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A Fundraising Platform
Founded in 2018, FirstGiving is a merchant account provider that facilitates peer-to-peer fundraising, charity auctions, corporate gift matching, and other donations to non-profits and fundraising campaigns. Its proprietary donation software, named Panorama, allows donations to be made online and through mobile devices during events. The software also features registration and event management tools. In addition to its payment processing system, the company offers a multitude of ebooks that provide non-profits with guidance on how to organize fundraising campaigns.
Location and Ownership
FirstGiving is owned by FrontStream Holdings, LLC which is a registered ISO of Elavon, Inc. Georgia, Chase Paymentech Solutions, LLC, First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, NE, BMO Harris Bank, N.A., Chicago, IL, Deutsche Bank, USA, New York, NY, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA. The company is headquartered at 11480 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 300, Reston, VA. William C. Wood is the president of FrontStream Holdings.
FirstGiving Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: FirstGiving offers a campaign platform for fundraisers and charges an annual fee, performance fees, and transaction fees per donation.
- Complaints & Service: FirstGiving has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: FirstGiving Solutions does not currently have a profile with the Better Business Bureau.
- Sales & Marketing: FirstGiving does not hire independent sales agents and has not had complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With FirstGiving.
FirstGiving Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Fees|
Clean Complaint Record
We have only been able to locate 7 negative FirstGiving reviews. 1 complaint accuses the company of being a scam or engaging in fraud, calling the company a ripoff. The majority of its 5 complaints are in regard to the company’s fees, which fundraisers find to be too high.
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against FirstGiving. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
FirstGiving Customer Support Options
FirstGiving does not provide any dedicated customer support. Instead, the company defers to FrontStream, who provide a help desk account to merchants with a Panorama account as well as an extensive FAQ troubleshooting page.
No Red Flags
Although the company has more than a handful of complaints, mostly regarding its fees, FirstGiving does disclose its fee structure on its website. For the most part, the lack of reasonable customer service options is the main reason behind the company getting a “B” rating in this category.
FirstGiving Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
No BBB Profile Available at This Time
The Better Business Bureau does not currently maintain a profile for FirstGiving. We therefore will not factor a BBB rating into this review.
FirstGiving Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Panorama PRO Fee||$600 Per Year|
|Panorama PREMIUM Fee||$1,800 Per Year|
|Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Fee||5%|
|Online Auction Fee||5%|
|Event Registration Fee||1.5%|
|Event Ticket Fee||1.5%|
|Donation Fee||Up to 7.5%|
Annual and Donation-Based Fees
According to the company’s website, FirstGiving has 2 different membership options, the Panorama PRO and Panorama PREMIUM plans. Panorama PRO costs $600 per year like Panorama PREMIUM costs $1,800 per year. Though those platforms charge an annual rate, they each also impose various fees. A 5% performance fee is assessed to peer-to-peer fundraising, giving days, project fundraising pages, online auctions, and mobile bidding events. Another 1.5% performance fee is charged for event registration as well as tickets to and sales from auctions. It appears that each of those fees is charged to fundraisers.
Additionally, according to the FirstGiving terms and conditions, all donations contributed via Panorama are charged a fee of up to 7.5%. It is unclear whether or not these fees are charged to donors or to fundraisers upon the withdrawal of the funds.
Expensive Annual Fees and High Transaction Fees
As complaints about the company reflect, fees attached to FirstGiving’s service are the main issue with the company. With annual fees of $600 to $1,800, the additional performance and transaction fees make its costs high. The possible redundancy of the performance and transaction fees is another cause for concern. Given the convoluted fee structure and expensive annual costs, FirstGiving receives a “C” in this category.
FirstGiving Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||Yes|
FirstGiving Sales Tactics
FirstGiving does not appear to hire independently contracted sales agents to market its services. The company’s website does not advertise any partnership programs by which other businesses or individual agents can sign up to sell their services. This is a common hiring practice within the credit card processing industry that often results in a sales team composed of poorly trained or unregulated agents.
No Misleading Quotes
To its credit, FirstGiving does not list deceptive rate quotes in its official materials. The company thoroughly discloses its transaction rates for donations.
Given its lack of a reseller program, transparent pricing structure, and lack of issues with sales practices, we award FirstGiving an “A” in this category.
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