OneCause vs. Greater Giving vs. Handbid: Comparing 3 Top Fundraising Software

Learn the key ways that Handbid differs from OneCause and Greater Giving.
Learn the key ways that Handbid differs from OneCause and Greater Giving.

OneCause and Greater Giving are both fundraising platforms that help charities and nonprofit organizations facilitate silent auctions and mobile bidding, event management, ticketing and registration, peer-to-peer fundraising, and more.

If you’re considering investing in fundraising or auction software, it’s likely that you’ll come across OneCause and Greater Giving as you search for options online. 

In this article, we’re going to discuss the similarities and differences between these two platforms, as well as how they differ from our fundraising and event management software, Handbid. 

Specifically, we’ll compare each of our platforms on 3 key factors that, in our experience, organizations should consider when choosing fundraising software:

  1. Event expertise and support: The software company’s expertise and ability to support you in running in-person events.
  2. User experience: Ease of use for donors and organization staff.
  3. Customization features: The ability for users to customize the look and feel of the software to fit their brand.

Let’s talk fundraising together! Schedule a call today to speak with our team and see how we can help you maximize your fundraising efforts. 

Handbid Fundraising and Event Management Software

Factor #1: Event Expertise and Support

Handbid Is Owned and Operated by People Who Started Out as Fundraisers

A photo of Jeff and Kari Porter, the founders of Handbid.

Prior to starting Handbid, our founders Jeff and Kari Porter ran an annual fundraising event and golf tournament for their non-profit organization, the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association of Colorado (PWSACO) and the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. 

During that time, they came to deeply understand the challenges of running in-person fundraisers and auction events. Specifically:

  • Long lines at check in, check out, and auction tables
  • High likelihood of human data entry errors
  • Guests’ frustration with sluggish event administration

To address these issues, they built their own mobile bidding and auction event software — Handbid — drawing from Jeff’s decades of experience as a media and technology executive and Kari’s experience as a software engineer.

Those first-hand experiences have informed the development of Handbid’s software at every stage since being founded in 2011, resulting in a platform that has been designed by fundraisers, for fundraisers, and that’s grounded in the problems that organizations need to solve. 

The experiences of our founders and staff set us apart both at the product-level, as well as the customer support level.

One-on-One Coaching Services

Handbid offers coaching one-on-one coaching services to help you customize our software to your fundraising event

In addition to our extensive knowledge base that provides in-depth tutorials on how to use each of our platform features, we offer pricing plans that include one-on-one coaching to help our clients get the absolute most out of using Handbid.

Our expert coaches help our clients navigate the common challenges of event management including:

  • How to set up different types of events in Handbid and utilize it for a variety of fundraising initiatives
  • How to promote your events and sell more tickets
  • How to make the check-in process as seamless as possible
  • How to reduce lines and stress during live events
  • And more

While our platform is highly intuitive, many of our clients find that they end up driving more net revenue when investing in our “Done With You” plans, which include this coaching.

Live Event Telephone Support with a Direct Line to Real Humans! 

Unlike many of our competitors, which direct calls to automated voicemail queues, Handbid offers a tech support hotline — included in all of our plans — connecting you directly to our team during your live events. Our customers find this to be invaluable for navigating issues they sometimes encounter in the midst of an event. 

With other platforms, it can take longer to get someone on the phone, which adds stress and makes for a lackluster customer experience.

Onsite Staffing

Like the other major platforms in our space, including OneCause and Greater Giving (discussed below), we have onsite event staffing options available for organizations that want or need them.

Factor #2: User Experience

Handbid offers a best-in-class user experience for organizations and donors alike. Here are a few examples of the ways in which we make Handbid easy and enjoyable for donors to use (which, after all, is absolutely essential for driving maximum donation revenue):

A User-Friendly Interface with Mobile-First Design

Travel options available in the auction example

Providing your donor base with a clean, intuitive user interface is essential for maximizing participation in your fundraising events. In particular, usability from mobile devices is key because if fundraising sites are not mobile-friendly, this can significantly hinder the donor experience and reduce participation.

Handbid offers a modern design that’s easy to use and works just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktops. Bidders can access auction pages directly through the web via a URL, or via the Handbid mobile app (rated 4.8 stars with 23K reviews in the app store).  

