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Paying Railway a Donation or Membership

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by worldsteam, May 3, 2017.

  1. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    Being giving away my wealth recently - ha, ha! It isn't always that easy as more of us use Internet banking and many organisations assume you will complete the application form in flowing script with your quill pen, write out cheque and then head to post box, assuming you don't first need to buy a stamp.

    OK I exaggerate a bit, but handing over dosh can be a bit of a spur of the moment impulse and any barrier could mean the railway doesn't get the cash. I have this now after a great day on Monday, I decided to become a life member, but instead of the railway having the cash in the bank now, it is going to take time jumping the hurdles on how I can pay by Internet transfer.

    One other railway I concluded recently the solution is to hand over cash in person next time I'm there, which could be in few months rather than them having a three figure sum in the bank already.

    Or perhaps outdated payment systems are part of the heritage experience?

    You just need data on the website or application form to guide those of us with Internet banking - it's immediate and no danger of the punter deciding, 'Can't be bothered'.
     
  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    On line donation payments and on line membership applications are a feature of the 34081 website. We're not the only group either.
     
  3. Mogul

    Mogul New Member

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    I've had to look into this recently. I found PayPal to be a very helpful option. The donor does not need to have a PayPal account, only the reviving organisation. On clicking the donate button on a web page you are taken to a secure page on the PayPal site where you can chose to continue by using a card payment or use your personal PayPal account if you have one.

    Assuming it's a card payment you enter your card details and confirm and are returned to the website you came from.

    The organisation automatically receives the funds direct to their bank less a small commission. This commission is reduced for charity's. A button can be configured for set amounts or allow donor to decide. PayPal sends an email with details of the payment to a nominated address so if any action is required it can be initiated from this. It's very flexible and easy to use.

    I have also looked at text donation systems which are slightly more complex to set up but enable easy donation from your mobile by just texting a keyword to a special number.

    To round it off we even offered our bank details for direct transfer via internet banking.

    Expirence however has shown that even with a variety of methods on offer the vast majority of donations still come in by post in the form of a cheque. I guess that the majority of supporters are just more comfortable with this.
     
    Hampshire Unit likes this.
  4. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Pretty much reflects the way we do it.
     
  5. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Most organisations will also accept a Credit/Debit Card payment over the phone.
     
  6. Hirn

    Hirn New Member

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    I do think that a railway should make it readily possible to accept donations in any reasonable way that people
    choose to make them and where it is at all appropriate send back an acknowledgement, both to let a donor
    know that it has been received as they meant and as a thank you.

    However, Gift Aid usefully increases what is given and I believe for that they need a signature.
    The obvious way is to have an easily findable form to print off and send. Fill in the address on screen
    to print and sign would probably work very well. And by all means a digital equivalent for any sound
    online payment. It is important that it should be quite clear, trustworthy and readily done.

    Visiting I often encounter cash opportunities to donate and don't immediately because the cause would get less than
    it would with some other way of payment and Gift Aid. However, where there are live collectors seeing the money put or
    thrown in does encourage them. The ideal would be a contactless payment card that transferred the value and
    established gift aid status all in one touch - with the screen showing exactly how much was given today directly afterwards!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  7. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Member

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    Try living on the other side of the world and wanting to make a contribution to a preservation project. Online is my only option unless I want to jump through hoops - which I don't. I've put it into the "too hard" basket a few times. Some sites are very good, but others it is near impossible to find info on their projects - let alone make a contribution to them.

    I suppose however, the web sites suffer from the same lack of attention that their respective projects do when they are put on the backburner for whatever reason.
     
  8. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    A signature is not required for Gift Aid, just ticking a box on an on line form will suffice.
     
  9. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Member

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    Some groups seem to "get" fund raising using the internet, some try but don't make a very good job of it, and some just don't understand how useful it can be.
    GWSR's Broadway station and extension shows the value of a well-written blog combined with appeals for support. Last I heard there were over 4000 people following progress, many from outside the UK, and nearly all will have donated something towards the project, and this on top of the share issue. The Great Central "Close the Gap" project, Bluebell's East Grinstead extension, and several new-builds, have also benefitted from a good on-line presence. At the other end of the scale we recently had an appeal on here for a relatively small sum to help restore the Irish loco "Nancy", result : several thousand pounds (euros?) raised in three months.

    There are a lot of people who are willing to support soundly-based projects but are too busy or too frail or live too far away to contribute physically. So, some advice for project managers / fund raisers : Give your project plenty of internet "airtime" and ensure that the details of what you are trying to achieve are clear. Keep the audience well informed of progress (support will increase as the project progresses). And, above all, make it easy for the punters to contribute, with as many options as possible to allow for the overseas contingent, in particular, to give you money without incurring unnecessary bank fees. :D

    Mike
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
    TommyD, 35B and Copper-capped like this.

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