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Best apps

9 Best Fundraising Platforms for Schools in 2024

February 28, 2024

You know the needs: a new playground, updated computers, athletics equipment that isn’t older than your students, or prom decorations they’ll actually want to photograph. There’s always something to improve when you want the best for your students.

And you know the solution: a school fundraiser. But you can’t just set up a table with brownies and a cash box anymore. 

Parents and students alike need to be able to tap cards, phones, and watches to give, and you need those donations organized and accessible. 

You might think that means spending precious hours comparing seemingly endless fundraising platforms for schools to make sure there’s no friction for your event. 

Don’t worry. We did it for you.

9 Best fundraising platforms for schools at a glance

Responsive Table
Best features for schools Pricing Transaction fees User ratings
Zeffy ✅ Free fundraising, unlimited support.
✅ Host raffles, events, crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer fundraisers
✅ Donor management and engagement
100% free - No hidden costs 0% 4.9/5
GiveButter ✅ Team fundraising
✅ Text to donate
✅ 160+ features for schools
Up to 5% 2.9% + 30¢ 4.8/5
Bloomerang ✅ Unique donor segmentations
✅ Robust communications
✅ Online first giving
$125 – $775/month + 1% of funds raised Up to 2.2% + 30¢ 4.7/5
RallyUp ✅ Supports 10 kinds of fundraisers
✅ Strong social element
✅ Optional prizes for participants
Free and premium options ($99/month) 7.5% 4.7/5
Snap!Raise ✅ By athletes, for athletes
✅ App and online giving
✅ Native gamification
20% of all funds raised 0% 4.7/5
OneCause ✅ Extensive fundraising ideas and inspiration
✅ In person customer support
✅ In person and virtual events
$495-$995 3.5% + 35¢ 4.7/5
BetterWorld ✅ Support for online and in-person events
✅ Custom donation pages
✅ Dedicated transparency pages
0% 2.9% + 30¢ 4.6/5
Classy ✅ Unlimited landing pages
✅ Built for recurring donations
✅ Optional design support
$299 4% 4.4/5
DoJiggy ✅ Auctions, raffles, event ticketing, eCommerce platform
✅ Optional privacy functions
✅ Free gamification features
Up to 7.9% 2.2-2.9% + 30¢ 4.3/5

1. Zeffy: Best free fundraising platform for schools

Among all the fundraising platforms for schools, Zeffy is the only fully free option. This agile system can be used to sell tickets to events, host raffles, sell merchandise, track donors, and customize donation pages for school crowdfunding campaigns

Whether you’re an elementary school administrator or a university dean, Zeffy can boost your fundraising efforts.

How Zeffy can help your school raise more:

Cons/limitations: While Zeffy works alongside your newsletter and website, some users report wanting more customizable landing pages from their online fundraising platforms.

Pricing: Everything is free with Zeffy, and it always will be. When you run a fundraising campaign through Zeffy, donors can choose to contribute to our mission (which is, again, providing fully free fundraising for more than 10,000 nonprofits), or not. Either way, you get every cent you raise.

User testimonial:
“After nine years of using a different online payment site for our successful nonprofit, we discovered Zeffy could have saved us five digits annually. We run campaigns 365 days a year and use Zeffy daily.” - Kendra C.

2. GiveButter: Best to spark friendly competition for your fundraiser

GiveButter is one of the most social fundraising platforms for schools. With their teams feature, you can inspire urgency in your donors by turning giving into a competition. 

How GiveButter can help your school raise more:

Cons: Some users were surprised by how quickly processing fees added up, and several were frustrated by the limited customization options. 

Pricing: There’s no platform fee or subscription if you choose to enable donor tips to cover the processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢. If you don’t want to ask your donors for more money, you can turn off tipping. That will add a 1 to 5% platform fee, depending on which features (donation form, fundraising page, and/or event) you use, and the processing fee of 2.9% + .30¢ still applies.

User testimonial:
“Givebutter is easy to use, has lots of great features, and gives you control over your data. It also doesn't require a barge or boatload of cash to get started.” – Michael F, VP, Higher Education

3. Bloomerang: Best to keep track of your donors

Initially designed as a donor tracking system, Bloomerang has become a one-stop school fundraising platform and development CMS. They're the perfect partner for institutions looking to sort their giving base by everything from donation history to familial relationships.

