How to understand digital giving platforms and prices

Since lockdown many charities have been looking for ways to fundraise using digital platforms as well as text giving. However for many it’s not the norm and the process of finding a partner can be lengthy and complicated. The key consideration is return on investment.

There are a number of factors to weigh up, so these tips will help to narrow the search:

  1. Check how easy it is for the platform to integrate with other systems you have in place

It’s important to work out what you want from a digital platform. Do you want it for a one off event such as a raffle or a virtual fundraising event such as a sports challenge or for a longer term campaign? Not all platforms will easily integrate with each other or with other forms of fundraising you may have up and running already. So look for integration as a key criteria.

  1. How to evaluate the potential ROI

Consider how you will evaluate the platform. Most digital giving providers will have more or less the same fees, whether it is monthly or annual. The industry self-regulates to an extent meaning that although not every platform displays its fees in the same way, they will ultimately be within a few pence of each other. So don’t use cost as your only method of evaluation.

  1. Look for hidden costs

Often the hidden costs aren’t obvious pound amounts, but can instead be factors that will consume your time through additional admin such as collecting Gift Aid or managing GDPR risk or trying to integrate data extracts with other systems. It’s important, particularly as a smaller charity, to make sure the platform does the heavy lifting such as completing Gift Aid returns, protecting you from GDPR and credit card risks as well as providing real-time downloadable reports. Consider all these extra factors that might not be obvious in the sales material.

  1. One stop shop

This can often be the easiest, most cost effective way of managing digital giving through a platform that can integrate text, web and contactless giving and can be easily integrated with your own accounting systems. Making sure that you don’t have to become a technical genius when you want to spend time on the work of the charity itself, is an important part of your selection.

We hope these tips will help you to navigate your way to a digital fundraising platform that works for you. DONATE® offers a fully integrated service and can be easily run alongside other campaigns. As a charity ourselves, you can always contact us for advice at hello@nationalfundingscheme.org