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Digital donations increase as financial uncertainty grips the nation

Donations to charities increase by 600% as financial uncertainty grips the nation.

New data from The National Funding Scheme, a registered charity that provides online, text and contactless donation platforms to other charities, shows that whilst we may be struggling with the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, we are being increasingly generous in our charitable giving. 

Donations via the DONATE™ platform increased by 600% in the 8 weeks between March and May 1st vs the same period last year, and increased by 700% from the 8 weeks prior to March 1st 2020. 

The total amount donated to charities raising money for foodbanks and the vulnerable in campaigns set up specifically to help support the coronavirus crisis was over £47,500.

The National Funding Scheme has also seen is a rise in giving to campaigns in general with £319,000 raised in 10 weeks to support struggling community-based charities. This includes £141,000 raised by The Intensive Care Society, with £59,000 this May alone. 

Bart Leonard from the National Funding Scheme says:

“We’ve seen a big increase in the amount coming through the DONATE™ platform since the coronavirus crisis and interestingly not just for those charities that are supporting the crisis effort. It’s the smaller charities and community organisations that have really had to think creatively about how to continue to raise vital funds when the country is in financial uncertainty that have shown just how much can be achieved with digital fundraising.”

But just how have smaller charities and community organisations been innovating their digital fundraising efforts to raise these funds?

Case Study 

The Big Issue North has been campaigning to support its vendors from before the lockdown was mandated. By getting ahead of the curve it has been able to provide income and welfare for its vendors in a situation that might have seen many of them with no security through their Hardship Fund.

Bronte Schiltz from The Big Issue North says: “Our sales are significantly lower than they would normally be at this time of year. We suspect that the primary reason for this is that people like to buy from their local vendor, and now that their money is not going directly to someone they know and care about, they’re less motivated to purchase the magazine.

“There is also the fact that people understandably want to get their shopping done as quickly as possible and avoid aisles they don’t actually need anything from, or are doing all of their shopping online.

“We are currently paying out around £12,000 a month to vendors, including money from the hardship fund, legacy donations and grants. This has covered an enormous range of needs, from rent, bills and shopping (including items for pets and children) to things like taxi fares for hospital appointments, phone credit for vendors to keep in touch with support services and loved ones, and birth certificates for vendors who are finding not working really hard and want to apply for key worker roles, such as food picking, shelf stacking or refuse collection, but need ID in order to do so and don’t currently have any.

“We are unsure about whether this will increase, decrease or remain stable in the months to come – in the meantime, though, we need as much help as we can get.”

To donate to the Hardship Fund, please visit or text HARDSHIP to 70970 to donate £5

About the National Funding Scheme

National Funding Scheme (NFS), operating under the DONATE™ brand, provides a range of mobile fundraising tools to maximise fundraising campaigns.

Launched in 2013, DONATE™ ( is a platform that allows the UK public to conveniently donate via touch, SMS text or online. It is so simple to use that case studies show increases of 17x the amount raised. As a charity itself, all NFS’s costs are covered by the Government's Gift Aid scheme. When no Gift Aid is available NFS charges 4.5% to cover transaction and administration costs. 

Organisations wishing to register with DONATE™ should go to or for further information see for full terms and fees.

Contact – National Funding Scheme                                    

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