The best free online fundraising platforms for charities

Online fundraising is a very popular way to raise money for charities. Here are some of the best cheap and free online fundraising platforms for charities.

There has been an explosion in the number of dedicated online fundraising platforms 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. But the company deducts a 5% fee from each donation made through the site and charges a monthly fee for charities. The other go-to platform, Virgin Money Giving, charges a £150 fee to register.

There are alternatives platforms that take a much smaller cut from donations and do not charge a subscription fee. Some have slightly different models, or are aimed at certain types of fundraising. We explored a few of them below.

 

BT MyDonate

How does it work? MyDonate is a non-profit fundraising platform funded solely by BT. The service allows people to register to give money to charity or collect fundraising donations.

What does it charge? There are no joining or subscription fees, and the platform does not charge commission. It charges 15p per debit card donations and 1.3% per credit card donations, paid by the charity on receipt of funds.

Pros: Free to use because it’s a non-profit. Claims Gift Aid on behalf of charities. Low transaction fees.

Cons: Still charges a processing fee for debit and credit cards.

 

GoFundMe

How does it work? Set up by PayPal Giving Fund, GoFundMe allows people to donate through PayPal to charities of their choice and set up fundraising pages. Charities have to be registered in PayPal’s directory first.

What does it charge? There is no sign-up or subscription fee. In November 2017, GoFundMe announced that it will no longer charge a 5% fee per donation, and instead take ‘tips’ left by donors to support the website.

The platform charges a card processing fee of 2.9% plus 25p per donation.

Pros: No subscription fee. Claims Gift Aid on behalf of charities.

Cons: Donors and charities need to be registered with PayPal.

 

Givey

How does it work? A social donation platform allowing projects from all over the world to raise funds, which the company says is aimed at small-medium charities.

What does it charge? There is no subscription or sign-up fee. The platform charges 5% on donations (taken from the donor) to cover payment provider fees and fund the platform itself.

Pros: Businesses can run match-funding schemes where they can match each employee donation up to double the amount raised. Offers free marketing support for charities.

Cons: Does not claim Gift Aid (but charities can claim it themselves with the data from Givey).

 

Wonderful.org

How does it work? Wonderful.org is a non-profit organisation providing online support for fundraising projects.

What does it charge? 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.

Pros: Claims Gift Aid on behalf of charities. 100% of the donated amount goes to the charity.

Cons: The platform is still fairly small-scale, with under 600 charities listed so far.

 

Global Giving

How does it work? 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.

What does it charge? The platform charges a 5-7% service fee + 3% processing fee for UK charities.

Pros: Provides corporate and match-funding opportunities, plus training, support and tools for charities. Claims Gift Aid.

Cons: Charities pay higher service fees for more corporate-related services.

 

The Good Exchange

How does it work? 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.

What does it charge?  There is a 5% from each donation, and a 1.3% charge for donations made by credit card, or a flat 15p fee for debit cards.

Pros: Connects charities with corporate funding opportunities as well as public donors. Claims Gift Aid.

Cons: Slightly higher fees from donations.


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