Crowdfunding is the rage in all sorts of realms right now, raising money to launch for-profit ventures like startup businesses and creative projects and programs, even paying for personal medical expenses. Crowdfunding is a great tool for nonprofits as well.
First off, what is nonprofit crowdfunding? The idea is that you tap a lot of people to invest in your organization’s mission, rather than soliciting donations from one or two big contributors. Everyone chips in small amounts — whatever they can give — to help your nonprofit reach its goals.
But asking hundreds of people to cut $10 and $20 checks is awkward if not an inefficient use of time. Instead, consider using a crowdfunding platform to manage raising the money you need to operate. With one online source, you can present your nonprofit’s role, share video clips and storytelling of what you’ve accomplished and what you want to do next, and cultivate new donors to your organization’s mission.
There are a variety of ways crowdsourcing platforms can help nonprofits. At WannaPixel, our mission is technology for good, and these crowdfunding platforms are great examples of where technology and social good meet. We want to help you find ways to grow your charity, so you can have more impact in the world.
What follows are some of the best crowdfunding platforms that provide nonprofit support. Big-name operations like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, by far among the most well-known crowdfunding platforms, tend to be product- or idea-based. And while Indiegogo allows raising funds to benefit charities, Kickstarter cannot be used for direct charity or cause funding. Kickstarter prefers that projects “create something to share with others.” So let’s take a look at other platforms you might not have heard of.
CauseVox offers highly customizable websites to raise funds for your organization and allows access to your own site editor. When you use CauseVox’s platform, you can generate Team pages that allow potential donors to support designated projects if that’s what excites them, or they can donate to your entire nonprofit. Flexibility is key, and CauseVox offers plenty of it. You can set up your own, customized donation forms and giving-level tiers, ask further questions to donors, as well as download and export donation and fundraiser data. You’ll have the ability to manage your own donation-processing account and receive the funds via PayPal or Stripe.
Classy is “on a mission to mobilize and empower the world for good,” having helped millions of people contribute to over 4,000 organizations since 2011. Their crowdfunding platform allows you to build branded, mobile-optimized pages for fundraising and add recurring donations as well as one-off contributions. Their emphasis is on effective design and efficient tools that are “out of the box,” meaning you don’t need to be an IT guru to set up their services. Check out Classy’s free downloadable guide, which shares the stories of five nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns launched on their platform.
Launched in 2010, CrowdRise helped thousands of nonprofits expand their fundraising efforts before being acquired by crowdfunding megastar GoFundMe in 2017. Serving as the nonprofit arm for GoFundMe, CrowdRise offers a wide variety of tools from ticketing for gala events to registration capabilities for your next 5K.
As an efficient example of nonprofit support, the CrowdRise platform allows donors to cover transactions fees (including credit card fees) at checkout in order to maximize the amount of funding going directly to help your cause. And 93 percent of the platform’s donors choose to do so. CrowdRise boasts that more than $98 out of every $100 raised for nonprofits flows directly to the good work being done. As with most all crowdfunding platforms, CrowdRise requires that your organization be a registered 501c3 and in good standing with the IRS.
Staying up-to-date about your crowdfunding efforts is crucial to any successful campaign. Fundly’s platform lets you build your nonprofit’s crowdfunding page that’s sleek and easy to navigate, as well as being mobile-optimized. And via a blogging tool, Fundly lets you communicate “Recent Updates” with your donors about achievements, progress toward your goals, and upcoming events. A “Campaign Wall” allows donors to comment and share support on your efforts too, so your supporters will feel plugged in and informed.
Fundly offers a variety of clever fundraising ideas. One of our favorite features is Fundly’s tool for selling T-shirts directly on your nonprofit’s campaign page. Design your own T-shirts in a variety of styles, and let your supporters wear their hearts literally on their sleeves with this innovative feature.
Chuffed the adjective means “quite pleased.” And Chuffed the crowdfunding platform means, to its founders, a simple way for active and engaged people to raise funds for social good, build an active community, and make the world a better place. Started in 2012, Australia-based Chuffed is designed for nonprofits only and charges no platform fees or transaction fees — they charge only for credit card processing.
Offering a customizable donation box that allows you to set contribution amounts, Chuffed accepts donations from mobile devices and from supporters around the globe — so far, from more than 150 countries and 11 currencies. Chuffed allows for incentive prizes to award your donors and cheer on the difference they’re making in the world, ranging from thank-you messages all the way to branded items like T-shirts or mugs that might appeal to your nonprofit’s supporters — even to a trip to a specific location.
As you explore the crowdfunding platforms available to your nonprofit, be sure to read the fine print. And most important, examine what fees they charge. Some, like Chuffed, only hit you for credit card fees. But others take a percentage for providing the platform. These fees might come as the money trickles in, or they can be collected once your nonprofit’s ultimate crowdfunding goal has been met. The range is wide — from about 2.5 percent per donation all the way up to 15 percent. Be sure to investigate before signing up.
At Wanna Pixel, we want to help support your nonprofit technology needs. Contact us today, and we’ll help you build up your organization’s online presence, so you can get busy doing good work in the world.