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Virgin Giving criticism of JustGiving slammed as “opportunistic”

This news post is over 1 year old

Fallout from JustGiving taking a fee from Capt Tom's fundraiser continues

Virgin Money Giving, one of the country’s biggest fundraising platforms, has been criticised for publicly attacking rival JustGiving.

The Sun slammed JustGiving on Friday for charging a fee to process the Gift Aid donations generated by Colonel Tom Moore’s record-breaking NHS fundraiser.

The newspaper reported that JustGiving’s had taken a cut of £308,683 from Gift Aid contributions from the £33m Captain Tom had raised.

Virgin Money Giving (VMG) joined the criticism on social media, before being accused by charities of being opportunistic.

Now the Small Charities Coalition, representing organisations in England and Wales, says it will no longer work with Virgin Money Giving after VMG tweeted its agreement with the Sun article.

It has sent a letter of complaint to the company stating: "We along with a number of organisations and agencies are absolutely outraged at the public attempt to capitalise on the misrepresentation offered by The Sun."

VMG's tweet said: "We agree with the Sun no fundraising platform should take a cut of Gift Aid. And whilst you can't run a fundraising website for free, you can do it without making a profit..."

The Sun had written: "It is sickening seeing anyone profiteer during the pandemic, let alone a website set up to facilitate charity fundraising. But JustGiving has hived off £308,000 in charges from the magnificent £32.7m Colonel Tom Moore raised from generous Brits for NHS staff.

"We’re all making sacrifices at present. It’s time this firm chipped in too. JustGive it back.”

JustGiving charges charities a 5% Gift Aid reclaim and processing fee, but this is optional and charities can choose to claim Gift Aid themselves.

A spokesperson for JustGiving said: “Claiming Gift Aid back at scale is a complex procedure, which JustGiving makes simple for those charities which choose to use our service.

“By helping organisations like NHS Charities Together raise more cash while substantially cutting their administration costs, we ensure millions more reaches good causes than was previously possible.”

However, the Institute of Fundraising came out in defence of JustGiving saying that the platform enabled such a huge sum to be raised in the first place.

“Everyone wants charities to benefit as much as possible from the generosity of the British public, as well as from Gift Aid.

“But fundraising costs money, whether it’s publicising your cause, facilitating donations, administrating Gift Aid, paying staff to support volunteers or using an online partner like JustGiving. Without the technology and innovation that JustGiving have brought to fundraising, the efforts of Tom Moore and millions of others would not have been nearly as successful as they have been.

“The costs associated with raising money and administering Gift Aid in this way are far outweighed by the overall value to the thousands of charities who choose to partner with JustGiving to help them raise funds.”



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