Customer launches app for donating to arts venues


Customer launches app for donating to arts venues

A NatWest customer has been able to launch a new way for visitors to donate to museums and other arts venues by mobile phone thanks to his long-term relationship with the bank.

William Makower’s charity, the National Funding Scheme, launched DONATE earlier this year as an alternative to dropping cash into a perspex box. Visitors can use an app to donate by debit or credit card or Paypal and Gift Aid their contributions, increasing potential donations and giving museums and art galleries a better understanding of who is donating. Visitors who don’t have smart phones can donate by text.

So far 12 arts venues are using the app, including the V&A, Science Museum and National Portrait Gallery in London and the Baltic in Newcastle. More than 100 venues have registered to start using DONATE as a fundraising tool during 2013 and there are plans to make it available to 7,000 arts institutions throughout the UK next year.

To be able to operate on this scale, the charity required a BACS line for transferring donations from donors to arts venues via DONATE. Dave Bennett from NatWest’s Not For Profit and Education team, who arranged the National Funding Scheme’s banking, says that this would ordinarily be prohibitively difficult for a brand new charity.

Because of the excellent relationship the bank already had with William, whose family are among NatWest's longest standing customers, Dave was able to arrange an initial BACS line of £75,000 to meet the charity’s immediate needs which can be increased as more venues start using the service.

5th generation

William is the fifth generation of his family to have an account with NatWest and the family’s textile business, M Makower & Co Ltd, has had a relationship with the bank (then the National Bank) since 1862. His own digital business, Panlogic, is also a customer.

Dave said: “From my initial meeting with William, I could see how passionate he was in his desire to help arts institutions around the UK. I feel I have been a help to the charity thus far and I look forward to being part of a journey towards all arts institutions in the UK having access to this technology and being able to reap the benefits it brings.”

Read more about the National Funding Scheme.

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