The are a number of different types of charity donation websites available, with many factors to consider, including: cost, security, features and functionality the online fundraising landscape can be overwhelming. This is a brief guide to the main types of platforms to look out for, which could help your charity grow…

The different types of charity donation websites

There are various types of charity donation websites available, and it is important to understand which is most appropriate for the purpose you have in mind before worrying too much about which is the cheapest, most secure or most effective overall. Charity donation websites broadly divide into four main categories:

Sponsorship Fundraising

Sponsorship fundraising online can be used by individuals undertaking activities (eg. swimming the channel) themselves to raise money for their chosen cause, or it can also be used to great effect for mass participation events (eg. the London Marathon). Sponsorship fundraising websites enable the fundraiser to create their own page, which supporters can access and use to make a contribution. There is a strong social element, as the page can display the fundraiser’s story, photos and sometimes video, messages of support from those that have donated, and the total that has been contributed so far. Sponsorship fundraising websites can be linked to on another website or social media platform, but cannot integrate seamlessly with your own  charity website.

JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving.

Online Payment Systems

Online payment systems enable a payment to be made easily and securely as part of a charity’s website, using methods such as payment cards and Direct Debit. Taking donations online is much easier than using paper forms, and a good online payment system will offer full customisation, meaning that the donor is able to give directly rather than being redirected to another third party branded site. In fact, sending donors away to another website to complete their donation deters many from completing their payment at all, so taking donations directly is likely to increase what you receive. Studies in the USA have showed that branded payment systems increase donations by as much as 38%.

Charity Checkout, Worldpay.

Charity Directories

Charity Directories are websites with large, searchable listings of registered charities, including information, links, and often the ability to make a donation. Sites like these can be useful if you are looking for new charities to support.

Local Giving, Charity Choice.

Cashback Shopping Sites

Cashback shopping sites enable charity supporters to generate income for their chosen causes through shopping online with participating retailers. Some of these sites offer price comparison and exclusive promotions, and the donation amount goes straight to the charity.

Easy Fundraising, Give as you Live.