The clipboards sported by face-to-face fundraisers are set to be replaced by personal organisers in the inexorable march of new technology.
IT experts at the University of Hull are offering charities the opportunity to revolutionise how they collect donors' details on the street - at practically no cost.
In an adaptation of a system used by the emergency services, street fundraisers could be kitted out with personal organisers so they can transfer new donor details to their charities' central records instantly.
Iain Kelwick, manager of the Seed project, said he first developed the system to dispatch instructions to policemen on the beat. "But I thought it could be useful for people setting up a monthly direct debit," he added.
"It will definitely work."
The project, a subsidiary of the university's Department of Computer Science, offers to develop software for charities at minimal cost.
A spokeswoman for Shelter said: "This is an interesting idea, but we would have to be satisfied that it was cost-effective and would keep our donors' details secure."