Online fundraising: tips and resources

Online fundraising is an absolute must for non-profits and charities today. Whether you’re an experienced organization or just getting started, here’s some info and resources to help you.

The use of online fundraising has grown steadily since 2017 and, with many traditional fundraising events off the table thanks to the current pandemic, it continues to grow.

Many charities and non-profit organizations had already seen the future and were somewhat ready, merely needing to refine their existing strategies. Others were blindsided, scrambling to raise funds in a new reality that has not only seen a decrease in overall donations, it has also demanded new fundraising techniques and channels for survival.


  • Costs are minimal compared to other fundraising methods and there’s a variety of options including online donation pages, mobile giving, and peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Donors can give quickly, easily, and securely. Online donations can come from anywhere around the world
  • Donors can set up automatic, recurring donations on a regular basis
  • Donors who want to help spread your message can do it easily
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising brings in new donors from your supporters’ networks personal networks along with new data you can use to fine-tune your campaigns


In addition to the pandemic-related fundraising problems, many non-profit organizations and charities were already in need of upgraded computer and IT infrastructure and an effective cyber-security program. There are a ton of considerations. Among them:

  • Is your computer and IT infrastructure up to date and working efficiently? 
  • Is your organization adequately trained and equipped to protect and safely store the sensitive donor information you will be collecting?
  • Are you following the lead of today’s high-performing non-profits by gathering and organizing your data correctly?
  • Are you using the power of analytics to get the most from your fundraising efforts?


If you’ve been fundraising for years, you’ll know the basics. But if there is any doubt whatsoever, make sure you are versed in the laws around fundraising.

A good place to start is here with the Canada Revenue Agency: Fundraising by registered charities –

Blumberg Segal LLP, a Toronto-based law firm, specializes in legal services and advice to non-profits and charities operating in Canada. They maintain a great website for non-profits with a wealth of free info and advice: Canadian Charity Law – Helping Canadian Charities with legal and ethical issues


Virtual fundraising efforts generally require the use of fundraising software or web applications to succeed. And of course, you simply cannot afford to overlook the power of social media and your own website.

What tools are right for you? Spend a little time looking around, there are just so many great options.

Considerations should include:

  • Platform fees: cost and timing of payments for purchased online fundraising platforms or tools
  • Transaction or processing fees—e.g., the price you may have to pay when use a credit card to submit a donation
  • Compatibility with your current systems, e.g., having a website design that accommodates Paypal’s “donate” button (more on that below)
  • Ensuring strategy and tools and methods that are designed for, and/or purchased from, U.S. or international companies are optimized for Canadian use
  • The amount of training and IT support some platforms may require

Online fundraising platforms

The best-known facet of fundraising platforms is the ability to create donation pages that can be accessed via website, social media etc. but many offer a host of different features. Here’s just a tiny sample of the platforms being used by Canadian organizations.  

Fundraising and donation software:

Related to—but not the same as—online platforms, donor and data management software is a must-have for most organizations. Veterans are likely familiar with Raiser’s Edge, below, but there are a variety of options. Here’s a few examples and a link with more information and suggestions (Software4Nonprofits):

Social Media

There is no question about the importance of social media. Get started here:

Your website:

Your website is more than a portal, it’s a tool unto itself.

Ask us how to make sure you’re ready for online fundraising: Contact us

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