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Discovering Fundraising Platforms for Scholarships

by New York University
May 27, 2024
8 min read
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Imagine a world where every deserving student has the financial support needed to pursue their educational dreams. Fundraising for scholarships can make this vision a reality, breaking down financial barriers and opening doors to higher education. In today's digital age, fundraising platforms have become a popular and effective way to raise funds for various causes, including scholarships.

Online fundraising platforms offer unparalleled convenience and accessibility, allowing donors from all corners of the globe to contribute easily. They streamline the donation process, making it simple for supporters to assist in funding education.

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In this article, we will explore:

  1. The transformative impact of these platforms on scholarship success.
  2. The best options available.
  3. Strategies to maximize your fundraising efforts.

Donors should also take note of what factors indicate an effective fundraising platform. We'll get into this later as well, but knowing what to look for can reduce the time you spend looking for a suitable fundraising platform and ensure your money is spent wisely.

  • Platform Fees: Low fees maximize the impact of donations.
  • Payment Processing Fees: Ensure a significant portion of donations goes toward funding scholarships.
  • User Base & Reach: Broader visibility can enhance fundraising success.
  • Fundraising Tools Available: Features like social media integration can boost campaign performance.

By carefully comparing these aspects, you can choose a nonprofit fundraising platform that best fits your scholarship campaign's needs. Let's dive into how you can change someone's life with online fundraising.

different fundraising platforms

Exploring Different Online Fundraising Platforms for Scholarships

Advantages of Online Fundraising Platforms

Online fundraising platforms have revolutionized the way we raise money for scholarships. They provide a convenient and accessible way for donors to contribute, making it easier than ever to support deserving students. These platforms have transformed scholarship fundraising in several key ways:

1. Ease of Contribution

Donors can quickly and securely make contributions online, which encourages more people to give. No need for checks or cash—just a few clicks, and your donation is on its way. Using an online fundraising platform eliminates the need for paper, allowing you to raise money and access fundraising tools all in one place.

2. Fundraising Tools

Platforms like offer powerful tools to streamline the fundraising process. These tools include:

  • Easy tracking of donations
  • Detailed donor information
  • Progress tracking toward fundraising goals

This not only aids scholarship organizers but also allows donors to keep track of their money and easily manage their fundraising campaigns.

3. Broader Reach

The internet knows no boundaries. Online fundraising platforms expand the reach of scholarship campaigns, allowing them to accommodate online donations from around the world. This broader visibility can lead to a more diverse pool of contributors.

The emergence of these platforms has fundamentally changed the scholarship funding landscape. Students now have access to financial support from a larger pool of donors, breaking down geographical barriers that once limited fundraising efforts.

4. Increased Visibility

Scholarship campaigns gain higher visibility through platform-specific features such as trending campaign sections or featured listings. This added exposure can drive more traffic and donations to your cause.

5. Social Sharing Features

Many platforms integrate with social media, enabling easy sharing of your campaign across various channels. This can exponentially increase visibility and engagement.

Using online fundraising platforms creates a dynamic environment where both donors and scholarship recipients benefit from increased visibility, streamlined processes, and a broader reach.

popular fundraising platforms

When choosing a fundraising platform for your scholarship campaign, it's important to compare different options. Carefully consider the fees and tools each platform provides to find the best fundraising option for you.

To get started, here's an online fundraising platform overview highlighting their unique features:

  • Specializes in scholarships, offering tailored tools for educational funding. The donor platform on allows donors to create and manage funds to raise money. Donors can then publish scholarships and select winners for the award money they've raised or contribute that money to an existing scholarship. This particular platform is only used to administer scholarships to chosen recipients; unlike other platforms, funds cannot be paid out to a beneficiary.100% of your fund goes to the scholarship recipient— there are no extra or hidden fees for donors and students on Donations are also entirely tax deductible!
  • GoFundMe: Known for its broad user base, it is effective for diverse fundraising needs. Its user-friendly interface and broad reach make it a popular choice. GoFundMe charges a processing fee but has no platform fee for personal campaigns. The social sharing features make it easy to promote campaigns widely.
  • Classy: This platform is tailored for nonprofit fundraising and offers advanced tools like peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities and comprehensive reporting features. Classy's pricing includes both platform and processing fees but is widely praised for its effectiveness.
  • Kickstarter: Ideal for creative projects but can be adapted for scholarship campaigns.
  • Indiegogo: Offers flexible funding options, which can be useful if you don't meet your target goal.

