The Good Exchange has become the latest online giving platform to revamp its fee charging structure. From today (1 October) it will not charge any fees to organisational funders and individual donors but will instead move the cost to those benefiting from the fundraising activity. The digital matching platform is charity owned and links funders and donors with good causes. In June it added WhatsApp functionality to allow people to alert others to fundraising projects. Previously it had charged a platform service fee to donors and funders that was linked to money raised via the platform. But following the results of surveys it carried out among charity sector representatives and users it has decided to make the service free for those donating money to good causes. “Results from both surveys overwhelmingly agreed that the use of online platforms is seen as a cost of fundraising, attributable to the charitable organisations benefitting from funds raised in this way, said a Good Exchange statement. "This feedback has driven the announcement to make the platform free to use for funders and donors, with fundraising organisations receiving money through the platform holding ultimate responsibility for payment.”
Funders and donors will also have the option to contribute to fees when giving a grant or making a donation. “As we’re a non-profit organisation, owned by a charity, we’re always looking for ways to deliver innovation in the most fair, transparent and sustainable way possible,” said Ed Gairdner, Chief Operating Office of The Good Exchange. “After taking into account views from across the charitable sector where it was clear that the use of online platforms is a cost of fundraising attributable to fundraising organisations, we’re delighted to be announcing this new approach to payment for using our online platform. "Whilst we would love to provide a completely free service, our users appreciate that to deliver our vision of closing the charitable funding gap, we must continually enhance our offering to attract new funders and donors - and this costs money." Last month Virgin Money Giving announced plans to extend its scheme whereby donors can cover all charity fees. It already offered the option to cover platform fees but from last month donors could also cover the cost of the payment processing fee. In March JustGiving removed platform fees for UK charities following concerns around its charges for fundraising around major disasters.