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Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network is a major supplier of physical and digital gift card solutions. In 2020, we were proud to help those that COVID-19 left in need by processing over £95 million worth of hardship funds. Using solutions that allowed fast and easy access to essential food and clothing retailers, we were able to efficiently disburse funds on behalf of charities, councils, local authorities and universities within a week of initial introductions.

We’re pleased to have supported a number of ACO members, such as The Licensed Trade Charity, Hospitality Action and retailTRUST. Following on from our talk at the Grant Maker’s Forum in January we have engaged with several other ACO members for 2021.

How we can help you 

We have a range of solutions designed to support local councils, charities and non-profit organisations with grant disbursement. Our simple, scalable options allow you to distribute your funds more quickly and stretch your budget to reach more beneficiaries.   

Select Essentials

Select is our online platform that delivers codes electronically to your recipients. Codes are swapped for gift cards or eGifts from a wide range of retailers, to assist with essential needs, including groceries and clothing.  

Prepaid Cards

Our closest-to-cash solution. Prepaid cards are ideal for when you need to distribute a large number of cash funds or to help beneficiaries pay for more generic bills, such as utilities. Both our physical and virtual prepaid cards can be used anywhere that Mastercard® is accepted and are available as single load or reloadable.   

Gift cards and eGifts

We have a range of supermarket vouchers that can be used to fund free school meals, from popular brands such as Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and ASDA. 

Meanwhile, our One4all gift card can be spent at hundreds of retailers nationwide, in-store and online, which means that they can be used for a wide variety of support. Retail sectors that accept our popular gift card include restaurants, home and clothing. One4all is available in both physical and virtual formats.  

Why Blackhawk Network

We make sure from start to finish that your disbursement process is effortless and easy. After all, your team is under enough pressure!

Partnerships begin with us finding out about your organisation and how we can best support you and your beneficiaries. Our team then develops a bespoke distribution solution that works for your organisation. We’re able to put the actions in place to act extremely quickly once our tailored plan is approved on your side.

Flexibility that drives results

We can either manage the entire distribution process for you or we can send digital codes, gift cards or prepaid cards to your team to hand out the aids as you wish.

Our ethos is to provide beneficiaries with a range of choice when they come to redeem. By advocating that recipients choose their own way to spend the value, not only do you ensure maximum support, but you drive a more positive engagement.

Cash-like at low risk

We understand the implications of using cash to award grant funding – it costs money to process and can often be difficult to track through to spend. That’s why our solutions are ‘close-to-cash'. You can ensure that your beneficiaries are getting the help they need, while providing an extra layer of security to your financials.

The main ways our fund disbursement work is benefiting charities and organisations, in comparison to cash-based solutions includes:  

  • Improves audit trails
  • Funds go further when using certain solutions thanks to removing the cost of processing BACs transfers
  • Eliminates risk of cash being mis-spent or being transferred into an overdrawn bank account, or not being spent appropriately if there is an abusive relationship
  • Depending on the method you choose, aids can be received within 24 hours of being requested
  • All of our solutions can be customised and include a personalised message 
  • Reporting shows popular retailer redemptions, to give you some insight into spend
  • Digital solutions are appropriate for COVID times
  • Reduces the time spent on admin and processing of bank transfers

Our retailer partnerships

We are privileged to work with a number of well-known retailers that stock essential products required by those requesting grants. From food and clothing to home basics and technology for home schooling; we have a partnership that can fulfill any need.

Just a few examples include:

  • Aldi
  • ASDA
  • Morrisons
  • H&M
  • TK Maxx
  • Argos
  • B&Q
  • Currys PC World

We’re proud to work with…

We have a rapidly growing portfolio of customers in this sector, all of whom have had differing requirements to meet. Here are a couple of testimonials from councils that opted to use our Select Essentials platform:

Wakefield Council
We worked with Blackhawk Network to help us provide supermarket eGifts to around 9,000 families in our district on low incomes who needed help with food. We only had a couple of weeks in which to get everything organised and Blackhawk Network were very supportive and helped us to achieve our timescale.  

They responded quickly to all of our questions and explained what they have available (including the range and variety) to distribute vouchers to families very clearly. The process for ordering the Select Essentials codes was easy to understand and efficient, arriving within 24 hours of submitting the order form.  

All the individuals we worked with at Blackhawk Network were always professional, helpful and available. They helped us make what could have been an otherwise difficult and time-consuming process straightforward and effective. Thank you!

Melissa Mallaby, Revenues & Benefits Service Manager

West Berkshire Council
We worked with Blackhawk Network in order to help us provide school meal vouchers to families in our district with allocation from the Government Winter Grant Scheme.

We were under pressure to set this up but were able to achieve this in the timescale through the streamlined and simple process of Select Essentials which provided families with a range of supermarkets to choose from.

The communication from the staff at Blackhawk Network and the service they provided was really appreciated at what could have been a very difficult time.

We are happy we chose to work with them and would recommend them.

June Graves, Head of Commissioning


In January, we presented at the Grant Maker’s forum. If you missed our presentation, or would like a copy, please click here to view the recording or download the presentation. 

Alternatively, contact us directly if you’d like to find out more about how we can support your organisation with new grant disbursement opportunities.

0207 419 8191
blackhawknetwork.co.uk