Donations Follow-Up

Before I fritter away this day as well, I just wanted to actually get back to a couple of important things.

RIP JustGiving Pages

Following on from my suspicion the other day that all of Armitage’s JustGiving sites seemed to have been disabled, Servetus suggested I contact JustGiving directly and ask. I did, and I have received an answer – which I find somewhat cryptic, but I guess it confirms what we thought.

My questions: I have a question regarding a number of fundraising sites on JustGiving whose donate buttons are all inactive. Does that mean that the fundraising via that site has officially stopped? Is it temporary? The sites in question were originally established by Richard Armitage – he had seven individual fundraisers running via JustGiving, but none of them seem to be active anymore. Could you confirm that the fundraising via those sites has been officially ended?

JustGiving: It looks like this is because the fundraiser has completed his pages.

Oookay. I take that to mean “the fundraiser has closed down his pages”…  (I have never heard this expression “completed pages” – or am I misunderstanding something?) Anyway, it would be nice if Richard gave a little indication to his fans what his fundraising goals now are. I am very happy to support LOROS going forward; I just hope that Richard’s fans are aware of that donation opportunity. Note to self: Must correct all RichardArmitageNet pages now.

RAnet Donations

Talking of which… I’m taking the opportunity to mention here that RAnet continues the tradition that Ali once started. Referral fees that are accrued by RAnet will be donated to charity. Ali used to donate every quarter, but this year it has taken a bit longer because we had to transfer the referral scheme from Ali to me. Bureaucracy, especially when involving financials, takes time… Also, since the RAnet site is now more or less collectively owned by us all, the fees for hosting etc are financed with the referral fees, so those had to be subtracted first before I could donate. In case you haven’t seen it yet, you can read more about it all in the News section on RAnet.

However, in case there are readers here who are new fans and neither familiar with RAnet nor with the donation scheme there, I’d just like to quickly appeal and explain to those fans where these referral fee donations come from.

We have this brilliant little scheme going whereby we can more or less automatically make money from Amazon that will create donations for charity. The way it works is this: As an Amazon Affiliate, RAnet has special links through which any shopper can access Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon DE. Every time a shopper uses those links to access Amazon *and then* in the subsequent 24 hours or so makes a purchase on Amazon, RAnet receives a cut from the money spent by the shopper. *Any* purchases at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or Amazon.de will earn a referral fee, not just Richard Armitage products. Products such as books, audiobooks, DVDs, toys and games, Kindle and other digital purchases, even gift vouchers and marketplace items. (There are a few exclusions, but I won’t get into the details here.)

So, for each purchase made after coming to Amazon via our links, we receive a referral fee. This is a percentage of the total sales (around 5-6%) although mp3 sales earn 10% and gift certificates earn 6%. The referral fee is paid to RAnet, not the purchaser. And just to make it clear again: It does not incur any extra charges for the shopper! You do not pay extra at all. This is basically Amazon paying RAnet for sending shoppers their way. Ergo: By shopping through our links you can generate money for free which will then be donated to charity (and used for the upkeep of RAnet). Win-win, right?

Lucas North, signing into Amazon via RAnet’s affiliate links. What is the spy going to buy???

 

Affiliate Links – Best Practices

If you feel like supporting this donation scheme – no pressure, if you don’t like Amazon, there is no expectation that you now do all your shopping through RAnet – here are a couple of best practice tips that might make it easier to remember the links.

  • Rather than having to surf to RAnet’s landing page every time you want to click on the Amazon referral links, you can actually bookmark them in your own browser.
  • Alternatively, you can of course simply just copy and keep the URL in your notes on your computer.
  • Moreover, Chrome and Safari “remember” specific URLs automatically if you have used them frequently. I.e. everytime I type “amazon” in my browser, they automatically open the referral link with the RAnet identifier in it.

