Recurring donations, website embeds, integrations, automation, and what's next
Summers at Givebutter have always been our favorite time of the year.
We founded Givebutter during the summer of 2016, brought on our first interns a year later, and rebuilt our entire site from scratch in 2018. And this summer has been no less exciting. We have some big announcements coming up around the corner, but for now you can read on for a sneak peek of what we've been up to!
Recurring Donations 🔁
Ever since that first Givebutter summer three years ago, we've been studying the rapid rise and success of Charity: Water – specifically, their recurring giving program, "The Spring", which also launched during the summer of 2016. Fast forward to today, and The Spring has nearly 40,000 individuals giving monthly to fund clean water projects around the world. As the founder of Charity: Water, Scott Harrison, points out in his incredible book, Thirst:
Many software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses rely on repeat revenue to sustain, grow, and build predictability into their business models. Why should donation-driven organizations be any different?
This simple but powerful idea led us down a long road in thinking about how to incorporate recurring donations with Givebutter. While many other donation platforms offer this feature already, we were building it from scratch – so we asked ourselves, how could we make it better? Well, after hundreds (maybe thousands?) of messages, emails, meetings, and calls where people have asked us about recurring donations, we are so excited to say: it's finally live!
Here's the key: Recurring Donations on Givebutter works across all Givebutter products: Collect (simple donations), Fundraise (social fundraising), Events (ticketing & registrations), and of course The Givebutter Platform (CRM). This means that instead of limiting recurring donations to your website's donation form, you can extend this functionality across every single fundraiser and event you run as well. Teams, chapters, members, dues, tickets, registrations — it all works with Recurring Donations. We even built a special landing page to tell you more about it.
In addition to being compatible with all Givebutter products, recurring donations also works with all of our payment methods! Yep, that includes PayPal and even Venmo, making us the one and only platform where you can accept one-time and recurring donations using the #1 mobile payments app (Venmo).
Website Embeds 🔌
Another highly requested feature is finally here! No matter where your website is hosted or how it's built, you can now embed Givebutter with a snippet of code:
Just like Recurring Donations, the beauty of Website Embeds is that it too works with all Givebutter products. This means you can sell tickets and run team fundraising campaigns — in addition to your typical "donate" page(s) — right on your own website.
To help understand the value, think about how many organizations use PayPal as their de-facto Donate Button. Well, on Givebutter, PayPal is just a payment method! As we point out in our Givebutter vs. PayPal comparison, Givebutter will not only save you money with our transparent fees, but we'll help you raise more over time by consolidating all your fundraising activity in a single, powerful platform.
And we have more good news! Just like Recurring Donations, Website Embeds is included completely free with any Givebutter account.
Ready to start embedding? Here's a step-by-step guide that will have you up and running in less than five minutes.
Third-Party Integrations ⚡️
Whether you're a nonprofit, student group, sports team, company, individual, or any other kind of group, chances are you use other software tools and apps to do what you do, better. The same way Givebutter helps you raise money, a tool like Mailchimp might help you send emails, or a CRM like Salesforce might help you manage relationships with your donors as you grow.
While Givebutter already offers a suite of native (built-in) integrations – such as Venmo, Giphy, Facebook and more – we know it's just as important to open up our ecosystem so you can integrate with other best-in-class solutions, too.
This is why we're so excited to announce that you can now integrate Givebutter with thousands of third-party applications!
What kinds of integrations are supported?
- Zapier – Use Zapier to connect Givebutter with thousands of third-party apps without writing a single line of code. We're giving away free lifetime access to our Zapier integration for a limited time while in Beta – contact us to get set up!
- Custom – We can build custom integrations and workflows on your behalf for a fixed monthly cost using our internal API. Let us know what you have in mind.
- Native – Integrations built right in to Givebutter :)
What are some integration examples?
- Automatically subscribe new donors to Mailchimp or Constant Contact lists for your email newsletters
- Sync data like donations, campaigns, members, etc. with a CRM like Salesforce, Bloomerang, or Hubspot
- Insert new donor data into Google Sheets in real-time
- Mail computer-generated handwritten thank you cards to every new donor who gives more than $200
We can't wait to see some of these new potential integrations in action!
Fundraising Automation 🚀
Team fundraising may be one of the most effective ways to raise money, but it can also be really hard to track and manage. And while Givebutter's trackable links and personalized pages do make it a whole lot easier, it's still often challenging for admins to know who is actually participating, and for the team members themselves to reach out to potential donors. That's where Automated Donor Invites comes in.
Automated Donor Invites
First, a quick backstory: Thousands of youth sports teams and student groups around the country turn to a fundraising platform called Snap-Raise each year to help them cover travel costs, purchase equipment, and more. While Snap-Raise's website might look fairly normal, what you won't find anywhere is their fees, which are (not joking) typically 25% or more. When we first heard about this, we wrote a comparison article about our two platforms, and in just a few months that article rose to the front page of Google when searching for "Snap-Raise" itself. However, this rise in popularity led to many teams telling us about one key feature Snap-Raise had but we didn't... well, now we do!
Here's how it works:
After an email address is submitted, Givebutter will immediately send an email to that person on your behalf that looks like this:
We then use intelligent link + email tracking to check if this person donates to your campaign, and if they don't, we'll automatically send them reminders to do so!
You'll also be able to see who we're emailing on your behalf and whether they've donated, and admins will be able to see individuals' participation / engagement / conversion rates inside the dashboard:
Email is frequently cited as one of the best ways to convert donors, but it can be time consuming and repetitive. Now, it can be as simple as dropping in an email address – we'll take care of the rest!
More fundraising automation coming soon...
In addition to adding more third-party integrations, we're planning to build automated text message (SMS) invites using a similar process described above. If you'd like to see this feature added (or any others), be sure to vote on them here!
Speaking of voting...
What's Next for Givebutter 📈
You tell us! Ever since that first summer in 2016, the Givebutter team would set the product roadmap based on countless conversations with people just like you, and then we'd write posts like this one as soon as we had updates.
Well, we're so excited to flip that model on its head by announcing a brand new Community Portal for you to vote on new features, share feedback on how we can improve, get a public glimpse of our roadmap at any time, and get updated in real-time via an all-new changelog. Best of all, you'll get to meet and interact with others in the Givebutter universe as we all work to build a better way to give, together. We hope to see you there!