I work for a city centre art gallery which is free to the public. We have 5 stand-alone donation boxes throughout the gallery.
I have been asked to look at increasing donations through the boxes by 25% next year. Does anyone have any good ideas? For example, do certain types of boxes work better than others? Have you found that certain text beside them works best? Are there certain locations or events that seem to create more revenue through the boxes?
Any info much appreciated…
According to an item on The Daily Telegraph at:
collecting tins with the phrase “Every penny helps” far outperform those with alternatives such as “Please give generously”, “Every pound helps”, and “You can make a difference”.
I suspect there are plenty of other variables that might make more impact e.g. location and visibility of boxes, but the above findings might be a start.
Boxes that do something are generally better than simple receptacles – RNLI’s lifeboat launcher was always a big hit, and Barnardo’s Helter Skelter boxes are still going strong.
The catch, of course, is that these boxes cost a bit more. Those big floor-standing boxes where the coins roll down a funnel are very popular, but are expensive and need maintenance – that dirty coinage leaves its mark!
Above all, they’ve got to be prominent, clearly visible and inviting – nice bright colours, clear message, neat and tidy.
Hope this helps.
Is there a reason you’re looking to increase the box donations rather than donations in another form?
Raising the value of the box donations is just one of the areas of my post here but I have been given the target of increasing the revenue from the donation boxes by 25% in this particular area.
I think this is do-able, as we don’t perform very well on this at present, but I was just wondering if anyone out there had done research on this and come up with any particular strategies…
I visited the Gaudi church in Barcelona and was intrigued to see an atm style kiosk for donations. I watched and it was used by visitors to make donations. Is there anything like that in the UK?
Really? That’s interesting. As in, people were making donations using their credit/debit cards in the cathedral?
UK Fundraising featured a machine that sounds like that on 14 February 2003 at:
“Donorpoint is a new free standing cash-point-like collecting box that accepts credit and debit card donations.”
The company’s website is at
There are also portable digital ‘collecting boxes’, presumably like the Chip and Pin portable terminals in restaurants: I think the Salvation Army used them in another country, but can’t currently dig out a link.
And Charity Technology Trust is currently offering a free Chip and Pin terminal for charities for use in their shops (but presumably not on the street or at events).
Again, v interesting. Thanks for those links…
I would be tempted to be concerned about ROI, especially with people becoming increasingly worried about identity fraud etc…
I work for a free entry visitor attraction. We have a donation box near our point of entry and added a new sign last year saying something along the lines of: ‘admission to the museum is free, please give £1 to help us keep it that way’ and the amount donated to the box has increased significantly in comparison with the previous year. We often get visitors who are expecting to pay an entrance fee, so our staff just explain that admission is free but if they would like to make a donation we would be very grateful.
I know this topic is a little old, but if it helps I own a creative fabrication company who supply museums etc with interactive and other types of donation boxes. we have a website http://www.ne3d.co.uk. The examples on our site are totally bespoke and are quite expensive. We do have some simple generic designs though, which are a lot cheaper. hope this helps!
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