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Best Fundraising Platforms for Nonprofits

Last updated: November 22, 2023

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Online fundraising platforms offer convenience and streamlined processes for nonprofits. They also offer an easy way to accept online donations and a number of useful tools for managing fundraising campaigns.

These platforms make the process of donating quick and easy, with the reassurance for donors that their transaction is secure.

The question is, which are your best picks as a nonprofit?

We’re outlining seven that are worth looking into this year:

What is an online fundraising platform?

An online fundraising platform is software that enables the collection of donations via the internet. Most of these platforms come equipped with tools that are adjacent to the donation process, such as

  • Streamlined donation processing with secure online payment systems
  • Customizable marketing toolkits and templates to launch campaigns faster
  • Peer to peer fundraising tools to empower supporters to create their own fundraising campaigns
  • Automation of recurring donations for ongoing donor retention
  • Comprehensive analytics to track fundraising performance and donor engagement
  • Integration with social media platforms for wider reach and engagement for fundraising efforts
  • Event management features for organizing fundraising events and ticket sales
  • Real-time reporting and insights to inform fundraising strategy

The best online fundraising platforms provide a user-friendly experience for both the nonprofits who use them in the background and their donors who see them from the front end. They should exist to simplify the donation process and leave the donor feeling good about their experience, while nonprofit teams benefit from streamlined processes.

What are the benefits of using online fundraising platforms for nonprofits?

Speaking of benefits, there are some great  reasons to evaluate  and use an online fundraising platform. The convenience of the software and its various features can make a huge difference in the decision-making of your donors.  Here are some top benefits:

#1. Expand your potential donor pool

An online fundraising platform enables you to extend your fundraising reach across geographical boundaries.

Anyone with an internet connection can access your donation pages and campaigns from anywhere in the world. This allows nonprofits to grow their donor base beyond just those in their local community, to a global audience of supporters who care about their mission.

It also empowers peer to peer fundraisers to leverage their networks no matter where they are located – a student can easily reach grandparents overseas to sponsor their walk-a-thon.

#2. Collect donations from anywhere

A key advantage online fundraising platforms provide is enabling donations from any location and on any device. Supporters can show their support via mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer – whenever and wherever they come across a campaign that resonates.

Most platforms are optimized for mobile use, making donating on-the-go quick and simple.

This flexibility allows more spontaneity around giving. If a compelling social media post catches a supporter’s eye, they can take action immediately by donating through the integrated payment functionality.

Users can also access account management features from their device of choice – setting up recurring payments, reviewing donation history etc. By providing multi-channel access, online fundraising platforms allow donations to flow in from anywhere at any time.

#3. Help track donor fundraising and accounting data

Best online fundraising platforms integrate with critical software systems used by nonprofits to eliminate manual data entry and provide greater visibility into performance.

For example, integrating your CRM and fundraising platform allows constituent data to flow automatically between systems. As soon as a donation is made, the donor’s details are logged in the CRM for ongoing nurturing and stewardship.

Integrations with accounting software also facilitate easy transfer of financial data to seamlessly update budgets and provide real-time cash flow visibility after campaigns.

Beyond integrations, most platforms provide essential reporting and analytics around fundraising initiatives.

This includes campaign performance tracking – how much was raised total, largest gifts, referral sources etc.

For peer to peer fundraisers, leaderboards by dollars raised or number of donors tapped can incentivize participation.

Nonprofits can also leverage data to optimize future fundraising strategies and positioning based on what resonates best with their donor base.

By centralizing key information in an integrated platform, teams save significant manual effort while gaining better insight into the metrics that matter most.

Key features of an online fundraising platform

There are a few options out there for online fundraising platforms, so if you’re in the market for new software, it can be helpful to start with a list of “must-have” features. What does your organization need the most from software? What goals should it help you to achieve?

The best option will look different for various organizations and is a function of offering the features you need the most, coupled with a price that is within your budget. We’ve developed a general short-list of features that should be must-haves for all:

#1. Comprehensive support

Given that online fundraising platforms handle critical operations like donation processing and campaign management, access to prompt and skilled customer support should be a top priority.

Technical issues left unresolved can negatively impact nonprofit fundraising efforts and the donor experience. Comprehensive support mitigates this risk.

Ideally, your platform provider will offer 24/7 phone, email and chat channel options to fit different schedules and preferences.

This eliminates reliance on just one staff member with platform expertise.

Whether it’s helping troubleshoot why a campaign page isn’t displaying properly or advising how to best use built-in marketing tools, the support team serves as an extension of your staff – minimizing administrative burdens so you can focus on your mission and donors.

From nonprofit users to donors to volunteers and other stakeholders, comprehensive support improves experiences across the board.

Donation and event registration forms should function seamlessly and questions about platform features or customizations should get answered without delay. For donors, this translates to smooth, disruption-free interactions that leads to greater engagement over the long term.

#2. Goal and progress tracking

How will you (or your peer to peer fundraisers) know how well you’re tracking? A good fundraising platform should feature goal and progress tracking so that you can make informed decisions and stay plugged into the campaign.

