#JustGiving and that 5%

The news of an arson attack by a teenager on a Dogs Home in Manchester is shocking.  And nobody would criticise the motives of the person or people who set up a JustGiving Page as a response.

I have a JustGiving Page.  I used it to raise money for Cancer Research when I rode the Ride London 100.  But, it’s only recently that I have fully clocked that JustGiving is not a charity, but a full-blooded business. A business that takes 5% of standard donations via its online-only platform.  (That is, unless you click the “Gift Aid” box, in which case they take 5% of the Gift Aid, and can claim to be giving the charity more than you donated.  See here.  All wonderfully opaque).

So here’s the thing.  By 11am on the day that the Manchester Dogs Home page went up, over £500,000.00 had been donated. And this figure will no doubt go up and up, as a bandwagon is gathering pace. So, even by 11am, JustGiving’s revenue from this one page was in the tens of thousands of pounds.  This, on a day in which their site constantly crashed under the strain, ensuring that other page-owners found that their pages would not function.

JustGiving is a relatively simple software platform.  It could be replicated by anyone with an IT department – like Her Majesty’s Government, for example. If ever there was a case for nationalisation, this is surely it. In the meantime (in case I am worrying all my friends with JustGiving pages), I will continue to Just-Give and to use JustGiving to raise funds.  But maybe they should look at their pricing model – before someone else does.