May 28, 2010

24 tools for fundraising with social media

  • Buffer
  • Buffer



How to raise money to support your favorite cause

Target audience: Nonprofits, social change organizations, cause supporters, businesses

By Vivian Ramirez and J.D. Lasica
Socialbrite staff

In the old days — before 2005, remember? — we would solicit our friends to raise funds through walk-a-thons, cake raffles and similar homespun events. If you were raising money for a favorite cause, you’d look to your immediate friends, family and co-workers.

Today, social media has changed the game. With the surge of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, you can reach a much wider audience to raise money for your cause. The success of such online efforts varies widely: 30,000 runners in the Flora London Marathon raised $7.3 million through the online fundraising platform Justgiving. On a smaller scale, the Trail of Tails Pet Walk and Festival raised $41,000 for the Jacksonville, Fla., Humane Society using social media tools. And New York dancer Amanda Gravel raised $988 using the widget ChipIn for the campaign against breast cancer.

How did it work for them? Social tools now make it easy to solicit donations using fundraising widgets or badges, social networks like Twitter and Causes (part of integrated with Facebook). With Network for Good or PayPal usually handling the transaction, the solicitors can concentrate on sharpening their message and targeting the right recipients. Not all take the same approach: Some let you add advertising to your site, or create personal webpages, as a way to support your cause instead of ponying up dinero.

Depending on the size of your campaign and budget, cause advocates and small nonprofits now have lots of tools to choose from — further down, we’ll tell you about the ones for mid-size and large nonprofits. (See last month’s 10 mobile apps for social good for ideas on how to donate or volunteer using mobile devices.)

Here are 24 tried-and-true tools for online fundraising. Have we used them all? No. But if you’ve used some of these, add your observations. And we know there’s a 25th out there, so tell us your favorites in the comments below.


ChipIn: The easy way to collect money

1ChipIn is the most popular widget used by fundraisers today for distributed fundraising. It’s a simple tool you can place on your website or on a Facebook profile page. It amounts to a donate button that comes with a thermometer that measures the campaign’s progress. If you don’t have a site, you can subscribe to ChipIn and they’ll host your campaign for free. Subscribing to ChipIn is free, but you’ll need to set up a PayPal account to process donations. Every monetary contribution made through ChipIn is charged at a rate beginning at 2.5 percent of the amount donated.


GlobalGiving: Donate to grassroots projects

2GlobalGiving is an online marketplace for philanthropy where anyone can post an idea and get it funded. The nonprofit connects donors with community-based projects that need support in the United States and abroad. You select the projects you want to support, make a tax-deductible contribution and get regular progress updates — so you can see your impact. The organization sustains itself with a 15 percent optional fee you can add so that 100 percent of your donation goes directly to the project.

change-org Empowering people to take action

3A social enterprise, helps to raise awareness about important social causes and to empower people to take action, chiefly through partnerships with leading nonprofits. Actions might range from joining an organization and making a personal pledge to signing an online petition or calling a congressperson’s office about an issue like homelessness or sustainable food. In addition to signing petitions or leaving comments, you can raise funds by creating a page with photos, videos, logos and supporting materials.’s fundraising pages use donation widgets with progress thermometers that track the amount raised. Basic membership is free; it costs $20 a month for those who want customized pages. Donation processing fee: 4.75 percent for every transaction.


ChangingThePresent: Make the world a better place

4ChangingThePresent is a nonprofit that connects you with more than 1,500 meaningful if nontraditional charitable gifts — for instance, “stop global warming for $20″ or “adopt a tiger for $40.” Browse by cause or nonprofit to find a gift for friends or for your own charitable giving. The service also encourages donors to make simple donations of any amount through their home pages. A premium profile costs $100 per year. Donation processing fee: 3 percent of each donation plus 30 cents.


