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Suitcases full of money
Legal Online Donations

This page offers guidance on how branches should go about raising donations through their websites etc. The money raised should go directly to the branch etc. bank account. We asked the EC for their specific advice, and received a response from Ros Baston, Lead Adviser (Party and Election Finance), as follows:

EC's Advice

Essentially, the rules are the same as for more oldfashioned fundraising. You should set up any PayPal system to capture the individual's name and address details (and preferably email) so that donations over 500 can be checked as they arrive, and ensure that no one's trying to circumvent the rules by giving multiple smaller donations in an attempt to evade the rules. If someone happens to give two or more amounts which add up to over 500, this is not in itself a problem, but if you have any suspicion that they are doing so to evade controls (such as regular amounts over a few weeks, or direct questions or contact with you about the possibility of avoiding the rules), the donations should be returned.

If someone does manage to get through to give more than 500 without giving details (or for example by using an obvious alias), you should try to find out their identity to see whether or not they are permissible. If you can't do this, send it back through PayPal to the donor within 30 days, and let the treasurer know as they'll need to report it to us.

I'd recommend putting a process in place to make sure that all donation details are sent through to the registered treasurer (or other person with responsibility for checking) at least on a weekly basis to give time for any issues to be cleared up in the 30 day window before donations over 500 must be returned if not permissible. It also means that the treasurer can aggregate donations across branches to make sure that they are reporting accurately to us in the quarterly donation returns.

UKIP HQ's Advice (from Roger Webb years ago.)

UKIP HQ recommend considering using Worldpay - however this is only viable financially if you are going to get a lot of individual donations (size of donations is less relevant here than sheer number of donations) as the charges will otherwise outweigh low level (numbers) of donations - branch sites are unlikely to get this, but Worldpay do offer a few advantages over Paypal, for example, treasurers are less exposed financially, I gather.

Paypal is probably the way to go, to start with at least Link the branch bank account to the paypal account, and also ensure treasurer has email capability to deal with notifications. PayPal systems can be set up to ensure - or not - that donors details are recorded at the time of a donation (passed to the person running the account - such as treasurer) - this is essential in order to clarify donors can be identified and are eligible to make any given donation!

A useful option from paypal is ability to refund donations - so if you find a donor has given in error (against the rules for example), it can be returned easily and at no cost to you.

Oh - and one more thing - make expectations of minimal amounts clear on the ukip webpage, as any very small donations can end up costing you money, as the fixed charges Paypal would make for successful donations (ones that are not refunded) might eat significantly (wholly??) into the money donated. 5 minimum seems a fair level to start at - and certainly not 5 pence!