The real cost of fundraising

Donation platforms like JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving have changed how people fundraise immeasurably. According to the JustGiving website, The Sunday Times once said ‘JustGiving has rewritten the fundraising rulebook’ and I certainly can’t disagree. But that being said, how much has the business model evolved since its launch in 2000?

In 2014 the press highlighted just how much donation platforms yield from society’s generosity. Stephen’s Story made national news thanks to his vibrant personality and ‘motivation for life’. After his tragic death and online farewell, the internet took hold of his plight for Teenage Cancer Trust. What started as £10,000 fundraising target quickly increased to £100,000 then £500,000. His story went viral after he posted what he thought was his last ‘thumbs up’ picture from his hospital bed. Stephen sadly died a month later having raised over £4m for the charity and JustGiving found themselves in hot water after refusing to waive their 5% fee for the charity – totalling £180,000 in addition to all the free coverage they had received from the campaign.

So where does this leave charities’ engagement with big fundraising partners?

Most donation platforms charge a fee to cover their costs, which is to be expected, but could they all do more to engage users and allow brand to customise their interfaces? There’s little flexibility in the functionality and stories are told in a series of blocks of text. After working in the third sector for the past 16 years, we decided there was room for something new. Numiko set off to find a way for charities to get the same benefits, with a better user experience and a more predictable total cost.

Fixing the problem

Numiko has worked with Allianz UK to find a solution that allows their employees to raise money without the charity absorbing all the fees. Currently they are just at the start of the 3-year campaign but have already raised £209,007! Had they raised this through a donation platform, their charity partner would already be parting with £10,450 in commission alone (on a 5% rate), not including any gift aid, transaction or monthly fees. This total would also continue to increase in line with funds raised.

Allianz UK didn’t want their hard-raised funds to get absorbed by fees so instead, they worked with us to build a new platform from scratch, with predictable overheads and features that actually integrate fundraising into the Allianz culture.

The result is a platform that allows their employees to not just ‘receive donations’ but to also interact with each other, compete, be a team, have fun and create a real fundraising community. And now we’re looking to share this experience and allow charities to benefit from the platform in a big way. We are adopting a new attitude; we won’t be taking a slice of fundraisers’ money and we won’t be letting costs soar. What we actually want is to speak to organisations who would like to know about a better solution.

Maybe you’re a charity wondering how you can bring your supporters together from all over the country? Maybe you’re an organisation with teams dotted all over the world doing their best to raise money for a united cause? We’re trialing ways of making your job easier and would love to hear some feedback. Get in touch if you would like us to share our insight and discuss how we think we can help.