Crowdfunding Sites For 501c3 Nonprofits


Crowdfunding is a method of raising money through the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and individual investors. The main objective is to get a large number of people to donate a small amount each for your organization. Crowdfunding sites provide an easy place to showcase and provide financial transactions for people to donate. The top three of these sites are GoFundMe, YouCaring, and FirstGiving.  If you're looking to crowdfund for your nonprofit and you're confronting questions for the first time, you should start by checking out the information provided by the National Council of Nonprofits.

GoFundMe is definitely the best known fundraising site at more than $5 billion raised. While it’s more commonly known as being used for personal campaigns, they do host a multitude of nonprofits as well and are referred to as Certified Charity campaigns. In order to start a Certified Charity campaign, and have the special badge appear on your campaign, your organization must have the 501c3 status and be registered in PayPal Giving Fund’s database. All donors will automatically receive a tax-deductible receipt when they donate to a registered 501c3 campaign.

YouCaring is another well-known fundraising site that specializes in personal and charitable campaigns. Since they started in 2011, they have raised over $1 billion in donations on their site and they recently became a part of GoFundMe’s family; however, they don’t charge the 5% platform fee. They do accept PayPal, but they recommend using WePay instead and even include a guide for setting up an account under a nonprofit organization on their site.

FirstGiving is a fundraising platform fully devoted to nonprofit organizations and have increased the impact of over 5,000 nonprofits. Organizations can freely fundraise or can choose a subscription option to receive access to more advanced features. All donations are processed through their charity partner Global Impact and are fully tax-deductible.

While crowdfunding sites have made fundraising much easier for organizations, most of them charge some kind of fee to use their platform.  Each of the three platforms above charges various rates and those rates may range from approximately 4% to 9%.   It’s always best to do more research and make sure the site you choose is best for your organization.

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