[Updated] In the first 72 hours of officially starting PayPal donations, there have been over 152 separate donations totally over $3,400. Wow.
Let me put it this way. More money has been raised in just the past 72 hours than I have directly spent on helping others during my entire project to date. If our political leaders were as conscious and considerate about third world poverty as those who read this blog than global poverty would have ended ages ago.
This experience has also shown me just how hard it is to make sure every dollar reaches those in need. Even though I have yet to touch a single penny that has been donated, PayPal has already taken 3.2%. [Update June 12th, 2008 – PayPal charges a variable service charge. For large donations, the percentage seems to be around 3.2%. But, for smaller donations such as $1, the service charge is over 30%] That means of the $3623.30 donated within the first 72 hours – PayPal already scooped up $156.49 for themselves.
Assuming I withdraw this money the same way I have been withdrawing donations from my family (through the local ATMs) there will be a 1% currency conversion fee for every dollar I withdraw. So that means – before any money gets to help anyone – between the banks and PayPal – over $190 never reaches it’s destination.
This is part of the reason I was suggesting everyone seriously consider donating to one of my recommended charities. Many of them use their tax exempt status to negotiate better rates with online donation services and banks. Although, even these charirties have to pay some fees – and some of their money goes to PR and paying their staff.
I’m starting to wonder just how much of “a cup of coffee a day” actually reaches the final destination…