Virtual fundraising has been on the rise for years. As the internet is used increasingly in our daily lives—from researching dinner recipes to finding friends’ new puppy pictures on social media—it makes sense that donors find giving online to be a more convenient way to contribute.
In fact, the pandemic has made virtual fundraising even more prevalent. Studies show that online giving increased by 21% in 2020 and that 13% of all donations were made online. That’s a substantial part of your revenue coming from virtual platforms! Therefore, make sure you’re set up for success with the tools and solutions you need to make it as easy as possible for your donors to make a gift online.
In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into virtual fundraising platforms that your nonprofit can use to build out your online fundraising strategy. We’ll cover the top virtual fundraising platforms that your organization can use for online giving, virtual events, and amplifying your campaign efforts.
But before we dive in, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page with our definition of virtual fundraising platforms.
What is a virtual fundraising platform?
Virtual fundraising platforms are software solutions that your nonprofit can use to solicit, accept, and process donations made to your organization via the internet. Supporters can use these platforms to give quickly and easily from their laptops, desktop computers, and even their smartphones.
These platforms can be used for year-round fundraising for your annual fund or they can be used for individual fundraising campaigns hosted during certain times of the year. For example, you might utilize a platform that, year-round, powers the standard online giving page on your website, while simultaneously using a different platform to host a timely crowdfunding campaign for a specific program. Both of these virtual fundraising platforms are used to raise money online, but in different ways and under slightly different circumstances.
Because these platforms can be used in so many different circumstances and there are so many providers out there, we’ve compiled a list of the top providers and divided them into three categories, making it easy to find the ones you’re looking for.
Let’s get started!
Virtual fundraising platforms for online fundraising
When we talk about online fundraising, we’re usually referring to the online donation forms found on a nonprofit’s website. These are the forms that a supporter can visit at any time to contribute to your cause. Below, we’ve listed the best virtual fundraising platforms for this method of online fundraising.
Kindful, a Bloomerang product, is a virtual fundraising platform that provides all of the tools your nonprofit needs to raise funds directly through your website. You can use their online fundraising pages to create branded, mobile-responsive pages. Plus, you can proactively solicit donations from website visitors with a pop-up window featuring suggested donation amounts, which provides an even easier giving process.
Kindful can also help your organization manage things like:
- Peer-to-peer fundraising. Invite your board members, dedicated supporters, and other key stakeholders in your organization to become ambassadors for your mission, raising money on their own dedicated fundraising pages. Kindful makes it easy to launch and share peer-to-peer campaign pages to get your cause in front of as many people as possible.
- Event management. Kindful allows your team to create event ticketing and registration pages for each of your events.
- Donor portals. These portals allow your donors to see their giving history and engagement with your campaigns. Not only that, but they can also use the portals to update their personal information, including changes of address and updates to their credit card information.
The best part? Kindful integrates seamlessly with Bloomerang, the top donor management solution on the market. Information gathered from Kindful’s donation and event pages is stored automatically in your organization’s Bloomerang database, making it easy to reach out to and build relationships with your supporters. You can also create your Kindful fundraising pages from your Bloomerang database. Learn more in a demo!
Fundraise Up is another virtual fundraising platform that is dedicated to creating a speedy giving process for your supporters. This platform boasts an average load time of 1.5 seconds and an average donation time of 24 seconds, in comparison to the industry average of 53 seconds.
This dedication to speed helps drive conversions, earning your organization more donations through your website. The Fundraise Up platform also includes the following features:
- Mobile responsiveness. With Fundraise Up, all of your donation pages will automatically resize to fit any size screen. This means all of your supporters will have a smooth donation process, no matter if they give from their laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
- Suggested donation amounts. Suggested donation amounts can create a sense of social proof, giving supporters a frame of reference as to how much is “normal” to give. They’ll also be more likely to choose a suggested donation amount than enter their own amount, speeding up the process even more.
- Goal meters. Goal meters are like fundraising thermometers in that they show your progress toward the goal, which engages supporters and shows that they can raise the meter by donating.
Fundraise Up also integrates seamlessly with your Bloomerang donor database. All of the donation information collected via Fundraise Up pages will be reflected automatically in the donors’ profiles and the funds raised will be recorded as a part of the campaign in the database.
