The Lowest Online Fundraising Rates

Nonprofit organizations spend an average of 20% on fundraising expenses. This means that they spend $20 to make $100 – but they only get to keep $80. Or you know that fancy gala that raises $200,000? Only $160,000 of it actually goes to the charity. This is crazy. CrowdRise changes all that by delivering the lowest fundraising rates around.

At CrowdRise we believe that cost-free online fundraising is a reality, and we’ve designed our pricing structure around making it happen. The best part is we give your donors the option to cover the fees on their donation – which they do 95% of the time. That means if every donor covers the fee, 100% of what you raise on CrowdRise goes towards directly your mission. No more of that 80% nonsense.

The Nuts and Bolts

At CrowdRise have two pricing plans: The Fiver and The Tre. For both of these, CrowdRise collects a platform fee along with a credit card processing fee (no hidden fees to you, ever). And as we said before, donors have the option to cover these fees at checkout, which they do this the vast majority of the time. This gets more money to your cause. Ideally, 100%. So great.

lowest fundraising rates - CrowdRise

Lowest Fundraising Rates: The CrowdRise Guarantee

And the best part is that we guarantee your pricing never exceeds the plan you choose. That means if you choose the Tre plan, you’ll keep at least $97 of every $100 you raise. If you choose the free Fiver plan, you will keep at least $95 of every $100 you raise. Right now, over 3,500 charities are on CrowdRise Guaranteed Pricing and because so many donors choose to cover their fees, they’re keeping an average of $98.40 of every $100 raised. That’s an average of 1.6%, not that ridiculous industry standard of 20%. That’s by far the lowest pricing in the entire crowdfunding world.  And as we said, it’s guaranteed.

We’re Always Here to Help. Always.

And CrowdRise never stops. We pride ourself on providing dedicated, full-service support to you and your entire community. We’re relentless about customer service and won’t sleep until you raise the funds you need – and answer any questions that you have. We’re available 24/7, including Sundays and holidays. Even Valentine’s Day.

September 11th: Organizations Making an Impact

As the Tribute in Light has again begun illuminating the skies above where the twin towers once stood, we’re jolted to reflection upon our country – and the world – during the 15 years since the September 11th attacks. And while it’s a solemn reminder of the thousands we lost that day – and the thousands we’ve lost in the ensuing conflicts at home and abroad since – we’re also reminded of the silver linings that have come from this. These silver linings can take many forms, but in this post we’d like to highlight some charities doing amazing work around the issues that resulted from those historic events.

Helping the children of those we lost on 9/11

Tuesday’s Children is a nonprofit that has made a long-term commitment to every individual directly impacted by the events of September 11th. Since 2001, they’ve promoted healing and recovery by strengthening family resilience, providing individual coping and life management skills and creating community. Recently, they’ve expanded their scope to focus on those impacted by terrorist incidents worldwide. Watch this tear-jerking video and you will see how critical their work is.

You can donate or fundraise for Tuesday’s Children here.

Running to remember those we lost

On September 11th, FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller had just finished his shift when he got word over his scanner of the first plane hitting the twin towers. He jumped in his truck and tried to drive to the WTC, but the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, Stephen strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back and raced on foot through the tunnel to the towers, where he gave up his life while saving others.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded in his memory – and to honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice for our country. They hold events all across the country, which range from a run that’s the same distance that he ran from the tunnel to the towers that day to a tower climb that honors his heroic last actions. The money they raise goes to programs like Building for America’s Bravest, which constructs specially adapted smart homes for our most seriously injured service members. You can support the foundation here.

T2T-Run-Fire- September 11th

Fighting for those who have served since September 11th

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the largest organization for post-9/11 veterans in the country. Founded by a 9/11 first responder and Iraq veteran, the group fights for the New Greatest Generation through on-the-ground community building, amazing online organizing, a robust media presence and an advocacy operation in Washington, DC that has fought for (and won) everything from the New GI Bill to increased funding for the VA to the 9/11 First Responders bill. In the build-up to the 15th anniversary of the attacks, IAVA is also hosting the first-ever Commander-in-Chief Forum in conjunction with NBC News, where both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be on stage taking questions on national security, military affairs and veterans issues in front of an audience comprised mainly of vets and active service members. You can support IAVA here.

