GoodBox on supporting Sadiq Khan’s mission to combat homelessness

Mia Millman

11 December 2018

Last week, GoodBox announced their part in the Mayor of London’s Winter Campaign to combat homelessness. Here’s what GoodBox’s co-founders Andrew O’Brien (CEO) and Francesca Hodgson (COO) had to say about this campaign.

Fewer and fewer people in modern society carry cash – and it is increasingly disadvantaging charities reliant on cash donations.

GoodBox, one of the GovStart companies, is a technology startup that seeks to implement contactless payment technology in the charity sector.

Last week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced 35 contactless donation points as part of the Winter Campaign to combat homelessness in London. According to The Independent, 4,500 people slept on the streets in London last autumn. With this many people sleeping rough, it’s easy to see the need for a faster and easier way to donate to the cause.

Speaking to Francesca Hodgson, COO and Co-founder, about the importance of the campaign for GoodBox, she said: “Homelessness in London is a problem we can’t ignore, and ahead of what could be one of the coldest winters yet, we’re pleased to support such a deserving cause.

“Our contactless technology solution will give all Londoners a secure and trusted alternative to cash giving. Through a simple anonymous tap of a card on one of our donation points, individuals can be assured their donation will go straight to the organisations working hard to support those in need.”

The donation points, run by non-profit TAP London and powered by GoodBox technology, allow people to use contactless to easily donate £3 to charities combating homelessness. All the money donated will go directly to the 22 charities that make up the London Homeless Charities Group and will be split equally between them.

Technology is transforming all aspects of government and society, including the charity sector. Why is this transformation so important to the charity sector? The key issue, according to Francesca, is that “charities are still extremely reliant on cash donations, however as a society we are carrying less and less change”.

She also commented: “We have to be quick in creating new ways for the public to give, or we risk leaving our vital charity sector vulnerable in an ever changing digital society.”

When asked about the Winter Campaign’s role in GoodBox’s wider mission, CEO and co-founder Andrew O’Brien said: “Technology has a huge role to play in the charity sector, and in assisting the many charities supporting the homeless here in the UK…

“Through the democratisation of technology we can ensure causes have louder voices in society, and broader reach than ever before. In this way we can increase donations and work towards solving some of our greatest global challenges.”

Has using new technology made an impact? The figures speak for themselves: despite only launching last week, the campaign has already raised over £7600, thanks to over 2500 Londoners’ donations.

With 35 donation points so far – and up to 100 due to open in total – this will only increase as more donation points pop up across the city. From City Hall to Westfield, there are locations across the city – click here to find your nearest donation point.

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