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Become A Hero & Save Your Charity Money With Discounted Credit Card Processing For Nonprofits

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Anyone who runs a nonprofit organization knows how important it is to keep costs low, as funds and resources are limited. There are many ways to save money, but one that many not-for-profit organizations don’t think of is optimizing their payment system to reduce their nonprofit credit card processing costs.

With COVID-19 accelerating our drift towards an increasingly cashless society, donations are increasingly funneled through online payment portals. There, not only can donors pay with a credit or debit card, but they can also buy additional merchandise, such as t-shirts, mugs, or books.

In addition to taking payments, nonprofits often require the ability to collect information about donors and sponsors for future fund drives. Some donors even prefer to set up automatic recurring payments. The payment processing needs of a nonprofit can be complex.

Read on to find the credit card processors best suited to handling nonprofits and online fundraising.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext Steps
Best for nonprofits looking for a processor with an extensive track record of working with nonprofits at a discounted rate.

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Best for nonprofits looking for a processor offering both a nonprofit discount and which itself donates to charities.

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Best for nonprofits in the medical field.

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Best for nonprofits looking for a third-party processor with nonprofit-friendly features.

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Best for nonprofits looking for a third-party processor and that takes in $250,000+ annually.

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Other Featured Options:

  • Stripe Payments: Best for nonprofits that raise 80% or more of their funds through donations.
  • PaymentCloud: Best for nonprofits looking for a high-risk merchant account provider.
  • Host Merchant Services: Best for nonprofits looking for the best user experience possible.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Who Offers The Best Credit Card Processing For Nonprofits?

Many credit card processors offer lower processing rates for nonprofits. However, when looking for a merchant account provider, you’ll also want to consider whether the processor provides such features as recurring billing, a free payment gateway, a customizable checkout, and accounting integrations.

1. Dharma Merchant Services

Dharma Merchant Services



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Dharma is a merchant services provider that believes in giving good value for a fair price. It offers interchange-plus pricing, and its website clearly discloses the charges, so you know what you will pay. There’s no early termination fee with Dharma, so even if, after a while, you decide you don’t like the service, you can leave without suffering a hefty penalty.

Dharma’s company values and culture align well with nonprofits. In fact, it has been working with nonprofits for a long time and knows to make sure your nonprofit is assigned the correct MCC. It also gives an additional discount to nonprofits. As of this writing, Dharma’s nonprofit rates are:

  • Storefront: Interchange + 0.15% + $0.07 per transaction
  • Virtual: Interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Monthly Fee: $20 per month

Dharma has an entire page of information specially designed for nonprofits, so you know exactly what you will get if you sign up. For additional information about Dharma, read our Dharma review.

Pros

  • Discounted pricing for qualified nonprofit companies
  • Competitive interchange-plus pricing
  • No annual fee or monthly minimum
  • Month-to-month billing with no early termination fees

Cons

  • Not recommended for businesses processing less than $10,000 per month
  • No support for high-risk or international users

Get Started with Dharma Merchant Services

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2. National Processing

National Processing



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If you work with National Processing, not only will you get a nonprofit discount, but it also makes additional donations to charities, so even your processing fees end up doing good. National Processing is a merchant account provider that favors transparency in pricing and reasonable contracts and fees. We think highly of National Processing.

As to rates, National Processing offers a discounted rate to nonprofits of:

  • Storefront: Interchange + 0.15% + $0.07 per transaction
  • Virtual: Interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Monthly Fee: $10 per month

In addition to the above, National Processing is developing some proprietary software that will help donors track their donations and nonprofits manage these donations with additional analytics.

Pros

  • Nonprofit discount offered
  • Interchange-plus pricing standard
  • Low-cost ACH/echeck payment processing
  • Offers month-to-month billing with no early termination fee (ETF)

Cons

  • Long-term contracts required in exchange for free terminal
  • Early termination fee charged in some circumstances

Get Started with National Processing

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3. Payline Data

Payline



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Payline Data is another credit card processor that we at Merchant Maverick like. While it doesn’t have nonprofit-specific information on its website, we contacted a few folks for you and confirmed that Payline does have special rates for nonprofits.

Basically, nonprofits get Payline’s retail pricing. Typically, retail (card-present) transactions have the lowest rates. Even though nonprofits tend to get donations through the web (i.e., card-not-present transactions), Payline Data is giving its best pricing to nonprofits. To be more specific, the charges are:

  • Processing Fee: Interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Monthly Fee: $10 per month

It also works with you to set up the payment processing portion of your website to make it a better client experience, including adding a Donate Now button for easy payments. Contact Payline Data for more specifics.

