Guest Post: The Importance of 100% of Donations Going to the Cause
We welcome Danielle Zola, the Marketing Lead at UniversalGiving, to share insights on 100% donations. This topic is very dear to YourCause because we made the decision to give 100% from the beginning. The idea that even one person may not receive aid because of a “transaction fee” is just not our style.
Running an organization is not cheap. Many established nonprofits, foundations, and giving platforms take a cut of your donation as it passes from your pocket to the charity. Before it reaches its intended destination, chances are that your gift is going toward organizational operating expenses, contributing to fundraising benchmarks, and serving administrative fees. For the most part, this process is accepted as a necessary norm – a “transaction fee.” But does it really have to be necessary or normal?
Transaction Fees Mean a Possible Recipient is Still in Need
There are a minority group of organizations that send the entirety of donations straight to where it is truly needed most. These organizations often need to do little more than capitalize on their successful removal of philanthropic red tape. The donor is sure to rest easy knowing that his or her donation, in full, truly made a difference. It establishes a sense of trust in the organization from donors who are concerned about high overhead costs and the nagging question of where their donation is really going.
Donations going directly to the cause also highlights a core fundamental of giving: human connection. We donate to help others, to make the world a better place, and to improve less than ideal circumstances internationally. When 100% of a donation goes to the cause, it helps organizations secure and build relationships with important funding mechanisms – giving them the means to have the biggest impact possible. The donor, in turn, is more likely to see their donation make a tangible impact in the world.
Donors and organizations alike have trouble conceptualizing how a nonprofit can maintain a giving model that allows them to stay afloat financially without reserving a portion of the donation money. UniversalGiving proves that this model is not only possible, but also successful and sustainable.
How UniversalGiving Makes 100% Donations Possible
UniversalGiving provides two services. At its core, UniversalGiving is a nonprofit online platform that connects people with quality giving and volunteering opportunities all over the world. It brings trust into the donating and volunteering process – 100% of every donation made through UniversalGiving goes directly to highly vetted organizations. UniversalGiving focuses on connecting people with small, local organizations to allow donors’ and volunteers’ time and money to have the greatest impact possible.
The organization supplements its revenue by providing consulting services to Fortune 500 companies for their Corporate Social Responsibility programs, including Matched Giving and Employee Volunteering. By helping companies grow and scale their Corporate Philanthropy programs worldwide, UniversalGiving highlights an innovative way that nonprofits can expand their impact and allow 100% to go direct to the cause.
The business model is not easy. It means that the organization must diversify its income, maintain multiple services, and put its values ahead of all other pressing responsibilities. However, it also means that the organization can be more focused in pursuing its mission, bringing it closer to achieving the goal it originally set out to achieve: changing the world for the better.