Five Free Alternatives to ChipIn for Animal Rescue

If you’ve got your nose to the ground in the online animal rescue world, you’ll probably have heard the cries of outrage over the shutting down of ChipIn, the popular free fundraising tool that has allowed animal rescuers – both individuals and organizations – to raise money for the care and love of animals. Over a year ago, Chipin stopped offering support for its much-loved widget, so maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that they were bought out and shut down. Still, it’s sad, especially without any clear alternatives to turn to.

Thankfully, when I put a call out to Twitter, I came across a few good sites that might just be what we’re looking for. So without further ado, here are five free alternatives to ChipIn for animal rescue.

Five Alternatives to ChipIn

PayPal Labs Widget

paypal-widget

For: Everyone!
What: Paypal’s nifty donation widget created by their in-beta PayPal Labs.
Pros: Customizable to adapt to your brand, extremely easy to set-up, links right to your Paypal account so no extra fees from a third party.
Cons: If you set up payment options in the dropdown, donors can’t change the amount on the next screen. If you don’t set up payment options, the dropdown is empty and useless.
My Thoughts: I’m currently using it over on Snailbird for my own fundraiser, and it’s pretty nice. I liked that it was super easy to set-up and I was able to make it look nice.
Where: PayPal Labs

YouCaring

youcaring

For: Everyone!
What: Free online fundraising tool open to all projects.
Pros: Looks easy to customize, no website fees, super easy to set up, easy to share on social media, uses PayPal or WePay.
Cons: So far I haven’t run across anything. Let me know if you do so I can update this! I haven’t used the widget so I’m not sure if there are any bugs with it.
My Thoughts: YouCaring seems to be the answer to the ChipIn issue. And they’ve recognized it – I found out about them straight from their twitter source when I asked. I’m guessing they’re going to become pretty popular.
Where: YouCaring.com

Original Fundraising Widget

originalfundraising

For: Everyone!
What: Exactly what it is.
Pros: Seems pretty straight forward, looks like they have some customizing options, no fees.
Cons: The design is somewhat lacking and I’m not sure HOW customizable some of the options are. I’m not a fan of the overall design of the widgets either.
My Thoughts: Looks like it could work, though like I said before, I’m put off by the designs. They may be more customizable than they look though and if you’re not a picky designer like me, it will probably work for you.
Where: Online Fundraising Widget

GoFundMe

gofundme

For: Everyone!
What: A popular fundraising website for personal and nonprofits.
Pros: It’s pretty popular, straight-forward, easy to customize and integrate into your WordPress site (the site actually has a WP plugin for download), keeps track of your stats and metrics, allows you to run your campaign straight form your own site with the plugin, hooks up with PayPal and WePay.
Cons: HEFTY fees – 5% from every payment goes straight to them. That’s on top of the PayPal and WePay fees already. This is really the only con, but it’s big enough to stop me from using it.
My Thoughts: That 5% fee is probably one of the biggest I’ve seen in online fundraising – but they’ve got so many users that it doesn’t surprise me. Still, I’d think twice before using this site, even if their metrics ARE an amazing asset to any campaign.
Where: GoFundMe.com

Olimometer

olimometer

For: Everyone!
What: A nifty WordPress plugin.
Pros: Integrates right into your WordPress, easy to customize, links straight to PayPal, no fees, nice simple design, easy to use.
Cons: Not sure of any – it doesn’t have an exterior page unless you make one yourself. And since it’s a WordPress plugin, you’d have to update it yourself & make sure it’s compatible with your version of WP. And it’s only for WordPress.
My Thoughts: I like this. Since I’m an avid WordPress user, this one could be pretty nifty and I’ll probably use it in the future.
Where: WordPress Plugins

Mashable also has a great roundup of fundraising tools for official nonprofit organizations so be sure to check that out as well.

I’m sure there are more alternatives out there for animal rescue folks, but these are just a few I’ve run across in the last few days. I would love to hear if you have experience with any of these and any others you’d like to share! I hope this helps as we scramble to find a replacement for ChipIn. Good luck!

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5 Responses to “Five Free Alternatives to ChipIn for Animal Rescue”

  1. Andy says:

    Some great alternatives in light of ChipIns demise. There are a couple of other really good options here that you might want to have a look at: http://www.squidoo.com/fundraising-websites

  2. Greg says:

    Thank you so much for including us on your list. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have at http://www.gofundme.com/contact.

    We have an incredible community of animal lovers raising money on our site (http://www.gofundme.com/Animals-Pets/) and we would love to welcome your readers to GoFundMe.

    Thank you,
    Greg

  3. Jessica Sala says:

    Aw That stinks πŸ™ I know quite a few rescues that love Chip-in, but thanks for some alternatives to suggest to them!

  4. Barbara says:

    Regarding Olimometer for WordPress. I downloaded and installed only to find all it does is post your current PayPal balance. It does NOT track individual fundraising efforts, unless your PayPal balance is $0 when you start and the only money going into your account is for this specific fundraiser. Of course, if you use any of your PayPal funds, then the fundraiser will show less money that you raised, again because it only shows your current PayPal balance. The world does not need to know how much money I currently have in PayPal. I fail to see any useful purpose for this script / plugin.

  5. PitchInBox says:

    http://pitchinbox.com is another free alternative πŸ™‚ It’s free for everyone, not just charities. It works the exact same way as Chip In, has a similar design meant for a seamless transition, and you can carry over your Chip In data if you already have an ongoing fundraiser πŸ™‚

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