Beautiful smiling young woman using a smart phone to tithe online, leaning on a window and reflecting on glassThe number of people with an Internet connection in the world is now the highest it has ever been. With such a huge portion of the population online, making it possible for them to raise money for your charity is essential. However, the number of crowdfunding and online fundraising platforms available for you to choose from is high, and it can be hard to choose the right one.

Choosing the right online fundraising platform is much like buying a new car. Should you stick with the one with a great reputation and long history or should you go for the newest model? What customer support and warranty do you expect after signing on the dotted line? The number of decisions involved can seem overwhelming, but you will find the answers here.

Here are nine important factors to consider when choosing an online giving platform.

1. History of the Platform

Crowdfunding platforms are a dime a dozen and new ones are cropping up each passing day. This is why it is important to find out how long your chosen crowdfunding website has been operating and the number of fundraising campaigns it has published. It is also important to find out the number of complaints your chosen online giving platform has encountered.

If you wish to learn more about the reputation of a particular online fundraising platform, the first thing you should do is review its annual report. If the platform is a nonprofit, you should check for its rating on Guidestar, or you could simply check with the Better Business Bureau.

2. Donor Information Gathering

Online fundraising is one of the best and most effective ways to raise money for various charitable causes. One of the benefits of using this fundraising strategy is the ability to attract new donors. However, you will need information about these donors if you ever wish to build a meaningful relationship.

You need to know the kind of information about your donors your chosen online fundraising platform will help you collect and whether you will have access to it. Your long-term success depends on cultivating relationships with new donors, and it is important to have a way or strategy of reaching them during and after your online fundraising campaign.

3. Platform Flexibility

Flexibility is a critical criterion when choosing an online fundraising platform to help you meet your needs. For instance, it is important to find out whether your chosen platform has restrictions on how high you can set a fundraising goal or how long you can post a given campaign. If your organization serves international charity causes, ensure that your chosen platform accepts international donations and does not have restrictions regarding geographical location. At current moment Digigiv is only offering gift services in the US and Canda however, we are working to build relationships in other countries.

Credit Card and padlock on keyboard - security, thithing, giving concept.

4. Safety

All online fundraising platforms should have a process of transferring funds to organizations. It is important to find out what the process entails and measures put in place to keep the donations protected. It is also important to choose an online fundraising platform with the necessary safety features in place to keep donor information secure.

5. Fundraising Support

Even though you might be experienced in fundraising for your organization, it may be your first experience with online fundraising. It is important to find out how your chosen platform will help you throughout the campaign.

Will you be working directly with a dedicated account manager to help you manage your campaign? Will you receive any fundraising training during the campaign? Will your chosen platform help you get the media coverage you require for your campaign? You should get the answers to these questions before choosing a given platform. But when working with us, the answer is yes!

6. Video Storytelling Support

Research shows that campaigns that use a pitch video raise as much as four times more funds than those without video. That data was gathered from over 100,000 online funding campaigns. This is very compelling evidence that it is important to choose an online fundraising platform that allows you to post videos via campaign updates as well as posting a feature video.

7. Campaign Promotion

It is also important to think about how you plan to spread the word regarding your online fundraising campaign and ensure that your platform of choice makes it easy for you. If you have a strong social media following, ensure that you chosen platform integrates social media sharing tools to make it easy for you and your supporters to share the campaign. If email is your preferred medium for spreading the word, ensure that your chosen platform allows you to do so easily.

Donation jar with money and block letters that spell donate8. Trustworthiness

Is your chosen platform trusted by other charities? You should find out the number of organizations that are already registered and use the platform. This will help you know whether your chosen platform caters to the needs of a wide range of charities.

To find out how trusted a given platform is, you should find contact several charities that use it and inquire about their experience using it and if they recommend it. Many platforms typically have case studies featured on their website along with information about any industry awards they have won.

9. Fees

Online fundraising platforms use many different fee structures. Some platforms charge a fee for every transaction, some take a percentage of donations, while some charge flat platform fees. Many online fundraising platforms also charge credit card processing fees. You should find out the fees involved with your chosen online fundraising platform and ensure that you read the terms and conditions. With Digigiv, we work hard to make sure that you keep as much as your money as possible

Final Thoughts

The choice of online giving platform will determine the amount and efficiency of funds collected. The information provided here will help you make the right decision. Now that you understand how to choose the best online fundraising platform for your organization, you must never forget to trust your instinct and keep your personal values in check.

If you believe that a given online fundraising platform is not acting in your best interests or it is not trustworthy, you should look elsewhere. Follow the guidelines discussed here and you can be sure of feeling more confident in the success of your online giving campaign.

Infographic explaining 5 ways to give online