The Daily Telegraph
Slain Pc fundraising site refuses to waive its fee
JustGiving declines to bow to pressure and will continue to take 5p for every pound donated
THE website running a fundraising campaign to raise money for the family of murdered policeman Pc Keith Palmer will not waive its five per cent fee, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
The fundraising page set up by JustGiving for the Metropolitan Police Federation has nearly raised £670,000 by late afternoon on Friday.
This means that JustGiving – which pockets 5p of every pound donated – is likely to receive nearly £30,500 in fees. The site gave £10,000 to the fund when it started, which would give it a £20,500 profit so far.
So far more than 27,000 donors, many of them anonymous, donated to the fund and chose to leave moving messages on the site as tributes to Pc Palmer who was knifed to death in the grounds of Parliament by a terrorist on Wednesday.
One donor, who gave £30, wrote: “You gave your life serving your country and its people. I am one person in a sea of grateful individuals” Another, who gave £20, said simply “Deepest sympathy”. A third donor who offered £10 to the fund wrote: “Condolences”.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Federation said that the organi- sation was “not happy” about the cash going to JustGiving and not to Pc Palmer’s family and is now planning to ask a chief constable to write to JustGiving for a further contribution.
He said: “The unfortunate thing is that they are a business and there is no other way of doing it other than asking people to go to bank and pay the money in over the counter.”
David TC Davies MP, a former serving police officer, said: “A lot of us would like to donate to Pc Palmer’s family, particularly those of us who were served by his actions on that day. Really I hope that JustGiving will waive their five per cent fee on this occasion.”
Lord Paddick, a Liberal Democrat peer, who as Brian Paddick was a Metrpolitan Police officer for 21 years, added: “Bearing in mind the bravery of the officer – an unarmed man tackling a violent knifeman leaving a distraught family behind – surely JustGiving can in these exceptional circumstances waive their fee?”
A spokesman for JustGiving said that it would not be waiving the fee, pointing out that the website had made a donation of £10,000 to the fund. She said: “As with all our appeal pages, we take a small charge on donations, which enables us to provide the most robust and always-on platform that can handle high levels of traffic and meet the highest international security standards.
“This enables our users to raise more money, from all over the world, when it is needed most.
“The crowdfunding page, which went live at 9.13am [on Wednesday], raised over £4,000 in the first two hours.
“In just over six hours, more than
‘Given the bravery of the officer, who leaves a family behind, surely JustGiving can waive their fee?’
5,500 people had donated to the page and it reached its initial £100,000 target.”
Last month JustGiving was accused of taking more than £20 million from fundraisers at the same time as paying staff up to £200,000.
The website takes a cut from most donations. While some of the money is used for maintenance, product development and charity training, accounts allegedly show that more than £10 million was spent on staff costs last year.
This reportedly included an average salary of more than £60,000 for some directors, sales and administration workers, while the boss of the firm is said to have earned an estimated £198,000, the Daily Mail reported.