Innovative ‘beancounter’ hack a huge success


“Impressive 30% growth in last 12-months.”


  • REA Group Limited is a multinational digital advertising company specialising in property.
  • With participation in workplace giving typically sitting at about 14%, it was looking for new ways to encourage staff to donate to charity.
  • In July 2017 it launched a ‘Community Café’ at its Melbourne office, with the company covering all operational costs.
  • Employees are invited to make a donation in return for their coffee, which they can do by putting cash in one of the seven charity jars (six are for existing charity partners and the seventh changes every month as chosen by employees).
  • If they don’t have cash, they can pay via their security card – or ‘Beancounter’. The internally developed cashless payment system was created at a team ‘Hack Day’. Employees swipe their card, and the screen asks them to select a charity and amount they’d like to donate.
  • The employees’ monthly pay slip outlines the amount they donated via Beancounter, which is deducted from their post-tax salary.
  • REA then donates 100% of the total amount in full to the charities as nominated.
  • The digital payment option has significantly increased donations – last month accounting for almost three quarters of the total donations made.
  • The coffee served at the Community Café is all 100% Fair Trade Organic (FTO) and Rainforest Alliance Certified (RFA), and only serves drinks in reusable mugs.


  • Workplace giving participation: 15% of 1,130 staff
  • Community Café raised $70,000 in first year
  • Workplace giving donations $144,834 (including matching) in past year
  • 100% of donations goes to charity