5 online fundraising tools worth checking out

 In Fundraising

In a lot of ways, the Internet has totally revolutionized the way campaigns operate and fundraise. While online fundraising may never replace fundraising calls, events, and direct mail, if used properly, online fundraising can and should be a major component of your fundraising plan. There are plenty of different online fundraising services, but we’ve narrowed it down to 5 different options that are worth checking out.

ActBlue

ActBlue is one of the nations largest online fundraising services and has been utilized by thousands of Democratic candidates, causes and committees. With such a large database, ActBlue makes it easier for donors to connect with the campaigns and causes they support.

  • Democratic candidates for federal office, federal political action committees, and non-federal 527 organizations may raise funds using ActBlue
  • May not be available to some “down ballot” races below state House, unless set up through local democratic party
  • Option for pre-filled returning donor data forms (increases conversion rate by 7%)
  • Mobile optimized contribution forms and customizable contribution form for website
  • No monthly charges, 3.95% transaction fee

NGP VAN

NGP VAN’s services are used by almost all Democratic members of Congress and is one of the Nation’s largest partisan provider of campaign software. This service consolidates your contact and donor management, compliance reporting, and supporter outreach tools into one powerful hub.

  • Option to simplify the compliance process by filing FEC and state reports directly through the system
  • Generates district-specific campaign finance reports and integrate with official Democratic party voter file enrichment efforts
  • Data is accessible wherever you work because it is securely stored in the cloud
  • Pricing packages range from $45/month to $320/month

NationBuilder

NationBuilder is more of a full-service Community Organizing System that offers many functions in addition to fundraising. It offers a people database and communication tools like email, text messaging and social media and can act as the centralized location for your email list and donor info.

  • Option for keeping track of pledges and sell tickets for an event listed on your site
  • Available option for recurring contributions from donors each month
  • Option to tag donors, mark as needing follow-up, and more
  • NationBuilder charges a monthly fee as well as transaction fees from the payment processor of your choice (paypal, democracy engine, etc.)

Democracy.com
Democracy.com seems to be somewhat of a middle-ground between the straightforward PayPal approach and the do-it-all NationBuilder approach. Candidates on democracy.com set up a profile that lays out the details of their campaign, but it isn’t intended to act as a complete campaign management program.

  • Easily accessible Contribution Report
  • Available option for recurring contributions from donors each month
  • Can be an outlet to keep your supporters informed on campaign updates, issues, endorsements, and upcoming events
  • No monthly charges, 3.9% transaction fee

PayPal
PayPal is a well-known, trusted name with a reputation of security. The main benefit to using PayPal for your political fundraising is that it’s a straightforward, no-frills approach.

  • Easy collection of donors contact info, including employer and occupation info and easily export online reports to Excel
  • Customizable ‘donate’ button can be added to websites as well as a ‘Giving Widget’ to share on social media and blogs
  • PayPal has no set-up fees or monthly charges. Transaction fees start at 2.9% + $0.30 USD for donation between $0.00 – $3,000.00 per month

If you’re just getting started with online fundraising, there are clearly many options to consider. Looking for a little extra guidance? We can help – get in touch with us today!

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