Fears that a lack of face-to-face collections would hit this year’s Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal appear to have been assuaged by new figures from WPNC Digital that show the number of online donations was 20 times higher than in 2019, with more than 13,500 donations an hour on Remembrance Sunday alone.
The appeal, which traditionally raises more than £50m during the three-week campaign, was far more reliant on digital channels this year, with the Legion boosting online and text message donation schemes, while some supermarkets had donation points at tills.
At the time, the charity’s Charles Byrne said: “This will be the first time in the history of the Poppy Appeal that our volunteers will be unable to carry out face-to-face collections anywhere across the UK.
“The loss of that activity could run into millions of pounds in fundraising which means online donations are crucial, and so we’re asking people to support the Poppy Appeal by donating via the Legion’s website.
“Every poppy counts so whether you choose to print off a downloadable poppy from the Legion’s website or draw your own, we are calling on everyone across the nations to unite in a UK-wide show of support from home, display a poppy in their window in time for Remembrance Sunday and pay tribute to our Armed Forces community.”
To drive the strategy, WPNC Digital was briefed to handle the online donation funnels for the charity, including stress-testing the funnels to ensure they continued to work efficiently during an anticipated major increase in supporter activity.
This year, supporters could also donate via QR codes on the charity’s out of home activity which ran in Sainsbury’s supermarkets, the legion’s corporate partner. The code linked directly to goDonate, WPNC’s donation platform, for a seamless experience.
WPNC Digital managing director Vicky Reeves said: “We’re proud to support the celebrated Poppy Appeal. We know supporters are increasingly comfortable with digital donations and it’s great that we could offer them a range of options, especially when it has been more difficult to donate in person.”
While no figures are yet available on the total amount raised this year, Royal British Legion head of supporter acquisition Gillian Baxter said online donations had “surpassed expectations”.
She added: “We needed to adapt the Poppy Appeal significantly this year and develop initiatives for people to still be able to support and obtain a poppy to display. WPNC has efficiently handled our requirements, ensuring the sites were optimised, stable and closely monitored.”
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