The online donation platform JustGiving has defended its business model after the Daily Mail newspaper accused it of making excessive profits that were not explained to donors.
In a story published today, the Mail said the firm, which allows people fundraising for charity to solicit donations from friends and family online, takes a cut of more than 6 per cent from almost all donations. The newspaper said that JustGiving’s fees were significantly higher than those charged by rival donation platforms such as Virgin Money Giving, MyDonate from BT and Givey.
The article said many people would not be aware that the company, which helped fundraisers to collect a total of £440m for good causes last year, "takes more than £20m a year from fundraisers" and spent more than £10m on staff costs last year.
But JustGiving has defended itself, saying that its higher fees enabled it to offer a better service and to raise more money for good causes overall.
A spokeswoman for JustGiving said in a statement: "Charities and their supporters deserve the very best – not the cheapest – and we remain committed to investing in the best technology and service to ensure every fundraiser and charity raises more on our platform.
"Our success in growing giving demonstrates the success of our sustainable for-profit for-good model compared with other lower-cost or free services that are starved of investment and offer a poor service, letting the sector and the fundraiser down."
She added: "We’re enormously proud that more charities and fundraisers choose JustGiving than any other fundraising site because we help them raise more, net of fees."
The Mail article is accompanied by a grid showing how much different giving platforms charge in fees, using a layout and information about JustGiving that is available on its website.
According to JustGiving’s accounts filed with Companies House for the year to 31 December 2015, the company had a turnover of £21.6m and spent almost £11m on staff costs.