Online fundraising platforms offer a convenient way to collect gifts and support meaningful projects. But, these days, there are so many fundraising sites to choose from. It can be challenging to know which one will provide the best functionality for your needs – and the best experience for your donors.
In this blog, you’ll learn about the 12 key aspects to think about when you’re choosing an online fundraising platform. Plus, we’ll walk you through specific features and pricing details for the 9 best fundraising sites, listed below.
Here are the 9 Best Online Fundraising Platforms:
Read on to discover the best nonprofit fundraising platform for your organization, no matter your budget or cause.
An online fundraising platform is a software or a tool that allows your nonprofit to securely collect and process donations. Or, from a donor-centric point of view, online fundraising platforms allow donors to quickly, easily and securely support causes that are important to them.
A great fundraising platform for nonprofits is one that provides a hassle-free, user-friendly experience for your development team and your supporters. Many systems also offer functionality such as collecting recurring gifts, text-to-give donations, and support for crowdfunding projects.
Read on to learn about the most important features to look for when you’re considering your next online fundraising platform.
As you’re reviewing all of the fundraising sites out there, there are 10 key features to keep in mind. The best fundraising platforms are the ones that offer the features you need most, at a price that fits your organization’s budget. Below, we’ll walk you through 10 of the most important features.
Choosing a fundraising platform with an intuitive user interface can save a lot of headaches. You should be able to design your donation forms and pages with simple copy-paste codes, toggling of switches, and clicking buttons. Nothing that forces you to hire a developer or spend hours learning to use the code.
A customized, branded donation form with your organization’s preferred colors and logo can help your cause look organized, polished, and trustworthy. Some online giving platforms offer very little customization. On the other hand, a number of online giving platforms allow you to add highly personal touches to your page.
You should be able to add photos of your work in action or fonts that are consistent with your branded materials. Design your page with your organization’s logo, color palette, and graphic icons. Some platforms even allow you to use custom CSS code so you can customize the entire page.
Did you know the average recurring donor will give 42% more in a year than those who make one-time gifts? If your organization isn’t collecting recurring gifts, you’re missing out! Look for a fundraising platform that offers flexible recurring options for weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual giving.
Pro tip: Offer your supporters the flexibility of weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually recurring gift options. Plus, empower them to update their credit cards and adjust their recurring gift. This helps build trust, ease, and transparency while saving you some administrative time, too!
Crowdfunding allows your community of donors to combine their many small gifts into transformative impact. It is a great way to raise money for a specific project or fund within a limited period of time. With a goal thermometer (shown below), everyone can get excited about the progress toward a goal. This helps create excitement and can even result in multiple gifts!
Pro tip: Check to see if the donation platforms you’re looking at offer features such as a goal thermometer, a virtual donor recognition wall, and a dedicated space for campaign updates. It’s also advisable to have social media sharing options on the page so that your donors/supporters can spread the word about your nonprofit and the campaign.
A text-to-give campaign is a convenient way to raise funds for your cause. This solution is perfect for on-the-spot donation drives, conferences, and events. Donors can quickly and easily support the initiatives they care about by sending a text to a given number and then making the donation on their mobile.
Some online donation processors have text-to-give functionality built-in. It is advisable to look for a repeat donation feature while choosing a platform with text-to-give enabled. It will help you collect more donations by letting your donors easily repeat their last donations just by sending a small keyword to the same number.
You have a bunch of ardent supporters of your nonprofit who regularly attend your events, love to volunteer, and even make donations. Would you not want to have them more involved within the organization and offer them chances to help your cause in a more efficient way? Peer-to-peer fundraising makes that possible. You can have your supporters create their own fundraising pages and share the same with their network (family, friends, colleagues, neighbors) to raise funds for your nonprofit. It’s a simple as well as a great way to widen the reach, boost donations, and acquire new donors from your existing supporters base.
There is no better way to establish a loyal supporters’ base than to run a membership program. As a nonprofit, you may want to create a dedicated community of supporters and retain them by appreciating their efforts with perks and benefits. But how do you kick-start the process in a systematic way where all your member data and payment information is securely stored, can be accessed, and used as/when required?
Select a fundraising platform that enables you to do that. Your chosen platform should be able to help you create membership campaigns, add customizable membership tiers (as many as you want), and maintain every data securely at the backend. In addition, the process should be as simple as possible.
As a nonprofit, you often run events – be it for fundraising, for spreading awareness, appreciating your volunteers, or something else. How about having a fundraising platform that also lets you create event pages and tickets online, and determine the tax-deductible and fair market values for each ticket type? Such an online event page should let your potential attendees buy tickets with just a few clicks and receive a payment receipt right away. How easy would that be for managing all your events throughout the year in one place? No need for an extra tool, investing a lot of extra money in it, and having your staff trained on more than one tool!
