Fundraising Platforms – the good, the bad, and the ugly

In this day and age there are many different venues to set up fundraising, and crowdfunding pages.  This can be very helpful if you know which ones are most effective, but it can also be confusing when you’re trying to wade  through lists of rules, goal requirements, and of course…the dreaded fees!
We will talk about a couple of the most popular choices, and detail their benefits and their drawbacks.


Always your best choice!  As I explain to each client during their initial interview, setting up your fundraising page through Classy on the NEADS website is the oh-so-important 1st step in your fundraising journey.  Once this page is set up you are officially ready to join the ranks of many other successful NEADS fundraisers.

There are numerous benefits to using your NEADS fundraising page exclusively, such as…

Fees– No fees are charged by NEADS.  A credit card processing fee of 3.5% is charged by Classy but the donor can opt to pay that fee for NEADS.  If the donor chooses not to pay the fee, the full amount of the donation still goes toward the client’s fundraising and NEADS covers the fee.

Tax Deductions– All donations are tax deductible and donors receive an acknowledgement from NEADS along with a tax receipt.
Trust– NEADS is a registered 501C3 with a long track record of ethical dealings with donors.  There are many people, places, and organizations, soliciting donations these days so it can be difficult for donors to know who to trust.  Donations coming through your NEADS fundraising page are obviously, and unquestionably, reaching NEADS – thus assuring the validity of your donation request.
Management of Funds– The client never has to deal with the funds!  This is a definite perk because things sometimes get sticky when a client takes on the responsibility of personally handling the donations (see below).


If you’re going to set up a secondary fundraising page – your NEADS page must be set up 1st and you must notify me beforehand – than GoFundMe might be a good option.  It is one of the few platforms that doesn’t require you to reach a certain fundraising goal in a specified amount of time.
Fees– GoFundMe recently switched from charging a 5% fee to charging no fee.  The credit card processing fee is passed on to the donor, and you will not receive the full amount of their donation due to this.
Tax Deductions– Donations do not qualify for a tax deduction as they are for an individual raising money through a personal campaign.
Trust– Many thousands of people are taking advantage of crowd funding to raise money for themselves, and for charitable organizations.  As you can imagine, not all of those fundraising are legitimate and scammers are out there.  You, as a NEADS client, are raising funds for NEADS not for yourself.  So why not take advantage of that fact to lend credibility to your campaign?
Anyone can set up a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe and while the sites make an effort to guarantee that the donations are going to legitimate causes, they can’t always follow through on that guarantee.  A donor who suspects fraud must prove that their donation has been misused through a lengthy process, and even then they will only be reimbursed up to $1,000 per campaign.  This means that there is a great deal of risk to donors.
Management of Funds– The client is technically the recipient of each donation, not NEADS, so as the client you must collect the funds in your personal bank account, and then send that money to NEADS.  Whether the donations count towards your taxable income is dependent on many factors – speaking to an accountant is strongly advised.  For more info. see GoFundMe Taxes

And a final word on Facebook fundraisers…

Facebook fundraisers can be a helpful way to raise money if you have many contacts, but keep in mind that there is no direct link between NEADS and Facebook. Fundraisers on Facebook are misleading in that they look like they’re sending funds directly to NEADS, when in reality, it can take anywhere from weeks to months for the funds to be sent to us.  While Facebook fundraisers can be a good way to raise money, it’s a much less direct route than simply sharing your NEADS fundraising page on Facebook, and other social media outlets, and letting people donate directly to NEADS that way. In addition, NEADS does not receive donor information from Facebook so donors will not receive acknowledgement letters from us.

If you are going to use Facebook for fundraising you must set up an actual fundraising campaign.  This will make sure that when we receive the donations they will have your campaign name on them.  Facebook also allows you to insert a DONATE button on posts – do not go this route!  Any donations that come in via a DONATE button will have no info. included and will not make their way to your fundraising total for NEADS.

If you are going to use Facebook for fundraising you must…

1.  Tell me first.  If I am aware that you’re fundraising via Facebook than I can keep an eye out for your funds to arrive.
2. Make sure the fundraiser is set up in your name through your Facebook account.  If a friend sets up a fundraiser on your behalf, the funds will be sent to NEADS with his/her info. on them and none of yours.  This is a good way for those funds to not make it into your fundraising total.
If you have thoughts or questions about fundraising platforms please reach out to me.  We can find the answers together.  And let me know before you set up any additional fundraising pages, not after.
Keep up the great work!  We couldn’t do it without you – our most valuable assets!