Heritage Site Increases Contactless Donations Fivefold with Give A Little

Cressing Temple Barns, a 13th century heritage site with Knights Templar Barns and a restored Tudor walled garden, has seen a fivefold increase in donations since introducing contactless donations with Give A Little.

Written by Vicky Hewlett August 25, 2023

was owned originally by the Knights Templar in the 13th century and they built two enormous barns on the site as they needed somewhere for their harvest. Since then there’s been a farm at the site until 1987 when the council bought, maintained and preserved it for the people of Essex to enjoy.

The Friends of Cressing Temple is a charity that supports the site.

Head Gardener, Rebecca Ashbey explains:

“The Friends of Cressing Temple charity is incredibly important to us. The volunteers, committee and trustees help us to do so much. The volunteers maintain the site and gardens on a day to day basis and ensure it’s a fantastic place for the public to visit. Donations from the public have allowed us to extend beyond maintaining the garden. We’ve been able to rebuild parts of it, buy new plants and carry out projects such as installing a compost loo for our volunteers and buying new equipment and tools.”

On why the charity decided to adopt contactless fundraising, Rebecca adds:

“We’ve always sold plants, honey and craft items and for a long while, we relied on an honesty box but recently people started asking for a way to make contactless payments and said they didn’t carry cash any more. So for our sales, we thought it would be useful to go for a digital solution and we got a SumUp terminal to do that. We have a similar situation with donations so we thought it would be a very good thing to develop a way to collect contactless donations and that’s where Give A Little came in.” 

Friends volunteer, Rod Nixon, took on the task of reviewing the options for taking contactless donations and explains why he went for Give A Little and the Payaz GivingStation:

“We were looking for a provider who fitted our needs and that would work with our existing payments terminal, SumUp. We also wanted something that would be interesting, attractive and easy for people to use. We decided to use Payaz as it provided a ready made donation station that we could put in quickly and Give A Little provided the software and support to get it set up. Give A Little is a company that recognises that small charities have to think about affordability and they also have incredible capability with the software. We really like that they do both contactless donation software as well as software for online and QR codes, so it’s expandable. They have provided really good support and given us lots of suggestions and tips and we had confidence in them as they have a presence with several major charitable organisations.”

On how things have been going since the charity introduced Give A Little, Rod adds: 

“We’ve kept an eye on the numbers and I’m very pleased to say we have got more than five times the donations coming in since we have introduced contactless, as people are used to using their cards and they feel it’s a good cause. As a volunteer I know how important it is to get donations to do our job - we really appreciate people who come here and donate and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.”

On why people should visit Cressing Temple Barns, Rebecca sums it up with:  

“Cressing Temple is a very special place. Anybody that comes here, works here or volunteers here tell us that. They want to belong to it and come back to it and they say it’s a hidden gem. It’s a beautiful and interesting place to visit whether you’re interested in gardens or history. And it’s free to come here which is an added bonus and we have a tea room and dogs are allowed, so it’s a great place to spend an afternoon. It’s always been about people and the local community and how many people can get involved in it. And we want to keep it like that as it’s been that way for hundreds of years!”

When asked what it’s been like to work with Give A Little, Rebecca adds:

“Give A Little has been really helpful all along the way. They helped us with set up, the campaign design, any questions we had, immediately getting back to us. We couldn’t have asked for a more supportive organisation.”

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