Crowdfunding has changed the fundraising game forever.
On a global scale, the average success rate for hitting crowdfunding goals is 50%. Many companies and projects wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for online crowdfunding. With the crowdfunding industry projected to grow to more than $300 billion by 2025, nonprofits can’t afford to miss out.
This fundraising revolution is great news for the nonprofit sector, as it opens the door to new sources of funds. But, which crowdfunding platform should you pair with your fundraising tracking software? They all have unique rules, benefits, and downsides.
If you don’t choose the right platform for your needs, you’ll lose out on a slice of the $5.5 billion donation crowdfunding pie.
Below, we’ll take a look at nine crowdfunding platforms focused on nonprofits. We’ve left off ubiquitous, big players like Kickstarter and Indiegogo since most of us are already familiar with their setup, rules, and options. This focused list breaks down each platform’s unique features, pricing information, and recommends each for a specific outcome to help your nonprofit find the best fit.
Platforms are listed in alphabetical order.
1. Causes – The networking option
With 186 million registered users in 156 countries, Causes functions as both a crowdfunding platform and social network for campaigns seeking to “make the world a better place.” On Causes, you create a crowdfunding page that serves as the face of your campaign. On that page, you accept donations, raise awareness, and promote links, videos, and images that inform your visitors about your cause and point them to more information.
- Offers a separate app—Brigade—to build a network of friends and neighbors that support your issues and causes.
- In addition to integration with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter integration, Causes also functions as a social media platform itself to connect individuals with common interests.
- Causes is an ad-based platform, and all campaigns are conducted free of charge
- Nonprofits looking to save money and build their donor networks
2. CauseVox – For easy design customization
CauseVox is a crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising option that offers in-depth customization for your campaign page. You can easily customize your page even if you have little-to-no design experience; the platform’s drag-and-drop customization process makes things simple for just about anyone. If you have the know-how, CauseVox also allows custom coding on your page.
- Customization options extend to web addresses, embedding media on the page, and HTML/CSS coding abilities.
- CauseVox is mobile and desktop friendly.
- Supporters can become fundraisers themselves by creating personal pages on your CauseVox site that they can share to raise money on your nonprofit’s behalf.
- Free: This tier includes free campaign set up, one branded donation page, and a fundraising site. CauseVox charges a 5% fee on donations (excludes credit card processing fees).
- Lite: For $55/month, CauseVox charges a 2% fee on donation pages (4.5% on fundraising websites) while providing unlimited branded donation pages and fundraising sites, social media integration, video training, and in-app support.
- Standard: For $155/month, CauseVox charges a 2% fee (4.25% on fundraising websites) on donations, removes all CauseVox branding, and offers unlimited branded donation pages and fundraising sites, social media integration, and one-on-one training and coaching.
- Nonprofits seeking easy page customization options and mobile/desktop versatility.
3. Chuffed – For easy donations
Chuffed is a crowdfunding platform built solely for nonprofits. It operates with no hidden costs, and allows campaigns to keep 100% of what they raise. The platform offers standard features such as donation pages, social media integration, and custom designs. Chuffed makes it easy for donors to contribute without creating an account, a tactic proven to increase conversion rates.
- Login free donations (no hassle giving)
- Detailed guides to help you build and improve your crowdfunding campaign
- Tax-deductible receipting
- Chuffed only charges payment processing fees to donors (varies by country), letting your organization keep the entire donation amount.
- Nonprofits worried about bounce rates and that need help learning the crowdfunding ropes.
4. Classy – The jack of all trades
Formerly known as StayClassy, Classy markets itself as an all-in-one fundraising option for nonprofits. Donation pages are automatically optimized for mobile devices and allow recurring payments. You can easily share your page via social media, and record donor information through Salesforce integration. The platform either provides everything you need throughout the fundraising process itself or offers an integration to make it happen, all with the aim of making fundraising as seamless as possible.
- Offers traditional crowdfunding campaigns, as well as peer-to-peer fundraising methods.
- Offers integration with Salesforce, Google AdWords, and MailChimp.
- Allows full site customization, including the ability to remove Classy branding if you purchase a Pro membership (or higher).
- Classy does not advertise its pricing structure; customers must contact the company to obtain a quote based on their unique needs.
- Nonprofits that need a crowdfunding platform that can do it all without much guidance.
