The best online fundraising platforms for charities
We reveiew the best online fundraising platforms available to charities as of December 2019 – including information on fees and Gift Aid.
[UPDATE] This piece has been updated to reflect the fact that The Good Exchange has removed fees for funders and donors from the 1st October 2019.
There has been an explosion in the number of dedicated online fundraising plaforms for fundraising, letting charities and their supporters quickly and effectively raise money. But not all of them are free to use, or as cost effective for charities.
JustGiving was one of the first online fundraising platforms, having collected over £4 billion for charities since its launch in 2001. As of March 2019, the company waived its 5% platform fee in favour of donors making a voluntary contribution in support of the platform’s operations.
The other go-to platform, Virgin Money Giving, has helped 14,000 UK charities and 890,000 fundraisers raise more than £685 million online. However it charges a £150 fee to register.
We’ve purposely listed some of the lesser-known platforms that charities may not know about, to give a broader view on the online fundraising landscape. These alternatives platforms often have different donation models, are aimed at different types of fundraising and often take a much smaller cut from donations and do not charge a subscription fee.
Virgin Money Giving is a non-profit platform created by Virgin Money to help charities raise more money online. So far, they have helped 14,000 UK charities and 890,000 fundraisers to raise more than £685 Million. The Virgin platform offers 5 key benefits for charities:
- A full event fundraising service
- Promotions and marketing activity
- Weekly payment of donated funds to charities
- Reports and fundraising data
- Help desk service and account management
There is a one-off membership fee of £150.00, as well as a 2.5% processing fee, and a 2% processing fee. However, as of September, they allow donors to cover 100% of charity fees. They claim that around 80% of donors take this option.Read More
GoFundMe has partnered with PayPal Giving Fund to deliver funds. Donations are processed by PayPal and GoFundMe before being sent to the PayPal Giving Fund – a non-profit organisation which collects and distributes them to the chosen charity. All charities registered with the Charity Commission in the UK are listed in GoFundMe’s charity directory and funds are passed automatically to the charity by PayPal Giving Fund.
Since starting in 2010, GoFundMe has raised over $5 Billion benefiting over 2 Million individual giving campaigns
Unlike many competitors, 100% of Gift Aid goes to the charity. In November 2017, GoFundMe announced that it was no longer charging a 5% fee per donation for US, Canada, and UK individual campaigns, and instead rely upon tips left by donors to support the website. Many other platforms have since followed GoFundMe’s example and dropped these fees.
The platform offers smaller teams the opportunity to set up fundraising campaigns quickly and easily. The GoFundMe free-to-use charity fundraising platform has recently been launched, with ‘donate anywhere’ button integration for ease of payment, which could well see the platform offer even greater benefits to charities in the future.Read More
Givey is a fundraising platform that exclusively focuses on smaller charities, with a focus on social giving. It lets supporters donate to UK-based charities through social media such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Vimeo.
Smaller charities make up 95% of the sector. Yet 90% of donations go to larger charities. This platform seeks to level the playing field, by helping smaller organisations to reach a like-minded supporter base.
The platform is joint-best for money given to charities, with a £10.00 donation (with Gift Aid) raising £2.50 for charity. Businesses can run match-funding schemes where they can match each employee donation up to double the amount raised, and the platform offers free marketing support for charities.Read More
On the Wonderful.org platform there is no membership or subscription charge, and no card or processing fees. Instead, these costs are met by the Wonderful Organisation’s philanthropic corporate sponsors. Since February 2019, the platform has grown from 500 to over 2,100 listed charities.
Fundraisers simply set up a fundraising page, select a charity, and start campaigning. Each month Wonderful.org send full payments and Gift Aid to charities.
Wonderful.org is the joint-best platform for money given to charities, with a £10.00 donation (with Gift Aid) raising £2.50 for charity. This platform may be new to the table, but they’re growing, and growing in the right way.Read More
Global Giving is a non-profit organisation that allows people to build free fundraising webpages, as well as connecting charity projects with corporate fundraising opportunities and CSR initiatives. The platform provides corporate and match-funding opportunities, plus training, support and tools for charities.
In 17 years, the platform has raised over $421 Million for over 24, 000 projects. The community is free to join, with no application or subscription fees. Instead, they retain a 5-12% non-profit support fee on donations, plus a 3% processing and transaction fee. This means that a donation of £10 (with Gift Aid) would raise £11.25 for charity.
Global Giving do make a commitment to raise more money than they take in fees from your organisation. For every $1 that goes to Global Giving in fees, they raise an average of $2 for your cause through matching funds, corporate partner donations, bonus rewards, marketing efforts and gift cards.Read More
The Good Exchange is a non-profit bringing projects requiring funding to those with grants to give via transparent automated matching with corporate foundations, businesses and individuals. Each project can also receive public donations.
Charities complete a single online form: outlining details of the project. Once submitted and approved, the campaign is published on the platform, and the giving begins. Live projects will be shortlisted for funding and automatically matched with organisations based on their specific grant-giving criteria.
Over 1,500 charities are registered with the platform, which has raised a total of £11,904,041 for charitable causes.
NOTE: The Good Exchange has now removed fees for donors and funders – read more in our news story here.Read More
Localgiving is a fundraising platform aimed specifically at local charities, with the ability for fundraisers to set up their own pages, and for local charities to engage businesses for funding partnerships.
It provides its members with regular match funds, fundraising competitions, free training opportunities, expert fundraising support and a small grants programme. Localgiving also says it actively advocates for the needs of the local voluntary sector through its report and work with sector infrastructure bodies.
The platform offers a small grant-giving programme called ‘Magic Little Grants’, which has raised almost £300, 000 for community groups, encouraging folks to be physically active.
CORRECTION: We initially said that Localgiving charges 5-7% commission – it charges 5%.Read More
Built by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), With CAF Donate you can create online donation forms and buttons and easily add them to your website, emails and Facebook pages. You’ll first need to sign up for CAF’s reporting tool, CAF Charity Dashboard, but then you get access to in-depth reports about your campaigns, donors and donations.
More than 5,000 (mainly small-to-medium) charities use CAF Donate to fundraise and process donations. In 2018 alone they raised over £27 Million for UK charities.
They offer a slightly-different fee structure to other platforms, with no monthly charges. Instead, they levy a staggered donation fee depending on the type of donation.Read More
Rather than being its own platform, Charity Checkout allows charities to run their own fundraising platform on their website, and set up branded fundraising pages with their own custom branding.
It lets charities set up branded fundraising pages through a range of paid for packages, allowing charities to have a more direct relationship with their supporters, which the company says significantly increases the donations charities recieve.
Charity Checkout charges some extra fees for access to its online fundraising technology, which vary according to whether you are setting up a hosted website or integrating donations with your existing website. Donors have the option to cover some of the transaction fee. the platform allows charities to set up customisable fundraising pages through a range of paid-for packages. Tools and features vary between Premium and Enterprise price options. At a minimum, Charity Checkout gives charities complete branding autonomy for their fundraising pages, as well as bespoke data management, event fundraising management, customised corporate fundraising and an inter-connected community fundraising portal.
For a full list of fees, visit the Charity Checkout website.Read More