The Charities Aid Foundation has today launched a new service to help small and medium-sized charities process donations by card and direct debit.
The donations processing platform, called CAF Donate, is intended to ease the administrative burden of processing both online and offline donations. CAF said it will make it easier for charities to take both regular donations and one-off gifts.
CAF said the new platform is set apart from existing sites such as JustGiving and BT Donate, because it can be run in a charity's own website rather than that of a third party.
Chris Allwood, senior product developer at CAF, said it was also not a sponsorship site.
"It is about donors who want to give directly to a charity's cause or campaign. We make it easier for the charity to accept the donation, whether it is online or offline," he said.
It is also cheaper than JustGiving, which has faced criticism recently over its fees structure.
There is no set up fee or monthly charge for charities to use the platform, but a “small charge” is taken with every transaction depending on what package the charity has, CAF said.
Charities can choose between a basic profile or the full service.
The basic profile provides charities without their own website with an online page to fundraise through. The full service gives charities the tools to fundraise through their own website and via mobile phones and Facebook.
According to the fee schedule, for charities with the full service, charges include 3.6 per cent of the gross donations on one off payments by card and PayPal, and a collection fee of 2 per cent of the gross donation on direct debit payments.
With a basic profile, a transaction fee of 5 per cent is charged on gross donations made through CAF's website by card and PayPal.
CAF said it offers charities a tool, known as a widget, to allow supporters to donate without leaving the charity’s website, including reclaiming gift aid.
Allwood said: “Too often charities are put off setting up online giving because of the perceived cost, both in terms of processing fees and administrative costs. We’ve set up CAF Donate to make it easier for these charities to accept donations and fundraise.
“A number of charities have already adopted the platform and we hope that CAF Donate will help boost small charities’ income by making it even easier for their donors to give to them.”
Around 1,000 charities have had access to the platform since its soft launch last year. It is now being made generally available.