May 24, 2019

The Church of England Embraces Contactless

The Church of England has a million regular worshippers, and its parish churches are a Christian presence at the centre of communities across the whole of England. With 16,000 churches, 12,500 of which are listed by Historic England, they also attract between 35 and 50 million visitors each year.

Church members are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of these beautiful buildings, which takes a lot of volunteer time and effort. Most churches rely wholly on regular and cash donations to keep the lights on and to fund its work in the community. As society is becoming increasingly cashless, The Church looked for multiple modern solutions to work together with cash collection, making it as easy as possible for congregations to donate as they please.

The Church of England began working with us in 2017, trialling contactless solutions in churches across the country, to see how congregations responded. And respond they did! Some churches rented devices for Christmas carol shows, others bought stand-alone units to fundraise permanently in the church and the results seen were very encouraging. One church rented a device for Christmas carol services and it helped raise nearly 10 times its cost, with another church raising enough through their GBx Pro to buy five more units. Other churches have experienced steady increases in both cash and contactless donations due to the renewed buzz around giving.

The GoodPlate

These fantastic results were enough to spur on further innovation and, only a matter of months later, we announced the release of the GoodPlate, a bespoke contactless church donation plate, over the Easter weekend.

At GoodBox, we’re committed to driving innovation on behalf of the non-profit sector, so to be able to develop a custom-built offering plate which accepts contactless as well as cash was a huge thrill for us. Designing a sleek, modern product which would suit the traditional and respectful church setting was paramount for us. After much work in the design studio, we think it is both a fitting and beautiful product for churches across the UK.

“It was great to have the GoodBox Church Plate over the busy Easter weekend at St Albans Cathedral. Our congregations were excited to use this new innovative device and it proved to be a popular option on both the Sunday and Monday services.

The Church Plate itself is easy to use and looks fantastic! We are pleased to be working with GoodBox”.

–  Laura Bloom, Head of Visitor Services at St Albans Cathedral

But don’t take our word for it, take the word of the packed congregation at St. Albans Cathedral who let out an enthusiastic cheer as the GoodPlate was revealed on Easter Sunday. The buzz was palpable enough that both the GoodPlate and the GBx Mini, the contactless device that sits within it, achieved a full return on investment in just two days.

With some rural churches experiencing little to no mobile or WiFi connectivity, the GBx Mini’s offline capability is especially useful. The custom branding embossed on each of the hand-spun brass plates and the changeable donation amounts were popular features. We also received positive feedback on how the GBx Mini can process both payments and donations which can be particularly useful when hosting ceremonies such as weddings.

The Cyclone Idai Appeal & Christian Aid Week

When one of the worst tropical storms to hit Western Africa landed in March of this year, Christian Aid and The Church of England partnered with GoodBox in a joint effort to raise much needed emergency funds for the affected areas of Zimbabwe and Malawi. Nearly 200 churches from all across the UK offered to accept a contactless donation device free-of-charge, enabling them to go out and raise emergency funds for the victims of Cyclone Idai. These provisions went directly to pay for food, shelter, water, clothing and medicine for those affected.

“People living in the path of the storm have seen family members lost in the floods, they’ve seen their homes and livelihoods washed away. The after-effects of this crisis will be felt for some time to come.”

Ben Webster, British Red Cross

After this amazing fundraising drive, the churches kept the devices which were then remotely switched to raise funds for Christian Aid Week 2019 which ran from May 12th to 18th, raising over £15,000 in total through the GBx Core devices for these incredible causes. The ability to switch effortlessly between causes on the GBx Core, allowing organisations to raise funds for whichever causes they wish, was especially useful in this situation. We’re honoured to have partnered with these fantastic organisations and to empower them to continue the amazing work they do.

We’re continually driving innovation on behalf of the charity sector so keep an eye out for what’s coming next.

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