JustGiving: a ‘for profit, for good’ platform for online giving.

Exhibited by
Meredith Niles
Added
November 11, 2014
Medium of Communication
Online
Target Audience
Individuals
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
UK
Date of first appearance
2000

SOFII’s view

JustGiving was a true pioneer in online giving and has made it easy for individuals from all over the world to raise thousands and thousands of pounds for the charities of their choice.

Creator / originator

Zarine Kharas and Anne-Marie Huby, the co-founders.

Summary / objectives

JustGiving is the world’s leading social giving platform. Its mission is to connect the world’s causes with people who care about them. 

Background

JustGiving was set up in 2000, when the future of the Internet as a donation channel was still unproven and only the largest charities would have had a website featuring an online donation mechanism. 

Special characteristics

JustGiving dramatically reduces friction in the giving process, creating massive value for charities.

  • For peer-to-peer events-based fundraising, the platform eliminates the need for paper forms, reducing sponsorship from a two-step (ask for a pledge, then collect) process to a single, seamless process.
  • It allows donors to give in one of eight currencies through a range of vehicles (credit card, debit card, PayPal, free text donations) with pages that are optimised for any device (desktop, mobile, tablet).
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow charities to code income by donor and event, eliminating waste and duplication.
  • APIs that replicate core services on JustGiving and allow for seamless page creation via charity or partner websites.
  • JustGiving handles GiftAid reclaim automatically, eliminating the need for cumbersome form completion and processing and significantly increasing the rate and total amount of GiftAid available to great causes.

The platform empowers fundraisers to tell their own stories, easily personalising their fundraising pages with bespoke fundraising targets, photos, video, and regular updates, and to share those stories through seamless integration with social channels so they can reach an even wider audience.

Most importantly, as a ‘for profit, for good’ company, JustGiving reinvests its profits into continuous development of the site, constantly optimising and adapting as the online giving market changes.  Its innovations – free text giving via personalised codes, social integration, etc – have been developed as a collective good for the sector, available to any charity that wishes to join the platform.

No charity knows when it might be the recipient of massive public interest like that generated through the inspiring efforts of individual fundraisers like Martha Payne, a young woman who raised over £160,000 for Mary’s Meals through her blog Never Seconds, or an event, like Richard Hammond’s rescue by Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which inspired the public to generate over £250,000 for the charity.  As such, it doesn’t make sense for individual charities to invest in the infrastructure required to cope with such a significant, concentrated outpouring of support.  By providing its platform to the sector as a whole, JustGiving enables any charity to be ready when such an opportunity arises, eliminating considerable amounts of waste through unnecessary duplication.  Even the smallest charity, without any digital resource and/or ability to invest in bespoke text-to-donate codes, can benefit from the JustGiving platform, significantly increasing return on investment (ROI).

Influence / impact

As of September 2014, JustGiving has enabled charities to raise over £1.6bn.  There are currently over 13,000 charities active on JustGiving, generating around 1,000,000 fundraising pages and 1.5bn Facebook impressions annually, figures that are growing each year.  Some vivid examples of the power of JustGiving in action include:

  • Stephen Sutton’s fundraising page. By creating a page that could be accessed by any member of the public at any time, Stephen Sutton was able to generate over £4.9m in funds via 180,800+ individual donations for his charity of choice: Teenage Cancer Trust.  Inspiring citizens around the globe to support his efforts, his page generated donations from 83 countries, from Andorra to Zimbabwe.  At the height of interest in his page, there were over 11,000 individuals visiting his page on JustGiving at the same time. There is virtually no way that any single charity website could have coped with the volume of interest generated by Stephen’s amazing fundraising efforts without falling over. JustGiving voluntarily boosted its server capacity during peak periods to ensure that the site would be live continouslyand available.
  • Following the tragic collapse and subsequent death of Claire Squires, who was attempting to raise £500 for Samaritans UK during the 2012 London Marathon, JustGiving was able to manage 13,500 concurrent users generating 133 page views per second, ultimately resulting in over £1,000,000 being raised for the charity in Claire’s name.
  • During the 2013 London Marathon, JustGiving was able to accept donations from 137 different countries, including over £300k from smartphone users on the go on the day of the Marathon itself.     

Merits

I believe JustGiving is the most transformational development in the UK charitable sector since the introduction of street face-to-face fundraising.  The amount of money it has been able to generate for great causes is unparalleled. The way it has empowered individual fundraisers to tell their stories to millions of people and enabled them to respond easily with donations has forever altered the landscape of giving.

SOFII's I Wish I'd Thought Of That London 2014: Meredith Niles presents JustGiving: a ‘for profit, for good’ platform for online giving.

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Stephen’s fundraising page inspired people around the globe and generated donations from 83 countries, from Andorra to Zimbabwe.
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Stephen Sutton generated over £4.9m in funds via 180,800+ individual donations for his charity of choice: Teenage Cancer Trust.
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JustGiving streamlines peer-to-peer giving to a single, simple process.