Crowdfunding Sites for Nonprofits: Accelerate Your Nonprofit Fundraising with Crowdfunding Platforms
Crowdfunding Sites for Nonprofits: Accelerate Your Nonprofit Fundraising with Crowdfunding Platforms
Crowdfunding campaigns are a fantastic way for small nonprofits and foundations to have a place where they can send donors and accept donations easily and safely. In fact using a crowdfunding platform, you really don’t even need your own website or payment processor.
But of course it always better to also have your own web property that you have full control of and can accept donations instantly.
But one of the best reasons for nonprofits to use a crowdfunding platform, especially when it comes to smaller organizations, is that these platforms come with traffic built in.
It may not be a lot of visitors, but for really small organizations, any traffic is good traffic. Plus if you do have a web presence, you can siphon your platform’s visitors to your own site at the same time, where you can then entice them to give you their email or something similar in order to stay in touch with your new supporters.
But with all the platforms available, which ones are actually reliable, and specifically non-profit friendly? That’s exactly what we aim to answer here. What are the best crowdfunding sites for nonprofits and which one do what. As all platforms do some things well, and others not so well.
And we will be open and honest about each one so you don’t need to spend that same amount of time we needed to in order to review and rate all of these crowdfunding platforms.
Our Complete List of Crowdfunding Sites for Nonprofits
1. PayBee - The Best Crowdfunding Experience Overall!
PayBee provides the most features for nonprofit fundraising which is why it comes in at number one on our list. While covering all the basic features of what you would want in a fundraising platform, where PayBee really shines and separates from the rest of the crowd is in its fundraising event features, along with a live streaming virtual fundraising platform, which can be seen as a live streaming upgrade to popular platforms like GoFundMe, PayBee also offers innovative tools to enhance your in-person fundraising events.
PayBees's Event Fundraising Tools
PayBee provides a seamless fundraising experience for your donors, staff and volunteers alike. For staff and volunteers, PayBee can be setup and used as a central hub to manage all your fundraising campaigns and activities. From that central hub, the PayBee mobile app gives your staff and volunteers and easy and convenient way to perform basic fundraising and fundraising event tasks. A digital and interactive guest is available on the mobile app to check in and out guests while cutting down on any waiting time and lines for guests. Lastly, the mobile app can be used to process donations and manage auctions.
In addition to the mobile app where you can facilitate donations, PayBee also offers a number of innovative fundraising tools which facilitate self participation and checkout. These features include smart bid paddles as well as smart bid sheets. Using the bid paddles, each donor has their own unique paddle and QR code generated by the PayBee system which allows for self checkout as scanning the QR code reveals each donors' virtual shopping cart as well as a direct link for payment. Using PayBee's smart bid sheets, your guests can place mobile bids on auction items (commonly done in a silent auction format) from the convenience of their mobile phone by scanning the QR code on the item. All subsequent bids can then be made from a mobile device where bidders receive up to date text and email updates on their auction item as well as a notification and payment link when they're declared the item winner.
Complete Event Ticketing Solution
PayBee offers a complete event ticketing solution, allowing purchases of single and group tickets as well as sponsorship packages. Tickets can be managed from the PayBee platform which collects and stores any unique guest information along with allowing invitations and management of new guests under a group ticket holder. New guests can also be invited to purchase tickets to events through an email invitation feature where you can simply upload a list of emails into the system.
All in One Fundraising Pages
Fundraising landing pages are available and customizable which seamlessly integrate your fundraising campaigns and events into a central location where donors can purchase tickets, receive important event updates and information and participate or preview fundraising campaigns chosen by you.
- Smart Bid Paddles
- Auto generated Bid Sheets
- Complete Event Ticketing Solution
- Complete Hybrid Event Solution
- Mobile Payments and Tap to Pay
- Fundraising Pages
- Extensive customer support with extras available
- Easy setup and usage
- True All-in-One Fundraising Platform
- Limited Plugin Integrations
Fees and Pricing Plans:
- 2% PayBee platform fee
- 2.7% + $0.30 transaction fee per donation (donors cover fees)
*Only nonprofits can use PayBee
2. GoFundMe - The Most Well Known, Simple Yet Highly Effective
When it comes to pure power for crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, no one even comes close to this behemoth other than the granddaddy Kickstarter and due to its large popularity it's probably the go to nonprofit crowdfunding platform for most!
