Tuesday 14 May 2013

Using JustGiving For Your BJJ Charity Event

There are quite a few online fundraising platforms available now, but the most reliable is probably JustGiving (the US equivalent is FirstGiving, but you can donate to JustGiving from the US and indeed anywhere else in the world that has an internet connection). This is the site that colleagues at the charity where I work recommended to me: it isn't buggy, it is unlikely to break in the middle of donating and it is easy to use.

I take advantage of the 'team' feature on JustGiving, which enables me to combine everybody's individual totals into a single page. It is simple to set up a team page, which I'll cover in a future post. For now, I wanted to share the steps I send to people when they ask me how to set up a page to join a GrappleThon (although now I can just link to this post: hooray! ;D). Setting up a team isn't entirely dissimilar.

Setting Up A JustGiving Page For A GrappleThon Team

1. Go to http://www.justgiving.com

2. Enter an email address to sign up, or go via Facebook, then fill in your details.

3. After you create an account, click on ‘Create a page’ under the ‘For fundraisers’ bit at the bottom of the screen.

4. That will open a new window, with a box saying ‘Search for the cause you want to support’. Search for the charity you want to support and select it. However, be careful: there may be several other similarly named but completely separate charities.

5. Another window will open. Click on ‘Personal challenge’ under ‘Doing your own thing’.

6. Yet another window. In the first bit, click the arrow by ‘Please select an activity’ and select ‘an appeal for a charity’. In the box under that, I’d suggest writing ‘grappling’, ‘sparring’ or something like that.

7. Click ‘No’ in the next section, then fill in your desired url in the ‘Choose your JustGiving web address’ part.

8. Finish by clicking ‘Create your page’. You should now be able to fill in your new page. You can fill it in however you want, but if you’d like some ideas, this is what I wrote in 2013: http://www.justgiving.com/grapplethon2013

9. It may be worth extending the deadline, to make sure your page doesn't expire before the event. When you edit your page, there is an option on the right hand side under ‘Page settings’ that says ‘Extend your page’. Click on that, then change the deadline to as far in the future as you'd like (the cut-off is several years).

10. You may also want to change your theme, depending on what the default theme for the charity you've chosen looks like. From the same screen that has 'extend your page', click on 'Change your theme' (this will be above the box that says 'Create a video update'). You want to make sure your page is easy to read.

11. Go to the GrappleThon team page and select 'Join the team' to add your page: for the 2016 event in support of One25, that is here.

12. Raise lots of money by promoting your fundraising page among friends and family (so, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc)! :D

Other Platforms

The negative side is that JustGiving does charge charities to use it (around £15 a month) and they also take a percentage from Gift Aid (that's an additional 25% a charity can claim back from tax, as long as the person donating is a UK tax payer and isn't getting anything in return. Or at least that's the basic description: there are some grey areas). JustGiving has a description of how their fees work here, which is fairly clear.

If you want to avoid any fees for the charity, you have some other options. For example, one of the charities I regularly support, Equality Now, is on MyDonate, run by the large UK company, BT. I used that platform for the 2015 International Women's Day GrappleThon: here's a guide if you want to use MyDonate for your event. Another big UK company, Virgin, also has a charity site, Virgin Money Giving. Neither of them charge charities any ongoing fees (though Virgin Money Giving do charge charities a one-off sign-up fee), which sounds good, although they are not as reliable and robust as JustGiving.

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