Comparisons: Online Fundraising with DreamBank and GiveMeaning

As part of a series comparing startups with similar models, today we compare two online fundraising sites: GiveMeaning and DreamBank. Both are based out of Vancouver; DreamBank launched this last Summer 2008, GiveMeaning was started in 2004.

Interface: DreamBank keeps things simple and paired down. GiveMeaning’s site feels a tad dated, though is more rich with information, including a map view.

Costs: DreamBank takes a 2.5% fee “to cover transaction costs”, but also “gives 10% of its net transaction revenue to the charities”. GiveMeaning doesn’t charge any fees, but accepts donations and has some advertising on the site.

Tax Receipts: GiveMeaning can issue tax receipts if the project is eligible. DreamBank does not deal with tax receipts.

Intention: Though the sites both perform essentially the same technical function, they have differing approaches in what they host. GiveMeaning hosts charities and personal projects that pass a proposal voting process. DreamBank describes itself as an “alternative gift giving service” that reduces materialism and also helps various causes. Though browsing through the “dreams”, one sees that many users are using DreamBank for social change projects.

It’s slightly ironic that DreamBank uses a .org TLD that would normally be associated with non-profit organizations, but is a private company, whereas GiveMeaning (.com) is a non-profit. Both are good platforms, which is most ideal depends on your particular project. Smaller, more personal projects will probably find a better home on DreamBank. Bigger ideas may be better suited to GiveMeaning. The only clear winning advantage goes to GiveMeaning: no fees.