Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

Virgin puts cat amongst Just Giving pigeons

Howard Lake | 14 April 2009 | Blogs

Virgin announced the launch of Virgin Money Giving to a mixed response from the sector.
Predictably, some believe that grubby commercial brands should not be involved with offering these services.  Others believe that any service which encourages people to give and fundraise for as many causes as possible is a positive step forward.
Personally I have no issue with brands like Virgin helping me to both donate and fundraise.  The more innovation the sector experiences, hopefully, the more it will become the norm rather than the exception (which, some notable exceptions aside, is too often how it seems in my humble opinion).
That said, there might be a couple of concerns to consider:

  1. Commercial brands like Virgin have a fairly tried and tested business model for entry into a new market space; penetration pricing.  This means a low initial charging structure which has the potential to be increased once a following is built and we are all too tied in to worry about the rigmarole of changing back to Just Giving.
  2. Virgin has other sources of revenue to subsidise this low charging structure and I simply don’t know enough to say whether Just Giving can compete financially

I hope there is enough room in the sector for both to continue to innovate and help charities of all types over the medium to long term.  If this is the case, both Just Giving and Virgin should spur each other on to come up with the next round of great ideas for the rest of us to utilise.
If Virgin’s aims are perhaps more short term, however, why would any charity, during a recession, pay 72% higher charges than they need to and stay with Just Giving?  Perhaps a certain amount of scepticism about Virgin’s motives may prevent Just Giving’s customer base from leaving in droves.
 

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Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

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