Online Donation Platforms: What to Know & 10 Top Picks

Online donation platforms are essential for nonprofits looking to raise more for their causes.
Online donation platforms are essential for nonprofits looking to raise more for their causes.

As a nonprofit professional, you recognize how important traditional fundraising is in advancing your mission and making an impact on the community. More recently, virtual fundraising strategies have emerged as a leading method for driving donations. Online donation platforms are at the center of managing these funds, and they are crucial to your achievements.

In an increasingly digital world, online fundraising software will be an essential tool for your nonprofit’s success. Let’s dive into the best practices regarding your online donation platform. Here’s what you’ll need to know to get started:

With this information at your disposal, your nonprofit can choose the best online donation platform for your team. Let’s get started!

Start accepting online donations with Snowball

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4 FAQs about Online Donation Platforms

What are online donation platforms?

Online donation software allows nonprofits to accept and process donations through their online channels. Most importantly, this software equips your organization with the necessary tools to build efficient and professional online donation forms.

Though functionality varies by provider, the right online platform should provide your nonprofit with the following features to help drive your mission forward:

It’s crucial to have these resources in your nonprofit’s toolkit, as donors are more likely to interact with your cause online.

What are the different types of online donation platforms?

There are several ways to accept donations online. For instance, your nonprofit can leverage: 

  • Online Donation Forms: The most fundamental element of online fundraising is the online donation page which houses your donation form. Simply put, a donation form is a designated area on your website where donors enter their giving information (like basic contact and payment data) so you can accept their donations.
  • Mobile Giving: Mobile giving platforms make it possible for donors to donate using smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices whenever and wherever they’d like. Leveraging mobile giving can be as simple as ensuring your donation page is mobile-optimized, meaning it functions just as well on a smartphone as it does on a laptop. You can also utilize dedicated mobile giving methods, like text-to-give services. 
  • Email Donation Buttons: Email giving strategies typically incorporate buttons with pre-set giving amounts. These buttons direct the donor to a web page where they can complete the donation process or enable the donor to confirm the donation entirely through email.
  • Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Peer-to-peer fundraising refers to supporters raising funds on your behalf with individual or team campaign pages. The best online donation platforms make it easy for individuals to create their own personalized fundraising pages and track their progress.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a fundraising technique that involves obtaining smaller donations from a large public audience. This is typically done online through a dedicated crowdfunding site and leverages social media promotion to raise money for a cause.

The best online donation platforms, like Snowball, combine all of these features into one comprehensive suite, allowing your nonprofit multiple touchpoints for collecting donations online. 

What are the benefits of online donation platforms? 

Benefits of Online Donation Platforms for Nonprofits

Because online donation platforms are accessible to the general online public, they offer a host of benefits for nonprofits, including: 

  • Automated Donor Data Collection: With online donation software, your donation pages seamlessly integrate with your other fundraising tools, allowing your data to be centralized and accessible across platforms. This helps your team avoid errors associated with manual data entry and ensure more accurate insights from your CRM.
  • Increased Fundraising Revenue: Online donation platforms make it possible for donors to give with just a few clicks. With ease and simplicity offered by online giving platforms, your organization can start to raise more funds to reach its goals.
  • Lower Donor Abandonment Rates: Having intuitive, user-friendly online donation software reduces the number of donors that abandon the donation process midway. 

With an online giving platform, your team can work to combat barriers to giving, such as a lengthy or complicated giving process. This makes giving easier for donors, which in turn helps to encourage repeat gifts and expand your donor base.

Benefits of Online Donation Platforms for Donors

Online donation software doesn’t just benefit nonprofit organizations; it also works for the end-user as well. Here are the top benefits of giving online:

  • Multiple Ways to Give: Online giving allows your supporters to make contributions in a way that’s convenient for them on their preferred digital devices. Common platforms include text-to-give, a link on social media, email, or your website. 
  • Streamlined Donation Process: Online donations make it easy for donors to contribute because it requires minimal steps. A donor simply clicks on a link to your donation page, fills out the form, and presses submit! 
  • Secure Fundraising System: With online donation software, your donors can be confident that their sensitive financial and personal information is safe and secure when they go through the giving process.

In the end, online giving is easy, intuitive, and safe for both your donor and organization.

What should you look for in an online donation platform?

As you look for the best online donation platform for your nonprofit, keep an eye out for these essential features:

  • Customizable donation pages
  • Seamless integration with existing software
  • High data security measures
  • Personalized assistance
  • Low payment processing fees

Your organization’s needs are paramount but consider your donor’s needs as well. For example, does your donor base use their cellphones often? If so, consider investing in a software platform with a text-to-give option.