Since starting in 2010, GoFundMe has raised over 9 BILLION dollars for all sorts of causes with over 200 million individual donations. And we mean anything! From a kid asking for money to build his dog a dog house, to projects that want to go to the moon.
And luckily, GoFundMe works with any charity that holds a 501(c)(3) license and operates in the US, Canada, the UK, or Australia. And they even work with nonprofits a bit in that they charge a smaller fee of 2.2% rather than the normal fee of 2.9% that they charge for businesses and individuals. And best of all, there are no longer any platform fees, the platform is free, so all you pay is the 2.2%.
Tip: Pun intended, one way to get around some of the fees GoFundMe charges is to have donors add a tip that GoFundMe does not charge any fees for payment processing. This way your charity gets to keep more of their donation or fundraising!
What sets GoFundMe apart is its high recognition. Campaigns from GoFundMe are frequently shared on social media by peers and are generally regarded as trustworthy as far as charitable fundraising as GoFundMe's name is now so widely recognized, just as much as Kickstarter.
You get a nice looking page on their site which often does get visitors to it since their crowdfunding platform is so big. This is definitely the best part of using a monster of a platform like this is their built in traffic opportunities. In addition, GoFundMe also offers you a ton of free tools so that you can streamline your entire crowdfunding promotion for your nonprofit as far as auto posting content on all your social media channels as well as through email and text messages.
They also have great payment processing which allows donors to donate to your charity in a variety of different formats including credit cards, eWallets and even cryptocurrencies so there's no 'friction' when it comes time for your supporters to give on your crowdfunding page.
- Crowdfunding on-the-go with the GoFundMe mobile app
- Convenient donation withdrawals anytime
- No campaign length restrictions
- "Keep What You Raise" payout model
- Accessible 24/7 customer support
- Responsive customer support
- Easy setup and usage
- Attractive, clean interface
- Comparatively higher costs
- Limited GoFundMe API integrations
Fees and Pricing Plans: For individuals and businesses:
- 0% GoFundMe platform fee
- 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee per donation
- 0% GoFundMe platform fee
- 2.2% + $0.30 transaction fee per donation
3. Fundly - Nonprofit Crowdfunding for Smaller Organizations!
Fundly is our number two pick for the best crowdfunding platforms for nonprofit for a variety of reasons. First off, you don’t need to be a big non-profit with your own website and all that. Rather, Fundly is perfect for smaller nonprofits that possibly can’t drive much of their own traffic in order to get people to notice them. Being on Fundly can definitely help as they’ve already helped a lot of other nonprofits raise over 330 million dollars since 2009.
Another thing that really helps is Fundly is also one of the easiest platforms to get started on and use when it comes to crowdfunding. You have the freedom to offer and personalize your donation pages on Fundly. You can include pictures and videos from various sources like Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook, and your own device. You can even add posts like a blog to tell your organization's story and share it through special posts on the internet.
The Fundly app lets you manage your donation page from anywhere, making it really convenient. It's also linked with Facebook, so your campaign's updates are automatically shown to your followers. Fundly also tracks how your social media posts are doing, providing you with helpful feedback.
And their fees are reasonable for all you’re getting, and opening an account and starting a fundraiser doesn’t cost you anything up front. Moreover, the payment processing is secure and any donations that are made to your cause will arrive in your organization's account within 7 days through their partner Stripe.
Even though it's not the largest platform and definitely can't compete with platforms like GoFundMe or Indiegogo, it’s still our number two pick, especially for smaller nonprofits that can use all the publicity they can get. And it does still help to drive your own traffic whenever possible, but donors can also offer to share your campaign on social media to attract more potential supporters to your charity. Plus your campaign page can be customized with media to match your nonprofit style.
- No startup or hidden fees
- "Keep What You Raise" payout model
- Crowdfunding mobile app for campaign management
- Flexible withdrawal options
- Incentives for different donation levels
- Donor heat maps for insights
- Strong integration with Facebook
- Suitable for crowdfunding
- Excellent email support
- Fast fund transfer
- Higher platform fees
- Limited reach for beginners to crowdfunding
Fees and Pricing:
- 4.9% platform fee per donation
- 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee per transaction
Fundly is designed to be user-friendly and adaptable for crowdfunding and fundraisers of any size, and is available in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. It's a great crowdfunding site for those starting out in the nonprofit sector and well worth the time to check them out further.
