If you want to give money to charity, there are many different ways of doing so. One of the more popular ways is to sponsor someone for a fundraising event and that often means using a charity fundraising website, but you can also donate directly to the charity. There are a number of different websites you can use, so what should you look for?
How charity fundraising websites work
Charity fundraising websites collect donations from individuals through a personalised fundraising page. You can give money to any of the charities that are registered with the charity giving website.
How is your money protected?
Your donations should be passed onto the charity, normally within a month. There are some safeguards built into the process and it’s worth being aware of them.
- It’s up to the receiving charity to check the money is being paid. However, they may not always be aware of how much money is being raised.
2. Charity fundraising is now regulated. Complaints about charity fundraising used to be dealt with by a self-regulatory board, but they’re now overseen by the Fundraising Regulator. You can complain about how a charity raises funds and/or how it works with third parties. There’s more information on making a complaint on the Fundraising Regulator’s website.
3. Charity fundraising sites may be owned by charities themselves, or set up on a not for profit basis, or they may be commercial enterprises. Different rules will govern the different type of fundraiser.
There are several different fundraising websites:
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it is a list of some charity fundraising websites that I’ve been able to check out.
BTMydonate: BT’s charity donation website doesn’t take any commission from donations. Instead, the only deductions will be a credit or debit card processing fee.
SAVVY TIP: If you donate £10, it’s worth £12.50 once Gift Aid has been added (this can only be added if you are a taxpayer). BTMydonate takes nothing but charges 1.3% on credit card donations and 15p on all debit card donations (no matter how big). So on your £10 donation, £12.37 (if you pay by credit card) or £12.35 (if you pay by credit card) would be passed onto the charity.
Bmycharity: This site supports over 440 charities. It is owned by the charity Help for Heroes, but is available to all charities to use. The charity will not take further donations after 31st December 2015. Since January 2015 it’s not taken donations for new charities.
Every Click: There is no set up fee and the site lets you give as you search (which means that a charity gets a donation when you use its search engine and visit sites) and ‘give as you live’, which enables you to make a donation when you shop. Everyclick combines the donation and card fees, which it says are limited to a maximum of 4.8%.
SAVVY TIP: If you donate £10, it’s worth £12.50 once Gift Aid has been added. EveryClick takes a maximum of 4.8% of the £12.50, which I make 60p but which the website says is 58p. So on your £10 donation, it says £11.92 would be passed onto the charity.
JustGiving: This site has 12,000 charities and charitable causes registered. There’s an iPhone app and you can donate by text. If you donate via text, the charity doesn’t pay a fee on donations, but they are only passed onto the charity monthly. If you donate via a JustGiving page, the charity pays £15 a month (plus VAT) for the page. The fee is up to 5% of the donation and the Gift Aid.
SAVVY TIP: If you donate £10, it’s worth £12.50 once Gift Aid has been added. JustGiving takes up to 5% of the £12.50, which is a maximum of 63p. There’s also a card processing fee taken by the payment processor (on the £10, not £12.50) of 1.3%, which works out at 13p. So on your £10 donation, at least £11.74 would be passed onto the charity.
Virgin Money Giving: There’s a one-off fee to charities of £100 plus VAT if they want to join, but no monthly fee. There’s also lots of useful information for charities on how to maximise the money they receive. There’s a 2% fee taken from donations and event fees by Virgin Money Giving.
SAVVY TIP: If you donate £10, it’s worth £12.50 once Gift Aid has been added. Virgin Money Giving takes 2% of the donation only (£10), which is 20p. There’s also a card processing fee taken by the payment processor (on the £10, not £12.50) of 1.45%, which works out at 15p (on American Express cards the fee is 1.6%). So on your £10 donation, £12.15 would be passed onto the charity.
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