Will Donation Box Fundraisers Soon Be a Thing of the Past?


"Earlier this year, a U.S. Bank survey found that 50 percent of Americans carry cash with them only about half the time. In another recent survey, just 11 percent of Americans chose cash as their preferred form of payment, a distant third to credit cards (40 percent) and debit cards (35 percent)."

Source: New York Times

Cash is not king. Just stand in line at a Starbucks and count how many people use a credit card or their phone to pay.

I'm wondering how this is impacting donation box fundraisers? People just don't have cash and coins in their hands like they used to.

Earlier this month, I wrote about how I'm donating to every Salvation Army red kettle this season. Coming out of the supermarket the other day, I had to literally prepare myself to give. I paid for my groceries with a card, but had to ask the cashier for cash back so I could put a few bucks in the kettle outside.

Giving cash is hard work! 

Screenshot 2017-12-20 11.16.07.png

In retail it probably makes sense to convert donation box fundraisers to register fundraisers that will have cashiers asking consumers to donate a dollar or two when they pay by credit card.

Another option is Dipjar, which is a donation box that takes credit cards.


One smart fundraiser in the United Kingdom involved people turning in their old coins and bills before they were removed from circulation. Last fall, a Twitter hashtag #PoundforPound was being promoted to encourage people to donate their old coins for a new one. A similar campaign around the new five pound note in 2016 reportedly raised 12.5 million pounds for charities.

Another option is to collect people's cash and coins when they have the time to dig out these relics. A few years ago, cleaning service Merry Maids had a brilliant idea. In the homes and offices they cleaned they left a donation box to fill with coins and dollars. At the end of the month they collected these boxes and donated the money to the American Heart Association. They raised over $100,000!

Are you still having success with donation box fundraisers? Are there other options for collecting cash than with donation boxes?

Lastly, if you want to give a donation box fundraiser a try, here are a few resources for you.


Join the thousands of readers who read my free, weekly newsletter.