Update 9/15/2016: This piece has been updated to reflect comments and new tools since the article first went live.
Did you know that online fundraising increased by 13.5% in the United States in 2013?
Donating online and directly from mobile devices is becoming the easiest way for donors to give money. There are so many benefits to your organization when you give your members and donors the option of donating online—you allow your donors to give on the go, to give at the most convenient times for them, and to set up recurring donations. Your organization also builds relationships with younger donors, who are more likely to donate online.
If you are thinking seriously about giving your members and donors an online donation option, here are some great donation tools that you should take into consideration:
MatchMe is a free nonprofit donation campaign matching platform that runs off of a crowdfunding style system. MatchMe works to match your donors with your matching sponsor in order to effectively double the contributions to your campaign.
MatchMe is an easy to use online platform that functions like most other crowdfunding websites, so starting campaigns is a simple process. MatchMe is completely free with no upfront or percentage deduction costs. They also offer integrated social sharing so that you will be able to spread the word about your fundraising campaign.
On the flip side, MatchMe doesn’t offer any website integration, so widgets and other tools on your own website won’t be possible. All donating is done through their own website on a campaign page that you create.
This is the second of Network for Good’s donation packages, and has the best value for organizations that don’t need their own merchant account or any sort of complex customizations. They can also integrate their donation form into your organization’s website very easily. Cost is $79.95/month plus 3% transaction fee.
DonateNow has the bonus of allowing you to set up recurring gifts, they can integrate a single page donation form that can be customized to look just like your website, and they also give donors the option to cover the credit card processing fee themselves, which is 3%.
A drawback of DonateNow Plus is that their setup and monthly fees can run a bit high.
GiftTool is a good tool for organizations that have middle of the road requirements, specifically if your organization needs to support sales and events on top of donations. They integrate their donation form into your website, and they charge a flat rate of $1.23 per credit card donation, and a one-time setup fee of $250 per service. Their flat rate for credit card donations can be a big bonus for organizations that receive large donations.
GiftTool allows for a brandable donation page, monthly giving options, allows users to sell merchandise using an online shopping cart, and offers integration with certain social media outlets.
A downside is that it does not have multi-user access.
Qgiv lets you accept any type of online donation, and it also lets your donors set it up to give recurring automatic gifts. Event registration can be set up as well. They charge a one-time setup fee of $199, as well as merchant account fees that vary from about $0.25-$0.50 per transaction, depending on the credit card type.
Qgiv is capable of mimicking your website’s look and feel, and also lets you set up recurring donations. You can add on as many different fields as you want, make it mobile friendly, and you can also enter in gifts on the back-end.
One setback is that in order to make a donation, your donors have to leave your website.
Txt2Give is a system that allows you to text in your donations—donors simply text the word “Give” with the specified amount that they would like to donate to a certain number that is assigned to your organization. After completing just a one-time registration process, the funds are then transferred into your bank account. Plans start at $39/month, with 2.9% plus $0.30 per donation.
Txt2Give allows you to set up multiple causes for your donors to give to, with each cause having its own bank account. There are also no contracts, so if you decide that it isn’t what your organization needs, you are not tied into it.
A potential issue could be that there is no option for people to donate on your website, so if you want to have online donations as well, you may need to use an additional tool or service. Also, while they offer integration with a specific church management system, there doesn’t seem to be any integration with a membership management solution yet.
PayPal is not as focused on donations as other tools are, but it is definitely one of the cheapest options out there. While there is no way to really customize the look, or the fields on PayPal’s donation form and the user experience is undeniably PayPal, it is widely known and trusted by many donors, and is also one of the cheapest ways to take donations. They allow you to add a donate button to your fundraiser website.
More nonprofits are using PayPal to accept donations than any other tool, and donors are not required to create their own PayPal account to donate, they can just use a credit card as most donors expect to do. Their per transaction fees are 2.2% plus $0.30.
PayPal has the advantage of being a well-recognized and secure brand. Users are able to donate without creating an account, and they have low transaction fees.
A con is that they offer limited customization options.
If you only need to accept a few donations, Click & Pledge might be a great option for you. They let you collect as much or as little information as you want from your donors, and you can put a button on your website that will take your donor to your own customized checkout area hosted on Click & Pledge’s servers. There is no application fee, the per transaction processing fee is 3.5% +$0.35, and the monthly fee is $20.
Click & Pledge allows you to sell items on top of collecting donations, they support pledges, offer extensive customization, integration with various tools like mobile, and have different pricing packages to meet individual needs.
A con is that the fee structure may be slightly complicated at times–for example, incidental merchant bank fees are applied (like Assessments and also an Access Fee that will show on monthly merchant statements), and there are also non-qualified transactions. Most charitable transactions are waived, however, Visa and MasterCard could assess 1.50% for any card that earns points.
Giving Tools gives you donation tracking, social sharing, unlimited users, recurring donation payments, account management, and many other features for a free startup and monthly fee of $14.95. Additional costs, such as credit/debit transaction fees, run average rates of 1.79%+$0.15 per transaction for debit and 1.99%+$0.15 per transaction for credit.
In addition to being inexpensive, Giving Tools has no early termination fees, no startup fee, or monthly minimum use requirement making commitment (or lack thereof) an easy decision.
As for cons, Giving Tools is missing several useful features such as customer relationships management, membership management, and alumni management.
AccelEvents is a software solution designed to help raise money with online & text message auctions at events. This software solution is perfect for raising money your organization’s next event and offers simple pricing to boot. For only $1 per participant (with a $49 minimum) you get a quick event setup, unlimited support, and integrated credit card paying system.
As a pro, this software makes event fundraising much simpler for your nonprofit by making it not only an online system, but also a mobile friendly system.
However, it’s niche focus on silent auctions and raffles can be a con, as it doesn’t seem to offer more general fundraising functionality.
Once you wrap up your donation campaign, it is important to collect as much information about your donors as possible for future fundraising campaigns. Make sure you also keep track of these donors with a quality association management software system.
Have you used any of these tools before? Are there any tools we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for Donation Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Donation Management software solutions.