Looking to raise money for a good cause?
If you're ready to launch a fundraising campaign, you want to ensure you actually keep the majority of funds raised. Unfortunately, many popular fundraising platforms charge hefty fees, keeping 10% (or more) of what you earn.
This only worsens an ever-present problem within the nonprofit sector: underfunding. In 2020 alone, more than half (58%, to be exact) of nonprofit employees reported cases of budget cuts. In addition, roughly 1 in 5 nonprofit organizations experienced layoffs in 2020, while 30% had hiring freezes.
Translation: During a global pandemic, between headlines of social unrest, fights for social justice, and climate change, nonprofit staff are strapped for cash.
This can prevent nonprofit employees from getting the tools, resources, and extra hands necessary to do their jobs—and a fundraising platform keeping 10% of what you raise certainly won't help.
To help you hit your fundraising goal and keep more of what you raise, we're diving into a list of free fundraising platforms for nonprofits. Below, we explain which online fundraising site will help you hit your financial goals, while offering the tools needed for a successful campaign.
6 free fundraising platforms for nonprofits to hit their campaign goal
Plenty of fundraising websites advertise themselves as a free platform, yet take 5–10% of your funds raised. Keep reading to see which fundraising sites offer the lowest (and highest) rates in the industry.
1. Givebutter 🏆
Givebutter's all-in-one, always free, donor-friendly platform is a great choice for nonprofits—mainly because it offers 130+ free fundraising tools to get you up and running.
Givebutter is the #1 rated fundraising platform on G2, powering more than $150M in donations annually for thousands of good causes. The Givebutter platform offers a complete suite of fundraising features, marketing automation to engage supporters, and a built-in CRM platform to track your progress and donor data—all completely free, with no hidden fees.
With Givebutter, you can:
- Create beautifully branded donation pages
- Live stream virtual events
- Integrate with 1,000+ third-party applications
- Add Donate Buttons, Donation Forms, or Donation Bubbles to your website on your website
- Launch peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns
- Plan ticketed fundraising events
- Accept virtually every payment type, including Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Stripe, ACH, text-to-donate, or even mailing a check
- Accept in-person donations, check in event attendees, and get live campaign updates right from your mobile device.
- Send messages to your supporters via email or text using Engage
- Track donor relationships in Givebutter’s built-in CRM system, Track
So, how does Givebutter remain free for supporters?
With Givebutter, there are no contracts, no hidden fees, and no hidden costs. Givebutter is free thanks to optional tips, which can be paid by donors (and 95% choose to do so). Donor tips cover the use of Givebutter's all-in-one platform and payment processing fees (which range between 1.9–2.9% + 30 cents per donation). Typically, the average fees across all Givebutter campaigns is 1%, the lowest pricing in the industry.
2. GoFundMe 🤑
Note: In 2022, GoFundMe acquired Classy—while the two platforms remain separate, it did help expand the suite of services offered by each site.
GoFundMe is a digital fundraising website that serves two primary audiences: individuals raising funds for personal causes and nonprofit organizations.
GoFundMe's online fundraising platform offers several must-have fundraising tools, such as SMS outreach, social media sharing, a handy mobile app, and email automation. It also allows you to to build campaign pages complete with videos and photos, and accept payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and credit card. GoFundMe does not offer features such as multi-team fundraising, event registration, or a supporter feed, but some of these perks are available in Classy (see next section).
GoFundMe charges a 2.9% + 30 cent credit card processing fee, which is automatically deducted from each donation. GoFundMe asks donors to give an optional tip of up to 15%, but these tips do not cover GoFundMe’s transaction fees—instead, they go directly to GoFundMe.
3. Classy 🖥
Note: Classy was acquired by GoFundMe in 2022, but remains an independent platform.
Classy is a fundraising site designed for nonprofits and social clubs.
Classy's fundraising solutions are fairly robust, helping nonprofit startups expand to a global scale. Classy's functionality comes with a built-in CRM platform, donor management, in-person and virtual event ticketing, peer-to-peer campaigns, recurring donations, and customizable online donation pages with image, text, and video widgets.
Classy doesn't offer any pricing information on its website, which means you have to fill out a potential user form before gaining a price estimate. After waiting, nonprofits are frequently surprised to find such a high membership fee: The platform charges monthly fees of $299 (or more) plus 5.9% or more per transaction.
4. Bonfire 👕
Bonfire is a fundraising and crowdfunding platform that's built entirely around T-shirt campaigns.
With Bonfire, users design and sell custom T-shirts before selling them through their donation pages or an online merchandise store. The platform is incredibly user-friendly, even allowing users to build a design from scratch or start from a pre-designed template.
