Today isn’t just Tuesday, it’s “Giving Tuesday” ― a day of charity styled after the far less charitable Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday that precede it.
These days, given the plethora of online fundraising sites, it’s not quite as simple as dropping your spare change in a Salvation Army kettle (though that’s still an option). To help sort out the confusion, and ensure your donations actually end up where you intend, here’s a small rundown of those sites, the fees they collect, and how best to give.
Facebook offers a number of charitable giving tools, with fees ranging from 5 percent for approved charitable organizations to 6.9 percent plus an additional $0.30 fee per transaction for personal cause fundraisers in the U.S. (fees vary from country to country).
In celebration of Giving Tuesday, Facebook is waiving fees for donations made to nonprofits. Plus, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has ponied up $2 million to match donations, with a limit of $50,000 per nonprofit.
GoFundMe, one of the most popular fundraising sites, takes a 5 percent cut of all donations, in addition to levying a 2.9 percent charge for payment processing, plus $0.30 per donation. That’s a total of 7.9 percent (and $0.30 per transaction) out of every campaign.
YouCaring charges a processing fee of 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction, but doesn’t levy any additional charges. Instead of taking a flat fee, donors are prompted to contribute to YouCaring via a voluntary donation if they see fit.
GiveWell takes a much more selective approach to its donation process than the above platforms, starting with identifying specific charities themselves using a rigorous data-driven analysis. Donors can opt to give to any one of the charities that meets GiveWell’s standards, or allow GiveWell to make the decision on their behalf. GiveWell doesn’t charge any administrative fees, but donations made by credit card are subject to a 2.15 percent processing fee, plus an additional $0.28 per transaction.
Consider giving directly
Instead of donating via a platform like GoFundMe or Facebook, consider contacting your charity of choice and giving directly — many have a setup to match donations in honor of Giving Tuesday. Here are some pointers for evaluating charitable organizations, with an eye for making sure your donation does the most amount of good possible. Plus, here are tips to ensure that donation works with your budget.