Online Donation Platforms

Top 10 Online Donation Platforms

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite online donation software providers. Be sure to consider each option before making a final decision!

Snowball - Best Online Giving Platform for All-in-One Fundraising

1. Snowball – Best Online Giving Platform for All-in-One Fundraising

Snowball is an online giving company that features streamlined donation pages, event management tools, and text-to-give services.

In addition to providing a straightforward platform for collecting donations, we process donations quickly. That way, your nonprofit can put contributions to good use in no time!

Online Donation Platform Features

Snowball’s essential plan includes this comprehensive suite of tools:

  • Customizable online donation pages
  • Recurring gifts options
  • Access to transaction and donor data
  • Unlimited administrator access
  • Effective online support

With this tech stack, your fundraising, donor, and event management tools are housed in one place. This eliminates any data transfer errors and risks that come with it. If your organization feels as though you’ll need more than the essential package, there are plenty of upgrade opportunities as well.


Snowball has four tiers of giving software, with each package providing more crucial features to improve your fundraising efforts. Snowball’s most basic option, the essential plan, is free to use and only charges a standard processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per donation transaction. The Premium plan offers unlimited text-to-give and access to Snowball’s powerful CRM.

Fundly - Best Online Giving Platform for Crowdfunding

2. Fundly – Best Online Giving Platform for Crowdfunding 

Fundly is a crowdfunding platform that offers a personalized online donation page option, allowing users to update their sites with a variety of multimedia options to engage supporters further.

Online Donation Platform Features

Crowdfunding relies heavily on sharing your fundraising information online. That’s why Fundly has:

  • Facebook Open Graph Actions integration
  • Pages optimized for mobile giving
  • Customizable donation pages


Your donors and their networks will be able to promote and engage with your fundraiser online when using Fundly.


Getting started with Fundly is free. This provider charges a platform fee of 4.9%, in addition to a standard credit card processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction for donors.

Double the Donation - Best Online Giving Platform for Matching Gifts

3. Double the Donation – Best Online Giving Platform for Matching Gifts 

Double the Donation is a popular fundraising tool for matching gifts. Double the Donation helps market matching gifts to supporters and provides easy ways to request gift matches from their employers.

Online Donation Platform Features

Double the Donation’s extensive database offers nonprofits crucial data regarding the matching gift programs of thousands of corporations—and the database is constantly being updated with the most current data! Popular premium features include:

  • A simple setup process
  • An embeddable plugin for your site
  • Increased earnings due to matching


If you’re ready to earn matching gift revenue, be sure to check out Double the Donation’s options.


Double the Donation charges $999/year for thousands of matching gift identifications. If you’re weighing your options, contact their team to get a customized quote. 

ABC Fundraising - Best Online Giving Platform for Schools

4. ABC Fundraising – Best Online Giving Platform for Schools 

ABC Fundraising is an online giving company that supports schools in hosting highly profitable product fundraisers. With your own online storefront provided by ABC Fundraising, you can sell anything from branded face masks to cookie dough.

Online Donation Platform Features

While ABC Fundraising is not a direct donation platform, this takes the work out of coming up with ways to select a successful fundraiser. Here’s what it can offer for your fundraising strategy:

  • High-profit product fundraisers
  • Proactive customer support
  • An expansive resource for fundraising event ideas of all kinds


With these tools, you’ll run a successful and fruitful campaign with plenty of product fundraisers to drive your mission forward.


ABC Fundraising offers a free information kit regarding pricing and its steps to get started with their software.

Bonfire - Best Online Giving Platform for Merchandise Sales

5. Bonfire – Best Online Giving Platform for Merchandise Sales

Bonfire specializes in creating custom products for nonprofits and individuals. Popular items include t-shirts, hoodies, and tank tops branded to your organization. When supporters purchase your items, you receive a profit. If your team opts to use Bonfire, your team will be able to set up your fundraising page to help direct interested donors to your custom customized product page.

Online Donation Platform Features

Hosting a fundraising campaign with Bonfire not only helps your team raise money, but it gives your donors a gift with your organization’s name on it. This method of fundraising helps spread awareness about your cause. Here’s how:

  • A free online store for your products
  • Easily customizable t-shirts and items
  • Hands-on customer support
  • Availability to ship your items worldwide


Consider creating items branded with your nonprofit to gain these benefits.


Bonfire handles merchandise financing, eliminating issues regarding potentially wasted inventory. This platform is free to use and only deducts an 8% fee from donations when supporters buy your product. Additionally, they offer a flat $5 shipping fee to anywhere in the U.S.

Start accepting online donations with Snowball

Snowball makes giving online easy.

