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Frequently asked Questions for:

> A general overview of GiveNow.com.au

> Members of the public about GiveNow.com.au

> Community organisations about GiveNow.com.au

> Community organisations that are already registered with GiveNow.com.au


A general overview of GiveNow.com.au

     

    What is GiveNow?

    GiveNow.com.au is Australia’s only free online donations technology solution for community organisations. It is offered free to any community group in Australia, regardless of size or purpose or tax status – as long as they meet state fundraising requirements.

    Community groups register with GiveNow, and donors can donate directly to the community group of their choice. All donations are remitted to the community group. GiveNow charges no commissions or fees. We pass on 100% of the donation to the nominated group with the only fee being the merchant credit card fees - 0.99% for Visa and Mastercard and 1.43% for Amex.

    GiveNow.com.au is an initiative of the Our Community Foundation, a not-for-profit program established through the financial support of Our Community. Our Community is a privately held enterprise that provides a number of business and community services, some of them free, some of them paid, many of them discounted for community organisations. Find out more about Our Community here:http://www.ourcommunity.com.au/aboutus.

    Some of the profits from the operation of the Our Community enterprise have been used to establish the Our Community Foundation, a principal activity of which is the operation of the GiveNow.com.au website.  

     

    How much does it cost to use GiveNow?

    Nothing! In line with Our Community’s policy of providing a mixed business and community model, and providing a comprehensive range of free services to the community, GiveNow charges no commissions for processing donations. We pass on 100% of your donation to your nominated group, less the standard fees charged to the group by the credit card companies for processed costs. We have negotiated a reduced charge for most major credit cards – this fee currently sits at 0.99% for Visa and Mastercard and 1.43% for Amex. Now you can also donate via direct debit - fully 100% of donations via direct debit are passed on to your favourite group, no fees are deducted whatsoever.

    We believe that donations made in good faith to community organisations should not be subjected to hefty administrative fees.

    The key benefit of donating online is that you minimise the fees and overhead costs incurred by the organisation you are donating to, which through other fundraising activities can often be as high as 30% and even more.  

     

    Who’s behind GiveNow.com.au?

    GiveNow.com.au is an initiative of the Our Community Foundation, a not-for-profit program established through the financial support of Our Community. Our Community is a privately held enterprise that provides a number of business and community services, some of them free, some of them paid, many of them discounted for community organisations.  Find out more about Our Community here: www.ourcommunity.com.au/aboutus.

    Some of the profits from the operation of the Our Community enterprise have been used to establish the Our Community Foundation, a principal activity of which is the operation of the GiveNow.com.au website.

    This commission-free online donations service is part of Our Community’s mission to democratise giving in Australia – ensuring that even the tiniest community groups have the same access to safe, secure online donations technology as the largest groups. It is our belief that these small, grassroots community groups are every bit as important to community life as the larger ones, and that they should be supported by their communities.

    We also believe that donations made in good faith to community organisations should not be subjected to hefty administrative fees.

    The GiveNow.com.au online donations service is offered free to any community group in Australia, regardless of size or purpose or tax status. The service is non-exclusive, non-binding and fee-free (only credit card fees are deducted from donations). This allows any community group with a bank account and the will to raise funds to take advantage of this important and rapidly growing mode of fundraising.

    We also seek to raise the profile of giving in general providing a range of ideas on non-monetary ways to give as well as help sheets on how people can become more strategic givers.  

     

    How long has GiveNow.com.au been operating?

    GiveNow.com.au was launched in March 2000 as the Australian Giving Centre, housed on the Our Community website at www.ourcommunity.com.au.

    At this point in history, just before the tech boom, only a tiny number of Australian community organisations had even contemplated setting up an online donations facility.

    Since its very beginnings, GiveNow.com.au has offered access to a commission-free online donations service to any community group in Australia, regardless of size or purpose or tax status.

    We have since raised well in excess of $38 million for community organisations across Australia (see the homepage for an updated total), with over one hundred thousand people using this service to make a donation.

    The service was renamed GiveNow.com.au  in January 2009, and relaunched with a new website in November of that year.

