April 8, 2020

Making Grosvenor Square glow with Royal Marsden

A new case of cancer is diagnosed in the UK every two minutes. As one of the country’s most common diseases, it’s likely that most of us have been affected by it in one way or another. For those of us that have lost a loved one in the fight, the grief can sometimes feel isolating. In December 2019, the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity sought to transform private mourning into collective commemoration by way of a temporary illuminated rose garden in Grosvenor’s Square, London, where visitors could plant a flower for a small donation in memory of a friend or relative that had passed away. GoodBox was on hand with its tap-to-give technology to ensure that The Royal Marsden were able to raise much needed funds for the charity throughout the event.

A light of remembrance and hope

Through the month of December 2019, 27,000 roses made of white silk were planted in the grounds of Grosvenor’s Square in the heart of Mayfair. Just a stone’s throw away from some of the busiest shopping areas of the capital, the square was turned into a space of quiet reflection and shared contemplation, with visitors guided through the grounds by the gentle glow of thousands of illuminated flowers.

Originally conceived of as a tribute to world-renown production designer, Michael Howells, the Ever After Garden (named after a film for which Howell designed the set) was conceived of as a place to remember loved ones that had passed away in the previous year.

For a suggested donation of £10, visitors could add a rose to the collection with a written note – a tribute amidst the festive hustle and bustle.

Engaging donors

One of the reasons that this campaign worked for The Royal Marsden was that it engaged donors. Rather than passively asking the public to donate to a good cause (an especially difficult task around the Christmas period), it invited them to actively take part. In exchange for a donation, people were given a specially-designed rose and asked to contribute to the growing garden, creating an emotional bond in the process.

Such a technique for raising cash in uncertain times has been seen elsewhere – an interactive stag made out of recycled plastic that lit up every time a donation was made helped raise funds for the Hart Of London, whilst an eight-foot, talking-sculpture in Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve educated visitors for a small fee.

If anything is clear from these examples, it’s that greater engagement leads to more donations.

Going contactless

Just how do you collect these increased donations then? Well, in the case of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, they relied on GoodBox’s tap-to-give contactless terminals. In just under four weeks, the charity was able to raise over £270,000 in total, with over 30% of that donation income coming from four GBx Core devices. In going contactless at the event, Royal Marsden were able to generate meaningful funds from the growing number of people relying more on contactless payment methods over traditional cash and coins.

What’s more is that they didn’t even need to purchase the devices. At GoodBox, we understand that it’s not always possible for charities to take the plunge and upgrade their tech, so we offer the possibility to rent devices, for as short a period as one week– a particularly useful option in uncertain economic times such as these.

By renting rather than purchasing, charities can take advantage of our contactless technology to cover an event or campaign – just look at how Muscular Dystrophy UK used it for their annual Microscope Ball!

Going the extra mile

With their Ever After Garden, The Royal Marsden combined an emotionally-moving experience with a convenient, cash-less way of donating. The end result was a bumper campaign that raised funds towards continuing research into cancer treatments and supporting those currently going through the illness.

And GoodBox hasn’t just contributed our innovative tech to The Royal Marsden’s campaign, but also our bodies! Our very own Polly Gilbert, Marketing Director of GoodBox, defied the odds of the coronavirus lockdown and ran a solo half-marathon to raise funds for the charity – well done Polly!

At GoodBox, we’ve made it our mission to bring charities into the 21st century and digitise their fundraising efforts. If you’re currently planning a fundraising event and don’t want to rely on shaking a few plastic buckets around to collect donations, then get in touch with our sales team at sales@goodbox.com.