Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 15 seconds

deposit a giftCrowdfunding has been an important part of nonprofit organizations and charities for the past five years. It's a way for organizations to raise money for their cause without having to spend much-needed and often times limited resources to gain donors' attention. From one of the very first crowdfunding websites, ArtistShare (2006) to other popular crowdfunding platforms such as Indigogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, local and international charities and nonprofits have been reaching and exceeding their goals to fund projects that help those in need. Infact, according to the Huffington Post, $1.6 billion was raised through crowdsourcing in 2012.



One of these crowdsourcing platforms is Deposit a Gift, the brainchild of Dana Ostomel. For the past five years, Deposit a Gift has been working with individuals and nonprofits to raise money for their causes. Among the projects that have existed thanks to Deposit a Gift include memorials, scholarships, and playgrounds.


In Use:
Deposit a Gift is a platform for nonprofits, charities, and individuals to raise money through crowdfunding. When it started, Deposit a Gift was one of the first crowdsourcing websites that hit the internet. Since then it has grown into a flourishing company that continues to expand globally. What started as a cash gift registry is now geared towards nonprofits and charities as more and more people use their services to raise money for schools, memorial funds, and charitable 5Ks.

The website also offers a section in which nonprofit organizations can sell tickets to their event. If an organization is using Deposit a Gift for their annual gala, they can also sell tickets through their page for their event. Other beneficial aspects of the website includes the ability to store donor data, offer rewards to donors, post offline donations, and personalize email receipts.

If this doesn't set Deposit a Gift apart from other crowdsourcing websites, their customer service will. They want each project to get fully funded and customer service representatives are always just a phone call or an email away if any questions arise- hands on, personal experience that many crowdsourcing companies just don't offer.

Technology Employed:
Deposit a Gift is website based so no additional software needs to be downloaded. Furthermore there are no contracts and no training is required.

Ease of Use:
Like any crowdsourcing website, Deposit a Gift is relatively easy to use. There is a learning curve at first, but once you've played around with the website for a bit, you get familiar with the tools that are offered to you. With so many perks it can get overwhelming, but the cohesive website allows you to access all of them on one page. Therefore you won't forget that there's a built-in credit card processor, or that there's free ACH direct deposit because it's all on one page.

If you get lost or confused there is a comprehensive list of FAQ that covers everything from who can use Deposit a Gift, proper photo image sizes, how to accept donations online and even what you will see on your credit card statement.

Recap:
Deposit a Gift is a crowdsourcing website aimed at raising funds for both nonprofit organizations and individuals. They offer numerous benefits such as direct deposit, built in credit card payment, and premium designs.

Advantages:
  • Built-in credit card processor that can be used globally 24/7
  • Offer perks to donors that are funding your campaign
  • Capture donor data
  • Post offline donations
  • Numerous pricing plans are available
  • Ability to sell tickets to events

  • Disadvantages:
  • Deposit a Gift claims that you can keep all the money you raise, but that's not true. They require a flat fee for their Full Service and Total Control package. Depending on which package you choose, they take anywhere from 2-4% of your profits as a platform and credit card fee. When it comes to gift registries it's 7.5%.
  • Most companies that boast customer service representatives actually have them on hand. Deposit a Gift has a voice mail inwhich you leave your message and hope that they get back to you.

  • My Opinion:
    If there's one thing I can't stand with businesses, it's when they blatantly lie about their "free service" only to find out that it's not free after all. I realize that this is a gimmick to get customers, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. Deposit a Gift is free to sign up, but even if you go with the Free Package you still are required to pay a service and credit card fee.

    When it comes to Deposit a Gift the pros outweigh the cons, and it seems like a great company that values nonprofit organizations and wants to see them succeed. In fact, they are participating in #GivingTuesday on December 2nd, an international campaign dedicated to giving back and donating to charities and nonprofit organizations. It's a day to donate to your favorite charity, or donate food to your local pantry.

    On December 2nd, Deposit a Gift will waive their platform fee and even donate to your campaign. They offer webinars to help you get started, support, and social media perks on Giving Tuesday. To participate go to their website and follow the directions.
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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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