Fundraising is an essential part of effective vegan activism. It helps you generate the resources you need to amplify your activism and reach a larger audience. Fortunately, online fundraising tools can make it easier for you to do that, so you can keep making the world a better place for all. These tools are a good way to supplement other vegan advocacy funding sources such as grants from VegFund. To jumpstart your research, we’ve compiled a list of low-cost online fundraising platforms that can help you drum up support for a specific campaign or even for your primary fundraising efforts.
These fundraising platforms allow organizations, communities, and individuals to increase visibility, collect donations from anywhere, and securely store donor information. These tools also make it easy for your supporters to make one-time or recurring donations. What they can’t do is build your community of supporters for you. But if you do the groundwork, then the right tool can make all the difference.
A note on pricing
You’ll want to assess the fees and other costs of the tools you’re considering relative to your short- and long-term goals. Keep in mind that while several are free to start, virtually all have some form of transaction fee that varies relative to your country and the payment processing tool used (PayPal and Stripe are typical examples). We’ve also included a few notable tools that charge platform fees in addition to, or instead of, a transaction fee. These pricier platforms may make sense to an individual or organization expecting to receive higher amounts in donations.
Online fundraising tools with no platform fees
If your budget for fundraising tools is small, you may want to consider these platforms that charge only a transaction fee (which in some cases can be reduced or eliminated via donor tipping).
GoFundMe is a well-known platform (with a mobile app) that allows individuals and communities to fundraise online for the causes they care about. While the platform is free for organizers to use, there is a standard processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 (U.S.) per donation. These numbers vary globally. For nonprofits, there is GoFundMe Charity with a lower transaction fee of 1.9% + $0.30 (U.S.) per donation. According to the GoFundMe website, they offer guaranteed donor protection, security policies, and 24/7 expert advice on anything related to your fundraising effort. You can also check out their blog for management guidance.
Australian-based platform Chuffed has some interesting features, such as a team fundraising option, a continuous giving option, fast donation transfers, the option to offer perks or display your impact levels to donors, and more. Chuffed also has a standard transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 (U.S.) per donation, but this fee is charged to the donor, so you keep 100% of the donation. Donors also have the option to tip Chuffed directly to help keep them running. Create your story page with media of your choice and a detailed description of your initiative; then, start sharing with group members and peers. Chuffed provides a detailed guide with examples, tips, and case studies to support organizers in launching successful campaigns.
Givebutter features options such as simple donation collection forms, detailed fundraising pages, event ticket sales, and even livestream fundraising. Like the others, this platform is free to start with the standard processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 (U.S.) per transaction; however, Givebutter allows donors to cover the processing fees for organizers (according to their website, 95% of donors choose to cover the cost). Their Base plan is free, but they have other plans starting at 199 per month that include additional features such as custom branded pages and support services. Check out their pricing page for more info.
Notable Platforms With Some Fees
If you are an individual or organization running a large-scale campaign or initiative, you may want to investigate fundraising platforms with advanced features such as analytics, software integrations, report generation, matching gifts, and more. These platforms are generally structured with monthly or yearly plans, and some offer custom quotes based on the features you require.
Qgiv enables organizers to sign up for a monthly plan with features such as customizable donation forms, event and registration pages, recurring donation options, donor processing fee coverage, customizable landing and thank-you pages, data tracking tools, and more. The processing fee for the basic monthly plan is 3.95% + $0.30 (U.S.) per transaction. Paid monthly packages come with additional features such as text-to-donate, reminder messages, subscription lists, auctions, and more.
Classy began as a group of friends fundraising for cancer research and has grown to a team of more than 200 that has raised $2 billion for social good. Their solutions include website donations, fundraising events, peer-to-peer (your supporters fundraise on your behalf), international and recurring giving, donor management tools, and integrations (connecting Classy to your other tech tools). They work with more than 6,000 nonprofits. Their pricing is scaled to the size of the organization, so they ask that you contact them to customize your plan. Donations are processed through Stripe.
Patreon is a popular platform (and mobile app) for “creators” (artists, writers, podcasters, videographers, and more), and vegan activists and organizers are using it for their fundraising as well. Supporters sign up as “patrons,” paying a low monthly donation to fund the creator’s work. Patrons receive exclusive media, art, progression data, stories, personal interactions, and more. This platform has three pricing plans to choose from (5–12% of the monthly income the creator earns) with a variety of tools and support features. Note that in addition to these fees, standard payment processing fees apply.
Organizers working with Fundly can upload media to their fundraising page directly from YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook. This platform allows you to post blog-like content with commenting features. Their own blog offers fundraising ideas for many types of causes (including nonprofits and animal causes), such as silent auctions, cook-offs, runs/walks, etc. Fundly applies a 4.9% platform fee to each donation, in addition to the standard processing fee. For more information, visit their pricing page.
Donately has features that include donation pages, social media integrations, text messaging technology, and recurring donation options. They have a Startup Plan that charges a 4% platform fee. Visit their pricing page for more information about their plans.
Fundraising on a budget can be challenging, but we’re here to help. Tune into this webinar led by Alison Miller to learn more.
Photo Credit: Victoria de Martigny / WeAnimals Media