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Charity giving site predicts rapid growth

Howard Lake | 23 October 2008 | News

A website that allows charities to collect donations online is predicting that the number of donors will increase from 3,000 when the site opened in 2006 to 30,000 by the end of this year. Mycharity.ie founder Niall Devine says that last year the number of donors rose to 17,000 and the 30,000 figure will be reached this year.
In an interview in the Irish Times Devine describes how he went from sponsored charity cycles for the National Council for the Blind to setting up the site which allows people to support others taking part in charity events.
Devine worked on the website on a part-time basis until April 2006 while still working with Nortel and watched the level of activity on the site slowly start to grow. Having seen the potential for the business, he decided to leave Nortel in June 2007. “It was a massive change in career but it has been absolutely fantastic. I always wanted to work for myself; it was just a question of finding the right idea. I have a huge interest in sport and having control over my own time allows me to indulge this interest,” Devine said.
“Our aim is to get 10 new charities a month on board. I spend a lot of time working with the developer on new services and features to attract new charities. We are getting about 35,000 visitors a month at the moment,” he says.
“The main thing we do and definitely the most powerful is that we give charities the ability to do their fund-raising online. We create a fund-raising page online and all the person looking for sponsorship needs to do is send out an e-mail to all his/her friends. It’s much easier and less time-consuming than physically taking sponsorship cards around to all their family and friends.”
Devine points out that people are much more generous with credit card sponsorship than they are with cash donations. The typical fundraiser on mycharity.ie raises two-three times the amount raised with sponsorship cards, he claims.
Each charity is charged €500 plus VAT per year to register on the site – a fee Devine maintains is very low relative to most costs.
The company also deducts 3 per cent from each transaction, most of which he says goes to paying credit card charges with the company keeping about 0.5 per cent.
He says he also gives the charities that register a moneyback guarantee – if they do not make at least €500 back, he will refund them the difference.