Customizable admin dashboards should consolidate key real-time metrics in one place – dollars raised by day/week/month, number of donors, average gift amounts and more. Performance benchmarked against targets enables data-driven decisions around campaign extensions, additional outreach efforts, or revising donation appeals if needed.

Look for features such as clear, easily-generated reporting, and user-friendly dashboards that help keep users in the loop. The tracking and reporting should be useful, allowing you to know exactly what’s happening and whether you should try making changes.

#3. Third-party integrations

Whenever you’re shopping for new software, it’s useful to make a list of the current systems your organization is using so that you can find solutions that integrate with your current tech stack. For example, your CRM, email, and project management software should be high on the  list of must-haves when you’re looking at online fundraising platforms.

Third-party integrations make life easier. Your donor research and fundraising efforts are aided  by pulling combined data together and presenting you with a clear picture. Integrations take out the need for time-consuming, manual data entry while reducing the risk of not having the full picture.

#4. Donor management

Some online fundraising platforms are basic in that they only exist to process donations. We favor platforms that also include donor management features such as donor relationships and records. This effectively gives you a “one-stop-shop” where you can track donations, monitor donor types, communicate with, and thank donors within the platform.

#5. Affordability

Pricing has to be a factor on your list. Most online fundraising platforms have tiered pricing plans that are based on the level of usage you need or the inclusion of different features. For example, iwave has three different pricing tiers that cover the number of concurrent users, and features that are either included or add-ons. Check that your must-have features are not only available but included within a price that fits your budget.

Here are seven of our top picks for online fundraising platforms for nonprofits:

#1. iwave – Best fundraising platform for donor intelligence

iwave helps nonprofits “turn data into donations.” The software takes on the complex task of accurately finding ideal donors through data analysis across a number of factors.

This helps take the guesswork out of fundraising for nonprofits by curating prioritized donor lists and giving insights into the most effective ways to reach them. Nonprofit organizations can hone their campaigns and achieve a better ROI for their marketing efforts.

Key features of iwave

iwave comes equipped with several high-quality features for more effective fundraising, including:

  • A robust prospect search solution  that scans over 40 data sources simultaneously. This helps nonprofits to create prospect profiles in seconds. The 360search taps into billions of data points to identify a prospect’s capacity, affinity, and propensity to give.
  • AI-powered modeling and analytics. Leverage the power of AI for predictive modeling that helps you to discover high-impact donors, find “look-alike” audiences, and expand your major giving pipeline.
  • Intelligent prospecting. Build highly personalized prospect lists quickly and effectively by leveraging AI.
  • Seamless integrations. iWave integrates with many platforms that nonprofits already use, including various CRM software.
  • Unlimited support. iWave offers an industry-leading client support team via phone, email, and chat. The support site contains in-depth information, including a knowledge base, for any nonprofits that prefer to access self-service support.

Recommended fundraising software for…

iwave is recommended for a broad range of nonprofits, from small to enterprise level. From arts and culture, community foundations, education, faith-based, healthcare, and other organizations are encouraged to try iwave.

Pricing

iwave pricing is on three tiers; starter, professional, and premium.

#2. OneCause – Best for peer to peer fundraising

OneCause is an event and online fundraising platform for nonprofits that aims to deliver an easy fundraising experience. It’s a customizable solution that offers a range of fundraising types, including peer to peer fundraising, auctions, ticketing, event management, and more.

Key features of OneCause

Key features of OneCause include:

  • Peer to peer fundraising. This includes events such as walk-a-thons (or similar), tribute or memorial fundraising, supporter-initiated events, virtual campaigns, and ambassador fundraising. This feature provides supporters with the tools they need to reach donors, while helping nonprofits to keep engaged with supporters.
  • Event fundraising. Events come in many forms and OneCause promises to cover any of them. The platform can help you to manage things like ticketing, table and seating assignments, event registration, live auctions, and guest communication.
  • Online fundraising. The online fundraising tool includes simple, customizable setup and a mobile-optimized interface for online fundraising and virtual campaigns. It features tools to increase donor engagement, such as gamification and social media sharing.
  • Text-2-Give – This makes it easy to collect donations via text with a simple admin tool, customizable calls to action, and streamlined accounting.

Recommended fundraising software for…

OneCause comes highly recommended for nonprofits who need event management and ticket sales, but includes the other features mentioned above, too.

Pricing

OneCause has multiple different plans based on the type of fundraising required and the level of usage needed. You need to request a consultation for pricing.

#3. Fundraise Up – Best for managing fundraising campaigns

Fundraise Up leverages AI technology to help nonprofits optimize their online donations. It includes peer to peer fundraising, cryptocurrency donations, donor portals, and more.

