For the Light the World campaign for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Boncom created a novel concept called Giving Machines. It looks like a vending machine, but instead of buying soda and candy, patrons can purchase shoes, meals, first aid kits – even chickens and goats! – that are donated through local and global charities to those in need.
The Giving Machines provide a way for tens of thousands of people to quickly and easily give to charity during the Christmas season using retrofitted vending machines stocked with donation items. Families come with everyone from kids to grandparents to make a new family tradition of experiencing the joy of giving together.
Each of the machines is stocked with candy-bar sized placards with an image and description of the 150 unique items available for donation. With a swipe of a credit card, a person could buy a cow ($150), a hygiene kit ($8), a box of macaroni and cheese ($2), emergency utility bill payment ($200), malaria treatment ($31), eyeglasses for children ($10), 100 meals ($25), or a resuscitation kit for babies ($28).
When an item is selected, the placard falls to the bottom of the machine into a “donation bin.” Instead of receiving quick fixes for hunger cravings, patrons walk away with a feeling of delight, knowing that their donations would be delivered to someone in need.
In 2017, this novel, interactive giving experience raised more than $500,000 from the one location in Salt Lake City. Building on this success, the Giving Machines expanded to five locations in 2018: New York City; Salt Lake City; Gilbert, Arizona; London; and Manila. In 2018, the machines raised more than $2.3 million was raised for 18 charities, with over 92,000 individual donations. In 2019, the Giving Machines were in 10 cities globally: London; New York City; Manilla; Las Vegas, Nevada; Denver, Colo.; San Jose; Calif.; Laie, Hawaii; Salt Lake City; Orem, Utah; and Gilbert, Arizona. The machines collected more than $6 million in 2019.
The American Advertising Federation recognized the Giving Machines three years in a row with a 2018 national Silver ADDY award in the public service category, a 2019 Silver ADDY for branding elements, and two in 2020: a Gold ADDY in the media campaign category and a Silver ADDY in the marketing and special advertising category. The Giving Machines also earned a Public Relations Society of American Silver Anvil award in the public service category. These two awards are, respectively, the advertising and public relations industries' highest honors in the country.