Charities 'hesitating' to join new video-sharing website See the Difference

No guarantee of donors' details proves to be sticking point for site that aims to raise £500m

Limited access to donor details is prompting a number of charities not to sign up to a new video-sharing website that aims to raise £500m for charity in its first five years, according to the managing director of a major fundraising agency.

Mark Roper of Whitewater said some charities were not joining the See the Difference site because they would not necessarily be given the contact details of people who used it to make donations. Many other charities were still undecided on whether to sign up, Roper told Third Sector. "The sticking point for a number of them is the fact that the name of the donor is not necessarily released to the charity," he said. "But the upside is that the videos will be seen by a wider audience than they otherwise would be."

See the Difference will be a single port of call for people who want to make donations but are not sure which charity to give to. It is expected to include videos from 120 charities when it is launched this month.

Each charity must make a special video that is shown on the site and shared on other websites alongside the See the Difference logo. People who watch the videos and choose to donate will be directed to the See the Difference site, from which their donations will be processed by Virgin Money Giving.

Charities will be charged a 5 per cent commission on donations made by the site's users and will be given the contact details only of those donors who say they want to share them.

One large development charity had decided against using the site, said Roper, because it believed distributing videos through its own website and social networking sites such as Facebook was more cost-effective.

That meant the charity could direct donors to its own website, keep the contact details of all donors, then use them to make fundraising requests in future, he said.

But a spokeswoman for the charity denied this was the reason it had not joined and said it had not yet considered whether to do so or not.

A See the Difference spokeswoman said: "If a donor would like to share their details with the charity, they can of course do so. We are about giving choice to donors, so they can choose if they want to stay in touch when they make a donation."

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