Givebutter is another virtual fundraising platform that allows your nonprofit to collect and process donations from your website. Supporters can give in whatever way is most convenient for them as Givebutter accepts a number of payment methods, including Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and standard credit cards.
Givebutter’s platform also offers other types of donation campaign pages for various fundraising initiatives like:
- Peer-to-peer fundraising. Leverage Givebutter’s peer-to-peer fundraising pages to raise money during big giving days, matching gift campaigns, and events.
- Ticket sales. Use Givebutter’s event ticketing software to sell tickets to your next gala, race, or reception. There’s a QR code featured on each ticket, making it easy for your supporters to scan their tickets when they arrive at your event.
Like Kindful and Fundraise Up, Givebutter also integrates with Bloomerang! All you’ll need to do is copy your Bloomerang API Key into Givebutter. Then, you can configure your integration settings, mapping your information so that it appears automatically in your donor database from your Givebutter forms.
Donately provides a virtual fundraising platform for nonprofits, churches, businesses, and agencies. They provide donation pages that are specifically designed to convert more website visitors into donors.
These modern donation pages include features such as:
- Customization options. Catch your donor’s eye by leveraging Donately’s customization features and branding the page to match your organization’s branding. Then, embed that page directly into your website for a seamless user experience.
- Recurring donation buttons. By including a recurring donation button directly on your donation page, you’ll encourage supporters to give on a regular basis.
- Processing fee coverage. Most platforms require that nonprofits pay a processing fee when donors give online. Donately allows your supporters to cover that processing fee so that their full donation amount goes to your cause.
Donately provides a dashboard that makes it easy for your nonprofit to gather fundraising data from your donation pages. You can view all kinds of insights from this dashboard, such as the average donation amount and weeks with the highest donation volume.
Snowball Fundraising offers a virtual fundraising platform designed for text-to-give campaigns. This solution is perfect for events and on-the-go fundraising campaigns where supporters can contribute by simply texting the number associated with your campaign.
Here’s what the text-to-give process looks like using Snowball’s software:
- Your nonprofit chooses a toll-free or shortcode number to associate with your campaign.
- Supporters send a customized trigger word via text message to the associated number.
- Supporters receive a link that connects them directly to your organization’s giving page.
- Supporters click the link and donate to your campaign from their mobile device.
Using this software, supporters at your auction can also leverage your dedicated phone number to submit bids for various auction items.
Bonfire is a t-shirt fundraising platform that allows your nonprofit to set up an online store that supporters can visit in order to buy your organization’s branded t-shirts.
This solution offers features to help your nonprofit make the most of these fundraising campaigns, including:
- Customizable t-shirts. Upload your own artwork to the Bonfire platform or use their design tools to create a shirt that is branded to your organization. You can even feature different branded designs for specific campaigns.
- Various merchandise types. While Bonfire brands itself as a t-shirt fundraising platform, you’re not limited to only selling t-shirts. Bonfire also offers hats, tank tops, sweatshirts, mugs, masks, and more, all of which can be branded to your organization.
- Branded online stores. Use your organization’s own logo and colors to customize your online store.
Although there’s a processing fee to use the software, registered nonprofits receive a heavy discount.
Virtual fundraising platforms for events
Below we’ve listed virtual fundraising platforms that allow your organization to make the most of virtual and hybrid fundraising events, helping you raise more funds than ever before.
Qgiv offers a virtual fundraising platform that allows your nonprofit to make the most of your online and hybrid event opportunities. Their event pages are only the beginning; they also provide registration and ticketing pages for your nonprofit to recruit attendees.
Some of the things that make Qgiv one of the most effective and successful virtual platforms for events include:
- Peer-to-peer software. Generate excitement leading up to your next event with Qgiv’s peer-to-peer fundraising software. Ask volunteers to invite their friends and family to attend your next event while also spreading the word about your upcoming event opportunity.
- Online auction tools. If you’re hosting an auction, you can take it online with Qgiv. Supporters can view auction items and bid online during a virtual, in-person, or hybrid event.
- Text-to-give software. Qgiv’s text-to-give platform can be used during events, allowing supporters to give to your organization via their mobile device.
Qgiv has several integration partners that can help you make the most of your fundraising strategies and events, including Salesforce, DonorPerfect, Kindful, and Bloomerang. The Bloomerang integration allows your nonprofit to map all of the data you collect through Qgiv campaigns to the correct donor profiles in your donor database.
