Debate: Are there too many fundraising websites where events can be listed?

New sites such as Virgin Money Giving and Bmycharity, now run by Help for Heroes, are offering competition

NEIL HARTmarketing manager, the London Early Years Foundation

Competition is healthy, on the whole, and fundraisers who want to have their own unique event pages will appreciate having a wide range of options. But there is a risk of overcrowding.

For a charity, it can be quite costly in terms of time and money to list events on several sites when your expected return is relatively low. There are also various different charging models, which can make it hard to weigh up the initial and long-term costs of fundraising for an event.

In the end, I suspect the market will probably right itself. When operators are fundamentally driven by not-for-profit motives, they soon recognise when someone else is providing a better solution for customers and move graciously aside.

 

PAUL ZANON, business development director, Down's Syndrome Association

I don't think the online giving market is more crowded than any other market offering online services.

At the moment, JustGiving is by far the most widely talked-about fundraising website. A shift of allegiance towards Virgin Money Giving or another company would not be an overnight process. There is a feeling that JustGiving works well, and it will take time for another organisation to gain that trust.

Competition is healthy. It helps products to evolve, which offers users the best all-round package. But in the current climate, organisations with a great model but a lack of financial muscle are struggling. Bmycharity is a recent example.

 

NICOLETTE DAWSONfundraising officer, Lepra Health in Action

We welcomed the introduction of new online providers with their promise of lower commission rates and higher Gift Aid benefits for charities.

JustGiving is still charging the highest commission, but because the site is easy to use and works like a social networking site, it still appears to be the most popular. As a charity with limited resources, we are under pressure to keep costs down and offer supporters the option of cheaper providers such as Bmycharity and Virgin Money Giving. But at the same time, we need to go where our supporters are.

Increased competition has delivered cheaper options, but we find ourselves juggling multiple memberships to the various providers to take advantage of commission savings.

 

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