Virgin Money Giving will allow donors to cover all costs

From 1 September, the fundraising platform says, donors will be able to opt to pay all the payment-processing and platform fees payable by charities that use the site

The fundraising platform Virgin Money Giving is to allow donors to cover all the costs faced by charities when making donations through its website.

Virgin Money Giving said that from 1 September donors could opt to cover all the payment-processing and platform fees payable by charities receiving donations through the website, which the company said was a UK first for a fundraising platform.

The platform’s payment-processing fee will also rise to a 2.5 per cent flat rate from the same date, Virgin Money Giving said.

The card-processing fee is currently 1.45 per cent for Visa and Mastercard transactions and 1.6 per cent for those made through Paypal.

A spokesman for Virgin Money Giving said the 2.5 per cent flat processing fee would bring it in line with processing costs and the rest of the market, and pointed out that JustGiving charged 1.9 per cent plus 20p on every donation.

Donors were already able to pay the 2 per cent platform fee, also called a donor covers fee, a change that was announced in November 2018.

This means that when the platform and payment processing fees are combined, donors can pay the equivalent of an additional 45p on every £10 donation through the Virgin Money Giving website.

The charity said that since it introduced the donor covers fee 85 per cent of donors had chosen to add the fee to their donations.

The changes will also allow Virgin Money Giving to extend donations to "alternative digital payment methods", the company said.

Jo Barnett, executive director of Virgin Money Giving, said the platform remained "committed to fair and transparent pricing".

She said: "While you can’t run a fundraising platform for free, you can run it without taking a profit so more goes to good causes.

"As a not-for-profit business, we don’t make a profit from people’s generosity. Unlike other fundraising sites, our low fees cover only our operating costs. We don’t charge charities monthly fees and we don’t apply a fee for Gift Aid. This means more money goes to good causes rather than into the pockets of shareholders."

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