Fundraising, Direct and digital marketing

Easy (and often free) ways to digitally boost your fundraising work

As the digital world keeps advancing, charities need to be able to reach potential donors through different platforms

Technology seems to be advancing every day. Charities are aware they need technology to keep going. This applies more so to fundraising activity. The increased use of contactless payments via cards and phones also has an impact on charity fundraising and how donations are processed. The world is going more and more ‘paperless’ and ‘cashless.’ But this also provides new options for people who want to donate to your charity.

With so many areas affected by digital change, it can be a daunting task to start. Having someone be a digital lead, either on the board of trustees or among charity staff can help. But here are some affordable solutions which can be quickly applied and help you ease into the topic.

Setting up our own online fundraising page

One obvious way for smaller charities is to include a donate button on their website or any social media platform they use. This button transfers people to a ‘make a donation’ page. You can add this feature to your charity’s website by using, which is completely free for charities. They help charities process donations through the tools they provide.

Consumers can donate to you when making purchases online

A significant example that made headlines recently was AmazonSmile. Users can select from a list of charities that have enrolled in the programme. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price of purchases to the selected charities. Since its start, over 2000 charities have signed up to it.

There is also a range of apps that allow users to donate to various charities when making everyday purchases. ‘Give as you live’ works with registered charities and is completely free for those charities. They offer charities their own join page, marketing toolkit to help spread awareness to supporters, and a personal account manager. ‘Pennies’ is a completely free way of collecting donations that works online. They allow donors to top up any purchases they make and having the difference be donated. This allows donations to be made anywhere whether online or in a store that has partnered with your charity. It’s a simple check box when people are making a payment that is completely optional for users. ‘Virgin Money Giving’ gives you tools to create fundraising, in-memory, and campaign and appeal pages, as well as donate buttons for websites and allows you to manage your own data. However, it is not free. It charges a £100 + VAT set up fee and 2% commission on donations, as well as credit/debit card fees.

Crowdfunding and match funding for smaller charities

Platforms like The Good Exchange and Localgiving can help many smaller charities to raise funds online.

The Good Exchange connects projects requiring funding with funders via a transparent matching system using a single application form. Each project can also receive crowdfunding and some of the donors offer match-funding grants which allows charities to receive double the number of funds. Their services are completely free. You just need to fill out an application.

Localgiving is an online fundraising platform especially for local charities. This platform offers a range of services, such as setting up a fundraising page, match funding campaigns, crowdfunding for projects and help with setting up local business partnerships. It comes with some additional benefits for small charities. It is the only online giving platform that allows unregistered charities and community groups to benefit from Gift Aid. They also offer free training workshops, webinars and resources such as teaching online fundraising and digital marketing. Joining the Localgiving network costs £80 + VAT and there is a 5% commission on online donations.

Text donations

DONATE allows charities to send texts with a key word to donors which can text back to make a donation from £1 to £30. It’s completely free for charities to use as there aren’t any monthly charges and donors can do it as a one-time option or opt for a monthly donation.

Donr offers text donations and secure donations via smartphones by using your debit/credit card or via Apple Pay and Google Pay. It offers support for charities to help promote their cause get donations. There are no joining fees or monthly fees but they do charge 5% per donation (plus card processing fees).

Online fundraising platforms that offer integrated online payment systems

KindLink is an online payment platform that shows donors the impact of their donations and allows charities to organise supporters, donations and beneficiary records in one platform. It is a free online payment system for charities which only charges 1.3% flat in bank fees and no other cost for managing your donations.

Charity Checkout helps is charity payment solution that enables small and medium size charities to accept donations online. It has over 3,000 registered charities and allows for building your own website with your fundraising in mind and collecting donations online. They offer up a two-thirds discount for small charities, however, they do have a fee starting at £20/month plus 5% on donations.

Researching for funds online has become easier

Funds Online is also a good place to go when seeking places to receive funds. With combining the four previous websites into one, it makes it easier to find the funds you are looking for. Up to 8,000 funders giving £8 billion, all on one website. Funds Online combines data from four previous funding websites –,, and – all into one website.


For additional information, check out Small Charities Coalition