Philanthropy and Giving Insights





Top 10 Online Donation Solutions


These days there are so many options for online donation solutions that it can be overwhelming. Which one is a good fit? Rather than sitting through countless product demos, here’s a quick guide to help your narrow down your decision and find the right donation tool for your nonprofit to raise more and thrill your donors.


Issues to Consider:


Ease of Donating


The harder it is for your donors to make a contribution, the more likely they won’t make it all the way to the submit button. Streamlining your process is vitally important—avoid asking for unnecessary information, don’t put your form on a distracting page, and think through the user’s experience.


Security


With the number of data breaches that regularly occur these days, online security is incredibly important. One data breach can destroy your organization’s reputation. While there are many ways to increase the security of your donors’ information (check out our recent blog post here), make sure that whatever online donation processing tool you use is up-to-date and safe.


Multiple methods to donate


Some donors prefer credit card, others swear by PayPal, and the especially savvy ones may ask you about a direct ACH contribution (electronic funds transfer). Think through what methods work for your organization and if you get questions about any of them in particular.


Processing fees


Different tools will take a percentage or flat fee out of every transaction. Depending on the volume of online donations you receive, a solution that takes a flat fee out of every transaction can end up costing you much of the funds you raised—pay attention to how different platforms scale to make sure you can keep as much of your donors’ gifts as possible!



CharityGiving


Pros: CharityGiving’s patented OneClickDonation® technology streamlines the giving experience for donors and prevents transaction fraud by utilizing two-factor authentication with donor’s phones. This makes giving easier and quicker for donors while keeping their information secure—a great win-win! The tool also has an optional add on that encourages donors to check if their company will match their gift, further increasing the funds raised! Finally, you can have your donors cover processing fees, making this tool free for your nonprofit to use—it even allows your donors to create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns!


Cons: You’re not using it yet.



DonorBox


Pros: DonorBox allows for embeddable forms, multiple payment methods (including credit card, PayPal, and ACH bank transfer), and optional fee coverage by your donors. And, it doesn’t start collecting additional fees until you’ve raised $1,000 in a month—preventing you from paying heavily in slow fundraising months.


Cons: DonorBox isn’t set up to solve for some of your other fundraising needs, like event registration. Integrating those will likely require paying for another service.



Authorize.net


Pros: Implemented by Visa, which aids its legitimacy and capabilities. Cost is in line or cheaper than most other solutions.


Cons: Fairly basic solution that is separate from building the actual donation forms—meaning the low cost may be offset by having to purchase other tools. Only basic reporting.



PayPal


Pros: PayPal is one of the most trusted and recognized online payment processing solutions in the industry. Using PayPal gives donors peace of mind and trust in your organization—some donors even exclusively give through PayPal!


Cons: While processing fees are low, PayPal only allows you to install a simple button link on your site, which then navigates people away from your site for final payment. Studies have shown that embedded forms are much more effective in reducing donor drop-off, which means using PayPal exclusively may cost you some donations. 



Donate Now/Network for Good


Pros: Network for Good is an easy solution that works well to integrate with your website and take donations.


Cons: This tool joins the ranks of options with additional monthly subscription fees. Additionally, it doesn’t have as many of the features others offer—and users note it could use more integrations to make it effective. 



Luminate Online from Blackbaud


Pros: As a CRM first, Blackbaud’s expansion to offer this donation solution and online marketing tool means communication between your database and these other tools like dynamic email marketing and personalized donation forms. The program also features an automatic updater for expired credit cards that any of your monthly givers are set up on.


Cons: Blackbaud’s extensive integration often does not extend to external tools, meaning if you don’t use Raiser’s Edge you might have trouble. Users also note that it can be challenging to learn and not intuitive.



Qgiv


Pros: Qgiv offers an integrated solution with peer-to-peer options, event registration, text-to-give capabilities, and custom reporting. Current customers also note that the tools is user friendly for non-developers.


Cons: Each of these features involves an additional fee to pay for premium features, up to $199 a month on top of the 3.95% +$0.30 transaction fee, making this another of the a la carte options. A few users also note that Qgiv lacks the ability to have donors pay processing fees—which has been shown to increase revenue for nonprofits.



Bloomerang


Pros: Bloomerang is first and foremost an integrated CRM, which means it comes with some helpful features, like extended analytics and email marketing integration.


Cons: Users report some issues with customization like donor tribute sections as well as clunky email and letter building tools for receipts and marketing. Additionally, the CRM has pricing based on the number of donor records—which can be a deal breaker depending on the size of your database in relation to the amount of donations you receive.



Snowball by @Pay


Pros: Snowball utilizes two-step donation forms to reduce donor dropoff and is noted by users for being easy to use and simple for donors.


Cons: Users note fees add up on larger transactions and a delay in the funds being deposited.



CauseVox


Pros: Branded forms and integration with peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities make CauseVox a good contender for causes that want to have a consistent and modern online presence.


Cons: Slightly higher costs make this a solution best suited for a nonprofit that wants an easier, turn-key solution to save on staff time and stress, offsetting the higher fees.

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