Thanks to the social web, each of us has the unprecedented ability to offer not only monetary support but also the reach of our own online networks in support of a cause. Non-profits can also tap into a myriad of sites enhanced by social media to turbo-charge fundraising campaigns and galvanize supporters.
Here are some of the best funding sites that leverage social networks and online crowds to help you do some (social) good. If there are others that you find worthwhile, please share them in the comments.
Causes.com is a campaigning platform that empowers individuals and non-profit organizations to collaborate and take action together. Its Supporter Network is a social networking platform that connects likeminded, socially conscious people.
For Donors: Create a cause-related profile that identifies your
campaign for action: to donate, to pledge, to petition or even a larger campaign within the Causes.com platform.
For Non-profits: Create organization profiles (brands can do the same) as destinations, through which the professional organizer can share updates and engage supporters. Profile pages aggregate all of an organization’s campaigns in one place. Non-profits can also access free analytics. In order to accept donations through Causes.com, a non-profit must be 501(c)3 verified through GuideStar. Non-profits pay a 4.75% per transaction processing fee directly to Network for Good, but Causes.com does not take any percent of the donation.
Crowdrise offers online tools for personal fundraising, event fundraising, special occasion fundraising, team fundraising and sponsored volunteerism. Star power from co-founder Edward Norton and social media-powered, high-profile fundraisers have helped set this crowdfunding tool apart from others.
For Donors: In addition to starting a fundraising campaign, giving to one, volunteering or interacting within Crowdrise, you can accumulate points for your activities. You’ll earn 10 points for every dollar raised or donated and double points for giving to a featured charity. Top point winners get prizes such as electronics, clothing and giftcards.
For Non-profits: Non-profits can benefit from Crowdrise’s turn-key solution meant to complement their existing fundraising and volunteer activities. Basic accounts are free, Featured accounts are $49 per month and Royale accounts are $199 per month. All accounts require annual commitments. Crowdrise deducts a 5% transaction fee on donations made through its site for Basic accounts, 4% on Featured accounts and 3% on Royale accounts. A standard 2.9% plus $0.30 credit card processing fee is charged for any type of account.
This site provides a secure donation system that powers the online fundraising efforts of many non-profits. It provides donation tools to individuals, non-profits, companies and even software developers.
For Donors: You may never come into contact with Network for Good until you make an online contribution to a non-profit that uses DonateNow behind the scenes. But you can go to the Network for Good site and make donations and manage your giving history directly. You can also set up automated monthly giving, buy a charity gift card, or download a badge for your favorite charity to add to your website or blog.
For Non-profits: Using the DonateNow service, select from three plans: DonateNow for $59.95 per month; DonateNow Plus for $79.95 per month or DonateNow Unlimited for $149.95 per month, with a 3% transaction fee for all accounts. All prices require an annual contract. They also offer a service called EventsNow powered by givezooks with transaction fees of 5.5% and $0.99 per ticket or donation and a fee-based e-mail service powered by Constant Contact.
The DonorsChoose team vets every classroom project request submitted by teachers and processes donor transactions. When a project reaches its funding goal, the company purchases all related classroom materials, ship the items directly to the schools and notify the principal of the pending shipments. They close the loop by providing photos of each project taking place with a cost report showing how donations were spent.
For Donors: You can donate to the classroom project of your choice and then invite your social network friends, fans and followers to join your efforts. Donate over $50 to a project and you’ll receive handwritten thank yous from students.
For Non-profits: Teachers are encouraged to submit classroom projects to the site and to use social media to garner support. Projects less than $400 have the best chance of being funded.
This site empowers individuals to raise money for causes easily and provides non-profits with fundraising campaign management tools.
For Donors: The site provides individuals with the tools to raise money or donate to a cause. If you are raising money, choose to cover the fees normally passed on as a transaction fee to the non-profit.
For Non-Profits: FirstGiving provides online peer-to-peer fundraising tools to manage events, grassroots campaigns, direct donations and donor communications. Non-profits can sign up for accounts and receive donations weekly, less a 7.5% fee per donation (includes 2.5% credit card processing fee). Non-profits can also let their supporters know that anyone can create fundraising pages on behalf of the organization.
FundRazr is a crowdfunding platform, co-developed with PayPal, that facilitates raising money for personal, group, political or non-profit causes via donations or perks.
For Donors: You can create a Fundrazr campaign, share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or by email, and your friends can donate or claim perks using PayPal, credit or debit cards.
