To get up and running as a brand new nonprofit is a major challenge— and costly software is a huge part of that. Finding the right donation tools early in the process will help you build a solid foundation to grow on.
Especially early on in your organization’s life cycle when you may not have the funding it takes to acquire pricey tools and expensive resources, free fundraising software can give you a major leg up!
Developing an effective fundraising strategy is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of planning, budgeting, and tracking. Utilizing free and cost-effective fundraising software is a great way to manage your campaigns and bring in new streams of revenue without shelling out too much to overhead costs.
Check out these 15 top providers of free fundraising software. Feel free to jump around to the categories that interest you most, or read all the way through to get a feel for all of our favorites!
All-in-One Free Fundraising Software:
Are you ready to jump in and learn all about these key software solutions? Let’s get started.
Snowball is an online fundraising platform with software that features a two-click donation tool, email donation buttons, event management, and text-to-give software.
While providing an easy and innovative way to accept gifts, our online donation software allows nonprofits to process donations faster— which means they get paid faster and can use the received contributions even quicker!
Snowball’s Essential plan includes a comprehensive suite of tools including online donation pages, recurring gifts, access to transaction and donor data, unlimited admin access, and effective online support. This means all of your fundraising tools will be in one place, so you can avoid the hassle of transferring data from one system to another!
Our Essential plan is completely free to start using. It operates on a bucket fee system, which means there’s no subscription fee— simply a deduction of $199 for every $10,000 you raise through our software, plus a standard processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢.
If you decide later to upgrade your plan to include text-to-give software, the Snowball Premium plan runs at a higher yearly subscription.
Double the Donation is the nonprofit world’s go-to fundraising tool to help raise awareness about matching gifts. The tools available at Double the Donation can help market matching gifts to your donors and show them that sending a request doesn’t have to be complicated when you have the right resources.
Double the Donation’s comprehensive database has information on the matching gift programs of thousands of corporations—and the database is constantly growing!
Organizations can embed this tool on donation forms and web pages to provide a convenient way for donors to learn more about their companies’ philanthropic giving programs.
Integrating Double the Donation’s matching gift database on your website costs a small fee, but generates free money via matched gifts! The price for their tools is relatively low— $299/year for a matching gift page that can help raise multiple times that amount with very little effort. Best of all? Double the Donation lets you use their tools risk-free for 14 days!
Bonfire’s free fundraising site specializes in custom apparel, such as t-shirts, hoodies, and tank tops. Nonprofits and other fundraising individuals get their own fundraising pages from Bonfire where they can promote their cause and direct supporters to purchase their custom-designed merchandise.
Hosting a Bonfire campaign is a unique way to raise money for your organization and get new donors involved because those who give to your campaign get their own gift out of the transaction.
When supporters purchase your merchandise, your organization gets the profit! But supporters aren’t limited to purchasing t-shirts to help your cause. They can provide additional donations unrelated to purchases.
Bonfire handles all the finances for you by managing every step, so you don’t have to worry about up-front costs and wasted inventory. The services are completely free— they simply deduct an 8% fee from donations made upon checkout. They’ll even ship your orders for a flat $5 shipping rate to anywhere in the U.S!
99Pledges is a top peer-to-peer fundraising platform, perfect for hosting a walk-a-thon, dance-a-thon, read-a-thon, or similarly structured fundraiser. Easy to set up and adaptable to a variety of causes, 99Pledges campaigns are perfect for schools, teams, and other youth organizations.
Each participant in your campaign receives a customizable donation page that’s ready to share— no technical set-up required! Participants can use the pages to share their personal connections to your cause via email, text, and social media. Track individual fundraising activity by social shares or the amount they’ve raised in donations.
99Pledges campaigns are free to run! Additionally, your organization keeps 90% of all donations made online via credit card and PayPal, and 100% of all donations made via cash or check.
Funds2Orgs is an online fundraising platform that helps you organize and carry out a shoe drive fundraiser for your nonprofit. A Funds2Orgs campaign simply asks for donations of gently worn used and new shoes, which are collected and picked up by a member of the Funds2Orgs team. These donated shoes are then exchanged for a check to your organization!
