Give A Little and Stripe ‘a blessing’ for small food bank charity

PACE, a small charity that supports the local community in Charnwood, Leicestershire, with a food bank, counselling and other vital services, recently turned to Give A Little and Stripe to collect cashless donations.

Written by Vicky Hewlett October 20, 2023

Tracey Parkinson, the family worker at PACE , which stands for ProActive Community Endeavours, explains: “We saw that there was an increase in people wanting to donate by card and so we looked at a range of different options to do this. Give A Little was recommended to us by one of our directors, Euan Lockwood, who had used Give A Little with one of his clients at a local church.” 

“We chose to integrate Stripe as the payment processor into our Give A Little account because we wanted to be able to generate Web campaigns and QR codes for our AOK (Acts of Kindness) food hamper project. Stripe allows donors to scan a QR code and donate via Apple Pay and Google Pay, which is important and there is no limit on the amount that can be donated this way. We added the QR codes to letters that we sent out to local businesses."

"The businesses could choose to have a bag of hope for their staff to add selected items into or they could make a donation, and the QR codes made this really efficient. We also had QR codes with us if we did a Morrisons supermarket promotion day. Again, shoppers could donate food or warm items for the hampers but if they didn’t have time to do this, they could use the QR codes to make a donation instead. Once we had set up the Web campaigns in Give A Little and downloaded the QR codes to add to our print materials, we didn’t need to do anything else - it was a great way for us to receive donations with minimal effort.”

At the time, Give A Little was looking for a charity to trial its new Stripe Wisepad 3 card reader integration. Tracey was really keen to take part in the trial as PACE has a food bank and it would be really useful if the service users had a way to make a contactless donation in exchange for the food items. Give A Little loaned PACE a CollecTin More contactless donation box, which was adapted to fit the Stripe Wisepad 3 card reader. The CollecTin is particularly useful as it can be used portably or in a fixed location so it’s ideal for the food bank and also for the many fundraising events the charity organises.

Tracey adds: “We ask for a minimum donation of £3 for 12 items from the food bank on a weekly basis and as people’s benefits get paid into their bank account, it helps the process if we’re able to take a contactless donation.  It’s also easier for our staff if they don’t have to bank up cash, so it’s good for our volunteers too. We’ve now had the CollecTin with the Stripe WisePad3 for several months and it’s made a huge impact. The majority of our service users now pay by card and if we don’t have the machine there for any reason, they are up in arms!”

When asked about the importance of donations to the charity, Tracey is effusive: “Donations are massively important to us, even more so with the cost of living crisis. They help us run the food bank and our client base has increased significantly with the food prices going up.” 

On what it’s been like to work with Give A Little, Tracey said: 

“It’s been a blessing to work with Give A Little. I love how friendly everyone is and they are always happy to help even when you’re not very technical! I also love the fact that Give A Little cares about small charities and the impact we can make. Sometimes as a small charity, you feel unimportant and that you can’t have access to the tech that bigger charities have. It’s amazing that, thanks to Give A Little, CollecTin and Stripe, we can have access to the latest contactless technology

look professional.”

Having a quick and easy way to collect contactless donations takes the headache out of everything. You can see how much you’ve taken on a daily basis if you want to and our finance manager loves it as we can pinpoint where the donations have come from and make sure it goes to the right pot. Give A Little has really streamlined this process for us and they help us look even more professional as a charity. Having a really cool contactless donation box with Give A Little’s branded fundraising screen looks really legit. And the funds go straight into our charity bank account which gives donors more confidence. I also really like the flexibility of being able to send Web fundraising campaign links out on social media, use QR codes on posters and take contactless donations at the food bank and at events. That allows us to cater to the different clients we have, which is really good.”

On why she would recommend Give A Little and Stripe, Tracey said: 

“We’ve really enjoyed the journey with Give A Little and Stripe so far, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend both to other charities. Having access to this technology is invaluable for small charities like ours as it makes it so easy for people to donate. Who wouldn't want to be part of a very friendly team like Give A Little who want to help you raise money?! There aren’t many organisations like them around! We’ve raised over £7,000 since signing up with Give A Little and Stripe, which is incredible and much of that we wouldn’t have received if we hadn’t done this.”

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