So, with the holiday season coming up, and in case you are making any purchases on Amazon, it would be so cool if you accessed the sites with our referral links – making donations simply by shopping. For your convenience, here are the links – click the image to go to the sites:

And just before I let you go…

Buy Local – Some Personal Shopping Recommendations

Rather than give all my money to Amazon (as much as I appreciate the referral scheme for RAnet), I have decided to really make a point of  supporting small businesses with my Christmas shopping. This may seem a complete contradiction to my appeal above, but just for the sake of balance, and just because the pandemic has hit economies everywhere – I just thought I’d share with you my latest “small business” shopping links every time I post.

Astrov buys local

The big slogan here in Ireland has been “buy local”. I have started my first Christmas shopping with a couple of small Irish enterprises, and even though these businesses are not actually in my immediate vicinity (“local”), anything in Ireland pretty much qualifies. This is a tiny country. However, I think the whole “buy local” thing is a bit of a misnomer. Because there are small businesses *elsewhere* who have brilliant, original products that I would like to buy. And especially when they offer shipment internationally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with supporting a small business that is actually not local to me as such. Small businesses *everywhere* are struggling, so why not support them with an order? Support small businesses – everywhere.

So, *rhubarbrhubarbrhubarb* – I’m actually starting off with an Irish small business. For those of you who love Ireland – or who simply like cool socks – the Sock Co Op sells “a little piece of Ireland for your Sole”. I’ve just bought a few pairs of socks for my kids (stocking fillers…) and I totally love these:

9.95 € a pair. But these are really special. And they last a long time. (Bought a few pairs last Christmas – still in circiulation.) Shipping is actually incredibly reasonable – 3€, even international. Free shipping on all sock orders over €35. So, in case you like this – support a small business.

If you are also a blogger, why not add a recommendation of your own to your next post? Or if you tumbl and tweet, I’d love to read *your* recommendations over there because I am always on the look-out for original, unusual gift ideas, given they ship internationally. So let’s support some small businesses anywhere!

 

24 thoughts on “Donations Follow-Up

  1. I think “complete” in this sense means “has reached his goal,” i.e., I agree, he probably shut them down himself. I’m glad they answered promptly!

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    • Yep. Thank you for the suggestion – I was doubtful they would reply at all, and would not have tried, had you not suggested.
      Strange wording, but that’s the most likely of explanations.

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      • I think they have a vested interest in knowing if there’s some actual glitch, so they’d theoretically want to check it out. (Hypothetically, of course, as the universe has never amazed me more than in the last year.) I think if you combine philanthropy plus IT you’re probably in for a whole lot of special jargon.

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  2. RAnet is home page on my computer browser and I always go to my Amazon page using the Amazon.com link on the RAnet site. I read a lot in different foreign languages and Amazon is my only way to buy those books right away on my Kindle, which is very convenient. 😊

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  3. RAnet is home page on my computer browser and I always go to my Amazon page using the Amazon.com link on the RAnet site. I read a lot in different foreign languages and Amazon is my only way to buy those books right away on my Kindle, which is very convenient. 😊

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    • Fabulous Olga – many thanks for that.
      And yep, I have kept the link alive in my browser, too, and automatically always access Amazon that way. Hehe, and just told my son to order his 250€ mobile phone via RAnet link, too. So, that’s 12€ for the donation fund 👍🏻

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  4. I used to use Amazon UK/US via the RANet links, but now that they have an Australian site, that’s no longer possible. I’m just redirected back to the local one. Not sure about the UK, it’s been a while since I tried to use them, but the US arm won’t ship to Australia because they’d have to pay GST (goods and services tax) on all purchases, not just those over $1000. It’s their way of protesting. Prior to that, being exempt gave them an advantage over Australian companies. I only use them now for my Audible purchases, everything else comes from local online sites.
    Re the JustGiving pages, I thought the fundraising was an ongoing process, but it seems that Richard must have had a particular target amount in mind when he set his up?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should clarify that Amazon would have to apply (not pay!) the 10% GST, which results in higher prices, the customer pays, but it’s the company which has to remit the funds to the Australian government.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just speculation on my part, of course, but I doubt that he had a fixed amount in mind. I mean, the sites have been up for years and years. They were a convenient catchall to redirect the unwanted flow of presents for his birthday and Christmas and that fact hasn’t changed. 🤔

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      • It’s the use of “complete” that throws me. As Guylty says, it’s strange wording, as if there was some kind of target in mind, maybe a certain length of time, or maybe they’ve become inactive *shrugs* it’s been LOROS that’s received my donations in Richard’s name since his mum passed away.

