I'm about 95% into what started as a personal project but has developed into a nice website with some interest. It's a distributed-donation platform for donating to charities.
Here's a quick description of how it works:
Users (donors) purchase credits via paypal in these increments: £10, £20, £50, £100, £200 (a paypal processing fee is added on). 1 credit = £1. Then they browse through charity profiles clicking the +£1 button when they want to donate. This effectively donates £1 to that charity. Of course they can click it multiple times or choose a higher value to donate. At the end of each calander month I will tally each charity's total donations, and deposit into their bank account.
I plan on introducing a small subscription fee to cover costs, etc.
So, for charities to register they must provide an original bank statement from the last 3 months which states their bank account details. I'm using Paypal so I don't have to worry about holding credits/debit card details. Unfortunately this introduces paypal processing fee's.
Before enabling sign-ups I really need to know whether I'm going to come up against any legal problems first. i.e:
- Do I need to become registered/certified, etc. to take donations for charities?
- Is there a problem with taking subscription fee's?
- What sort of company will I need to register? Ltd? It'll be UK based.
I plan on starting out with charities regsitered in the UK but then if it proves popular opening it up to other countries. They don't have to be based in the UK; just a UK registered charity/non-profit.
I've built in the ability to purchase 'Gift credits'. I'd really like to push this in the future. I always ask people to just donate to charity for me for my birthday, etc. I like the idea that someone could buy me these 'credits' and I can choose who to donate too.
For more info see http://givestre.am/