Making the most of digital donations

The Institute of Fundraising and Charity Finance Group have launched a free guide to selecting and using online giving platforms, entitled Making the most of digital donations.

The guide aims to help charities understand how online giving platforms work and explains key issues to think about when choosing which ones to use when fundraising. It also provides due diligence checks that charities should be aware of when choosing an online giving platform.

Questions about due diligence highlighted by the guide include considering how much is known about the online platform provider, what its reputation is like, does it have recommendations from other charities, how long has it been trading, is it backed by a larger commercial organisation or is it a smaller company with limited back up finances if something goes wrong? The guide states that it is important to consider what controls are in place for looking after the money donated and raised through the site.

The guide also reports that there have been cases where organisations raising and/or holding funds for charities have defaulted on their obligations. In some of these cases charities were protected and in others they have lost funds as the arrangement were not adequate to ensure the security of funds. It highlights a recent case where simple due diligence of checking the Charity Commission’s website would have shown that the charity provider had not filed audited accounts for a number of years.

It also states charities should review their ethical policies to ensure there are no conflicts of interest between them and the provider. If the website carries third party advertising, charities should find out what controls are in place to check that any ads that appear on a charity’s page are appropriate to its audience, and it is comfortable being associated with the company.

As well as due diligence and security considerations, the guide includes sections on how to assess the right method of taking donations via a third party site, best practice tips and case studies.

To download the guide visit