Pre-Christmas surge in gifts made through Pennies micro-donation scheme to Entertainer toy stores

Retailer reports that donations made by rounding up payments for purchases have increased to an average of £15,000 a week

Pennies scheme at The Entertainer store
Pennies scheme at The Entertainer store

Gifts to charity made through the micro-donations scheme Pennies at the Entertainer toy stores have risen from an average of £2,000 a week to £15,000 in the approach to Christmas.

The money is shared between four children’s hospitals; Liverpool’s Alder Hey Imagine Appeal, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, which fundraises for Bristol Children’s Hospice, and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

The scheme, which is run by the Pennies Foundation, allows people who pay by card to make small charitable donations by rounding up the amount they pay. 

The Entertainer has raised a total of £250,000 at its 78 UK stores through the scheme since summer 2011. Customers have donated an average of 30p. 

Gary Grant, managing director of the toy retailer, said: "People are inclined to be generous, and we have seen them display this generosity since the launch of the partnership with Pennies. It has been incredible to see the donations add up to make a difference. 

"Our traditional charity boxes would generate less than £2,000 a year so it has been tremendous to see the donations come in so quickly and easily with the electronic charity box."

The Entertainer was the first high street retailer to adopt the micro-donation scheme.

Last month Pennies announced that new retailers, including Monarch Airlines and the furniture retailer DFS, had signed up to take part in the scheme as it marked its second anniversary.  

More than 3.6m consumer donations have been received during its first two years and the foundation is on track to raise £1m by about the end of the year, benefiting 50 UK charities.

Alison Hutchinson, chief executive of Pennies, said: "It has been inspiring to see the speed in which the donations have flooded in during December."

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