Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Hidden Cost of Online Fundraisers

The Hidden Cost of Online Fundraisers

Like many rescue organisations, Moving Paws Inc is active on social media, including Facebook. There are a number of benefits to social media – we can keep our supporters updated, raise awareness of important issues, and promote fundraising activities. Platforms like Facebook are very popular and free to use, so this can be extremely useful for non-profit organisations like us.

Social media also allows us to promote our fundraisers in a way we could only have dreamed about a few years ago.

Recently we have seen a number of Facebook posts and websites asking for people to vote for particular charities to receive grants, or to donate to indirect fundraisers via third party websites. However, some online fundraisers aren’t as straightforward as they appear.

The voting websites can be problematic. They will usually ask you to submit some personal details to ‘validate’ your vote. We ask our supporters and friends to be very wary of submitting personal information, as you are likely to end up on mailing lists begging for more votes and/or donations. We also cannot vouch for the security of any personal information you submit to other websites.

External fundraising websites charge fees for their service. The fees are charged to the charity by being deducted from donations before any funds are passed on. Some charge monthly or quarterly ‘platform fees’, and the majority charge transaction fees and credit card fees. This means that if you donate via a third party website, not all of your donation goes to your chosen cause. In some cases this can significantly affect the bottom line of the organisation you have chosen to support.

These websites may work well for large charities, but for us the fees are prohibitive.  We have stopped promoting a lot of these posts.

There are also websites promoting pet rescue that solicit for donations – however, only a portion of the donations actually go to the animals. The rest is used for website costs and staff salaries. These websites are not directly involved in rehoming pets but provide a list of adoption organisations along with general information. The need for these directory-type websites is debatable, as most rescue organisations have their own websites and social media pages which can easily be found with an online search. We believe the limited funds available from fundraisers could be better spent helping rescue organisations directly.

We support transparency in all forms of fundraising. Before voting or donating online, please review the website carefully to check where your information and money are going. How are the donations spent? Are there fees involved? Will you be contacted in the future or will your information be sold/passed on to other organisations?

The direct approach is usually best. If you would like to support Moving Paws Inc with a donation (however big or small), please see our donation page where we happily provide the details so that you can send it directly to us via PayPal or our bank account. That way there are no fees or very limited fees with no commissions – but direct support for our rescued dogs and numerous expenses.

We (and the dogs) are extremely grateful for your support.

Thank you for reading! Please share our blog, browse our website, and check out Moving Paws Inc on Facebook and Instagram.

Regards, Debbie - Founder - Moving Paws Inc.

This blog post sponsored by Bluehound Content Studio