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Seeking Feedback from Nonprofits: Does This “Donate Now” Service Provider Exist?

February 14, 2013

I am researching “Donate Now” service providers. Nonprofits ask me often for recommendations of what service(s) to use and I have yet to find a “Donate Now” service that meets all of my ideal criteria:

  • A custom-branded “Donate Now” page that’s embedded inside of the nonprofit’s website where the donation process happens entirely on one page.
  • A custom-branded “Thank You” Landing Page that can be easily set-up, designed, and modified to include social networking icons and pitches as well as videos and images and slideshows. Usually what you see on “Thank You” Landing Pages is a lot of text or white space. Soooo 2004. 🙂
  • Automatic, customizable “Thank You” e-mails/receipts that can also easily include social networking icons and other images without the nonprofit having to know HTML.
  • Recurring donation capability where the donation/sign up process is on a page separate from the primary “Donate Now” page i.e., the donor does not have to select from a pop-down menu that the donation should reoccur monthly.
  • Ability to give in someone else’s name.
  • Online donor database.
  • A phone number is not required to make an online donation though it could be an opt-in if the nonprofit wants to build their mobile list for text alerts.
  • A processing fee of 3% or less per transaction and a monthly fee of $50-100.
  • A set-up fee of $200 or less.
  • The nonprofit can purchase this service separately from other services.

Ideally, the service provider would also offer responsively designed “Donate Now” pages that alter themselves automatically when viewed on a tablet or smartphone, but I haven’t seen any signs that this service is being widely offered yet by any desktop “Donate Now” service provider.

Do you know if this service provider exists that I am searching for and hoping for exists? If so, please post their name and website in a comment below. I’ll share my findings in the next couple of weeks. If you have any thoughts on the subject I’d appreciate you sharing them.

BONUS QUESTION: Know any “Donate Now” service providers in the process of partnering with a mobile wallet company to enable mobile wallet giving online?

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2013 1:56 pm

    We now use Little Green Light (http://www.littlegreenlight.com) and Mailchimp (http://www.mailchimp.com) for a few of these touch points. They integrate to work together very well. LGL is new to us but we are BIG fans after having a very UN-user friendly donor CRM for years. We outsourced the build on our “Donate Now” page on our website (payment processing can be very touchy via the web). We just built a “Donate Page” on FB internally, but a donor must select the “donate now” button to go to our website to process their contribution. The recurring option or one time are options on one page. Our take is if they have to go to yet another page, we may lose them. There is no automatic “thank you” to my knowledge but we may be looking at that this year. Donors can make a note in the comments section if they want to donate in honor of someone. We do not capture phone numbers nor utilize texting alerts at this time. We do use Twitter but we are relatively new to that arena.

    For us, every little tweak or add on is costly, and being a non-profit, we have to manage our funds very carefully. Sometimes, add-ons may not make sense when comparing ROI. FB has yet to prove to be productive in getting cash donations, same for Twitter. But, we do see in-kind donations from these audiences.

  2. February 14, 2013 2:07 pm

    This is a terrific question. And you’ll be providing a great service once you’ve collected the responses. Can’t wait to see them! Thanks so much for doing this valuable work.

  3. Lindsey Lind permalink
    February 14, 2013 5:12 pm

    Try Qgiv.

    I think they may just meet all of these requirements.

    Otherwise, I find a developer to code the page and use API’s for the credit card processing and to connect with their database.

  4. February 14, 2013 10:32 pm

    Forte Interactive in West Palm Beach, FL. specializes in hosting for small and mid-size non-profits. Their donation module meets all or nearly all of your criteria. http://www.forteinteractive.com

  5. Reed Alberg permalink
    February 15, 2013 6:51 am

    Check out RAZ Mobile http://www.razmobile.com. I think they cover or have the capability to cover every point in your post.

    • March 15, 2013 5:34 am

      Since I posted this in Mid February, I have been asked by RAZ Mobile to become the new Director of National Sales and Support. I started that position last week. RAZ Mobile provide a truly mobile experience to reach younger donors where they are – on their smartphones. I’ll be happy to provide info to anyone interested.

