St. Ann's Hospice Swap Coats for Contactless Donations

St Ann’s Hospice has found an innovative way to collect contactless donations by placing a contactless donation box on the cloakroom counter at corporate partner, the events and conference venue, Manchester Central.

Written by Emma Rose April 15, 2024

With locations in Cheadle and Little Hulton, St Ann’s Hospice is one of the oldest and largest adult hospices outside of London. They were founded in 1971 and have been caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones ever since. Like the majority of hospices, they rely heavily on donations and are currently in the midst of a huge fundraising campaign to raise funds for a new building with their ‘Build it Together' appeal.

They recently joined forces with Give A Little and Manchester Central, a local corporate partner, to boost their income and things are going so well, they have recently purchased a second contactless donation box.

Liz Greenwood, Capital Partnerships at St Ann’s Hospice tells us why they started working with Give A Little and why cashless donations are so important:

“We were looking at cashless donation options for our charity to help us maximise donations as we saw that cash donations were down at some events. We knew that having cashless options would be extremely useful and much needed.

It is an extremely tough environment out there both for individuals and charities, and we need to make sure we are maximising every fundraising opportunity. We think it is really important to innovate and keep our fundraising moving with the times and working with Give A Little enables us to do that. Having the ability for donors to donate easily and quickly in whatever format they choose is key to this. Putting barriers up and making it hard for people to donate only makes our fundraising challenge harder.”

After seeing a CollecTin contactless donation box, which uses Give A Little software, in a local church, they did some research and decided Give A Little was the best value in terms of features, cost and service. The ability to create unlimited campaigns was a big plus as in addition to the Build it Together appeal, they also wanted to be able to collect general donations and at other events throughout the year. They chose the CollecTin More contactless donation box due to it being able to be used both portably and in a fixed location.

Liz continues: “We used the CollecTin for a few weeks for general donations in our hospice reception and then when we loaned the device to our corporate partner), Manchester Central, we switched the campaign to the ‘capital campaign’ as they are supporting our new hospice appeal. Manchester Central came to us to ask if we had a way for them to collect contactless donations as part of their fundraising and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to trial the device”

Liz explains how it all came about: “Manchester Central were coming up to the Christmas party season, which with the increased footfall presented a huge opportunity for donations. They wanted to ask for optional cloakroom donations during November/December and they had the facility to take cash donations but lots of guests were not carrying cash. They wanted something that was quick and easy when dropping your coat off! As the CollecTin and Give A Little, allowed us to create campaigns with our charity branding, it was the perfect solution.”

The CollecTin More is now placed permanently with Manchester Central for the duration of their partnership.

Liz adds: “We’ve also used the CollecTin at our annual Light Up a Life services to collect donations. We created different campaigns in Give A Little for each of these, meaning we could easily see where people were donating and how successful each campaign was.

When asked if they had seen donation revenues increase by introducing cashless giving with Give A Little, Liz didn’t hesitate in her answer:

“Yes – the corporate partner using it has seen their fundraising jump up! It makes it really easy for them to take donations from people using the venue and it also cuts out a lot of the work for them and us in terms of handling cash. They are well on their way to hitting their fundraising target and the device has enabled them to collect donations they would not have received otherwise.”

“The CollecTin More and Give A Little has paid for itself over this period and has really shown its value more generally to the organisation, so we’ve ordered a second device. We haven’t yet put this to use but it will likely be a floating device available for use at events and specific supporter events with campaigns tailored to each event.”

At Give A Little, we always talk about ‘testing and learning’ when it comes to using the platform. We recommend- looking at which donation amounts are popular, where to place the contactless devices for more impact, and to use campaign designs applicable to your event/audience, and St Ann’s have done just this. Liz shared some of their learnings so far:

“In terms of the device, make the campaigns as visual and eye-catching as possible, with clear images or videos alongside your charity branding. Also make full use of the campaign functions including capturing Gift Aid and marketing consents.

We’ve also learnt that depending on the event, the device location can have an impact on donation levels. For example we found the CollecTin was more successful when one of our nurses was holding it at our Light up a Life Services compared to when it was just placed on the sign-in table. We raised £82 in 3 hours with the device on the side, and are sure that if this had been held by clinical staff then this amount would have been a lot more.”

St Ann’s donors and supporters have responded really well to the new cashless technology: “Our corporate supporter really loves it and they are looking at buying their own CollecTin More contactless donation box” Liz says, “if we needed to take it back from them to use it at an event, they always asked when it was coming back!! We’ve had very positive comments about the device and the Give A Little software, its look and the ease of donating from donors and the corporate themselves.

At events we have had people asking about the device and where we got it from as they are interested in getting one for their organisation.”

And when asked if they would recommend Give A Little to other organisations, Liz’s response was very positive: “Absolutely! It’s all been so easy to set up and use. The Give A Little campaigns are so customisable and look great with really eye catching visuals. Reporting and managing the income is really straightforward in the dashboard, and we particularly love the ease with which you can set up, switch between and make real-time updates on campaigns - it’s been great to have the ability to do this remotely without having to physically visit our corporate partner!”

To find out more about St Ann’s Hospice and Built it Together their new appeal visit

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