4. Classy - No Transparent Fee Structure for a Campaign!
Classy is a pretty classy crowdfunding platform, pardon the pun, and was designed to help nonproft organizations with their fundraising for a variety of causes, while at the same time offering a ton of valuable tools to their users like customizable campaigns, mobile optimization, real-time engagement tools, robust reporting, flexible payment options, and secure transactions.
Launched in 2010, Classy has already helped nonprofits around the world with their crowdfunding and fundraising, and has so far generated over $5 billion for crowdfunding nonprofits, making Classy another behemoth like GoFundMe.
Link most other crowdfunding websites on this list, you have the ability to add text, images, and videos to your campaign page and personalize receipts and email promotions to match your branding. And all of this is mobile-friendly so all your supports can share your content on all their social media platforms or send things to their friends via their smartphones making sharing easy and seamless.
Classy also provides visitor analytics and reporting tools to track user metrics, giving valuable data into how your donors are interacting with all that content.
An interesting feature of Classy is sponsor matching, which encourages your donors to match others people’s donations which in turn can potentially increasing the amounts of individual contributions. Plus Classy is not limited to crowdfunding fundraising campaigns as it also offers event creation, management, and promotion capabilities similar to PayBee, but not quite as good.
One of the biggest hurdles to get over if you’re budget conscious is their pricing model. Unlike all the other sites on our list, Classy chose to forgo a percentage of your contributions and just charge an upfront fee each month, typically starting at $199 for the smallest tier. Completely opposite of GoFundMe and kickstarter.
So you don’t pay any fees on top of that which could be a good thing, but their pricing is also ambiguous at best and on their site they want you to talk to a representative rather than laying out a clear pricing structure. This is not something we believe in and all of our pricing is clear as we believe all platforms should be.
- You can personalize your crowdfunding campaigns to tell your story better.
- Your donation forms can be easily added to other websites for any fundraiser.
- Campaigns look great on mobile phones.
- There's a place where people can interact and engage with the campaign in real-time.
- You can get detailed reports and important data.
- They offer various ways to make donation payments, including a card, digital wallets and PayPal.
- It works well with other tools and has won awards for its performance.
- Suitable for nonprofits
- Solid email support
- Free fundraising tips
- Higher platform fees and case by case basis
- More aligned with advanced users than beginners
Fees and Pricing:
- No transparent fee structure
Classy definitely has a lot going for it, with over 5 billion raised we can say the proof is in thee pudding here. But with their preferred way of pricing we just think there are better alternatives out there, especially if you’re a smaller nonprofit just starting out.
5. Fundrazr - Crowdfunding Built for Nonprofits
Fundrazr may not have the same public awareness as some of the bigger platforms like GoFundMe or Kickstarter, but this enterprise-class nonprofit crowdfunding platform has all the bells and whistles that even the largest nonprofits find adequate. And what’s great about this platform for nonprofits is they were created specifically for helping nonprofits which is why their suite of nonprofit crowdfunding tools is second to none.
This all gives your nonprofit the ability to launch subscription models, peer-to-peer fundraising and even microproject funding in order to get the most out of any fundraising you do. And this all comes with a very donor-friendly navigation that makes donating a breeze.
Of course you’ll get your own pages on the crowdfund site which can be branded any way you like to match your organization’s branding. You can create a blog, upload videos and pretty much anything you would with a normal website. And all of your content is easily shareable all over the web with in-depth insights into your social media engagement front and center.
One cool feature that we think is a stand out is they offers your donors a way to cover the fees associated with using their platform. For a crowdfunding Pro account your fees are 5% of the donation. This crowdfunding site gives the donor the ability to include the fee so your charity gets the full amount of the donation. Always a plus!
They also offer excellent customer support unlike some other crowdfunding sites and has multiple ways of getting into contact with them including a 24 hour chat. This is super important if you're launching an event or offer and something doesn't go correctly, you don't want to stop the process. And you don't have to.
- Free Basic Package: Access core tools with no fee, paying standard processing fees of about 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
- Pro Toolset: For a 5% platform fee you get a full suite of tools and support. Also gives donors the choice to cover all or part of these costs.
- Choose from diverse crowdfunding methods.
- Set up campaigns swiftly with custom branding.
- Analyze social media engagement data in detail.
- Accommodate numerous projects and teams with ease.
- Tailored to empower nonprofits to succeed.
- User-friendly interface and streamlined campaign setup process.
- Social media tools that simplify the sharing and promotion of campaigns across various social platforms.
