Finding the Best Crowdfunding Tool for Your Organization

Crowdfunding Tips

Finding the Best Crowdfunding Tool for Your Organization

By Emily Garman ,TheSocialAnimal.com

Crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money for a specific goal. But if you do a Google search for “crowdfunding,” you’ll see a dizzying array of choices. Some platforms are better for individuals raising money for medical bills, others are suited for entrepreneurs looking for investors. Which tool is best for YOUR organization?

WHY CROWDFUNDING?

Before you choose a platform, you need to decide if crowdfunding is right for your organization’s fundraising needs. If you haven’t raised money in this way yet, crowdfunding is a (usually) pretty short-term way to get lots of donations (usually in fairly small amounts) to add up to meet a specific goal. Animal welfare groups use it for projects like paying for a special surgery for an animal in need, or buying a vehicle. Most crowdfunding services have built-in sharing tools, so it’s easy for you to update donors and for donors to share their support on social media.

FIXED VS FLEXIBLE

Platforms offer two types of funding: fixed and flexible.

Fixed funding is when you set a goal (say, $1,000) and your donors aren’t charged until and unless your goal is met within the time frame you specify. With fixed funding you can’t withdraw or use any funds until the end of your fundraising campaign.

Flexible funding collects the donation from your donors immediately, allowing you to make withdrawals to use the money during the campaign, regardless of your goal progress.

MICROCAMPAIGNS

Copy Some of these sites let donors create “microcampaigns” on your behalf. This is especially common for walks and runs. It can be a great way to engage donors and recognize those who fundraise on your behalf. Plus, you can gain a lot of reach through your donors’ social networks as others will help them meet their goal for your fundraiser.

For example, you create a campaign to raise $10,000. Supporters can then create their own campaigns with their own goals (say, $100) that they can promote through their own social networks. All of the money raised by these “microcampaigns” comes back through to your main campaign.

Which platform to choose

The information below compares different crowdfunding platforms that may work for your organization. You can easily compare fees, payment methods and other benefits they might offer. This does not include platforms that are strictly for business owners.

FACEBOOK
How You Get Paid: Facebook Payments (direct ACH deposit to your bank acct).
Fees: Facebook charges 0% Facebook fees and credit card fees.
If You Raised $10k, Your Org. Would Get: $10,000
Notes: Withdrawals happen bi-weekly with a minimum of $100

MIGHTYCAUSE.COM
How You Get Paid: Check ($5 fee) or direct EFT deposit to your bank account twice a month.
Fees: 2.2.% 0% platform fees; 2.2% and 29¢ per transaction credit card fees
If You Raised $10k, Your Org. Would Get: $9,779.71 ($220.29 in fees)
Notes: Different fees for nonprofit-run campaigns and personal campaigns run by people.

GOFUNDME
How You Get Paid: Direct ACH withdrawal to your bank (2-5 days) or check (longer). Or, withdraw immediately via PayPal or WePay for instant access.
Fees: 2.2% 0% GoFundMe platform fees; 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction credit card fees)
If You Raised $10k, Your Org. Would Get: $9,709.70 ($290.30 in fees)
Notes: The most well-known platform for crowdfunding. Asks donors for a “tip” to cover costs.

FUNDLY
How You Get Paid: Direct ACH withdrawal to your bank (48 hours)
Fees: 7.9% (4.9% Fundly fees; 2.9% + .30 per transaction credit card fees)
If You Raised $10k, Your Org. Would Get: $9219.70 ($780.30 in fees)
Notes: Geared more towards personal fundraisers. Decent sharing tools.

FUNDRAZR
How You Get Paid: Can use Stripe, PayPal or WePay to process payments.
Fees: 2.9% + .30 per transaction
If You Raised $10k, Your Org. Would Get: $9,709.70 ($290.30 in fees)
Notes: No platform fees; they ask donors for a “tip.” Can do events, runs/walks, and run “micro” campaigns. you can also run fixed or flexible campaigns.

FLIPCAUSE
How You Get Paid: Direct ACH Withdrawal to bank account
Fees: $1260 to $3120 annually, + 1.5% processing fee per transaction, depending upon your last year’s revenue.
If You Raised $10k, Your Org. Would Get: Fees are annual, not per transaction
Notes: Offers CRM/donor management tools, event, volunteer management, website management, all included.

Emily Garman | TheSocialAnimal.com
Emily Garman has been a foster mom and animal welfare volunteer for 20 years, and founded TheSocialAnimal.com in 2008 to teach animal advocates how to use social media to raise money, recruit volunteers and save more lives. She presents on next-generation fundraising, social media and internet marketing all over North America.