BT MyDonate platform to close

The phone company developed MyDonate in 2011 as the first commission-free donation service

The MyDonate website will close on 30 June, its owner BT has announced this morning.

When it was launched by BT in 2011, MyDonate was the first commission-free fundraising service. However, BT said this morning that fundraising technology had moved on significantly and many other fundraising platforms were now available for people and charities to use, several of which were also commission free.

It is unclear how much money BT has invested in MyDonate because it has never made public its financial accounts for the service. 

About 12,000 charities are registered on MyDonate, of which around 7,000 have received donations in the past six months.

The company will instead focus its community investments on helping its customers and communities get the most out of the digital world. It said it had a major new investment in digital skills planned to launch across the UK later this year. This would build on its national educational Barefoot programme, which had now reached two million schoolchildren across the UK.

BT said in a statement that its number one priority was to make sure that fundraising activities continued with as little disruption as possible.

It said in a statement: "BT developed MyDonate in 2011 as the first commission-free donation service, and we are extremely proud to have helped fundraisers and charities raise millions of pounds for great causes over the years. However, fundraising technology has evolved significantly in the last eight years, bringing many alternative fundraising platforms, including several fee-free offers, to the UK.

"In light of this, we have taken the tough decision to close MyDonate at the end of June 2019 and re-focus our outreach initiatives, which include helping people of all ages across the UK develop essential technology skills and supporting national education programmes such as Barefoot."

Keith Williams, general manager of JustGiving UK & Ireland, the UK's largest online donation platform, said in a statement that it was "saddened" to hear today’s announcement.

"JustGiving has always welcomed a competitive online giving sector to help us grow the world of giving," he said. "I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked at MyDonate over the years for being part of the online giving revolution that has raised so much for the causes we care about."

Guidance for MyDonate users

BT has also issued some questions and answers about how the closure will be managed. It says: 

When will the services close?

The MyDonate website will close on 30 June, 2019, by which time 70 per cent of the pages currently live will have expired naturally.

We’re a charity and take donations through MyDonate. What will happen after 30 June?

Donations made up to midnight 30 June, 2019, will reach charities within 30 days and we’re working with HM Revenue & Customs to make sure all Gift Aid is paid as quickly as possible. Your account will stay open for you to access your data.

What if my fundraiser ends after 30 June 2019?

You’ll still be able to accept donations until 30 June 2019. After this date donations will no longer be accepted. Any funds raised up to 30 June will be sent to your chosen charity.

Will this affect Gift Aid?

No. Charities will still get the Gift Aid they’re due, in the normal timescales.

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