5. CrowdRise – When you need your funds fast
Crowdrise offers crowdfunding for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, complete with their own unique features, pricing tiers, and capabilities. This platform is optimized for desktop and mobile users, offers social media integrations for easy sharing, offline donation management, and gives donors the option to cover all fees, leaving more funds for your nonprofit to work with.
- Allows instant access to funds without any limits, thresholds, or time restraints
- Offers Salesforce integration
- Text-to-donate capability
- Starter: At this tier, it’s free to start your campaign. CrowdRise charges a 6% platform fee and 2.9% + 0.30 payment processing at this level and allows two active campaigns at once, recurring donations, and email support.
- Premium: Customers must contact for pricing. At this tier, CrowdRise charges a 3% platform fee and 2.9% + 0.30 payment processing, unlimited active campaigns, custom URLs, text-to-donate, 24-hour email support response time, and phone-based customer support.
- Enterprise: Customers must contact for pricing. This tier includes adjustable donor fees, unlimited campaigns, four-hour email support response time, and phone-based customer support.
- Nonprofits that need to access funds quickly
6. Fundly – For keeping in touch with your donors
Fundly puts visual aids such as videos and images front and center on your crowdfunding page, believing that visuals are a powerful way to drive donors to action. The platform also offers a blog-like update section and comment functionality on the campaign page, letting you keep supporters up-to-date with your efforts and how you’re using their donations.
- Mobile fundraising with the free Fundly mobile app
- Blogging section on the campaign page
- No minimum amount required to keep funds after your campaign ends
- Fundly has adjusted its pricing from a tiered system to a single pricing model for all users: a 4.9% platform fee and a 2.9% credit card processing fee + $0.30 per transaction.
- Nonprofits that want to provide regular updates for donors without managing a separate blog.
7. Rally.org – Data driven fundraising
Rally.org’s setup is simple and gets straight to the point: tThe platform puts your visual aid(s) front and center with a call to donate, share the project, and a donation tracker. On the back end, Rally.org gives users a real-time analytics dashboard that includes donation information, social share stats, and invitation tracking.
- Integrate your crowdfunding page with your nonprofit’s website using widgets
- Report creation functionality for 501(c)3 nonprofits to streamline legal compliance.
- Donor information tracker.
- Campaign page set up is free on Rally.org . After the campaign begins, there’s a 5% platform fee + credit card fees per donation.
- Nonprofits that want to dive deeper into their fundraising data
8. Razoo – For different types of tax structures
Razoo’s platform offers unlimited fundraising pages for nonprofits, donor analytics, email messaging to donors, event creation, and fundraising coaching. The platform allows customization and clean designs to showcase your fundraiser, no matter the type.
- Includes four fundraiser types with different tax settings and processing fees: charitable fundraisers, organization fundraisers, team fundraisers, and personal fundraisers.
- Lets you accept donations through your own website and Facebook page.
- Offers downloadable donor activity logs for your nonprofit’s donor management system.
- Charitable fundraisers charge a 4.9% processing fee per donation along with a 2% + $0.30 credit card fee.
- Nonprofits that need flexibility for the types of fundraisers they run and applicable tax structures.
9. StartSomeGood – For crowdfunding newcomers
StartSomeGood is a great place for nonprofits that are new to crowdfunding. SSG provides personalized coaching and feedback for new project creators, and helps match your campaign with prospective donors that will match donations by up to 50%. In addition to these resources, StartSomeGood offers standard crowdfunding page features, such as social sharing and embedding functionality to link your crowdfunding page to your website.
- Personalized feedback and advice from SSG’s global support team throughout your entire campaign.
- Email courses on crowdfunding basics and strategies.
- Opens up to unlimited fundraising amounts after a campaign’s initial goal is reached.
- Project submission is free; SSG charges a 5% service fee on the total funds raised if your project is successful.
- Nonprofits that are new to the crowdfunding game
Recommended actions and further resources
Now that you’ve got a shortlist of fundraising options to choose from, it’s time to build your crowdfunding campaign. Here are a few next steps:
- Check your state laws regarding mobile and online fundraising.
- Start crossing out options on that shortlist by asking questions like: How much are you willing to pay for a platform? What integrations do they offer? Do you like the offered donation page layouts?
- Start your campaign, and share it via social media and your email lists.
Are there any nonprofit crowdfunding platforms that you think should’ve made this list? Any that you think don’t belong? Let me know in the comments below!