     

     What services are provided at GiveNow.com.au?

    We’re adding things to the site daily so the best way to find out what’s available at GiveNow.com.au is to explore the site.

    But as a quick rundown:
    1. Online Donations: Find a cause that speaks to you. Search by name, location or interest area. There are over 3000 listed appeals, with causes spanning every possible interest area and organisations located in every corner of Australia. You can give a one-off donation or spread your giving by setting up an ongoing payment.  It’s important to note that GiveNow.com.au is entirely commission-free.
    2. Personalised giving: Create an account at GiveNow.com.au to keep a record of your donations throughout the year and from year to year. GiveNow.com.au is the only place in Australia where you can track your donations to any number of causes in this way.
    3. Making tax time easier: We keep track of your donations and send you a tax record at the end of every financial year, making tax time a breeze
    4. Other ways to give: We know that not everyone is in a position to give money, but we believe everyone can give something. GiveNow.com.au provides the tools you need to get started, including listings of where you can give clothes, furniture, mobile phones and food, information sheets on how to give blood or become an organ donor, and tips on how to give land, shares, bequests and time.
    5. Building giving expertise: As well as providing help sheets on how to become a more strategic giver, we have produced Australia’s first and only giving e-newsletter, GiveNow News, delivered monthly to your inbox.
    6. Trusted, reliable: GiveNow.com.au has already collected tens of millions of dollars for community groups right across Australia. Tens of thousands of people have used this service to make a credit card donation.

    Who qualifies to receive donations through GiveNow.com.au?

    All not-for-profit and community organisations which are incorporated can apply to receive online donations at GiveNow.com.au. This is provided that the state authorities, national registers or Australian Tax Office validate that the organisation exists.

    To receive donations via the GiveNow.com.au facility, we require documentation and information regarding the organisation, including an authority to fundraise, as applicable.  Organisations interested in receiving online donations can find out more at registration.givenow.com.au.

     

    Why register for online donations with GiveNow.com.au?

    The GiveNow.com.au service provides information about crises and causes, as well as a searchable database of not-for-profit and community groups, all in one place. We provide individual donors with a wealth of information and make it easy for them to donate online to the group or cause of their choice.

    GiveNow.com.au provides a quick, convenient and secure way for individual donors to give time or money to the causes and groups of their choice. Besides being quick and secure, there are a number of other reasons for registering your organisation:
    1. Access to a secure donations service. Setting up your own secure online donations service is extremely costly. We provide this service to you for free.
    2. New audience of potential donors. Our Community works to bring your organisation and its message to a broader pool of potential donors. In addition, we undertake many awareness raising and other promotional activities to push traffic into the GiveNow.com.au website.
    3. Direct transaction of online donations. Donors give online with their credit card or through their bank account (electronic fund transfer is available for recurring donations only) and we remit this money directly to your account.
    4. No membership fees or commissions. Our service is free of any charges from us. We take no commission; we do not charge a fee-for-service. We only deduct from your donations the cost of credit card fees, which have been negotiated at a lower-than-normal rate for groups using the GiveNow.com.au service.

    What’s your privacy policy?

    GiveNow.com.au is governed by the Privacy and Ethics policies of our parent organisation, Our Community. Click here to find out more.

    Briefly, though, be assured that GiveNow.com.au will never sell or loan or give away information collected from any of our activities.

    The information you provide to us will only be provided to the organisation you are giving to.

    No data collected from the site will be disclosed to any additional parties except where it is legally required, such as in the investigation of a criminal offence, and in compliance with a search warrant or subpoena.

     


    FAQs for members of the public about GiveNow.com.au

     

    How do I make a donation to a community group through the GiveNow.com.au website?

    All you need is a credit card or bank account and a good heart.
    The GiveNow.com.au service provides giving channels that allow you to learn about and donate to a group, school, crisis, cause, charity or community that interests you.  

    Is giving to a community organisation the same as giving to a charity?

