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NHS Charity Case Study

Achievements in Fundraising

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest Trusts in the country, specialising in learning disability services, community and mental health services for people across the south of England. The Trust has a team of 6,500 staff who work from over 300 sites. Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust launched Pennies from Heaven (now trading as Microhive) in 2020 raising money for the Trusts charity, Brighterway.

The Covid-19 pandemic kept initial communication soft and in 2022 a renewed focus on the scheme has driven increasingly higher donations. A Bronze Pennies from Heaven Award in 2022 soon moved to a Silver Award in 2023, with 19% of staff participating. In the past 12 months (April 23 – April 24) donations have risen a further 30%. In this case study we will understand what has driven the growth in donations and the plans the charity has for the future.


How has the Trust driven high sign up to Microhive?

Three activities have increased Microhive (formerly Pennies from Heaven) participation at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust:

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust chose to use the Microhive online sign-up page for staff to join the scheme. Employees follow a link / QR code to the sign-up page and are asked to provide their name and ESR assignment number. There is no direct integration needed with ESR which makes it simple for Trusts to utilise this service. Microhive send online sign ups directly to the Trusts payroll team every two weeks for them to upload to ESR. Overall, using the Microhive online sign-up page makes it simple and easy for staff to sign up.

New joiners at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust are provided with information about Microhive and as part of this are asked to opt out of the scheme in the induction process. This is a change from the previous approach where new joiners would have to opt in if they wanted to take part.

To bolster brand awareness and drive donations, Brighterway has amplifed its communication efforts towards employees. The charity aims to cultivate a deeper understanding and connection with its mission among NHS staff. This approach not only informs employees about the charity’s impactful work but also inspires them to contribute via Microhive donations. This work continues in 2024 and the charity plans to highlight more success stories and the tangible benefits of donations, to significantly enhance fundraising outcomes.

Increase in donations in 12 months
staff regularly donating
raised to date

Future Plans

The brand change to Microhive has come at a period of positive change for the Trust and the Trust plans to adopt the new Microhive brand from July 2024.. At this time  Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust is merging with Solent NHS Trust (having already merged with Isle of Wight NHS Trust). This new Trust will be called Hampshire and Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and will increase the number of employees to over 13,000. Brighterway will remain the Trusts charity and it intends to raise the profile of the charity across the newly formed organisation. The potential donations that could be raised through Microhive is £78k. Planned activity for Microhive include:

  • Running a strong communications campaign across the new Trust to reintroduce Microhive as an easy way to support the charity working. This will work in tandem with the communication work to bolster brand awareness.
  • Add Microhive to the Trusts ESR portal. Microhive has worked with the central ESR team to develop a ‘portlet’ that can be easily added to local ESR portals. The ‘portlet’ is a small promotional space to showcase the Microhive scheme to employees visiting the ESR portal for training and payslips. Employees can click on the ‘portlet’ to be taken (in a separate tab) to the Microhive website where they can learn how the scheme works in the NHS and sign up. Microhive can work with local ESR teams to set up this up for Trusts.
  • Identify local employers with over 500 employees and introduce Microhive to them. Employers could set up Microhive in their workplace with staff all donating to

The first measure of the success of this plan will be another colour change at the 2025 Microhive Awards. The charity is determined to win a Gold Award, recognising 20%+ participation.


How does Brighterway feel about Microhive?

“Pennies From Heaven/microhive provides vital support in boosting our fundraising income. The fact it comes exclusively from our own employees makes the whole programme feel very close to home with a real sense of ownership on behalf of our staff. The scheme is the proverbial “no brainer” as it requires a monthly donation of the small change in an employee’s net salary. In other words a maximum of 99 pence a month or £11.88 a year. Joining takes just a moment and soon will be available on our ESR platform. So in just a few moments and by donating less than a pound a month you make a real difference in helping deliver some amazing projects benefitting patients, service users and staff”.