- Crowdfunding scalability is a significant advantage for nonprofits aiming to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
- Charges transaction fees for the funds raised.
6. Indiegogo: Crowdfunding and Fundraising for 'Artier' Projects
Indiegogo presents itself as a platform dedicated to introducing new and creative ideas to the world. Its main goal is to provide support for inventive projects and revolutionary products before they become widely available to everyone.
Their global crowdfunding platform platform simplifies the process of helping entrepreneurs with their business concepts and new technologies right from the early stages of development. This helps startups and small businesses to have the freedom to set a specific funding goal or a flexible one, allowing them to shape their fundraising experience according to their needs.
Indiegogo is widely recognized as an art-centered crowdfunding platform, but it's not limited to art alone. Even nonprofits can use it for crowdfunding efforts.
Indiegogo operates using a tiered system for gifts and donations which is ideal for many nonprofits with staff as it is a way to raise funds to pay their employees as nonprofits can’t pay employees with donated funds. This means that organizations can provide different levels of gifts in exchange for contributions.
For example, say if someone makes a $5 donation, you might give them a shout out on your social media account or on your website. For $50, you could send them a special gift with your organization’s branding. And for $100, you could offer a membership that includes event tickets or something similar.
This tiered approach gives donors who care about your cause an extra reason to actively give.
In contrast to its competitor Kickstarter, Indiegogo offers flexible funding. This means that even if you don't meet your funding goal, you'll still receive the funds you raised. This can be really important when it comes to funding your organization as other crowdsourcing sites only payout when your entire goal is realized.
Moreover, you can keep collecting donations even after reaching your goal. This is helpful because many campaigns gather more support than anticipated. Indiegogo enables your organization to keep accepting donations for further project enhancements or future endeavors.
One drawback of using Indiegogo is that it's not as well-known as crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe or Kickstarter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you're actively promoting your campaign. Just be aware that you might not receive as many donations from casual site visitors.
Another drawback is they charge a 5% platform fee on all funds raised for a campaign, plus they also charge an additional 2.9% + $0.30 for USD payouts for third-party credit card fees.
- Guidance from experts to enhance your campaign.
- A variety of tools for planning, executing, and maintaining campaigns.
- Clearly see your campaign's impact with integrated data analysis.
- You can offer special rewards to donors at different giving levels.
- Simplify fundraising through the mobile app.
- Flexibility in gift tiers for donations.
- Offer fixed or flexible funding goals.
- Flexible funding – even if goals aren't fully met.
- Continues fundraising after reaching the goal.
- Less known compared to other platforms.
- 5% fees on all money collected plus additional credit card fees.
7. Bonfire - Crowdfunding Platform for Merchandise with Payment Processing!
Bonfire isn’t your typical crowdfunding platform like some of the others on our list. It isn’t geared towards creating a blog for your cause or anything like that. Rather their unique focus is on selling merchandise for your organization.
This is really important for a lot of nonprofits since a nonprofit is not allowed to use donations to pay for staff is they have any. And one of the easiest ways for them to raise funds for payroll is to sell some sort of merchandise. So think of this like a Shopify for your organization, accept they are 100% geared towards non-profits like yours.
And in the realm of custom merchandise fundraising, Bonfire stands as the leading authority, presenting a truly distinctive and adaptable nonprofit crowdfunding selling platform. And it does get traffic, so you have the chance to profit from their traffic as well as your own!
A clever strategy for encouraging more people to support your causes is by offering branded merchandise or custom-designed t-shirts. Whether you're organizing fundraising events, races, demonstrations, or anything in between, Bonfire simplifies the process of fundraising with t-shirts, making it as easy to start as one, two, three.
Perfect for creators, you create a page, design your gear with whatever graphics you want, and everything is created on demand so no stocking anything or worrying about vendors. They do everything. Then all you do is send your donors to your page and hopefully make a lot of sales.
Bonfire takes charge of shipping each product directly to your supporters. Furthermore, Bonfire forwards 100% of the raised funds to you! And if you already have a PayBee account, this is the perfect way to add to our already existing plethora of tools for you to use.
If the idea of combining merchandise sales with your campaign appeals to you, do explore Bonfire's nonprofit crowdfunding platform.
Creating and managing a product crowdfunding campaign on Bonfire is entirely cost-free. You have the liberty to establish pricing and fundraising goals as per your campaign's requirements.
