Charities and local authorities are the unsung heroes of the pandemic. These organisations have worked around the clock to support the country with financial aids, food parcels, listening and offering advice, and much more. Latest reports have also shown the demand for charitable services will continue to increase as the after effects of a crisis plays out.
The pandemic saw a lot of people, businesses and groups come together to help where it was needed most. And after our own team saw the pressure non-profit organisations were under we realised there was a way we could be useful. We had the tools and experience to disburse funds quickly on a large scale.
If you’re a charity, local authority or non-profit organisation read on to find out about our funds disbursement solutions and how we can deliver your financial aids faster without paying an extra penny.
What is fund disbursement?
Fund disbursement is handing out financial aids to beneficiaries, low income households, vulnerable people and families. The most common funds we disburse to these people is cash through digital codes, prepaid cards and gift vouchers.
Funds distributed will always come from the organisation or company in charge of giving them. But, to make the process easier for non-profit authorities our technology sends financial aids from your establishment, while we manage the distribution and administration (virtually) behind the scenes for you.
Our funds disbursement solutions
The type of funds we distribute range from school meal vouchers to holiday activities and energy bill payments. Our solutions are flexible which means they can be tailored and customised specifically for your organisation’s needs. All our methods of funding are designed to ensure you feel confident ‘cash’ given will be spent on items and bills that support households in the most effective way.
Ideal for: School lunch, holiday activities and food programme, clothes and technology vouchers.
Select Essentials is a seamless method for distributing funds quickly for a specific need as you can customise where digital codes can be spent. For example, if your beneficiaries need support with food vouchers, Select Essential codes can enable spending in grocery stores only such as Sainsbury and Aldi. The Select Essentials digital codes for the government’s holiday activities and food programme can be spent on days out with restaurant, cinema and leisure brands, including the National Trust.
The digital codes distributed are sent via email or SMS and have a monetary value attached to them. Recipients can then easily redeem their codes with the retailer people wish to spend their ‘cash’ with.
Ideal for: government grant schemes, virtual cash and energy bill payments.
Prepaid Cards are a popular option for authorities looking to distribute cash. The cards are loaded with money and sent out to beneficiaries. If the financial aid is an ongoing form of support, monetary values can be reloaded onto the card (virtually) time and time again.
Choice Gift Cards
Ideal for: children, teenagers and student aids.
Choice Gift Cards are themed for the recipients receiving them and can be spent with retailers suited to the individual. It gives people, like teenagers and students, more spending freedom. The range includes Kids Choice, Student Choice, Fashion Choice and Restaurant Choice.
What is the funds disbursement process?
We make sure from start to finish your disbursement process is effortless and easy. After all, your team is under enough pressure!
Partnerships begin with us finding out about your organisation and how we can support you and your beneficiaries. Our team then develops a bespoke distribution solution for you and work extremely quickly to put the actions in place. We can either manage the entire distribution process for you or we can send digital codes, gift cards or prepaid cards to your team to hand out the aids as you wish. We're able to offer some of our solutions free of admin or issuance costs for charity and non-profit organisations.
Disburse hardship funds faster.
We understand how critical it is for funds to be with beneficiaries on time. Which is why all of our aids can be sent digitally to ensure they’re instantly accessible. Our technology also means funds – even on an extremely large scale – can be delivered within 24 hours. For recipients that don’t have access to an email address or smartphone there’s the option to send aids in a physical format such as a prepaid card or gift cards.
A personal touch.
People receiving the hardship funds may be feeling anxious, worried or low which is why we’ve made it possible to send them with a personal message. These messages can provide a pick-me-up and reassurance at a time when it’s needed most.
The benefits: prepaid cards and gift vouchers VS cash
While cash is essential to help people that need support, we believe distributing ‘cash’ in a more controlled format, such a digital codes, gift cards or prepaid cards, is more beneficiary for the recipient – and you, the organisation. Here’s why.
Benefits for recipients
- Have access to a wider range of retailers as funds can be redeemed online.
- Eliminates cash being misspent or transferred into an overdrawn bank account.
- No need to have a bank account.
- Funds can be accessed instantly.
- Cuts out any collection processes. Funds can be sent (and spent) digitally.
Benefits for non-profit organisations
- Reduces internal administration processes.
- Funds are disbursed faster (aids can be received within 24 hours).
- No issuance or payment transfer fees on some of our solutions.
- Improves your audit trail, as no cash is given.
- You can be confident ‘cash’ is well spent.
- Visibility of spend and areas of need, with a retailer redemption report.
- Ability to customise cards and send personalised messages.
Non-profit organisations we work with
In 2020 we helped distribute £250 million worth of emergency aids around the world, including £90 million in the UK. The non-profit authorities we’ve worked with have all said they benefit from having a partner with the technology and expertise to give them more man-power to distribute grants faster (and in a more efficient way). Here’s what some organisations had to say about using our funds disbursement solutions.
Head of Policy, Harrow Council.
“We engaged with Blackhawk Network very late in the day to get support in providing Select Essentials codes to families through the Covid Winter Grants funding. The support they provided was excellent. The process of getting signed up was very simple and the talk through around how to order and issue the codes made the process run smoothly. They excelled in the speed with which they were able to provide the codes in order for us to send letters out to over 12,000 recipients ahead of Christmas.”
Policy Officer, Bracknell Forest Council.
“We began working with Blackhawk Network in early December as part of rolling out the funding under the Governments Winter Grant Scheme. The team were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable to guide us through the process and make sure everything would run as smoothly as possible. This ensured we had the scheme up and running very quickly and that families received much needed financial support over the Christmas holiday. We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Blackhawk Network.”
Other local authorities, charities and non-profits we work with include:
- Councils: Bedford, Bracknell, Buckinghamshire, Camden, Cheshire East, Devon, Dudley, Ealing, Harrow, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Sandwell, Southampton, Telford and Wrekin, Wakefield, West Berkshire.
- Non-profit organisations: Auriga, Cash for Kids, Hospitality Action, Licensed Trade Charity.
The future of fund disbursement
The digital shift has catapulted forward in a much faster fashion than anyone predicted. It means the way in which organisations handle payments will have to change to a digital-first concept. It’s not only the younger generations favouring online activities and purchasing anymore, every demographic and age group is using the internet and digital methods for carrying out every day actions.
The colossal digital movement means traditional ways of handling fund disbursement for charities and non-profit authorities will have to be reconsidered. Not only do organisations need to be mindful of the transferring of viruses (during and post a pandemic), but recipients receiving aids will want – and expect – digital ways to use them.
As pioneers in payment technology we predict that by the end of 2021 most people will have completely switched to contactless payments using smartphone wallets, smart watches and even palm payment technology. Because of this it’s essential your organisation reviews the ways in which your beneficiaries are accessing their funds to make sure they’re available in the format they need. We understand that non-profit companies don’t have access to the budgets required to invest in such advanced technology, which is why we want to let you know we’re here to help you with our no-fee solutions.
You can read more about our funds disbursement programmes here:
Does your non-profit organisation need help to disburse its funds faster? Fill out the form on the right and we’ll be in touch to chat about how we can support you.