While Brexit talks and the Spice Girls Reunion consumed most of our news feeds in March, it was also a big month for the third sector. Today, the BidAid team provide a round-up of all the noteworthy news stories and updates from the month, ensuring all of our blog readers and customers are up to date on the goings on of the ever-changing sector.   

Charities think Brexit will impact them negatively  

There has been much discussion around what impact Brexit will have on the third sector. And, with the conditions of our ‘deal’ changing all the time, the reality of life after leaving the European Union is anyone’s guess.  

In March, a CAF report revealed that charities were becoming increasingly concerned over what Brexit would mean for their organisations, with the report detailing a great deal of pessimism around the subject.  

Surveying 452 third sector leaders, the Charity Landscapes Report’s aim was to gain a true insight into stance and output. Published by the Charities Aid Foundations, it revealed the below statistics:  

  • 63 percent of charities thought Brexit would have a negative impact on their organisations directly  
  • 21 percent of the 452 charities said it would make no difference to their operation  
  • A mere two percent felt Brexit would not change their charity  
  • 14 percent said they did not know how or if anything would change for them 

"Most charities are pessimistic about the overall economy and are worried about what Brexit will mean: partly in terms of the impact on their own organisations, but even more so in terms of the impact on the people and communities they work with," says the report. 

JustGiving scraps platform fees  

While JustGiving has proved a vital tool for thousands of charities and fundraisers, it has been criticised over the years for accepting fees from UK charities. Where many have argued that the site deserves the fee for the service they provide, others see it as an obstacle, one that gets in the way of charities meeting their fundraising targets.  

This is why last month, JustGiving were thrilled to announce that they had scrapped the 5% platform fee; a change that came into force as of the 26th March. Now, those fundraising via the platform only have to foot the bill for the standard card processing fee of 1.9% plus 20p. This follows their decision to scrap fees associated with crowdfunding, disasters and major incidents. 

Keith Williams, JustGiving’s General Manager and Head of UK, said: 

“Today, JustGiving is taking an exciting step into the future by removing our platform fee. This change means lower costs for charities, transparency and choice for their supporters, and a sustainable future for the UK’s biggest and best platform for giving. 

“We’re incredibly proud of JustGiving’s history and are inspired by the generosity of our users, who have raised £3.8billion for charities since we launched 19 years ago.” 

India makes its biggest charitable donation ever  

While India is a country that receives some of the largest donations from UK fundraising, it is also a country that occupies some incredibly rich people. During March, India successfully positioned itself as a ‘giving’ country, with Billionaire tech tycoon, Azim Premji, donating a huge $7.5bn to charity.  

In what is being referred to as the country’s biggest ever charitable donation, the Wipro Chairman decided to pledge part of his $21.9bn net worth to the Azim Premji Foundation. The organisation is focused mainly on supporting education, as well as running the Azim Premji University in Bangalore. With this huge sum, the charity now plans to open a second university in the area, giving young people greater exposure to an increased number of opportunities in the country.  

Goldman Sachs parts with £19m for UK charities 

In March, Goldman Sachs announced details of its annual donations, revealing that over the course of the last 12 months they had pledged over £19m to various UK charities. Positioning itself as an ethically-minded, corporately responsible brand, Goldman Sachs supported organisations in arts, education, humanitarian relief, and sport.  

WWF under scrutiny  

Now, no month is complete without a charity-based scandal. In March, we saw wildlife charity, WWF, accused of committing human rights abuses. As one of the most reputable animal rights charities in the world, the nation was shocked to hear of ill practices taking place when the charity were carrying out nature conservation work. According to BuzzFeed, who led the investigation, the charity had been hiring guards who beat, tortured, sexually assaulted, and murdered people. 

A big month for BidAid.org  

Here at BidAid, March was an incredible month for us, listing some amazing items, experiences and pieces of memorabilia on our site. These included some unique pieces for the famous My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Founded in 2017 by former Scotland rugby international, Doddie Weir, the foundation was created following the sportsman’s diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease. While a huge shock to Doddie and the wider rugby community, he has turned a negative into a positive, launching this unique foundation to raise funds and aid research into Motor Neurone Disease. 

The items gained a great deal of interest and offered the foundation another way to meet their fundraising targets.  

How you can use the BidAid platform  

If you are wondering how the Bid-Aid platform works and how you can start making use of it, then head over to our ‘About Us’ page. There you will find all the information you need either as a charity or a customer interested in buying an item or donating to a chosen organisation.