5 Steps to help you select your fundraising or crowdfunding platform

by Emma Barnett

4 November 2015

by Emily Scott, CMO

Calling fundraising Communities and Causes! Let us help you demystify the masses…

If you’re at all bewildered by the vast number of fundraising and crowdfunding platforms that are available, you are certainly not alone. In the last few years the number of platforms available to you as a community group or an established charity has hugely expanded. There are a few sites that try to collate these platforms to give an unbiased comparison of transaction fees, subscription fees and the way commission is handled, but there is not yet one source that compiles all of these in one comparative table – making the process quite a laborious and challenging one.

Calling fundraising Communities

We’ve compiled a few tips and snippets of guidance to help you make your choices – or at least let you know what to keep an eye out for!

1. Fees & Fee Structure

The main watch out for charity, community groups, PTAs and other organisations and causes are initial set up fees, ongoing monthly subscription charges and the commission taken per donation.

These are the key elements to question if your decision is largely based on financial rationale, and it’s really important to get a thorough understanding of how much money will get to YOU from a £10 donation.

Be sure to quiz potential platforms on where they take any deductions from too, as many will take their slice from any Gift Aid added to a donation.

Fees & Fee Structure

2. Brand Awareness

Try to find out a bit about the company and how well known or trusted they are. Take a nosey to see what charities they have onboard and what types of activities they seem to help support.

Some of the big names are likely to have large technical and marketing teams working behind the site, but may provide less personal help or advice, or be slightly less flexible on what you can and can’t do. Smaller sites might be more responsive, but not have the large-scale awareness you’re looking for.

Brand Awareness

3. Target Audience and Demographic

What kind of supporters are you hoping will donate or support your cause? Ask yourself;

  • Do I want to reach out to known, loyal supporters? If so, what is their demographic and what fundraising sites would they trust?
  • Do I want to spread the word about my project to a new, engaged audience and recruit donors?
  • Are my donors likely to be tech-savvy?
  • Will they be donating on mobile or desktop? Would they prefer cash or cheque options?

If you’re unsure about how you’ll be targeting, you may be better keeping your options broad with a larger fundraising provider. You can also access much of this information through sites like Google Analytics and Buzzsumo.

Target Audience and Demographic

4. User Experience

Have a go yourself at donating on the platform before you agree to anything. Ask yourself;

  • Is the process intuitive?
  • Do I feel reassured that I know what I will be charged?
  • Do I know how much is going to the cause I care about?
  • Am I asked to fill in loads of fields and forms just to give?
  • Are there any barriers that would stop me donating?
  • Am I clear how to add Gift Aid?
  • Is there enough security information provider to reassure donors?

Every extra ‘step’ – if seen as unnecessary or time-consuming, or even poorly worded – is an extra barrier your donors need to hurdle over. Placing too much text and statistics within a donation flow engages our ‘rational’ brains too much – the part that queries what, where and how we spend our resources. Charitable donations tend to connect best with our emotional brain, so keep the stats and information about who the money will be spent to the homepage or a specific section so this is clearly articulated.

This information is critical for providing donors with transparency, clarity, reassurance and also affirmation that their money is being put to great use – so don’t leave it out of a webpage or fundraising campaign, but do think carefully about placement.

User Experience

5. ‘Shareability’

The number of donations made through a referrals from Facebook – ie. seeing a friend post about it – has soared over the last two years as the digital world becomes saturated with the phenomena of ‘sharing’.

It’s a tool that organically helps to increase awareness and the propensity to donate – meaning more people know about your charity or challenge, and are more likely to give as a result. This can complement your own use of social media, and lead to a virtuous cycle of awareness and giving.

Different sites approach sharing differently. most will offer you an embeddable link, but also look out for embeddable donation buttons to add to your website or blogs. Many have a clear call to action after donating to share what you’ve done, so make sure you feel comfortable with how they are talking to your audience and what they are encouraging them to do after the donation.

In a similar vein, and just like our mums would say, make sure the site gives you the opportunity to say thank you to everyone that has supported you. This may be through an editable automated email to donors, or they might provide you with a list of donor emails if this is how their Privacy Policy is set up. Query it, check it, and make sure you utilise it. A good experience with your charity is much more likely to encourage people back to donate in the future.

If you need any advice or want to ask questions, just get in touch – we are here to help you make the best decision and make the most of fundraising!

Shareability

Givey: A closer look

Givey has no subscription charges and no set up fees, but it does charge a 5% transaction fee on top of each donation made. This means that nothing is deducted from the donation – if a supporter wishes to give £10, they are charged £10.50, enabling the full £10 to transparently go to the charity and to help the good work. If Gift Aid is added, £12.50 goes to the charity and 50p is still charged to the donor to cover the processing costs.

The platform is best suited to those who want an innovative place to raise funds for charities, community projects and organisations with videos, blogs and media. Givey’s purpose is to encourage frequent, social giving and therefore makes sharing integral to the user experience on Givey and offer free marketing support.

We want to enable communities to fundraise for all sorts of projects and ideas, whether it’s refurbishing a playground or setting up a mental health service. Anyone can set themselves up and we’ll offer advice and guidance along the way. Let’s inspire change.

Sign up here or take an Explore around the site!

Givey A closer look

#giveyitago

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