How Bloomerang can help your school raise money:

Cons/limitations: Bloomerang is one of the more expensive options, but their insights may be worth the cost for organizations with smaller fundraising teams who may not have the time to sort and pursue their donors with such specificity.

Pricing: Platform fees are stratified by donor reports, starting at $125 monthly for 1000 donor reports and 5000 emails. Their fundraising feature is an add-on requiring an additional 1% of raised funds, as well as a transaction fee of up to 2.2% + 30¢ that donors may choose to cover.

User testimonial:
“The software is easy to learn and use. Customer support has been helpful when it is needed. You can tell Bloomerang wants the user to be happy!” – Janice P., Executive Assistant, Education

4. RallyUp: Best to incentivize student fundraisers

With RallyUp’s fundraising platform for schools, you can host ten different kinds of fundraising events and encourage your students to campaign for donations with an optional prizes feature. The native gamification allows you to post leaderboards and award prizes to the participants or teams who raise the most money or recruit the largest number of unique donors.

How RallyUp can help your school raise funds:

Cons/limitations: Some users report that the platform has a confusing back end when you’re trying to set up a new event and a lack of helpful communication from customer support when they ran into issues.

Pricing: RallyUp’s free version is supported by donor tipping, meaning your donors would cover the 7.5% per transaction platform fee, and includes several event types, ticketing, and some branding, and you will be charged a 1.9 to 2.9% + 30¢ processing fee, depending on which payment processor you use. You can add additional features, like custom branding, landing pages and email marketing integrations for $99 per month with the same transaction fees.

User testimonial: “We took over our school's fun run and ran it ourselves, instead of paying outrageous fees to an outside provider. Using RallyUp we were able to keep the majority of the money we raised at the school and ultimately had a more successful fundraiser.” – Lysandra D. Fundraising Coordinator, Education

5. Snap!Raise: Best for engaging your athletes

Founded by a former quarterback, Snap!Raise is one of the few sports-focused fundraising platforms for schools.

Their team-led donor engagement has helped schools find support from all over the world (their average donor lives 276 miles away from the causes they support), and some coaches even let athletes fundraise their way out of conditioning.

How Snap!Raise can help your school raise more:

Cons/limitations: Snap!Raise runs on teams, and players can be required to bring 20 emails each, which some teams found challenging. Users also report slow processing times for getting funds. 

Pricing: Flat fee of 20% of total funds raised.

User testimonial: “This fundraiser helps with the lack of funding I receive from my school district. This money allows us to purchase and upgrade equipment that so desperately needs it. I think the only downside for me would be the percentage of money raised that the company takes.” – Kelsey C.

6. OneCause: Best for first time school fundraisers

If you’ve never run a school fundraising campaign, OneCause aims to take the mystery out of fundraising campaigns. 

With live training, libraries of resources, and consultants on hand, their fundraising platform for schools comes with holistic support for any team new to a large school fundraiser. 

How OneCause can help your school raise more:

Cons/limitations: If you need help with your events, some of the OneCause tiers include the option to have OneCause staff on site to facilitate your fundraising efforts. But if you have a good idea of what you’re doing and how to do it,  this fundraising platform may not be worth the cost.

Pricing: Platform fees are $495 to $995, according to software review site G2. Processing fees default to 3.5% + 35¢ per transaction fee, and donors can cover these fees.

User testimonial: “This online bidding software is incredibly user-friendly for our bidders and has very good administrative options for our Auction team. We pay extra to have an on-site representative at our event, and it has always helped our event to go smoothly.” – Paul B., Director of Advancement, Education

7. Betterworld: Best to show donors the impact of their gifts

Ever had a donor ask to see what their gifts provided? With BetterWorld’s transparency-focused online fundraising platform for schools, booster clubs, and students, you can follow up campaigns with photos and videos that show supporters exactly which improvements their gifts facilitated.

How BetterWorld can help your school raise more:

Cons/limitations: Some users report a challenging experience with the interface, but most enjoy the ease of use. BetterWorld doesn’t have as many event types as some platforms.

Pricing: The platform is free for users, and processing fees of 2.9% + $0.30 can be covered by the donors.

User testimonial: “I have been working with BetterWorld for two years and it has been great for the needs of our small, Catholic school's fundraising. The customer service is phenomenal! I received a couple complaints about fees that the customer wasn't expecting when they were charged.” – Mitzi N., Parent volunteer

8. Classy: Best to set up quickly for lasting impact

Classy’s unlimited event landing pages are quick and easy to set up, and they’re geared toward recurring giving. Organizations looking to run fundraisers for sports teams, arts programs, or individual classrooms can individualize infinite landing pages, so donors can find causes aligned with their specific interests. 

