You want to raise money for a worthy cause; I get it!

Go Fund Me is a website that allows you to do that super easily, and securely.

But there is a price – Let’s say you raise $2,500 for your worthy cause…well, Go Fund Me is collecting nearly $125 of that. Credit card processing fees will be another $75 approximately.

So your buddy who needs new stuff after a fire only gets $2,300 even though folks who care about him actually provided $2,500.  (This was purely an example, the actual costs may vary, but the concept is the same, you are paying for the service).

Note – I am not saying there is anything wrong with this. Go Fund Me is providing a valuable service to most people who use it by providing a website and payment collection system. 5-10% or whatever the agreed upon amount isn’t actually a terrible fee for the service.

But, in some cases, those things are not necessary. Let me provide 3 examples.

  1. There is a gofundme alternative at YouCaring.com. It is basically the same service with no fees. But when you donate there, you will be asked to make an additional donation to help keep the site running. At least in that case the donation and the amount is optional. YouCaring is also a crowd sourcing site like GoFundMe and I will explain the benefit of that at the end of this article.
  2. In cases where sending a check is sufficient (that is, the money is not needed the next day), you can save all the credit card cost by allowing people to donate by check. Imagine my scenario above, by sending a check for $100, you ensure the donation is received in full, rather than the person in need only getting approximately $94 or so.
  3. And, in the case like I did recently with Mike Stockwell, since I already have a website and a payment processor, I was able to receive credit card payments and only incur the very small fee I pay as a non-profit. And with the help of a kind donor who covered the CC fees, Mike will receive every penny that was donated.

The ability to collect a credit card payment is a necessary evil, as many people simply would not donate without that ease.

So, if you MUST create a crowdsourcing page, I recommend YouCaring.com as a way to do it without the same overhead as Go Fund Me. But consider the fees involved and maybe you’ll find another solution.

P.S. Sites that Go Fund Me and You Caring will try to get more donations than what you are able to get with your reach. They make money off every donation, so they make it their goal to simply hook up people with causes they care about. So if you have a really big need where you need to reach people outside your normal sphere of influence and those who would help you create a buzz, a crowdsourcing site like You Caring or Go Fund me is a great idea.

If you simply want a place where people you already know and maybe those who also know your Facebook friends can donate, then a site like I set up for Mike Stockwell is more sufficient – and, I’ll submit to you, a better form of stewardship.

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