Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 47 seconds

Review: CrowdRise

crowdrise“Simpler, faster, and more efficient and at the end of the day more effective,” described Stu Schmidt, the VP of Sales and Services at CrowdRise as he discussing their new platform; CrowdRise by GoFundMe. One just has to look to the hundreds of nonprofits that have and continue to benefit from the crowdsourcing website to validate Schmidt’s statement.


In Use:

While CrowdRise by GoFundMe is known mainly for their crowdsourcing capabilities the tool encompasses more than just fundraising. A charity can benefit not only from CrowdRise’s name but from tools within the platform such as event registration, coding a donate button on an existing website  and in-depth analytics to monitor how the fundraiser is performing. The software enables nonprofits to be able to track donations, send donors donation receipts, brand their fundraising campaign, and even manage donations offline. The campaigns launched in CrowdRise are fully responsive which is important in today’s society where more and more people are using their phones to access the internet.

CrowdRise was recently purchased by GoFundMe in 2017.  While the nonprofit community was familiar with CrowdRise before the purchase, Schmidt hopes that by leveraging GoFundMe’s size and reach they can expand globally.

CrowdRise has three pricing plans that a charity can chose from. According to their website the Starter Package includes the “essentials” a nonprofit organization needs to start fundraising in a matter of minutes. It’s free to get started with a 6% platform fee and 2.9% by $0.30 payment processing. The package includes email support, registration integrations and recurring donations.  The premium package includes a 3% platform fee with the same fees for payment processing fees. With the premier package nonprofits can generate custom branded URLs, create unlimited active brand campaign pages, and integrate CrowdRise with their CRN. The most expensive package is Enterprise which is geared towards larger nonprofits. It includes everything in the Premium package as well as account management, 4-hour response times, and the capability to execute parent/child level campaigns.  There is custom pricing associated with the Enterprise package so a charity interested in this must speak to a CrowdRise representative. 

While the pricing may seem daunting, CrowdRise gives the donor the option to cover the credit card processing fee so 100% of their donation goes to the cause. Schmidt revealed, “What we find that a vast majority of donors are extremely generous and cover most fees.” He went on to say that nonprofits receive 98% of the donations due to their donors covering the cost of the processing fees.

Ease of Use:
CrowdRise by GoFundMe comes with the capabilities for the user to upload videos and pictures to their campaign. “You can start on CrowdRise without any commitment,” Schmidt began. A partner can “start a campaign at any time organically. Self-service is best in class and designed for ease of campaign creation regardless of whether you’re creating from a desktop or mobile phone.” According to their website each pricing package includes support so there is help available if a nonprofit needs it.

Technology Used:
As stated before, CrowdRise is fully responsive. Schmidt states that CrowdRise integrates with most CRMs and up to 90% of registration and ticket vendors. By purchasing a package, nonprofits have access to data and analytic tools that is crucial for a nonprofit to determine how well their campaign is doing. Nonprofits can slice data by individual campaigns, donors, payment process as well as run automatic weekly and monthly reports on the information that is important to them.

Recap:
Nonprofits may think of CrowdRise by GoFundMe as simply an on-line fundraising tool- but with the new platform comes new capabilities. Not only can a charity raise funds on the website but they can manage event registration and run analytics. The campaigns are fully customizable and charities are able to upload pictures and video to their campaign. With certain packages charities, can even create a unique branded URL address. 

Advantages:

·         Both CrowdRise and GoFundMe are respected names in the crowdsourcing and nonprofit community

·         Option for donors to cover the processing fees so 100% of their donation goes to the nonprofit

·         Global reach, so international nonprofits can take advantage of the software

·         Nonprofits can utilize analytics to see how their campaign is doing

·         Integrates with both CRN and registration applications

Disadvantages:

·         The processing fees are expensive and may deter nonprofits from using CrowdRise

·         If a nonprofit purchases the Starter Package they only have access to email support

·         6% platform fee maybe be too expensive for smaller non-profit

My Opinion:
I think CrowdRise by GoFundMe is a solid fundraising tool with many capabilities for partners  both small and large. It’s an added bonus that partners can create event registration tools and integrate it with their CRM. I am a strong believer that all softwares should come with a form of analytics so it’s great to see that this software supplies data to users.

I do think many donors and nonprofits are going to have an issue regarding platform and processing fees. The fact that the Enterprise Package does not include a price range on CrowdRise’s website leads me to believe it may be too expensive for a small-medium charity. That being said, I do think it’s a nice touch that donors can cover the processing and platform fees so 100% of the donations go to the nonprofit organization.

 
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Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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