Charities flock to other platforms after BT MyDonate announces closure

Research by Third Sector finds that online fundraising platforms such as Virgin Money Giving and GoFundMe have benefited from the closure

Online donation platforms have reported a surge in the number of charities signing up to use their services after the announcement that BT MyDonate will close, research by Third Sector shows.

Virgin Money Giving, Wonderful, the Good Exchange, Go Fund Me, Local Giving and the Big Give all said they had seen an increase in the number of charities looking to use their platforms over the past week.

BT announced last Monday that it would be closing the MyDonate service, which it has run since 2011, on 30 June.

The platform does not charge charities commission for its service and the move is expected to affect mostly small and medium-sized charities.

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

Jo Barnett, executive director of Virgin Money Giving, told Third Sector it had experienced "a significant increase in charity registrations" in the week after the announcement. The company has waived its usual sign-up fee until 30 April.

Barnett said many of the registrations had been from "smaller, volunteer-led charities".

A spokeswoman for GoFundMe said: "We've seen a big year-on-year jump of 25 per cent this week in the number of charity campaigns being launched on our platform."

But she said it was unclear whether this was connected to the BT MyDonate closure.

Localgiving announced that it would give free annual membership to affected organisations. A spokesman said it had experienced an 80 per cent increase in the number of charities asking for information about joining and a 50 per cent increase in the number signing up since the offer was launched last week.

He said 40 per cent of groups whose pages with the service went online last week used the offer code to indicate they had been affected by the MyDonate closure.

Wonderful founder Kieron James said the platform saw a huge boost in sign-ups last week.

"In the first 24 hours after the announcement, we had more new charity registrations than we had in the first 12 months we were in operation," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Good Exchange said the company had received 30 applications to join from charities in the five days after the announcement, whereas it normally receives about three a day.

Alex Day, the director of the Big Give, said: "Since the announcement, we've seen a small spike in charity registrations on our site but anticipate this increasing over the coming months."

A spokeswoman for Total Giving said the platform had seen a few more sign-ups than usual, but "nothing huge".

Givey also saw an increase, a spokeswoman said, but added that it was too early to calculate exact figures.

JustGiving, one of the largest platforms in the market, declined to comment on whether BT MyDonate’s planned closure had had an impact on its sign-ups.

EverydayHero did not respond to a request for comment.

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