For Non-Profits: Authorized representatives can sign up their non-profits to launch FundRazr campaigns. Qualified organizations pay FundRazr fees of 4.9% plus $0.30 per transaction; PayPal and credit card fees are inclusive. A non-profit needs a PayPal account to process donations to the campaign, and donations go immediately to that account. FundRazr campaigns can also be deployed as a tab on the organization’s Facebook page or as widgets on websites and blogs.
Givezooks! is geared toward non-profits and provides them with tools to manage fundraising efforts. Fundraisers on givezooks! can be promoted using e-mail, widgets and through social media channels.
For Donors: While not specifically geared toward the individual donor, givezooks! provides peer-to-peer and team fundraising tools for non-profits. In turn, non-profits can encourage people like you to create grassroots fundraising campaigns on their behalf and you can tap into your own personal social networks for additional support. You can also register for events set up by non-profits you support and create a personal fundraising page to encourage your friends and family to support you and your favorite cause.
For Non-profits: To get started, non-profits pick a plan, create a custom givezooks! fundraiser: a campaign, event or wish list. Organizations also select their payment gateway: Sage, PayPal, CyberSource and Authorize.net. The givezooks! Social Fundraising platform starts at $129 per month. Their Events product is priced separately based on a transaction fee starting at 2.5%.
Givlet provides non-profits with tools to accept donations from any web-based channel: website, social media and email. The application includes a responsive donation page for mobile, tablet and desktop access.
For Donors: Givlet isn’t geared toward individuals raising money; however, you can donate to nearly 1,000 organizations that use the Givlet application and share your actions easily on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Donor accounts let you to make one-click donations to any organization using Givlet and centralize your tax receipts.
For Non-profits: Organizations can create branded donation pages, integrate them with existing websites, track progress and engage donors with Givlet distribution tools for blogs, emails and social media. Pricing is lower than most other online fundraising tools at 3.9% plus $0.30 per donation including payment processing, with no monthly or setup fees.
Founded in 1999, JustGive was created to help individuals find charities to support. The JustGive Guide taps into a database of over 1.8 million charities (from Guidestar) and offers various ways individuals can support their causes, such as charity gift cards, charity wedding registrations and charity gift collections.
For Donors: The minimum donation through the site is $10 and payments can be made via American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa. You can also set up recurring donations to process on a monthly basis. Track the donations you make through your giving history, which helps at tax time.
For Non-profits: To create or correct their listing on JustGive, a non-profit needs to first register with Guidestar. Organizations can set up a JustGive donation page and download a “Donate Now” button to put on their website or blog and lead donors to JustGive to process donations. JustGive provides a record of donations downloadable as an Excel, CSV, PDF or XML file. There are no setup costs but there is a 4.5% processing fee per donation.
Qgiv provides non-profits with branded donation pages, mobile and text-giving capabilities, plus options for on-site donations.
For Donors: Donors are able to make donations, set up recurring payments, register for events or make tributes to loved ones.
For Non-profits: Non-profits can create and customize branded donation and event registration pages. Qgiv’s pages are responsive for mobile device access, and non-profits can set up text giving, detailed reports, recurring donations and take on-site donations using Qgiv’s Virtual Terminal. Qgiv offers a month-to-month service with no monthly fee and no annual commitment. There is a one-time $199 setup fee plus transaction fees.
Razoo provides tools to search for and donate to charities, create an online fundraiser for a charity or a cause with no setup fees or monthly subscriptions and collaborate through social media.
For Donors: You can find and support your favorite cause or non-profit or set up your own fundraiser. You can also organize a team or join someone else’s to raise money including races and mission trips.
For Non-profits: With Razoo, non-profits can accept online donations and create fundraising campaigns for specific projects or start a fundraiser for a good cause. Organizations can also claim access to their listings (based on the IRS Business Master File) to share stories for free on their Razoo fundraising pages and use the Donation widget to accept donations through Razoo. Razoo’s per donation fee is 4.9%.
Geared specifically toward non-profit leaders, StayClassy provides tools for deeper fundraising management and development, including peer-to-peer fundraising, online donations and fundraising events.
For Donors: StayClassy is geared toward the non-profit organization, so there aren’t any direct options for individuals.
For Non-profits: Organizations can use StayClassy to consolidate and manage all of their online fundraising in one place. StayClassy is a combination acquisition tool, relationship builder and collaboration tool for non-profits. Prices start at $99 per month with 3% transaction fees plus credit card processing fees.