Key features of Fundraise Up

Some key features of Fundraise Up include:

  • Fast, optimized checkout. Replace forms with checkout and remove friction from the donation process.
  • Fundraising UI kit. Update your website with customizable components to engage donors. Includes features such as buttons, data, forms, links, lists, and overlays.
  • AI optimizations. AI features can help to personalize suggested donation amounts, intelligently prompt upsells to recurring donations, and identify and prevent fraudulent activity.
  • Donor portal. The donor portal can save nonprofits countless support hours by helping donors to manage their giving and peer to peer fundraising themselves.
  • Integrations. Fundraise Up includes a number of integrations, including Zapier, which allows nonprofits to build integrations with other platforms.

Recommended fundraising software for…

Nonprofits that need innovative online fundraising solutions.

Pricing

Pricing is on two tiers, scale or enterprise. The scale option charges 4% per transaction, while the enterprise option requires a custom quote from Fundraise Up.

#4. Classy – Best fundraising platform to raise money using events

Classy is an online fundraising platform designed to optimize the supporter experience and encourage giving. It includes events, direct donations, peer to peer fundraising, and recurring giving.

Key features of Classy

Here are some of the key features of Classy:

  • Supports different types of fundraising, including: peer to peer fundraising, recurring giving, crowdfunding, events (virtual or in-person), and auctions.
  • Create donation websites. Customizable, mobile-responsive web pages facilitate donations with an optimized experience and flexible donation options.
  • Facilitate international fundraising. The Classy Passport feature is a cross-currency solution for soliciting international donations. Nonprofits can mobilize supporters across the globe under a single campaign.
  • Manage virtual and hybrid events. Ticketing, registration, and virtual hosting for events.
  • Integrations. Classy integrates with a large number of tools from different categories.

Recommended fundraising software for…

Nonprofits that require comprehensive online fundraising solutions, including support for events.

Pricing

Pricing can be found by contacting Classy for a quote.

#5. Fundly – Best fundraising platform to raise funds online

Fundly is a fundraising platform for individuals or nonprofit organizations. It specializes in crowdfunding and online fundraising, and offers a simple platform for fundraising.

Key features of Fundly

Some key features of Fundly include:

  • Event fundraising pages. These include the ability to add photos and video content.
  • Event registration and ticketing via an Eventbrite integration.
  • Mobile fundraising via optimized pages.
  • Support via email or self service.
  • Data analytics.
  • Embeddable features such as forms, buttons, and donor geography maps.

Recommended fundraising software for…

Better for smaller nonprofits or individuals who are seeking a simple, affordable solution.

Pricing

Fundly has a 0% platform fee. They use Stripe as a payment partner, for which fees are 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. This same pricing applies to all users.

#6. Donorbox – Best fundraising software with a CRM

Donorbox is a popular, widely used online fundraising platform, with over 50,000 organizations across 96 countries as clients. It covers a broad range of features and types of fundraising campaigns.

Key features of Donorbox

Here are some key features of Donorbox:

  • Enables different types of fundraising campaigns, including peer to peer fundraising, text-to-give, crowdfunding, memberships, and events.
  • Integrates with popular CMS that nonprofits may already be using to power their websites. These include Wix, WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace, and Webflow.
  • Create event pages with unlimited event registrations with just a few clicks.
  • Collect supporter information and manage donor relationships.
  • Nonprofits can accept donations via several different payment providers.
  • Integrations. Multiple integrations are available, including a Zapier integration which allows you to set up your own custom integrations.
  • Accepts over 20 currencies and supports over 11 languages.

Recommended fundraising software for

Nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes require an all-in-one, comprehensive solution.

Pricing

Donorbox Standard has a 1.5% Donorbox platform fee, plus payment processing fees of 2.9% + $0.30 for stripe and PayPal. Features like Peer-to-Peer, Events, and Memberships come at a platform fee of 2.95%.

Donorbox premium pricing is custom-quoted after you book a demo.

#7. Handbid – Best Fundraising platform for online auctions

Handbid specializes in auction software, powering in-person, remote, or hybrid auctions. They also offer peer to peer fundraising and crowdfunding tools.

Key features of Handbid

Some key features of Handbid include:

  • Easy mobile bidding for Apple and Android phones.
  • Bidding can be live or web-based.
  • Auction management tools that can be used from anywhere.
  • Keep guests engaged with live stat display.
  • Auction-in-a-box virtual event bundle.

Recommended fundraising software for…

Nonprofits who primarily want to host auctions (with the ability to set up P2P and crowdfunding, too).

Pricing

Single events start at $792 per year, while multiple events start at $2496 per year.

Which fundraising platform is right for you?

What are your nonprofits requirements when it comes to an online fundraising platform? What types of fundraising do you need supported? Do you think your needs will change any time soon?

Carefully consider what is most important for your organization’s needs. It may be that you only need a basic fundraising platform for now. Or, perhaps it’s worth investing in a more comprehensive platform that has the capacity to grow with your needs.

Lastly, the right fundraising intelligence solution can be the added boost that your campaigns need for success. iWave offers comprehensive data analysis and AI-powered support to help your nonprofit hone in on the most likely donors for your campaigns. Request a demo here today.


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