Online fundraising systems

Before choosing an online fundraising system, there are many different aspects to consider. Read our article Selecting and implementing an online fundraising system to help you make an informed decision.

There are a range of online fundraising systems available. Simple website interfaces are good for less-frequent campaigns where you don’t need to collect extensive data. Large, integrated systems are better suited to organisations doing frequent fundraising involving large sums of money and complex donor tracking. You can also build your own online system if you have some IT skills in-house. There isn’t a lot of competition in the field – many of the systems are owned by the one company, Blackbaud.

For simple needs

  • Everyday Hero (Blackbaud) is a simple online platform for encouraging people to donate money. They take the money, deposit it in your account and issue receipts to donors. It’s easy for potential donors to find and donate to your organisation, or to start campaigns to raise money on your behalf. Fees are listed here.

  • My Cause is another easy-to-use online platform that will help you set up a site to promote your cause and generate donations. To research fees and conditions, download their partner agreement – it’s a legal document and as such is a bit impenetrable.

  • JustGiving is a large international version of an online giving system, based in the UK but recently expanded to cover Australia. They take pride in their mobile functionality, customisable apps you can add to your own site and simple reporting system. You can try it for free, or review prices here.

For complex needs

  • Donman and iMIS20 are both products of Australian company, Advanced Solutions International. Donman is aimed at smaller charities and non-profits in Australia and NZ. Its basic package includes donations, membership and pledges. Pricing is here. iMIS20 has more components, including a CRM, performance measurement, online communities and commerce management. Pricing is here.

  • etapestry (owned by Blackbaud) is designed specifically for smaller non-profits. It keeps track of your donor data and lets you know what needs fixing. Has an online form builder and marketing features to promote your campaign through social media and email. It includes an integrated payment system and operates on mobile. Non-profits in Australia and New Zealand report having used it successfully. Pricing details are here.

  • Raiser’s Edge NXT (Blackbaud) is a popular system that incorporates CRM and fundraising and promises high performance as well as ease-of-use – the University of Tasmania uses it for fund raising and donor/alumni management. For details on features or pricing, you must contact the provider.

  • Nation Builder is a US-based system designed for community organisation and advocacy – it claims to support everything you need to organise a community. It includes a CRM and a content-management system you can use to build a website, as well as a program for emailing supporters and event management functionality. Pricing details are here.

Some alternatives

  • If none of the off-shelf-options suit you, you could add online donation functionality to your website yourself. Use PayPal to set up an interface for accepting credit cards, debit cards and bank deposits. Most content management systems allow you to create the required forms easily, but if not, you might need to use a form builder like Formstack or Wufoo to make a donation form for your site, then connect it to your PayPal account. You’ll have to do your own promotion, but if you already have a strong online or social media following that will help.

  • You might want to try crowdfunding, particularly if you’re raising money for a specific project or item. Crowdfunding is more like asking for investors than asking for donations. Most crowdfunded campaigns set a target they’re trying to raise and, if they reach that target, reward their funders in some way. If the target isn’t reached, no money is donated. You can find out more at the big crowdfunding sites, Pozible and gofundme, or the Australian-based OzCrowd.