Facebook and GoFundMe Drop Fundraising Fees, Validating YourCause’s Approach to Employee Giving

Brant Barton December 11, 2017 Employee Engagement, Product Innovation

Last week, both GoFundMe and Facebook took steps to eliminate fees associated with running fundraising campaigns on their respective platforms. GoFundMe, the global leader in personal fundraising, elected to remove the 5% platform fee it charges campaigns launched by individuals while offering donors the option to provide a tip to cover campaign fees. Its platform fees do still apply to campaigns launched by organizations and from outside the United States. Facebook took a different approach, opting to waive its platform fee for organizations (including, quite generously, all payment processing fees) while retaining fees for personal fundraisers. Given the scale of both platforms, tens of millions of additional dollars will flow to good causes in the year ahead.

These changes are exciting for us to see, as they follow one of our core beliefs about the right way to do good. At YourCause, we passionately believe in maximizing the impact of every dollar donated to charitable causes and organizations. To that end, we have focused on growing our business without the financial benefit of charging transactional fees that burden the organizations and individuals committed to doing good.

We think there’s a better way. It may be a more challenging path, one that sacrifices profits for purpose. Our corporate clients already commit significant resources to run their philanthropy programs, and we ask for even more. We ask our clients to share our philosophy and not pass the expense of their charitable disbursements to their employees or the causes their employees wish to support. We believe this makes a powerful statement to those individuals, a statement reflected in our name: “Your cause is our cause.” In 2016 alone, our approach resulted in more than $17 million of additional support for employee causes.

As GoFundMe and Facebook have shown, there is always room for innovation in how to do good, even at the grandest scale. We applaud Facebook’s generosity in covering 100% of fees for organizations, and we believe that GoFundMe’s adoption of the tip model is a sign of innovations to come to our industry. Both companies’ decisions, while different in the details, are aligned in spirit and are a leading indicator of how we expect the industry of philanthropy to be disrupted – for the better – in the years to come.