Fundraising Resources for Schools

Easy Way to Raise More: Allow Your Donors To Cover Fees

Holman Gao | 4 min read

Processing fees are inherent with all digital transactions today. Unfortunately, online donations are not exempt, but an easy way to save on this cost is to offer your donors the ability to cover the fees on your behalf. Research has shown that many donors will elect to cover the fees as part of their gift because it adds to their feelings of personal satisfaction associated with supporting your organization. Selecting an online fundraising platform that allows donors the option to cover fees is a convenient and simple way to enhance their giving experience, while keeping more of the donation for its intended purpose – supporting your school!

How many donors actually choose to cover the fee?

Development teams rejoice – a significant number of donors cover fees! On BoostMySchool, 85% of the donors choose to cover the processing fees on behalf of their school.

Furthermore, it appears that this finding is supported across a variety of fundraising platforms. GiveGab reports that on average 68% of donors cover fees on their platform and Crowdrise reports that for donations under $100, fees are covered 90% of the time.

What’s motivating this surge in adding the extra “gift” of picking up the processing fees when an online donation is nearly complete? We believe that it is as simple as because they are asked. At the point in the transaction where a donor is asked to help defray the cost of providing the convenience and ease of online giving, they have already decided to support you. Whether it is because they support your mission, have a personal story, belong to your social networks, or philanthropy is a family tradition, they have committed to you and will likely want to see 100% of their donation impact your school.

What do donors really think about these fees?

We have heard from members of the BoostMySchool community that they are concerned about how processing fees will now be perceived by their donors when it is separated out from the gift so openly. Perception will largely depend on your donor base and how familiar they are with online processing fees in general.

Fortunately, most donors making an online donation are already making other purchases online. They are very comfortable with ecommerce and being charged fees with other online services such as Ticketmaster. This built-in familiarity will bring an automatic understanding of processing fees as the cost for providing convenience and security for all digital transactions – including a donation.

Your job will now be to create transparency within your online giving forms by showing your donors that your organization also incurs standard processing fees with every digital transaction and that it effectively reduces their gift. Additionally, you should also assure them that they can guarantee 100% of their intended donation comes to the school by covering that cost themselves. Using the BoostMySchool fundraising platform makes that easy, authentic, and cost-effective for your school!

Consider pre-selecting the option to cover fees

Image: Pre-selected checkbox on BoostMySchoolPre-selected checkbox on BoostMySchool

Given the high number of donors that prefer to fully support an organization by covering the processing fees, building-in the option as pre-selected within your giving form makes good sense. This will eliminate the extra step of having to check the box, and it will also give those donors not accustomed to paying the fees a chance to consider it for a brief moment before unchecking the box.


Offering the opportunity to cover fees associated with digital transactions is sure to build loyalty and goodwill with your donors. Platforms like BoostMySchool are proud to provide this built-in transparency as a way for you to recover the fees incurred, while building a shared appreciation for the relationship between your school and its supporters.

One other thing to remember, fees are transacted on all online payments, including events and merchandise. Similar to your fundraising platform, make sure that your events and alumni store systems also support the option for users to cover transaction fees. Don’t pass up a chance to realize the full value of the money donated while giving your donors the opportunity to show their dedication to your cause!

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About Holman Gao

Holman is the founder and CEO of BoostMySchool. He actively helps his former high school with their fundraising and alumni outreach, which is how the idea for BoostMySchool came about. He is a strong believer in the power of education to change the world and volunteers with programs that support underrepresented students in math and science.

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