If you currently use Crowdfunding by Astoundify but you are interested in switching to Charitable, here’s what you need to know to decide if Charitable is the right choice for you.
Charitable is a fundraising plugin
First and foremost, Charitable is a fundraising plugin. It is designed to give non-profits a compelling alternative to mainstream fundraising software.
Crowdfunding by Astoundify, on the other hand, was a crowdfunding plugin catering to people who might otherwise use a site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise money. It also supported the creation of community crowdfunding sites with a frontend submissions feature.
The core Charitable plugin does not have any frontend submission functionality, but we are developing an extension that will add this functionality (to be available in our Pro package).
Charitable is a platform
We see Charitable as a fundraising platform, with a powerful free core plugin and an ecosystem of extensions and themes that allow you to tailor it to your needs. Think of it this way: What WooCommerce does for e-commerce, Charitable does for fundraising.
While Crowdfunding by Astoundify had a few extensions, it was more limited in scope.
Charitable does not require Easy Digital Downloads
Crowdfunding by Astoundify turned Easy Digital Downloads into a crowdfunding plugin. This meant that you could use any EDD payment gateway extension with it.
One by-product of this design was that you could not sell normal digital products through your website, since Crowdfunding by Astoundify caused all EDD products to be treated as campaigns.
Charitable is designed to be standalone. You do not need to install any other plugins to get started.
That said, we have an extension coming soon that will allow you to raise money for your campaigns through your Easy Digital Downloads store. With this extension installed, you will be able to use Easy Digital Downloads to handle donations, which means that you can use any payment gateway extension created for EDD.
We think that’s a win-win.
Charitable works with any WordPress theme
Like Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce, Charitable is designed to work with any WordPress theme. It adds basic templates to any theme. Creating a custom theme is much simpler, since you can simply override one of the Charitable templates within your theme.
Crowdfunding by Astoundify did not have any out of the box templates, which meant that the only way you could use it was by using a theme that had been created specifically to support it.
Charitable is under active development
Astoundify originally developed their crowdfunding plugin to go along with their WordPress theme, Fundify. Not long after Fundify and the plugin were acquired by IgnitionDeck in May 2014, IgnitionDeck removed the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.
While Studio 164a still maintains a fork of the original Crowdfunding by Astoundify plugin on Github, the plugin is not being actively developed and the majority of releases are bug fixes.
Charitable has been in active development for the past 12 months, and we’re just getting started. We have an ambitious vision for Charitable, and we’re building our business around it with a focus on long-term stability.
In other words, Charitable’s not going anywhere.