5 Top-Rated Affordable Fundraising Software

By: Barkha Bali on April 11, 2024

For nonprofit organizations, fundraising isn’t limited to generating funds. It also includes administrative work, such as managing donor accounts and relations. Fundraising software eases this workload by automating admin tasks and improving donor engagement with email marketing and social media campaigns. It helps nonprofits maximize their fundraising potential and provides valuable insights for strategic decision-making.

However, purchasing software is expensive, especially on a budget. To help you get the best value for your investment, this article highlights five top-rated affordable fundraising software based on verified software reviews and pricing found on vendor websites. Per our research, we’ve considered products with base plans priced less than $47 per month as affordable software and arranged them in ascending order of their prices.

We’ve grouped these products into two categories: dedicated fundraising software and payment collection software with fundraising capabilities. Regardless of the category, all products offer the core fundraising software features: payment processing, contribution tracking, and donor management.

What is a base software plan?

A base plan is the most affordable pricing tier offered by a software provider. Besides having the lowest price, base plans provide access to all core software features. However, they may have limitations compared to higher-tier plans in terms of available functionality, storage capacity, user seats, support options, etc.

We selected products for this article based on their average ratings between March 2022 - March 2024, which may differ from their current overall average ratings.

1. Cheddar Up

Cheddar Up is a payment collection platform with fundraising capabilities. It lets you create a customized online fundraiser page with a unique name, logo, description, and banner to represent your cause. You can specify your fundraising target and embed a custom form in the page to collect donor information, including their name, contact information, and email address. You can also list specific donation items. You can set a fixed amount for each item or accept donations of any amount.

Cheddar Up’s base plan supports unlimited fundraising pages, donation items, and custom forms. You can share your fundraiser page via QR codes and custom links, and collect donations via credit cards, cash, and e-checks. Upgrading to a premium plan gives you access to all base features plus the ability to set up recurring donations and designate multiple individuals as account managers.

Base plan features*:

  • Automatic payment tracking: Record and track donations received through your fundraising page within the software dashboard. You can view each donation entry along with the donor’s name and amount. 

  • Donor visibility: Turn on the optional donor visibility setting on your fundraiser page that displays the names of donors (without disclosing the amount they’ve donated). This feature helps encourage potential donors by instilling credibility.

  • Visitor reporting: Monitor who is visiting your fundraising page. Get insights into how many people visited it, where they came from, and what they clicked on. These insights can help identify what’s working for your campaign and what needs improvement.

Starting price: $10 per month

Cost to upgrade: $30 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Call, email, and knowledge base

Who should consider Cheddar Up?

Cheddar Up is worth considering for nonprofit organizations looking to offer flexibility to donors. It allows fundraisers to accept any amount donors wish to contribute or define a fixed amount (or multiple fixed amounts) for donors to choose from. This capability is particularly useful for creating tiered donation levels (e.g., platinum, gold, and silver), which incentivize donors to contribute more by offering exclusive benefits, recognition, etc.

Cheddar Up

Cheddar Up

4.79 out of 5 stars

42 reviews

2. Donately

As a dedicated fundraising platform, Donately helps create customizable fundraiser pages with personalized branding. You can add custom appeal messages, interactive media (videos and images), and social media sharing buttons to your campaign page. You can also access a real-time fundraising thermometer that displays progress toward your campaign goal. Additionally, the software lets you embed donation forms in your website, blog, landing pages, or social media. You can create multiple versions of the donation form tailored to different fundraisers and add custom fields to collect specific donor information. You can also track all donations received and send personalized thank-you emails to donors.

Donately’s base plan lets you import donor data, export reports for record-keeping, create donation receipts, and send custom e-cards to donors acknowledging their contributions. Upgrading to a premium plan allows you to create unlimited admin accounts and add custom donation buttons and widgets to your fundraiser page.

Base plan features*:

  • Donor management: Organize and track donor data, including contact details, donation history, and communication preferences. You can segment donors based on the donation frequency, amount, and engagement level for targeted communication and personalized outreach.

  • Peer-to-peer and team fundraising: Enable supporters to fundraise individually or as a team, turning them into ambassadors for your cause and fostering collaboration toward shared fundraising goals.

