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The #VerticalFiver challenge is on to raise funds for NI charities

The #VerticalFiver challenge is on to raise funds for NI charities

Ulster Bank’s vertical five and ten pound notes are now in circulation, and the challenge is on to replicate the success of the #FirstFiver campaign.

The brainchild of corporate fundraising consultant and recruiter John Thompson, the #FirstFiver campaign saw £12.5m go to charities across the UK through people taking up the challenge to donate their first new polymer £5 note to a charity of their choice. This then developed into #Tenderaising, which tries to replicate the success of #FirstFiver with other new notes and coins as they come into circulation,

With the launch of the UK’s first vertical notes by Ulster Bank at the end of last month, Thompson has challenged people to do the same with the hashtag #VerticalFiver.



The new campaign could be taking off. After Thompson challenged him on Twitter, former Bacs CEO Mike Chambers said that he will donate the first vertical £5 or £10 note he receives when he visits Northern Ireland this month.



And in a post on LinkedIn, Northern Ireland Hospice’s Jonathan Lamberton also said he had received his first vertical tenner and as a follower of Thompson’s #Tenderaising idea would be donating it to the hospice.

Commenting on #VerticalFiver, Thompson said:

“It’s great to see the former CEO of BACS, a leading proponent of a consumer-paced move towards a cashless society, accept my challenge and pledge to seek out his first vertical note to donate to charity. This underlines the true spirit of #Tenderaising, as originally unleashed by #FirstFiver. It’s a simple, but effective concept; a perfect blend of physical giving powered by people promoting causes closest to their hearts by sharing unique content on social media.

“I’ve already seen NI hospices getting involved and hope the momentum will build over the following weeks.

“Cash is still king when it comes to giving and, as many recent examples have shown, technology is not infallible; so a crashless society must come before a cashless one. Until that time, there will be lots of opportunities to fundraise through new notes and coins.  

“My hopes are that the movement will eventually go global and, for now, that the generous people of Northern Ireland rise to the challenge of #VerticalFiver.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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