What are some great ideas for online fundraisers

Online Fundraising: Tools and Ideas

Overview of the tools of online fundraising

  1. Own website
  2. Search engine optimization
  3. Donation forms and social payment
  4. Donation platforms
  5. Volunteer Platforms
  6. Activist fundraising
  7. Shopping platforms
  8. Mobile fundraising
  9. Social media and storytelling
  10. Crowdfunding

Own website

With the own website it is basically already starting. Here everyone can find out more about the program and the goals of the organization. Therefore, the website should be clearly structured and reflect the personality of the organization.

Elements of online fundraising can be integrated into an existing website at any time. As an alternative, you can set up a separate website that focuses on the goal of "fundraising" and can be designed independently of the main website. However, a new website must first build a "reputation" so that it can be found in search engines, for example.

Here is the Search engine optimization (SEO) crucial, with the help of which the website can end up among the top search results on Google or other search engines. Interested parties can find the website of an organization that meets their donation requests more quickly. The long-term goal should be to offer site visitors valuable content, for example in the form of blog articles, advice, a community forum or an eBook. So animated visitors will stop by regularly. If you offer a newsletter, interested parties will be continuously informed about new projects and developments in the organization. The newsletter should also be attractive and clear and offer readers added value instead of just asking for donations.

Short-term SEO tricks to land at the top of the search results will sooner or later be punished, so don't use them at all.

For a long time now, direct donations can no longer be made by simply providing bank details on the website. Donating via is particularly easy Online donation form or a payment system on the website. For example, "Aktion Deutschland hilft" set up a sub-website for the campaign "Emergency earthquake Nepal" after the severe earthquake in Nepal in 2015. The campaign can be supported directly, quickly and easily using a donation form.

You can also get your website from a provider for Social payment register, for example Flattr, Paypal or Laterpay. Site visitors can make donations with one click.

Various agencies offer support in planning and implementing such tools on your own website. GRÜN spendino can help with donation forms and online fundraising tools, for example.

Online platforms

More and more organizations are also using Donation platformswhich are usually free. Non-profit organizations can use these websites to present themselves or targeted campaigns and projects. Visitors to a donation platform get an overview of donation-collecting organizations and can find out more about individual concerns. In this way, more interested parties become aware of your own organization.

Social projects from all over the world can be found on the website Collect money and time donations free of charge and get advice. The most famous donation portals include:

  • Betterplace.org - space and advice on your own donation portal and collect money and time donations free of charge
  • Aktion Help Direct e.V. - Supports non-profit organizations in generating donations on the Internet
  • Simply give.org - Non-Profit-Organization offers non-profit organizations presentation space, companies can get involved socially
  • Spendenportal.de - network for non-profit organizations. Get to know projects and donate with a click of the mouse
  • GLS donation portal - Offers non-profit organizations a donation platform
  • donare.de - Create your own donation platform and collect donations more easily

More and more people don't just want to give money to do good, they also want to get involved and support an organization's team directly. Exactly these people can be found about Volunteer Platforms to reach. On these websites, interested parties can be given various options for voluntary support and volunteer helpers can be found. For online engagements, too Online volunteering called, you can offer work that can be done over the Internet, for example writing articles or helping with website maintenance. Non-profit organizations and volunteers can get in touch using the following pages:

  • GuteTat.de - This is where helpers and organizations meet, they can present their projects free of charge
  • Betterplace.org - Germany-wide and internationally, volunteer work is advertised here
  • youvo - engagement platform for young creative people. Organizations find creative support here, for example in public relations

Also at Activist fundraising the focus is on people. Donations can be collected here through campaigns. Organizations use these websites to launch campaigns with a set goal. Classics are actions with a sporting commitment such as a marathon. There are no limits to the creative ideas. The "Ice Bucket Challenge" 2014, for example, which raised donations for combating and researching ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), was particularly effective in the media.