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6. Donately - Best Online Giving Platform for Software Integration

6. Donately – Best Online Giving Platform for Software Integration

Donately is a comprehensive online fundraising solution that works to help organizations of all sizes. If your team is looking for a donation-form builder, peer-to-peer fundraising software, or on-site fundraising tools, they’re able to help.

Online Donation Platform Features

Donately helps create effective donation forms. Your team can use this free software to build giving forms that fit your nonprofit’s brand. Once you create these forms, you’re able to embed them on your organization’s website or launch a giving page for easy access! Here’s how:

  • Customizable donation page features
  • Options for recurring donations
  • Text messaging capability to communicate with supporters


Plus, Donately offers a comprehensive integration library to connect to your existing analytics software, payment processors, and CRM systems, and more. With these integrations, you’ll be able to create an efficient and easy-to-use donation experience for your supporters. 


Donately requires no up-front fees and simply begins to charge only when 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 increases.


7. CharityEngine – Best Online Giving Platform for Donation Tracking

CharityEngine is considered an “all-in-one” nonprofit solution with various tool options to supplement the centralized donor database. This CRM database can house data regarding each step of the donor journey.

Online Donation Platform Features

In addition to their CRM function, CharityEngine also offers various fundraising tools such as :

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising pages
  • Online stores
  • Advocacy campaigns
  • Email templates and more


These attributes are extremely helpful when it comes to collecting funds online through various outreach methods.


Contact CharityEngine to learn more about their pricing structure and book a demo.

Handbid - Best Online Giving Platform for Auctions

8. Handbid – Best Online Giving Platform for Auctions 

Handbid provides mobile silent auction software for nonprofits. This tool is designed to integrate all of your auction needs into the virtual space, including a custom event app and pre-event bid browsing. With Handbid, your supporters will bid and interact with your auction via online devices.

Online Donation Platform Features

When your team uses Handbid, you can drive fundraising further with these features:

  • Fundraising progress puzzle
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising portal for your supporters
  • Buy-it-now options for auctions


With tools from Handbid, your team can run a seamless auction to raise more.


Handbid offers various pricing packages, which you can customize for your specific fundraising needs. Their packages start at $792 per year.

With OneCause, you also have the option to track winning bids and sold items in your online charity auction software!

9. OneCause – Best Online Giving Platform for Event Fundraising 

OneCause is a comprehensive fundraising software that helps nonprofits easily facilitate online giving. You can use this software to create branded giving pages and customized forms, plan events, and sell tickets.

Online Donation Platform Features

Regardless of the type of event you choose, you’re sure to run a successful fundraiser with OneCause. Their platform: 

  • Helps you manage silent, live, and online auctions.
  • Seamlessly captures guest info.
  • Securely processes credit cards during check out.
  • Empowers attendees with bids on their mobile phones.
  • Provides instantaneous checkout and automated receipts.


Use OneCause’s unique auction tools to make the most of your fundraising event.


Contact OneCause for more information about available pricing packages for your organization.

Soapbox Engage - Best Online Giving Platform for Salesforce Users

10. Soapbox Engage – Best Online Giving Platform for Salesforce Users

Soapbox Engage provides nonprofits with cost-effective and user-friendly ways to publish an online fundraising page for online giving.

This tool can be combined with other Salesforce apps, which enables nonprofit professionals to customize their toolkits and increase their fundraising capabilities. These items can supplement most areas, including data analytics, donor data, form creation, and more.

Online Donation Platform Features

Soapbox Engage is scalable for nonprofits of any size. Some important features include:

  • Seamless Salesforce app integration
  • Effective event hosting features
  • Information sessions for organizations


With this platform, you can streamline event registration and ticketing, accept donations, create surveys, and facilitate an online shop.


Start with a free trial and a demo from Soapbox. Then, choose your pricing plan starting at $59 a month.  

Wrapping Up: Investing in an Online Donation Platform

Wrapping Up: Investing in an Online Donation Platform

You’ve reviewed your options carefully and have picked the perfect online donation software for your nonprofit. Now, all you have to do is prepare your team for implementing the new tool. Some providers offer training resources while others might let you take the lead on learning the ins and outs of the product. When your group is well-versed in your online donation platform, you’ll be able to answer any questions or concerns from supporters that may arise during the giving process. 

For more information about online giving, check out these additional resources: 

Achieve fundraising success with Snowball’s online donation platform.

Achieve fundraising success with Snowball’s online donation platform.

Our comprehensive tools will help you raise more.

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Get Started Today

Get in touch with us to take a tour of the Snowball platform and find the right fundraising solutions for your nonprofit.

Get in touch with us to take a tour of the Snowball platform and find the right fundraising solutions for your nonprofit.