Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Park Internet business makes it easier to donate to charities

Paybyweb founder David Weiss has helped the American Red Cross raise millions for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike and the earthquake in Haiti.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Paybyweb founder David Weiss has helped the American Red Cross raise millions for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike and the earthquake in Haiti.

With the nation's emotions running high after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, David Weiss joined the millions rushing to send money to agencies charged with helping victims and their families.

Over and over again he tried, but the American Red Cross Web site was overwhelmed.

Frustrated, Weiss called the charity's St. Petersburg office. Could he set up a link on his company's Web site to make it easier for people to give money, he asked. The answer was yes.

Nine years later, Weiss' Paybyweb Pinellas Park business has helped the organization raise millions for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and most recently, January's earthquake in Haiti.

Donations to Haiti through his Web site are nearing $1 million, part of the rising trend in online charitable giving. Noelle Barton, manager of special projects for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, says growth of online fundraising is outpacing more traditional methods. Online giving, though, still makes up only a small percentage of donations received by large charities, she said.

"In the past, we've seen big upticks of people giving online after major disasters, after Sept. 11, after the tsunami,'' said Sandra Miniutti, vice president of marketing for Charity Navigator, a national group that evaluates charities.

"Those were times when people wanted to give immediately. Those tragedies helped people feel more comfortable about donating online,'' she said.

And while the Red Cross still gets donors who walk through their doors to hand over a check, growing numbers prefer the convenience of giving online, said Lise Amundrud, Pinellas County financial development officer for the Tampa Bay chapter of the American Red Cross.

"It's one of the many ways to give. And one of those many ways happens to be coming from Pinellas County,'' Amundrud said.

Weiss's Paybyweb business, located at 4505 Park Blvd. in a Pinellas Park strip mall, sets up companies to accept credit cards and electronic checks. After the Haiti earthquake, he set up a link that let thousands of people from across the country donate to the American Red Cross.

Donations arrived online and by mail for as little as $1 and as much as $25,000, Weiss said. The grand total — minus Paybyweb's reduced fees to the Red Cross — is close to a million dollars, though the exact amount will not be known for weeks, he said.

Weiss, 47, started his business in 1992, after borrowing $1,000 from his mother to buy a printer. At first he specialized in check draft printing and verification services, before becoming a credit card service provider. He eventually moved into Internet payments. Today Weiss processes payments for such companies as AAA Motor Club South, Investors Business Daily and Nightingale-Conant Corp.

Working with the Red Cross has been rewarding, he said. "My hope is that my children learn a valuable lesson by seeing the importance of all of us doing our part," said the father of four boys age 18 months to 18 years.

"It's a lot of work for his company to do,'' Amundrud said.

"We've had many businesses in Pinellas County step up to help, Sweetbay Supermaket, Tampa Bay Rays, HSN, Ceridian … David is just part of that movement that wants to help.''

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2283.

To donate

Paybyweb

You can make donations at paybyweb.com.

Pinellas Park Internet business makes it easier to donate to charities 02/13/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 4:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84

    Nation

    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest

    Nation

    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.