Bonfire is free to use, but takes a cut of your gross sales to pay for manufacturing, sourcing, printing, and shipping costs. While Bonfire does allow supporters to contribute extra dollars to your cause, it charges an 8% donation processing fee.
5. Kickstarter 🏃
Kickstarter is one of the most well-known crowdfunding websites on the internet. Kickstarter is built primarily to fund startups, creative projects, and new business ventures.
Kickstarter does not allow general charitable fundraising on its platform, so it wouldn't be a good fit for many online giving campaigns. However, if you're creating something new and shareable on your fundraising page (example: Your organization records and distributes a holiday album to boost year-end donations), that would fall within Kickstarter's guidelines.
Kickstarter's fees are some of the highest in the industry, yet offer the lowest success rating. Kickstarter's crowdfunding campaigns follow an all-or-nothing model, and only 56% of campaigns succeed. Here's how it works: If you hit your campaign goal, you keep what you raise—but if you fall short, you have to return your funds to your supporters.
Kickstarter charges an 8% + 20 cent platform fee on average, with micro pledges (donations less than $10) charging a discounted 5% fee + 5 cents per pledge. There is no tip option on Kickstarter and gifts cannot be tax-deductible.
6. Fundly 💰
Fundly's fundraising software is built for nonprofits, clubs, universities, and social clubs.
Launching a nonprofit fundraising campaign on Fundly is incredibly easy, offering an intuitive interface. In addition, Fundly offers some basic features, including social sharing tools, a supporter feed, mobile app, and custom-branded pages with photos, videos, and an easy-to-use page builder.
When it comes to pricing, Fundly charges a 4.9% platform fee per transaction. Plus, Fundly strictly uses Stripe for payment processing, which charges an additional 2.9% + 30 cent transaction fee. In total, you can expect to spend between 8–10% of your donations to start fundraising on Fundly.
Givebutter is the best free fundraising platform for nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations are facing layoffs, budget cuts, and hiring freezes now more than ever before.
To help support your organization and hit your year-end goal, you need a free fundraising platform.
Givebutter is the best fundraising platform for nonprofits because it offers hundreds of free features, while offering the lowest fees in the industry. Givebutter's platform comes complete with event management, virtual fundraising livestreams, branded pages, and third-party integrations, creating an end-to-end donor experience.
Plus, unlike its competitors, Givebutter is actually free to use. Givebutter is the always-free, donor-centric platform that brings out the changemaker in all of us. Givebutter’s all-in-one solution comes complete with 130+ fundraising tools, marketing automation, and a built-in CRM system. Plus, thanks to Givebutter's optional tips model, the average fees across Givebutter hover around 1%.
Ready to see how Givebutter can take your nonprofit to the next level? Take a tour to get started.
Is there a free fundraising platform? ›
FreeFunder does not charge any platform fees, ensuring the person raising funds gets the most from their fundraiser! Instead, we rely on voluntary donations.Is there a fundraising site that doesn t charge fees? ›
In the US, there's no fee to start or manage your fundraiser on GoFundMe. However, there is one small transaction fee per donation that covers all your fundraising needs. Everything else goes directly to your cause, because that's what matters most.How can I fundraise without paying fees? ›
- YouCaring. YouCaring is a free online fundraising website that you can use to get funding for personal causes. ...
- Indiegogo and Generosity. Indiegogo and Generosity are two effective online fundraising websites. ...
- GoFundMe. ...
- CrowdRise. ...
- Patreon. ...
- Kickstarter. ...
- Just Giving. ...
For organizers in the US, there's no fee to start or manage a fundraiser. However, there is one small transaction fee per donation. We also accept optional tips from donors, which is how GoFundMe makes money. Donors can choose to tip GoFundMe, but it's never required.Is Donorbox free for nonprofits? ›
Donorbox is free for nonprofits that receive less than $1,000 in donations per month. This is beneficial for smaller nonprofits since they can raise funds without paying for the platform space, and do so when they grow enough to raise more money.Is there something like GoFundMe that don't charge fees? ›
One of the leading GoFundMe alternatives is FreeFunder. This crowdfunding platform is a peer-to-peer fundraising site that anyone can use for free. It is a great fundraising platform for those who are attempting to raise money for a project, start a crowdfunding campaign, or simply raise funds for an event or cause.Does GoFundMe charge a fee? ›
A transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 is automatically deducted from each donation, so you never have to worry about paying a bill.How can I fundraise without begging? ›
- Host Uniquely Themed Events. Typically, nonprofit organizations are dealing with situations or social issues that are difficult. ...
- Work With Influencer Volunteers. ...
- Collect Skill Assets and Resources. ...
- Go Small To Receive Big. ...
