Take a little

The free fundraising lunch has come to an end.

Givealittle’s decision to start charging a 5 percent fee from September could put people off donating, says an organiser of the Awaroa beach fundraising campaign.

The crowdfunding website has not charged people anything to date, but it said it needed to now to ensure it could continue operating.

The amount raised on the website by individuals and groups has grown in the past three years from $500,000 a year, to $22 million a year.

Givealittle chief executive Tom Beyer said the fee would help ensure long-term stability.

“The growth and that generosity over the last three years has been quite phenomenal. It’s now at 40 times the volume that it was four years ago.

“And that volume of generosity comes with costs and we pay a lot of money in bank fees, and payment processing fees and web posting cost as well.

“And we have an awesome team that looks at every page created on the site before it can take donations.”

There were a total of 12 staff members working for the website.

Even with the fee, Givealittle would not make a profit, and the difference would be covered by the Spark Foundation, Mr Beyer said.

He did not know if the charge would put people off.

But Duane Major, one of the founders of the campaign to buy the Abel Tasman beach, said if a 5 per cent fee had been around then it may have been harder for the fundraisers to reach their goal.

“What you’d have to do is be transparent about it and say look we’re aiming for $2 million … and $100,000 [on top of that]. I suppose then, the choice then goes down to people who pledge – whether they’d be able to.

“I’d like to think we would have [reached our donation goal], but certainly it would’ve been another consideration.”

He said the fee would be a barrier for those wanting to raise much smaller sums of money.

Give a Little has been abused and trivialised by too many, but it seems especially unfair to take 5% off donations when you are trying to get a baby an operation, or a couple who lost everything in a fire a new start.? Perhaps there should be a cap to it.? 5% up to $500 perhaps?

11 staff?

Five percent of $22m is $1,100,000.?? That’s $100,000 per staff member.? And apparently that’s not even the total cost of running the service, as the Spark Foundation will continue to fund the shortfall.

Sticking a wet finger in the air, it appears Give a Little have been taking liberties at the free money trough provided by the Spark Foundation.? The Foundation has now capped the amount it is willing to donate towards the project, and Give a Little, instead of living within their means, are now coming for part of people’s donations.

Let’s hope the wet finger is wrong.


– Carla Penman, Mei Heron, RNZ