As we celebrate the roll out of the first COVID-19 vaccine, there’s finally a feeling of optimism in the air about 2021. We know we’re not out of the woods yet, but amidst the significant challenges and upset that the coronavirus has wrought, we’ve also seen rays of light shining through from the indomitable human spirit even through these dark times.
Embedded in our memories forever will be Captain Tom and his remarkable fund raising, our clapping together in our neighbourhoods for the heroic efforts of the NHS and key workers and the countless acts of kindness between neighbours and across the generations in a time of need.
For Good Causes was founded on the principle that there is kindness and generosity in every human heart - but that the things we individually care about are very personal to each of us, inspired by our own life experiences and those of our loved ones.
And so it has proved, even in this strangest of years.
Today, we’re delighted to have surpassed the milestone of 3,000 different charities receiving donations from our donors’ loyalty points and rewards.
People have felt strongly enough about these 3,000 different charities and the extraordinary work they do that they have chosen to give away their hard earned rewards.
From A Better Dog Life Rescue to the Zoological Society for London and 2,998 other charities in between, these charities have started to see the benefits of a new revenue stream as the £7 billion in unused rewards start to be unlocked.
Encouragingly, we also see customers coming back to make
a subsequent donations, either to the same cause or to a different charity showing that
people care about multiple things, and that what we care about can change over time.
We saw this in 2020. Prior to the first Lockdown the animals sector was attracting over 20% of donations – whilst NHS charities were receiving less than 5%.
At the height of lockdown this was inverted – with NHS charities receiving over 30% of donations and animal charities down to less than 5%. And since then it has settled back closer toward the original ratios.
Another change we’ve seen is the growth in the sense of local community spirit in this year of the pandemic. We’re now seeing 40% of all loyalty point and reward donations going to local charities – with 50% going to national charities and 10% to international ones.
So whilst the existence of a working vaccine shows the creative intelligence of us as the human race in 2020, these small, daily acts of kindness when people choose to donate their loyalty points and rewards equally show the resilience of the human spirit.
And if there are already 3,000 reasons to be cheerful about this - how many other reasons could we find together by opening up charitable giving in other areas where rewards are provided?
Given that the UK Gift Card market is now sized at around £7bn by the UK Gift Card Association, the answer is probably … a lot, lot more !