Pros

  • Transparent interchange-plus pricing
  • No early termination fee
  • Free virtual terminal and gateway
  • Nonprofit discounts available (medical)

Cons

  • Not available for international users
  • Hidden developer tools

Get Started with Payline

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4. PayPal

PayPal



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PayPal has a lot of resources designed especially for nonprofits. That includes special transaction rates for 501(c)(3) charities. Even if your organization doesn’t qualify as such, PayPal might still have reduced rates for you. There are no extra fees for setup, statements, withdrawals, or cancellation. PayPal charges 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction (except for in-person transactions via mobile POS, in which case it is a flat 2.7% per swipe for US transactions).

In addition to special rates, PayPal offers a dedicated Donate button that allows quick donations via payment card or PayPal account, and the donor can even set up recurring payments from there. You can also prompt your donors to pay the promised amount with a PayPal.Me link, for secure one-button payments.

If you need a payment system but already have CRM software, PayPal integrates with quite a few CRM software providers. Be sure to visit the PayPal nonprofits page to see if your software can be used with PayPal. Lastly, you’ll automatically be included in the PayPal Giving Fund, where donors seeking to do good can find you. Read our complete PayPal review if you’re intrigued, along with our piece on what PayPal can do for your nonprofit.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Discounted nonprofit rate available
  • Extensive integrations
  • Good developer tools

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Inconsistent customer support

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5. Square

Square



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Square has a dedicated page for nonprofits, but, at this writing, it does not give a special discount rate to most nonprofits. If your nonprofit takes in more than $250,000 per year in donations, however, you might be able to negotiate a custom discounted rate. Otherwise, Square charges its standard transaction fees: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction, with keyed-in transactions costing 3.5% + 0.15%.

While Square doesn’t exactly give a discount for nonprofits, a lot of Square’s processing, business management, and payment analytics software come free after signing up. One feature that might benefit nonprofits is Square’s customer management software, where contact information and donation history can be automatically saved.

If you need to integrate Square payments to other software, Square supports a large number of options. Be sure to read our full review of Square and to investigate the specifics on its website. Then, have a look at our guide to Square for nonprofits.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • No monthly fees
  • Impressive feature-set
  • Affordable chip card readers

Cons

  • No nonprofit discount rate for entities taking in less than $250K annually
  • Account stability issues

Get Started with Square

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6. Stripe Payments

Stripe Payments



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Stripe offers custom charity pricing for nonprofit organizations. To qualify, your nonprofit must be a 501(c)(3) organization, and you must also raise at least 80% of your funds through donations. That means if your organization raises more than 20% of its funds through membership fees, tuition payments, etc., it can’t qualify for this discounted rate. You must contact Stripe to find out your specific discount.

Once you are set up as a nonprofit with Stripe, you can create a custom website experience, accept payments on desktop and mobile devices in any currency, and generate and download custom reports. Some very large charities/nonprofits use Stripe, including Unicef, Oxfam, and NPR. If you go with Stripe, you’d be in good company.

Read our complete Stripe review before making a final decision.

Pros

  • Discount available for qualifying nonprofits
  • Excellent developer tools
  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Advanced reporting tools

Cons

  • No nonprofit discount if your organization raises less than 80% of its funds via donations
  • Account stability issues

Read our in-depth review

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7. PaymentCloud

PaymentCloud



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PaymentCloud is a credit card processor specializing in servicing high-risk businesses, and nonprofit organizations tend to be classified as such. The company pitches itself as a nonprofit payment processing solution, offering processing services and an integrated gateway to nonprofit organizations and businesses. Sadly, it does not provide a specific nonprofit discount.

PaymentCloud offers a virtual terminal, a shopping cart integration, and ACH/echeck processing, among other features. The company also provides one “free” terminal per merchant account, though if you close your account, you’ll have to ship your card reader back to the company immediately, lest you get charged for the full cost of the machine.

Unfortunately, PaymentCloud provides no pricing information on its website. However, we do know that PaymentCloud offers bothΒ tieredΒ andΒ interchange-plus pricing models. We recommend getting interchange-plus pricing whenever possible.