  6. February 15, 2013 7:06 am

    Full Disclosure up front… I am with DonorSnap and we are a provider of online nonprofit management. This is a quick outline of where our product stands with your wishlist…

    We cover a lot of what you are looking for but at this point not all (although you have some great suggestions and we will incorporate in future updates)

    – DonorSnap lets the nonprofit design and create their own collection page form. We have a segmented screen set up that allows the addition of image, text, etc.. If an organization wants to expand they can download the HTML but most don’t. They usually just embed the link to the form on their own website. The form is completely customized by the Organization so they can choose what data to collect (phone number, gift in honor of, etc…)
    – The online Form tool is a standard part of DonorSnap. We don’t do ala carte pricing. For most organizations, that fee is $40/mo depending on the number of contacts. We don’t charge for each form, etc.. You can have an unlimited number of forms.
    – In terms of a recurring donate now page, we do have two different options – create a single giving form or create a recurring giving form. The organization chooses.
    – We process through AcceleratedPay. Their rate for non profit is 2.25% + .25 for Visa/MC it is more for Amex. They have a fixed monthly minimum charge of $20. The organization would need to sign up through them (we can provide the link) since we are independent of the actual CC process.
    – There is a custom email that gets sent out to the donor. However, we currently don’t have the ability to add icons, social media links, etc… That is, however, an excellent idea and one we will incorporate. So for now, you get the so 2004 look.
    – For the actual credit card collection information, we open what is called an iFrame to the credit card processing gateway. It is a window within a window. This is where CC information is collected and transmitted. As this is actually done on AcceleratedPay’s site (without the donor knowing it) the transaction is secure and the Organization and DonorSnap never have access to the credit card information.

    Its a good tool and in general I would say we are 2010 ish in overall feel 🙂

  7. Rachel J. permalink
    February 15, 2013 7:39 am

    Idealware has a fairly comprehensive overview of online donations processing platforms: http://www.idealware.org/donations. Good luck!

  8. Jesse Wellhoefer permalink
    February 15, 2013 8:03 am

    We are working with http://www.ContinueToGive.com. These guys are great, and meet our needs!
    1. Online donations right on your own website
    2. 0 zero setup and monthly fee
    3. Transaction rates as low as half a percent + $0.30
    4. Social media integration
    5. Offering Kiosk so people can donate on the spot via ipad app in a kiosk stand
    6. Mobil donations (people can donate right from their smart phones)
    7. Custom thank you emails.
    8. Unlimited Projects
    9. Works with missionaries and NPO
    10. Org is the merchant and money goes into their bank account real time
    11. Recurring or one time donations
    12. Login, or guest donations
    13. People can donate on your facebook page

    These are the tools we use most, but they have more.

    Check them out, they are pretty cool!

  9. February 15, 2013 8:19 am

    Easy! StayClassy.org covers everything in your list, and then some. You can see all of their features here: http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraising-management-software

  10. February 15, 2013 10:00 am

    I’m Chief Do-Gooder at Social Good Network (http://www.socialgoodnetwork.com), a free online fundraising platform for nonprofits and their supporters. We have an innovative web app in beta testing that accomplishes your criteria, plus more importantly, it is proving that it enhances donor engagement and increase donations. We will be formally launching it sometime over the next month. Stay tuned!

  11. February 16, 2013 9:36 am

    DISCLOSURE: I am co-founder of Good Karma Now (http://getgoodkarmanow.com), a mobile giving service that uses QR codes and our snap.tap.give app for iPhone and Android phones to capture the inspiration to give…anywhere, anytime.

    As “online giving” shifts from the conventional desktop/laptop browser environment to mobile devices, the donation experience must change to reflect the user situation. The idea of assuming a donor will reach for their wallet and then enter credit information on a small screen while standing at an event or exhibit is impractical. The online giving experience needs to be adapted to mobile scenarios where the inspiration to give can be captured with a few quick taps. Our service provides participating nonprofits with a unique QR code than can be added to print materials (flyers, newletters, signs, posters, etc.). A donor simply scans the QR code with our snap.tap.give mobile app and, with a few quick taps, a gift pledge is captured and shared on social media. Confirmation of the pledge when it is more convenient is just as simple with couple clicks in a web ap.

