Donations at McDonald’s locations dropped last year, per a company statement sent to FOX Business. And in a report on Nation’s Restaurant News, a spokesperson for the burger giant said that in 2018, “there was a 15 percent drop in coin contributions to [Ronald McDonald House Charities] donation boxes in McDonald’s restaurants,” explaining that as society has become more cashless, “it has impacted giving” to the brand’s charities.
Donations to RMHC typically come through donation boxes or loose change at drive-thrus. The charity did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business.
The Pew Research Center polled 13,000 adults in 2018 and found a third of Americans made no cash purchases in a typical week. And in a survey of 2,000 Americans, U.S. Bank found that 50 percent of respondents carry cash less than half the time they are out.
But McDonald’s has a plan to combat shrinking donations to RMHC, which provide parents of children with certain ailments free room and board, and entertainment, at hospitals.
The company launched a new program, Round-Up for RMHC, which will let customers round up their orders to the nearest dollar at kiosks, drive-thrus or at the counter.
The new initiative could “make it easier than ever before for customers to continue to support Ronald McDonald House Charities” at 14,000 locations, the company said in the memo, adding that it could potentially raise “millions of dollars for children and families.”
“At McDonald’s, we know the importance of bringing families together,” McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said. “As a founding mission partner of the Charity, McDonald’s remains committed to leveraging the size and scale of our restaurants to promote and raise money to support the growth of the Charity.”
In restaurants where the program has been tested, customers have donated $2 million.
Donation boxes will still be available at restaurants, the company said, and the round-up program will not be available on the brand’s mobile orders or through third-party apps.
There are nearly 400 Ronald McDonald Houses in the United States. And last year, the charity provided more than 2.5 million hospital stays to children and their families, which, according to the statement, saved roughly $930 million in food and lodging costs.
McDonald’s stock is up 6 percent on the year.