JustGiving to scrap fees from disaster and major incident funds

Fundraising platform JustGiving has scrapped its 5 per cent fee on donations to disaster and major incident funds.

The move follows heavy criticism received by the platform last year for charging people for donating following the Grenfell tragedy and terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.
JustGiving was also accused of profiting from £20m of donations and paying staff salaries of up to £200,000.

However, the company has announced it will “not charge platform fees” on its crowdfunding products, but it will continue to charge a third party processing fee on card payments made.

“Following feedback from our amazing community of fundraisers, we are also announcing that JustGiving will now be free to use following major incidents, including acts of terrorism, catastrophes or natural disasters,” JustGiving president, Jerry Needel said.

“We know people want to help those affected as quickly as possible after these events and we want to do everything we can to support that. We are excited about the significant changes we are making and look forward to continuing our work supporting thousands of charities and millions of individuals raising funds for the causes that matter to them the most.”

The move follows pressure from various MPs, including Labour MP Neil Coyle and Conservative MP Robert Jenrick.

JustGiving has also received pressure on its fee structure from its competitors such as GoFundMe, which scrapped its own fees earlier this year and launched its own charity fundraising pages.

A number of charity organisations, such as the Institute of Fundaraising and Charity Tax Group have welcomed the decision.

“We welcome today’s announcement from JustGiving. We are pleased to see JustGiving continuing to develop its model and responding proactively to enable donors’ money to go even further, especially at times of major incidents,” IoF chief executive, Peter Lewis said.

Charity Tax Group vice chairman, Richard Bray added: “We are pleased to be working with JustGiving to consult with the charity sector about how to continue providing and funding a highly efficient Gift Aid service.”

JustGiving launched its crowdfunding product in 2015, allowing individuals and communities to raise money for their own projects and personal causes. Since then it has grown to support around 70,000 crowdfunding causes in the last year alone.

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