So you’ve decided you want people to give money to your cause on the internet! We’ll talk about options, from payment forms to text to donate, and how you can figure out which will work best for you.


Ask Nicole: Online Donations 101
So you want people to pay you on the internet, congratulations!
Not to be difficult but let’s figure out the vocabulary so we can talk about this.
Donation – one time or recurring support without any expectation
Fundraising – money raised goes toward a specific campaign/event
Membership – people pay to access unique content or opportunities
Cause marketing – proceeds (or portion of) a purchase go to a cause (or likes/comments on a social media post equal an amount toward a total donation)
This video/post covers donations/fundraising… if you want me to do a video about the other two, let me know!
There are a few ways you can handle this but first a few questions:
  • Are you a non-profit? Some platforms are only for non-profits. Others will let you fundraise for just about anything.
  • How do you want people to donate? If most everyone in your church texts, a text to donate tool will work well. You trying to work it in a Facebook group? Facebook Causes becomes a contender.
  • Are recurring donations important? Some software will let you do this, others won’t. (Note offering this option, recurring donors give 440% more to charity over a lifetime than one time donors. Stat via
  • Are there any other non-negotiable features? Does it need to integrate with your donor CRM? Do people who donate need to be added to an email list?
  • Do you want these donations to happen during Zoom worship services?
How to pick:
  1. If you have a donor CRM, ask them what they recommend. If you don’t, Google your needed features to have a list of at least three contenders.
  2. Make a spreadsheet comparing the features and READ THE FINE PRINT. Search “platformnamehere + pricing”. They don’t normally link pricing on their homepage.
  3. Schedule a call with providers if you can’t find answers. They have salespeople for this reason, don’t feel bad. If they can’t answer, let them contact you back.
  4. Pick the best one and try it. I’m gonna be real: you aren’t going to ever be in love with the first thing you pick. But you’ll raise lots more money than not having anything at all. And if you do a bit of research, you can feel good about your choice.
Let’s look at some examples:
Dead simple widget: – 5% transaction fee, no monthly fee. Credit card, Apply Pay, Google Pay, and Paypal. I put this on my website: (Full disclosure, no one has bought me a coffee yet.)
A more robust donation form:
An ‘App’: GoFundMe subpages for MDI Marathon (example one: Social sharing, landing page
Good luck with your fundraiser!
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