Tech meets empathy in new micro donation scheme » Charity Digital News

Tech meets empathy in new micro donation scheme

A new media platform that marries an interactive display with a coin-operated changing room locker to create a micro donation opportunity for charities has been launched.

Hope Locker, developed by creative intelligence agency Proximity London, has partnered with WaterAid for the launch and is targeting the buoyant UK fitness industry.

Users insert a pound coin to secure their belongings and release the key as per normal, guided by a video on the interactive display. When users return to get changed again – instead of simply releasing the coin they’re first asked if they’d like to donate it to charity.

By adding context and empathy, the request becomes more relevant and, in the work with Water Aid, users are asked if they swallowed any water while swimming, followed by a personalised message outlining how, in the time the user was swimming, dirty water killed one child per minute in the developing world.


Ask for your money back

For the first time, rather than a charity asking you for money – you have to ask the charity for your money back. Something that is poignantly hard to do when you are caught in a moment so intrinsically linked to a given charitable cause.

Working with the production agency MediaMonks, the first prototype locker was tested in Richmond at the end of 2015 and was designed using bespoke 3D software. Using a 3D printer, MediaMonks created self-contained hardware that connected the mechanics of the lock to an Android tablet, joining hardware and software together.


Lucrative source

Initial trials suggested that it could be a very lucrative source of income for charities like WaterAid, and by allowing the donor to register their details with the charity it also facilitates an ongoing relationship with the cause. Proximity is planning to roll out the technology to other venues in London once funding has been finalised.

John Treacy, executive creative director at Proximity London said: “Would any of us choose to drink swimming pool water? No. Yet it’s cleaner than what most of the world are forced to drink every day. The Hope Locker really dials up the empathy – and our trials have shown this to be a powerful spur for donation.”

Charlotte Forrest, special projects manager from WaterAid said: “I love this idea – It’s really different and innovative, and there’s a clear link to our vision and values as an organisation. We’re really excited to see how the idea can be further developed after the encouraging test results.”

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