Upon reaching your goals, all raised funds are handed over to you. Should you choose to enable additional fundraising options for your campaign, Bonfire retains only 8% of each additional donation, a percentage that's reduced to 3.5% for verified nonprofits.
- Set prices and fundraising goals according to your needs.
- Create campaign pages and online stores exclusively for your merchandise.
- Utilize an intuitive t-shirt design platform equipped with free templates and design resources.
- Choose from an array of high-quality apparel styles, including sweatshirts and tank tops.
- Benefit from smart campaign reporting and management tools.
Embrace Bonfire's nonprofit crowdfunding platform to seamlessly integrate merchandise sales into your campaign, engage donors creatively, and create another stream of revenue for your charity you may have never thought about before.
Read What Features and Tools You Need for Fundraising
Choosing the right nonprofit crowdfunding platform is crucial for the success of your fundraising campaigns. Here are some important tools and features you should look for when evaluating nonprofit crowdfunding sites:
Traffic: The whole idea of crowdfunding is having people going to a website and seeing your cause an then hopefully engaging your organization or making a donation to it. Without traffic it is simply a nonprofit platform.
User-Friendly Interface: Both the back end and front end of the site should be easy to navigate to find whatever you need, and be intuitive to use with everything clean and clearly marked from the start. You don’t want your staff or team to spend days learning how to use the platform, or your donors leaving because they don’t understand what’s going on.
Customizable Campaign Pages: With all the great technology out there today, there is no reason a crowdfunding site wouldn’t allow you to be able to fully customize every single aspect of your pages. From your logo to color choice, everything should be under your control.
Mobile Compatibility: More traffic comes from mobile devices than any other source according to Google. So if your pages aren’t mobile friendly, then neither will your results be. You need to be sure that your pages look just as great on a small smartphone as they do on a large computer screen.
Social Media Integration: Although crowdfunding sites will come with some traffic, you still need to be able to get more eyeballs on your pages, and being active on social media as one great way to do that. But your pages also need to be easily shareable and look good when they are. So look for sites that integrate social media.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: When you’re crowdfunding is always great when a donor wants to help more and decides to create their own pages and go out and get traffic for them. A great site will have this capability and allow as many peer to peer pages as you need, usually at no additional costs either.
Payment Options: Always extremely important, having as many different ways to pay the crowdfunding site as possible is always a big plus. Not everyone has a credit card, or a Paypal account. You need to be using a site that takes as many payment types as possible so a donor is never unable to make a donation. And mobile payments are even better!
Recurring Donations: A recurring donation feature is a great way to get consistent revenue for your nonprofit or cause. And any solid crowdsourcing platform should have this capability and makes it super easy for individuals to donate. You can even make different tierd plans. .
Campaign Analytics: These tools can tell you a lot about how well or how badly your campaigns are doing. You can see how your supporters are engaging with your content and so you can make data-driven decisions to improve your fundraising strategies.
Donor Management: Effective donor management tools allow you to organize and maintain donor data, segment your donor list, and tailor communications for better engagement.
Email Marketing Integration: Integration with popular email marketing platforms can help you communicate with your donors and supporters more effectively, keeping them informed about your campaigns and progress.
Customer Support: A responsive customer support team is important for troubleshooting issues and addressing any concerns quickly. Look for platforms with accessible customer support options like live chat or even phone support.
Security and Privacy: Security is paramount when dealing with online transactions and personal data. The platform should use SSL encryption and other security measures to protect donor information and any monetary transactions.
Integration with CRM Systems: If your nonprofit uses a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, consider a platform that can seamlessly integrate with it, allowing for streamlined data management.
Fees and Pricing: Always clearly make sure you understand the platform's fee structure, including transaction fees and any platform charges. Choose a platform with transparent pricing that aligns with your budget and fundraising goals.
Success Stories: Something often overlooked, but when possible, see what others are saying and what sort of success they’ve had using the platform. This can give you an idea of the platform's effectiveness. They can even give you potential fundraising ideas.
Before making a decision, it's advisable to thoroughly research and even test out different platforms to see which one aligns best with your nonprofit's specific needs, goals, and audience.
Wrapping Up - Crowdfunding and Crowdfunding Platforms
Crowdfunding has a lot of pluses, especially for smaller causes that can't always get their own traffic easily. With the power of crowdfunding and the existing traffic these sites can give you, non-profit organizations should be looking at these as opportunities for any campaign or fundraising.