Even if your group has a website – what if a PayPal Donation button isn’t enough and you still need help with marketing, email services and tracking your donations? Consider trying on of the dozens of online fundraising sites available; we’ve combed the web for you and have come up with a list of the 15 (or so) most popular ones.
Which one is the right one for you? First, make a list of what kind of services you need: online payments and tracking, online auctions, volunteer management, marketing, e-mail campaigns, website design and hosting? Anything else?
Then – remember that each of these online fundraising sites is in business to make money from the groups that sign up with them – compare services and fees of three to five of the fundraising services listed. Fees to consider are one-time setup fees, any monthly fees and per transaction fees. Some fees might be higher or lower depending on how much you collect in donation dollars.
Each of the websites below provides a variety of services, some which might be useful for your group, some won’t. Be sure you don’t pay for services you don’t need and that the customer support offered is sufficient for you. Of course, make sure the website itself appeals to you and is easy to use! (Tip: Raising funds online may present new legal considerations for your group. It may be best to consult your legal adviser before raising funds online.)
Finally, in order to raise funds online through one of these companies, your group usually has to be an officially registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Are you ready to apply for non-profit status?
So here we go, the 15 (or so) most popular online fundraising sites – in no particular order:
(Note: Kickstarter.com isn’t mentioned here because they don’t allow charity fundraising.)
Individuals and nonprofits can use Fundly’s crowdfunding platform to raise money for nearly any, cause, project, or event. Plus, Fundly’s “keep-it-all” approach means that you don’t have to reach your goal to keep the funds you raise.
The mission at DonorsChoose is to help schools (and classrooms!) in need. If a school wants to launch a campaign, the teachers must determine what supplies they need, and then the DonorsChoose team will verify the request before the school is allowed to post on the site. Once a project is fully funded, DonorsChoose will purchase the items and send them directly to the school.
Allows charitable, business and personal fundraising. (Now partnered with Generosity.)
Virgin Money Giving is a UK-only crowdfunding platform where you can create a fundraising and event registration pages. You can customize your fundraising page with your nonprofit’s logo, images, text, and more pages.
Donations processed by NetworkForGood.org.
Just Give can help individuals raise money for weddings, memorials, and their favorite causes. Nonprofits can also set up branded fundraising pages and use the Just Give donation button on their websites to direct supporters to their donation pages.
Qgiv offers easy-to-use donation and peer-to-peer pages for nonprofits. With Qgiv’s platform, nonprofits can build a complete customized donation page or a peer-to-peer campaign (where supporters create individual fundraising pages).
Individuals and nonprofits can use Razoo to raise funds for causes related to education, environment, arts and culture, and so much more. With Razoo, you can set up a fundraising page in minutes and make your page compelling by using their customization features.
This company is also the nonprofit processing partner for Causes on Facebook
Since 2001 GivenGain has helped launch over 3,000 cause campaigns and 11,000 activist campaigns. GivenGain is known for two things: helping individuals raise money for their favorite causes and developing sustainable fundraising strategies for organizations.
Allows donations to cover credit card processing fees.
(JustGiving.com in the UK)
If you need online donor and fundraising management software and drive engagement and actions:
After comparing some of these services, ask yourself, if the money you’re going to spend in the form of fees – which reduces your donation dollars – is really worth the service you’re getting.
Maybe recruiting more volunteers, or putting more effort into marketing your fundraiser would be sufficient for your group.
Unlike our 100+ Fundraising Ideas this list is much shorter!
Did we forget a service that you really like? Please leave it in the comments so we can add it with our next update!