Now, you just need a website, an engaging social media presence, and a nonprofit credit card processing set up. Collecting membership fees, specific dues, donations, and event fees are a lot easier as you can accept credit cards both online and in person. You save time and money, as you will not have to go to banks to run checks, or collect money in the mail. Now, you have more time to really focus on important tasks such as fundraising.
Here we will outline online credit card processing for nonprofits
Three Main Credit Card Processing Options for Nonprofits
Below are the choices for nonprofit credit card processing. Before you avail, it is best to compare each option and choose the most ideal setup for your organization.
- Merchant Credit Card Processing Accounts
This type of credit card processing for nonprofits generally carries a transaction fee amounting to 2.15% with an added $.25. Donations and offline payments can be accepted through a merchant account using a hand-held credit card reader.
Organizations that deal with a large number of transactions monthly are advised to avail of a merchant account as transaction fees are lower compared to other processors.
For an easier way of collecting funds, it is suggested to get hardware such as a credit card terminal, a card swiper, or a virtual terminal.
A credit card terminal is a technology used in retail stores and boutiques. It’s a basic credit card reader where customers swipe, insert, or tap their to pay for the transaction.
It comes in two types: wired and wireless. A wired credit card terminal lets you complete the transaction even if a sudden internet disconnection happens. On the other hand, a wireless terminal is used because of its portability.
Another option is a credit card swiper. They are lightweight, handheld devices that can be attached to your mobile device. After downloading the application connected with your processor, simply attach a card swiper and you may start transacting.
Finally, virtual terminals can also be used to collect fees. It can be set up at your local events and it functions just like the donation page on your website. Simply log in the credit card details of the person donating and let them authorize the charge.
Though easy to facilitate, this option is time consuming especially if you have multiple donations in line. Also, some donors may not be comfortable giving out their card details in public.
Refer to the steps below if you decide to set up a merchant account.
- Coordinate with your chosen merchant account provider.
- Set up a reliable payment gateway. Choose one that provides services such as screening orders for possible fraud and automatic calculation of taxes. Availing the services of a web developer to integrate your website is a must.
- Add a link to your payment gateway. Online payment processors provide a code for links or buttons that you can attach to your website.
- Online payment processing for nonprofits through software
There are various software tools equipped with many features that will not only allow you to take payment but make other tasks easier.
Fundraising software available online will aid you in keeping track of donors, allow online donations, help assist in building campaigns with your fundraisers, donor research, and anything that will help your organization run smoothly.
Here are some fundraising softwares available today. Note that the payment processing fee for fundraising software is the same as those in merchant accounts.
It provides donor relationship management that allows you to directly search a specific member in an instant. Other services include website management, the launching of online pages for donations, etc.
Their services include providing forms for registration and online giving that can be used on your website.
This software offers a dashboard and real-time update performance of your event. It enables you to quickly check if your organization’s goals are met.
Highly suggested for organizations involved in monthly charity events such as marathons, galas, and tournaments. The software comes with a website where participants can securely register, donate, and buy tickets. It is also automatically integrated into several social media platforms making sharing fast and easy.
Aside from launching auctions, event campaigns, and quick reconciliation of donations, it also offers prospect research, enabling you to grow funds faster.
To avail of their services, just visit their respective website.
- Third Party Payment Processor
Generally, this option bears a fee amounting to 2.9% + $.30 per transaction and is highly suggested to small organizations with less than a hundred dealings per month. Note that the fee is a bit higher compared to others as you are dealing with a third party to process your transaction through their merchant account system. They then pass the donation to your organization’s account minus the processing fee. Delays can be expected in getting the funds.
Steps on how to avail the services of a third-party payment processor
- Paypal, Network for Good, and Democracy in Action are known third party processors that you might be interested in. Before choosing, it is highly suggested to research first about their services and check their fees.
- After signing up, a link will be provided by your chosen processor. It contains an embed code for the “Pay Now” or “Donate” button.
A notification will be sent to your organization’s email once a donation or payment is received. The donor will receive a receipt through email.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do credit card fees apply to nonprofits?
Yes, processing and transaction fees apply the moment you accept credit card payment in person or online. The fee may amount to 2% to 3% per transaction.
How can I ask donors to pay for the processing fee?
Many donors are not familiar with fees in donations, but most are willing to cover the processing charge. You may include a tick box in the donation form where donors have the option to check it if they want to pay for the extra fees.
Does PayPal waive fees for nonprofits?
No, but they offer discounted nonprofit rates amounting to 2.2% + $.30 per transaction instead of the usual 2.9% + $.30 charge.