Co-operative Bank and Charity Choice team for online donation service

Source: Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank and, the leading online directory that puts charities directly in front of potential donors, have joined forces to launch an online donation service that is available, free of charge, to all UK registered charities.

Following the successful development of the online version of the Charity Choice directories, which now receives more than 99,000 visitors each month, it became clear that whilst charities benefited from being able to put themselves in front of potential donors using the Charity Choice website, few of them had the facilities for taking online donations.

Whilst some charities have their own online donations facility, there are a variety of reasons why many do not:

  • smaller charities do not have the experience or resources to manage and maintain complicated web development
  • those that do experience problems with reliability and security a powerful "back office" administration tool is required to manage donations
  • debit/credit card transaction charges are high for individual charities
  • external donation service providers can demand administration fees and a share of donations.

As a direct result, Charity Choice approached The Co-operative Bank, who have had a great affinity with the charity market in the UK for many years, to see if it was possible to put together a tailor made financial solution in order to facilitate the launch of the service. Consequently, The Co-operative Bank provided the secure and trusted payments solution on the Charity Choice online donations service.

The new service, which has now been piloted and tested for several months, provides charities, who may otherwise be unable to benefit from securing on-line donations, with:

  • a free, reliable and secure donation facility
  • full administration functionality
  • pooling of donations to minimise third party transaction costs
  • agreement that no fees will be levied on donations by either Charity Choice or The Co-operative Bank

Demand for the new service has surprised both partners with over 1,000 charities already signed up to the service, and hundreds more joining each month, making it the largest of its type in the UK. As the service grows all charities will see additional benefits as charities will effectively be working together to keep card issuer charges, based on volume, as low as possible.

Chris Owens, The Co-operative Banks Customer Relationship Manager, said, "We are extremely pleased to be able to provide Charity Choice with the necessary support in order to make this happen. The response to the pilot has been overwhelming and has quickly made this service the natural choice for UK charities. We hope that it proves a valuable source of income for those charities in the coming years, and that many more charities and donors take advantage of the service".

Polly Avgherinos, Charity Choice's Publishing Director said, "Charity Choice is delighted to officially launch this service, which for the first time will make receiving online donations a reality for all UK charities – regardless of their size or fundraising budget. We are grateful to The Co-operative Bank for working with us on this project and for their agreeing with us not to levy any charges or commissions on donations made using the service. Everyone at Charity Choice is very proud of the service we have developed, one which we think will make a real difference to the income of thousands of UK charities."

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