Hit a Care button near you
A couple of weeks ago, charity donation middleman JustGiving unveiled the Care button. The Care button is a brand new social currency to allow anyone to express what they care about on the JustGiving platform and beyond.
The Care button, which will be rolled out across charity pages on JustGiving over the next few weeks, enables a user to show they care about a cause instantly on any charity profile on the platform. It can also be embedded in a charity’s own website to allow followers to express their support for a cause in a single click.
As a tool to build long-term, ongoing relationships with supporters and attract the next generation of givers, the Care button is a stroke of genius.
“The button allows you to publicly express what you care about, and inspire others to do the same, and it is a way for donors to personalise their experience on JustGiving,” said Product Manager, Mark Waddingham. Charities will eventually be given insight into who has cared about them, enabling them to increase their reach, and grow their supporter community on the platform.
Who are you JustGiving to?
Since launching in 2001, JustGiving has enabled over 22 million people to raise $2.6 billion for over 13,000 charities. Last year alone it helped raise over $490 million for good causes.
With donations up 24 per cent and new users growing by 70 per cent every year, the company itself is growing at a rate of around 24 per cent, per year. JustGiving is the most visited charity giving portal in the world and was voted Best Giving Platform by the Institute of Fundraising Members at the 2014 Partners in Fundraising awards.
That’s impressive stuff.
But, JustGiving is also a for-profit social business, existing by charging charities a small fee on donations. The apparent discord between charity and making profit off of charity is something CEO Zarine Kharas faces on a day to day basis, and she has compelling arguments for those that would accuse her of shameless profiteering.
The benefits of charitable capitalism
Kharas grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. Her father was a civil engineer and her mother a home maker.
After studying Law at Cambridge and working in investment banking, Kharas founded JustGiving during the dotcom boom. Initially, she got very little support and was told the idea would never work.
Then, charities began to see the value in the efficiency a well-run and far-reaching internet giving platform could provide. Charities they pay for every other service they receive. There was an opportunity to provide a service that allows online donations. This saves charities millions that would have otherwise been spent on direct mail campaigns – which have no guaranteed return of donations.
Also, the immediacy of internet donations means they save on processing labour and an insane amount of time they might have spent canvassing. And, they save on shoes not trudging door to door as much.
Given the amount of distractions vying for our attention today, being able to give quickly and securely is a massive boon. The addition of the new Care button is the next phase in allowing charities to attract interest from people who genuinely care for a cause.