Online fundraising makes it easier than ever for people to raise support for a cause or project—but choosing the best site for your fundraiser can be tricky. Ideally, the site you choose should cater to your specific fundraising needs, come with an existing community of people who have an affinity for your cause, and offer you relevant resources and help. In short, the site should multiply your efforts.
No two fundraising sites are exactly the same—they differ in fees, features, services, resources, and even the types of fundraisers they host. The following overview of the top five online fundraising sites can help you find the one that best fits your needs.
When individuals, groups, or communities need to raise funds in the face of hardship, they turn to the compassionate community at YouCaring. A certified B corp, YouCaring doesn’t charge a platform fee—the 5% other fundraising sites take off the top of all funds you raise. You can withdraw donated funds as soon as they start coming in. And YouCaring offers live chat and coaching, as well as useful fundraising guides and resources. If you or someone you know is facing hardship, turn to YouCaring.
Classy is tailored to large nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. It helps fundraising teams work collaboratively, and the site comes with a campaign reporting tool to help team members track fundraising progress. Another site feature helps teams organize volunteer events, including ticketing and event registration. Classy doesn’t disclose pricing for its more premium offerings (you can contact them for a quote), but when we last checked, services started at $499 per month. If you’re part of a robust organization with a large staff working in different locations, this could be an excellent choice.
As the name implies, people use GoFundMe to raise money for personal needs and causes, but it can also be used to raise money for charities. A private business (recently valued at $600 million), GoFundMe has a 0% platform fee in the US, UK, and Canada and 5% in all other countries, in addition to payment processing fees of 2.9% plus 30 cents per pledge; that equals 7.9% plus 30 cents per pledge in fees.
For a more in-depth look at the differences between GoFundMe and YouCaring, see GoFundMe vs. YouCaring.
Kickstarter helps people bring creative and business projects to life, including new products, gadgets, and video games. If you’re launching a new product that doesn’t exist in the market, it’s hard to beat this site’s community of early adopters. But Kickstarter requires an all-or-nothing approach—you can’t withdraw any of the money unless you reach your fundraising goal by the deadline. If you do reach your goal, the site takes 5% of your funds off the top (the platform fee), in addition to third-party payment processing fees of 3% plus 20 cents per pledge (5 cents for pledges less than $10). Note also that you cannot raise funds for charity on Kickstarter.
Indiegogo aims to help creators and entrepreneurs raise funds for bold endeavors and projects, such as independently produced films and music, or new tech products. Fundraising involves creating a set of different perks (often the products themselves) that supporters receive for different amounts given. One of Indiegogo’s strengths is its InDemand service, which helps product designers bring their creations to market after the fundraising phase is complete. If you’re looking for an end-to-end solution to raise funds and bring a product to market, they could be a great choice. In contrast to its main competitor Kickstarter, with Indiegogo you can choose between all-or-nothing fundraising and a more flexible approach—but in either case, the site takes 5% of your funds off the top, in addition to payment processing fees of 3% plus 30 cents per pledge.
Now take your pick
Now that you know how the top five online fundraising sites compare, you can choose the right platform with confidence. Once you’ve made a choice, you might find our fundraising tips and fundraiser ideas extremely useful.