Small charities will be hit the hardest by the impending closure of the fundraising platform BT MyDonate, reactions on Twitter suggest.
The site, which has offered a commission-free fundraising platform for charities since 2011, will close at the end of June, BT announced yesterday.
The company said it would 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 for launch across the UK later this year. This would build, it said, on its national educational Barefoot programme, which had now reached two million schoolchildren across the UK.
Many Twitter users responded to the news by pointing out that small charities would be particularly affected by the loss of the site.
Terrible news for 1000s of small #charities that #BTMyDonate is closing. #VirginMoneyGiving would've taken £1,819 from our state school in commission last year + £180 Charity listing fee. #JustGiving a scandalous £2,637 + £468!!! #mydonate #BT #BTplc— gdd (@snakeonbeach) January 21, 2019
The closure of @BTGroup #BTMyDonate is a disaster for small organisations. Other platforms cost more or had higher fees and in our *unscientific* research MyDonate always came out as the best site. This will mean so much work for #smallcharities@NCVO @NAVCA @sccoalition @ACEVO— Cambridge CVS (@CambridgeCVS) January 21, 2019
So surprised about MyDonate closing - it's such a good platform for smaller charities who can't afford JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving. Really genuinely gutted for @BTgroup and all the charities who used it. https://t.co/71i1a5fz3n
— Ottilie (@_Nolnacs) January 21, 2019
For the smaller microcharities, #BTMyDonate meant more than commission-free fundraising. It welcomed those too small for Charity Commission registration or not yet Gift Aid registered - a service rivals don't offer #smallbutvital https://t.co/1PEjbGDcA0 @sccoalition @andy_hillier— Nicola Miller (@commsaddict) January 21, 2019
As if being a small charity wasn’t hard enough, @bt_uk #BTMyDonate is closing down. Not only will we need to now pay fees to a new platform provider, we’ll need to spend valuable time on extra admin. #disappointed— QPCS PTFA (@QPCS_PTFA) January 21, 2019
Others pointed out that the loss of BT MyDonate and the closure in March of JustTextGiving amounted to a double-whammy for small organisations.
Really disappointing news - BTMyDonate is closing down. With the loss of JustTextGiving as well, there's a reduction in the availability of 'free'/lowcost fundraising solutions for very small groups. https://t.co/sH2CPHPSWS— Mike Wild (@MikeWildMacc) January 21, 2019
Some users pointed out that it would take time to find alternative fundraising websites to use.
So frustrated BT Mydonate is closing! I'm a trustee of a #SmallButVital charity and spent this last Sunday afternoon setting up a BT Mydonate profile. Now we need to waste time choosing and setting up a new provider rather than serving our community @bt_uk— Kim Mullard (@kim_mullard) January 21, 2019
BT re-emphasised yesterday's statement that it would assist charities affected by the closure and that it remained committed to investing in community initiatives, including helping people of all ages across the UK to develop essential technology skills and supporting national education programmes such as Barefoot.
About 12,000 charities are registered on MyDonate, of which some 7,000 have received donations in the past six months.