For a higher fee, you can also get features like automation integration, donor analytics, and onboarding assistance from this agile fundraising platform for schools.

How Classy can help your school raise more:

Cons/limitations: Classy is great for a set it and forget it type of donation page, but the lower tiers don’t include event support or more robust outreach programs.

Pricing: Classy offers three tiers with customizable features, but costs aren’t all published online. We found platform fees starting at $299 quoted on software review site G2, and transactions have a 4% fee.

User testimonial: “Overall, Classy has enabled us to do more with fewer staff members and has increased our donations. We also have seen an overwhelming amount of donors (74%!) cover a portion of fees, so we keep more of our contributions.” – Katie L., Nonprofit management

9. DoJiggy: Best to attract the local golf pros

If you know you’re sticking with your favorite event, DoJiggy could be the right choice for your school. DoJiggy supports everything from simple donation pages to complicated events (including entire golf tournaments!) from sign up to payout.  

How DoJiggy can help your school raise more:

Cons/limitations: DoJiggy’s fees are higher than the average school fundraising platform, and some reviews say their donation pages were difficult to customize without prior coding knowledge. Users also note the generic reports after fundraising efforts.

Pricing: Each type of event has a different fee, from 1.9% to 7.9%. Donors can cover both the platform fee and the processing fee of 2.2-2.9% + 30¢  per transaction.

User testimonial: “We have been using DoJiggy for a couple of years for a school fundraiser. The benefits are that students can keep their same pledge page year after year, making it easier for them to sign up. Updating information can be challenging as the pages aren't that intuitive..” – Carrie M, Volunteer

How do you choose the right fundraising platform for your school?

While the push to find extra funds for schools may be universal, each student body has unique needs, and picking the right fundraising partner for your school will help you support them best. 

The first thing to figure out is which cause to prioritize (we’re sure you can think of a few) and who you’re going to ask for those funds. Raising money from your entire community to build a new stadium is a very different undertaking than asking the parents of student athletes to contribute to the team’s travel.

First, refine your mission:

What kind of hook will you use for your fundraising efforts?

Once you’ve established the what, why, and who of your fundraiser, you can move on to the how. Will you sell raffle tickets, host a read-a-thon, or just set up a donation page? 

From there, you can start looking at the bells and whistles of each school fundraising platform. 

You’ll want to consider:

Case study: How Torrey Pines Elementary raised more than $100,000 (and kept it all!) with Zeffy's school fundraising platform

For nearly 30 years, the Torrey Pines Elementary School Foundation has been closing the gap between state funding and the needs of their students with robust fundraising efforts. 

The donations TPESF brings in cover foundational school budget items like teacher salaries and the school’s Spanish program. This year they’re using Zeffy as the school fundraising platform.

The foundation expects about half of their yearly budget to come from a simple online fundraising ask. They collect the rest from events and corporate sponsorships. For the 2024 school year, they’ve raised over $100,000, ⅔ of their ultimate goal, with more than six months until the school year starts. 

With other fundraising platforms, the Foundation would keep an average of $95,000. (The fees TPESF saved were calculated with a 5% average fee—platform and credit card transaction fees combined). But with Zeffy, every cent has gone straight into the school budget. 

You can check out more success stories, pick up some school fundraiser ideas, and even get our hot takes on how to thank your donors on our blog.

School Fundraising FAQ

Is there a free fundraising platform for schools?

Yes, there is a free fundraising platform for schools: Zeffy. Several organizations support school fundraising efforts with no platform fees. But every other school fundraising platform includes transaction fees. Zeffy doesn’t charge for our online fundraising platforms, and we never will.

Is there a fundraising app for sports teams?

There is a fundraising app for sports teams, Snap!Raise. This team-based fundraising system was created by a former quarterback and integrates seamlessly into a school sports team’s dynamics. Snap!Raise charges a flat fee of 20% for in-person or virtual school fundraisers.

Can you use Gofundme for education? 

You can use Gofundme for education. Gofundme is available to organizations and individuals, so teachers in need of classroom supplies and undergraduates trying to make ends meet after loans are as eligible to fundraise with Gofundme as dedicated school development offices. It’s also a free fundraising platform, charging only 2.9% + 30¢ per donation.