This is an intriguing fundraiser that you can host without ever asking for monetary donations from your supporters. Almost everyone has a few old shoes lying around, and it’s easier to part with a pair of old sneakers than hard-earned cash!
Funds2Orgs’ shoe drive fundraisers are free to host, with zero out-of-pocket costs— and you’ll receive a check within two business days of the conclusion of your fundraiser.
Donately is a free-to-use and comprehensive online fundraising solution that can work for nonprofits of any size. Whether you’re looking for a donation-form builder, peer-to-peer fundraising software, or on-site fundraising tools, they have what it takes to bring your fundraising to the next level.
Donately provides nonprofits with the ability to easily create effective donation forms. Your team can use this free software to build beautiful giving forms that represent your nonprofit’s own brand. Once you create these forms, you can seamlessly embed them in your website or launch a standalone giving page for easy access for supporters!
Donately requires no up-front fees, and only charges once you start seeing fundraising success. For your first $100k in fundraising revenue, there is a 3% fee— which continues to decrease as your nonprofit’s fundraising revenue rises.
Great for crowdfunding, Fundly lets users customize an online donation page. With a blog-like system, the site allows you to easily update your sites with photos, videos, and personal anecdotes to engage with your audience. And to make things easier, you can do it all from your smartphone with Fundly’s mobile app!
Crowdfunding is all about getting the word out, so Fundly’s integration with Facebook Open Graph Actions shares all of your campaign activity to your Facebook profile. From your campaign progression updates to supporters’ donations, “likes,” and comments, Fundly can broadcast it all— and boost engagement by doing so.
It’s free to get started with Fundly, who then only charges a platform fee of 4.9%, in addition to a standard credit card processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.
Building and maintaining relationships with your donors is one of your most important duties as a nonprofit or fundraising professional. With the right tools, you’ll be able to track gifts, personally thank donors, and boost donor retention.
Bloomerang is an all-in-one database solution for nonprofits that value functionality, adaptability, and user experience above all. Not only is Bloomerang’s robust donor management database an invaluable tool for building relationships in your community, but it also empowers you with the expert fundraising technology you need.
With an interactive dashboard, Bloomerang helps nonprofits keep track of their fundraising progress through customizable fundraising tools. And since Bloomerang is cloud-based, you’ll never have to worry about outgrowing the system: it’ll scale with your cause as it grows.
Bloomerang offers a streamlined software product for startup nonprofits called Bloomerang Lite, which is completely free up to your first $100k in annual revenue. For those who have outgrown the Lite version, Bloomerang also offers more robust plans starting at just $99/month.
CiviCRM is a constituent relationship management tool that helps keep your donor data organized, standardized, and accessible. In addition to standard contact management features, CiviCRM offers management tools regarding membership, event hosting, and advocacy campaigns.
CiviCRM is known for being an open-source constituent management software platform, meaning that it is easily customizable to meet the specific needs of your nonprofit and grow right alongside you!
CiviCRM is completely free to download and use, with upgrades available for purchase as you outgrow basic features. Additionally, they provide extensive self-service help resources, or you have the option to consult an expert for any issues that arise concerning the installation or customization of your CRM.
The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) is a set of nonprofit-specific data management tools that build onto the existing Salesforce CRM structure. The NPSP reports and analyzes data from your donors, volunteers, and events to provide a comprehensive look at your nonprofit as a whole.
The NPSP provides an easy way for nonprofit organizations to get started on one of the most popular and robust CRM platforms available today. The unique modular features of Salesforce and the wide range of apps available make it an excellent data and donor management choice for organizations that want to grow fast and layout strong data-driven strategies along the way.
The Nonprofit Success Pack can be added onto the main Salesforce structure for free for eligible nonprofits, as made available through the Salesforce AppExchange. Keep in mind that additional apps and customizations will require investments, though.