Fundraising campaigns for businesses, nonprofits, and individuals can be run on the following websites:

  • Alvarum - Organizations can work with supporters to raise funds through social fundraising, event fundraising, corporate donations, and online fundraising
  • spendet.org - Employees start company donation drives to support an organization's aid projects
  • RALLY.org - Start your own campaign or join one and promote organizations and projects
  • Helpedia - portal for personal fundraising campaigns. Organizations can register directly

Donations can also be made via Shopping platforms be taken. Consumers make a donation to an organization at no extra charge when they shop. However, they have to pay a commission to the online shop. It can be cheaper to set up the shop on your own site. OxfamUnpackaged, for example, is a Online gift shop from Oxfam Germany e.V., which can also be reached via Facebook.

Clubs and organizations can register in the following shops:

  • School angel - with every purchase you can choose which organization or project you want to support
  • Boost - Nonprofits can easily register
  • elefunds - round up purchase amounts and donate to charitable organizations
  • gooding - Here everyone can register their association and collect donations
  • clicks4charity - Organizations can register themselves and present projects

Mobile fundraising

Heavy use of smartphones will make that too Mobile fundraising always more interesting. For example, there are providers that enable organizations to receive donations via SMS. A part of the SMS costs goes to the mobile service provider as a transaction fee. But apps that provide ongoing information about the organization and invite you to donate can also be worthwhile. Donation forms integrated into the app enable users to quickly and easily book their donations.

More tips on mobile fundraising at Fundraising-Trends.de. Organizations can find support in implementation at Altruja and FundraisingBox, for example for donations with a QR code. Another interesting app is nate, for example, which enables users to automatically donate when they unlock their smartphone - by displaying advertising.

Social media

Presenting a project really well in the social media area requires a certain amount of tact and know-how. Dealing with Social media is quite personal for many people. Interested parties can be addressed very emotionally and directly here. The design options, however, depend heavily on the channel chosen. Often are particularly important Storytelling and good photos, both precisely tailored to the target group. In storytelling you write a story that tells the current project or the values ​​of the organization. The story should be interesting and surprising, or maybe even go back to personal background. Similar to a report, it should give a deeper insight into a specific topic and be formulated in a narrative manner.

The story goes very well with photos get supported. When it comes to photos, good quality is just as important as the choice of image itself. Bad photos can appear unprofessional and unkind. The motif should match the campaign and the goals, but space for creative elements is also important. The same applies here as with storytelling, the picture should touch. Good examples of storytelling can be found on urbansurvivors.org.

In the case of current crises and disasters, appeals for donations in the social media sector attract a great deal of attention and fundraising. People are informed quickly and can react immediately. Nothing stands in the way of a direct exchange. This is also the case with the "Refugees Welcome" campaign, a platform that provides nationwide private living space for refugees. For example in a shared apartment.


Some start-ups or organizations collect funds for the realization of their projects and ideas Crowdfunding. Usually an action is called over the Internet. A large number of people contribute to the funding of a project, product or start-up.

Attention! From a legal point of view, crowdfunding does not fall under donations, as the supporters receive a real or only symbolic consideration at the end of the campaign, e.g. a mention by name.

If you are still interested in crowdfunding, you will find further information and platforms on the following pages to present your idea to people:

  • ecocrowd - crowdfunding platform for sustainable projects
  • oneplanetcrowd - Eco-social crowdfunding platforms for companies
  • Green Rocket - Crowdfunding for sustainable companies with the future topics of energy, environment, mobility and health
  • inkubato - crowdfunding for creative projects from all walks of life
  • Startnext - Crowdfunding for creative and sustainable ideas, projects and startups

Not enough?

Other websites that provide information about online fundraising, give tips and network:

Fundraising manual
Free manual on all aspects of online fundraising and strategies: How can interested parties and first-time donors become multiple or permanent donors? How do you say "right" thanks for the donations? Betterplace lab initiative.

Online fundraising: instruments, success factors, trends by Thilo Reichenbach (PDF)
Facts about the Internet medium and how online fundraising can be implemented. Tips and information on all instruments.

Knowledge transfer, professionalization and networking around the topics of fundraising and digital communication.

Keeps you informed about international developments in fundraising, practical tips and information on specialist literature.

Webinar introduction to online fundraising
Altruja GmbH has implemented webinars and put them online. Online fundraising and various strategies are discussed here and further videos.