A Mobile App That Provides Greater Ease of Use Compared to Web-Only Solutions

The Handbid mobile app provides some key advantages in user experience compared to web-only solutions. For example:

  • Real-time push notifications: The ability to send updates to fundraiser or auction participants in real-time, without the need to send messages such as outbid notifications via text message or email (which are less reliable, require a good cellular connection, and disrupt engagement by pulling participants out of the app). 
Winning Notification in the Handbid app
  • Easier navigation and accessibility features: Mobile apps provide a more seamless browsing and bidding experience compared to navigating fundraiser or auction sites through mobile web browsers. They also have the advantage of providing accessibility features for older users that rely on increased font sizes or contrast on their mobile devices.

Furthermore, in addition to enhancing donor user experience, mobile apps can drive higher engagement than web browsers — resulting in more money for your cause!

For example, the Handbid app uses countdown timers, live thermometers, leader boards, and more to gamify the bidding experience. These features simply cannot be replicated in the same way through web browsers.

Most fundraising platforms (including OneCause and Greater Giving) do not offer mobile apps for organizations and their donors to use when participating in fundraising initiatives, and therefore do not offer these same advantages.

A Seamless Log In Experience for Bidders

Many fundraising sites make the log-in process arduous for donors, forcing them to log in any time they want to engage, or wait on an account validation email that can take precious minutes (or hours, in some cases) to arrive. These barriers to entry can severely limit fundraiser participation and revenue.

To solve this, Handbid offers smart links and universal accounts that are set up to automatically log in donors and keep them logged in no matter what device they’re on. This applies whether participants are accessing the auction via the web or our mobile app, providing a smoother user experience and leading to higher engagement. 

In addition, once a donor has a Handbid account, they can be notified about and join your next event, allowing you to more easily maintain and grow participation in future initiatives. 

A 5-Digit Short Code Makes Text2Give Easier for Donors

Handbid’s Text2Give solution uses a simple 5 digit shortcode that’s easier for donors to remember than the typical 10 digit phone numbers, and therefore makes it easier for more people to take action via text.

Furthermore, Handbid’s Text2Give solution is more flexible than most, allowing organizations to send messages with any type of call to action, not just donation requests. So, for example, if you want to send out links for event registration, sell merchandise, or boost auction participation, you can do that in addition to sending out donation requests.

Access All Fundraising Activities From a Single Integrated Platform

Many fundraising platforms require organizations to use different apps for different types of fundraising. For example, it’s not uncommon for organizations to need to use one app for mobile bidding and auctions, and another app on a completely separate domain for peer-to-peer campaigns. This can be an inconvenience on a number of levels for both organizations and their donors. For example, donors may need to create separate accounts with different login information to access Peer to Peer events versus auctions. 

On the organization side, these scenarios make it difficult to do reporting across various campaigns. For example, how much did Sally Smith donate across our walk-a-thon (peer to peer) and our gala (auction)? With disconnected platforms, this question becomes more difficult to answer.

With Handbid, all of our features are available to be used and managed in one integrated platform, increasing efficiency and improving the user experience for both organizations and their donors. 

Factor #3: Customization Features

Bid Item preview example

Over the years, many organizations expressed to us that they wanted the ability to customize their auction website to match the look and feel of their brand. 

As a result, we’ve built a robust set of tools for organizations to customize their fundraising event pages with colors, fonts, and images, providing them with the tools they need to maintain brand consistency and impress their donor base. 

Theme Editor: Manage your event's digital presence

Handbid users can customize everything from logos, to header and footer images, to gradients and button colors, to menu and event page labels. In addition, these design elements can be applied to the way auction pages render in the Handbid mobile app.

An example of how you can customize the Handbid app to match your branding

For organizations that want a completely customized auction and mobile bidding solution, Handbid’s technology can also be white labeled to create a branded and custom auction experience under your own web domain, a unique option that’s a result of our 20+ years of experience building custom software solutions. 

A customized auction interface for one of our clients at Handbid
A screenshot example of white labeling our technology under a client’s web domain, allowing them to offer and run online auctions directly through their website.

