CEO Insights: No more platform fees! Why fees are our risk to take on.

May 19, 2021
8 minute
A headshot of Justin Wheeler, Funraise CEO and Co-founder, sits in a grid of shapes along with the title 'CEO Insights'.
Justin is Funraise's CEO, a co-founder, and a bad-ass, experienced nonprofit fundraiser. Like a true fundraiser-turned-founder, he breaks down the concepts behind Funraise's mission everywhere he can make nonprofits' voices heard.

I’m excited to share a BIG announcement today that will impact Funraise’s customers and how the overall nonprofit sector thinks about fundraising fees.

But before I jump into the announcement, I’d like to share some context around Funraise’s vision and where we're headed.

When I started Funraise six years ago with my co-founders Jason and Tony, we agreed that an important part of our mission was to ensure that ALL nonprofit organizations had access to tools that would accelerate their growth.

Since 2014, we've been hard at work to create this reality.

Six months ago, we took a big step towards that goal and launched Funraise Free. This tier of customers, typically startup nonprofits, can access a subset of the Funraise platform for FREE so that while they invest in their programs, our technology can be part of their growth.

As a next step in our pursuit of across-the-industry tech accessibility, we’re phasing out Funraise’s current Platform Transaction Fee model. Historically, this was a fee we charged for each donation made through Funraise.

I know, it doesn’t sound like a good business decision, right?

The truth is, this legacy model meant that organizations incurred costs that cut into the impact of each donation. Although we offered a mechanism for donors to cover those fees, our customers still faced fees when donors opted out.

As a company, we believe the fee coverage is our risk to take on, not yours.

Additionally, as technologists obsessed with optimization, we believe we can do better than just reducing Funraise’s cost. Our new model will also help you cover your external processing fees so that 100% of your donors' gift goes directly to your work.


At checkout, we’ll encourage donors to add a small amount to their payment so that both Funraise’s fees and your external processing fees get covered. If the donor does not opt in to covering fees, Funraise will not charge a fee.

You heard that right, Funraise will only charge a platform fee when a donor covers it.

Like I said before, we believe this is our risk to take on, not yours. We’re excited about this change because it means more of your funds go to programs—not fees.

Here's a little more about our Donors Cover Fees model

We don't say it enough, but it’s an honor to serve nonprofits. Every day we come to work excited to bring you a product roadmap full of innovation. From all of us at Funraise, thank you for making our world better, one day at a time.

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