whatCharity have collaborated with Minted Box to launch their new EMA tool.

whatCharity is a one-stop-shop for the public to locate and learn more about the charities in their area, as well as those across England and Wales. We provide access to all charities and offer continuous opportunities for partnership with companies.  Through their whatCharity profiles, charities are able to issue up to 15 different resource requests. Some of these are facilitated by embedding other platforms or donation sites on the whatCharity profiles, such as Instagram which provides that extra visual spark. 

Our next integration phase concerns fundraising pages and the first to feature will be EMA: a new, visually intriguing and easy-to-use fundraising tool which can be added to your charity profile. 

EMA is an application tool used to help charities reach their donors. It provides a webpage which forms the basis of your fundraising project, which takes different visual forms depending on the nature of your fundraiser. For example, a school might be raising money to rebuild a roof, which will be displayed on the page and then each donation is represented by a brick, to give a visual sense of the donor’s contribution and how close they are to reaching their goal. 

In order to use EMA, your charity would need to be a Matchmaking Member of the whatCharity community and have a completed profile on our site. You will then need to form a customer relationship with Minted Box who will set you up with your fundraising page and provide you with a link for you to integrate on your whatCharity profile. 

*As part of our partnership with minted box, all applicants will receive a free matchmaking membership until the end of the year.

Opportunity…

Minted Box is offering the EMA tool for two charities: one with a turnover below £1m and one with a turnover above £1m. Charities need only to complete their profiles on our site and answer these few extra questions to be eligible.

In order to be successful, Minted Box will be selecting charities with the most creative ideas for their fundraising portal (demonstrated in the final question of the survey application). 

The deadline for applications is 15th November.

We interviewed Iain Bell who is the founder of Minted Box. He developed EMA, inspired by several charity and hospice requests. 

What is the EMA fundraising page and where did the idea come from?

Iain: EMA was created by our tech company, Minted Box Ltd which has a broad client base consisting of both companies and charities. We deliver various kind of digital solutions for organisations to operate more efficiently and to utilise the latest digital solutions. We developed the EMA fundraising page product after many years of building digital fundraising portals for hospices across the UK. 

We learned that certain needs of hospices and charities were not met by current fundraising sites. We wanted to give charities the ability to run and manage their own campaigns using engaging images and interactions; donations increased as a result.  

What kind of charity fundraising campaigns it is good for? 

Iain: EMA has been used most commonly by hospices as a dedication portal, usually in memory of someone who has passed away. However, it is suited also to any other target-based campaign, which is trying to raise a certain amount of money, in a certain time-frame. It can also be used for continuous donation campaigns.  

What are EMA’s unique features, in comparison to other fundraising products (e.g. JustGiving or Charity Checkout)?

Iain: The EMA tool allows charities to create an engaging fundraising campaign to make the experience of donating money enjoyable and therefore easier. For example, if the fundraising template was a pond, donations would appear as fish, or for a conservation project, a donation might be personified by a tree, emerging in the backdrop of a forest. Or perhaps, stars in a night sky (see example below).

EMA is different from its competitors because lines of communication with donors are more straight-forward and efficient, for example, donors can send greetings to the charity. Also, the ability for peer-to-peer sharing helps supporters showcase their donation efforts, encouraging their circle of friends to do the same.

What is required for the fundraising page to be set up?

Iain: Some good ideas for images! We will handle the donations on behalf of the charity, using Stripe (a payment gateway). The money goes straight to the charity and never to us.

If a charity already takes donations online and uses an existing payment system, such as World Pay, Sage Pay, PayPal etc, we can connect the fundraising page to their own gateway. All transactions are then managed by the charity.

What does it cost for a charity to set up an EMA fundraising page? 

Iain: Currently, there will be two options for payment- a commission-based charge or a one-off cost. 

The commission rate would be determined after the fundraiser has ended. 

Or, there is an upfront payment option for larger charities or for fundraisers which will bring in greater sums. This would start around £250, for a fundraising page for 3-6 months but would vary slightly depending on the size of the charity. 

If Stripe is used through us, the costs are 1.4%+ 20p for the card charges and 4% as our management fee. The overall price will vary if you use your own gateway. 

Because this is a new product, these payment options are provisional and Minted Box are keen to hear from charities what they are able to afford for a service like EMA. 

Contact us, if you are a charity interested in this product. 

Where does the name EMA come from?

Iain: Ema are small wooden plaques, common in Japan, in which worshippers write prayers or wishes. The ema are left hanging up at shrines, where the spirits or gods are believed to receive them. The public nature of the ema, which are displayed at shrines before their ritual burning, also serves a social function for communicating to the community that an individual has made the wish. Burning the wishes helps to ‘symbolically liberate’ the spirit of the wish into the world.

For the EMA fundraising page, the donations given are seen as Emas to help the charity do their work and contribute to society. 

Why did you choose to collaborate with whatCharity?

Iain: EMA is not a platform, but a digital application, so we wanted to have a marketplace in which our product could be used. The reach of whatCharity and its ability to connect charities and donors in communities, is an important and useful feature for our product, which similarly unites communities of people through donating towards a shared cause or to a lost loved one. 

Minted Box is comprised of a team of expert developers who love to help businesses and charities transform their online ideas into precise, reliable and efficient websites or systems. Minted Box has built donation portals and website integrations with fundraising platforms at many hospices, as well as website and integrations with other charities.

EMA will make fundraising easier and more enjoyable by bringing campaigns to life, immortalising them online and in the process, raising more money for your important charitable cause. 

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