Pros

  • High-risk specialist
  • Free credit card terminal
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Non-transparent pricing
  • An early termination fee may apply

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8. Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services



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Host Merchant Services is one of our favorite nonprofit merchant account providers. HMS offers traditional merchant accounts with interchange-plus pricing for both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar businesses. The company also caters to nonprofits, offering interchange-plus pricing at the Visa Charity Rate through the HMS Gives program.

HMS is one of the few merchant accounts to inspire more positive feedback from users than complaints. That’s a rare feat in this shark-ridden industry.

With mobile processing, a POS system, shopping cart integration, web hosting, and more, Host Merchant Services has a lot to offer your nonprofit organization.

Pros

  • Transparent interchange-plus pricing (nonprofits get the Visa Charity Rate)
  • No early termination fee
  • No setup or application fees
  • Excellent public reputation

Cons

  • Can be expensive for low-volume entities
  • Monthly fees apply

Get Started with Host Merchant Services

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Looking For One Of These Names?

Being able to take credit card payments in the traditional way isn’t the only avenue for a nonprofit to accept donations. As it happens, there are donation management software packages designed especially for nonprofits.

The primary drawback of these fundraising tools is that they can be costly. However, you may find the higher cost worth it due to the convenience they bring to fundraising.

JustGiving

JustGiving is a software platform that helps a nonprofit set up everything it needs to raise funds online. It allows your organization to set up custom fundraising pages to tell your organization’s story and gives you tools (such as donate buttons, widgets, and mailing lists) to help you raise funds. You can also set up a crowdfunding page.

If you’re in the US and sign up through JustGiving to process payment cards, you’ll pay a service fee of 5% and 2.9% + $0.30 per payment card transaction.

JustGiving is a membership-based service, but its starter account is free. Once your donations reach a higher volume, you’ll have to pay to continue your account.

Donorbox

Donorbox is another donation management software package for facilitating online fundraising. It offers a similar suite of services as JustGiving, with the exception that you can’t simply sign up and let it handle the payment card processing. You must set up separate accounts with its back-end processors (Stripe or PayPal) and then connect up to Donorbox for the rest of the fundraising. Donorbox’s website lists PayPal’s nonprofit rate of 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction and Stripe’s standard rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. It also provides a contact email to get specific nonprofit rates.

Signing up with Donorbox is free, and it doesn’t charge you unless you raise $1,000 or more per month. Anything at or above $1,000 will cost you a 1.5% processing fee.

DonorPerfect

DonorPerfect offers online fundraising tools for nonprofits. It works similarly to Donor Box, except that TSYS Merchant Solutions handles payments, with transaction fees of 2.5% + $0.20 per transaction.

DonorPerfect’s subscription packages run from $89/month to $799/month, with the package including 1,000 constituent records at the lowest tier and 75,000 at the highest.

Does Free Credit Card Processing For Nonprofits Exist?

In the strictest sense of the word, free β€” as in “at no cost to you” β€” yes, free credit card processing exists. However, this merely means that you pass your processing costs down to your donors.

Familiarize yourself with surcharging and convenience fees. Surcharging means, in addition to the actual charge, the processing costs are added to the amount afterward, and the payment card user must pay this additional amount. For convenience fees, the net result is the same β€” the card user pays the processing costs β€” but you must have a “primary” way for the donor to pay if they don’t want to pay the convenience fee.

Both surcharges and convenience fees can be tricky to implement correctly. Surcharges are not allowed in some states, and even in states that do allow them, they are subject to various state laws. We have articles on surcharges and convenience fees if you’re thinking about implementing either.

A nonprofit is one of the few types of organizations that can get away with asking customers to cover the cost of payment processing without incurring a wave of resentment. Walmart.com would not enjoy that privilege.

Start Saving On Credit Card Processing Fees With Nonprofit Discounts

Now that you have some idea of the nonprofit merchant services out there and the discounts you might be able to get, it’s time to look at your nonprofit’s needs.

Then, start shopping around. With interchange-plus, you can compare processing rates directly. Look at the average size of your donations when comparing transaction costs. A flat per-transaction fee is more expensive for small transactions than a straight percentage. Factor in monthly fees and the cost of a card reader as well.

Beware of locking yourself into a long-term contract or one that includes an early termination fee (ETF). Many processors have now moved to month-to-month packages or at least waive your ETFs. Beware of independent sales agents and deal directly with a company when you can. Also, make sure you get everything in writing.

Here are some additional nonprofit resources:

Have any questions about nonprofit credit card processing rates? Please leave us a comment.

