When push comes to shove, one of the most important aspects you need to consider as a non-profit organization is how you will get your donations to keep operating. Sure, there’s marketing, campaigns, fundraisers, and so on, but on a technical level, if you’re not able to effortlessly take donations on your website, you’re not going to get them.
Fortunately, to make things easy, there are plenty of donation tools and platforms that help you and your supporters have the best experience possible.
In today’s guide, we will explore the best of the best.
Digital Fundraising At First Glance
Digital fundraising has evolved over the years. Nowadays, it can take on many forms, as shown here:
- Email campaigns are an excellent strategy for non-profits. When non-profits send email newsletters with a call-to-action that implores recipients to donate (along with a dedicated “Donate” button), digital fundraising is at work.
- Online donation forms and web pages are also great ways to collect contributions. Giving prospective donors easy access to donating to your cause is a definite plus for your non-profit.
- Crowdfunding is another option. With crowdfunding, a non-profit can tell its story and share its mission with potential donors; by expressing the how and why of your mission, you’ll be able to entice people to donate and care about your cause.
- Mobile giving allows donors to give their contributions from the convenience of their smartphones or other mobile devices. Being mobile-friendly in your cause will enable you to reach out to more people rather than rely on physical cash or check donations.
By taking on many forms, digital fundraising can reach many people more than it could before.
Why Online Donation Tools Are The Way To Go
Based on the methods discussed in the previous section, there are many reasons why this trend is the way to go when presenting a cause. Here are just a few reasons why your non-profit should consider digital fundraising:
- Online donation tools are fast and convenient for both non-profits and donors.
- These tools are safe, encrypting and securing donor data and transactions.
- These tools are often affordable, with many free-to-use or at least cost-effective.
- These tools grant your non-profit more visibility, which is the currency for being online.
The Best Free Donation Payment Platforms
As appealing as it may appear to work with a completely free platform, every online donation site requires some form of payment. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be able to operate. However, there are different pricing options you can explore.
If you’re looking for a ‘free,’ or more accurately, ‘low-cost’ platform, you’ll want one that merely charges transaction costs and may invite donors to make a voluntary donation. If you’re working on a limited budget, can work with limited customizable options, and are looking for ways to save money, these are your tools.
You’ll get access to features like an embedded form on your website that allows people to donate without leaving your website. Adding this in is as easy as copying and pasting a bit of code from the website builder, so there’s no technical experience required.
Embedding this form on your website is as simple as copying and pasting a code from Donate Kindly’s intuitive widget builder.
- Donation forms may be customized and embedded on your website.
- Donor data is kept private using encryption technology, which also aids in keeping track of donor information and giving history.
Pricing: A platform charge of 0% but takes a processing fee of 2.9 percent plus $0.30 for every contribution.
The chances are you’ve heard of PayPal, one of the most extensive commerce platforms in the world. PayPal is an excellent option if you don’t have an in-house developer staff and wish to accept donations directly on your platform. Small, medium and big non-profits can benefit from the payment platform.
- Adds a “contribute” button to your app or website after integration.
- PayPal also has alternative donation options, such as PayPal Checkout and Invoicing Tools.
- The “PayPal Giving Fund” combines with other apps and increases your non-profit’s visibility.
- Within minutes, donations are transferred to the designated bank account.
Pricing: PayPal does not charge any platform fees but instead offers a reduced transaction rate of 2.2 percent + $0.30 for NGOs with a 501(c)(3) certification (for domestic transactions).
Standard fees of 2.9 percent + $0.30 per transaction apply to firms that do not have this status.
You can use FreeFunder to create crowdfunding pages and share them with your supporters.
This online fundraising platform relies on your donors’ voluntary micro-donations to keep the site running.
- The created crowdfunding pages may be customized and are mobile-friendly
- Donor retention can be improved by thanking donors and delivering progress updates.
- You may post and email updates to all your supporters using FreeFunder.
- Allows you to take your fundraiser offline with a text-to-donate option.
Pricing: FreeFunder does not charge platform fees but instead asks donors to make voluntary contributions to uphold the website.
Stripe, a payment platform active in 39 countries, is used by many online contribution tools and is used by some of the biggest companies in the world, like the Medium blogging website. Stripe is an excellent option if you’re working with an in-house developer. The platform also offers a reduced transaction fee for 501(c)(3) organizations.
- Hundreds of cloud and software firms have prebuilt integrations that you may use without writing.
- They report a 24 percent reduction in operational costs and an 81 percent reduction in unscheduled outages, increasing revenue collection.
- Stripe allows payments in over 135 different currencies and ways.
Pricing: Stripe does not charge any platform fees. Non-profits with a 501(c)(3) designation pay a discounted rate of 2.2 percent + $0.30 (for credit card transactions) and 3.5 percent on American Express cards.
The Most Feature-Rich Donation Platforms
While affordable, the donation platforms above aren’t great at being customizable to suit your needs. They’re more of a ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ approach. However, if you’re looking for a bit of diversity and features to help you create the experience you want, you’ll want to check out the platforms listed below:
In ten years, GoFundMe has raised over $9 billion, and there are endless campaigns that have been launched and managed through the website. In essence, many see GoFundMe as the hub and authority for donating and creating a cause.
Donations can be made through events, online donations, and our online giving platform.
- A mobile app can be used to track and manage data.
- You can get started on your donation requests in just a few minutes!
- Donors and individuals who have registered on the site in the last six months will receive email updates.
- These improvements boost your chances of attracting new donors and keeping existing ones.
Pricing: GoFundMe offers a premium plan that includes a 3% platform fee plus a 2.2 percent + $0.30 processing fee for charity.
Click & Pledge
To contact donors, Click & Pledge offers unique options such as the TV Player, cloud fundraising, and card reader, which can add a new and exciting take to interacting with potential donors.
This online donation platform is user-friendly and cost-effective, thanks to its integration with Salesforce CRM.
- Weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly recurring donation subscription-styled options are available.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising and SMS giving
- Create Facebook advertising to reach out to potential donors.
Pricing: USA: Free merchant account with 3.75 percent + $0.37 transaction fees and $1.50 per day batch deposits. Other costs vary depending on the country.
Anedot provides internet fundraising tools to NGOs, political campaigns, schools, and churches.
Their upsell tools are particularly intriguing since they allow you to make follow-up requests after a donation has been made. According to Anedot, follow-up requests to urge contributors for recurring contributions or gifts to partner organizations have a 25% conversion rate.
- Provides a text-to-give function that allows you to send donation links via SMS.
- Anecdote encourages donor retention by sending reminder emails for completed donation forms, offering recurring gift alternatives, and more.
- It also integrates with over 20 standard programs to keep donor data consolidated.
- Political campaigns benefit significantly from integrations with technologies like NationBuilder and i360.
Pricing: The processing cost for the online donation tool is 4% + $0.30, although Anedot’s pricing has been cut due to COVID-19.
As you can see, there are plenty of donation platforms and tools out there to choose from, regardless of whether you’re looking for something plain and simple or you’re more interested in taking complete control and creating the personalized experience you want to offer.
The tools are in your hands!
What Fundraising Tools Do You Currently Use?
If you have ideas about fundraising tools that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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