Top 8 fundraising platforms for schools

Raising funds for schools doesn’t have to be daunting. With the help of technology, it’s now easier than ever. Forget paper-based donation forms and counting cash by hand; online platforms can digitize and automate many fundraising processes.

This article will look at eight of the best fundraising platforms for schools. Whether you’re a teacher, a school administrator, or a parent, you’ll find the perfect platform to help you meet your fundraising goals.

Pro Tip

For an insightful look into the future of higher education, explore “8 Top Trends in Higher Education to Watch in 2024” on Jotform’s blog.

Features to look for in online fundraising platforms for schools

When it comes to choosing fundraising platforms for schools, there are a few features you should look out for in particular.

A user-friendly donation process is the first and arguably the most important. After all, having a platform with all the bells and whistles is no good if users can’t donate quickly and easily.

Your goal should be to make the online donation process as seamless as possible, says Victoria Burkhart, founder and CEO of The More Than Giving Company. “Ensure that the donor experience is simple and straightforward,” she says. “One complaint we hear from prospective donors is that the online giving system is confusing or difficult. Don’t let that be an obstacle to giving.”

Second, choose a platform with excellent reporting and analysis capabilities. You should be able to see all relevant fundraising data in a single place and have the ability to turn that data into custom reports.

Finally, you need to be able to put that data to good use. You should specifically look for a platform that has the capability to send personalized content to predefined segments of your user base.

“It is important that you use your data to create segments, and make sure to deliver relevant and personal content to your potential supporters on their preferred channel,” says Sterrin Bird, a senior director and nonprofit industry advisor at Salesforce. “In short, you want to deliver the right message at the right time on the right channel to maximize results.”

The best online fundraising platforms for schools

1. Jotform

Jotform isn’t just an online form builder; it’s a comprehensive platform that makes it easy for schools to create and manage fundraising campaigns. 

Create your campaign quickly using one of Jotform’s more than 30 fundraising form templates. Add one of Jotform’s 25-plus payment processors to your form to collect donations. Next, combine your donation form with a donation tracker template to manage everything in Jotform Tables.

Jotform offers everything schools need from an online fundraising platform, including automated thank-you emails, custom branding, customer relationship management (CRM) integration, and reporting — and it doesn’t charge transaction fees.

You can get started with Jotform for free. A 50 percent education discount is available if your school requires more forms or higher submissions or storage limits.

2. DonorsChoose

landing page of donorschoose

DonorsChoose is one of the country’s leading fundraising platforms for schools.

Rather than arranging fundraising events, teachers use DonorsChoose to buy the teaching supplies and technology their classrooms need. All you need to do is create a page and describe what you need. The great thing about DonorsChoose is that anyone from anywhere in the country can find your project and help you achieve your fundraising goals, thanks to the platform’s fantastic search capabilities.

DonorsChoose is free for teachers to use.

3. 99Pledges

landing page of 99pledges

Designed specifically for schools and sports clubs, 99Pledges is an easy-to-use online fundraising platform. It provides everything you need to start fundraising, including your own donations page, sharing capabilities, and online reports. You’ll get your funds fast, too, since 99Pledges pays out money 24 hours after your fundraising event ends.

Best of all, the platform is free.

4. BetterWorld

landing page of betterworld

What separates the BetterWorld fundraising platform from other options on the market is the sheer number of ways schools can use it to raise money. From traditional crowdfunding and donation campaigns to auctions, giveaways, and ticketing, you can run just about any charity campaign using the BetterWorld platform.

The platform is free for nonprofits (unless you choose their concierge service for personalized fundraising campaign assistance), thanks to the support of optional pledges from donors.

5. RallyUp

landing page of rallyup

If you want to take your school’s fundraising to the next level, RallyUp offers an all-in-one solution that helps you create professional campaigns. Use the Total Custom Branding feature to create on-brand campaigns, then use one of RallyUp’s email marketing integrations to send it to your email list.

RallyUp is free to use with optional donor tipping. There is a $99 per month charge for premium tools like Total Custom Branding.

6. Fundly

user interface of fundly

If your school uses Facebook to connect with parents and donors, Fundly may be for you. The platform offers one of the best Facebook integrations, allowing you to integrate your donation form into your school’s Facebook page.

Fundly does not impose a platform fee; however, upon receiving donations, it will apply a charge of 2.9 percent plus a deduction of $0.30 for each transaction.

7. Kindful

user interface of kindful

Kindful is an intuitive fundraising platform that aims to simplify the process of creating and managing fundraising campaigns. It offers a slew of features to achieve that goal, including easy-to-create donation pages, automated email receipts, donation tracking, and prebuilt reports.

Kindful starts at $125 per month for 1,000 contacts.

8. Classy

landing page of classy

Classy is an online donations platform designed to give donors the best experience possible. With it, you can create website donation forms that are designed to convert, use optimized campaigns to turn one-off donors into recurring givers, and give donors the option to pay in almost any way they wish.

Pricing is available on request.

Photo by Mario Heller on Unsplash

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