These are just a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations that have sprung into existence as a direct result of the 9/11 attacks. While we’re sure that most of them would prefer to never have had to exist at all, they are still out here every day, making the best of a bad situation.

Raise More Money With The CrowdRise Campaign Update Tool

We just launched an awesome new update tool so your supporters can post real-time campaign updates right from their fundraising page. The reason that you’ll care is because fundraisers who send at least one campaign update raise, on average, 3 times more and have 4 times the repeat donor rate than the average fundraiser. In other words, this stuff works really, really well.

With a couple taps on their phone, fundraisers can send pictures, messages and soon, original videos without having to first link to YouTube or Vimeo. Imagine a runner on your team sending a thank you message and pic right after she crosses the finish line. Or, one of your volunteers posting a video about how the money he’s raising is helping to build a school as he’s laying the bricks to build it. Really powerful stuff.


Before building the update tool, we gathered data across millions of fundraising campaigns and found that the single best way to raise more money for your cause is by keeping your community engaged. It makes sense, just think about the causes you support and what keeps you coming back. The real trick is making it easy for the campaign organizer to drive engagement throughout a campaign. So we set out to solve that. 

Update Tool: So Easy

Our new Campaign Update Tool makes it super easy for all users (nonprofit partners, event organizers and individual fundraisers) to post updates. And when we say easy, we mean 30 seconds easy, not like doing your tax returns easy. Quick easy updates make everyone feel great. Easy for your fundraisers to do on the fly and it provides amazing feedback for the donors who are supporting your cause. It all happens in real-time so when you want to tell donors “We’re 50% to goal and these are the animals you’re helping to save”, you can jump in to make an update, add a pic, type your message and post. Plus when the updates are posted, they automatically push a custom email out to all the fundraisers and donors who are supporting the campaign. And that’s just the start.


Update Tool: So Powerful

These email updates come from the fundraiser organizer and get an alarmingly high 64% open rate. Which means more exposure and money raised for your cause.  So if you donated to your friend Steve’s campaign to help Louisiana flood victims and Steve posted an update on his fundraiser, you get an email from Steve with all the info he included in his update. It’s a game-changer and is very clearly leading to more donations for your cause.

The impact since launching the update tool has been amazing. Campaigns that use our update tool raise 3x more money and have 4x more repeat donors than campaigns that don’t use the tool. Pretty convincing and the more you use the update tool, the more your donors will engage.

And it becomes even more impactful as a nonprofit or event organizer because all the individual fundraisers within your campaign, are  leveraging the tool to keep their donors updated. It’s really incredible to see and such a huge value add for when selecting CrowdRise for your fundraising campaign.

Update Tool: So Many Uses

You can use the update tool for virtually anything you want to tell the whole group of donors and you can do it at anypoint in the campaign. Just for fun, here are some awesome examples of the update tool in action:

  1. General Updates – “We just reached $5,000!”
  2. Quick Call to Action. – “Our match ends tomorrow. Give now to double your impact!”
  3. Personal Stories – “Christopher’s chemo treatment is on Friday – Thanks for thinking of us”
  4. Show Impact – “Because of your support we were able to rebuild the Smith’s home”
  5. You can even use it to send thank-you’s to all of your supporters. – “We did it – Thanks so much”

The update tool is so easy to use and so, so powerful that it probably sounds too good to be true…like the time I got a second glance at the coffee shop or when I got home and someone had already taken out the garbage. But it is true and it’s already ready for you to start using and it’s already changing the game for thousands of fundraisers right now.


Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day was first designated by Congress on August 26th, 1971. If that date sounds familiar it’s because it was on that day in 1920 that the 19th Amendment – which granted women the right to vote – was certified. This year it will be particularly notable, as the first woman to ever be nominated to be the presidential candidate for a major political party will be in the thick of a national campaign.

So in honor of Women’s Equality Day, we wanted to highlight some amazing female-led fundraising campaigns in the CrowdRise community.

Donating Your Birthday to Women in Ethiopia

Mallory Brown was about to turn 30 and wanted to do something big. She decided to donate her birthday to raise money to get 30 women in Ethiopia jobs. She mobilized her community and found 30 women in America to fundraise on her behalf. It all culminated in a 24 Hour Impact fundraiser that ended up collecting over $40,000 – and got sustainable jobs for those 30 women. Just watch this video:

Amazing, right?

Running to Prove a Point

Distance runner Cheryl Hile was blindsided by a diagnosis of MS at the age of 32. She fell into a depression but then started running again – and felt a lot better. She started running marathons again, and then last year had an idea: she was going to become the first person with MS to run seven marathons on seven continents – in one year. She wanted to show newly diagnosed people that MS can’t stop them from doing anything. So she’s fundraising to make this dream a reality. Her first race is in September in Cape Town, South Africa, and every penny counts.

Helping Where You Didn’t Know Help Was Needed

Lori Gerlach just returned from a trip to Haiti. She stayed with some family friends in the village of Petit Goave, a small town about 3 hours southwest of Port Au Prince. Gertha, the woman she was staying with, took her to visit the local school. Lori was shocked. She says, “the ‘building’ was no more than a tin roof with holes, rigged over some wooden beams lined with plastic for ‘walls.’ Several of the children were not in uniform, some were even in pajamas because they can’t afford the required attire.” Gertha explained that even though Haitian schools require uniforms, leniency is given to those who don’t have the means. But Lori learned that this doesn’t take away the shame and feelings of lacking among the underprivileged kids. There are about 50 students without uniforms at the school (which cost $40 each) and Lori took it upon herself to raise money for these kids using an online fundraising page. She’s raised nearly $2,000, which will be enough for all of the kids. Anything more will be donated to improve the building facilities.

Women's Equality Day - Haiti - CrowdRise

How Can You Honor Women’s Equality Day?

These are just a few examples of how women are using crowdfunding for good, and absolutely crushing it. These women are so inspiring. So in honor of Women’s Equality Day, why don’t you get started and raise money for a women’s cause that you care about? It’s so easy.

Cool Companies We Like: Patagonia

“Your stories mean the world to us.” You may not think that clothing can tell a story, but Patagonia is succeeding in showing just how important the things we wear can be to us. Patagonia’s Reno repair shop has long been the largest garment repair facility in the United States. For over 40 years, they’ve repaired over 30,000 garments annually for their loyal customers – because they know that the items are often more than just a piece of clothing to people. They’re part of their story.
Cool companies - Patagonia and CrowdRise

So that’s why last year, they decided to take this repair operation on the road with the Patagonia Worn Wear Wagon, a biodiesel repair wagon/facility that travels across the country, meeting members of their community, fixing clothing and teaching people how to make repairs on their own. Because as Patagonia says, “Repair is a radical act,” necessary to helping the planet for everyone. Just check out this video:

Bet you didn’t think you’d get emotional over a clothing video, right? But that’s why Patagonia is a company that we’ve long admired. They know they’re not just selling products. They’re selling stories and feelings and memories. And they’re always innovating on how to best tell those stories.

Cool Companies on Tour

The Worn Wear Wagon is currently on tour through mid-September, when they wrap it up for the year in Chicago. See if they’re coming through your town. We bet you’ll become a big fan and make them part of your story.

Cool Companies We Like is a series where we highlight cool things being done by companies that we admire. We’re always looking beyond the online fundraising space to be inspired and learn from other leaders in the tech, startup, retail and larger business communities. And we want to share these stories with you.