The Wonderful Organisation was launched in 2016, to address the problem that donations raised in the vast majority of UK fundraising campaigns were not being passed to charities in full. In fact, a sizeable chunk was being lost by charities to fundraising platforms’ administration charges, monthly subscription fees, card processing costs and deductions from Gift Aid.
Wonderful.org was launched as a totally fee-free alternative; with all costs covered by then-corporate sponsor, The Co-Operative Bank. But our model created a ‘success paradox’. Naturally, we wanted to support as many people as possible raising money for causes close to their hearts. However, the more fundraising that happened through our platform, the more card payments we had to process and the greater the cost to our corporate sponsors.
Fortunately, the card processing fees associated with our rapid growth didn’t exceed the Co-operative Bank's commitment to support our platform, but we were forced to pause operations in April 2020 (as a result of COVID-19 staffing challenges). The team took this enforced break as an opportunity to tackle the success paradox head on.
The Wonderful Organisation re-launched in March 2021 and our platform remains completely fee-free for charities, donors and fundraisers. Crucially, we now use A2A (account-to-account) payments technology, powered by open banking. We chose this approach over card payments because it is simple, fast and secure but most importantly, it offers cost savings to our corporate sponsors of 90% for a typical donation.
The meteoric rise of open banking offers the perfect solution. It allows us to provide incredibly low-cost transactions by eliminating card processing altogether, instead using secure, direct account-to-account transfers. This removes the ceiling on our reach and impact previously imposed by much more expensive debit and credit card processing fees.
When you work hard to raise money, we know you do so for the causes and people you care about, not for us. We’ll never deduct anything from donations or from Gift Aid, or charge charities subscription fees to our platform. And we don't expect you to pop a few quid in a tip jar either. Donations are passed directly and immediately from donors’ to charities' bank accounts – in full.
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Kieron has been a keen runner for decades, often dedicating his considerable mileage to good causes. These fundraising efforts led to the genesis of Wonderful Payments and the Wonderful Organisation, inspired by the realisation that many fundraising platforms took sizeable deductions from donations. To counter the strains any runner (or entrepreneur) is familiar with, Kieron is also a dedicated yogi who swears by his non-negotiable weekly restorative practice. Alongside his responsibilities at Wonderful Payments and the Wonderful Organisation, Kieron also serves on the board of the Fundraising Regulator.
Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful…
that’s what matters to me. Steve Jobs
Although Carmen hasn’t done an awful lot of running or cycling, her hiking boots do have some good wear to them (and probably a hole or two!). With a strong passion for travel, she’s completed treks in Costa Rica, Peru, Madagascar and Colombia. Having wonderful causes to clock up miles for is something that will always keep her pushing forward.
Not all those who wander are lost. J.R.R. Tolkien
A machine in the gym, Kingsley is always ready to pull his weight (and then some) for causes he cares about. If a charity had a pound for every push up he did… Well, we’ll be able to finish that sentence enough! On his rest days, the fundraising efforts don’t need to pause. He’ll be scoring goals left, right and centre on a PlayStation game-athon that’ll make him any charity’s (and thumb wars tournament’s) MVP.
Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window. Steve Wozniak