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January 22, 2007 | Suw Charman Anderson

It's that time of year again

Can you believe it's been a year since we started accepting donations? Time flies when you're campaigning! Nevertheless, a full twelve months have passed, which means that if you donated a full year's subscription last January or February and helped get ORG on its feet, the time has now come for you to decide whether what we've achieved this year deserves another donation.

The best possible way to support ORG financially is to set up a monthly standing order, for £5 or £10 per month. Having a regular monthly income allows us to plan our campaigns more easily as we can reliably predict how much money we will have to spend. Equally importantly, standing orders cost us nothing. Every time you donate via PayPal, they take a cut - for each £5 you donate we receive about £4.63, and if you donate £60 we receive £57.76. This isn't much for one transaction, but it adds up - so far, we have paid over £2400 in PayPal fees. If you pay by standing order we will receive all of your donation.

To change from PayPal to standing order, you will need to log into PayPal, locate your subscription and cancel it (see instructions below - it's not all that intuitive!). You will then need to download our standing order form, fill it in, and send it to us, or you can use our bank details on this form to set it up using your own online banking. Please use your original reference number, which will be the first six letters of your surname plus a number. If you cannot find this information (it will be listed as a reference on your PayPal subscription details page), then email us and we'll tell you.

If you signed up to donate annually via PayPal last year, please be aware that you set up a repeating payment, which means that £60 will automatically be deducted from your PayPal account upon the anniversary of your first donation. PayPal won't ask you if you want to continue your subscription, nor do we have the opportunity to accept/decline the payment, or check that it's made with your approval - PayPal will just process the payment automatically. If you can't afford to pay £60 all in one go, please do cancel your annual subscription and set up a monthly one instead.

We really do appreciate the support that you've shown us over the last year - it led directly to ORG's very considerable success in 2006. Being funded by you as private individuals says a lot to the politicians and policy makers we work with and who we are trying to influence. It says that you care enough about these issues to fund ORG. So keep it up - your support is essential to our success in 2007!

Changing from PayPal annual subscription to a monthly standing order 1. Log into PayPal 2. Go to your account overview page 3. Click on 'details' for one of your PayPal payments to ORG to bring up the Transaction Details page. At the top of the Transaction Details page you will see:

Subscription Payment Sent (ID No.XYZ) In reference to:XYZ
Where 'XYZ' are long reference numbers. You will also see your ORG reference number which is made up of the first six letters of your name and then a number - please make a note of this.

4. Click on the link after 'In reference to' and this will give you the subscription details. 5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click 'Cancel Subscription'. 6. Confirm. 7. Download the standing order form. 8. Complete the standing order form, using your ORG reference number. 9. Send it back to us at the address on the form. 10. OR use the details to set up a standing order using your own bank's online banking website. 11. After a month or so, double check with your bank to ensure that they have correctly set up the standing order - it is not unheard of for banks to make mistakes!

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Comments (4)

  1. Suw Charman:
    Jan 23, 2007 at 11:16 AM

    If you paid by PayPal, your reference number will be in your subscription details, under 'Item Name'. If you paid by standing order, it will likely be on a bank statement. You will recognise it as being the first five letters of your name, plus a number.

    Or you can just email me and I will tell you!

  2. Alison Wheeler:
    Jan 22, 2007 at 11:08 PM

    Well, thanks, but this is rather late as Paypal took the money without any warning last week. If this post had been made in time I'd have had the opportunity to change the amount / switch to a standing order / cancel it entirely, but I didn't. Anyone else taking an annual fee reminds you in advance, puty you didn't as, I have to say, it doesn't inspire me much.

  3. Suw Charman:
    Jan 22, 2007 at 11:21 PM

    I'm sorry you're upset Alison. When we set up the annual subscription we didn't know that PayPal does not remind people prior to the second payment being taken - it simply assumes that because you signed up to a recurring annual subscription that you're happy to have that payment taken automatically. The recurring nature of the subscription was clearly stated when you signed up, but I am sorry that this payment has taken you by surprise. If you, or anyone else, want to have a refund, please do email me (suw at and I will sort it out as soon as I can.

  4. Adam:
    Jan 23, 2007 at 04:50 AM

    Eeek, Time to pay up (and happy to) - but how do I recover my original reference number? assuming, of course, that I'm disorganised and have lost it.

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