Thanks to social media and fundraising websites, it has become more accessible and easier to raise money for a good cause. There are millions of people who share your passion for giving, but it’s all about how to reach these like-minded individuals.

But, how do you raise money for your nonprofit without paying a fortune? Are there free fundraising websites for nonprofits? There are many fundraising websites, but most charge a significant fee. These fees can range from 3% to 10% of the money received. However, there is good news. There are fundraising websites that offer “free” plans.

Are Fundraising Websites Free?

While some fundraising websites are free, there are still some costs involved when running a campaign. These costs are:

  • Subscription fees: Some fundraising websites require a monthly or yearly subscription fee to manage your campaign. These costs can vary, but there should be no subscription fees for a fundraising website to be free for nonprofits.
  • Platform fees: The fundraising website will keep a percentage from every donation made to your nonprofit.
  • Donor fees: Also known as a “tip,” the fundraising website will require the donor to pay a fee instead of the nonprofit.
  • Processing fees: Some credit card companies will charge the donor for their transaction. In addition, the nonprofit may also pay a “payout fee” when the money gets withdrawn. These fees are mostly unavoidable.

How To Run A Thriving Fundraising Campaign For Nonprofits

Having a fundraiser for your nonprofit raises awareness of your cause and provides the financial revenue you need to keep the organization going. You can engage with audiences worldwide to gain funding and sustainable long-term support, but it is essential to have a solid campaign plan.

Develop a strategy

As a nonprofit, you want to create engaging opportunities for new donors to secure retention. Your goal is to let them know you rely on their continued support and that the organization needs them. Develop a strategy that will:

  • Do donor research and document their engagement
  • Secure and retain new donors
  • Select a low-cost or free fundraising website to launch your campaign
  • Choose how you will market your campaign
  • Track the campaign’s data

Top 5 free fundraising websites for nonprofits

Let’s learn about the Top 5 free fundraising websites for nonprofits to help you reach your financial goals!

  1. Facebook Fundraising

    Nonprofits can boost their campaign on Facebook by utilizing tools such as fundraising stickers on Facebook stories, donation buttons, Facebook Live donating, and page fundraising. Has a loved one asked on Facebook for donations or gifts for their favorite charity on their birthday? Since Facebook introduced virtual gift-giving for charity organizations, they have helped raise billions of dollars.

    There are no fees to raise funds for a nonprofit. The payments are processed through Facebook Payments, and how you receive the money varies according to the payment platform which gets determined by your location. These include:

    • Facebook Payments
    • Network for Good
    • PayPal Giving Fund
    • Razor Pay

    Cons: While the reach Facebook provides can be powerful, the approval process can be gruelling. And for small to medium sized nonprofits, impossible.

  2. Bonfire

    Fundraising for nonprofits has never been easier on Bonfire – and they are free! Launch a Giving Campaign and have all donations and proceeds sent directly to the charity of your choice. Bonfire is free to use, there aren’t any inventory fees, and all the money gets sent to you when the campaign is complete.

    What makes Bonfire unique? You raise money for your nonprofit by selling t-shirts. But, don’t worry, this is easier than you think. Start your t-shirt campaign by creating a design using one of their free templates, or upload one you created yourself. They also offer the Bonfire Studio, a custom design studio to help you make a special design for your winning campaign.

    Next, edit your campaign page and describe why you want to raise money for your nonprofit. Express its importance and that you need support from your community. Once your campaign is launched, use all social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to reach as many people as you can with your unique t-shirts. The shirts are printed and shipped straight from Bonfire, and you can send personalized “thank you” emails to your donors from the fundraising websites dashboard.

    Cons: The fundraising website is free to use. However, there is a 3.5% processing fee for verified nonprofit organizations. Unverified nonprofits pay an 8% processing fee.

  3. DonateKindly

    DonateKindly is a free fundraising website for nonprofits to raise money online. This fundraising website is easy to use and set up. How free is DonateKindly?

    DonateKindly relies on donor tips to keep its services going. Your campaign gets organized and monitored through the platform, and new forms can be created at any time for specific giving campaigns. Analyze the campaign’s data all from one place.

    DonateKindly is open to all types of nonprofits, although they target their audience toward faith-based organizations online. Donations get deposited in the bank account you set up when you started your campaign.

    Cons: Donors are asked for a tip to help pay for your fundraising software. This gives a degraded experience for your donors.

  4. Givebutter

    Givebutter is a top-rated fundraising platform that claims always to be free with no contracts. With more than $150 million in donations per year, Givebutter could be the solution you’re looking for. There are hundreds of free features on the Givebutter platform.

    Processing fees are standard fees that are applied to all digital platforms. Givebutter’s payment processor charges this fee, and it permits funds to be put into your account regardless of the payment method used by your donors.

    DonateKindly is open to all types of nonprofits, although they target their audience toward faith-based organizations online. Donations get deposited in the bank account you set up when you started your campaign.

    Cons: Just like DonateKindly, donors are asked for a tip taking away from their donation potential.

  5. Givvn

    GIVVN is a social media-driven fundraising platform that helps NGOs raise more money by leveraging technology. GIVVN’s tools are tailored to help small and medium-sized NGOs develop and automate their online fundraising. Nonprofits can expand their outreach and raise money by using GIVVN, and they can do it while saving time and resources.

    Through GIVVN, your mobile-friendly, professionally built website has been scientifically tailored to convert visitors into donors. There are plenty more variables to consider while creating a website, but with Givvn in charge of everything, your website will run smoothly.

    By studying donors’ behaviour, you can analyze activity reports to learn more about them and make smarter business decisions. Donations will increase when donors encounter your streamlined donation checkout experience.

    Setup is free with a streamlined user interface. You also do not need a credit card when setting up your fundraiser. You can create a donation page, landing page, and much more by utilizing the platform.

    Cons: The free plan is limited to your first 1000 supporters. After this a "Givvn Plus" plan is required.

Final Thoughts

Be realistic with your fundraising goals. How much do you need to keep your nonprofit going? What is the timeline to raise funds? Then, budget your fundraising activities and include those costs in your goals.

You don’t have money, resources, or time to waste as a nonprofit. Instead, utilize these free or low-cost fundraising websites to maximize your profits and increase brand awareness. Keep your nonprofit’s brand front and center as you spread the word.