With Donorbox, it’s as simple as we mentioned above. Plus, you also get to give your attendees an option to donate from the event page itself.
Many donors’ employers will match their qualifying donations to a nonprofit organization. Some organizations match 1:1, and some even match 2:1! That means that if your organization doesn’t have an easy way to collect matching gifts, you could be leaving money on the table. Opt for a donation platform that can remind supporters about gift matching – or that integrates with a gift matching service. For example, in the below image you can see the gift matching widget is a part of the donation form. That just makes it easy to find and people would be intrigued to know more.
While some fundraising platforms simply allow you to process donations, others also help you manage donor relationships and records. If this sounds appealing, look for a giving platform that functions as a one-stop-shop for donor management.
It is also advisable to choose a platform that lets your donors have an account of their own, where they can manage their donation plans and quickly repeat a donation if they want to, as well as download their donation receipts on the go.
Pro tip: Celebrating donors’ milestone events (like birthdays and giving anniversaries) can go a long way toward building a trusting, mutually beneficial relationship. With a system like Donorbox, you can keep track of this important information in each donor’s record. And, you can log your outreach in each donor’s profile, making it easy to remember your past conversations.
Think about the systems your organization is using to send emails, manage donor records, or organize projects. When possible, make your work life easier by choosing a donation platform that integrates with your existing systems. This can help you streamline your workday and avoid having to do duplicate work. As the saying goes, work smarter – not harder!
Integrations like that with Salesforce for more efficient donor data management, Zapier for automating your nonprofit workflow, and connecting with favorite apps like Google Sheets, Slack, ActiveCampaign, Airtable, and more, and Mailchimp for donor communications will give you a wholesome experience of raising funds online.
Make it easy for donors to support your cause by accepting a wide variety of payment options. Be sure to examine which payment methods your desired online fundraising software will allow you to accept. Using a secure payment processor helps put donors at ease. Build trust with your supporters by ensuring your fundraising platform keeps security a top priority.
Pro tip: Don’t skimp on security when searching for a donation platform! Look for a system that prioritizes safety and outlines specific protocols. For example, Donorbox comes with automatic fraud detection, SSL/TLS encryption, tokenization of financial data, and strong customer authentication. It uses Stripe as its main payment processor which is SSL protected, PCI compliant, has a range of payment methods, and has one of the best uptimes out there.
Maybe this should not really be last on this list but anyway! Affordability is one of the most important aspects of choosing a fundraising platform. It is advisable to choose one that doesn’t charge you with a sign-up cost or a fixed monthly fee right from the beginning. That way, you can play around with the tool for a while and take the time to understand how suitable it is for your needs.
A platform with some or all the above-mentioned features may charge you extra money for enabling some of them. Hence, do your research to compare its pricing with others having similar features, and go for the one that suits all your needs the best. But remember to plan for the future. There may be some features you do not need right away but as you grow, you will. In that case, a tool that doesn’t charge you for all its features right away but lets you enable them for a few extra bucks, whenever you need them, is absolutely worth it.
There are so many fundraising platforms out there. It can be a challenge to sift through all of the information and choose which one is best for your organization. Below, get the scoop on 9 of the best fundraising sites to take your online fundraising to the next level. These platforms offer a wide variety of fundraising features and pricing models. Read on to discover which platform is best for you.
Donorbox is a powerful all-in-one fundraising platform with a quick setup process and plenty of easy-to-use features. More than 35,000 organizations in 40 countries trust Donorbox with their online giving. With Donorbox, you won’t pay any start-up fees, monthly fees, or have to worry about a contract.
Donorbox makes online giving easy, convenient, and hassle-free. Learn more.
All-in-one nonprofit fundraising and donor management for all sizes of nonprofits.
1.5% Donorbox fee, plus payment processing fees of 2.9% + $0.30 for stripe and PayPal. Donorbox also allows donors to cover these fees. This assures donors that their gifts are going where they desire and limits fundraising software costs for nonprofits.
Optional add-on integrations are available for a small monthly cost. Learn more here.
GoFundMe is a well-known online fundraising platform. Many people use Gofundme to raise money for personal projects, medical expenses, or unforeseen disasters. Recently GoFundMe Charity has merged with GoFundMe.com to offer its users a unified platform that is suitable for all. This tool is perfect if you heavily rely on peer and crowdfunding campaigns. You can have your fundraisers start a campaign for your charity on GoFundMe and raise funds with the help of their network.
