JustGiving criticised for refusing to waive Stephen Sutton £180k commission

Charity website instead decide to donate £50,000 to the recently deceased fundraising teenager

Donors who have contributed to the fundraising efforts of the teenage cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton have called on the charity website JustGiving to waive their £180,000 commission fee.

Stephen, who died on Wednesday after long battle with cancer, raised nearly £4 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust after his fundraising campaign was supported by a host of high-profile celebrities and shared on social media.

However JustGiving, the e-commerce company that managed Stephen’s fundraising page have decided against waiving the five per cent commission fee that is paid for use of their website and support services – which totals £180,000.

Instead, they decided to donate £50,000 to Stephen’s campaign.

In reaction to the news, there has been a wave of messages aimed at JustGiving’s social media sites that have criticised the company and have urged bosses to waive the fee.

Some Twitter users called the decision “not right” and "madness", while others said that the £180,000 would not cover the “free” publicity and marketing they had had as a result of Stephen’s campaign.

JustGiving has defended its decision to keep the fee and claimed that the reported £180,000 was well above the figure it actually received.

Rosalind Holley, the site’s head of marketing, claimed that the company needed to hold on to the funds to be able to provide service for campaigns like Stephen’s in the future.

She said: “We reinvest all our fees back into JustGiving to improve our service to our users and we believe charities need technology innovation like never before.

“Innovation requires investment."

In a statement released today the co-founder of JustGiving, Anne Marie-Hulby, said Metro’s claim that JustGiving "stands to make £180,000 from the £3.7 million fund" is wide of the mark and that having made a donation of £50,000 to Stephen’s page earlier this month, and thanks to the volume discount that Teenage Cancer Trust benefits from, the company's fee is less than a quarter of this.

Despite this, many feel Britain’s biggest website for charity giving should decide to not take any fee in this instance.

 

In the past JustGiving has decided to waive fees for certain fundraising campaigns.

Two years ago, JustGiving decided to waive its fee on the money raised by Claire Squires, the marathon runner that tragically died while taking part in the 2012 London Marathon.

The decision came after a massive public outcry urged the website to waive the five per cent fee on the £1.1 million raised by the deceased 30-year-old hairdresser.

This year, JustGiving once again decided against taking a fee from the £76,000 raised for the National Osteoporosis Society by Rob Berry who also died during the London Marathon.

Donations continue to pour in for Stephen.

After being diagnosed with the terminal condition last year, he wrote himself a bucket list, which included raising £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Since then, he has managed to secure a staggering £3.7 million in funds for the charity.

On Monday, following Stephen’s death, JustGiving released a statement saying: "We were incredibly sad to hear today that Stephen Sutton has passed away, following his return to hospital.

"Stephen’s achievements in raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust were absolutely inspirational and JustGiving is honoured to have played a part in enabling people from all over the world to donate in their thousands to Stephen’s cause.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Direct Mail Machine Operative

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an i...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Day In a Page

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US