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Evaluating Online Fundraising Services

There are many organizations providing fundraising tools for nonprofits and it seems as if new providers appear just as often as others go out of business. Some of these providers charge fees for setup and maintenance while others, like Network for Good, are available at no cost. Before selecting and possibly investing in tools and providers for your online fundraising efforts, you should ask providers these questions:

About the organization

  • How much funding does your organization have?
  • What is your focus and commitment to serving the nonprofit sector?
  • What kind of service infrastructure does your company offer?

About the products & services

  • What kind of plans do you have for future product development?
  • Who are your other clients and what types of results are you generating for them?
  • What client references can you provide?
  • What are your fees? Are there setup, transaction, credit card, or other processing fees on a one-time or per donation basis?
  • What is the duration of contracts required for your services?
  • Who owns the donor information and what are your privacy policies?
  • How often do you receive your donations?
  • What type of customer support is provided to both the nonprofit accepting donations and the donors?

Network for Good also recommends that fundraising providers should ensure that any online fundraising tools and services they provide for you will meet the ePhilanthropy Foundation's Code of Ethical Online Philanthropic Practices.

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