In Summary: Who Offers The Best Credit Card Processing For Nonprofits?

  1. Dharma Merchant Services: Best for nonprofits looking for a processor with an extensive track record of working with nonprofits at a discounted rate.
  2. National Processing: Best for nonprofits looking for a processor offering both a nonprofit discount and which itself donates to charities.
  3. Payline: Best for nonprofits in the medical field.
  4. PayPal: Best for nonprofits looking for a third-party processor with nonprofit-friendly features.
  5. Square: Best for nonprofits looking for a third-party processor and that takes in $250,000+ annually.
  6. Stripe Payments: Best for nonprofits that raise 80% or more of their funds through donations.
  7. PaymentCloud: Best for nonprofits looking for a high-risk merchant account provider.
  8. Host Merchant Services: Best for nonprofits looking for the best user experience possible.
Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers is a writer and cereal chef from San Diego. He graduated with a Political Science degree from San Diego State University in 2001. He's been writing about website builders, crowdfunding sites, online lenders, and credit cards for Merchant Maverick since 2015. Additionally, Jason can't eat raisins.
Jason Vissers

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67 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Brian

    5 years ago we ran and LLC selling wildflower oil. Eventually we were shut down by paypal, amazon, stripe, square, Elavon, and registered TMF ” Terminated Merchant File: Shut down and unable to do credit/debit card processing, labeled as a CBD product. Their computer software read our website as CBD, when they scanned our website account, and shut us down. Even though the CBD on the website was for Colorado Bred Design wildflower oil, nothing to do with CBD hemp products. Amazon even kept $2,700 of our sales, and later said, we had no such account. Since our product is wildflower oil, we have considered enlisting our 501 c3 organization to market the oil. Any ideas? We have applied to over 100 banks as the previous LLC and got nowhere. How bout a 501 c3 that has been in good standing since its inception in 1974.

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Emily Hale

      Hi Brian,

      I’m sorry to hear you are facing so much trouble finding a processor. There are pros and cons to enlisting your 501 c3 and without knowing all of the ins and outs, I’m not comfortable giving advice concerning that particular business move. Have you specifically focused on high-risk processors? It’s possible that your other products (especially if health related) could be an issue as far as that’s concerned, too. Additionally, Square just announced that they are opening up their services to CBD sellers, so it would be less of a deterrent if that was the case. Another possibility for you is to ensure that in your site and materials, you have removed all acronyms that may be misconstrued as CBD oil. I wish you the best of luck in finding a good processor! Let us know what you land on.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Jim Mouradick

        We are in the final stages of completing our custom non-profit 501(c)(3) website/company to be able to sell original works of art from Armenia into the US market, wherein 100% all profits are donated back into Armenian charities doing charitable work in Armenia (rebuilding schools, health centers, housing, water treatment, and infrastructure). Our business model allows us to pass along a 60% income tax deduction to art purchasers/collectors. Our individual sales transactions in the first year will be between $500-$2,000 each, with annual first years sales projected to be $50,000 to $100,000. Year three annual sales should be in the $200,000-$250,000 and year five should be in the $400,000-$500,000 range, which is where we think we will level off. During this transition, sales on the low end will continue at $500 and top out at the $5,000 level. All our sales will be via internet and we hope to offer all major CC cards (including AMEX and PayPal). Is there a merchant service provider that would be the perfect fit for us (we currently bank with Chase Bank)?

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Melissa Johnson

          Hi, Jim!

          It sounds like you’re based in the US, which is an advantage. It’ll make processing a lot easier. Off the top of my head, Braintree and Stripe seem like they would be good fits. Braintree will allow you to build in PayPal payments pretty effortlessly. Both are very developer friendly and you can do a lot with automation and reporting. Dharma Merchant Services is also a really great company for nonprofits in general, but they do generally want you to have a monthly volume of $10k.

          Hope this helps!

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            Judy Kaufman

            I head up a non-profit organization that takes in annually about $20,000: $4000 annual membership fees, $13,000 event registration fees, $1000 donations, $2000 book sales and miscellany. We currently do no credit card processing except one of our board members just started using her own Square account for selling books at a few events. We have a website and would like to allow people to pre-register on the website for events and charge the reg. fee to credit cards, as well as being able to charge donations and membership fees. (And probably also use the same system for selling books at our events and walk-in registrations.) And we need good reports of all this activity to be generated for our Treasurer. What system would you recommend?

