As UK charities work tirelessly to make the world a better place whilst adapting to changing times, the public’s views on what it means to do good, what truly matters, and how best to make a difference, are constantly shifting.
Fundraising for charities is selfless by nature. Every day, individuals decide a particular cause or charity deserves their full attention, often turning to an online fundraising platform in order to raise awareness and generate donations. When people perceive something as bigger than their personal experience, it’s staggering to see the lengths they’ll go to in support of that cause. Fundraising is seldom about the fundraiser and his or her activity, and almost always about someone or something else.
It’s no surprise then, that fundraisers and donors are increasingly concerned about what happens to donations, how they get used, and how much of the money they raise or give reaches the charity. When fundraisers train for months through the year to complete a marathon, and when donors give hard-earned cash, they fully intend (and expect) every penny to reach the cause they are supporting. Charities need to provide the tools that fundraisers demand whilst trying to minimise platform fees and maximise the impact of cash they receive from supporters. Now, more than ever.
In recent years, some online platforms have come under scrutiny for the fees, charges and the appropriate use of Gift Aid. Is there a place for profit in the fundraising environment? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a way to remove transaction charges, monthly subscription fees and tip jars?
In 2016 we launched the Wonderful Organisation as the only platform to ensure every penny reached the charity. We did this by adopting a model which is not without precedent in many other arenas, such as sports or the Arts: corporate sponsorship. After its launch, wonderful.org exploded in popularity and following a #1 ranking from the Money Saving Expert, millions of pounds of fee-free donations have been passed in full to our charities.
In March 2020 the Coronavirus pandemic changed everything. Charities have been hit hard, often with a double blow of increased demand on their services and a reduction in funding. And, just as the focus turned to survival for many, the Wonderful fundraising platform was forced into hibernation-to allow many of its voluntary staff to focus on their day jobs and adapt to unprecedented demands.
But in the words of Brad Pitt (!), “it’s those difficult times that inform the next wonderful time…”
Enter Open Banking
Fintech (Financial Technology) is developing at a blistering pace. Notably, Open Banking – which gives people more control over their transactions and financial data – is rapidly working its way into our lives. Clever new technologies are giving us much more control of our finances and simultaneously revolutionising how we make and receive payments. Importantly, this includes new and better ways to donate, not least through fundraising sites like wonderful.org.
It’s exactly this technology, that has allowed Wonderful to return with a bang-bigger and stronger than before.
We’re embracing Open Banking to bring real, significant and long-term improvements to online fundraising, and as ever, we won’t take a penny from charitable donations.
The re-launch of our platform brings lots to the table:
• A breath of fresh air for the donation experience-with no need to enter long card numbers, expiry dates or security codes;
• Better security – with direct payment to the charity, authorised by the donor’s own Mobile / Online Banking App;
• Instant access to funds, improving charities’ cash-flow;
• Improved reporting – for general transaction data, Gift Aid and some exciting new developments on the horizon in the Spring.
• Zero fees. No deductions. Just 100% free fundraising.
The success paradox – is it sustainable?
A solid and sustainable fundraising platform is vital for charities. While it’s important to keep pace with technology, there’s a need to ensure that fundraising channels are reliable.
With the closure of BT MyDonate in 2019, and with the Wonderful.org platform forced to pause activity more recently, charities have been left with a need for reassurance. But in Wonderful’s case, the resilience charities demand is exactly what Open Banking offers. It allows us to break through the ceiling placed upon our reach and impact by reducing payment-processing costs (which are met entirely by our corporate sponsors) by 90%. And it means that truly fee-free and innovative fundraising tools are a reality for UK charities.
Wonderful things are coming
It can be difficult to predict exactly what fundraising will look like as we continue into the 2020s, but it’s safe to say that the ways in which donors and fundraisers support charities will continue to evolve. As Fintech innovates, so will fundraising tools. And we have exciting plans and a jam-packed development roadmap. As well as helping donors and fundraisers to embrace Fintech for good, we’re responding rapidly to creative fundraising ideas, and we’ll be extending our reach beyond registered charities.
Register your charity now
Right now, any charity that’s been registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales or the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)for at least 12 months can apply via our ‘SpeedyBoarding’ process. As for fundraisers, let us, or your chosen charity know if they’re not already on board.
Get started at wonderful.org
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