We earned fees of £45,000 from Stephen Sutton campaign donations, says JustGiving

The sum, a percentage of the £2.7m his campaign for the Teenage Cancer Trust raised through the online giving platform, is less than a third of estimates made by the media

Stephen Sutton
Stephen Sutton

JustGiving earned fees totalling £45,000 from Stephen Sutton’s fundraising campaign for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported in May that the site stood to take at least £190,000 from the £3.8m raised by Sutton at the time; Metro put the figure at £180,000 and Sky News said the amount would be more than £148,000.

But a spokeswoman for JustGiving told Third Sector it had taken £45,000 so far from donations on Sutton’s page, once a £50,000 donation from JustGiving to the TCT had been taken into account.

The total amount raised by the campaign stands at £4.2m, but fees are not charged on this amount, which is shown at the top of Sutton's JustGiving page and includes offline donations. Instead, only donations that come through the page – currently worth £2.7m – are subject to a fee.

The spokeswoman told Third Sector the figure in response to an estimate in the magazine's analysis of online giving sites, published this week, which said the site had earned £147,000.

JustGiving had previously declined to say how much it had taken in fees. It had also faced calls on social networking sites including Twitter and Mumsnet to donate its proceeds from Sutton’s campaign to the TCT.

It had been expected to do so by many because it had waived its fees when Robert Berry died while running the London Marathon for the National Osteoporosis Society in April, and when Claire Squires died during the same event while fundraising for Samaritans two years ago.

Anne-Marie Huby, co-founder of JustGiving, told Third Sector last month that the company typically charged a 5 per cent fee on donations, but that charities receiving a large volume of donations were given discounts. "The TCT is currently on 4 per cent," she said at the time. "At the rate at which it's growing, that rate will drop to 3.5 per cent by the end of this year."

Sutton died from bowel cancer last month aged 19, after securing donations from people across the world for the TCT, whose annual income was previously about £12m.

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