxes interactive, without interfering with their design. 

To make a donation, supporters were able to scan the QR code or hover their phone over the interactive poppy on the box. This triggered a mobile-optimised donation experience that allowed donations of any size. For those new to the technology, clear and concise ‘how to donate’ instructions were included on the box. 

 The charity included a marketing opt-in tick box to grow their email database and keep in contact with donors and, in turn, growing their regular giving support base. The branded experience was an effective way to connect with donors at a time where face-to-face interaction wasn’t possible. 

The Outstanding Results

  • Engaged over 3,000 supporters.
  • Generated over £9,000 donations via cashless.
  •  Conversion rate 60%.
  •  Gift Aid 47%.
  •  Average donation £7.37.
  •  4% chose to opt-in to marketing. The average email opt-in rate is 1.95% (Sumo, 2019).