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The 4 Best Online Fundraising Platforms for Nonprofits

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By Korrin Bishop
Fundraising professional choosing best online fundraising platform

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Published October 1, 2021
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Identifying the best online fundraising platform is critical to connecting with your donors in a meaningful way.

Whether you’re looking to use an online fundraising platform for the first time or researching a switch, we’ll help you make the many choices feel less overwhelming.

Here’s how we’re helping your nonprofit make the best choice:

  • Learn what a fundraising platform is
  • Understand why your nonprofit should use one
  • Deep dive into the strengths and weaknesses of the top four best fundraising platforms out there to help determine what’s best for you

Why Your Nonprofit Needs an Online Fundraising Platform

Before we can help you determine the best online fundraising platform for your nonprofit, we’ll help you define exactly what it is. Put simply, an online fundraising platform is a software package that nonprofits can use to process donations securely. We expand that definition by focusing on why your nonprofit needs this service.

Without funding, nonprofits cannot advance their missions—and without connected and loyal donors, there is no funding. For fundraisers to remain relevant, supporters’ needs, behaviors, and preferences must be at the center of all they do. Understanding how to reach your passionate audience can transform them into lifelong donors dedicated to the cause.

Therefore, an online fundraising platform should be a user-friendly technology that enables your nonprofit to create supporter-centric giving experiences for all involved.

The right platform provides you with the formats and flexibility to activate donors when and how they need to by creating more relevant connections to their causes. It should also allow your nonprofit to reinforce those connections over time through powerful data and purposeful tools.

Supporters are more than just the people who donate—they are engaged givers, enthusiastic fans, and potentially fundraisers themselves. When you build this perspective into your online fundraising platform, you can work toward your nonprofit’s mission more effectively.

Top 4 Online Fundraising Platforms for Nonprofits

You have many options available to you when selecting the best online fundraising platform for your nonprofit. Below, we’ve chosen four of the top choices to help you narrow down your search and quickly review the features that matter most to you.

1. Classy

Classy is a supporter-centric fundraising platform designed to improve the giving experience for everyone involved. Its best-in-class technology enables nonprofits to connect supporters with the causes they care about, accelerate their impact, and future-proof their fundraising. 

Classy’s giving platform allows nonprofits to unlock generosity far and wide in intuitive, engaging ways by anticipating and delivering on the evolving needs of the social sector.

To stay ahead of the latest innovations, Classy conducts ongoing research on what makes nonprofits successful in their fundraising efforts. You can see examples of the ROI nonprofits see when they use the Classy fundraising platform by checking out the Best in Classy. This list of 50 successful nonprofits showcases results by cause category, employee count, and location.

Suppose your nonprofit is looking for a comprehensive platform with sophisticated software, robust integrations, and advanced tools. In that case, Classy may be the right choice for you. The key features we’ve highlighted below can help your nonprofit leverage various approaches to online fundraising.

Key Features

  • Donation Forms and Crowdfunding Campaigns: Includes easily customizable, modern, mobile-friendly donation websites that you and your supporters can use for various campaigns. The sites showcase your brand and nonprofit story to drive giving through the use of various donation button options and pass-through parameters.
  • Recurring Donations: Lets nonprofits create specific campaigns for recurring giving. Offers donors easy management of their preferences, including giving frequency, amount, and payment information. Automated emails help reduce the churn rate by reminding supporters of expiring credit cards in advance.
  • Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Empowers people to fundraise on your behalf through peer-to-peer campaigns. Enables engaged givers to become partners in the cause, creating more funding and a more significant impact.
  • Fundraising Events: Offers creative, interactive giving experiences through in-person, virtual, and hybrid fundraising events. Users can track registrations and campaign performance leading up to the event and develop customized event pages and individual campaign pages.
  • Classy Pay: Makes it incredibly easy for supporters to give through intuitive payment options such as digital wallets, mobile payments, and bank transfers. Built on Stripe’s processor, Classy Pay also includes low-cost transaction fees, industry-leading fraud prevention, automatic credit card updating, and more. Nonprofits who use ClassyPay will soon have access to PayPal and Venmo transactions as the platform evolves alongside the modern consumer experience.
  • Integrations and Award-Winning Application Programming Interfaces (APIs): Supports seamless connections across your most essential tools to enable more informed choices and efficient workflows. A truly open platform, Classy allows you to develop custom experiences and include value-added apps with ease. Popular integrations include those with Salesforce, Boundless Fundraising, and Facebook

Learn More

You can request a free demo of Classy here.

2. Blackbaud: TeamRaiser

TeamRaiser is Blackbaud’s registration with fundraising module that directly integrates with their Raiser’s Edge CRM tool. It’s used primarily by larger organizations that have the budget and support staff needed to administer the software

It includes a custom landing page with both team and individual fundraising pages. There is also a “participant center” for fundraisers to send emails, track their progress, and communicate with teammates. 

Key Features

  • Reporting Capabilities: Offers several reporting capabilities, including the ability to report on two prior years of the same event to help determine progress and trends over time.
  • Back End Controls: Allows for customizable event configurations to meet the specific needs of each organization. The feature is best for teams that have experienced administrators or more technical staff on hand.
  • Fundraising Minimums: Includes the option for organizations to enable fundraising minimums for their peer-to-peer events, charging donors the difference in the case that donors are not able to cover the cost of their participation.
  • Coaching Emails: Offers customizable email automation functionality. For example, an email series can be triggered based on whether or not a participant opens an email or clicks on a particular link.

Learn More

You can learn more about TeamRaiser here.

3. Bloomerang

Bloomerang is a simple donor database solution built for cost-conscious smaller organizations. They provide the ability to create straightforward, transactional donation pages and create and schedule email newsletters. Their primary focus is on their CRM system, relying heavily on integrations for fundraising.

Key Features

  • Ease of Use: Offers a simple toolset design that is easy to use and navigate. Lightweight, transactional donation pages can accept donations on-site via Mobile App and Stripe Swiper. Includes straightforward online forms for event registration but no native solution for peer-to-peer campaigns.
  • Integrations: Leverages integrations to create a 360 platform for small nonprofits. Popular integrations include those with QGiv, Givebutter, Firespring, Fundraise Up, Eventbrite, Square, PayPal, SurveyMonkey, GoogleApps, Constant Contact, QuickBooks, TrueGivers, Gravity, and DonorSearch.
  • Low-Cost Solution: Provides an inexpensive platform for nonprofits that don’t need many features or customization. Appeals to smaller nonprofits and those just getting started.

Learn More

You can learn more about Bloomerang here.

4. DonorBox

Donorbox provides a simple donation page solution for nonprofit fundraising and has an international focus. Beyond nonprofit fundraising, Donorbox also works with political campaigns.

Key Features

  • Global Focus: Can support nonprofits in 30+ countries (via Stripe) with team members located in 10 different countries. It supports both multilingual translations (11 languages) and multi-currency display (20 currencies), which could be advantageous to organizations with a strong global giving presence.
  • Ease of Use: Offers a lightweight toolset accessible to any administrator, regardless of technical savvy. Many reviews point to “ease of use” as one of the most appealing parts of this platform. That can be useful if your nonprofit is short-staffed or unable to employ someone with a high degree of technical expertise.
  • Recurring Donations: Allows variation in recurring giving frequency options, including weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.

Learn More

You can learn more about DonorBox here.

Choosing the Best Online Fundraising Platform for Your Nonprofit

An online fundraising platform is how your nonprofit not only processes donations, but also connects with and nurtures your relationships with supporters. When reviewing your options, look for the features and support that meet your organization’s unique needs.

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