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        • I understand the use of that word because it probably makes sense to them in some contexts. I can imagine that people fundraise towards specific goals through the site—e.g. for my fiftieth birthday, in lieu of presents, my goal is to raise 2,000 € for the local hospital. In that sense, some fundraisers probably have a fixed time/monetary goal attached. It just doesn’t seem logical in his case, but they might be stuck on their language as someone suggested in another comment.
          Like you said, it doesn’t really matter. I favor LOROS as well.

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          • Just noted this to Mezz: I did not mention in my post (because I was being overly PC) that the CS agent’s name possibly indicates that she is a non-native speaker. Name: Maisha. And in that case, maybe she uses “completed” to mean “finished”, “ended” etc.

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        • Same here, Mezz. The word just doesn’t really make sense. (Being a non-native speaker, I actually even googled the phrase, wondering whether it was used in fundraising generally or in context with JustGiving specifically. But no results.) I have to add the following – I was wondering whether the unusual phrase may be an indication that the CS agent who dealt with my request may have been a non-native speaker, too. The name given was “Maisha” – which could possibly mean that. No judgment intended, just possibly an explanation that by “completed” they actually meant something like “finished”.

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      • I agree with you there. Partly because I actually don’t think that he thought that much about it at all. He simply needed a solution way back in 2012 (or whenever) and set it up. It totally has served its purpose, and he has made a massive difference with the money he has raised. So the idea was great. And maybe now he has simply copped on that he could make a *bigger* difference for just *one* charity if he concentrated the fundraising on Loros.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’d been wondering whether it would make sense to add other Amazon sites to the affiliate scheme, but for that we probably need a large group of fans who regularly use it. So, never mind, Mezz – you’ve done your best 😉
      As for a target amount – it comes across like that (from the wording of the JustGiving reply) but I actually doubt that he set up his pages and then said to himself “I’ll leave this running until each of them gets X amount.” My hunch is that he has just unilaterally decided to move his fundraising efforts away from this (too) large array of charities, towards just *one* cause.

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    • I don’t think he had a fixed amount in mind (and the pages have been “reset” over the years, too, although I’m not sure by whom). But even if he had, in a situation like this someone can set the page to remain open even over the target goal. In that sense if he shut down the page he has “completed” his fundraising.

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      • I suppose in that sense the word fits – whether he ever had a specific target or not, the pages have served their purposes, and now that task is complete… Here’s hoping he’ll make some sort of announcement himself about the fate of the JustGiving fundraising.

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  5. Thanks so much for the links and great idea to bookmark don’t know why i never thought to try and do that. And for the suggestion of shopping local, i’ve been trying to find local places too and i’ve been buying local cheese and preserves and hope to do the same exercise for Xmas goodies. Lovely socks! I always envy cool ones as i’d love to wear them but my awful ankles don’t work with the vast majority of socks as they cut off my circulation 😦 But i keep trying, i wish like with many things bigger size things wouldn’t be made boring or less interesting…
    Thanks for checking just giving, i think focusing on Loros is good as they have a smaller pool of donours and helpers

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    • Yep, I remember we discussed Loros/JustGiving at length, and how focussing on one charity alone would make so much more sense.
      Hooray for your local shopping initiative. I am next going to suss out local bookshops because I have a number of books I want to get as presents, and I don’t want to order them on Amazon, links or not…

      Like

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