UK tech startup GoodBox announces a £2.4 million raise on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs to accelerate production of thousands of additional GoodBox devices, making charitable giving seamless across the UK. This follows new partnerships with the Church of England and Imperial Health Charity, as both establishments roll out the pioneering GoodBox technology in 12 UK cathedrals, 5 hospitals including St Mary’s Hospital London as well as 7 of the 10 most visited museums in the UK.
Founded in 2016 by ex-Credit Suisse Investment Banker Andrew O’Brien and Francesca Hodgson, who has over a decade of experience in the charity sector, GoodBox creates a new ecosystem which harnesses the latest technologies to effortlessly connect causes with donors. Their flagship product, “The GoodBox”, achieves this by modernising a familiar but dated form of donating: the charitable coin collection box.
As a nation of card carriers, it’s not often we’re caught with cash in our pockets, and as a result the charity sector is suffering. The amount of cash spending in the UK has dropped by £14 billion in the last ten years and this number is declining rapidly. On the other hand, the charity sector is still staggeringly dependant on cash donations, with 55% of donations are currently made in cash. As the amount of cash being spent drops in the UK, so does the amount of cash being donated.
The rapid rise of contactless payment solutions, new generation challenger banks and constantly evolving technology should enhance charitable giving, not hinder it. The main issue for charities is that contactless payment processing technology is expensive to build in both time and money; GoodBox offers the perfect solution.
Contactless payments accounted for £22 billion of spending in the UK last year, a figure that is only accelerating over time. GoodBox offers a frictionless alternative to dropping a few coins into a bucket by harnessing our reliance on technology and providing a solution to a coin free purse.
The UK is traditionally a generous and giving society with high-profile charities such as Comic Relief raising over £1 billion, but it’s also incredibly tech savvy and forward-thinking. GoodBox is future-proofing a sector in danger of falling behind by innovating on behalf of all charities. This allows a higher percentage of donations to go directly to the cause, with less spent on overheads. GoodBox wants to inspire charities to embrace fintech by building a solution that doesn’t cost a great deal of money to maintain.
GoodBox has designed bespoke donation boxes for the children’s outpatients department at St Mary’s Hospital and the Church of England which launched this last week. These standalone boxes replace traditional large glass coin boxes or counter-top collection jars. With a 12” screen playing specially curated content for that charity, as well as a battery life of one week, GoodBox is designed to engage visitors in a non-intrusive yet compelling way. The Natural History Museum, since launching with GoodBox in June, has enjoyed a 20% increase in overall donations.
Karl Roberts, Head of Visitor Experience at the Natural History Museum, says: “GoodBox has provided us with more than a contactless donation solution they also come with an understanding of our industry and what compels visitors to donate. By partnering with GoodBox we have been able to work quickly and collaboratively to deliver a flexible and hassle free option to our many visitors who no longer carry cash but wish to donate. The success of our initial trial has given us the confidence to continue with this exciting company and has increased our donation revenue significantly without negatively impacting our cash donations.”
Ian Lush, CEO at Imperial Health Charity, says: “This is a very exciting time for NHS charities. We’re seeing more and more people willing to support their local hospitals through cash donations and with the 70th anniversary of the NHS coming up next year we believe contactless giving will enable even more people to give back. We’re delighted to be partnering with GoodBox to introduce a box in the children’s outpatients department at St Mary’s Hospital this week and we look forward to rolling out the boxes across the other hospitals we support in the coming months.”
Andrew O’Brien, CEO and co-founder at GoodBox, says: “It has been three years in the making but we’re finally there. We are building a business that fulfils charity needs, but also addresses some of the major inefficiencies that persist within the sector. Although our journey begins with the charity sector, we’re by no means limited to it. From conversations with the English National Ballet to Manchester City FC, Royal Parks to Chichester Cathedral, GoodBox is ready to take off. We are excited about the next phase of our journey with this round of investment on Seedrs.”