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Christian Aid Week to trial contactless

Christian Aid Week to trial contactless

Christian Aid is partnering with technology companies and churches to trial cashless donations for this year’s Christian Aid Week.

Christian Aid Week runs from 12-18 May, and this year highlights the need to improve healthcare for mothers and babies in countries such as Sierra Leone. More than 12,000 churches are expected to participate and Christian Aid plans to pilot two new ways of collecting donations.

During May, churches across England and Wales will trial up to 500 payment units supplied free of charge by digital payment company GoodBox. Churches have been able to order the devices through the Parish Buying purchasing portal, run by the Church of England and Church in Wales.


Christian Aid Week volunteers in the UK will also pilot mobile phone giving, using near-field communication (NFC) technology and QR codes supplied by tech company Thyngs. This technology turns everyday items into contactless donation points, meaning people can use their smartphones to donate through the traditional channels, such as Christian Aid Week donation cards, collection buckets and tins.

Christian Aid Week Lead, Lianne Howard-Dace, said:

“Christian Aid Week is by far our biggest and best community fundraiser, and has been running for over six decades. Not surprisingly, much of the money our dedicated volunteers collect during the week comes in the form of cash dropped into envelopes, buckets and collection tins.

“However, like many charities we’ve seen growing numbers of people who simply don’t carry cold, hard cash anymore: when they spend money, they prefer to reach for their cards and smartphones, rather than coins and notes. That’s why we are trialling new, innovative ways to raise funds to ensure we can continue standing together with people living in poverty for many more decades to come.”

Ms Howard-Dace continued:

“We are delighted to be partnering with GoodBox, Thyngs and Parish Buying this year, to trial contactless giving and mobile payments. This pilot will give much more flexibility to our supporters as they volunteer at nationwide, from bake sales and breakfasts, to street collections and church services.

“This will mean we can reach a new generation of digital donors, who will have the opportunity to support our work in a way that is convenient, secure and cost-effective. We hope the public will continue to be generous this Christian Aid Week: whether it comes from a purse or a phone, every pound given will help to transform the lives of families across the world.”

The contactless devices supplied by GoodBox have been available for churches to order, via the Parish Buying purchasing portal. GoodBox has waived its usual rental fee for Christian Aid until the end of May. This is part of a pilot that began in April, when the charity trialled the technology to raise funds for survivors of Cyclone Idai.


Each GoodBox device features an HD screen displaying Christian Aid’s campaign, and enables a donor to donate between £3 – £30 through a contactless donation. After May, host churches will be given an opportunity to buy the devices at a reduced cost, for their own fundraising.

Thyngs is providing contactless technology for Christian Aid Week as part of its Good Thyngs service aimed at charities. Christian Aid volunteers will wear lanyards featuring special donation cards or carry buckets and tins with credit card-sized stickers containing the technology. Elsewhere, QR codes will appear in printed materials such as magazine articles and posters.

Through the Good Thyngs service, individuals can decide how much they give, and use all major bank cards, PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay. Donations can be Gift Aided and the devices can be used for continuous fundraising in the future.

This week’s Red Cross Week has also gone contactless, working with GoodBox and Visa.


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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