Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The best free crowdfunding tools for good causes

I was in Nepal in 2015 to support the Global Ecovillage Network response to Nepal's devastating earthquakes. I got involved with a great, local NGO called Nexus Culture Nepal, which, like most NGOs, needed funding. So, I researched crowdfunding tools and found that some of the best are actually free.

All crowdfunding websites can receive donations via credit card from anywhere in the world. However, there will be some restrictions on what countries they can pay to, due to different laws in every country.

Australian based Not For Profit. Crowdfunding platform for social causes - funds can go to individuals or organisations of any type (including companies). Chuffed does not charge any fees. However, credit card fees are charged by the credit card processor (about 2-3%). The project to be funded can be in any country. However, the person, organisation or company running the fundraiser should be from Australia, US, UK, Canada, the Netherlands or Belgium. Funds will be transferred to your bank account in Australia, USA, UK or Europe. For other regions you need a paypal account. They now also have an office in the UK.

Philanthropic project of a German software company. Charge no fees and pay all the credit card processing fees themselves. They even have a network of philanthropists who may provide additional financial support to your project. Will send money anywhere in the world, however, if you are not a registered charity in Germany you can only receive up to 2,500Euros per quarter in donations.

USA based crowdfunding site. You will receive the donations (via stripe, wepay or paypal). They seem to be open to other countries running fundraisers direct, which then depends on if you can get your own paypal, stripe or wepay account to work in your country. Youcaring charges no fees but the payment gateway (paypal, stripe, wepay) will take 3% or so.

USA based crowdfunding platform by Indiegogo, one of the biggest crowdfunding companies. For individual and social causes. No fees except the credit card fee charged by the payment processing gateway. According to the website, in most cases, a donation to a personal fundraiser is considered a gift and not taxable income to the campaign owner (but best to check with an accountant).

Communities by Bendigo Bank
Available for Australian projects, there are no charges except the credit card processing fee of 1.5%, which is the lowest of all the platforms. You must open a Bendigo Bank account to be able to receive the fnds.

UK based charity Provides financial support, through on­line crowdfunded donations, to local businesses in the developing world with the aim to promote growth, education, and training to local communities and generate employment and new services.

Grassrootz is a bit newer and provides free tools for receiving donations and selling tickets for fundraiser events.

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