Karl Roberts, Head of Visitor Experience - National History Museum
October 11, 2018
Home to Hope the whale and Dippy the dinosaur, the Natural History Museum (NHM) has been a landmark for seeing the wonders of the natural world (both past and present) since its grand opening in 1881. As the most visited natural history museum in Europe and one of the top science attractions, this world-renowned museum sees it’s fair share of visitors. The NHM welcomes scientists, researchers, TV crews and tourists from all corners of the world under its roof on a regular basis, opening its doors to around five million visitors each year. While its iconic exhibitions like the Wildlife Photographer of the Year is seen by 140,000 visitors.
However, despite the significant footfall which the NHM attracts each year, the museum only receives donations from a small proportion of its visitors. As a charity, the NHM relies on this support from its donors to both maintain the museum and help fuel its work in helping to protect the natural world. With the rise of contactless payments, it was becoming rarer that the NHM’s visitors would be carrying around spare change to donate with. Situated in London, the leading city in the UK for cashless payments, the NHM knew it needed to adjust if it wanted to continue to generate funds.
GoodBox has been working with NHM since we first launched our contactless collection devices in early 2017. The idea was simple – to increase the number of donations received by the museum’s visitors by making donating as easy as a tap. Our tap-to-give fundraising technology is designed to respond to the move towards a cashless world by providing charities, non-profits and religious organisations with the ability to embrace mobile fundraising. All supporters have to do is tap one of our devices with a contactless bank card or smart phone, and they can donate instantly to a charity. No jingling collection buckets or counting pennies required.
Our GBx Podium was designed as a free-standing donation unit which can collect both cash and contactless donations, perfect for large public spaces such as museums. Working with GoodBox, the NHM installed units in high-footfall locations across the museum such as in entrances and exits, replacing the traditional museum donation boxes. Manned by museum staff to encourage visitors to donate, the GoodBox units helped the NHM raise an extra £1 million in additional revenue. Not a figure to be sniffed at, and one that we at GoodBox we are extremely proud of.
Investing in digital fundraising can be a huge step for charities, especially for those who are unfamiliar with modern donation methods. We are big believers in the capability of technology to revolutionise fundraising for the better. When used to their full capability, our contactless donation devices can generate a huge rise in donation income for charities, non-profits and religious organisations. The NHM is a great example – with the help of some strategic thinking of how best to integrate the GoodBox devices into their existing fundraising methods, the NHM saw an over 36x return on their investment. By really understanding their donors, they were able to optimise their contactless fundraising for real impact.
It’s a common misconception that people would rather give small amounts to charity, so it’s better to get small gifts from lots of donors instead of hefty payouts from a select few supporters. But part of this assumption comes from a history of collecting spare change for donations. When you’re only got 23p in your pocket, that’s all you’re going to give. By switching to contactless donations, your supporters have the ability to donate more – and often they do!
Initially, the six GoodBox devices installed in the NHM were set to collect £5 donations, however in June 2018 two devices were increased to £10. This resulted in an amazing 32% rise in donation income. The NHM decided to go one step further and raise the donation amount on two devices again in August 2019, increasing it to £30. Again, this resulted in a boost in donations – to be specific, a 39% boost! These increases just go to show that when people connect with your cause, their gratitude knows no bounds.
With GoodBox, the NHM was able to boost their fundraising income and raise vital funds that can be put towards preserving and protecting the natural world for the next generations. If you want to find out more about how we can help your charity get on the digital fundraising bandwagon, get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.