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Charities subscribe to new ways of thinking

How can charities learn from the success of commercial subscription models to help extend their reach, generate revenue and activate meaningful engagements with their supporters?

As early as the 15th century, around the time of the invention of the printing press, the public was able to receive newspapers in exchange for a regular payment. Today the same model remains, albeit the products and services have become significantly more varied and technology now plays a key role in the management, delivery and scale.

Netflix and Spotify have disrupted the entertainment industry beyond recognition with their subscription models. Both have an “all you can eat” approach based on a volume of customers making the model viable. Netflix understood that technology and subscriptions could remove the late fee Blockbuster Video blockages and offer unlimited movies delivered to your door. Blockbuster went bust and today Netflix rules the film and television subscription market globally.

In a Covid-19 era, charities are faced with significant fundraising challenges. With a reduction in sponsored events, regular donations, volunteering and street collections, new models are needed.

The Blurt Foundation have launched their Buddy Box. The box contains a number of self-care products, anything from self-help books to planners. The box now has over 1,000 subscribers a month with many more one-off purchasers, making their subscription model their main source of income.

This initiative has extended the foundation's reach, it offers a targeted service and generates new forms of revenue.

Mind’s Mindful Monster subscription box provides activity cards for all the family, aimed at primary age children. The £7.50 monthly box contains activities to improve children’s understanding of their emotions and promotes positive thinking.

At thinkpublic we have launched the Sound Asleep Club, a monthly subscription service offering members access to live online holistic wellbeing and sleep classes, plus an on-demand video library. The club enables people to experience and learn new practices to help their mental health and sleep.

The digital platform allows us to create meaningful ways of engaging new audiences in different ways at scale. The service is now being used by charities to offer to their members, staff and volunteers.

We believe subscription models offer charities a platform to think differently about how they extend their reach, helping to create meaningful connections with the public, donors and volunteers whilst also generating much needed new revenue.

If you’d like to explore a subscription model for your charity or organisation please get in touch for a free introductory creative workshop.



Buddy Box via

sound asleep club logo via


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