Consider the reach and audience of these platforms. Some may have a larger user base, providing better visibility for your scholarship fundraising efforts. Also, look into specific tools and resources offered by each platform, such as social media integration, email marketing capabilities, and donor management systems.

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What Donors Should Look for in Online Fundraising Platforms

Choosing the right online fundraising platform can significantly impact how much of your donation goes directly to scholarships. Here are key factors donors should consider:

1. Low Platform Fees

Platform fees are charges that fundraising platforms deduct from each donation. These fees can vary widely, so it's important to look for platforms with low or no fees to ensure maximum impact., for instance, is one of the world's leading nonprofit organizations that boasts 100% tax-deductible donations funding educational awards without hefty platform fees. Take a look at the FAQ page for more details on how keeps funding free for donors.

2. Payment Processing Fees

Payment processing fees are another cost to consider, in addition to platform fees. These are typically charged by third-party payment processors and can range between 2-5% per transaction. When choosing an online fundraising platform, assess the payment processing fees to guarantee that a significant portion of your donation reaches the scholarship fund.

3. Track Record of Success

A proven track record is essential in selecting a reliable nonprofit fundraising platform. Seek online fundraising platforms with positive reviews and testimonials from both donors and scholarship recipients. A platform's reputation for successfully managing funds and delivering results provides reassurance that your contributions will be effectively utilized.

Key Considerations:

  • User Reviews: Look at feedback from other donors and scholarship recipients to gauge satisfaction levels.
  • Transparency: Ensure the platform provides clear information about how donations are managed and disbursed.
  • Impact Reports: Some platforms offer detailed reports showing how funds have been used, which can be valuable for understanding the real-world impact of your donation.

4. Additional Features

While low fees and a solid track record are crucial, additional features can enhance the donor experience:

  • Ease of Use: User-friendly interfaces make it simple to navigate the donation process.
  • Fundraising Tools: Many platforms offer tools like social sharing features, event management, and customizable donation pages to help amplify your fundraising efforts.
  • Customer Support: Reliable customer service ensures any issues or questions are promptly addressed.

By thoughtfully evaluating these factors—low platform fees, reasonable payment processing fees, a strong track record, and additional beneficial features—you'll be better equipped to choose an online fundraising platform that maximizes the impact of your donations on scholarships.


Choosing the Right Fundraising Strategy for Your Scholarship Campaign

Selecting the ideal fundraising strategy is crucial to the success of your scholarship campaign. The nature of the scholarship and your target audience significantly influence this choice. Here's a breakdown of various strategies and how they can be tailored to fit different scholarship needs.

Analyzing Scholarship Nature and Target Audience

One-time Awards vs. Renewable Scholarships

  • One-time awards: Typically require a short-term, high-impact fundraising push. Crowdfunding campaigns can be particularly effective here, as they generate buzz and attract donations quickly.
  • Renewable scholarships: These need consistent funding over a longer period. Recurring donations or peer-to-peer fundraising can provide the steady income required to sustain these scholarships year after year.

Understanding Your Audience

  • Knowing your audience helps you choose platforms and strategies that resonate with them. If your supporters are tech-savvy millennials, leveraging social media-heavy strategies like crowdfunding on popular platforms might be more effective.

Types of Fundraising Strategies


Crowdfunding involves raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via online platforms.


  • Quick setup and launch.
  • Potential for viral sharing on social media.
  • Attracts a diverse donor base.


  • Can require significant effort to maintain momentum.
  • Not always sustainable for long-term funding.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

In peer-to-peer fundraising, individuals create their own mini-campaigns under the umbrella of a larger campaign, reaching out to their personal networks for donations.


  • Amplifies reach through personal connections.
  • Creates multiple streams of donations.
  • Engages supporters actively in the cause.


