New to Meetup: Group Fundraising

Empower your community to contribute. A new Fundraising feature will allow organizers to collect optional monetary donations for group goals.

coins on a table

There are often costs associated with organizing a group and hosting events. The first up-front cost for organizers is the subscription fee that enables you to host events on Meetup’s platform. But in addition to that, it’s not unusual for events to require a bit of investment, whether that money is going to venue booking, equipment rentals, food and drink, or other items that raise the overhead of running an active community. 

You don’t have to shoulder all of these expenses on your own. Now it’s easier than ever to offset the various costs of organizing through Meetup’s new Fundraising feature! Meetup is teaming up with Pledge, a secure payment collection company, to allow organizers to collect voluntary contributions from group members. 

U.S.-based groups have the option to enable a fundraising campaign tied to their group, which can be done on the website when logged into an organizer account. Learn more about this exciting partnership and how to start Fundraising today. 

What is the new Fundraising feature? 

Crowdsourcing some investment for your group can take your events (and your connections!) to the next level. The new Fundraising feature allows people to make voluntary donations to your group. Although group members are the main audience for monetary contributions, a person does not need to be a group member in order to donate to a group fundraiser.  

When you start a new fundraiser, you’ll set a certain amount of money as your fundraising goal. This number will be visible to everyone, as well as a tracker showing your fundraising progress. As a group organizer, you can adjust your fundraising goal at any time. 

Speaking of time, fundraisers have no time limit. Plus, you can receive funding that exceeds the goal amount you set. 100% of all donated funds go directly to you, the organizer, after subtracting a small credit card service fee, which is about 3%. This is made possible by Meetup’s partnership with Pledge.

What is Pledge?    

Pledge is a company that provides quick, easy, and most importantly, secure payment options for fundraising. They’ve helped connect and empower people supporting all kinds of impactful causes around the world.  

If you want to start fundraising for your Meetup group, just sign up for a free Pledge account and enter your bank deposit information. Then, when people make donations, the process of actually receiving those funds becomes totally hassle-free. 

You can easily find out who has donated to your fundraiser using the Pledge dashboard within your Pledge account. You can even access the Pledge dashboard directly from Meetup through your group fundraiser settings. For more information on creating a Pledge account and starting a fundraiser for your Meetup group, check out the Help Center.

How Fundraising looks from a member perspective  

Although donations are powered by Pledge, they take place directly within the Meetup platform, so members can rest easy knowing their payments are safe and going to be used as intended. Members can also be assured that group organizers see their specific donations. However, there is an anonymous donation option available to anybody who prefers it. The minimum donation amount for every fundraiser is $2. 

When you start a new fundraiser, U.S.-based members will see an invitation to donate on your group homepage below the Discussions section. You can also tie Fundraising initiatives to your events—this will give members a prompt to donate after registering for a specific event. Once the event begins, another donation prompt will appear to attendees. 

You can also follow up with members after an event and invite them to donate. Just use the contact members feature on your group’s homepage, and send along the link to your fundraiser with a little personalized message thanking everyone for attending. Following that link is a simple way for members to show their appreciation for the community. And it feels more “official” than paying cash or sending money to an organizer’s personal Venmo account.

In addition to their donations, members have the option to leave an extra tip amount to support Meetup’s fundraising infrastructure that charges 0% fees on payments.  

Why you should start using the new Fundraising feature today  

If Meetup’s history has demonstrated anything, it’s the power of community! Not only can you share the cost of an organizer subscription, but Fundraising could help your group broaden its horizons and reach new heights. 

Maybe you want to expand your networking community by advertising online, or perhaps your backyard astronomy club wants to rent out a real observatory for a night. Whatever your reasons are, it’s a wonderful thing for members to be able to voluntarily contribute to the power of your community. 

The Meetup fundraising feature is currently available to organizers and members based in the United States. Non-U.S.-based groups and groups that are part of a sponsorship Meetup Pro network will not have access to fundraising at this time.

Last modified on August 10, 2022