The Royal British Legion

Case Study

Best known for their annual Poppy Appeal, the Royal British Legion campaigns to promote the welfare and interests of members of the British Armed Forces past and present.

The Poppy Appeal is the organisation’s largest fundraising campaign and is held every year in November over the period of Remembrance. Included in the campaign is London Poppy Day, the largest one-day street collection of its kind in the UK.

The Legion have been making use of contactless donations for the past two years, but in 2019 they set out to expand their contactless donation collection potential on a larger scale with an extensive portfolio of devices.

With hundreds of thousands of donations to be taken throughout the campaign and the ambition to raise a record amount, the Legion had the goal of utilising contactless technology on a scale that has never been seen in the third sector. The 2019 Poppy Appeal went on to be the largest distribution of contactless devices for a fundraising campaign in the UK to date.

With such complex fundraising requirements, the rollout of the contactless devices needed a dedicated and thorough setup to tackle all the demands of a successful nationwide campaign. PayaCharity, with a history of delivering premium grade contactless solutions, took on the challenge.

With the continuing decline of cash payments in recent years, street fundraising has become more and more challenging. With lower traditional funding streams and fewer potential donors carrying cash, The Royal British Legion needed innovative new technology in order to fundraise successfully.

We took on the responsibility for the delivery of the overall contactless donation proposition for the Poppy Appeal, along with our partner device provider Payter, our partner gateway NMI, our partner acquirer Elavon and support of Visa. Together, we set out to supply the Legion with an exceptional product and unparalleled service to help them reach their fundraising goals.

The overall key objectives at that time were to provide the Legion with the contactless devices that would best suit their campaign and offer a service that gave them greater control over the overall fundraising process.

The Poppy Appeal required a quick and easy contactless solution that included strong day-to-day device performance in a variety of locations across the nation, as well as an easy deployment structure for a vast, multi-layered team. There needed to be consistent support across the board of Fundraisers, Volunteers, Community Fundraisers and Senior staff, including training sessions, documentation and videos.

We were keen to give the Legion the tools to make their campaign truly exceptional. We wanted to deliver a portal driven service that provided detailed insight and assisted with the strategic planning ongoing performance of the campaign. Our solution provided the Legion with the ability to keep track of their active and dormant devices, see the performance by location of all of their devices, view connectivity and view individual, total and average donations using our online PayaCharity Portal.

Not only was the Portal practical in managing the devices remotely, it was also a valuable asset for teams who wanted to challenge one another to some friendly competition. With the capacity to observe donations by location on the portal, RBL fundraising teams across the nation could contend with each other for the most donations.

Overall the Royal British Legion raised £780k with contactless donation devices in 2019, an increase from £211,000 last year and £67,000 in 2017. It’s easy to see the growing significance and impact of contactless fundraising, as well as the potential to completely change the way charities fundraise.

PayaCharity is proud to have supported The Royal British Legion and assisted in the monumental success of the 2019 Poppy Appeal. We are delighted to continue working with our partners in delivering our unique solutions to support The Royal British Legion in the new year and hope that contactless donations continue to help raise more in the years to come.

PayaCharity is a Paya Group brand operated by Cornerstone Merchant Services (North) Limited, (company registration number 07373392) registered office address: 7 Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5AN. Authorised with the FCA for rental of hardware, firm number 710416.