Razoo: Experience the joy of giving

5Razoo is a new way to donate and raise money online. Whether you want to donate money, run a fundraiser for your favorite nonprofit or raise money as a nonprofit, Razoo offers simple, secure tools to achieve your goals. A nonprofit based in Washington, DC, Razoo helps donors find inspiring giving opportunities and helps nonprofits and volunteers with fundraising pages, social media tools and donation processing.


Causes: Empowering anyone to impact the world

6Causes is a wonderful way to gain attention for a cause. Co-founded by Sean Parker, an early member of Facebook’s executive team, Causes allows fundraisers to solicit donations from their own contacts and recruit volunteers who want to participate on behalf of a cause. People who use the site as a way to socialize can also participate in fundraising ideas by posting Cause profiles on their Facebook page. Donation processing fee: 4.75 percent through Network for Good; only Facebook members anyone can donate.


givezooks!: Support a cause in minutes

7givezooks!, an online fundraising platform, lets individuals, nonprofits, foundations and companies create an account and start raising funds for a cause. It’s new givezooks!eventslets nonprofits create and publish events online, create, send and track email invitations and reminders, promote causes through Facebook and Twitter, sell tickets and manage RSVPs. Transaction fee for events: 2.5 percent per ticket purchased or donation received (up to a maximum of $19.95/per ticket). For online campaigns for nonprofits, monthly subscription fees start at $129/month with no transaction fee.


FirstGiving: Tools to benefit charitable causes

8FirstGiving is a U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based JustGiving. The site provides easy-to-use tools to benefit charities. Subscribers are able to fundraise through their own Web pages on the site. The basic platform of is free. For those who want to customize their pages and to link them back to their own sites, the annual fee is $300. Donation processing fee: 5 percent plus 2 percent for credit card processing.


SixDegrees: Spread a ripple of good, an affiliate of Network for Good, enables social networking with a social conscience. Through the site, you can support your favorite charities by donating or creating fundraising badges — as well as check out the favorite causes of other people, including celebrities. Through tools such as donation widgets, which can be posted in places around the Web, people are encouraged to give to causes easily. The badges provided by SixDegrees can be customized by adding photos, videos and other narratives. Progress is tracked at the top of the badge, though the badges do not have thermometers. Donation processing fee: 4.75 percent with no setup costs.


RT2Give: Retweet a worthy cause, give $10

10RT2Give is Twitpay‘s fundraising solution for nonprofits that handles secure processing of donations over social networks such as Twitter. Last month on World Malaria Day, three organizations teamed up for a week and used RT2Give to raise money for disease-preventing bed nets. (Each $10 donation was matched by the Case Foundation up to $25,000.) Twitter itself used the TwitPay platform for donations to its Hope140 campaign to #EndMalaria. The site can use some copy editing: It says “pay with bank account,” but then asks for your credit card number. Expect to see a lot more of these campaigns on Twitter (note: Twitter-based Tipjoy bit the dust last year).


JustGive: Removing barriers to charitable giving

11By setting up a fundraising page on JustGive, nonprofits can solicit donations and set up a Donate Now button that they can use on their own sites. Donation processing fee: 3 percent with no set-up costs or monthly fees.


Crowdrise: Using social networks to raise funds

12Crowdrise is a new service that gives cause supporters an easy way to crowd-source fundraising. Whether you’re running a marathon, volunteering or have causes that you care deeply about, create your own fundraising pages, choose from over a million charities to raise money for and then share them on social networks. Crowdrise provides incentives to users by awarding bonus points toward prizes.


YourCause: Fundraising through personal Web pages

13 The mis­sion of YourCause is to empower indi­vid­u­als to change our world — leveraging your own voices, net­works and spheres of influ­ence to improve the lives of oth­ers. The ded­i­cated and accom­plished Your­Cause team is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing and facil­i­tat­ing the efforts of a car­ing member com­mu­nity and the causes they cham­pion so passionately.


