Choosing the Right Peer to Peer Fundraising Software

As the popularity of peer to peer fundraising software grows, more and more nonprofits are faced with the decision to choose the right one for their campaign or event.  

Here’s a simple checklist to help nonprofits narrow down their options.

  1. Cost:  Ideally you will pay less than 3% of your total campaign revenue over time to the software provide.  Your worst options will cost you 7% to 10% of your total revenue.
  2. Usability:  If the site is not user-friendly, people will abandon their fundraising and giving efforts.  The best options provide your users with a simple, straightforward user experience designed to get the prospective registrant or donor through their sign-up and donation process quickly and easily.  The worst options have distracting interfaces and overly complicated steps for registering and donating.
  3. Brand:  The best scenario is that you provide a seamless experience to your donors and users and they won’t feel llike they are on a vendor’s web site.  People should feel like they are donating to you and not to a vendor.  Your worst options will have their logo emblazoned across the top of your site.  
  4. Flexibility:  Your best options will allow you to run your campaign exactly the way you want it.  This means you can charge multiple registration fees, offer time shifts, change the registration fees at a certain date, impose fundraising minimums if you choose to, and pretty much anything else you choose to do.  The worst case scenario would be to reconfigure you entire event to fit a vendor’s website.  Thats a waste of time and money.
  5. Design:  How does it look?  Ideally, the designs will be smart and user-friendly.  The worst way to go would be to fill the page with scrolling and blinking doo-dads that distract users from the primary objectives; signing up and donating.
  6. Cash Flow:  Follow the money, they say.  How do the fundraising dollars raised in the campaign actually get into your organization’s bank account.  The best vendors will connect to your own payment systems and the money will go directly into your bank account.  And, equally as important, you won’t have to change your accounting procedures.  The worst vendors will collect your money, skim off the top of it and send it to you at their leisure.  
  7. Data Accessibility:  The best options make it easy to view or download all of your data easily.  The worst options offer bloated and confusing management consoles that make dealing with the site as much of chore as planning an event.
  8. Customer Service:  The best vendors offer immediate and accessible customer service.  The worst vendors will put your service requests in a queue for 72 hours.
  9. Event Management:  If your peer to peer campaign is part of an event like a walk-a-thon, choose a vendor that offers tools for managing your event like a Guest List that can be used on the day of the event.  Or flexibile registration fee system.  The worst vendors will force you to handle registration and fundraising on 2 different sites and this will waste your time and kill your fundraising.

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