People will soon be able to donate to charity through their smart speakers by vocally responding to targeted audio advertisements.
Technology company Say It Now and digital audio advertising platform DAX have launched a new donation channel enabling charities to fundraise via Alexa using audio ads.
Charities currently planning a campaign to test this channel include NSPCC, RNIB, Crisis, Macmillan Cancer Support and Global’s Make Some Noise.
On hearing an advertisement, smart speaker owners can ask for more information about the charity or make a donation right away. This is possible because most smart speakers are directly linked to a payment service, such as Amazon Pay.
Say It Now developed the technology thanks to funds from innovation agency and non-departmental public body Innovate UK. The funds were part of a £20m effort to support new technologies aimed at building UK’s resilience after coronavirus.
Say It Now will not charge any transaction fees to charities, while Global, the owner of DAX, will donate the audio time.
Josephine Swinhoe, director of income generation at NSPCC, said: “The world is increasingly technology-driven, and working with Say It Now allows us to be at the forefront of testing new ways to engage with our supporters.
“The collaboration with other charities enables us to fast-track best practice that will benefit the sector overall as it looks to recover from the effects of the crisis and develop innovative fundraising for the future.”
Alex McDowell, head of public fundraising at the RNIB, said: “The coronavirus has had an impact on all of our lives. For many charities, it has made fundraising more challenging at the same time that demand for services has increased.
“RNIB are always looking at new ways we can inspire support and make it easier for people to contribute to our vision and we are delighted to involved in this innovative programme.
“Not only does it provide a frictionless way for people to support RNIB’s vital work, it also has wider benefits to blind and partially sighted people, who will experience this service in exactly the same way as all Alexa users.”