    We use the term ‘community organisation’ or ‘community group’ to describe any not-for-profit organisation operating in Australia – that includes traditional charities such as the Red Cross and Oxfam but also other not-for-profit organisations that are also doing good work for no material gain; groups like schools, kindergartens, sporting and arts groups, for example. We believe all of these organisations are equally deserving of financial support.  

    Is my donation tax deductible?

    Not-for-profit status does not automatically qualify an organisation for tax deductibility status. Donations to a not-for-profit or community organisation are only tax deductible when:
    1. An organisation is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). This can be checked on the Australian Business Register at www.abr.business.gov.au and is also indicated for each organisation listed on the GiveNow.com.au website;
    2. The donation is greater than $2; and
    3. An authorised receipt has been received. All receipts for donations made online to Deductible Gift Recipients using the GiveNow.com.au service will meet the requirements.
    Only around 11000 of the more than 700,000 community organisations operating in Australia have been endorsed as DGRs. We believe they are all potentially worthy of your donation, though only a fraction can offer you a tax donation.  

    How does the donation process work?

    Once you have selected the cause you want to support, click the relevant button (either ‘GIVE A ONE OFF DONATION’ or ‘GIVE A RECURRING DONATION’) and you will be asked to provide your name, email address, and credit card or bank account information, as well as the amount of your donation. This section of the website is totally secure.

    We then verify your credit card or bank account information and provide you with an email confirming your donation. In line with legislative requirements and our own strict code of practice, we then transfer the funds into a secure bank account for passing on to the nominated organisation you have selected on the first few days of the following month.

    Our Community and its banking partners will make every effort to make sure your donation is processed quickly and efficiently.  

    What’s the benefit of donating online?

    The key benefit of donating online is that you minimise the fees and overhead costs incurred by the organisation you are donating to, which through other fundraising activities can often be as high as 30% and even more.

    Online giving also means you can donate anywhere, anytime.  

    How much of my donation will reach the group I donate to?

    Unlike almost every other giving service anywhere in the world, GiveNow.com.au is totally commission-free – we don’t charge for your donation.

    Only credit card fees are deducted by the credit card merchants, and even these are smaller than you’ll usually be charged when using your credit card.

    We don’t charge community groups any fees. The costs of running the site are covered by Our Community – it’s our way of giving back.  

    How can I be sure that the group I’m giving to is legit?

    We check every single organisation listed with us for donations to ensure they are a properly constituted not-for-profit organisation.

    We also check to ensure that the donations we receive from you are going to the organisation itself, not to someone’s private bank account.

    And we check that all organisations that need to obtain authority to fundraise through state bodies have done so.  

    Can I make an anonymous donation?

    No. For security purposes, we cannot process credit card transaction without full donor details.    

    Is it safe to give my credit card details?

    Yes. When you provide your credit card or bank account, you are providing it directly to Westpac on a secure website. The GiveNow website and the staff at the Our Community Foundation never have access to your credit card or bank account numbers.

    When you enter your credit card or bank account details, you can verify that you are providing it to Westpac by checking the green bar in your browser. It will say 'Westpac Banking Corporation' in green; this is called an EV Certificate which is an independent verification that the website is operated by Westpac — and is not by someone pretending to be Westpac and is fully PCI-DSS compliant.

    Our Community has managed a secure online donations system for more than a decade. We have never had a security breach. But in the unlikely event of a security breach occurring, we do not have any credit card or bank accounts recorded and your payment details would not be compromised.  

    What if I want to contact the organisation before I give?

    Each cause listing provides contact details for the organisation that is collecting the funds. Please contact the organisation directly if you have any queries.  

    Will I receive a receipt?

    Yes, GiveNow will automatically email you a receipt for your donation, unless the organisation has elected to send you a receipt themselves. If the organisation you have donated to has Deductible Gift Recipient status the receipt will state this and you can use it for tax deduction purposes.  

    What is My Giving?

    My Giving is your personal GiveNow giving account which lets you view all your regular and one-off donations, set-up new regular donations, change your regular donations, update your credit card and personal details, and access your donation summaries and receipts for your annual tax return. It allows you to have your giving history in one place, under your control.

