We are interested in the effect of receptor clustering on k+, the diffusion-limited forward rate constant for the binding of a ligand to a cell surface receptor. Here we estimate the reduction in k+ when receptors are clustered in various configurations. We obtain two alternative expressions for the flux of ligands into receptors distributed on a surface. Next we show through a variational principle that these provide both upper and lower bounds on the flux when evaluated for trial concentration functions which satisfy only the boundary conditions of the Laplace equation. We use an analogy with electrostatics to calculate rigorous bounds within approx. 10% of the exact result for a variety of planar clusters of hemispherical receptor sites. We also obtain an exact result for the flux into a spheroidal receptor and use this result to obtain bounds on the flux into certain receptor clusters.