These are some free resources that we encourage nonprofits to take advantage of to streamline much of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into fundraising. From the birth of a campaign to its eventual end, these key resources can make each step a little easier.
DonorSearch offers a free prospect research tool in addition to other services that simplify the fundraising process. By helping you find exactly who to target with individualized prospect research, you’ll have a better understanding of how to effectively distribute your time and marketing efforts. With wealth screening and proven philanthropy data, DonorSearch will give you the most accurate view possible and reduce the need for manual research.
The prospect research tool will give you basic background information on the individual or corporation such as birthplace, occupation, and family information— and most importantly, their philanthropic history! The results give you a list of their recent donations, including the type of gift, location, amount, and date.
While their main services are contracted, a condensed version of the prospect research tool is in a beta-testing stage right now. This resource, called DonorSearch Giving, is free and perfect for an introduction to prospect research for smaller nonprofits!
Fundraising Letters is an online fundraising solution that provides downloadable templates for constituent correspondence, including matching gift requests, sponsorship letters, donation requests, and thank-you letters.
These templates allow for a streamlined communication process and help build solid donor relationships. You can use these standardized fundraising letter templates as a starting point, and then personalize each letter as much as you want to really engage with your donors on a deeper level.
Each letter template includes a separate section with key takeaways and a short explanation of why that particular letter is effective. There are over 80 fundraising letter templates to choose from, each of which is optimized for a different target and/or occasion.
All of these customizable fundraising letters and templates are 100% free to download and use as you choose. Simply enter your email address and the templates will be delivered to your inbox in minutes.
As an all-in-one marketing automation platform, Mailchimp helps you promote your nonprofit and its fundraising efforts with key promotional tools such as email campaigns, social media marketing, and digital advertisements. The platform then supplies real-time performance reports and key insights of your campaigns, allowing you to analyze and improve your strategy as necessary.
Implementing a strategic marketing plan is crucial to getting the word out about your fundraisers and general nonprofit endeavors, and Mailchimp is one of the best ways to do so for organizations of all sizes. This intuitive software allows you to take advantage of key tools without needing a background in design or marketing.
Mailchimp offers four different plans, with the most basic tools available at no cost, and the premium plan reaching upwards of $299/month. The free plan includes access to a marketing CRM, basic marketing templates, and custom audience targeting.
As a fundraising professional, there are so many important metrics to be aware of and major data points to collect— it can be tough to get started collecting and evaluating this key fundraising data. With Fundraising Report Card’s innovative tools, nonprofits can analyze reports tracking different fundraising metrics and suggest actionable insights to take things to the next level.
Fundraising Report Card allows you to take advantage of the unlimited potential available in your fundraising data. This will help you build and grow your donor relations by offering insights into key performance indicators, growth tracking, acquisition reports, lapsed donors, and churn.
Since Fundraising Report Card is free to join, your nonprofit can enjoy zero fees as you learn more about how your fundraising strategy is performing. If you like what you see, you can upgrade to any of their additional three low-cost plans that start at just $30/month.
As Google’s own digital analytics software, Google Analytics provides insights into key marketing metrics concerning your audience, advertising, behavior, conversions, and more. This gives you the best recommendations concerning which social platforms and audiences to most effectively target.
To best reach your nonprofit’s audience and draw in new donors, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of the individuals who are interacting with your website and marketing tools. You’ll be able to see how users are reaching and engaging with your web pages as well as view key demographics of your audience including gender, age, and location of individual users.
Google Analytics is completely free to use, and perfect for small to mid-sized organizations! There is, however, a premium version called Google Analytics 360 for the largest nonprofits and other enterprises that can cost over $150,000 annually.
There are plenty of free and cost-effective fundraising software options out there— you just have to know how to find the best ones! Now that we’ve given you the top free fundraising software, you can start on your nonprofit’s next campaign. And with the right tools, you’ll be able to save on overhead costs and pricey software, leaving more revenue to go directly toward your nonprofit’s mission.
Check out these resources to help with all your fundraising needs:
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