Charities board update
Please note, our Forum rules no longer allow the posting of links to personal fundraising or crowdfunding pages, such as JustGiving. You can read the full set of our Forum rules here.

Justgiving: profit in disguise

in Charities
17 replies 4.9K views
We sat down this afternoon to make our annual donations to various charities, including £150 + Giftaid to the Simon Community. After we made the donation we noticed the money went to a company called Justgiving and at first thought we had been scammed.

We re-opened the Simon donation page and realised the only mention of Justgiving was the name on a strip across the page. Research reveals that Justgiving is a trading name of Giving Ltd. which makes over £1 million a year by raking off at least 6.5% of our donations.

I make no comment on whether Justgiving offers value to the charity or whether the Simon Community should use a less expensive provider. My wife and I do feel misled by the Simon Community webpage in that we thought we were helping the Simons and not some fatcats in London. This sorry tale has led us to question the whole charity industry.


  • dzug1dzug1 Forumite
    13.5K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Well evidently the Simons have reckoned that paying 6.5% to Justgiving is better than trying to do the job themselves and making a botch of it.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
    11.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If you went through the Simon Community website it would have told you:
    One-off Donations Online

    There are two ways to donate on line:

    (1) at our JustGiving site log on now
    (2) through the Charities Aid Foundation secure site using your credit/debit card or CAF Charity Card donate now

    I think it's very clear that they are using intermediaries to process your donation. It also gives the option of posting them a cheque etc.

    In terms of value, the JustGiving fee is 5% which includes processing the Gift Aid claim administration. 1.3% is to WorldPay for a credit card fee (or 17p if you'd used a debit card). It's likely the charity finds this competitive with running their own payment processing website, merchant account, and HMRC claim processing.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • That's my point -- we did go through the Simon Community website and saw no reference to Justgiving until we reached the secure donation page, unlike the other charity sites where we have also donated. (In our innocence we thought we were helping a local charity.) For example, some Service charities use Bmycharity which does not take a rakeoff for handling donations. We've also found more about Justgiving, which we had not heard of, and found that its chief executive is paid £150k pa and that its profits have fallen from £3.5 million to £1 million 2011/2012. Hard times for everyone I suppose ...
  • ArmoricaArmorica Forumite
    866 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Justgiving is pretty famous. I believe that charities that use it find it cost effective and benefit from an increase in donations due to the ease of giving.

    Nothing in life is free in the long term. You also seem to blur the line between income and profit.

    Justgiving was founded in 2000 and didn't make profits until 2006. By March 2012 it had collected £1bn for charity (with costs/profits of a small %age of that number). Justgiving also makes it easy for charities to reclaim giftaid - this is one of the reasons why charities get more money this way.

    Traditional charity donators are middle aged and above. Justgiving - with links to facebook and use of the net - has seen increases in donations from the younger population.
  • dzug1dzug1 Forumite
    13.5K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    . (In our innocence we thought we were helping a local charity.)...

    What makes you think you weren't?
  • asajjasajj Forumite
    5.1K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    You never heard of JustGiving? Well they are pretty big and a good platform for many charities.

    They offer many ways to donate and they take away a lot of admin job away from the charities (which is a cost saving). Gift aid is an expensive process and they also track it for charities as said above.

    As for the salary of the CEO, well i'm afraid, for London, this is even a low salary. Plus there are many charities paying similar salaries to their executives.
  • Hi there, I lead a Charity Group at work, raising funds for employee nominated charities each year. With JustGiving, the Virgin equivalent, CAF etc. there is a processing fee. It might seem steep or unfair to have to pay, but having spoken to charities, it works out cost efficient to them because they have a company who is handling the processing of donations, calculating and claiming the tax relief etc. If a donation is eligible for gift aid, by the time you take off the processing fee, they are still receiving over 100% of your original donation.

    Not sure if you are employed, but it could be worth asking your employer what their charitable process is? I am very lucky as my company match all employee donations and we gift aid as well, using CAF. We have the option to donate at source, so a £10 donation to charity costs an employee £8, or £6 if a 40% taxpayer, plus gift aid is added on top. I've encouraged a large amount of employees to route their standard monthly/annual donations through this way to get a huge benefit to charities.
  • Our thanks to everyone for your explanations and views. As you gather we are past middle age, non-techie, and well out of touch with today's billionaire charity "industry" and its fundraising methods.

    We have decided to use Bmycharity for future donations, avoiding the rakeoff by third parties. Otherwise we are sending old-fashioned cheques to charities based in our local area rather than national organisations many of which spend 25% of our donations on raising even more funds ... but then as I said, we're old-fashioned. :)
  • All donation processors charge fees of some sort. Bmycharity has a low processing fee for the individual donation but a higher joining fee for the charity.

    Running a charity effectively always entails costs. Good charities balance fundraising and administration costs with the sums they need to raise to achieve the results they are seeking.

    Charities pay landlords, printers, web design companies, rubbish collectors, accountants and much more. The salary of the CEOs of these companies is irrelevant to the work of that charity.

    What is important is that charities seek value for money in their purchasing.
  • I wouldn't stop supporting a charity just because they use justgiving. Although some big charities do use justgiving it's often small ones who could never otherwise take donations by credit or debit card as you need a big income (and a member of staff or volunteer) to do that.
    Did you know you can look charities up and see their income and how they spend it? This is the one you helped
    Best wins in 2013 £200 and Mini iPad. 2014 no wins. 2015 2 nights 5* hotel with £300 vouchers plus £1150 Harrods gift card
    Rehome an unwanted prize or gift with a seriously ill child through
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Did you know there's an MSE app?

It's free & available on iOS & Android


Regifting: good idea or not?

Add your two cents to the discussion

MSE Forum

Energy Price Guarantee calculator

How much you'll likely pay from April

MSE Tools