With private charitable contributions reaching an estimated $358.38 billion in 2014, it’s no secret that donation collection and management is a vital facet of how your nonprofit operates. There is no one-size-fits-all system for charitable organizations (or even one-size-fits-most). Picking the right system for your organization will help you make the most out of your supporters generous contributions, as well as make your life a whole lot easier. Below is a comparison of five different platforms, DonorBox, Razoo, GivePulse, NetworkForGood, and Facebook based on priorities, pricing, features, and scalability. Consider the goals of your organization and choose the platform that has the right functionality and price to match your needs.
If you are completely uninterested in the networking and P2P opportunities of the four platforms below, you can utilize Stripe or PayPal directly by either 1) integrating it into your current system or 2) as a “donate” button on your website.
Option 1: If you want to automate the data transfer about your donation history and donor information or keep the workflow of donating seamless for your potential donors, integrating Stripe or PayPal into your webpage and backoffice procedures will some take time and money. Depending on integration costs, in our experience, hiring a consulting firm to do it for you would take around a month and cost anywhere from $2K to $10K.
Option 2: You’ve probably seen “donate” buttons on many websites, and if you have no need for any integration whatsoever this is a good option for you. It is relatively painless and should only take 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on your familiarity with the technology, but there are numerous tutorials and how-tos to walk you through it. This option will allow you to export your donation data as a CSV, but it will be up to you to integrate that data into whatever CRM or other systems you use.
For small organizations that need a low cost system and don’t care for any more additional functionality, DonorBox is the way to go. For medium to larger organizations and anyone focused on growing their donor base, DonorBox will likely leave something to be desired.
They are the price leader in the industry: 0.89% platform fee and 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee, with no monthly fees or annual contract. The platform fee is only charged if your organization reaches $1000 in donations for that month.
Although they do lead in price, their features are fairly minimal by having no management system and few integration options. Below are functionalities and limitations to consider:
- Offers options to integrate with the SalesForce Nonprofit Sales Pack and Mailchimp but those will cost you extra ($25/month for SalesForce and $8/month for Mailchimp)
- Form is optimized for user-friendly recurring donations setup
- No personal fundraising page is supplied, rather you are given an embeddable form
- No internal donor management system that they provide, but you can export your data as a CSV
Low. With no donor management system and limited integration options, DonorBox is not the most scalable system to stick with as your organization grows.
If your organization is most interested in a crowdfunding platform to collect donations and not interested in a donor management system or CRM integration, Razoo is the way to go for small to medium nonprofits that may not need multiple admins or have a strong brand yet.
Crowdfunding for charity at its best. Razoo provides you with their donation platform for a 4.9% platform fee and 2% + $0.30 transaction fee, with no monthly fees or annual contract.
While the features offered by Razoo are more extensive than those offered by DonorBox when it comes to your fundraising page, they also provide no management system or integration options. Below are functionalities and limitations to consider:
- Personal fundraising page, as well as options for embeddable widgets for your website, Facebook, etc
- Export all of your data as a CSV
- 10 admin limit for your page
- Branding options are limited (uploaded pictures/videos and custom URL), meaning it will look and feel more like Razoo rather than your organization
- No internal donor management system or ways to integrate with your CRM
Medium. Razoo offers some specific functionalities to allow you to expand your donations collection, like customizable widgets and the option to set up matching grants once you have found a willing grantor. They can grow better with you than simpler platforms.
For organizations of any size looking to grow, GivePulse is the go-to. They are the price leader when it comes to systems offering donation collection and donor management. For organizations utilizing both donations and volunteers, it will streamline those processes on the same platform. If you are not interested in donor and/or volunteer management or integrating with your existing CRM, they’re not your best bet.
As a donor and volunteer management system, GivePulse offers a variety of services through their platform on both free and paid versions. Organizations can make an account to access their donations collection system for free (no monthly fee or annual contract), and they charge a 1% platform fee and 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee.
GivePulse can offer a variety of features based on pricing tier so we’ll look at the most cost-effective and least expensive of the five available packages for nonprofits. Below are functionalities and limitations to consider for each:
- Donations and ticketed events can be processed through the platform
- Offers an internal CRM for donor and volunteer management
- Embeddable widget for your website, Facebook, etc
- Export all of your data as a csv
- 1 admin limit to manage your page
- Platinum ($138/month, discounted if paid annually)
- All core features are available
- Extensive branding options with white-labeling and subdomains (yourbrand.givepulse.com)
- Open communication so that login is not necessary to message and reply to members of your group (donors and volunteers)
- Unlimited account admins
Additionally, integration with almost any other CRM is available as an add-on to any pricing tier for $50/month and complete domain masking (no mention of the GivePulse name in your page’s URL) is an available add-on to any tier for $80/month.
High. GivePulse offers five pricing tiers for nonprofits ranging from $138/month to completely free with additional add-ons to fit your needs. If your organization wants to start off using the free version offering donations collection and management, but also wants the option of scaling up, it is simple to do. The same is true if you start on a higher tier and would like to scale down.
For larger organizations that care more for the advanced functionality of a robust internal management system over cost, NetworkForGood is a solid option. If you don’t want the commitment of a long-term annual contract or the price is out of your range, consider any of the options above.
For $79/month, an annual contract, and 3% per transaction, you have access to the NetworkForGood donation page platform. With the three product package for $179/month, you also have access to their peer-to-peer fundraising platform and their donor management system.
Although the prices are on the high end, you definitely get what you pay for with NetworkForGood, like extensive branding options and a strong management system. Below are functionalities and limitations to consider:
- Customizable donation page specific to your organization’s branding and feel
- Open fundraising and ticketed events
- Strong technical support and advice throughout the page creation process
- Bulk data export and import (with donor management system purchase)
- Unlimited personal fundraising pages to empower your donors to fundraise for you (with peer-to-peer fundraising system purchase)
Medium. NetworkForGood has decent scalability with three different products you can purchase separately or in combination, but adjusting functionality within each product to meet your needs is not quite possible.
Rather than functioning as your primary donation platform, Facebook’s “donate” function can augment your existing fundraising efforts. This will make the donation process quick and simple for the over 1 billion Facebook users your nonprofit has access to. Any registered 501(c)3 can apply to accept donations via Facebook, but if you want to stick with one single platform, opt for the “donate now” call-to-action that sends users to your third-party donation platform.
There is no contract involved, monthly or annual, and the fees are pretty standard: 2% platform fee to cover operational costs + 3% credit card processing fee.
The Facebook donation function has it’s benefits, like exposure, but restricts integration and data collection. Below are functionalities and limitations to consider:
- “Donate” button front and center on organization’s page, your posts, and supporters’ posts
- Simple donation workflow that keeps the donor on one website throughout
- No integration with third-party platforms whatsoever
- Data collection limited to name, amount, and email (only if donor opts in)
- Thank you email and receipt cannot be customized
Low to medium. The donation functionality could very well become more easily customized and integrated into your current workflow as it becomes more widely used and Facebook adjusts the program accordingly, but how it looks presently is limited by the facts that 1) there is no option to integrate with your current platform and 2) collection of donor info is severely limited.
Whichever platform you decide is best for your organization, it should make your work easier, not harder. Decide on what your most important priorities are and choose the system(s) catered to those needs. Fundraising is the hard work, collecting donations shouldn’t be. For more information on using GivePulse as a donation platform, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.