The fundraising service Virgin Money Giving has been taking a processing fee from NHS donations and has now stopped amid backlash
Almost £30million has been donated to theNHS through Virgin Money Giving since the Covid-19 crisis began, largely due to the Run for Heroes challenge to run 5k and donate £5, but the firm faced criticism for taking a cut to cover its own expenses, which equates to nearly £133,000.
When you donate any amount of money with Virgin Money Giving, usually 2% of that donation was goes to a platform fee and a further 2.5% is taken as a payment processing fee.
Amid rising social media outcry caused by the fees, chief executive David Duffy has vowed to scrap them for the remainder of the lockdown and to donate part of his reported £5 million-a-year salary to cover the cost of running the site.
Mr Duffy has said that: “many charities [are] seeing a large drop in their fundraising contributions during lockdown,’
‘In this extraordinary and challenging time we wanted to do more to support the generosity of the public.”
Virgin Money Giving released a statement on Twitter emphasising that they do not make any profit from donations.
They said: “We’ve seen a lot of comments online recently about how we support the UK charity sector, and it’s safe to say that there’s some confusion out there! To be clear, we don’t make a profit from what we do.”
Last week, another donation company, Just Giving, was criticised for the fees it took from donations to Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old war veteran who has now raised more over £27 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden.
Much of the complaints about 100% not going to the NHS, often mention that another one of Richard Branson’s companies had previously sued the NHS a few years ago.
One of Richard Branson’s companies, Virgin Care, who treat more than one million people per year, lost an £82 million contract to provide care for children in Surrey.
In November 2017, the NHS settled the dispute with an undisclosed sum of money.
In the NHS Surrey Downs clinical commissioning group October finance report they disclosed that its liability in the case was £328,000.
Dr. Vivienne McVey said the company does not make any profit and they have put £75 million into supporting doctors and nurses.
She said: “Virgin Care has never made a profit and the Virgin Group has actually invested more than £75 million across the UK in people and technology, supporting doctors and nurses in their jobs and significantly reducing waiting lists.”
In a wide-ranging letter, the Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, has hit back at the latest criticism of his companies and criticism for suing the NHS as he claims he moved to the Caribbean for tax purposes.
Sir Richard’s airlines have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic and are asking for state aid, seeking a commercial loan, believed to be £500m.
In an open letter to staff, Sir Richard said:
“Many airlines around the world need government support and many have already received it.”
Virgin Atlantic is owned jointly by Sir Richard and US carrier Delta.