Dip a credit or debit card to Donate?

Snip20140921_10One thing, which has always bothered me about gold coin donation drives and bucket shakes, is the fact these activities create a one-time infusion of cash. Sure, the cash is nice for many charities. Nonetheless, the real worry is these types of drives do not have a means to collect a person’s details to then build a relationship with the person. Instead, a charity accepts their cash and moves on. The result is a quick transaction and the relationship ends there. Additionally, the risk associated with cash and coins exposed at cash registers and at events is very high.

This week, I read with great interest a clever innovation called GiveJar – a take off of the DipJar, an electronic tipping system from the United States. GiveJar allows a person to dip their debit or credit card and to make a donation. According to a recent article in Probono Australia, inside the GiveJar is a standard credit card reader. A charity creates a pre-configured donation amount such as $1, $2 or $10 or any amount. The customer inserts their card and pulls it out to swipe, and the jar automatically deducts the amount determined by the charity. GiveJar may also include PayWave – technology far more advanced in Australia than in the United States.

While we do not know from this article what information is passed to the charity – including whether the charity received name, contact details, and the dollar amount donated – we can certainly applaud this new technology as a safer way for people to give to your organisation than the current coin canisters at the registers or buckets at an event. In the end, this technology will require a campaign to train donors to change their way of leaving a donation. Nonetheless, put this in the innovation column and let’s applaud the DipJar company founders for their forward thinking!