Our family began the process to adopt a child (or children) into our family more than two-and-a-half years ago. We have worked through the paperwork and the interviews with a fantastic adoption agency based here in Macon, called Covenant Care.
During the fund-raising portion of our journey, we sold merchandise, cleaned out our house by selling things one item at a time, participated in consignment sales, filled out grant applications, and even made a crowd-based fundraising page.
Crowd-funding is a popular way to raise money in America today -- with millions of dollars being raised through programs such as KickStarter, GoFundMe, YouCaring, Plumfund and even CrowdFunding.com.
When it comes to these types of fundraising programs, fees, charges and percentages can really make a difference in the type of success your fundraiser might achieve.
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Our family created a GoFundMe site initially. While the site was great for advertising the adoption, the steps of the process where we found ourselves at the time, and so on, we were not very successful in bringing in funds through this method. Several people opted to send us a donation directly after reading that the fees GoFundMe charges are about 8 percent.
Late in the process (meaning during the last six months), we have incurred about another $1,000 in fees and charges related to the adoption. Because of our move to the Savannah area, we needed to re-complete our home study visit in keeping with State of Georgia law.
Because a year had passed since our last physicals, each of the six of us had to have another physical. Since these fees were coming out of the money we had raised (and set aside) for the actual placement fees when the adoption occurs, we needed to raise some more money.
We created a YouCaring fundraising site, and thanks to a few generous friends, raised about another $225! While YouCaring does not charge processing fees or take off a percentage of your money at each donation, the process for receiving donations is still not perfect.
We chose to have YouCaring deposit the money we raised into a PayPal account so that we could transfer it into the account where we have saved our adoption placement fees. Because we used Paypal to process our donations, they charged us 2.9 percent plus a charge of .30 per transaction.
YouCaring does seem to be the least expensive by operating a fee-free group funding site. I imagine the charge to pay out the money is about the same whether you used PayPal or a processor through any of the other group funding sites.
Therefore, if you are involved in a fundraising venture, be sure you read all the fine print and the information regarding transaction fees and unseen charges.
After all, you want to finish your fundraiser keeping as much of your donations as possible! And the truth is, the people who make donations to your cause want you to keep as much of the money they donate to you, too.
Contact writer Rachael Mercer at firstname.lastname@example.org.