The popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe has helped users raise more than $5 billion to date for a variety of campaigns ranging from medical fundraisers to creative projects. The company is now attempting to corner a major part of the fundraising market: the nonprofit sector.

GoFundMe will roll out a new platform specially designed for nonprofits in November, just in time for the giving season and #GivingTuesday. The platform will feature donation buttons that organizations can integrate into their websites and social media accounts. Perhaps most importantly, the service is free.

Branded as GoFundMe Charity, the platform is the largest attempt by a major crowdfunding company to cater to nonprofits. GoFundMe Charity will charge no upfront costs, but will let donors volunteer funds to cover GoFundMe’s fees.

While this system may provide tens of thousands of small organizations a cost-efficient and recognizable means for accepting donations from their supporters, there are downsides to GoFundMe’s new platform. First, the platform requires that participating organizations register with PayPal’s Giving Fund Network, which subjects transactions to processing fees.

Additionally, GoFundMe has a poor track record dealing with bad faith actors. Users have run numerous scam campaigns through the site, which has also received bad publicity for radical right-wing campaigns such as the infamous border wall fundraiser that pulled in $20 million.

As every fundraising professional knows, there are few “one size fits all” solutions to nonprofit management. While GoFundMe’s service could be perfect for an organization without an established digital fundraising presence, this cheap service may be more trouble than it’s worth for larger nonprofits.


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