A few months ago a friend of mine suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm. Upon hearing of this tragic loss, a few of us discussed setting up an online fundraiser to financially help his wife and four kids.
In a rush to raise money for the family, my buddy Al quickly set-up a fundraiser on GoFundMe. For those unfamiliar with the service, GFM is a popular crowd-funding platform that allows people to raise money for events ranging from life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses.
From time to time I’ve scanned GFM campaigns and over the years have donated to both friends and strangers. I've been a fan of the platform, but I was taken aback this past weekend when my cousin was venting about GFM keeping around 8% of donations for a friend in need. There’s no way I thought – that’s too steep; especially for those fundraising to pay medical bills and other challenging circumstances where every penny counts. I assumed that she got her numbers wrong, so I checked.
GoFundMe Pricing & Support. While it's completely free to create a fundraising campaign, GoFundMe will deduct a 5% fee from each of your donations, and you'll also be charged a 2.9% + $0.30 fee from WePay for each payment you request.
Whoa. I understand that GFM has bills to pay, but this is pretty disappointing and undermines the spirit of their service/community; especially since at the time of making a donation or creating a campaign, the fee structure is not prominently displayed or articulated.
If this fee structure (7.9%) is the best that GFM can do to keep their service operational and profitable, then so be it; high fees and all, we're better off with a site like GFM around than not.
That said, I recommend looking at alternate services, especially if raising money from friends/family where the size of the GFM community is not as important to your fundraising goal. YouCaring for example only charges a processing fee of 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction and avoids a platform fee altogether.