There are a lot of options out there when it comes time to look for a fundraising site. And I mean a lot. Because there are so many choices, it can feel dizzying to try to choose the right one for your nonprofit or your fundraising goals as an individual.
Whether you’re trying to launch a new funding campaign for your organization, trying to gain support for a new product, or simply looking for community support for a personal expense, there is a fundraising site that is a good fit for your needs. Your fundraising requirements and goals are unique, so it’s important to take the time to find the fundraising site that’s the best fit for you.
In this article, we hope to take some of the work out of making this decision for you by listing some of the best fundraising sites, their features, and who they work best for. Here are the sites we’ll be looking at:
- Facebook Fundraising
After reviewing the features for each of these sites, you can determine which site best serves your fundraising needs.
12 of the Best Fundraising Sites for Nonprofits and Individuals
Whether you’re looking for a fundraising site for your organization, a platform for your individual needs, or even a way to gain equity funding for your startup, there is a wide range of sites and platforms built for a range of use cases.
Read on to learn who uses each site, what qualities each has to offer, and how much each will cost you or your nonprofit.
Who’s it for?
Donorbox is ideal for charities, social impact groups, faith-based organizations, and more who need powerful fundraising and donor management tools to increase their contributed income. Over 35,000 organizations trust Donorbox with their fundraising needs.
Donorbox offers a fast, optimized donation platform that includes an online donation form that easily integrates into your website and securely collects donations with your preferred payment processor. You can also easily share your campaign on social media and through email, increasing your donations by easily targeting new and existing donors. Utilize social proof through social media sharing and an automated donor wall.
On the back end, your donations are stored in an easy-to-use database that lets you add outside donations so you can keep all of your donor information in one place. Get automatic notifications to help keep track of important donor moments and build lasting donor relationships.
With the option to add on features like text-to-give or company matching, Donorbox lets you optimize your platform to make the most of your fundraising efforts.
- Customizable online donation forms. You can change the donation form appearance to match your branding and customize the information you request from donors to make your donation form as streamlined as possible.
- Easily embed your donation form and donation buttons into your content management system (CMS). With Donorbox, your donation form can blend in seamlessly to your website. And it’s easy to do!
- Easy donation pages hosted on Donorbox. You can easily create branded and customized donation pages with no coding knowledge.
- Fast checkout for your donors. Your donors can use their preferred online payment services like Google Pay, Apple Pay, or PayPal for quick and secure checkout.
- Ability to offer recurring donations. You can give your donors the option to select weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly recurring donations so their giving can do the most good. Your donors can change their recurring intervals on their own at any time.
- Ability to ask donors to cover fees. Donors will feel good knowing they can help your organization with administrative fees and you get the added bonus of their full donation!
- Powerful donor management software. Keep track of all of your donor information and get notifications for moments like the anniversary of their first gift and any changes to their recurring donation schedule. Segment your donor list to target specific kinds of donors so your team can stay on top of managing your relationships with your donors.
- Use social proof to garner new donations. Through an automated donor wall and easy-to-use social media links, your donors can feel proud to share their status as a supporter of your work. This helps potential donors feel more compelled to step in and help out!
Donorbox doesn’t charge anything to get started. Once you start receiving donations, you’ll be charged a 1.5% fee. That means if you get $500 in donations, you’ll only have to pay $7.50 for all of Donorbox’s standard features. Donorbox works with Stripe and PayPal as payment processors, which have their own fees. Both offer nonprofits special payment processing fee discounts.
Who’s it for?
Kickstarter is for creators who want support for a new project in the following categories: art, comics, crafts, dance, design, fashion, film & video, food, games, journalism, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater. The goal of Kickstarter is to empower creators to get funding without changing their vision for their project. In other words, it’s a great way to get the funds to do something creative without worrying about the constraints of a grant or another kind of investing body.
Kickstarter hosts your project on their website, making it visible to everyone who visits their site. Project pages include information about projects and the people behind them, FAQs about the project, updates, and space for your supporters to leave comments. You can set incentives for different levels of support to help encourage giving.
Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing strategy that requires you to set a goal and a timeline so you aren’t left without the funds you need and your donors are even more incentivized to support your project.
You only pay if your project is successfully funded within your set timeline. Kickstarter charges 5% of total funds raised, not counting payment processing fees.
Who’s it for?