OneCause offers a number of solutions as a part of its virtual fundraising platform, all of which can be used to enhance your online fundraising strategies. However, their platform’s bread and butter is the mobile bidding solution.
OneCause’s mobile bidding software provides tools that help with every step of the online auction process, including:
- Developing solicitation letters and tracking various items’ procurement status as you work to fill out your auction item list.
- Selling tickets. This software allows you to sell different ticket packages.
- Encouraging people to bid on their favorite auction items directly from their mobile devices. They’ll receive alerts when they’re outbid, which means they’ll stay engaged with the event.
- Allowing your auction winners to check out directly from their phones.
OneCause offers unlimited auction events as a part of their software subscription package. If you host auctions throughout the year, OneCause is an effective and efficient way to get the event tools your organization needs.
Regpack’s virtual fundraising platform is first and foremost a registration solution. Your nonprofit can encourage supporters to sign up for your various events through custom registration pages and embeddable registration forms.
Regpack also supports different types of virtual event opportunities, such as:
- Online courses. If you offer online learning opportunities for supporters, volunteers, or other community members, use Regpack to set up a streamlined registration process. Then you can gather insights about conversions, learn about the individuals who signed up, and raise funds all at the same time.
- Camps. Do you offer camps or similar opportunities? Do you want to learn more about your volunteers? Regpack can help facilitate camp sign ups, volunteer management, and more.
Regpack’s software can create a seamless registration experience with conditional logic. Conditional logic allows your nonprofit to personalize the registration process for all of your supporters. For example, you might ask your event attendees about dietary restrictions. Those who say they don’t have any notable restrictions will move on to the next question, while those who say they do will be prompted to give additional information.
Handbid is another auction platform designed for nonprofit organizations. They provide auction software as well as other fundraising tools like peer-to-peer campaigns and crowdfunding pages.
This virtual fundraising platform offers a number of unique opportunities for nonprofits to engage their audiences, including:
- Web-based and live event auctions. Choose the options that will best engage your particular audience.
- Live streaming tools. Your nonprofit can live stream various auction activities and opportunities during your virtual and hybrid events.
- Handbid TV. Handbid offers a broadcast of live metrics from the auction so that your supporters can see how you’re progressing toward your fundraising goals.
On average, those who switch to Handbid end up raising 60% more revenue. Handbid provides convenient ways for your supporters to stay engaged in your auction.
Eventbrite offers a basic event registration solution for organizations or individuals, whether they’re trying to raise money or simply encouraging more people to attend a free event. It’s the perfect solution for small nonprofits that are just getting started with virtual and in-person event opportunities.
Eventbrite offers some intriguing features, including:
- Customized event pages. Customize your Eventbrite page with your organization’s logo, colors, and images.
- Ticket sales. Sell tickets through your event registration page. For events giving away free tickets, the Eventbrite platform is also free!
- Attendee marketplace. Your organization can gain access to new viewership through the Eventbrite attendee marketplace, which allows those who follow Eventbrite to see your event and sign up.
Eventbrite is exactly what many organizations need, especially when they’re just starting to throw events.
Other software to support your virtual fundraising platforms
When it comes to soliciting gifts online, there are several virtual fundraising platforms that you can invest in to amplify your efforts. These platforms work alongside your other virtual fundraising solutions to help you get the most out of campaigns.
Bloomerang is the top donor management solution on the market. Our speciality is helping nonprofits build relationships with supporters who interact with nonprofits through their fundraising campaigns. This helps increase donor retention rates, which leads to more revenue.
Once supporters give to your nonprofit through your virtual fundraising platforms, this information is stored in your Bloomerang database. Some of the features Bloomerang offers include:
- Robust donor profiles. The profiles provide a centralized view of each donor’s engagement with your nonprofit and help you create effective messages based on your donor data.
- Interactive dashboard. Customize your dashboard to show the fundraising metrics most important to your nonprofit’s mission and campaign success. You can use it to keep an eye on your donor retention rate, campaign progress, and more.
- Customized reports. Pull reports with the most important metrics for your nonprofit’s success. These reports provide more in-depth information about your top donors, monthly supporters, loyal constituents, and more.
Bloomerang was built by fundraising professionals in the industry, ensuring the software is equipped with the tools necessary to capture data and engage your audience both now and in the future.
