Revolutionary new way to donate to charity devised by Harpenden inventor

Zander Whitehurst, 23, is the creator of Commonpence

Zander Whitehurst, 23, is the creator of Commonpence - Credit: Archant

A young man with a strong social conscience is on a mission to change the way the world donates.

Zander Whitehurst, 23, is the creator of Commonpence

Zander Whitehurst, 23, is the creator of Commonpence - Credit: Archant

Zander Whitehurst, 23, of Poynings Close, Harpenden has launched a crowd-funding campaign to support the development of his contactless donating device, Commonpence.

He hopes to harness the potential of the increasingly popular payment, where users tap their credit or debit card on a machine to pay.

The device would be located in public places and charity shops, letting people effortlessly donate £2 by tapping it with their card or Oyster.

Zander said: “No one carries cash anymore. We have these devices that people pay with every day of their lives, be it coffee, travel or clothes, it only seems sensible to donate with it too.

“It’s about it being as easy and effortless as possible, because research shows that the easier it is to donate the more likely people are to do it.”

An Oxford graduate, Zander spent a year in New York doing his masters at NYU, which is where the idea was born.

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He said: “It started as a platform where you could swipe your spare change from your Metro card, say the spare 99 cent you had left, instead of topping it up or throwing it away.”

Contactless payment grew by 330.8 per cent in 2014, and is expected to double in 2015.

With ever-changing technology, Zander is keen to keep up with the times and fund development and manufacture of his prototype.

He is currently halfway to his first fundraising target of £10,000.

“The aim is to use the money to fund the development because the scene is changing constantly.

“It can be very costly to keep up with it,” he said.

Zander added that he hopes Commonpence will have a similar business plan to JustGiving, where all profit would go back into running and improving the platform.

Alongside the crowdfunding campaign, Zander is hoping to win the opportunity to ‘Pitch to Rich’.

This competition gives start up companies the chance to pitch to multimillionaire Richard Branson for investment.

Commonpence is currently in the quarter finals, and the winner will be decided by public vote.

To vote for Commonpence in the ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition, visit:

To donate to the project, visit:

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