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Emily Hale

              Hi Judy,

              You might want to consider Stripe, as it’s a very flexible solution and offers integrations available (e.g. Event.com) for registering online. In addition, you can apply for special pricing with your nonprofit status. Hope this helps, and best of luck!

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Carla Forrest

                I opened a 501(c)3 kitten rescue nonprofit. The nonprofit will be taking online donations, mail in and over the phone donations and collecting in-store donations during adoption events. I am also opening a Cat Cafe that will be selling merchandise, coffee and cat experiences. Is there an all in one option for both businesses, so I do not have to pay 2 monthly fees. I would hate to start the cafe with a $99 monthly fee.

                Thank you,
                Carla Forrest
                Small Lives Matter Kitten Rescue

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Dakota Fillet

                  Hi Carla,

                  Square would be the best option for your business. They have no monthly fees, affordable hardware, and do not charge to use the virtual terminal to do phone or mail donations. They do not, however, support ACH and we are not sure how their online tools are since they recently made a few changes, but this is something you may want to contact them to inquire about. Additionally, we would encourage getting a chip reader for purchases to ensure you are protected against potential credit card fraud. Square has many options so it would be best to visit their site to see all of your options before choosing.

                  If you begin to clear $10k/month for credit card processing, you may want to consider Dharma Merchant Services which will give you processing discounts and access to some more specialized tools while also supporting all of the retail needs of the cat cafe. Best of luck!

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Pam Krueger

                    Thank you for a great article, but there is still so much I don’t understand. I serve on a church committee that plans an annual retreat. We only take credit card payments from retreat attendees during our registration period which is 3 – 4 months long and the average amount charged is $150. We take credit card payments online only. Which companies do you recommend we look into as a non-profit? Thank you for taking the time to reply.
                    Sincerely,
                    Pam

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                      Jessica Dinsmore

                      Hi Pam,

                      I’d suggest looking into Paypal or Square. While Square is an excellent option, Paypal offers an online discount. So I’d definitely check them both out and see what checks more of your boxes. Good luck!

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                        Paul

                        Fantastic summary of the available payment processors and merchants for non-profits. Looking for guidance here as we are looking to move our 501c(3) away from from PayPal to another payment merhcant/provider. There are so many today and I am not sure what we focus on.

                        Out situation is quite unique as our non-profit runs an experimental/pilot stock exchange to gather data for the US government to one day pursue regulatory certainty. We have been taking in donations from paypal to our non-profit since 2011/12, with the stock exchange taking donations itself starting in 2014. So we have tremendous history with payment processing and very very few chargebacks over that time.

                        What’s unique about our model though is that while the non-profit take in donations to the experimental exchange, we also make outpayments should the pilot participant wish to take anything out. We have capped donations to $2500 year per pilot participant, so its not crazy amount of money coming in or going out.

                        Which providers would you recommend that would best for this model of taking in donations and sending out payments periodically?

                        Thanks!

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                          Jessica Dinsmore

                          Hi Paul,

                          What an interesting question! I’d suggest reaching out to Dharma to see if they will accommodate your unique request (I suspect they will!). Best of luck to you!

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                            Zana S Price

                            We are a 53 year nonprofit 501 C3 Art Association. We hold a six week holiday arts and craft show each year since 1967. Last year gross sales was $73,000 for the six weeks. Looking for a POS with lower processing fees than Square. No monthly fees, short term holiday commitment.

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                              Jessica Dinsmore

                              Hi Zana!

                              I’d say Dharma or possibly Payline. The big determining factor in whether the pricing is competitive is your average transaction size. The larger the transaction size, the more likely an interchange-plus plan will work best for you.

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                Marlin

                                We are a Youth Group from our church looking into purchasing something that is very feasible for our budget and looking for something that won’t charge fees. Thanks!

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                  Hi Marlin!

                                  I definitely think Square or Paypal is the way to go for your youth group. Best wishes!

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                    Joyce

                                    Hi, if you were looking to get small political campaign donations and needed to gather other information like the name, address, occupation and employer information of the donation while looking for reduced fees – what would you recommend?

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                      Hi Joyce,

                                      Square would be an excellent option for you. Happy campaigning!

                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                        Michelle Stewart Walsh

                                        Hello Melissa – we’re a small local church that regularly runs fund-raisers: Rummage sales, bake sales and the like. We’d like to be able to accept credit and debit cards at these functions, but we only have a few every year, so would like to keep costs down as much as possible.

                                        What would you recommend?

