We all like to donate to a good cause. Friends raising money for charity have often organised their donations via the JustGiving website. In the past it was possible to make a one-off donation via their website without storing your details.
Now You Have to Create an Account
Now JustGiving makes you either sign in with Facebook or set up an account before you can donate. As someone who is never keen on companies holding more data about me than is strictly necessary, I was not comfortable with either option when I was recently asked for a donation.
Why Is This of Concern?
Organisations tend to be keen for you to sign in via Facebook – usually presented under the guise of convenience – as your profile gives them far more information than you may realise: likes, interests, friends, gender, profile photo, etc. (more info).
Even creating an account with JustGiving allows them to store personal data on an on-going basis, rather than that data being provided for a single transaction. There is absolutely no reason why JustGiving cannot collect just the data required to make an individual donation and to claim any tax relief on it. After all, they used to do so in the past.
What Did They Say?
I contacted them to say that I would like to make a donation but was not happy to create an account. Their reply was the anticipated piece of spin that the account was needed to provide “the best level of service possible”, so that people can make faster donations and have access to donation history for tax purposes.
That is nonsense. Whilst those facilities may be of value to some donors, the previous way of making ad-hoc donations without an account was a quick & simple process that provided an email receipt, which could be used for tax purposes.
Next Time I Donate
The next time a friend asks for sponsorship in aid of charity, I’ll be happy to fall back on time-honoured methods such as giving them cash or a cheque – or if I want to embrace the modern world, send a mobile payment. In my view that is a far better option than handing my personal data to a third party.