Better The World: Raise money for causes by surfing

14Better The World is a plat­form that lets you raise money for your cause simply by surfing the Web — and down­loading a side­bar that will be used to dis­play rel­e­vant ads on the pages you visit. Char­i­ties span­ning the whole world have part­nered with the com­pany to give users every­where many options to choose from.


Pifworld: Play it forward

15The letters PIF in Pifworld stand for “play it forward.” Playing it forward is donating online to a charity project and inviting friends to do the same. The Amsterdam-based site launched in March 2009 and currently has over 45 charity projects on the platform. By mobilizing communities, together we can create positive change and eventually help wildlife, save a rainforest or build a school.


PincGiving: A platform for online fundraising

16PincGiving helps corporations and charities with their philanthropic goals. Donate to the charity of your choice in the USA, Canada, UK and Australia; enable fundraising on your organization’s website; create a peer to peer fundraising campaign or access millions of dollars in grant money, all in the currency of your choice.

Universal Giving

Universal Giving: Donate or volunteer for global causes

17Universal Giving is a marketplace that allows people to give and volunteer with top-performing projects all over the world. The organization passes along 100 percent of the donations you make to the nonprofit of your choice.


SocialVibe: Partnering with brands to support charity

18SocialVibe is a micro-fundraising social media utility that connects nonprofits and individuals with brands, empowering them to engage with sponsors and share branded content with their social graph to benefit their causes. SocialVibe has raised over $700,000 for more than 40 nonprofits by getting corporate partners to engage in a more interactive means of advertising. Users of the site don’t have to donate money at all as corporate sponsors do all the donating. Individuals are simply encouraged to donate ad space on their social network sites by adding the SocialVibe widget to their MySpace, Facebook or other networking pages or blogs.


Giving Impact: Empowering supporters through sharing

19Giving Impact, a Web-based service from Minds on Design, describes itself as “an online fundraising platform for nonprofits that empowers supporters through sharing and offers organizations flexibility to run multiple campaigns with a custom donation experience at an affordable price.” Like any new venture, proceed with caution, but we wish them well. Giving Impact charges a monthly fee of $30 with a $1 transaction fee for donations under above $20; donations are handled through PayPal.

Tools for larger fundraising efforts

Nonprofits looking to launch much wider campaigns that entail more sophisticated outreach and monitoring may want to look into higher-end fundraising packages. Depending on your needs, these solutions may provide better support for long-running or large-scale campaigns. In general, these services may cost from a few hundred dollars a month to thousands of dollars or more for a campaign. This is not a comprehensive list of fundraising solutions but rather a few that struck a chord with us:


Artez: Turn supporters into fundraisers

20Artez Interactive provides a suite of online fundraising tools that let you tailor a campaign to your nonprofit’s specific needs. Supporters can easily make donations and purchase tickets to an event. Artez also make it easy for you to extend your event or cause’s brand into the realm of social media, and it provides customers with a rich set of reporting tools.


Convio: Converting fans into lasting donors

21Convio provides marketing, fundraising, advocacy and donor database tools to nonprofits. Its TeamRaiser for Special Events module allows users to translate their mission into online or integrated marketing programs that can acquire, engage and convert individuals into becoming lasting supporters. Users are able to set up individual and team fundraising pages with measurement and reporting capabilities. Constituent360, an online constituent database, is included as part of TeamRaiser.


Care2: Access to a huge community of social activists

22Care2 doubles as both an online community with more than 12 million people who actively involve themselves in both social and environmental causes and as a platform for activism and fundraising. By bringing together nonprofits, individuals and socially responsible businesses, it is able to help nonprofits and companies find new supporters for their causes and in the process help them grow targeted email lists of supporters, activists and potential donors. About 500 large and mid-size nonprofits have used Care2’s social networking strategies, which include its click-to-donate races, email strategies, online petitions, healthy living solutions, eco-shopping and e-cards. Campaign fees start at about $5,000.