  • Recurring donations: Set up recurring fundraiser campaigns and let donors make recurring donations for a cause of their choice. They can contribute weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Starting price: $15 per month

Cost to upgrade: $49 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Call, email, and help center

Who should consider Donately?

Nonprofit organizations looking to expand their reach via supporter engagement can consider Donately for its team fundraising feature. By allowing supporters to fundraise individually or create fundraising teams or campaigns, the software helps nonprofits develop new channels for reaching potential donors and expanding reach beyond their immediate network. This feature helps amplify fundraising efforts, leading to higher donation volumes and increased revenue.

Donately

Donately

4.4 out of 5 stars

164 reviews

3. DonorSnap

DonorSnap is a dedicated donation and fundraising tool that lets you create online donation forms, embed them in your website, and share them via email. You can design custom templates for thank-you letters, which are sent automatically once a donation is received. You can also access a dashboard that lists recent donations, top donors, and pledge summaries to track your fundraising progress. Moreover, the software allows you to update donation records in bulk. You can input or edit large volumes of donation data at once instead of manually entering or modifying each record.

Every DonorSnap pricing plan includes access to the full suite of software features. However, the number of contacts you can store is limited based on your chosen tier. The base plan accommodates up to 1,000 donor contacts, while premium plans can store up to 30,000 contacts.

Base plan features*:

  • Moves management: Define a set of cultivation steps for each donor to target them better. You can create stages such as “Prospect,” “First-Time Donor,” “Regular Donor,” and “Major Donor” to segregate donors and plan specific moves or actions.

  • Donor profiles: Create donor profiles that store details such as contact number, donation history, and engagement history. You can monitor the types of causes each donor is involved in and send targeted emails or newsletters based on their interests.

  • Pledge tracking: Record the details of donor pledges, including the amount pledged, payment schedule, and any specific campaign or purpose associated with the pledge. You can also generate reports to analyze pledge fulfillment rates and identify overdue payments. 

Starting price: $39 per month

Cost to upgrade: $59 per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Email, call, and help center

Who should consider DonorSnap?

DonorSnap is worth considering for nonprofit organizations aiming to improve their donor prospecting, engagement, and solicitation efforts. Its moves management feature provides a structured framework to guide interactions with donors and move them through the various stages of engagement. Organizations can plan specific actions or personalize communications based on the stage each donor is in. For instance, they can send welcome emails to donors in the “Prospect” stage, thanking them for joining the mailing list and introducing their fundraiser’s mission and the impact of donor contributions.

DonorSnap

DonorSnap

4.55 out of 5 stars

356 reviews

Pro tip

While you may be starting with an affordable option, consider the scalability of the software as your organization grows. Look for solutions that can accommodate increasing donation volumes and expanding fundraising initiatives. By prioritizing scalability, you can ensure your fundraising software can evolve alongside your organization's needs, saving you time and resources in the long run.

4. Eleo

Eleo is another dedicated donation and fundraising software on our list. It has a customizable dashboard that helps schedule tasks, events, and grants; process thank-you letters; view donor retention statistics; and compare and review yearly fundraising totals. It lets you create and save donor records, including names, giving history, and interactions, to personalize communications. You can generate online volunteer sign-up and interest forms, track volunteer activities, and group them by interests, skills, and availability. Additionally, the software offers data security measures such as firewalls, antivirus or antimalware protection, and access control to protect your and donors’ information.

Like DonorSnap, each Eleo plan offers access to all software features regardless of the pricing tier. However, there’s a limitation on the number of donor records you can store. The base plan accommodates up to 2,500 donor records, while premium plans expand storage to up to 20,000 records.

Base plan features*:

  • Event management: Plan, organize, and execute fundraising events, such as galas, auctions, conferences, and charity walks. You can design branded registration forms, create invitee lists, track attendance, and personalize event communications from within the software.

  • Task management: Create tasks related to donor cultivation, fundraising campaigns, event planning, and grant applications. This feature helps set deadlines, prioritize tasks, assign responsibilities to team members, and monitor task progress.

  • Grant management: Identify potential grant opportunities, track deadlines and requirements, draft proposals, and manage budgets. You can store grant-related documents, record disbursements and expenses, and generate reports to track outcomes and impact.