Bear in mind that this platform does not offer features like text-to-give or recurring donations, or a branded donation form.
Having supporters fundraise or crowdfund for you.
Free and Flex plans are available. Free plans charge a 1.9% processing fee plus 20 cents per transaction. View pricing details here.
OneCause makes online fundraising easy for nonprofits. They can set up online campaigns, launch challenges, and grow their reach in no time with this customizable solution. The platform offers event management, peer-to-peer fundraising, mobile bidding and auctions, ticketing, and more. The focus remains on event fundraising, however, features like donor management and gift matching are included as well.
Event management and ticket sales
Their pricing varies according to the plan chosen. You have to request a consultation to know how much it would cost to afford the software for your nonprofit. Check out this page for more.
Handbid is an online fundraising platform that hugely stands out as an auction software. Your in-person, remote, and hybrid events can greatly benefit from this platform and its features.
Hosting an online auction.
Pricing: Handbid offers five pricing tiers ranging from simple to unlimited, just under $700 per year to plans costing around $2,500 per year, maybe more. The processing fee remains at 3.5% + .30. View more info here.
Who doesn’t love a good t-shirt and a great cause? Bonfire is a fun, creative option for online fundraising. With Bonfire, nonprofits of all sizes can create a t-shirt fundraiser to raise money for your cause. When the project is successfully completed, you’ll receive your funds.
Creating a t-shirt fundraiser
Pricing: 8% processing fee. Shipping fees apply. Domestic shipping starts at $4.99 and international shipping starts at $11.99 (free for orders with 5+ items). Get the details here.
Fundly gives smaller nonprofits the chance to try out crowdfunding without buying fundraising software that’s out of their budget. Nonprofits can create unique campaign pages for specific programs and needs and connect with their donors using social media.
The Fundly app is easy to use and fundraisers can view campaign success and receive notifications anywhere. Giving nonprofits the option to connect Gmail, Yahoo, Survey Monkey, and Constant Contact to the app allows them to easily send emails to their donors.
Smaller nonprofits starting out with online fundraising and crowdfunding.
There is no monthly fee to use Fundly, but they deduct a 4.9% fee from every donation. That, along with the credit card processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 will add up. Know more about their pricing here.
Soapbox Engage is an app-focused online donation processor that’s especially helpful for organizations that use Salesforce. It offers organizations a range of apps to help boost their fundraising goals and events. Soapbox apps include functionality for online fundraising, event management, and advocacy. One important note: custom-designed forms come at a cost with this platform. The basic option includes a standard template page with a custom header.
Nonprofits that use Salesforce as their customer relationship management system.
Pricing: Soapbox Engage’s pricing is a little less straightforward than other online donation platforms. There’s a $500 platform activation fee. Then, most apps for nonprofits (donations, events, forms) cost $49 per month.
Additionally, some premium apps cost around $100-400 per month each. Add-ons include custom design ($1,000), user integration ($99/month), peer-to-peer fundraising tools ($99/month), and more.
99Pledges is a fundraising processor focused on serving schools and teams. This software is ideal for walk-a-thons, fun runs, dance-a-thons, and similar events.
Schools, teams, and walk-a-thon-style events.
Pricing: 99Pledges is free to use, with no startup costs, contracts, or platform fees. Standard credit card processing fees of 2.9% + $0.30 apply. Learn more here.
Mightycause is an all-in-one fundraising suite. This software offers easy-to-use donor management tools, peer-to-peer fundraising support, and more.
Organizations that want a variety of fundraising tools and don’t mind a monthly fee or contract.
Pricing: Mightycause offers two pricing tiers: the essentials plan for $59/month (billed annually) and the advanced plan for $99/month (billed annually). The essentials plan is geared toward online fundraising. The advanced plan offers tools for event support, volunteer management, and more. Processing fees of 2.2% and 29¢ also apply. View details for both plans here.
To recap, with the right fundraising platform, you’ll be able to easily collect online donations, manage donor relationships, and fundraise in a variety of creative ways. You can also boost your retention rates and form better relationships with your supporters. Be sure to pay the closest attention to the features that are most important to your organization and your supporters.
Choosing the right online giving platform by keeping in mind all the latest trends might seem like a daunting choice. But, when you have the power of the right platform behind you, there’s no limit to how much support you can raise for your cause!
Choose an all-in-one fundraising platform with a 15-minute setup, no set-up fees, no monthly fees, and no contract! Sign up here.
Get fundraising tips and resources, nonprofit management insights on our nonprofit blog here.