Donor Perfect: Helping cultivate donor relationships and achieving terrific fundraising results

23Donor Perfect comes in packages for small and growing nonprofits and packages for mid-size and large nonprofits. Depending on the size of your organization, Donor Perfect offers an online software solution to encourage giving among your supporters. Smaller packages are priced at $39 and $119 per month and the premier package costs $199 per month.


Kintera: Supporting your organization’s walkathon and other “team” fundraising events.

24Kintera’s Friends Asking Friends is being used by larger nonprofits such as Amnesty International USA. Since it allows the creation of sophisticated and customized distributed campaigns for fundraisers with multiple pages, it has become a convenient tool for many large-scale campaigns. With the use of this software, administration can be centralized no matter how many the supporters and volunteers there are or how many pages had been set up for the charity’s purposes. Setup fee for Friends Asking Friends is $1,400, plus a percentage of each donation solicited.

Final thoughts

Determining which tool is best for your organization requires planning and research. Look around and know what other organizations are using and how it works for them. If you’re planning to purchase software, compare prices and see if the price is worth the potential payoff. Consider whether your staff is equipped with the technical skill to run the software. If not, are you willing to spend a bit more for technical support?

If you’re an individual supporting a cause or a small nonprofit, you should try out some of the free online tools. Go ahead, start supporting your cause!

Do you use other tools for online fundraising? What has worked for you? Tell us #25!


Behind the success of 10 top Causes (Socialbrite)

10 mobile apps for social good (Socialbrite)

A directory of top cause organizations (Socialbrite)

Social bookmarks of fundraising tools and cause platforms (compiled by JD Lasica on Delicious)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

56 thoughts on “24 tools for fundraising with social media

  1. Thank you for the Giving Impact mention! Noticed a couple things that I hope is okay to share here. For some reason we didn't get a link to our site – Also, our transaction fee is actually $1 per donation > $20. Any donation under $20 does not get charged a transaction fee. Thanks again.

    Minds On Design Lab | Giving Impact

  2. Great blog. Check out IndieGoGo – collaborative funding platform for creative, cause and entrepreneurial ideas. The site has over 4,500 projects. In over 120 countries. It's democratic and rewards projects with 5% cash rewards when they reach their funding goals.

    Come check out all the amzing projects using IndieGoGo to turn dreams into reality:

  3. Great list Vivian and J.D.! We're actually just launching a new platform to help causes raise money in a fun manner for their supporters. Our site is We let people win donations to causes just by searching the web. Each week, we promote a cause of the week to help them get more exposure as well as to raise some money.


  4. Another alternative for Tools for larger fundraising efforts is MWare, www,

    MWare provides a full range of online fundraising and event management software for non profits. It can handle online donations, event registration, (ticket or RSVP), assigned seating, applicant type registration process, family and child registration with built in validation logics, volunteer management and personal and team fundraising for third party community, athletic and thon type events.



  5. Hey guys –

    Our company Piryx specializes in online fundraising for causes via social media and more. From non-profits to political campaigns, corporate giving programs, groups, clubs, sports teams, and variety of other causes – we help them raise money online.

    We offer plenty of free social media marketing tools, analytics, widgets, applications, and much more. Check us out at:

    Thanks guys, hope all is well!

    – Mike

  6. Hi! I'd like to add ContestCause – Fundraising Design Contests for a Cause.

    ContestCause enables anyone to run a fundraising design contest for any cause. Participants can invite friends, create shirt designs, vote daily & order the winner. 1/3 of all sales go directly to the cause & supporters get a custom-made shirt!

  7. I'm aware of a company operating from Boston, that is supporting organizations with customized donation systems. They were quite interesting, and offer many back-office operations support as well… Maybe someone here can find use for them too —

  8. I'm aware of a company operating from Boston, that is supporting organizations with customized donation systems. They were quite interesting, and offer many back-office operations support as well… Maybe someone here can find use for them too —

  9. Vivian – Thanks for this post. While it's not as sophisticated as some of the other tools you've mentioned, I wanted to let you know about a new tool that we've created.

