‘Tap’ a dog to donate

RSPCA volunteer Maureen and dog Sharni. Photo: Cassidy Mosconi.

You’ve heard of Tap‘n’go, but what about Tap‘n’pat?

This year, for the first time, RSPCA WA has used dogs wearing payment terminal vests to collect donations for its annual street appeal ‘Happy Tails Day’. ‘Tap’n’pat’ allows people to donate and pat at the same time.

RSPCA WA executive manager Maree Daniels said the system was introduced so people without coins jingling in their pockets could still donate.

“We know that street appeals have changed over the years, and as we move towards a cashless society, we recognise that fewer people carry cash,” Ms Daniels said.

This strategy combats a modern issue for charities; Australians simply don’t like carrying cash.

An April 2017 survey of consumer payments conducted by ING found almost one in four Australians hated carrying coins and would prefer to be completely cashless.

Adjunct Professor of Swinburne University Business School Steve Worthington said the trend towards a cashless society was a major issue affecting traditional fundraising methods.

“We are using less and less cash so we carry less and less cash,” Professor Worthington said.

“There’s less money in our hands or pockets to actually give to a charity collector that may be rattling a tin on the street.”

Director of UWA Centre for Software Practice, Research and Development David Glance said the days of charities shaking a tin were truly over.

“There’s a whole range of different things that charities could be doing online, but they’re not,” Mr Glance said.

“They should be engaging more in terms of social media and getting people to make payments through things like Facebook.”

Professor Worthington said charities needed to work with technology rather than against it.

“Charities are in competition with each other and lots of other disposable income opportunities that we all have, so they’re all trying to secure benefit,” he said.

People were more likely to donate money to charity if it didn’t require any extra effort.

“There’s lots of opportunity to use the technology that we’re using to pay with, to help charities to get people to give to a charity at point of sale,” he said.

RSPCA WA hopes to raise $25,000, which will go towards caring for almost 2,000 animals.

Volunteers will be on the streets of Perth until 4.30pm today, where people can Tap’n’pat the eight dogs sporting the vests.

Categories: General