It all started with a rant on Twitter by Eze Vidra (Google+, Twitter, Linkedin), Head of the Google Campus in London, whogets to organize several of these kinds of events (not necessarily for Google) :
Why does it have to be so hard to organize an event for charity? getting frustrated with Eventbrite, Justgiving and existing tools.
— Eze Vidra (@ediggs) July 25, 2012
I asked Eze to provide a few more details so he emailed me his concerns, which I reproduce below (I did a slight editing to improve readability):
In a nutshell, once the money goes [into a ticketing tool like] JustGiving, it’s not going back. That’s great for the donation front but it’s hard to separate the costs, which for events like this are quite significant.
Here are the problems:
- Eventbrite waived their own fees, but there is still a payment fee of £5 at least for [Credit Card] processing
- JustGiving just passes the money to the charity, but you can’t separate the cost from the donation
- It’s hard to set up a ‘group’ page in Justgiving – so managing a group of people donating to the same cause isn’t very straightforward
- The charities are thinly streched and can’t provide much support
- The platforms are for profit businesses that take a cut from every transaction
- There’s no great solution for promotion, communication, raising money AS A GROUP and not as individuals (think The Gifts Project that was acquired by eBay for chairty instead of shopping)
- How can you pay two groups – the logistical organizer of the race and the charity?
Right now, my only solution is SPONSORS, will pay the organizer all the costs. PARTICIPANTS will raise money that goes directly to charity. Hard to get sponsors, and manage the whole transaction process.
As Eze tweeted later, “The net needs a new product aimed at charity events and group/social donation…” so if you work at a ticketing company or were thinking of developing something, it seems that there’s a need for such a tool.