The average donor retention rate is around 45%. As mentioned above, increasing your donor retention rate is one of the fastest paths to increasing your revenue. And how do you increase this rate? By showing appreciation for your supporters.
Gratavid is a software solution that enables your nonprofit to send personalized thank you video messages to each of your supporters. This software offers features that give you the ability to:
- Customize your videos to match your brand.
- Show user read receipts, which tell you who watched the videos.
- Add social sharing buttons to spread the word about your appreciation.
- Send videos through email and text messages.
- Integrate with other top platforms on the market, including Bloomerang.
Thank you videos are the perfect way to thank your supporters who give via virtual fundraising platforms.
TrueGivers is a software platform that provides your nonprofit with further insight into the donors in your database. TrueGivers also provides tips for handling delicate situations, such as when a supporter passes away.
The software provides helpful features such as:
- National Change of Address updates. Get notified when a supporter’s address changes. That way, you can reach them via direct mail and encourage them to update their credit card information if necessary.
- Deceased information. When you know that someone has passed away, you can reach out to their family and offer condolences for their loss.
- Notification emails. Get updates about your supporters’ information, allowing you to take any required action right away.
TrueGivers is best paired with your donor database, allowing you to keep your data updated.
DonorSearch is a prospect research tool that you can use to learn more about your supporters’ philanthropic and wealth indicators, providing insight into their capacity and affinity to give. This enables you to identify potential mid-tier and major donors.
While it’s unlikely that your major donors will make a large donation via a virtual fundraising platform, they may use your virtual campaigns to get more involved or make initial contact. Knowing who they are can help you make the most of this opportunity.
- You can create a VIP package for your next hybrid or virtual event, inviting mid-tier and major supporters with a more upscale experience.
- You can develop specialized outreach for your major supporters before, during, and after a virtual fundraising campaign.
- You can ask prospects to get involved in ways other than donating, like volunteering.
DonorSearch also integrates with a number of donor databases, including Bloomerang. This means you’ll see the donor’s generosity and engagement data in their profile in Bloomerang.
Mailchimp is a marketing platform that allows your organization to reach your supporters via several outreach channels. It creates an easy way to inform donors about your various fundraising campaigns and opportunities.
You can use Mailchimp to reach out to your supporters via:
- Email. Brand your emails to your nonprofit, maintaining your color scheme, logo, and brand voice to let supporters know each message is from you.
- Social media. Post regularly to social media platforms, scheduling posts to go out at exactly the right time to capture your audience’s attention.
- Your website. Use Mailchimp’s new website tools to design your website to capture more visitors and convert them into engaged supporters.
Leverage the donor segments in your donor database to make the most of your marketing efforts through Mailchimp. After you’ve solidified your marketing strategy, you can start adding some automation elements into your Mailchimp campaigns, spreading word far and wide about your virtual fundraising opportunities.
Double the Donation
Double the Donation is a matching gift platform that can help your organization amplify your fundraising efforts and increase the revenue from your virtual fundraisers by identifying corporate giving opportunities.
You can leverage their tools to discover and automate the matching gift identification process through tools like:
- Email domain identification. This tool identifies potential matching gift eligibility by scanning the email domains of your supporters through a matching gift company database. Then it shows the supporters who have email addresses from companies that offer these programs with their company’s matching gift application.
- Email automation. This tool lets you send automated emails to each of your eligible supporters, informing them about the potential to double (or even triple) their donation to your organization through their employer’s matching gift program.
- Revenue dashboard. Use the dashboard to track your revenue that comes in from matching gifts.
Many donations are eligible to be matched, but donors don’t often know that. With Double the Donation, you can identify and inform these supporters of this opportunity, raising even more funds.
Make sure your organization is ready for your next virtual fundraising campaign by choosing the right software solutions to meet your needs.
If you’d like to learn more about virtual fundraising and software that can amplify your strategies, check out these additional resources:
- 25+ Engaging Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits. As you start the research process for your next fundraiser, check out these virtual fundraising ideas.
- Top 20+ Fundraising Software Solutions for Nonprofits. If you’re looking for other fundraising solutions for your nonprofit, check out this guide.
- Buying Fundraising Software: 6 Important Factors to Consider. Before you purchase your next virtual fundraising platform, be sure to consider these factors.