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August 30, 2022

The power of micro giving: How small donations make big impacts

Small charitable donations of mere pennies make big impacts through Pennies from Heaven. Learn more about the power of micro giving.

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When you give to charity, you want to feel like you’re making a big difference. However, making this type of impact often requires consistent giving.

According to Network for Good, “the average recurring donor will give 42% more in one year than those who give one-time gifts.” 1 That’s why donation schemes like Pennies from Heaven are so successful – they make a continual, meaningful impact throughout the year.

Do you know how many pennies were on your last payslip? Why not donate them to charity and turn your small change into BIG change

How does Pennies from Heaven work?

Pennies from Heaven is the largest provider of micro giving for employees and pensioners in the UK and Ireland. The giving scheme operates with the simple notion that an employee can give the pennies from their payslip each pay cycle, never giving more than £1. For example, if you earn £850.34, you take home £850.00, and the charity receives £0.34. With just spare change, employees can affect big change. Pennies from Heaven founder, Anthony Law, attributes his inspiration to a superhero flick, asking, “Who would have thought that watching a Superman movie would generate a ground-breaking idea for the charity sector”?2

When you work with Pennies from Heaven, you gain access to a wealth of best practice and admin support, and your employees can even sign up to donate on the Pennies from Heaven website. The pre-existing ecosystem allows for simple donations to UK charities and other good causes. Employers can choose which charities they donate to, giving each user the flexibility to focus on causes that are near and dear to their organisational values.

But who would sign up for this?

While the idea sounds wonderful, the reality remains: How do companies get enough buy-in to justify setting this up? Well, the stats are in, and they’re remarkable.

Typical payroll giving asks individuals to give a set amount of £5 or £10 each month to a charity of their choice. The Pennies from Heaven scheme asks every employee to give their pennies to the same charity. While standard payroll giving has an average sign-up rate of 5.5%, Pennies from Heaven boasts 22%.2

For companies that want to offer meaningful charitable options to employees, the Pennies from Heaven model is the perfect choice. In fact, Dayforce has a configuration that links directly to Pennies from Heaven, making the transition quite simple.


How is Pennies from Heaven different from payroll giving?

Most of the companies who work with Pennies from Heaven offer both Pennies from Heaven and Payroll Giving. If you want to decide which charity to give to and want to give a larger amount, then Payroll Giving is for you. Not everyone can afford to give larger amounts, so Pennies from Heaven provides an option for everyone to be part of giving through pay and whilst the individual ask is always less than £1 the collective impact is great.

What impact does it have on real charities?

Business leaders may see the large buy-in, but does small change truly help charities? Pennies from Heaven is proud to work with charities of all kinds, including NHS charities. Cancer Research UK has nothing but wonderful things to say about the setup.

“Pennies from Heaven is a fantastic scheme as it allows people to make a real difference to our work, without having to make a big difference to their bank account. As a charity, 90% of the donations we receive are actually less than £10, and this is a perfect example of how little amounts can go a long way. It’s marvellous that something so easy and simple can ultimately help us to save lives.”2

Since 1999, Pennies from Heaven has raised £6.6 million for charity – of that, £1.2 million has been donated by NHS workers, much of which has benefited NHS charities directly. These numbers reveal the power of aggregation. A little bit from everyone can go a long way. 2

If you’re a current Dayforce customer, the Pennies from Heaven configuration is available to you free of charge. However, you’ll need to contact Pennies from Heaven for a license to run the scheme (which has a small annual charge). Simply speak to your account manager to begin the licensing process and offer Pennies from Heaven to your employees.

Want to know more? Explore all that Pennies from Heaven has to offer and learn about Ceridian’s corporate social responsibility initiatives through our Ceridian Cares projects and community stories. You can also explore the Pennies from Heaven brochure explaining how the giving scheme adds value and how Dayforce users can begin setup. 

[1] Why Recurring Giving Matters, Network for Good, February, 2022.

[2] Kate Frost, Ceridian and Pennies from Heaven, Pennies from Heaven.

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