    The Good Karma Now snap.tap.give smartphone app is free and our “Just the Basics” service is also free. And, if the giver offers to cover PayPal fees, 100% of the donation goes to the nonprofit. The gift is immediately paid to the nonprofit directly from the giver since Good Karma Now is not a fundraiser nor do we charge a per transaction fee. Nonprofits that require multiple QR codes or other features can purchase our premium services for modest monthly fees but we believe many nonprofits will be happy with our basic and absolutely free service.

    When considering “Donate Now” services, go beyond the usual computer-browser-keyboard experience and think about what it takes to capture the that very real and heartfelt moment when it happens “in the moment” and “in the field”. After all, that experience doesn’t just happen sitting at a computer but out in the real world where nonprofits actually deliver against their mission statements.

  12. February 16, 2013 10:12 am

    It’s great that you’re putting together this list- it’s a very needed industry resource. There’s a pricing-focused list here (not made by me), as well, that has summary info on most players in the industry: http://www.affinityresources.com/pgs/awz55Online2.shtml

    I also would like to throw the DonationPay hat into the ring- we do everything you mentioned on your list, and a lot more! Our clients can get as many custom-designed donation pages as they want, that offer all the functionality you mentioned above, with monthly fees starting at $15 and never exceeding $100. We charge a flat 3.5%, plus 20¢/transaction and our bank charges a yearly $125 PCI compliance fee (no set-up fee, no additional merchant account fees). Our pages, donor receipts and thank-you/landing pages are completely customizable, and our portal for managing donor information was built in-house, based on the feedback of real non-profits raising money online, so it’s tailored to suit the needs of organizations of all sizes and fundraising strategies. Full disclosure, as the commenter above said, I am the cofounder of DonationPay and more than a little biased 🙂 Our goal is to offer a service that is competitive in quality with the larger players in the industry, like BlackBaud, with a high degree of flexibility, agility, innovative features and customization, but at a price point that is very accessible to most non-profits.

    A couple other things:
    -I think it’s important to have reasonable expectations of the price point you’re interested in- the service you’ve described would be very hard to offer at the flat pricing mentioned in the post (though we come close!), considering the cost of payment processing and the cost of providing the level of service necessary to execute fully customized and polished donor-facing online materials. A lot of do-it-yourself services let organizations create forms that are limited in functionality and design, that require a lot of admin time on the organizational end (which costs money). Many services also have lots of hidden costs- like StayClassy, for instance, who charges 1-4% ON TOP of merchant processing fees, making their total cost several hundred dollars a month plus 4-7% of donations, though it’s difficult to find this information on their site. I just wanted to say that the bottom line is that you get what you pay for- our service is priced slightly higher than the price point you’ve mentioned and it is one of the best values in the industry. We’ve priced it thusly because we are committed to offering our clients the best possible pricing, and our competitive rates are as low as they can be for us to be able to a.) offer the quality of service we strive for and have carefully built, which includes all the features in your original post and more, and b.) keep our doors open. Just my two cents 🙂

    – I wrote a couple posts on the basics of donation processing last year- while some of the info about OUR service in particular is outdated, there’s lots of general info here about how donation processing works, as well as some criteria non-profits can use to select a provider that’s right for their needs:
    Part I: https://www.donationpay.org/site/2012/03/donation-processing-the-basics/
    Part II: https://www.donationpay.org/site/2012/03/donation-processing-how-to-choose-a-provider/

    Happy hunting and happy fundraising, everyone!

  13. February 18, 2013 6:48 am

    We just began using a service, which is Vanco Services. I believe it meets the criteria you put forth. It will also interface w/our database (Parish Data System, or PDS), which contains our master mailing list, to update donor amounts online automatically. We are still setting this system up. We are pleased with their level of help, and even surprised that when I called early one morning from EST Ohio to their HQ in Minnesota, intending to leave a voice mail, I talked to two live people — including our account rep.

  14. February 19, 2013 7:55 am

    Take a look at NeonCRM by Z2 Systems. The whole process mentioned above can be created, and more.

