New guide launched to help charities choose online giving platforms

9th October 2014

Making the most of digital donations: A practical guide to selecting and using online giving platforms  has been launched today by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and Charity Finance Group (CFG). Sponsored by and produced in collaboration with Crowe Clark Whitehill (CCW), the guide aims to support charities in understanding how online giving platforms work and explains the key issues for charities to consider when choosing which ones to use when fundraising.

This new guide will be a valuable resource for all charities that are looking at how they can maximise their fundraising by working with online giving platforms. The guide will be of particular use to smaller charities or those that may need guidance on how online giving platforms work and what they need to do when working with different partners.

As well as helping fundraisers and charities in developing their online presence to reach new supporters, it will also support those responsible for financial processes and procedures in charities by enabling them to understand the practicalities of how online giving platforms work alongside due diligence checks that each charity should be aware of.

Included in the Guide are sections on:
• What are online giving platforms and how do they work?
• How to assess the right method of taking donations via a third party site
• Processes and considerations when using online platforms
• Understanding the risks – due diligence and security
• Best practice tips and case studies

Making the most of digital donations: A practical guide to selecting and using online giving platforms  is available for free download on the websites of both Charity Finance Group and Institute of Fundraising and can be accessed at or

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive, Institute of Fundraising said:

“Online giving continues to grow rapidly. As the market continues to expand it is important that our members, and all charity fundraisers, feel confident in understanding how online giving platforms work so that they can make an informed decision about which ones they want to use. We hope that this guide will help charities engage with online platforms and enable them to fundraise most effectively.”

Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive, Charity Finance Group said:

“The last few years have clearly demonstrated to the sector that accepting donations online is an essential way of keeping up with donors’ behaviour. However charities can often feel daunted when faced with a sea of providers to choose from.”

“We are delighted to launch this practical guide for charities in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and Crowe Clark Whitehill that will support charities to make strategic decisions when choosing a provider. We hope that the guide encourages those responsible for finance and fundraising in charities to work closely together to have an informed conversation about the considerations and needs of their organisation when making their assessment of all the options available.”

Pesh Framjee, Head Non for Profits, Crowe Clark Whitehill said:

“Online giving will become an even more important channel as charities continue to look for different ways of raising funds for their vital work. With an increasing number of providers and different types of arrangements it is important that charities and donors understand the options and the arrangements and know what to look out for to ensure that they are making the right choices. There are important issues to consider and this publication will help understand what these are."

“We are pleased that we have been able to support this important and somewhat overdue initiative.”


Notes to the editors:
1. Making the most of digital donations: A practical guide to selecting and using online giving platforms is a publication that explains what charities should consider when choosing between online giving platforms. It aims to support charities to understand and manage the potential risks when taking payments online. It also includes a range of best practice tips and case studies.

2. Charity Finance Group’s (CFG) vision is to inspire the development of a charity sector that is financially confident, dynamic and trustworthy. CFG works with finance managers to enable them to give the essential leadership on finance strategy and management that their charities need; promoting best practice in charity finance, driving up standards, campaigning for a better operating environment and ensuring every pound given to charity works harder. CFG has more than 2,200 members, and collectively our members are responsible for the management of over £19bn in charitable funds.

3. The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) is the professional membership body for UK fundraising, representing 5,500 individual members and over 400 organisational members.  Our mission is to support fundraisers, through leadership, representation, standards-setting and education, and we champion and promote fundraising as a career choice.

4. Crowe Clark Whitehill (CCW) is one of the UK’s top 10 audit firms, ranked by independent surveys as the lead provider of audit and related services to the charity sector. We are a member of Crowe Horwath International, ranked among the top 10 global accounting networks with over offices worldwide. We specialise in providing audit, tax, evaluation, governance, performance measurement, risk management, structuring and other consultancy services to not for profit Organisations. Our hands-on involvement with matters facing not for profit organisations ensures that we are at the cutting edge of new developments in the sector and that our clients are at the forefront of current thinking and best practice.

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