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BT launches free charity fundraising website

The free platform rivals JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving

Charities expect to see more of the donations that are made to them online with a new, cloud-based fundraising website from BT.

There will be no cost to charities for registering on the BT MyDonate site, and no fees will be taken as a percentage of the donations. The only charge will be a credit or debit card transaction fee, charged by some card companies, which will be taken out of the donation amount.

This is in contrast to existing fundraising websites like Virgin Money Giving, which charges charities a one-off, set-up fee of £120, and a two percent fee of the donations, and JustGiving, which charges charities a monthly fee of £15, plus a five percent fee of donations.

Charities that have been involved with developing the new service, which includes Cancer Research UK, NSPCC, KidsOut, Changing Faces and Women's Aid, expect to see an increase in their income if people make online donations via BT's service.

"It would make a different of five percent in excess of our income," said David Cosham, CEO of children's charity KidsOut.

"More people will donate when they know that there are no overhead [costs]."

Cosham also believes that the 'live chat' function of the website, to help donators and charities with any issues, is a "major differentiator".

The technology behind BT MyDonate is based in a virtual data centre, and can cope with at least 20,000 concurrent users.

It also uses technology that BT already provides to its customers and in its Global Services business.

"We have used, as much as possible, our technology that's tried and tested, and integrated it," said Donna Young, corporate responsibility programme director at BT.

BT plans to continue developing the MyDonate service, in consultation with charities, and is looking to make it more mobile. It is also looking to supply a corporate version of the service, for companies' own fundraising efforts.

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