How it works

The Pledge

Pledgit is similar to other fundraising websites, but with a key difference: on Pledgit, the person who creates a campaign has to match all the donations made by other people to the campaign, up to a limit which he/she specifies.

So, instead of saying
“I’m doing a cycle ride for Cancer Research. Please sponsor me.”
the fundraiser (or ‘pledger’) says:
“I’m doing a cycle ride for Cancer Research. For every £1 you donate, I’ll donate £1, up to £500”

When setting up the campaign, the pledger has to put in a cap -  the maximum amount they are willing to give. This is important because otherwise their liability would be unlimited. In the example above, if the cap was set at £500 and public donations reached £3,000, the pledger would have to pay £500, and the charity would receive £3,500 before deduction of fees. If public donations reached only £356, the pledger would have to pay £356. The cap is the maximum, not the minimum the pledger has to pay.

To make sure that the pledge is secure, the pledger has to provide a credit or debit card at the time he or she creates the campaign. We authorise a charge on the card for the amount of the cap so that, at the end of the campaign, we know we can obtain the funds owed and pass them on to the charity. The card authorisation also acts as a brake on over-enthusiastic pledgers: we want people to give as much as they can afford, but not more!

Just because the cap is reached does not mean that the campaign ends or public donations stop. In fact, the goal of every campaign is for public donations to exceed the cap, so that the charity benefits from ‘generosity momentum’.


Users of the site can browse campaigns, watch videos, and read the stories of pledgers and their association with charities. You can see the value of donations in real-time, and see how much of the pledge has been ‘captured’. If you decide to donate, you can do so by credit or debit card, or SMS text. There is no limit on card donation, but when donating by text the options are £3, £5 or £10.

If you donate by card the form you fill in online will ask whether you are a UK taxpayer and have paid enough income tax in the current tax year to cover the amount of your donation, and you will also be asked if you would like the charity to recover the Gift Aid relief, which is 25% of the value of your donation. If you answer yes to all 3 questions, the answers will be recorded by Pledgit and passed on to the charity which will then be able to reclaim the extra 25% from HMRC. So a donation of £40 with Gift Aid successfully reclaimed will be worth £50 to the charity before deduction of fees (see below).

If you donate by SMS text the procedure is slightly different but the end result is the same. After sending your donation, you will receive a text from Pledgit containing a link to a web page. That page will invite you to complete a Gift Aid form and, since we will not have your name and address at that stage (because a text donation does not require you to provide them) the form will also ask for those details. As with card donations, if you complete the form and answer yes to all 3 questions, the charity will be able to reclaim Gift Aid.

Fees and deductions

Pledgit charges a 2.5% fee on donations, but we only charge it on the public donations, not on the fundraiser's pledge. So if a campaign raises £4,000 in public donations and the pledge is £500, our fee is £100 (2.5% x £4,000). We use our fees to cover administration and technical costs. Our aim is to be cost-neutral, and if we can bring the % down, we will.

The only other deduction is for the payment processing charges which Pledgit incurs on credit and debit card transactions. In common with other fundraising website, we pass these costs on to charities at their actual cost by deducting them from total donations before remitting the balance to the charity.

Donations made by SMS text do not incur payment processing charges, so there are none to be passed on to charities where payment is made by that method. Since Pledgit does not reclaim Gift Aid on charities’ behalf (we only collate information about donors’ eligibility and pass that information on to charities), we do not levy a % charge on Gift Aid as some platforms do.

Passing on donations to charities

At the end of each campaign, Pledgit’s system generates a statement which shows the number of donations, the value of donations, the amount of the the pledger’s cap charged, the total payment processing charges, and the amount of Pledgit’s fees. From these numbers it calculates the amount owing to the charity and this information, along with Gift Aid data, is sent to the charity.

The statement is sent to the fundraiser and the charity and, at the same time, Pledgit transfers the money by BACS to the charity.

Data privacy

Pledgit has a full privacy and cookies policy which explains how we handle your personal information. The short version is – we do not pass your data to the charities you have donated to unless you have said that you are happy for us to do that. Nor do we send you marketing emails ourselves unless you have opted in to that. And we never, ever sell, trade or rent your details to third parties. If you have registered with us, your Account page enables you to change your privacy settings.

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