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nonprofit organizations

How to Collect Donations Online for Your Nonprofit

Fundraising is a key activity for most nonprofits. If you want to diversify your nonprofit’s donation streams, you should be collecting donations online. There are multiple ways to facilitate this process, including both active and passive fundraising campaigns.

On Your Website

Your website should have a donation button, so people who are interested in your mission can contribute easily at any time. Talk with your IT team about having the button appear on every page on your website.

There are multiple payment processing companies that can easily add a donations button to your website, or you can use dedicated software such as Sumac. Designed for charities, this software allows you to set up donation pages online, and you can create distinct donation forms for different campaigns. The program also sends receipts to your donors and uploads information about contributions to your QuickBooks Online or Desktop accounting software.

Email Campaigns

Soliciting donations over email can be an effective and relatively easy fundraising strategy. To increase the chances that recipients will donate, make sure to send out emails with a “donate now” feature. Then, donors don’t have to mail a check or waste extra time visiting your website. Instead, they can simply hit the donate now button and contribute with a credit card or electronic cheque online.

Programs such as Constant Contact can help you organize donor lists and send out email campaigns. You can also sync Constant Contact with QuickBooks Online to keep your accounting records up to date.


Crowdfunding campaigns can often reach more people than email campaigns. Essentially, as people share the fundraiser on their social media accounts, it reaches a widening network of potential donors. Crowdfunding can be expensive – typically, you should expect to pay a percentage of donations as well as processing fees to the crowdfunding platform.

CauseVox is designed for nonprofits, and the platform guides you through the process of setting up a campaign. GiveEffect and similar companies can set up crowdfunding campaigns for you and issue charitable donation receipts to your donors. If you use crowdfunding, remember that the Canada Revenue Agency treats these funds just as they treat other donations, and you should report them accordingly.

Online Auctions

You can hold auctions online to raise funds for your nonprofit. For example, sites such as eFlea allow you to set up silent auctions. The site displays auction items, lets donors makes bids, and collects payment information for you.

Social Media

Ideally, your nonprofit should be using social media platforms to share information and create a buzz about your cause. However, you should also set up these platforms so people can donate through them. For example, Facebook allows you to link a call to action to the donate now button on your Facebook Page, and Twitter lets you add a donation button to tweets.

Consider adding a call to action with a donation link at the end of all your articles on your blog. For example, end blogs with statements such as, “If you want to support this program, donate now.”

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