Streamline Your Fundraising Efforts with Handbid

Beyond what we’ve discussed here, Handbid’s cloud-based auction platform includes additional functionality for live auction events, ticketing and registration (including credit card payment processing), paddle raises, hybrid events (with livestream), and virtual events

Plus, we have integrations with popular CRMs such as Salesforce and Kindful, offering a holistic fundraising solution for private schools, sports teams, nonprofits, and other organizations looking to hit their fundraising goals. 

Both our product and customer support teams deeply understand the needs of organizations hosting fundraising events because we have extensive experience running fundraising campaigns and charity auctions ourselves.

To see Handbid in action and talk with our team about what our auction software solution can do for you, get in touch with us for a free demo and consultation.

OneCause Event and Online Fundraising Software

OneCause homepage: Event & Online Fundraising Solutions

Factor #1: Event Expertise and Support

Among fundraising and auction software on the market, OneCause is a long-standing player with extensive experience in fundraising and events. So, it’s likely that their team has the knowledge to support you in running in-person fundraising events.

Like Handbid and Greater Giving, they have onsite staffing available for organizations that want it. However, while they state offering phone and email support to their customers for plans that do not include onsite staff, it is unclear if this equates to a direct line to real humans on their team or an automated voicemail queue. So, if you decide to reach out to OneCause, be sure to ask them about this. 

Factor #2: User Experience

In reviewing what users have to say about their experiences with OneCause, overall their feelings are positive. However, recent reviews on G2 have expressed that among other things, their software isn’t always the most user-friendly, and log-in experiences can be difficult for auction participants.

In addition, because they’re a web-only solution that does not offer a mobile app, donors need to deal with some of the disadvantages that come along with that. For example, lack of push notifications mean that donors can only receive updates via email and text, requiring them to leave the fundraiser interface and disrupting engagement. And users may not have access to the accessibility features that they might need, such as increased font size and higher contrast.

Lastly, it is unclear whether or not they have a fully unified platform where all features are accessed through the same app and domain and allow you to use the same CC processing account. So, this is another question to ask them about should you decide to reach out to them.

Factor #3: Customization Features

When it comes to customization and branding, OneCause states that they offer rich customization features for event pages and peer-to-peer pages. However, we do not know the extent of that functionality, or whether or not it is as robust as what we offer at Handbid.

Greater Giving Fundraising Software

Greater Giving homepage: Fundraising Software for Live and Online Events

Factor #1: Event Expertise and Support

Like Handbid and OneCause, Greater Giving has been in the event fundraising space for many years and has extensive experience in supporting organizations to run in-person fundraising events. 

They too have onsite staffing options available, and many of their online reviews site that they offer great customer service and support. 

Factor #2: User Experience

In reviewing what users have to say about their experiences with Greater Giving on G2, many users appear to comment that their software isn’t as intuitive as they would like. 

Specifically, they report issues such as arduous log in processes for donors, a steep learning curve for their platform, and a clunky user interface of their event management system Go Time.

In addition, Greater Giving has only recently launched an in-house mobile bidding feature, previously outsourcing to third-party providers. This means their mobile bidding tools are relatively new and developed separately from the rest of their software, which is also likely to have an impact on user experience. From what clients have shared with us, this transition has not been smooth.

Furthermore, Greater Giving requires new users to activate their account by clicking on a link in an email. This email can often take over 30 minutes to show up — which is a problem if your guests are registering at an event. 

Factor #3: Customization Features

In reviewing Greater Giving’s features, they do not appear to emphasize functionality for robust customization and branding capabilities. So, if this is important to you (as it is for many organizations), it’s possible that Greater Giving is not the optimal solution for you.

Note: If you found this article useful and would like to see how we match up against other fundraising solutions, check out our post on OneCause vs. GiveSmart vs. Handbid

See if Handbid Is the Right Solution for Your Next Fundraising Event

OneCause and Greater Giving are two of the top fundraising platforms on the market. However, when considering the key factors we’ve discussed throughout this post, as well as the fact that we offer upfront and transparent pricing (whereas OneCause and Greater Giving do not), many organizations can benefit from using Handbid instead.

Particularly if you’re running in-person events with auctions and want to work with a company that has deep expertise in this area, we encourage you to reach out to us. 

Simply schedule a call to chat with our team. We'll discuss your event strategy, any issues you may be having, and share how we can help.

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