- Leverage Remarketing.
With very limited transfer fees and $0 fees when sending money, Venmo provides your nonprofit and your supporters with the perfect platform for donating.Is there a better fundraiser than GoFundMe? ›
- Donate Kindly.
What is the fastest way to raise money for a non profit? ›
- Direct Mail Donations. Direct mail is a tried-and-true fundraising tactic. ...
- Online Donations. ...
- Social Media Donations. ...
- Mobile Donations. ...
- Individual Event Donations. ...
- Matching Gifts. ...
- Volunteer and Corporate Grants. ...
- In-Kind Donations.
Although any individual can set up and use crowdfunding for nearly any reason, nonprofits can also use GoFundMe's to aid in fundraising.What percentage is taken from GoFundMe? ›
No fee to create a fundraiser
However, to help us operate safely and securely, our payment processors deduct one small transaction fee per donation (2.9% + $0.30, which include debit and credit charges).
What are the best crowdfunding sites for nonprofits? Donorbox, Classy, CauseVox, Donately, Chuffed, and GoFundMe Charity are some of the best crowdfunding sites available in the market for nonprofits. They effectively help you raise quick funds for your specific needs and update your donors.What does Google for Nonprofits cost? ›
If your organization has a Google for Nonprofits account, you're eligible for nonprofit-specific Google Workspace offers: Google Workspace for Nonprofits (offered at no charge) Business Standard (USD $3/user/month with nonprofit discount) Business Plus (USD $5.04/user/month with nonprofit discount)Do nonprofits get free websites? ›
Weebly is a common choice for people building websites for nonprofit ventures. This platform allows you to build free websites with easy to use drag and drop options and appealing templates. You especially need to use Weebly to build your website for your nonprofit if you plan to raise funds.Does PayPal charge fees for nonprofits? ›
Does PayPal charge fees for nonprofits? PayPal offers verified charities a discounted processing rate of 2.89% + $0.49 per donation.Which online fundraising site is best? ›
1. GoFundMe. With over $15 billion raised, GoFundMe is one of the most well-known and trusted personal fundraising websites in the crowdfunding arena. A big advantage of the GoFundMe platform is that individuals can raise money for a charity or a charity can raise money for itself.Does Fundly charge a fee? ›
Fundly has a platform fee of 4.9% per donation. Their payment processing fee is 2.9% plus $0.30 per donation.What is the best personal fundraising website? ›
- Best Overall: Indiegogo.
- Best for Startups: SeedInvest Technology.
- Best for Nonprofits: Mightycause.
- Best for Investing: StartEngine.
- Best for Individuals: GoFundMe.
- Best for Creative Professionals: Patreon.
Do you get a 1099 from GoFundMe? ›
You won't be issued a tax receipt from our company. Only donations made to GoFundMe charity fundraisers are guaranteed to be tax-deductible in the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia and will automatically receive tax receipts from our charity partner, PayPal Giving Fund.What percentage does Facebook take from fundraisers? ›
Unlike nonprofits, people who create personal-cause fundraisers on Facebook are charged fees based on their country of residence: In the U.S., it's 2.6% plus 30 cents for every donation. So if you want to help a friend out, consider using Venmo or another peer-to-peer payment method to avoid fees.How long does it take to withdraw money from GoFundMe? ›
It takes 2 - 5 business days for transfers to reach the bank account after leaving GoFundMe. Your GoFundMe transfer overview will show the date that funds are expected in your bank account, not the date they're sent from GoFundMe.What is the most profitable fundraiser? ›
- A fitness challenge - marathon or walkathon. Fitness challenges and fundraising go hand in hand. ...
- Selling Cadbury chocolate. ...
- Sausage sizzle or BBQ fundraiser. ...
- A movie night or an outdoor movie event. ...
- A trivia night. ...
- Food fundraiser. ...
- Bake Sale. ...
- Selling raffle tickets.
Who can I contact about submitting an Amazon donation request? Amazon donates monetary contributions through their program called AmazonSmile. You can register your nonprofit to start receiving donations here, and to contact AmazonSmile's customer support you can submit this form.How can I raise my donations fast? ›
- Create a donation page.
- Offer the text-giving option.
- Send out fundraising letters.
- Launch a crowdfunding campaign.
- Host a fundraising event.
- Try peer-to-peer fundraising.
- Enable recurring donations.
- Ask for sponsorships.