    If you are making a one-off donation and you are based in Australia, then you can do this without signing up to My Giving, but if you plan to make more than one donation, or want to make a recurring donation, then you need to create a My Giving account.  

    How do I update my credit card details?

    In order to update your credit card details, please access the GiveNow website at www.givenow.com.au

    From here, login to your My Giving account – you can find this option at the top right hand side of the page.

    Enter in your new credit card details and you have updated your card.  

    Will my regular donations stop after a period of time?

    Regular donations do not automatically stop unless the Donor specifies a date on which to stop them. If you wish to stop or change your regular donations you need to log on to your My Giving Account and make the changes.  

    What if I want to stop my donations?

    Due to security reasons we are unable to update your card details, or amend or cancel your regular donations.  You can do this by logging in to your My Giving account at https://www.givenow.com.au/login.

      If you have forgotten your password follow this link https://www.givenow.com.au/forgottenpassword  and your password will be emailed to you.  If you have a problem with this, it may mean that you have not yet verified your account.  Follow our earlier account verification email and your account will be verified. If you have deleted this email, please contact us at donations@givenow.com.au and we will re-issue your password.   

    I can't remember my My Giving password

    To retrieve your password, visit https://www.givenow.com.au/forgottenpassword    

    How Can I Change my Donations from Direct Debit to Credit Card or vice versa?

    Regular donations can't be changed from direct debit to credit card, or vice-versa. But it's easy to set up a new donation: log in to My Giving, click the Stop Now button on the regular donation, then start a new one with a credit card.   

    I am living overseas – why do I need to have a MyGiving Account to make a one-off donation?

    Unfortunately incidents of fraud initiating from overseas donors are becoming more frequent. To protect GiveNow, our donors and all community organisations registered on GiveNow, we require all donors who live outside Australia to create a MyGiving account even for a one-off donation.

    Depending on which country you are donating from, a verification process will be triggered internally to assess if you are donating from a trusted country, and we will manage your donation accordingly.   

    I don’t live overseas but GiveNow is telling me my email address indicates that I do and I need to create a MyGiving account – what is going on?

    Due to online fraud from some overseas users, we recently implemented a country of origin check for email addresses.   The system that we use to determine the country of the visitor is only 99.5% accurate, and unfortunately your email address may be one of the 0.5% that the system gets wrong.

    Our country lookup works by matching the IP address of the visitor in a database. We check the records for the IP address and the database can sometimes incorrectly identify it as being outside Australia. We can run an independent check to verify that it is actually in Australia, and if you are in fact located in Australia we notify the database maintainers and they update their database.

    If this is the case with your email address we will happily verify it.   

    Why can I only make monthly recurring donations? Why not fortnightly, quarterly or annually?

    At present donors can only make monthly donations. This is in line with research which shows that most people prefer to make a monthly donation rather than a quarterly or annual donation which they may forget about. The facility for donors to make fortnightly, quarterly or annual donations is certainly something we can add if there is community demand, but at present the demand is not there.   

    What happens if I set my recurring donation for a date that doesn’t occur in every month?

    For credit card donations this is not a problem. If the day of the donation doesn't exist in a month (ie 31st June, 30th February, etc) then it will be sent to the bank for processing on the last day of the month instead (30 June, 28 February, etc). The bank will attempt to process the donation immediately, and for credit cards that will happen within seconds.

      For direct debits there can be a problem as direct debits are not processed by our bank, they are passed on to the bank that the money is being debited from via the Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS). The date of the donation thus depends on when that bank processes it.

    Some banks will do this within a day or two but there is no guarantee on those timings, sometimes they take longer. 

    We recommend that if you want your direct debit donation processed before the end of the month you should schedule it a few days earlier to ensure your bank processes it in time.

     

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    FAQs for community organisations about GiveNow.com.au

       

      Why bother with online donations?

      GiveNow.com.au has seen exponential growth in both the amount of money donated, the number of donors giving online, and the number of organisations with online appeals.

      Online transactions are now commonplace – in fact, many people now demand it. If you don’t provide this option for your supporters, you risk missing out.