  • Requires coordination and support for individual fundraisers.
  • Success varies based on participants' networks and efforts.

Recurring Donations

Encouraging donors to set up recurring donations ensures a steady stream of income over time.


  • Provides reliable, ongoing funding.
  • Simplifies budget planning for renewable scholarships.
  • Builds long-term relationships with donors.


  • Initial setup might be more complex.
  • Requires sustained engagement to retain recurring donors.

Tailoring Your Strategy

Combining multiple strategies often yields the best results. For instance:

  1. Kick-start with Crowdfunding: Generate initial buzz and secure funds quickly.
  2. Sustain with Recurring Donations: Ensure long-term viability by converting one-time donors into regular contributors.
  3. Expand with Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Leverage existing supporters to widen your reach and increase contributions.

Aligning your strategy with the specific needs of your scholarship campaign maximizes impact, ensuring deserving students receive the financial support they need.

fundraising efforts for education

Optimizing Your Fundraising Efforts

Encourage Recurring Donations

To provide consistent support for scholarships, encouraging donors to set up recurring donations is crucial. Recurring donations not only ensure a steady stream of funds but also allow donors to contribute smaller amounts over time, making it easier for them to give consistently. Highlight the benefits of recurring contributions in your campaigns to motivate long-term donor commitment.

Utilize Online Fundraising Platforms

Maximize your fundraising efforts by leveraging the power of online fundraising platforms. These platforms offer a range of tools and resources to help you reach a wider audience:

  • Broad Visibility: With online platforms, your scholarship campaign can be seen by potential donors worldwide.
  • Simplified Donation Process: Make it easy for donors to contribute with seamless payment processing options.
  • Engagement Tools: Use social sharing features and email campaigns to keep your audience engaged and informed about your progress.

Incorporate Various Fundraising Strategies

Diversifying your approach can significantly enhance the success of your scholarship fundraising campaign:

  • Social Media Campaigns: Harness the power of social media to create buzz around your scholarship. Share compelling stories, updates, and calls to action to engage with followers.
  • Events: Host virtual or in-person fundraising events to raise awareness and funds. Events provide an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with potential donors.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with businesses, influencers, or other organizations that align with your mission. Partnerships can amplify your reach and lend credibility to your campaign.

By incorporating a mix of these strategies, you can optimize your approach and maximize the impact of your scholarship fundraising efforts. Remember to regularly assess your progress, adjust your strategies as needed, and express gratitude to your donors.

Building and maintaining relationships with supporters is crucial for long-term success. With dedication, creativity, and a well-executed plan, you can make a significant difference in the lives of deserving students.

Sign up as a donor today and raise money, free of fees, with Get started and watch your money make a noticeable difference in the life of a deserving student.

New York University
Content Writer

About Elise

Elise is a skilled and knowledgeable writer. Her understanding of scholarships and internships enables her to craft insightful and informative content that resonates with students, helping them navigate the often complex processes of applying for financial aid and career opportunities.

Elise graduated from New York University with a double major in English and Psychology, as well as a minor in Creative Writing.


Through challenging university coursework and corporate experience, Elise has become an expert in several different types of writing, including literary analysis, content pieces, formal scientific writing, SEO editing, and more. Elise expanded on her knowledge while interning in marketing, using her understanding of SEO to boost website traffic and customer engagement.

She’s published a short story in The Foundationalist literary magazine and has also won several short story writing awards at the regional and international levels. Elise loves to craft content that helps students navigate college life and scholarship applications. She makes use of syntax and tone to write readable, engaging pieces. Elise has a solid understanding of linguistics and grammatical structures across multiple languages thanks to her fluency in English and proficiency in Mandarin and Cantonese. 

Elise first joined in 2022 during her undergraduate studies, explored other pursuits in 2023, and happily returned in 2024 as a Content Writer. Motivated by her writing skills, she aims to make educational resources more accessible for students of all backgrounds. Additionally, she believes it's important to add to the available information on student loans and student finances in a way that's user-friendly and easy to understand.

Quote from Elise

“I try to create content that would have helped my younger self— stuff I wish I knew when I was starting college.”

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