GoFundMe works for both individuals with personal expenses like medical bills or college tuition and nonprofits looking to fund a specific initiative.
GoFundMe lets you create your own fundraiser that’s hosted on their website. You make your fundraiser, share it with friends, and then manage donations as they come in. You can make a fundraiser in the following categories: medical, emergency, memorial, education, nonprofit, and coronavirus fundraising.
GoFundMe charges a 0% platform fee, but users still have to pay payment processing fees of 2.9% plus thirty cents per donation.
Who’s it for?
Crowdfunder serves individuals, organizations, and businesses who are looking to use the community around them for support.
Based in the UK, Crowdfunder offers a platform for securing funding. Using Crowdfunder’s platform, you can create a unique page for your project with information about you, the idea, and your needs. Similar to Kickstarter, you can create incentives for your donors that act as rewards for giving at a certain level. It’s then up to you to share your page with your network to begin fundraising.
Crowdfunder’s fees depend on what you’re fundraising for. They don’t charge a platform fee for charity fundraisers or personal causes, but they charge a 3% fee for standard projects. They also charge payment processing fees.
Who’s it for?
Indiegogo works best for entrepreneurs with a new product or creators with a new project. They have a focus on new technology and innovative products designed to be the next big thing.
Founded in 2008, Indiegogo provides a platform for entrepreneurs to get funding for their new, innovative ideas. They also connect entrepreneurs with experts in various areas to help get their business off the ground and help guide them through the crowdfunding process with guides, tutorials, and suggestions.
Indiegogo lets you build your own fundraising page to host on their website. Pages include specific information about your product, usually including your story, FAQs, updates, and comments.
Indiegogo charges a 5% platform fee on all funds raised. Payment processing fees vary depending on your location and your currency.
Who’s it for?
Patreon is best for artists and other creatives who are looking for a steady income to support their creative endeavors.
Founded by a musician in 2013, Patreon allows fans to directly support the content their favorite artists make through monthly subscriptions. Incentives like subscriber-only content and merchandise encourage more subscriptions. Artists get to connect with their audience and learn more about what they’re looking for while gaining a steady income.
Patreon pricing depends on the level you choose. The fee for the Lite level is 5% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon; 8% monthly for Pro; and 12% monthly for Premium.
7. Facebook Fundraising
Who’s it for?
Nonprofit organizations who register with Facebook and provide proof of nonprofit status can fundraise and ask others to fundraise on their behalf.
With fundraising tools like donation buttons, page fundraisers, fundraiser stickers on Facebook Stories, and Facebook Live video donating, nonprofits can use Facebook to boost their progress on a campaign. Your supporters can also ask their friends for donations on your behalf for their birthday or another occasion.
Facebook doesn’t charge any fees to fundraise using their platform. Your donations go through Facebook’s payment processing, so you have to wait for Facebook Payments to compile your donations and cut you a biweekly check.
Who’s it for?
PayPal has fundraising functionality for both 501(c)(3) nonprofits and other nonprofit organizations. It’s not as good of an option for individuals seeking funding for a project or personal cause and works better for smaller organizations.
PayPal’s tools for online fundraising include a donation button that you can embed in your website that leads donors to give to your organization through PayPal. They also have special PayPal card readers that nonprofits can use to take donations in person at events or around your facilities.
Nonprofit business accounts will be charged the standard PayPal fees of 2.6% plus a fixed fee depending on the type of currency the transaction is using.. 501(c)(3) nonprofits can apply for a special charity discount.
Who’s it for?
EdCo is best for schools, teams, and clubs looking to fundraise to support their projects. This is best for K-12 projects led by one person or a small group who wants to get more involved.
EdCo gives you the tools you need to launch a team-effort fundraising project from hosting your donation page, integrating with social media, and offering email and texting tools to help support your efforts. All donations through EdCo are tax-deductible, which incentivizes your donors to give or give more.
EdCo charges a 4.9% service fee on top of credit card processing fees. They also offer corporate matching, which means your team or club could double some of their donations! This service comes with an additional 10% fee. You can access your funds whenever, regardless of if you have hit your fundraising goal or not.
Who’s it for?
360MatchPro is best for nonprofits and individuals who are interested in increasing their matching donations. However, most companies with matching donation programs do require the recipient to be an established nonprofit, so this may not work as efficiently for individuals.
