Online Fundraising Platforms for Charities

Over the last couple of decades, digital fundraising has exploded as our lives have become more intertwined with the online world. It’s made things a whole lot easier for charities to raise money, whether it’s for special events or just to keep the cash flowing. In the old days, you’d have to go out with donation jars and rely on whoever happened to be around that day. But then the internet came along and changed everything.

Online banking made it a breeze for people at home to set up regular donations by direct debit and then came payments with debit and credit cards. So, when fundraising platforms popped up, causes finally got the boost they needed to reach people far and wide, across the country and even around the globe.

What Are Online Fundraising Platforms?
An online fundraising platform is a website that has the tools to allow you to collect donations for your cause. In this article, we will be looking at just a few of these platforms and seeing what they can do for your charity.

 

JustGiving

JustGiving was one of the first online platforms to burst onto the scene back in 2001. With over £5.5 billion raised to date, 22 million users and 25,000+ charities served, it’s not surprising that more and more non-profits are turning to this way of fundraising.

In March 2019 JustGiving stopped charging a 5% platform fee and allowed donors the option of making a voluntary contribution to help maintain the running of the site.

There are reduced rates for charities to use their service and they offer two plans. The Start Plan is for new charities joining JustGiving which comes with fewer tools and the Grow Plan, which has more tools available and a £15 +vat or £39 +vat monthly payment, depending on how much money is raised every month.

Across the board, there is a 1.9% + 20p transaction fee of the total amount donated to cover card provider charges, unless payment is made via their free service of Giving Checkout, in which case there is no charge. 

If you are set up for Gift Aid, a 5% fee is charged if JustGiving is your Gift Aid Agent. Donations can be for a one-off goal or all year round.

You can find all the information needed by visiting their website:
https://justgiving.com/for-charities

 

GoFundMe

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding website originating in the US, but with platforms worldwide, where people can set up fundraisers for personal goals or a fundraiser to support a charity of their choice.

For organisers in the UK, there’s no fee to start or manage a fundraiser. However, there is one small transaction fee per donation. They also accept optional tips from donors, which is how GoFundMe makes money. Donors can choose to tip GoFundMe, but it’s never required.

GoFundMe just charges one flat transaction fee. 2.9% + 25p is automatically deducted from each donation for personal fundraisers whilst, for charities, the fee is 1.9% + 20p per donation.

Unlike JustGiving, GoFundMe will process any Gift Aid donations for free so the charity will receive all of the Gift aid with no commission charged.

Donor and fundraiser reports are available on-demand and have opted-in donor data and offer information about Gift Aid.

Donations can be for a one-off goal or all year round.

You can find all the information needed by visiting their website:
https://www.gofundme.com/en-gb/c/charity-fundraising

 

Facebook Fundraising

In order to make life easier, it’s a good idea to create a Facebook charity page before you start. The fact that this will not affect other people fundraising for your cause on Facebook, is important to note. Any Facebook user who wishes to raise funds for your charity can do so by creating a personal fundraiser, with funds going directly to you if you’re registered with the Charity Commission.

Facebook automatically displays a Donate button at the top of your charity page when you activate it. This will allow donations to be made to you at any time. Even if your charity is only set up as a group, you can still enable the Donate button within posts, within which you can select your charity and raise funds that way.

Whether it’s a Donate button on the Meta Pay platform or Fundraiser on Facebook, Meta covers all fees for donations made on Facebook to charitable organisations with payments being made directly to your nonprofit’s bank account.

As far as Gift Aid is concerned, UK-based charities can access Gift Aid transaction information in their transaction report. Donations not using Meta Pay to benefit UK charities are made to PayPal Giving Fund UK. PayPal Giving Fund UK claims the Gift Aid on these donations and grants it in full to benefiting charities.

You can find all the information needed by visiting their website:

Fundraisers and Donations | Facebook Help Center

 

Crowdfunder

Founded in 2014, Crowdfunder has quickly become one of the leading crowdfunding platforms, facilitating millions of pounds in donations for various campaigns. It offers a range of tools and features to help fundraisers create compelling campaigns, including customisable campaign pages, social media integration and donation tracking.

The platform offers a straightforward fee structure for charities looking to utilise Crowdfunder as a fundraising tool. Charity projects and charity fundraisers are not charged a platform fee by Crowdfunder. Instead, they offer your supporters the opportunity to pay an optional ‘tip’ which is re-invested into Crowdfunder, so they can help more projects like yours.

It operates on two different funding methods for projects. An “all-or-nothing” basis, meaning that if a campaign doesn’t reach its fundraising goal, all donations are returned to the donors and no fees are charged. However, if the campaign is successful, you will only be charged the processing fees.

The other option is on a “keep what you raise” basis, where you will keep all your pledges, whether your project hits your target or not.

With both of the above, the payment processing fees are typically around 1.9% plus £0.20 + vat per transaction for charities and 2.4% plus £0.20 + vat per transaction for non-profits, depending on the payment method used.

On top of the above, Crowdfunder also has a pot of +Extra funding from a selection of national and regional partners which, depending on what your project is doing, may be available to help you raise more funds.

You can find all the information needed by visiting their website:
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/for-charities

 

goDonate

Dedicated exclusively to charities and non-profits, goDonate deserves a mention in this article. While it diverges from the conventional fundraising platforms discussed above, goDonate operates as a pure donation facilitator through charity websites, showcasing its goDonate product. Consequently, its pricing model differs from the aforementioned platforms.

Typically the goDonate product is for medium sized charities and above. It’s very flexible, customisable and has comprehensive features and therefore suits larger charities with fundraising strategies that require an online donation platform that can adapt to their needs.

Designed with a mobile-centric approach, goDonate empowers online giving by seamlessly integrating with your website, ensuring an optimal user experience across all devices and enables campaign specific donation journeys with tailored messaging, imagery and donation prompts.

The goDonate platform is offered in three versions, catering to different charity sizes: goDonate Essential, goDonatePlus, and goDonate Enterprise. It boasts a logical interface that allows for bespoke setup and easy connection with supporters. Users can incorporate various payment methods and create multiple giving pages tailored to diverse campaigns, providing a range of options.

Regarding fees, goDonate does not disclose pricing on its website, as it varies based on factors such as charity size and income level, etc. Generally, they charge a setup fee (dependent on specific requirements and customizations) and a percentage of the managed donations, typically around 3%, though this can vary based on volume.

Counting notable clients such as Battersea, NSPCC, YMCA, Help for Heroes, and Marie Curie, among others, goDonate is a widely recognized platform that should not be overlooked.

For more information, a breakdown of costs and a demo of their services, you can reach out to them through their website:
https://go-donate.uk/

In conclusion, each funding website offers unique features and benefits whilst providing opportunities for your charity to reach a wider audience, engage supporters and raise funds for important causes.

When selecting an online funding website for your charity, consider factors such as the platform’s fees, payment processing options, available features and the level of customer support provided. It’s crucial to review the fee structures and terms of service to ensure they align with your organisation’s goals and fundraising strategies.

Remember, successful fundraising campaigns require effective storytelling, engaging visuals and strategic promotion. Utilise social media, email newsletters and other channels to reach potential donors and build a strong online presence.

Ultimately, the choice of an online funding platform should be based on your charity’s specific needs and objectives. By harnessing the power of these platforms, charities can access a broader network of potential supporters, amplify their impact and drive positive change in their communities and beyond.