Starting price: $39 per month

Cost to upgrade: $59 per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Call, email, and knowledge base

Who should consider Eleo?

Nonprofit organizations that prioritize fundraising via grants can consider Eleo for its grant management feature, which helps simplify grant-seeking processes. It lets nonprofits record and track grant applications, awards, milestones, and expenses in a centralized grant portal. This approach enables effective monitoring of the grant lifecycle, from initial application to post-award reporting. Additionally, the software helps maintain a database of private and local foundations, including details about their focus areas, funding priorities, application processes, and contact details. Nonprofits can use this database to identify foundations whose missions align closely with their programs and initiatives.

Eleo

Eleo

4.87 out of 5 stars

153 reviews

Pro tip

Assess your nonprofit organization’s needs and priorities before finalizing a tool. If you want to leverage your fundraiser supporters and their networks to raise funds on behalf of your organization, consider peer-to-peer fundraising. Similarly, consider event management functionality if you frequently organize fundraisers, such as galas, auctions, marathons, and charity concerts. You can also consult internal stakeholders to gather input and ensure alignment with your fundraising goals.

5. Little Green Light

Little Green Light is another dedicated donation and fundraising platform. It helps maintain detailed donor profiles, including contact information, giving history, communication preferences, and engagement levels. It lets you record donations from individual donors as well as grants, pledges, and other funding sources. It provides tools to track grant opportunities, submit proposals, and manage related tasks and deadlines. You can generate customized reports on donor activity, fundraising performance, and campaign effectiveness. These reports help evaluate fundraising efforts, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize fundraising strategies.

Similar to DonorSnap and Eleo, each Little Green Light plan offers access to all software features. However, its base plan can record up to 2,500 constituents (including donors, volunteers, and members). Upgrading to premium plans increases storage to up to 50,000 constituents.

Base plan features*:

  • Constituent coding: Assign system-created or custom tags to sort constituents into different groups or categories for targeted communication and reporting. These tags can differ based on the donor type (individual, organization), giving level (major donor, monthly donor), event attendance, volunteer status, or other custom attributes. 

  • Event tracking: Manage and track various aspects of fundraising events by maintaining a list of invitees, tracking attendance, and recording donations and contributions. The recorded data helps track event revenue and measure fundraising success.

  • Bulk email: Send bulk emails by building an email list and adding multiple donors to it. You can select a template or write your email from scratch. You can also connect the email list to a specific fundraising appeal or event.

Starting price: $40.50 per month

Cost to upgrade: $54 per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Knowledge base

Who should consider Little Green Light?

Little Green Light is worth considering for nonprofits that rely on galas, auctions, and peer-to-peer fundraisers to engage donors, attract new supporters, and raise funds. Its event management feature helps manage event logistics, track attendee information, and monitor event performance. This includes managing invitations, RSVPs, ticket sales, seating arrangements, and other event-related tasks. Moreover, the software tracks event-related data, enabling nonprofits to measure fundraising success, analyze attendee engagement, and make data-driven decisions for future events.

Little Green Light

Little Green Light

4.73 out of 5 stars

300 reviews

Pro tip

Leverage free trials and demos to thoroughly test software functionality, user experience, and compatibility with your organization's needs before making a commitment. Explore different scenarios and involve key stakeholders in the evaluation process. By conducting comprehensive testing, you can ensure the chosen software meets your requirements and maximizes your fundraising efforts.

Top 5 fundraising software features users rate as critical

All the products listed in this article include the features mentioned below. To identify these, we asked users to rate, on a scale of “low importance” to “critical,” how important different features are for fundraising software. The features showcased are those that the highest percentage of software reviewers rated as “highly important” or “critical” over the past two years (as of March 26, 2024).

Feature name

Criticality rating (%)

Description

Payment processing

93.18%

Enables nonprofits to securely process various types of payments, including credit and debit cards, automated clearing house (ACH) transfers, and online payment gateways, facilitating the collection of donations and contributions.

Contribution tracking

86.89%

Allows nonprofits to track and manage contributions received from donors, including the ability to categorize donations by campaign, event, or purpose, and generate reports for financial transparency and accountability.

