July 9, 2020

People’s History Museum: Driving donations through engagement

Manchester’s People’s History Museum (PHM) stands as a monument to public participation in the UK. With the country’s largest collection of protest materials – ranging from the personal items of prominent radicals to home-made placards – PHM commemorates and inspires the outspoken to take a stand for the causes they believe in. GoodBox provided PHM with contactless ‘tap-to-give’ technology to help them increase donations and continue their mission of driving democratic engagement. Here’s what progress this step towards contactless giving tech has made so far. 

By the public, for the public 

Embodying the ideals it promotes, entrance to PHM is free and open to all. As with all publicly-funded cultural institutions, however, visitor donations still play an incredibly important role in the continued running of the museum. 

In June 2019, PHM introduced a GBx Core to their front desk area in order to supplement cash donations. Accompanied by a visitor welcome team, the contactless terminal forms part of a warm, personable reception to the museum and gently encourages visitors to donate a suggested amount of £5. It does this through customised messaging on its HD screen, which also displays an instantaneous ‘Thank You’ as soon as someone has made a donation.

Increase in donations 

As is common with many of our clients, the introduction of the GBx hasn’t negatively impacted the amount of physical cash donations that the museum has received. Whilst our contactless payment tech has yielded an overall increase in donations, cash donations have remained steady. Quite often, in fact, the introduction of our ‘tap-to-give’ devices actually leads to greater cash donations; this can be put down to a renewed focus on individual giving strategies that accompanies charity tech adoption. 

Democracy, donations, and data 

Cost is a major consideration for charities regardless of their size. Every option must be meticulously weighed up and put through a cost-benefit analysis to be fully justified. In the case of contactless payment tech, this justification is easy to come by. 

Our stats show that 84% of organisations that have purchased GoodBox hardware see a full return on investment within 12 months. In the case of PHM, donations raised through the GBx Core matched the initial investment after just 42 days.  

But it’s not simply donations that our terminals yield – the data they collect is just as valuable. The GoodBox Portal allows the PHM team to view donation data in realtime, providing an overview of trends across multiple metrics that can be used to inform an iterative approach to fundraising. Furthermore, collection of this data has no impact on the visitors experience (no need for surveys etc.)

Whilst PHM only have one device currently, it’s given them a level of visibility that’s not possible with cash, and has led to thinking more strategically about donations. Current data from PHM’s device shows that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the most popular days for donations (accounting for 62% of the total), with the period 1pm-2pm bringing in the most funds. This raises the question, does lunchtime affect how generous we are? Quite possibly – in fact this study establishes a link between certain foods and increased charitable behaviour. 

With an increased use of contactless donation tech, we hope PHM’s data-driven fundraising ensures the UK’s voices of protest remain heard, and inspire future generations.  

Interested in the benefits of contactless donation technology? Sign up to become a GoodBox member today for free. Membership includes access to our data reports, showing donations trends and tips, as well as discounts on our hardware.