Successful charities make lots of income from fundraising events, where charity supporters get their friends and colleagues to sponsor them.
Managing fundraising events requires good ideas, creativity and resourcefulness, but you also need a smooth process for getting funds to your charity bank account. This is where a charity fundraising website comes becomes important. This post explores the options available for UK charities.
Fundraising website fees
Some fundraising websites have setup fees and/or ongoing monthly fees.
Almost all fundraising websites charge a percentage fee for donation transactions. These transaction fees vary from a small percentage to cover processing the card transaction to high fees that support the business model of the platform. While keeping fees low is obviously important, it’s also important to make life easy for the amazing people who are doing the fundraising. As a small charity, your number one priority should be to make it easy and fun for your supporters to take part in events to raise money for your charity.
The recent demise of BT MyDonate, which charged only a minimal card processing fee, also brings into focus the benefits of choosing a platform with a sustainable fee structure.
Taking donations online for your charity outside the context of a fundraising event is a slightly different matter. For more general guidance on that, read our guide to charity donation websites.
Key criteria to consider when choosing a UK fundraising website
There are lots of options and it can get complicated quickly. We have researched all of the most popular options and made recommendations based on the criteria most important to you.
Here are the key criteria to look for when choosing a fundraising platform.
|Fees||What is the cheapest fundraising website based on monthly subscription, transaction commission and payment processing?|
|Gift aid||Does the fundraising website collect the gift aid automatically?|
|Branding||Is the brand focus on your charity or on the fundraising website itself?|
|Mobile||Is it easy to sponsor an event from a mobile?|
To make it easier for you to compare the most popular charity fundraising websites based on their fees, we have created a handy comparison spreadsheet. Simply enter the amount you expect to raise each month and it will tell you which works out the cheapest!
Download the spreadsheet
This spreadsheet compares the costs of all the most popular fundraising websites. Enter your email and we'll send it to you.
The best fundraising websites
Just giving is the market leader so, as you’d expect, they have a very refined product. One big plus is that many fundraisers will have used this before for other charities. However, the fees are some of the highest among these options and it’s not always easy to access your data so many charities try to encourage their fundraisers to use a cheaper option.
Wonderful is a relatively new entrant with no fees (not even for payment processing) and a modern clean interface. As you'll see on our analysis spreadsheet there are features missing, but definitely worth a look.
Golden Giving is another low-cost option, with charges equivalent to BT My Donate.
Everyclick is distinctive because it allows people to raise money for your charity by simply browsing the web. If you refer your supporters to Everyclick and they use it to browse the web using it's search engine they will pay you a small commission.
The distinctive element of The Big Give is it's matched giving functionality. Time-limited matched giving provides a great context for small charities to run direct fundraising campaigns.
As the name suggests, the focus of Local Giving is local charities. Their website homepage features a postcode-based search to match up donors and fundraisers with charities in their local area.
Where all the other options on this list prioritise their own branding and only let charities upload their logo, Raisely offers a fully customised fundraising system that allows the charity much more control over the design and branding.
What about crowdfunding?
An often overlooked online fundraising option is crowdfunding. This requires a slightly different strategy but can be a very powerful alternative method.
Don't forget the spreadsheet
The spreadsheet compares all the popular fundraising websites based on costs.