File under "it was too good to be true:"
In a release sent out today, GiveMN Executive Director Dana Nelson announced that the donations made to Minnesota non-profits through the GiveMN website would cease being "fee-free" as of October 1, 2010.
The website, which launched last November 17 with "Give to the Max Day," received a lot of initial press for both its offer to do for free what many non-profits can't afford to do on their own (create a web page for online donations) and also for not giving Minnesota non-profits much of a heads up on how to get involved in, or bow out of, the project.
GiveMN was quickly overwhelmed by public response to calls to donate via its site, and almost immediately went through the initial start-up funds set aside for paying transaction fees. In the past months Nelson has been looking at other means to make the site free for all who participate (including a page on GiveMN where you can donate to the running of the site itself) but it appears none of the options considered were sustainable.
We always knew and have been up front about the fact that 0 percent transaction fees on GiveMN was unsustainable but we are delighted we've been able to keep it free for so long and are able t ocontinue to keep the site free until October 1, 2010.
As stated in the GiveMN blog in January (http://blog.givemn.org/give_mn_blog/2010/01/11/60/new_year%E2%80%99s_resolutions_for_givemn), GiveMN's mission is to be the best way for Minnesota nonprofits to fundraise online which means that we are committed to keeping the transaction fees as low as possible. We will continue to search out the best possible processing partners and technology to ensure GiveMN is a valuable support to Minnesota nonprofits. We will never take a cut of transactions for GiveMN.
Donors have given over $640,000 through GiveMN to more than 1800 nonprofits in Minnesota thus far in 2010. I have heard from nonprofits of all sizes that they are grateful for the ability to fundraise online on GiveMN and will contine to utilze the site after October and into the future.
Executive Director, GiveMN