Have you seen a Facebook friend share a link to an online fundraiser before? Whether they’re trying to raise money for an emergency operation or they need startup money for a new business, donating to their cause can be done with a couple of clicks (and your credit card information). Online fundraising is an extremely popular way to drum up some money for just about any reason. You may be tempted to choose the most recognizable fundraiser instead of the one that’s best for you. Instead of worrying about which website to use, read our picks for the best fundraising websites.
Best Mobile Fundraiser: Fundly
Pros: Mobile friendly, quick access to funds
Cons: Donors must register to give money, comparatively high fees
Chances are, many people will make a donation using their smartphone. In fact, roughly 40% of all online fundraisers have been viewed on a mobile device. Fundly leads the way in mobile optimization, both on your end and on the donor’s. And once your campaign wraps up, you have access to your money as soon as 24 hours after donation.
As the creator of a campaign, you can access, track and modify your fundraiser via the free Fundly app. Each campaign has its own fundraiser web page where you can upload a video or create a slideshow. And with any app, you’ll get notifications for any activity regarding your campaign. Online fundraising newbies will be delighted to see the extensive list of fundraiser ideas, and once you start your campaign, the Fundly support team will take the first steps with you through email correspondence.
Fundly’s greatest shortcoming is its high donation fees: about 8% of donations are taken out for site and card processing fees.
Best Fundraiser for You: GoFundMe
Pros: No deadline, mobile friendly, name recognition
Cons: High fees, longer withdrawal time
GoFundMe is one of the most recognizable online fundraisers on the web. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of a GoFundMe campaign is the name recognition; when you share the link with friends (and they share it with their friends), they will feel more comfortable giving their money to an entity they know. After all, some GoFundMe fundraisers have gained national coverage.
If you’re looking to raise money for yourself, this is the way to go. Set-up is free, easy, and can be done through the free GoFundMe application. GoFundMe has a category for just about anything! There’s no deadline requirement for donors to contribute, and even if you fall short of your goal, you can collect the funds. The shortcomings lie in the donation fees—7.9% per donation, plus a $0.30 processing fee—and the five to seven days it can take for you to receive your funds after withdrawing. You can, however, withdraw money at any time.
Best Fundraiser for a Loved One: GiveForward
Pros: Personal coach for your fundraiser, work together with team members, quick withdrawal
Cons: comparatively high fees (if you cover them)
Have you ever wanted to raise money for a friend or family member in need? GiveForward is the online fundraiser for you. As the name implies, GiveForward is oriented towards campaigns that will support your loved ones in need. This fundraiser is focused on compassion, and their unique methods reflect that commitment. Each campaign is given a personal coach—yes, a living, breathing human—that you can call or email with any questions.
Unique to GiveForward is the option to let donors shoulder the donation fees (7.9% plus $0.30 per transaction), and all but 5% of their donors cover the fees. You can also add “team members” to your campaign; your teammates can update the fundraiser and can spread the word alongside you. Funds are immediately accessible upon donation, and although you can create a GiveForward campaign for whatever reason, they are normally used for somber causes. Most of the GiveForward pages aim to raise money for unexpected funeral funds, medical expenses, or bucket list funds.