Contact management

84.75%

Provides a centralized database for storing and organizing donor and supporter information, including contact details, communication history, and preferences, to facilitate personalized interactions and relationship-building.

Donor management

80.97%

Offers tools for managing donor relationships, such as donor profiles, donation history, and engagement metrics, to help nonprofits cultivate long-term relationships and tailor fundraising strategies.

Registration management

76.56%

Enables organizers to create customizable online registration forms tailored to their specific events or campaigns; automate confirmation emails or messages; and get insights into registration metrics, such as registration trends, participant demographics, and revenue generated.

How much does fundraising software cost?

Fundraising software solutions can cost as low as $9 per month or up to $139+ per month, depending on various factors—features, number of users, infrastructure requirements, business size/type, training availability, deployment options, integrations, and storage. Most online fundraising solutions typically include the following pricing plans:

  • Free trials: Range from seven to 30 days and give users access to either all or limited features of the fundraising platform. These no-cost trial plans are ideal for organizations or nonprofits that wish to try out a tool before purchasing it.

  • Free versions: Offer perpetual access to limited fundraising software features. These free plans are ideal for small organizations or nonprofits on a budget.

  • Entry-level plans: Start at $9 per month and offer access to standard software features. These are suitable for small nonprofits with basic feature requirements such as contribution tracking and contact management.

  • Mid-tier plans: Range from $15 to $125 per month and offer advanced features such as donor retention, peer fundraising, and reporting. These are suitable for nonprofits that have outgrown entry-level fundraising solutions but don’t require the full range of functionality offered by enterprise-level tools.

  • High-end plans: Cost more than $139 per month and offer a range of advanced features, including unlimited access to entry-level and mid-tier features, payment processing, fundraising event management, and customizable donor engagement tools. These are suitable for larger nonprofit organizations with extensive donor bases and complex fundraising needs.

Hidden costs associated with fundraising software

Besides the software license, additional costs can include:

  • Training expenses: Initial training for new users and ongoing training for updates or new features can lead to additional costs.

  • Data migration costs: Migrating data from your existing system to the new software may require expert assistance, adding to the implementation cost.

  • Software upgrades: Additional costs may be incurred for software upgrades to access the latest fundraising features or security patches.

Frequently asked questions when selecting affordable fundraising software 

Here are some questions to ask online fundraising platform providers before making a final purchase:

  • Does the base plan have a cap on the number of donors or transactions?

Check if the base plan limits the number of donors you can manage or the volume of transactions you can process. If the base plan’s limitations don’t align with your growth projections, you might end up paying extra or having to upgrade sooner than expected. Plus, if the plan can’t handle more donors or transactions, your fundraising efforts could suffer, leading to missed opportunities and strained resources.

  • What security measures does the base plan offer? 

Without adequate security measures, your organization’s sensitive donor information could be at risk of breaches or unauthorized access. Inquire about the security features included in the base plan, such as data encryption and access controls, and compliance with industry standards such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

  • What level of customer support is available for the base plan? 

With sufficient customer support, your organization can avoid delays in resolving technical issues or receiving assistance for software usage. Check the support team’s availability hours, response time, and support channels. Determine whether the base plan includes adequate support options, such as email, phone, or live chat assistance, to efficiently address any inquiries or technical challenges you may face.


Methodology

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  • Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Software Advice within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of March 26, 2024). 

  • Include the core features of fundraising software: payment processing, contribution tracking, and donor management.

  • Meet our market definition for fundraising software: “Fundraising software manages donor and pledge information associated with fundraising campaigns.”

  • For products that met the first three criteria, we assessed the monthly subscription price of the base plans and found the average price to be $47—we considered only products with publicly available pricing information. We then shortlisted products with a monthly base price lower than $47 for this article.

*Our research team identified these features from vendor websites (as of March 26, 2024) based on their analysis of what users find valuable in or expect from fundraising software. This list is not exhaustive. For additional features, refer to the vendor’s website.

Editorial independence: We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.

Note: Products evaluated for the pricing calculation were taken from Software Advice’s fundraising software directory. The pricing ranges exclude freemium versions of the products. The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in the Software Advice directory that offer them. Only products with publicly available pricing information, as of March 26, 2024, were considered for the pricing calculation.