      Click here for a more comprehensive fact sheet on giving in Australia.

       How do I sign up?

      Follow the link and you’re on your way to registering your cause on GiveNow: www.givenow.com.au/listyourcause

      Who ‘owns’ the donors’ details?

      You do. We collect the donor details so that we can process the donation, but we are never allowed to use this data without your consent. All donor details are passed to your organisation along with your monthly remittance.  

      Who issues the receipts?

      We are able to issue receipts on your behalf. We do this in email form immediately after the donation has been accepted, and again at the end of each financial year.

      In some circumstances you can opt to do the receipting yourself after we send the donor details through at the end of each month. **We however recommend that you allow the GiveNow system to receipt on your behalf. That way, donors will receive their receipts straight away, which is particularly important around the end of each financial year when donors want their receipts dated accurately.**  

      Who else is using the GiveNow.com.au online donations facility?

      Over 3000 community groups use the GiveNow.com.au donations service.

      We service the smaller groups such as TheatreWorks and Edgar’s Mission through to much larger organisations such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Listed groups come from every corner of the community sector – schools, CFA branches, charities, sports clubs, self-help groups – they’re all there.

      If you would like to speak to a referee from an organisation with an existing listing with GiveNow.com.au, please let us know.  

      When and how will we receive our donations?

      We will transfer to your nominated bank account the total of your donations that are collected for the month within the first five working days of the following month, less the credit card fees.

      You will receive an email notifying you of this as soon as the transfer has been made. This will include an Excel spreadsheet attachment containing the full details of your donors. A sample remittance report is below.

       

      Can we offer donors a tax deduction for their donation?

      If your organisation is an ATO-approved Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), the receipt will entitle them to a tax deduction.

      If you don’t know if your group has DGR status, visit http://www.ato.gov.au/nonprofit/ and follow the links.  

      How can I promote my new online donations facility?

      Your success in collecting donations is dependent on how well you tell people about it. Placing a link to your appeal on the bottom of all emails and on your letterhead, and including articles in your newsletters and direct mail campaigns are all important ways of getting your message across.

      Above all, though, you have to ask people to give.

      More information about online fundraising is in Our Community’s online Community Funding Centre at http://www.fundingcentre.com.au  

      Who will give to my group?

      A few people who come to GiveNow.com.au without a particular group in mind may give to your organisation. Most of your donors, however, will be people who already know you, and the bulk of those people will be those you have sent there by recommendations printed in your promotional material or attached to links on your website.  

      What level of donations can my group expect to receive through GiveNow.com.au?

      The largest single donation received through the GiveNow.com.au service was $100,000, with the smallest being $5. Most donations fall somewhere in between.

      But, again, you will only get donations if you ask people to give. Very few people will find your listing if you don’t point them to it. Many groups also suggest how much people should give, depending on need and the anticipated capacity of their donors.

      Donors using GiveNow.com.au also have the option of making a regular donation that is automatically deducted from their credit card or bank account once a month. There are currently more than 4600 donors making a monthly contribution to a group of their choice through GiveNow.com.au.  

      Can we register for online donations with GiveNow.com.au even if we don't have DGR status?

      Yes! Only around 20,000 of the 700,000 community organisations operating in Australia have been endorsed as DGRs. We believe all 700,000 deserve free online donations.

      If you don’t know if your group has DGR status, visit http://www.ato.gov.au/nonprofit/ and follow the links. 

      Can I register to raise funds for an individual?

      No. GiveNow.com.au only accepts donations on behalf of community groups.

      Who is Pozible?

      Pozible is a crowdfunding platform designed to help people and organisations raise funds.

      

GiveNow's partnership with Pozible offers registered GiveNow organisations immediate registration with Pozible. If you want to crowdfund for a project, you can select your organisation by your ABN from the not-for-profit list at Pozible and follow the steps to launch your campaign. There's no need to register separately.  See here for more details: www.pozible.com.au/givenow.

      It’s important to note that Pozible has a different business model to GiveNow – they do take a fee for successful projects – but their fee is lower than other crowdfunding platforms and the success rate is higher. Read here to find out more about Pozible's fee structure. 

