Friday, October 16, 2009

Virgin Money expands into online charity fundraising

15th October 2009

Virgin Money has launched its not-for-profit online charity fund-raising service as part of a drive to significantly increase the money going directly to good causes.

Its new service, which is already backed by hundreds of major charities, has officially opened to all fundraisers for all charity events across the country.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive of Virgin Money said: "At a time when trust in financial services is at an all time low it is time to embed social responsibility at the heart of what we do. I believe a well run business is one that treats its staff, customers, partners and suppliers well and uses some of its profits to make a valuable contribution to society. The launch of Virgin Money Giving is part of that developing picture at Virgin Money."

"Virgin Money is using its infrastructure and expertise as a financial services business to ensure that the new service is efficient, secure and offers a high quality service to all fundraisers, charities and donors. With over £¼ billion forecast to be raised for charity by London Marathon runners in the 5 years that Virgin sponsors the race this is clearly critically important."

Gadhia added: "As a not-for-profit business, charities and donors can be confident Virgin Money Giving has the right balance between charging the lowest fees possible while investing in the high-tech systems that will ensure the service's security and stability when processing donations".

Virgin Money has invested over £3million in the launch and used its experience as a financial services business to ensure the hi-tech system is fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security (PCI-DS) standards - ensuring card payments are processed as securely as possible is fully compliant with the Payment Services Regulations that will be introduced by the Financial Services Authority on 1 November offers charities a state-of-the-art reporting tool to help charities maximise the efficiency of their online fundraising efforts.

Research by Virgin Money among charities and fundraisers shows online giving is potentially more efficient than traditional sponsorship forms and collection tins and can increase the use of Gift Aid. However charities, who already receive around £100 million through online giving a year, wanted to see increased reliability and functionality from online giving services - and crucially, lower costs., which is free for fundraisers, charges a flat £100 + VAT registration fee for charities and a 2% fee on all donations before Gift Aid which means for every £10 donation charities will receive £12.46.

Commenting on the launch, Scott Jacobson, Director of Marketing & Fundraising at St John Ambulance said: "Online giving websites have revolutionised the way people fundraise. They make it much easier for fundraisers, like marathon runners, to collect donations from friends, family and colleagues. Virgin Money Giving has gone the extra mile by being not-for-profit, meaning that charities take home more of the funds raised, helping us move closer to our charitable aims."

Toni Fry, National Running and Challenge Events Manager at CLIC Sargent said: "The new Virgin Money Giving site is a fast, easy and clever way to raise money. CLIC Sargent depends almost entirely on voluntary donations from the public and with the help of more money will be going directly to help the children and families who need us."

Virgin Money Giving charges charities the minimum fees needed to cover the running costs of the site. Any money left over after covering operating costs will go towards reducing fees further or improving services for fundraisers and charities.

Charities have been able to register on the site since August 25th.

Fundraisers can personalise their pages, send out email alerts and manage the different events they might be taking part in. Users will be able to include their own content, photos and links to their page and will be able to customise messages for their supporters. Fundraisers will also be able to link their page to social networking sites. is the official sponsorship website of the Virgin London Marathon, Royal Parks Half Marathon and Sony ‘Run to the Beat'.

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