Anyone at the helm of a nonprofit knows that fundraising is a crucial part of success. It’s also something that can be incredibly challenging. In fact, research suggests that 23% of nonprofits lack a coherent fundraising plan. [1]

As the fundraising process evolves, crowdfunding sites for nonprofits are emerging as a viable way to bring in much-needed financial resources. The strategy relies on collecting small donations from a collective group of individuals. Bit by bit, these bite-sized chunks of money can add up to make a significant change. Don’t believe it? Even though the average pledge for a crowdfunding project is just $88, crowdfunding still generates a whopping $17.2 billion each year in North America.

Nonprofits are uniquely positioned to benefit from crowdfunding. A 2016 study from the University of British Columbia [2] found that donors are drawn to messages that fit their values. Crowdfunding platforms serve as a virtual storytelling stage that helps prospective donors connect with the cause.

There are tons of different platforms out there, so we rounded up five of the best crowdfunding sites for nonprofits.

The Best Nonprofit-friendly Crowdfunding Platforms

Thanks to the internet, nonprofits have a lot of options for crowdfunding. Just be sure to check with your state’s nonprofit fundraising laws before you launch a campaign and start collecting donations. With that being said, here are some standout crowdfunding sites for nonprofit organizations.

1. GoFundMe Charity

GoFundMe extended its reach to GoFundMe Charity in 2019, catching the attention of large nonprofits like the American Cancer Society. As you might expect, it is a well-integrated system that has more than a few perks. NPOs (shorthand for nonprofit organizations) have full access to all of their fundraising and donor data. This helps identify giving trends so they can better understand their donor base—and strengthen donor retention. What’s more, the platform is able to upload this data directly to your marketing program or CRM.

GoFundMe Charity also allows you to infuse your logo and brand identity into your fundraising campaign. Everything from your emails to your donate buttons is customizable. Another perk is that the platform helps streamline registration and ticketing for live events.

Let’s talk pricing: While subscription fees are off the table, GoFundMe Charity does apply a platform fee for using its service. NPOs can choose between two transaction-based plans. The free model cuts the platform fee but presents donors with the ability to leave an optional tip to support GoFundMe Charity. If this is a turnoff, you can opt for the Flex plan, which charges a 3% platform fee.

Either way, debit and credit card processing fees do come standard. Both plans typically charge 2.2% plus 30 cents per donation. The Flex plan has one extra benefit worth mentioning—it gives donors the option to cover all fees. GoFundMe Charity says that over 90% of donors end up doing so, which could translate to big savings for your nonprofit.

2. FirstGiving

FirstGiving is the fundraising muscle for over 5,000 nonprofits, including the Ronald McDonald House. NPOs can expect supportive video tutorials, as well as unlimited email and phone support. Working in partnership with the Panorama fundraising platform, it provides the following main features:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising: NPOs can create customized, brand-specific fundraising pages, as well as manage online registration for live events. Meanwhile, “giving days” allow you to launch special time-sensitive campaigns that come with their own countdown donation form. FirstGiving also connects users to corporate matching programs to help donors double their impact.
  • Online auctions and events: In addition to traditional fundraising, FirstGiving users have the ability to create and manage online auctions. This includes selling tickets, spotlighting sponsors, registering bidders and attendees, and more. The platform throws in mobile bidding and can open your auction to its bidding community of more than 500,000 potential new donors.

Let’s talk pricing: FirstGiving has two different pricing models.

  • Panorama Pro: This membership costs $600 per year and includes all the features mentioned above. However, some of these perks trigger extra charges. For example, the platform tacks on a 5% performance fee for hosting fundraisers, giving days, and online auctions. (Here’s a breakdown of the fee structure.)
  • Panorama Premium: Membership here will set you back $1,800 annually. It operates identically to the Panorama Pro plan but unlocks additional donor management support. This includes specialized mailing lists, volunteer registration and engagement, and easy data integration with platforms like Mailchimp and QuickBooks.

3. Network for Good

If you want to get technical, Network for Good is actually a software program that brings branded fundraising pages to life. The idea is to inspire supporters to give—and make it easy to do so. Network for Good claims that the way it tailors the giving experience is proven to raise more money.

You get unlimited fundraising pages and can choose from different campaign templates that allow you to embed videos if you like. You and your team will also receive training to help make the most out of your fundraisers from start to finish. If you have any live fundraising events in the works, the platform is optimized for mobile and can also set the stage for hiccup-free ticketing.

Automated tax receipts and donor thank-yous come with your membership, and you can leverage pre-built social media posts to spread the word about upcoming fundraisers. Other perks include donor management help that is aimed at targeting new supporters. Data reporting and integration is thrown in for good measure.

Let’s talk pricing: Costs are based on how many donor contacts you have. (Fees are billed annually.) Here’s how it shakes out:

  • Up to 1,000 contacts: $200 per month
  • 1,000 to 5,000 contacts: $300 per month
  • 5,000 to 10,000 contacts: $400 per month

For an extra $250 per month, nonprofits can get extra help by working directly with one of Network for Good’s personal fundraising coaches.

4. Rally

There’s a reason Rally is on our list of best crowdfunding sites for nonprofits. It’s an easy-to-use platform that lets NPOs build and share fundraising pages without the fuss. When you create your Rally page, you’ll have the ability to upload a featured video. This provides a built-in opportunity to use authentic storytelling to connect with potential donors.

The platform comes loaded with integrated social-sharing capabilities so that you can drive more traffic to your fundraising page. Supporters are also encouraged to share the love. Invite people to participate using your favorite social media channels or email.

Payment processing is baked into your fundraising page, as well. When the transaction is complete, NPOs can stay connected with donors using Rally’s analytics and online dashboard. Here you’ll get an insider look at donation trends and can easily keep in touch with supporters.

Let’s talk pricing: Rally is free to use but does charge a fee to process donations. This will cost you 5% plus credit card fees, which tacks on an extra 2.9% plus 30 cents. 

5. Mightycause

Mightycause is geared toward fostering supporter relationships. This begins with your customized fundraising page—which is, after all, the first thing donors see. With Mightycause, you can tailor the giving experience so that it reflects your nonprofit’s brand and voice.

From there, the platform allows you to embed donation tools right onto your website. Plus NPOs can receive donations on the quick using instant payouts with direct deposit. This pairs nicely with the fact that there is no cap on how many fundraising campaigns you can host. Free fundraising resources are also open to all users. This opens the door to eBooks, fundraising guides, training webinars, and more.

Let’s talk pricing: Mightycause’s free version allows for unlimited fundraising campaigns and event fundraising. For $99 per month, nonprofits can also enjoy data integration, a CRM dashboard, email marketing, and an embeddable donation form. You can expect a processing fee, but it ranges since many donors choose to cover it themselves. If not, you’ll be charged 1.2% plus 29 cents per donation.

The Bottom Line

Fundraising can be a pain point for nonprofits. The same goes for maintaining donor relationships and converting one-time supporters into long-term donors. Crowdfunding sites for nonprofits can bring these tasks together and help streamline the fundraising experience. It goes without saying that every organization is different. Evaluate your needs, then choose the platform that will best position you to reach your overall goals.

Article Sources:

  1. CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. “Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising
  2. The University of British Columbia, Department of Psychology: “A Brief Introduction to the Science of Fundraising

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