What do educational institutions, parent-teacher organizations, and alumni groups have in common?
Well, except for the obvious link to education, they are all non-profits, which means they rely on fundraising to fuel their efforts in furthering their children’s development.
Now, fundraising can be a daunting task—especially if you are planning your first big event.
You have to set up the campaign, find and engage with donors, organize the event, and process a pile of donations, all in one go.
Luckily, there are many technology-based solutions that can help you do some or all of the above. In this article, we listed the ones that fit the non-profit pricing range, but still offer valuable features to help with your fundraising needs.
- Neon Fundraise
Regpack is a feature-packed registration platform you can use to set up donation drives and fundraising events with ease.
For donations, you can create and customize donation structures that best fit your organization and donor.
Let us say you are doing a monthly giving program to provide students with STEM equipment, in order to boost their knowledge of science.
With Regpack, you can use the integrated recurring payments processor to automate the donors’ monthly givings.
To make the donors feel appreciated, you can program the system to send automatic thank-you notes after each donation.
Because Regpack also provides donor management features, you can track their giving history, send out invitations to fundraising events or analyze your fundraising performance by any number of donor characteristics.
- Donation management
- Donor database
- One-time and recurring payments
- E-mail communication
- Real-time dynamic reporting
- Flexible form builder
- Website integration
Now let’s look at the pros and cons of this solution.
The pricing for Regpack is fairly straightforward.
There is just one plan, which unlocks access to the full scope of its products for unlimited team members, projects and users.
The price starts at $125 per month per admin and incurs a 2.1% payment processing fee.
If your needs differ from that of a regular user, however, you can contact Regpack’s responsive team to set you up with a custom price.
Whether you are organizing an auction, creating a crowdfunding campaign, or throwing a live, ticketed event at the school, BetterWorld can make your job easier.
Its features cover most major fundraising types, including auctions, donations and even a-thons.
If you’re struggling with ideas for raising money for the students, it could probably introduce you to a couple of new ones.
But there is one more feature that makes it especially appealing to non-profits—the price.
As it happens, BetterWorld offers a 100% free plan with unlimited campaigns, promising no hidden charges. For organizations or clubs at an early stage, this could be a game-changer.
But before digging deeper into the pricing, here’s an overview of the main features, as well as some pros and cons.
- Online and in-person fundraising
- Mobile bidding and silent auctions
- Flexible donation management
- Professional branding
- Free Forever plan
Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using BetterWorld.
Now, let us finish with the pricing.
Instead of paying a monthly fee, you can give donors the option to fund your event by contributing at checkout or while bidding.
However, while useful, it should be noted it is fairly common for donors to overlook the option in question, which is ticked on by default.
Therefore, some reviewers experienced a high number of refund requests, pushing them to upgrade to a paid plan.
The upgrade—the Partner plan—removes the optional contributions from donors for an annual $950 charge.
And in case you need additional help running your campaign, for $275 BetterWorld will assign you a dedicated team member to guide you through your journey.
While BetterWorld lacks meaningful donor management options, Bloomerang is built precisely for that purpose.
As a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, it provides donor acquisition and retention features useful to educational institutions that are in it for the long run.
For example, you can use it to track alumni information and interaction history to personalize your messaging towards them.
This will make them feel acknowledged and more likely to donate in the future.
Of course, Bloomerang lacks some features found in dedicated fundraising software. Notably, it does not support auctions.
However, it does offer mostly smooth integrations with a range of apps and services that can fill that empty space.
- Donor Management
- E-mail marketing tools
- Peer-to-peer and crowdfunding tools
- Reporting and analytics
- Dedicated mobile app
As for the advantages and disadvantages, here is the breakdown.
Next, there is the pricing. Bloomerang has six options based on the number of contacts in your database.
It starts at $79 a month (billed annually) for up to 1,000 contacts. This plan includes 2,500 monthly e-mails, 2GB storage, and an optional $35 a month phone support.
The price rises to $119 for organizations raising more than $250k a year, but also provides more e-mails and storage.
The next five tiers follow the same pattern. Every subsequent price increase allows for more contacts, e-mails and storage space.
The final tier is priced at $699 a month, for 40k-60k records with 200k e-mails and 50GB for file attachments. Anything over that falls under custom pricing.
