As nonprofits strive to overcome the challenges of fundraising in the digital age, how does crowdfunding fit into these efforts? Do you have the social stamina to sustain a crowdsourced campaign? Finally, which crowdfunding platform best fits your needs? As you consider these questions, we offer a cheat sheet on the highlights (and lowlights) of four crowdfunding platforms. Don’t recognize some terminology? Click here for a glossary.

We hope this tip sheet saves you some time and helps you find the funding platform that sets your organization apart from the crowd. Be realistic, be creative, and good luck crowdfunding!

Classy

Website: www.classy.org
Types of Fundraising: Peer-to-peer, recurring giving, and crowdfunding
Integration options: Salesforce, Razors Edge, and Blackbaud
Payment options: WePay, Braintree, Authorize Net
Costs: $499 a month (or start for free)
Donation Fees: 5% transcation fee, no platform fee listed
Mobile optimization: Yes
See it in action: National Geographic’s Save a Lion Campaign

 

Pros:

  • Three types of fundraising available
  • Encourages transparency between organization and donors
    • Easy thank-you donor tools
  • Lots of free resources to assist in fundraising efforts
    • Webinars and videos
    • Podcasts
    • Worksheets and Ecourses
  • Simple interface and customization options
  • Customer service is helpful and accessible
    • Live chat available

Cons:

  • Cost of the platform is not made public
  • No mobile app
  • Can be overwhelming for those new to crowdfunding platforms
  • It can be challenging to integrate Classy pages into custom-designed websites.
  • Cost

CrowdRise by GoFundMe

Website: www.crowdrise.com
Types of Fundraising: Online social fundraising, non-profit event fundraising, peer-to-peer
Integration options: Salesforce
Payment options: PayPal Giving Fund, WePay
Costs: Starter level is free
Donation Fees: 5% platform free + 2.9% +0.30 payment processing
Mobile optimization: Only for premium users
See it in action: Play Proud

Pros:

  • Starter Level is free
    • Recurring donations
    • Fundraising minimums
    • Email support
  • Easy to use, very intuitive
  • Optimized social sharing
  • Easy donor thank-yous and branded DIY fundraising

Cons:

  • Only integrates with Salesforce
  • Advanced mobile optimization costs more money
  • Does not accept pledges

Fundly

Website: fundly.com
Types of Fundraising: Peer-to-peer and crowdfunding
Integration options: SmartyStreets, UJoin, Donor Search, Google Maps, Quickbooks, MailChimp, WordPress, and Salesforce
Payment options: Stripe, WePay
Costs: $249 per year
Donation Fees: 4.9% platform fee + 2.9% + 0.30 payment processing
Mobile optimization: Yes
See it in action: Dignity Kits for Refugee Women

Pros:

  • Accepts pledges
  • Donation level alerts
  • Automatic acknowledgments for donation or donor can be set up
  • Option of peer-to-peer
  • Upfront about fees and specifically designed for nonprofits
  • Facebook integration

Cons:

  • Customer service and communication
  • Website has complex features that can be hard to navigate
  • Security problems

Kickstarter

Website: kickstarter.com
Types of Fundraising: Creative project-based crowdfunding
Integration options: Shopify
Payment options: Stripe
Costs: Free 
Donation Fees: 5% of total funds raised, 3% + $0.20 per pledge
Mobile optimization: Yes
See it in action: Black Forge Coffee House

Pros:

  • No starter fee
  • Independent and art-driven
  • Fees are only taken if project fully funded
  • Allows for challenging, expensive creative projects to seem possible

Cons:

  • Only 36% of campaigns are successful
  • All or nothing: If you cannot meet the fundraising goal by a certain date, you will not get funded

Terms of the Trade

Peer-to-Peer: Fundraising that leverages your supporters to raise money on your behalf. Individuals create customized fundraisers for your nonprofit and share with their networks.

Recurring giving: Allows donors to give a set amount of money monthly or annually, providing a steady stream of funding.

Crowdfunding: Funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically online.

Project-based crowdfunding: Crowdfunding fora specific project orproduct.