Online fundraising platforms are an indispensable tool for charities as part of a Digital Fundraising strategy. When every penny counts, it's important to maximise donations by choosing the best online platform for your charity.
When we're advising new clients on choosing a fundraising platform, these are some of the factors we consider before making a recommendation:
Some platforms have ratings on Trustpilot or other ratings sites, but these reviews can often be skewed to reflect the donor experience, as many more donors submit reviews than charities. While it is very important to consider the donor experience, these ratings do not necessarily reflect the experience of charities setting up and administering their account on the platform.
There are very few online fundraising platforms which are completely free for charities to use, so the amount of money the charity will actually receive from any donations is undoubtedly an important factor to consider. Because of this, the default order in which the platforms are presented in our table is by how much a charity would actually receive from a £10 donation, plus Gift Aid, made using a debit card.
Broadly, there are 3 types of fee that we look at (excluding Gift Aid which is covered later):
Most, but not all, online fundraising platforms provide the ability to take one-off donations.
In addition to this, there are a number of other types of fundraising which platforms may support. For example:
This is by no means an exhaustive list!
You should also consider whether you prefer to use a single platform to manage all your needs or if you could take a mix & match approach.
Now that you have a good understanding of all the factors to consider, use the table below to compare the costs and benefits of each platform.
✝ When paid by debit card
Note: Organisations do change their fees, and while we endevour to keep our data up-to-date you should double check the platforms' website directly for the most up-to-date details before making any commitment. Please do let us know if you spot any information which needs correcting or have any feedback for additional information or features you would like to see here.
By now your head may be spinning with all the different options available and various different factors to consider. If you are interested in more customised analysis and recommendations for your organisation please get in touch to discuss our services.
Otherwise, here are a few of our top choices:
Paypal Giving Fund will process one-off donations, including Gift Aid and pass on 100% of the funds to the charity, with reporting data available to download as a CSV file. You can use a donate button on the charity website to link to the Paypal Giving site. A Paypal Giving Fund account also allows charities to receive funds raised via Ebay, Humble Bundle, GoFundMe and Facebook.
With reasonably low platform and transaction fees, Peoples Fundraising is a good choice of platform for charities to receive one-off and regular donations.
However, the platform also offers charities a whole host of other interesting fundraising features, such as:
Most platforms will only take applications from registered charities, however Localgiving facilitate fundraising for local charities and unregistered community groups. The site does charge an annual fee of £96 per year, in addition to platform, payment processing and Gift Aid fees, however they are also able to process and collect Gift Aid on behalf of organisations who are not registered to collect Gift Aid themselves. This makes them a good option to consider for small local charities and unregistered groups who would not otherwise be able to access online fundraising platforms and Gift Aid income.
They also offer matched funding campaigns every 2-3 months, crowd-funding and access to apply for 'Magic Little Grants'.
We have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of Wonderful. It re-opened in 2021, after its unfortunate closure on 1st April 2020, and has been split into two:
Wonderful.org will support fundraising events, passing on 100% of funds raised to charities with costs covered by Wonderful's corporate sponsors. If their model operates in the same way as before it closed (this is currently unclear), they will collect Gift Aid data, allowing charities to make their own submissions. Unfortunately the site was somewhat short-lived last time, so we are hoping this model is more successful for them, as it has the potential to cut out platform and payment processing fees for a lot of charities.
Wonderful Payments is also a good option for charities to accept one-off donations. With a flat rate fee of 10p per transaction, it makes it easier for charities to assess the fees they will incur and essentially this makes Wonderful Payments cheaper to use, the larger the donations you receive.
We are not affiliated with or receiving any compensation from any of these fundraising platforms. The above advice and information is provided on a best-effort basis, to help charities choose the most cost-effective and suitable solution(s) for their needs.
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