    1. Custom branded donation forms ($300 fee to customize- or header is free)
    2. Mobile compatible giving forms (form recognizes browser used)
    3.. Customizable landing pages created using HTML or a WYSIWYG editor
    4. Customizable email receipts that can be created using HTML or a WYSIWYG editor
    5. WYSIWYG editor allows for easily adding images, video, and more
    6. Recommended giving levels with titles if desired
    7. One-page donation forms
    8. Unlimited donation forms (create as many as you need and track them to campaigns)
    9. Each form has it’s own secure URL and can be shared anywhere on the internet
    10. Recurring donation option (or page can be set to automatically recur)
    11. Online credit card and E-Check payment capability (less than 3% fees)
    12. Ability to customize and make required all of the fields on the donation page
    13. Ability to donate in someone else’s name as well as in Honor or Memory of someone
    14. Donor Login area allowing donor to print receipts and view/edit the recurring donation
    15. Ability to send out a timed series of emails based off a donation
    17. Full email communication system so you can re-solicit and re-thank your donors
    18. Less than $100 per month including a fully relational web based fundraising database
    19. I will stop here, but there is much more

    Please attend one of our demonstrations and see for yourself:
    https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/z2/eventList.jsp

  15. February 20, 2013 9:33 pm

    You’ve touched on a nerve here. I’ll be eager to read your conclusions.

  16. February 21, 2013 7:42 am

    I am the CEO of GiveCorps, a fundraising platform that combines a community nonprofit fundraising site for the city of Baltimore, and a custom-branded platform for nonprofits needing a private-labeled giving platform: http://GiveCorps.Pro.

    We fit all of your criteria (we have a range of pricing options depending on the organization size). In addition, we offer a set of donor tools geared toward adding helping organizations build relationships that are enhanced by technology. GiveCorps.Pro is a fully responsive platform giving nonprofits a donor-centered, mobile, multi-project, socially integrated site.

    Beyond the software, we also offer the unique perspective of our experience as a fundraiser ourselves, and three hands-on training sessions with each client focused on a different aspect of online giving.

    You can check out all of the functionality we offer on a private labeled basis on our city site: http://givecorps.com. We’d welcome your feedback.

  17. jgordy permalink
    February 25, 2013 8:01 am

    For Full Disclosure- I am one of the founders of Z2 Systems, Inc. We created NeonCRM in 2004 as an affordable web based fundraising platform for nonprofits, and over the years we have built every single one of the above mentioned features into our platform. We also can do everything for less than the fees mentioned above. We have thousands of users and would appreciate your consideration. http://www.z2systems.com

  18. Karl Schmidt permalink
    February 27, 2013 5:28 am

    https://www.fundraise.com/ does all of this and more. And no set-up fee, no monthly charge. Just a small transaction fee.

  19. March 7, 2013 2:25 pm

    I posted in mid-February hinting at the release of our company’s first-of-its-kind fundraising app, which we announced this week at the LAUNCH Festival 2013 for innovative products in San Francisco — it’s the Better Donate Button™ and you can see a demo here:

    http://www.socialgoodnetwork.com/bdb.php

    Features:
    Replaces the static donate button with engaging video storytelling to increase donations
    A simple, one-page donation form reduces donor falloff
    Social sharing enables donors to amplify their support
    A personal video thank you.

    Plus, it offers the ability to be easily installed on any site on the web — expanding a nonprofit’s fundraising from their site to those of partners. It is complemented by our new Facebook donate app.

    No install fee. No monthly subscription. Cost is 4% of transaction, +.30 per.

    Trials with the Treasure Valley Family YMCA increased online donations by 600% over previous static donate button solution. Check it out.

  20. March 17, 2013 7:58 am

    We’re serving the 83% of nonprofits that do not qualify because of size and revenue constraints. With us, text message donating IS for everyone. Visit http://s.gnoss.us/texttopledge and sign up today.

    Eric Bryant, CMO

    Gnosis Media Group

Trackbacks

  1. Fundraising Best Practices: Sharing the Results of Donating Online to 31 Nonprofits « Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog :: A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits
  2. Fundraising Best Practices: Sharing the Results of Donating Online to 31 Nonprofits (via nonprofit tech 2.0) « Mission-Minded Media
  3. 22 Must-Read Updates to Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits | Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog :: A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits

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