CashApp makes it possible for individuals to send money digitally to anyone, including non-profits and churches. Before you decide to use CashApp, you should learn about the app's pros and cons. You will likely discover that a different option gives you and your donors a better experience.What is the best way for nonprofits to accept donations online? ›
The most popular platforms for accepting online donations are Paypal and Stripe. Both Paypal and Stripe offer nonprofit discounts, and as such, compared to other payment processors, they make it easier for you to recoup a more significant percentage of your donations.Does Square charge for nonprofits? ›
We offer a low rate of 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction for all major credit cards with no additional charges. The fee for manually-entered transactions is 3.5% + 15¢.What are people using instead of GoFundMe? ›
GiveCampus – Best GoFundMe Alternative for Educational Fundraisers. Fundly – Best GoFundMe Alternative for Mobile-First Fundraising. Givebutter – Best GoFundMe Alternative for Donor Management. Bonfire – Best GoFundMe Alternative for T-Shirt Fundraising.
Which is better GoFundMe or GoGetFunding? ›
Gofundme is a fundraising platform that works with people who are looking to raise money for themselves. GoGetFunding, on the other hand, focuses on businesses and entrepreneurs looking for Funding.Why is GoFundMe charity shutting down? ›
There was a low 3% processing fee and the ability to add a crowdfunding link to nonprofit websites, but organizations' options to raise funds were pretty limited. This year, GoFundMe decided to end the GoFundMe Charity.Who pays taxes on GoFundMe? ›
Generally, contributions made to “crowdfunding” campaigns (such as GoFundMe) are considered to be personal gifts, and as such, are not taxed as income to the recipient. The IRS does not consider fundraising proceeds a taxable source of income.What is the biggest fundraiser? ›
Biggest fundraiser of all time: $44.6 million in the ongoing America's Food Fund campaign, launched by Laurene Powell Jobs and Leonardo DiCaprio. Most donations: Over 500,000 to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, raising $14.7 million, with an average of $29 per donation.How do small groups raise money? ›
- Local Restaurant Fundraiser. ...
- Bake Sale. ...
- Fundraising Letters. ...
- Coupon Books. ...
- Poster Campaign. ...
- Garage Sale. ...
- Community Classes. ...
- Silent Auction.
- Donation Drive.
- Local Affiliates/Chapters.
- Fiscal Sponsorship.
- Donor-Advised Funds.
- Social Entrepreneurship.
Just a small donation of [amount] can help me [accomplish task/reach a goal/etc.]. Your donation will go toward [describe exactly what the contribution will be used for]. [When possible, add a personal connection to tie the donor to the cause.] Thank you in advance for your contribution.Can I fundraise for myself? ›
You can start a fundraiser for yourself, or raise funds for a family or friend in need.Which non profit gives the most money? ›
|Nonprofit||Percent Spent on Programs|
|THE NATURE CONSERVANCY||68.6%|
|BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA||93.6%|
- Online Gala Dinner.
- Fundraising Telethon.
- Online Auction.
- Virtual Race/Run.
- Online Talent Show/Open Mic Night.
- Virtual Happy Hour or Paint & Sip Night.
- Virtual Sleep Out.
- Online Cooking Class.
What is the most effective and stable fundraising strategy for a nonprofit? ›
Run a Peer-to-Peer Campaign
Peer-to-peer campaigns allow nonprofits to mobilize their supporters to ask for donations on their behalf, often over social media. It's an effective strategy because it can help you reach a fundraising goal more quickly and grow your network exponentially.
Fundly – Best GoFundMe Alternative for Mobile-First Fundraising. Givebutter – Best GoFundMe Alternative for Donor Management. Bonfire – Best GoFundMe Alternative for T-Shirt Fundraising. Snowball – Best GoFundMe Alternative for Auctions and Events.Is JustGiving or GoFundMe better? ›
When it comes to GoFundMe vs. JustGiving, we believe that GoFundMe offers the best support and protection for our users. Looking to fundraise? For low transaction fees, 24/7 support and, most importantly, the GoFundMe Guarantee, consider crowdfunding with GoFundMe.Who is GoFundMe's biggest competitor? ›
One of the leading GoFundMe alternatives is FreeFunder. This crowdfunding platform is a peer-to-peer fundraising site that anyone can use for free. It is a great fundraising platform for those who are attempting to raise money for a project, start a crowdfunding campaign, or simply raise funds for an event or cause.Does GoFundMe take a big percentage? ›
There's no fee to start or manage your fundraiser. However, to help us operate safely and securely, our payment processors deduct one small transaction fee per donation (2.9% + $0.30, which include debit and credit charges).Do JustGiving take a cut of donations? ›
We are committed to providing a cost-effective service to our charity partners. That's why we don't charge a platform fee on any individual donations made to charities. Instead, we give donors the option to make a voluntary contribution to the cost of maintaining our platform.What percentage of money does JustGiving take? ›
What fee do you take from my donation?
|Currency||JustGiving platform fee||Payment processing fee|