While it may seem like apples to apples when comparing nonprofit fundraising software, not all platforms are created equal. Nonprofit teams work hard to raise as many donations as possible for the charitable causes they represent, and nobody needs to be wasting precious time and energy on sifting through various solutions to find one that fits a team and its specific needs.
The staggering growth of the industry in the last few years has created a ton of new products and platforms, which can be a little overwhelming for nonprofits looking to invest in a new solution or make a change from their current tool. This post will take a look at two of the leaders in the space and compare —OneCause and Gesture Features —to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each.
While Gesture’s ticketing solutions support individual, group, sponsorship, and even discounted ticket options, it comes at the cost of year-round event fundraising. Instead of leveraging Gesture features for multiple events throughout an entire year, nonprofit teams get the software for one event and have to pay additional fees every new event or fundraising activity, which means the dollars spent quickly add up.
On the other hand, OneCause offers a flat fee model that includes year-round software access. Teams receive all of the Gesture features (plus continuous access to backend data and reporting), but they don’t have to pay more for additional events. When it comes to deciding between a one-and-done fundraising platform and a year-round solution partner, nonprofit organizations must look at how many donations a solution can help raise in the long-term.
Another big difference between OneCause and Gesture is backend functionality. While Gesture has a solid front end donor experience, the backend—where many nonprofit teams spend so many hours planning and preparing—offers considerably less innovation and functionality. Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on the ability to manage donor event information, update sponsors, tweak online fundraising sites, and access detailed reports to keep track of fundraising progress and assess performance.
With a fine-tuned solution like OneCause, these reports are front-and-center. OneCause offers over 120 real-time reports that help nonprofit teams better understand donor trends and insights. From attendee lists to ticket sales trends to bid history, these reports are compiled in real-time in the OneCause platform for immediate action and visibility before, during and after an event, offering year-round access to your software. OneCause also allows fundraising teams to go back in and constantly download analytics from current and past events (even years later!), making it even easier to produce informed, data-backed charity events, and fundraising campaigns.
With these reports in hand, nonprofit teams then often turn to CRM solutions to help manage donors and other contacts. While many nonprofit fundraising platforms, including Gesture, have their own one-off CRM functionality, OneCause actually integrates with some of the leading CRM solutions on the market, including Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce. With this powerful combination of real-time analytics and CRM, nonprofit teams can truly drive up donations without creating unnecessary manual work.
Both OneCause and Gesture handle both registration and ticketing payments as well as donations, but the way they are processed varies a bit between the two platforms. While Gesture handles donations easily via the mobile interface and online auction sites, the system still requires staff assistance at live events.
OneCause, on the other hand, has a patented feature, SmartPay® Anywhere, which allows nonprofit teams to collect both payments and donations from any laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet. It’s easier for event teams and donors alike, with no downtime or hardware to worry about.
At the end of the day, nonprofit organizations rely on fundraising solutions to help events run smoothly and to bring in as many donations as possible. With this idea in mind, many fundraising platforms offer onsite support services and backend consulting teams to help organizations perform at the highest level. These support teams can train users on the solutions being used, help with any last minute changes, and instantly fix any technical issues that may arise.
Both Gesture and OneCause offer onsite support, but while Gesture focuses heavily on sending large quantities of staff to deal with issues, OneCause instead focuses on the quality and experience of the service. Every onsite OneCause Event Manager goes through a rigorous fundraising and onsite support training curriculum and must pass certification tests to support OneCause fundraising events.
This attention to quality service also translates into onboarding and backend support. If a team is having trouble with a particularly time-intensive event Giving Center, needs some fundraising best practices, or just wants help with the solution, the OneCause support staff is available to help (they even work weekends and evenings to accommodate late-night events and those in the Pacific time zone).
OneCause provides live phone, chat and email support—all from US-based and trained fundraising support teams. There’s always a team of experts standing by to help answer questions and provide fundraising expertise. OneCause even recently received a Silver Stevie Award for our commitment to extraordinary customer support.
As you continue your search for your new online fundraising platform, keep in mind the key goals of your organization. Are you looking to bring in as many donations as possible? Do you want to grow your donor contact list? Do you want a partner that can grow along with your nonprofit? Having the answers to these questions can help narrow down your choices and lead your team to the right platform.
OneCause has been a partner to nonprofits of all shapes and sizes for over a decade, and we take pride in the company that we’ve built and the team of experts that we’re brought together. When your nonprofit partners with OneCause, you don’t have to worry about getting lost in the shuffle or trying to figure out how various acquired tools and systems work together.
As a built-from-the-ground-up solution, our expertise in the nonprofit fundraising world shines through in every fundraiser or campaign that you launch. And we’ll continue to partner with you and grow right along with your cause until its mission is accomplished.