A similar donor management platform to Bloomerang, only this time coming from Canada, is DonorPerfect.
Based in Montreal, DonorPerfect caters to Canadian educational institutions by providing billing in Canadian dollars, tax receipting according to CRA standards, and bilingual support and training.
Other than that, it offers an industry-standard CRM package.
Schools can use DonorPerfect to collect information and engage with their alumni, set up events or donation drives, or use their 70+ standard non-profit reports to analyze the performance of past campaigns.
- Onsite and virtual fundraising events
- Automated payment processing
- Integration with 30+ apps and services
- Easy report builder
- Advanced data import tool
Here are a couple of benefits and drawbacks to choosing DonorPerfect.
Similarly to Bloomerang, DonorPerfect’s pricing tiers are based on the number of database records.
The difference is that here, some features are only available once you reach a certain price tier.
Their starting plan, Lite, will set you back $99 monthly and contains basic fundraising and donor management features.
The price rises to $119 and $349 per month for the Express and Essentials plans, respectively.
Crowdfunding capabilities are unlocked only at the Premier level, and for managing a database of up to 75,000 database records, you need to pay $999 a month for their top plan, called Enterprise.
As the name suggests, GiveCampus is a fundraising platform aimed primarily at educational institutions.
K-12 schools, colleges and universities can use it to identify, engage and solicit alumni to take part in a range of fundraising activities.
It can also integrate with other services providing donor management features or a matching gifts program.
As for the latter, a lot of corporations are set up to automatically match their employees’ donations.
With a match gifts option embedded in every donation form, there is a greater possibility some donors will check it out, potentially doubling their donation amount to your cause.
- Volunteer management programs
- Individual and peer-to-peer fundraising
- In-person payments with GC Connect
- Support for 80+ cryptocurrencies and all digital wallets
- Text, video and e-mail engagement features
- Wealth data and insight
As with every platform, there are some good and some bad sides to using GiveCampus.
Let us talk about that non-transparent pricing.
Plans start at $1,000 a year, although it is not clear for which option. The pricing is determined in three steps.
First, you need to choose your fundraising solutions. That could be social fundraising, ticketing events, volunteer management, wealth insights or some other options.
Second, you combine it with a basic or a more feature-packed advanced plan.
And finally, you can choose to cover processing fees as you go, pay ahead for a discount, or let your donors do it for you.
Kindful is a donor management platform owned by Bloomerang, and as such offers a similar experience as the other product provided by its parent company.
However, there are some notable differences.
While Kindful does have some donor management options, Bloomerang is more feature-heavy on the CRM side, which makes sense, given that they are primarily a donor management solution.
On the other hand, Kindful is more tailored to fundraising. Therefore it has some tools Bloomberg lacks, such as text-to-give.
This is a fast and effortless offline donation method that charges the donor’s phone bill directly, saving him or her the time and effort of browsing the web for your website.
Furthermore, you use it to measure the success of certain marketing efforts, donation letters, for example, by using text-to-give as a call-to-action.
- Peer-to-peer and crowdfunding tools
- Donation tracking and reporting
- Donor accounts
- Support for multiple payment types, including ACH
- Integration with 40+ apps and platforms
Before checking out the price, take a look at the notable upsides and downsides.
The contact-based pricing structure for Kindful closely follows that of Bloomerang.
Every plan contains all features for unlimited users and campaigns. Prices go from $119 a month for 1,000 contacts to $699 for up to 60,000 contacts.
They also offer bundled products for a quoted price, which include an upgrade to a higher tier, a text-to-give feature, and wealth insights from DonorSearch.
Neon Fundraise is part of the NeonOne platform, a software suite covering donor management, website building, customer communication, and fundraising.
The fundraising section shares some key points of the previous platform, Kindful. For example, it too provides donor accounts and corporate gift-matching options.
Where it excels are its customization abilities, as exemplified by its intuitive website builder.
Source: Neon Fundraise
You can drag and drop banners, buttons, menus and widgets to fit your design taste.
However, if you want to avoid this step, you can use their expert team to build you a website to the highest industry standards.
The thing is, it comes at a price, which is also one of its main drawbacks. Before finding out what the benefits are, check out some of Neon Fundraising’s best offerings.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising
- Donation pages and ticketing
- DIY fundraising
- Automated marketing tools
- Website builder
- Secure and flexible payment options
Let’s take a look at those benefits and drawbacks next.
