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Key Features of a Nonprofit Organization App and Associated Expenses 

In our previous article How To Create a Donation App: Benefits, Steps, Examples we found out that there are two primary operational models for a donation app:

  • a service that represents a specific organization, such as a fundraiser, a private nonprofit entity, a government institution, or a church;
  • an aggregator, permitting accredited organizations to raise funds or enabling individuals in need to collect money, for instance, for emergencies or to fulfill their aspirations.

The essential features for a donation app may vary depending on its type. However, most donation apps typically include fundamental functionalities. Let’s explore how to create a donation app and the key features to incorporate, using the Direct Aid application as an example.

Direct Aid is a Kuwait-based non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for social projects, such as drilling wells in areas with water scarcity, constructing universities, and supporting healthcare needs. Donations are accepted through the organization’s website or mobile application.

Direct Aid Mobile App
Direct Aid mobile app

We have collaborated with Direct Aid for 8 years, consistently enhancing their website. Read more. Additionally, the client possessed a mobile application that was not integrated with CS-Cart and needed enhancements. To address this, we extended the CS-Cart API to enable interaction with native iOS and Android applications, facilitating mobile donations.

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General Features For Services and Aggregators

Regardless of the app’s approach, the must-have features of a nonprofit organization app remains consistent:

  • Blog Pages: Your app should include a blog section for sharing articles that communicate your app’s vision and provide updates.
  • Donation Portal: The app should feature a donation portal with integrated payment gateways, enabling users to contribute to supported causes seamlessly.
  • User Profile: An essential component of any donation application, the user profile provides a convenient avenue for users to oversee and review their donation activities. It encompasses contact details, social media links, transaction history, and an in-app wallet for seamless management of donations.
  • Secure Payment Gateway: To ensure the secure processing of donations and protection of personal financial information, the integration of a secure payment gateway, such as PayPal or Stripe API, is crucial.
  • Real-time Reporting Tools: Implementing reporting tools that offer real-time progress tracking enables organizations to monitor fundraising goals, enhancing transparency and accountability.
  • News Feed: A news feed feature is valuable for providing updates about ongoing projects and campaigns, fostering donor engagement and demonstrating the impact of contributions.
  • Donation Feature: The intuitive donation feature permits users to seamlessly make contributions, offering options for selecting donation amounts, payment methods, and saving payment information for future donations.
  • In-App Wallet: An in-app wallet provides a secure method for donors to store funds within the application, ensuring secure transactions and offering compatibility with various digital financial services.
  • Social Media Integration: Integrating social media functionality provides users with opportunities for online networking and sharing their donations across multiple platforms, amplifying the visibility of campaigns and initiatives.

Specific Features For Aggregators

  • Volunteering Forms: Integrate the app with Google Forms or an alternative form platform to allow users to sign up for volunteering opportunities related to your nonprofit organization’s events.
  • Event Creation: Include a functionality that enables the creation of various charity events, such as volunteer days at shelters or charity auctions, with proceeds directed to the supported causes.
  • Charity Organization Search: Facilitating swift and easy charity browsing, the incorporation of a search feature enables users to locate and explore charities based on specific criteria such as location and cause type.
  • Organization Profile: Upon finding an organization, users should have access to comprehensive information about its mission, activities, previous campaigns, and contact details. This transparency fosters trust between potential donors and the organizations.
  • Campaign Page and Management: The platform should facilitate the creation of campaigns by organizations through user-friendly templates, allowing for easy inclusion of essential campaign details such as name, description, and target amounts.
  • Charity Verification: Stringent verification processes ensure that only legitimate organizations with accurate data gain access to the platform. This includes the submission of identification data, supporting documentation, and financial reporting.
  • Messaging System: Enabling communication between supporters and organizations enhances engagement, allowing users to seek clarifications, express interest in volunteering, and offer additional assistance.

Features For Users

  • User Registration: Users can sign up using their email address or social media accounts.
  • Targeted Donations: Users have the option to contribute funds towards specific causes of their choice.
  • Secure Payments: Donation amounts can be securely transacted directly through the app using integrated payment gateways.
  • Donation History: Users can review their complete donation history within the app.
  • Push Notifications: The app admin sends push notifications to users regarding app updates and other relevant information.
  • User Settings: The app provides options for users to manage their profiles, privacy settings, account information, and to log out.
  • Instant Donations: The nonprofit or charity app streamlines the donation process, allowing users to make payments with a single tap within the app.
  • Diverse Payment Options: The app offers multiple payment gateways, providing donors with a range of choices for making contributions.
  • Donor Incentives: The app can reward and recognize donors with awards and badges based on their contribution levels.

Admin Panel Features

  • Admin Login: The administrator will log in using their credentials.
  • User Management: The admin has the authority to manage and oversee all app users.
  • Campaign Management: The admin is responsible for managing and operating all fundraising campaigns.
  • Transaction Management: The admin oversees and manages all donor transactions.
  • Notification Broadcasting: The admin can broadcast notifications to users regarding app updates and donation-related messages.
  • Donation Collection Reports: The admin has access to view comprehensive reports on donation collections.
  • Advanced Analytics: The admin can access detailed analytical reports on donor activity.
  • Donation Reminders: The admin can send donation reminders to app members and other users, encouraging contributions to the cause.

Direct Aid Mobile App

Charity Campaign Search
Charity Campaign Search
Charity Campaign Search

Charity Campaign Search: enables users to locate and explore campaign based on specific criteria such as name, location, cause type, date.

Progress bar

The progress bar displays the funding needed for the project and the amount already raised, along with the number of donors. This fosters trust and encourages user engagement in campaigns.

Detailed information about the campaign

Detailed information about the campaign: participants, country of origin, license.


Donating resembles making a purchase in an online store

Donating resembles making a purchase in an online store, providing users with a convenient and familiar experience.

Variety of Payment Methods

Variety of Payment Methods: several payment gateways, offering donors a selection of options for contributing.


Organizational Profile
Organizational Profile

Organizational Profile: detailed information about its mission, activities, past campaigns, history and contact information. This transparency helps build trust between potential donors and the organization.

Media Hub

Media Hub: The app features an extensive media center housing the organization’s news and accomplishments, serving to bolster Direct Aid’s image and instill user confidence.

Reporting System

Reporting System: Within the completed campaigns section, there is a segment containing detailed reports that can be downloaded and examined to understand how the raised funds were utilized.

Profile Settings

Profile Settings: includes an electronic wallet, donation history, and the ability to set up recurring donations.

In-App Wallet

In-App Wallet: Allows donors to securely store funds, enabling secure transactions and integration with digital financial services.

How Long Will It Take to Develop

The duration required to develop a charity donation app hinges on numerous factors, including the project’s scale, the intricacy of features, the development team’s size, and additional considerations. Typically, crafting a fundamental charity donation app might span 4 to 6 months. In contrast, a more intricate app, equipped with extra features, could extend the development timeline to 6 to 12 months or beyond.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop

The cost of developing a charity donation app can vary significantly based on several factors, including the project’s scope, the chosen technology stack, the complexity of features, the location of the development team, and other relevant considerations.

The pricing is influenced by the intricacy and tailored customizations integrated into the web version. According to our analysis, a basic charity donation app may entail a cost starting from $10,000. This encompasses design development, integration into the application, minor bespoke adaptations from the web version, and publication on Google Play and Apple Store.

It’s essential to recognize that the cost of creating a charity donation app represents an investment that can yield substantial returns. A well-designed and functional app has the potential to increase donations, broaden its reach among audiences, and generate a more significant impact, rendering it a valuable long-term investment.

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Ksenia Cheburova , Cart-Power Editor
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