    It's a fundraising thermometer, however, unlike every other thermometer, it's customizable and easy to update. We use a widget-based system that is unique because:

    – Charities can put their name, their own text, and even their own color scheme on the thermometer
    – Once it's embedded on a website, it can be changed very easily. People just login and edit their progress and/or goals…no need to replace code.

    Here's a link to the tool:

    And if you have any questions or feedback I'd love to hear them.

  10. It says something interesting about the sector that the comments section is mostly social giving startups throwing their two cents in. Lots of different people trying lots of different things. I think that the more we can do as a sector to figure out giving mechanisms that are well integrated with the experience of the network itself (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

    I won’t buck a trend, so please keep HelpAttack! on the list. Our model is that donors pledge a small amount of money for each update they make – no need to RT, tag, or send any specific message. Just tying a habit of giving to the habit of social media.

      • Hello
        Sir, I am Mann Khan and reside in India city Bhopal as I am searching to raise fund for poor actually I am a private teacher and teach english langauge but I want to do something for poor also as the people who are not able to pay money to learn english but highly desireous to learn I want to give the best and want to raise the fund from other countries also but I have no idea how to intiate it could you plz help me to show me the way. my email id is : [email protected] . I wil be awaited your reply. thanks.

  11. The information about Causes is incorrect. Causes is integrated with Facebook, but is a separate company.

    Most importantly, anyone can donate through Causes, not only Facebook members.

  12. Great article! You have put together a fantastic list that can help organizations streamline their fundraising efforts. With the ease and popularity of social media many sororities and fraternities will be able to significantly increase the positive social impact they can make locally, nationally and internationally.


  13. reading all this is complex i just want people who can help me teach the slum and rural females of idia especially, Punjab.I want to empower them but running short of funds. If somebodey is interested kindly call me at 9888404813 india Punjab My name is Gurpreet Kaur

  14. you missed Fundly – – the most successful online fundraising platform for cause based fundraisers of all sizes. no matter how much money you are trying to raise, fundly provides the tools necessary to fundraise more effectively using social media networks like Facebook.

    • We’ve covered Fundly on several occasions on Socialbrite, though I agree the writer should have mentioned it here. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. Wow! two thumbs up with you guys. This is the most informative article I have read about breast cancer.Keep it up! You can also visit our website and see some informative articles about breast cancer and buy breast cancer bracelets.

  16. This platform are all recommended to have a good tools for doing some fundraising.Thanks for the share we have additional technique that we can apply to build a much better way of raising funds.

  17. Hi Vivian / J.D,

    Sandip from Go Get Funding ( here.

    Excuse the belayed contribution but I just wanted to give you the heads-up on what we’ve been up to.

    We launched in late 2011 and so far have helped people from all around the world raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for various causes, projects and events. That’s thanks to our low fees and nifty social features.

    I hope to connect with those trying to fundraise and anyone else just wanting to get in touch :)

    On another note, I love what you guys are doing at Socialbrite and it would be great to connect. In fact, I just spotted your contribute page ( and I’m about to get typing…!

  18. Great article, very comprehensive! I would just like to add an alternative social type of fundraising service – it’s called

    You get your own fundraising website and use any of the available sports prediction games to run your own online fundraisers. 20% of funds go into a prize pool to encourage more people to play.


  20. I’m a board member of various organizations which fundraise. Can someone tell me if one of these platforms allows me to show my all my fundraising ventures on one page, so that I’m not constantly giving different sites for people to go to?

  21. StayClassy wasn’t mentioned, either. We power the social fundraising of over 3,000 social impact organizations (of all sizes), including Oxfam, Invisible Children, Pencils of Promise and others.  Here’s a link to a holiday fundraising infographic we made that has some of our stats, and tips for social fundraising that you can check out:

  22. I was delighted to find this web site.I wanted to thank you for your time reading this wonderful! I really enjoyed every bit of it and I’ve marked to ensure that the blog post something new.