Risk or Reward: Gaining Transparency in the Donation Process, by YourCause

Understanding Fees

In the last few years, we have seen the rise in popularity of crowdfunding and online fundraising, allowing anyone to raise money for a 501(c)3 they are passionate about or provide support for those who are in need of financial help. While these tools have proven to be increasingly useful and in high demand, many of these tools do not operate under a Transparent Giving model, rather under a model that takes a small fee with each donation made through their sites.

With information readily available at our fingertips, individuals have discovered the fundraising fee model and have taken those that practice it to task. During the 2017 California wildfires, a social media influencer asked followers to Venmo her cash, which she used to buy gift cards for victims, just to get around the fees that would have been applied to donations. Her followers were willing to forgo the security of sites that verify the distribution of funds and trusted a random stranger, just to bypass these fees. Because of these pressures, GoFundMe removed fees on personal fundraisers for an undistinguished length of time and Facebook removed them altogether.

Removing Fees

Deciding to remove fees can be a tough decision, one that directly impacts the bottom line of a company operating under in a Transparent Giving model. However, corporations that choose to drop fundraising fees are aware of the public’s outcry, knowing that it is the ethical thing to do. The company understands the potential negative impact on their own bottom line but sees the betterment of the individual or nonprofit organization as more important. Taking a stand for society over the long-term instead of choosing profits in the short term positively impacts their brand and their reputation.

Corporate America Takes Notice

In the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) industry, we are seeing these same trends play out. Corporations are beginning to ask platform providers about their fee models. It is important to take note that the fees a platform charges can make the difference in whether an employee chooses to participate in a CSR campaign, employee satisfaction, and so much more.

From the beginning, YourCause has chosen a transparent business model, not taking a percentage of any donation made through our platform. We are seeing more and more companies express an interest in partnering with those that practice this model and an added assurance that the most possible amount of employee donation makes it to the intended organization. The result?… Companies have begun choosing a transparent giving model because they are committed to a CSR model that minimizes the fees deducted from an employee’s donation and maximizes the impact of every dollar donated. They are also proudly displaying their commitment using the Transparent Giving badge within their philanthropic platform, as well as on their website and social media channels. Developed and launched by YourCause, the Transparent Giving badge is an industry-first initiative recognizing companies who are committed to maximizing the impact of their employees’ charitable contributions.


The Future is Exciting

Looking to the future, it’s exciting to see our consistent decision to practice a Transparent Giving model echoed by other platforms. In the end, we all have the same goal of making our world a better place. Ensuring that a greater percentage of funds makes it to our nonprofit partners is key to achieving our goals, however, the conversation isn’t over. People and corporations all over the world must continue calling for transparency in the fundraising process. We’re excited to support other corporations and organizations as they begin the process of eliminating fees and understanding what that means for the future of the bottom line.  
If your company is part of the Transparent Giving movement, we invite you to download the Transparent Giving badge and display it proudly!