Best online tool to receive donations
October 28, 2019 7:39 AM   Subscribe

I'm on the board of a recently established nonprofit charitable organization, and we're trying to find the best tool to solicit donations via our website. What is the current best option for this?

Googling shows a lot of potential tools, but having has no experience using them I'm not sure what is best. Right now we have PayPal set up, but it doesn't seem like the best option (no way to set up reoccurring monthly donations, takes what I feel is an overly large transaction fee, kind of ugly).

My ideal would be:

1. Allows for reoccurring monthly donations
2. Allows for a tracking bar (i.e. "we've reached 40% of our goal for this month!") that can be visible
3. Doesn't require donors to create an account with the platform
4. Can auto-generate a donation acknowledgement letter
5. Easy to use
posted by aaanastasia to Technology (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
A non-profit I donate to (on a recurring basis) used to use Network for Good, and switched to Classy. From a donor's standpoint I didn't see a difference between the two; both worked.
posted by niicholas at 8:16 AM on October 28, 2019


When I was taking donations while running for office, I used both stripe and PayPal. I prefer stripe.
posted by leahwrenn at 8:22 AM on October 28, 2019


I work with a fairly large nonprofit client who use Click and Pledge.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:28 AM on October 28, 2019


ActBlue Charities allows for most if not all of this.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:01 AM on October 28, 2019


I'm a nonprofit management consultant, but I am not your nonprofit management consultant. Be aware that if you use Paypal or NetworkForGood, both act as Donor Advised Funds and the donors are donating to THEM, and then Paypal and NFG aggregate those gifts, take a cut, and send it along to you. I repeat: the donors are not yours. You cannot solicit them or contact them unless they reach out to you separately to opt in to these things. If that's fine with you, have at it.

I found Click and Pledge to be pretty odious from a reconciliation standpoint; their reporting features are far from best in class. Many of my customers like Classy's interface (internally).

A trusted resource, if you don't know them already, is NTEN for this kind of research.
posted by juniperesque at 10:09 AM on October 28, 2019 [3 favorites]


I am looking into the same thing, and have come across Now Donate, where 100% donations goes to the charity. As mentioned above, most of the others take a hefty cut. Here’s some articles from its founder.
posted by atlantica at 10:51 AM on October 28, 2019


I work in the fundraising field.

Does the organization currently use a donor database of some sort? Many databases have gift processing functions as an add-on option, with the benefit being that once the person makes gift, their information and a gift record are dropped directly into your database with no additional effort required.

If the answer is no, which I kind of suspect it is, then you'll probably want to think about acquiring such database tools in order to better track your donors, and that could be a function you look for. DonorPerfect and Little Green Light are both well-known tools that are more affordable for smaller organizations.

NTEN is a great resource, as may be your local chapter of AFP (Association for Fundraising Professionals), which can help you with recommendations, perhaps, as well as best practices for processing and stewarding gifts.
posted by cheese at 11:40 AM on October 28, 2019 [2 favorites]


I work and volunteer for nonprofits. I've found Classy pretty easy to use as both a donor and an administrator. Just as a donor, I think Donorbox looks very promising.
posted by torridly at 12:10 PM on October 28, 2019


Of the handful of tools I've tried, I've liked GiveGab the best. It can do all the things you asked for; it's also extremely user-friendly (which was crucial for the volunteer-run organization I was working with), and has excellent support staff. It also includes basic donor management and volunteer management options, if those are useful to you.
posted by ourobouros at 12:36 PM on October 28, 2019


For anyone looking for the same thing in the future -- we decided to go with Give Lively, which was free and also had very low transaction fees for nonprofits.
posted by aaanastasia at 12:25 PM on January 7, 2020


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