The Ultimate Guide to Using Nonprofit Fundraising Minimums

Fundraising minimums can be one of the most powerful tools in a nonprofit’s toolkit. However, only a fraction of nonprofits doing event fundraising use them, and many haven’t even heard of them. In this guide, we’ll review everything you’ve ever wanted to know about nonprofit fundraising minimums, and how they can transform your yearly fundraising strategy. 

What are fundraising minimums?

A fundraising minimum is a fundraising goal set by a nonprofit that a participant agrees to meet by a predetermined date. When your supporter registers for your event or joins your campaign, they will be notified along the way that, by completing their registration, they are agreeing to reach your fundraising minimum. 
If your supporter doesn’t end up raising the fundraising minimum, part of the agreement is that they’ve already approved their credit card to be charged for the remaining amount not met via donations.
For example, an event participant named Josh has agreed to a fundraising minimum of $500 in order to enter your race. By the fundraising deadline, he has only raised $475. This means an automatic charge will be made on his saved credit card for the remaining $25, which will fulfill his commitment.

When to use fundraising minimums

There are a lot of different situations where fundraising minimums could grow your fundraising efforts. Here are a few examples: 

  • Participation-based events where you can offer competition-based perks, such as earlier start times, VIP parking, or advantages during the event.
  • Nonprofits with a corporate sponsor or celebrity supporter that can contribute an awesome incentive to motivate supporters.
  • High-demand events where you’re expecting to sell out.

Use them in creative ways

  • Introduce peer-to-peer fundraising to your gala by offering free entry with a small fundraising minimum.
  • Let supporters either pay for registration or commit to a fundraising minimum for your next event.
  • Make the box seats at your benefit concert only available to those who committed to fundraising minimums.
  • Incentivize early registration to your event by offering lower fundraising minimums to early registrants.

Benefits of fundraising minimums 

Fundraising minimums help ensure that you are getting people in the right mindset to start a fundraiser for you. It sets the right expectation for supporters who are ready to take on the challenge and commit to making the most impact.

They improve the overall participant experience

It’s a great way to motivate your supporters. It gives them a short-term goal to strive for and motivates them to hit it. 

They guarantee funding and reduce zero-dollar fundraisers

Fundraising minimums ensure that, no matter how many registrants sign up for your event, you will raise the goal that you are setting.

They can help you plan better events 

Guaranteed funding means you can put more into the event experience with confidence

Fundraising minimum best practices

1. Select an amount that is reflective of your event

Consider your event’s running or cycle distance, the level of service you’re providing, and the overall length of your event. The greater the distance, service, or length, the higher fundraising commitment you can require.

2. Create checkpoints to make the goal more manageable

Fundraising can be intimidating. That’s why fundraising minimum checkpoints can give your participants smaller milestones to shoot for on their fundraising journey. 

3. Celebrate your participants accordingly

The experience your participants have throughout your event doesn’t just happen on the big day. Make them feel special throughout the fundraising process by celebrating their wins, giving them personal shout-outs, and being their biggest supporter as they strive for their fundraising goals. 

4. Use different minimum amounts

Fundraising minimum commitments don’t have to be one-size-fits-all. Try using different fundraising minimum amounts if you offer different participant experiences. For example, maybe you have a 5k, half, and full marathon. You can use various fundraising minimums accordingly. 

5. Offer different incentives 

It’s amazing what a little momentum will do for your supporters. Incentives like VIP treatment, prizes, and special recognition are recommended for keeping the engagement high among your supporters. Even personalized thank-you messages on social media can go a long way. 

Why GoFundMe Charity leads the industry

GoFundMe Charity powers the biggest events in the world, including the John Hancock Boston Marathon, the TCS NYC Marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and more. We truly understand the relationship between nonprofits and their peer-to-peer participants, especially when it comes to fundraising commitments. 
With this knowledge, we’ve developed a robust fundraising minimum management platform. It is optimized for mobile devices and completely integrated with registration and fundraising. Nothing like it exists in the fundraising industry today. 


Checkpoints are a unique feature to GoFundMe Charity. They create fundraising deadlines within the overall fundraising minimum goal. They are less than the fundraising minimum amount, and due earlier than the fundraising minimum date.
Checkpoints are used to customize the participant experience and are often used to alleviate some of the fear that comes with fundraising by creating smaller, more digestible goals to strive for during the timeframe.
Just like the overall fundraising minimum, checkpoints are tied to a saved credit card, so if someone only raises $300 by the first checkpoint but committed to raising $500, they will be charged the difference of $200 to their credit card at the checkpoint due date. Then they will continue to work toward their overall fundraising commitment.

Forgive and forget

Circumstances change and things happen. On GoFundMe Charity, your fundraising minimums have the ability to be forgiven. It makes sense that you don’t want to hold a runner accountable for a fundraising minimum if they hurt their leg during training and can’t compete in your event. And with our fundraising minimum forgiveness, you don’t have to.
Additionally, on our platform, you can make changes on a case-by-case basis. Maybe you have a particular supporter who needs an extra week to fundraise, or you want to give all corporate partner employees a discount. Lowering or removing fundraising minimums for some participants without compromising others is a game-changer.

Easy-to-use, intuitive management

Our robust fundraising minimum manager allows you to download and analyze reports, as well as quickly understand how many tickets have been sold, and where all of your participants are at with their fundraising goals. 

Manage and message your committed participants

Use our integrated fundraiser update system to message your supporters along the way. Make sure to call them out individually when they hit certain milestones or receive a large donation. Your support for them will shine when you’re communicating with them every step of the way.  

Offer different fundraising minimum levels

Say your nonprofit is hosting an event that has a marathon, half marathon, and fun run. You can set up various fundraising minimums that make sense for each of these events. So, you might have a fundraising minimum of $1,000 for a marathon participant, $500 for the half marathon, and no minimum for the fun run.

100% secure and compliant

We take security very seriously and are committed to protecting the privacy of our supporters. We are fully PCI level 1 compliant and regularly test our systems for compliance. We follow industry standard best practices for security and fully encrypt all data in transit, which means your supporters’ credit card information is always safe. 

Hit you fundraising goal

Here at GoFundMe Charity, we’ve built the most comprehensive fundraising minimum tool in the business. Are you curious to learn more about how fundraising minimums can engage your supporters and help you hit your fundraising goals? Sign up with GoFundMe Charity and get started today. 

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