The innovative project allows shoppers to donate to charity using Pennies, the digital charity box, when making a card purchase. The money has been raised by visitors to the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park – but local shops are now being urged to join the scheme too.
“We are delighted with the donations so far which will mean so much to at-risk animals,” said Cheryl Williams, trustee of the Foundation based at the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
“It shows that the public share our ambition to protect these amazing animals. People want to help the truly beautiful endangered animals and this will help conservation around the globe.”
Ms Williams called on more businesses to sign up to the Pennies initiative, which gives shoppers the option of adding a charitable micro-donation to card purchases and can be used by businesses with online or high-street stores.
Pennies is currently used by more than 50 major nationwide retailers to raise funds for their charity partners. Yorkshire Wildlife Park, at Branton, near Doncaster, chose for donations made by its customers to support the YWF Foundation. The Foundation is acclaimed for its work on projects crucial to the future of species such as Polar Bears, Amur Leopards and Tigers, Painted Wild Dogs, Black Rhinos and Lemurs.
“We’re delighted to partner with Yorkshire Wildlife Park to raise funds for the YWP Foundation through our digital charity box, helping support rare animal species across the planet. It’s wonderful to see customers respond so well: less than a year after launch they have collectively donated over £15,000.”
Visitors are offered the chance to add 50p to their card purchase for charity when buying tickets at the 100-acre park. The money is collected anonymously via the secure digital charity box and Pennies, also a charity itself, then distributes the money to the YWP Foundation.
“Our research shows people are carrying less cash and seeing fewer collection tins at the till, but our secure and anonymous digital charity box meets these changing trends in a way retailers are really embracing. It offers companies a way to interact positively with their customers and raise vital funds for their charity partners,” added Mr Seaman.
“The popularity of Pennies and the amount raised for YWP Foundation so far demonstrates the public’s love of ‘feel-good’ giving, whether they’re spending money on the high-street or on days out with their families.”
The YWP Foundation supports schemes such as the Fauna & Flora International (FFI) effort to protect one of the last remaining strongholds of lions and wild dogs in the 42,000 square km Niassa Reserve in Mozambique. The Chuilexi Conservancy will monitor and map the population of wild dogs and lions in Chuilexi as well as illegal activity over the next three years.