Virgin Money Giving (VMG) will waive its platform fee on all donations until the end of lockdown.
The platform will will not charge its fee, which is normally set at 2%, on all donations and fundraising activity from 18 April.
VMG introduced a Donor Covers Fee option in November 2018, which gives donors the ability to cover the 2% platform fee on behalf of their charity. This was expanded in September 2019 to cover VMG's 2.5% payment processing fee. The feature has had the effect of making the service free for charities on over 80% of donations.
For the remainder of lockdown, the 2% platform fee will be removed and donors will still be given the option to cover the 2.5% payment processing fee for the charity.
'We want to make it that little bit easier for all the generous donors'
David Duffy, chief executive of VMG, said: “With many charities seeing a large drop in their fundraising contributions during lockdown, we want to make it that little bit easier for all the generous donors, fundraisers and the charities they support. We believe that a not-for-profit model is the only way for a digital fundraising platform like VMG to ensure as much money as possible goes to good causes while maintaining a safe, secure and user-friendly service.
“But in this extraordinary and challenging time, we wanted to do more to support the generosity of the public and our beloved charities. By covering VMG’s small platform fee for the rest of lockdown, we hope to help charities to raise much needed funds to continue their valuable work during the worst of this pandemic.”
Last week Richard Branson published a blog explaining how the platform works and where the idea came from.
“Virgin Money Giving doesn’t make a profit on any donations – and it never will,” he said.
“Charities that collect funding through Virgin Money Giving are only charged the minimum necessary to cover running costs. Virgin Money Giving also collects all Gift Aid for free for charities as well (other online donation sites have hidden charges on this).
“This means that Virgin Money Giving has raised tens of millions of additional funds for charities, compared to if fundraisers had used for-profit platforms. All hard-earned donations go directly to where they are needed most: to the cause. And to top it off, in the true spirit of our wonderful team at Virgin, charities are given the tools and information they need to run effective fundraising campaigns,” Branson added.