The donation from Nectar, which runs a loyalty card for shoppers at several companies, including Sainsbury’s, is equivalent to 40 million Nectar card points, and is the first time the company has run a fundraising campaign with Oxfam on this scale.
Oxfam said in a statement that the donation could help to get clean drinking water to more than 80,000 families in drought-stricken areas of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, and for people escaping war in South Sudan.
A spokeswoman for Oxfam said that Nectar ran a pilot version of its points donation scheme for Oxfam’s Nepal earthquake campaign. The pilot raised more than £11,000.
Tim Hunter, director of fundraising at Oxfam, said: "It shows extraordinary generosity that people who have been saving up their points for something special have chosen instead to donate them. We’re extremely grateful for all the money that’s been raised, which will help us to save the lives of many people who are on the brink of famine.
"I can’t stress how much this money means for people in life or death situations. Thanks to Nectar, this is an easy and innovative way for people to give money and support Oxfam’s life-saving work."
James Moir, managing director of Nectar, said: "We’ve partnered with Oxfam for more than four years and we’re particularly proud of the work we do with the charity. We continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of our collectors and we’re delighted to see their Nectar points being put towards such a good cause."
Oxfam is part of the Disasters Emergency Committee, which last month launched an emergency campaign to help more than 16 million people in the affected areas of east Africa.
If you’re interested in fundraising, you can’t miss Third Sector’s Annual Fundraising Conference on 23 and 24 May. Click here for more information and how to book