As for pricing, Neon Fundraise only has three options.
The starting one, Campaign, comes in at $2,000 a year.
It lets you choose fundraising or membership as the base function and includes basic features like ticketed events and mass e-mail creation.
For an annual price of $5,500, their next plan Platform combines fundraising and membership features, with added crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, and file manager and storage.
And lastly, for $15,000 a year, you get advanced customization and reporting features, 15 advanced automation workflows, and a monthly consultation session.
While some of the services on this list lack an integrated auction function, OneCause uses it as one of its main selling points.
Their mobile bidding feature is a handy tool for organizing charity fundraising auctions at schools. Every phase of the event can be planned and managed via a smartphone.
For a start, you can publicize and sell tickets for the events online.
Next, when the auction day comes, the QR code scanning feature allows guests in faster, thus cutting down on long queues.
The actual bidding part is intuitive and fun, and finally, instantaneous checkout and automatic receipting make for a breezy finish.
- Mobile bidding and auctions
- Event management
- Donor management
- Personalized fundraising pages
- Virtual streaming events
So, what is it about OneCause that works and what does not?
Here are some pointers:
Unlike their user interface, OneCause’s pricing is quite complex.
Pricing plans are purpose-based. What that means is that you have a separate plan for each of the five main products—Auction & Events, Streaming Events, Peer-to-Peer, Online Fundraising, and Text2Give.
Each comes with a tailored set of features relevant to your campaign type.
Peer-to-Peer and Auction & Events categories are further split up into three plans each—Essential, Professional, and Enterprise.
Unfortunately, to receive a quote for any of these combinations, you need to contact their customer service.
Qgiv is another mobile-friendly fundraising platform.
Not only does it provide mobile bidding and text-to-give, but they also offer an additional fundraising channel called text-to-donate.
It works similarly to text-to-give, only in this case, donors can pay with their method of choice instead of using their phone bill. It works like this.
The donors send a keyword and the donation amount in a message to the phone number 50155.
They then receive a link to a secure donation page where they enter their payment information to complete the donation.
After giving the money, they get a thank-you note and a link to the receipt.
- Donation forms
- Event registration
- Mobile-optimized bidding
- Data, reports and statistics
As for the best and worst of the platform, here’s a rundown.
The pricing for Qgiv seems affordable at first glance, but there are some details to pay attention to.
The first plan, Giving Essentials, is just $25 a month. However, it only comes with event management, donation and reporting features.
For Text Fundraising, you need to cash out an additional $159, and for Peer-to-Peer and Auctions features 259$ per month each.
Combined with processing fees on transactions, this can add up to be quite a lot, especially for non-profits.
For the final entry, we have an all-in-one fundraising platform RallyUp.
It provides users with ten different fundraising channels. Other than the usual, you can use RallyUp to raise money with raffles, sweepstakes, a-thons, and even an online store.
This, of course, gives you some new options.
For example, you can use the store to sell items with your organization’s brand. T-shirts, hats, phone cases, pens—you name it.
People will be more incentivized to buy if there is a good cause behind it.
Furthermore, people that consider donating might be more motivated to do so if they end up with a useful or cool item instead of a thank-you note.
- Customizable raffles
- Attention-grabbing sweepstakes
- Peer-to-peer fundraising
- Online store
- Integration with CRMs
Pros and cons look something like this:
And here is the final pricing breakdown.
Just like BetterWorld, RallyUp has a strong Free Forever plan. However, this one offers a little more flexibility.
You can turn on donor tipping, which enables donors to leave an optional tip for the organization at checkout. If you leave it off, you default to a 7.5% platform fee.
Free Forever unlocks access to all major fundraising features, such as crowdfunding, auctions, raffles, live streaming and online stores.
For donation pages, donor profiles, e-mail marketing features and CRM integrations, you will have to pay $99 a month.
The good thing is, you pay monthly, and there is no commitment, so you can use these only when necessary.
Any of the platforms mentioned in the article has the potential to transform your idea into a full-fledged fundraising campaign.
But before you make a definitive decision, first define your budget, set clear goals, and research the best method to reach them.
Once you have done all three, the list will naturally narrow down to only a few viable choices.
From there, you will have a much easier time picking the right platform to help you help those that need it the most.