What About Free Fundraising?

from The Raffle.it Blog:

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so what about free fundraising?

Yesterday Bmycharity announced the withdrawal of their online fundraising service. Bmycharity prided themselves on being the only company not to charge commission on donations taken through their site. Much like Justgiving, they set up personal fundraising pages for users to help them support their favourite charity online. They also allowed direct donations to charities.

They made their money by charging a ‘one off’ fee of £150 to the charities in return for their service. They also charged 16p for transaction fees on all donations.

Working in the third sector is a tricky business – all of us are out there to do good, save the world and help others. When is it acceptable to charge a charity? I think the case of Bmycharity shows a service HAS to charge to be a sustainable service. Without the likes of online charity services such as Justigiving we would be back in the dark ages, giving only at shop counters and the occassional charity event (oh and don’t forget my person favourite, giving in your will). Currently online donations only account for around 3% of charity income, but surely it is the future with more and more of us choosing to collect donations online rather than in a bucket for our various events and challenges. The power of online fundraising has been shown only recently when Charlie Simpson raised over £200,000 online for Haiti by doing a bike ride.