Peter Deitz has written an overview of a promising fundraising tool on his site, First-of-its-kind. ChipIn lets activists set up fundraising campaigns without having a merchant account or going through a traditional fundraising vendor. The company can host the campaign completely for those without their own web pages. ChipIn is also trying to optimize its service for viral spread, creating a web widget that campaign organizers can embed in their own websites, MySpace pages or blogs and that other supporters can use to promote the fundraising effort. I couldn’t find anything on the site about the transaction percentage that they charge, however (update: see Peter’s comment below). Still, this kind of easy online fundraising tool could make a huge difference, particularly for small campaigns or individual people trying to raise money for an issue or cause.