Is Contactless Donation the Wave of the Future?

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

People don’t carry much cash around anymore. They use credit cards and other forms of digital payment to buy things, which is convenient and can be safer than walking around with big bills. But for charities that make money asking passersby for cash, the new reality poses a challenge. If people don’t have cash in their wallets, they can’t donate. Contactless donation is helping to bring charities into the 21st century by allowing donors to give money with the quick tap of a contactless card.

How Contactless Donation Works

Contactless donation requires a contactless card, which donors keep handy, and a contactless card reader, which the charity keeps. A person carrying a contactless card can approach a charity booth, tap a button, and make a donation. The charity typically sets up a sign that says something like, “Tap to donate $5.” Donors no longer have to fish around in their wallets for cash or try to make change for larger denominations. Those who wish to donate more than $5 can simply tap more than once. It makes the entire process very simple.

Contactless Donation Benefits

Contactless donation offers two big benefits. Perhaps the biggest is that it doesn’t limit a charity’s donor base to those who happen to be carrying cash. Yes, donors have to carry the contactless donation card, but the card itself is small and unobtrusive. It’s easier for charities to convince people to swipe a card than to make ATM cash withdrawals. Contactless donations are impersonal, requiring no human interaction. This may sound counterintuitive, as charities are known for bringing communities together. But the truth is that many people shy away from charity booths for fear of being stuck listening to sales pitches, tapped for repeat donations, or asked to donate more than they’re comfortable with. Contactless donation removes these apprehensions.

Creative Examples of Contactless Donations

Many charities are already using contactless donation to great success. Some are getting highly creative with it. Blue Cross, which collects money for homeless pets in the United Kingdom, uses dogs to entice donors to give money. The dogs are outfitted in jackets that carry the contactless card reader. Donors can give money by petting the animal. It’s genius. Just think about how many donations they’re getting that they otherwise wouldn’t because people can’t resist petting cute dogs.Scottish-based Mary’s Meals, which provides food to hungry children, set up contactless card readers at cafes. Rather than having cashiers solicit donations when customers pay for their orders, a tactic that puts people on the spot and can be off-putting, the devices set up by Mary’s Meals let customers make donations without being asked.As the world moves toward a cashless economy, contactless donation represents the future of fundraising. It offers the added benefit of letting people donate as few or as many times as they want in private.

References & Resources

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