Special coding can be used to fundraise

Symbols similar to barcodes could boost income, says expert

Fundraisers could bring in additional revenue by using symbols similar to barcodes on publicity material, according to a fundraising consultant.

The symbols - called QR codes - are free to download online. They are often used on billboard posters and in advertising literature by businesses in Japan and Europe, but have yet to take off in the UK.

People can photograph the codes with their mobile phones and, with the correct software, the codes take them to the advertisers' websites.

John Baguley, director of the International Fundraising Consultancy, told Third Sector that if charities adopted the technology, it could boost their fundraising.

"The first charity that uses it on widely distributed posters - and now is a great time to do that because it's so cheap - will suddenly trigger the public's understanding of it," he said.

Only one charity - Bullying UK - had used the codes, but others were considering it, said Baguley.

The fundraising technique would be effective with younger supporters, he said. "The benefit is speed and convenience, particularly with Generation Y," he said. "This will eventually be their preferred method of giving."

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