360MatchPro automates the process of following up with donors to find and confirm that their companies offer gift matching as a perk. Donors have the option of initiating the process on their own when they give through your online donation platform. 360MatchPro also has the ability to check for eligibility based on users’ email addresses, and they work to track the gift matching until the additional gift is completed. If donors do not initiate the process on their own, 360MatchPro can reach out to them to ensure there isn’t a matching gift option for that particular donor.
360MatchPro charges based on your total amount of donations. For smaller organizations or individuals, there is an annual fee of $499 for the Premium level. For larger organizations, the full spread of 360MatchPro’s services costs $3,000 annually.
Who’s it for?
Bonfire is great for nonprofits of any size and/or individuals who want to try their hand at apparel fundraising to boost their campaign success. Individuals can even launch a campaign on behalf of a nonprofit with their own design.
Bonfire gives you the tools to design custom apparel for your campaign. Once your design is live, you can share the design page which includes details about your campaign. Bonfire also handles all logistics like money collection, printing the apparel, and shipping it. All you do is design and share on your various channels! They also have a special suite of fundraising materials if you verify your nonprofit status which includes perks like reduced donation fees and customizable organization pages.
Bonfire doesn’t charge you anything directly. Once the base cost of the apparel is covered, your organization receives all the profits and you can price your items however you’d like (although they recommend using the suggested pricing). If your organization wants to take donations through Bonfire, there is an 8% fee to help cover credit card fees.
Who’s it for?
Kiva is best for individuals or nonprofits who are looking for a loan for a specific need, project, or idea.
Founded in 2005, Kiva provides users with a platform to ask for micro-lending loans that are fulfilled by individuals or some monitored lending institutions. You’ll pay back your loan over time, which provides a great incentive for people to help fund your loan—they’ll get their money back and help you out in the meantime!
Kiva charges interest on each loan you apply for, but the interest varies based on your specific project or needs.
What to Look for in a Fundraising Site
Now that you have a better idea of the best fundraising sites for nonprofits and individuals, you might be wondering: what qualities should I look for in a site? What priorities should I consider?
While priorities will change depending on your specific fundraising needs, here are 3 key qualities to consider when choosing a fundraising site for you or your organization.
1. Easy setup
Chances are, you’re ready to get started. Like, yesterday. So choosing a fundraising site with an easy setup is important to get you on the road toward bringing in donations as quickly and easily as possible.
With Donorbox, all you have to do to get started is sign up for a free account and begin to build your first campaign, which then allows you to start building your online donation form.
Once your form is built, you can add your preferred payment processor. Then all you have to do is go live and start accepting donations!
2. Low fees
This one may seem obvious, but it’s important to mention. The higher the fees, the less impact each individual donation has, the less good your donations can do toward supporting your mission.
Choosing a site with low fees, like Donorbox, means you keep more of each donation. With Donorbox, you can also let donors elect to cover the cost of fees (see the image below). This means that they get to help you keep their full donation!
Pro tip: It’s also important to note that each payment processor has its own processing fee, so choosing the right one for your organization will help keep your overall fees low.
3. Social proof
Social proof refers to the idea that people will do what other people are doing. To fit in, of course, but also because people trust things that other people trust. This means that people who are on the fence about donating to your cause or organization might be more willing to give if they see that a lot of others have given or even that someone they know has given.
With Donorbox, you can use social proof to your advantage in the following ways:
3.1 Social media shares. With your Donorbox donation form, you can include easy share links so your donors can share that they donated with their various networks. This also gets the word out about your campaign and encourages others to learn more about you.
3.2 Automated donor wall. When someone donates through your Donorbox donation form, their name can automatically be added to your online donor wall along with any comments they leave (if you enable comments). This is both a way to show your donors some immediate appreciation and a keen way to generate social proof.
Which Fundraising Site are You Going to Use?
At the end of the day, the best fundraising site is the one that serves all of your fundraising needs. Whether you’re looking for something for a huge campaign your nonprofit is about to launch or something to help support a personal project or expense, there’s a site that will work hard to bring you the donations you need.
With its low fee structure, social proof ability, and easy setup, Donorbox works for all kinds of fundraisers and all kinds of campaigns. To get started, sign up for a free account here.
Looking for more fundraising advice? Check out the rest of our nonprofit blog.