      What is crowdfunding and what does it mean for our organisation?

      Crowdfunding differs from traditional fundraising in a number of ways, but the most significant is the importance of setting a target: the fundraiser sets a target, people pledge an amount – usually in exchange for some form of reward, but sometimes just as a straight donation – and the amount pledged/donated is only taken and remitted to the fundraiser if and when the target is reached.

      Read more about crowdfunding here.

      Why is GiveNow partnering with Pozible?

      Through the GiveNow and Pozible partnership, organisations already registered with GiveNow can accept donations as part of their crowdfunding campaign without having to provide their credentials separately. We believe this is a great example of how collaboration can help cut fundraising red tape for not-for-profit organisations.

      GiveNow users will also benefit from access to expert information about how to crowdfund successfully. We believe that by working together we can help Australian not-for-profit organisations raise even more money.  

      How do we list with Pozible?

      Please refer to our Step By Step Guide.

      Do we have to list with Pozible?

      No, the choice is yours. If you don’t want to run a crowdfunding campaign, you don’t have to do a thing. Your organisation is already registered with Pozible, but nothing will happen unless you activate a campaign.

       


       

      FAQs for community organisations that are already registered with GiveNow.com.au

       

      When and how will we receive our donations?

      We will transfer to your nominated bank account the total of your donations for the month within the first five business days of the following month, less the credit card fees.

      You will receive an email notifying you of this as soon as the transfer has been made. This will include an Excel spreadsheet attachment containing the full details of all donations and your donors.

      If you haven’t received a remittance report it usually means that no donations have been received for that month, but if you think you have received donations, please contacts us at donations@givenow.com.au and we will double-check for you.  

      Can I log-in and change details of our appeal?

      Unfortunately GiveNow does not have the option for organisations to log-in and change their details as yet. However until we have the technology up and running, we are happy to do this for you. Simply email your new appeal text or logo or other updated information to us at donations@givenow.com.au and we will update it for you as soon as we can.  

      Our bank account details have changed, what's the process to update them?

      Simply email your new bank details to donations@givenow.com.au along with some official verification of your bank account. Acceptable verification documents include a deposit slip for the account with the bank details encypted on it (hand written deposit slips not accepted!), an official bank statement complete with account details and financial institution ABN, or an official letter from your financial institution (letterhead must include financial institution's ABN) confirming your bank account details.    

      Why can’t we as a community group take donor’s details and make donations on their behalf using GiveNow? If they’re happy to give us their credit card details, what’s the problem?

      GiveNow was developed to allow individual donors to set up an online giving account and manage their donations to the community groups and charities of their choice. It allows individuals to log-on and change their donation amounts and when and how they donate, update credit card details, and access a full donations report at tax time. For this, donors need their own email account and log-on details.

      When community groups act as an intermediary and log-on using a single email to make multiple donations for multiple donors, it creates a number of problems:
      • The donor’s MyGiving account belongs to the donor – not to GiveNow and not to the community groups to whom they donate. They should have exclusive access to their account using a private log-on and password.
      • When creating a MyGiving account, donors need to tick a number of boxes which authorises GiveNow to process the donations on their behalf. If a community group does this on a donor’s behalf, the donor hasn’t really given authorisation.
      • When a donor’s credit card details expire and require updating, GiveNow automatically issues an email alerting the donor. These emails should not be going via the community group – it’s not only a privacy issue but it also adds an unnecessary administrative burden to the community group.
      • MyGiving accounts allow donors to make donations to as many community groups as they want. If your donor decides to donate to other community groups, they will have to set up their own MyGiving account – it makes no sense for them to have an account exclusively for your group.
      There is nothing stopping community groups working with donors to help them set up their own email account and showing them how to donate through GiveNow, but the MyGiving account logon and password must be unique to each individual donor.

       

      How can I find out more?

      Email to: donations@givenow.com.au
      Write to: GiveNow.com.au
      P.O Box 354
      North Melbourne VIC 3051
      Online: www.givenow.com.au
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