                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                          Hi Michelle,

                                          I’d suggest looking into Paypal or Square. They both work well for smaller non-profits with variable sales volumes. Good luck!

                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                            Steph J

                                            Hi there! Thanks so much for all the helpful info in this article… we are small nonprofit history museum with 501 c 3 status –we have a small museum store and regularly process tours and sales by credit card. Our current POS is a bit outdated and we are having issues with it. Wondering if this is a good time to also review our merchant services and make a change both in processing and our whole POS system —to be sure we are making the most of ever penny we earn and spend. Wondering what your suggestions are for us? We recently used PayPal Here for our big yearly fundraiser but we definitely still need a point-of-sale for our daily operations (tours, sales, donations etc.). Thanks so much for any advice!

                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                              Melissa Johnson

                                              Hi, Steph!

                                              It certainly sounds like you’re at a good point in time to re-evaluate your payment processing and POS setup!

                                              PayPal Here should work on a daily basis if you don’t need a lot of features. You can add hardware and receipt printers and such. You can also set up donation buttons online for one-time and recurring donations, and you’d be eligible for a discount for those online transactions. As a bonus, PPH is free.

                                              Vend offers a non-profit discount (30% off) for its POS app as well. And it integrates with PayPal as a processor. If you need some more robust functions, that could be worth pursuing. Vend offers a discount if you pay for a whole year in advance, but you can also go month to month.

                                              There’s also ShopKeep, which offers custom pricing for merchants. ShopKeep offers its own payment processor with custom rates (but you can choose to use your own processor if you like). You’ll have to contact them for details, but it’s a powerful platform with month to month agreements.

                                              Another great option to look at would be Dharma Merchant Services. They do offer nonprofit discounts and they give a lot of money toward charitable causes themselves.

                                              I hope this helps!

                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                Ariel

                                                Health Services in an office setting with 501(c)3 status. We are trying to figure out if going with Square or Paypal makes the most sense? We will be taking payments by swiping cards and would love an option for donations on the website or other easy ways. Which would be best? Thanks!

                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                  Hi Ariel,
                                                  I would say Paypal makes the most sense for you, and it’s super easy to set up a donation button. Good luck!

                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                    Carmen Davis

                                                    Our group, non profit, puts on horse shows one time per year. We would like to accept credit cards with little to no fees. Any suggestions?

                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                      Hi Carmen,
                                                      I’d suggest looking into Square or Paypal Here. They are both non-profit friendly and mobile, which seems convenient for horse shows, and neither have monthly fees. Best of luck!

                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                        Kim Carroll

                                                        What would you recommend for a school PTO with 501c3 tax exempt status? It would be used for spirit wear, school event tickets and food & drink sales at functions.
                                                        Any help will be greatly appreciated.

                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                          Melissa Johnson

                                                          Hi, Kim! I would probably look at PayPal in your case. You’ll get all the tools you need with no monthly fees, which is great if you’re doing only a small volume each month.

                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                            Sandra

                                                            Non profit Inc. 501 c 3 New Charitable Assistance program. Building a web page awaiting my bank to setup a donation system in the future. Have a bank account established. Please advise for growth of the foundation to include sales of products. fees and/or percentages and no termination for transfer to another service. security is another area of interest. We are only at projections so little income and need much to grow.

                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                              Melissa Johnson

                                                              Hi, Sandra! I think if you are just starting out with a low volume, PayPal may be the best option for you! You’ll be able to set up single and recurring donations with just a few clicks, plus create an online shop and swipe cards in person at fundraisers, and you’ll be eligible for the nonprofit discount.

                                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                Debbie Burkhart

                                                                We are a 501C3 supporting a music program at a high school and run two big events an a few small ones. GoPayment had been great up until they stopped letting us use older readers forcing us to buy new at about $20 each and we need atleast 15 for the large marching band event. Any ideas who would help on the card reader side?

                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                  Melissa Johnson

                                                                  Hi, Debbie!

                                                                  I would consider looking at PayPal, though Square may also be willing to work with you on the hardware front! You’ll have to contact sales directly and ask, however. Generally, discounts on hardware aren’t offered by default, even for nonprofits! But you really should consider upgrading to some chip card hardware to reduce your own potential liability.

                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                    Mike Rolf

                                                                    Thanks for the info. Pay Pal looks pretty good for our nonprofit but I see they only mention credit cards for processing. We recently had a fundraiser with a big silent auction. We currently use Swipe but we had about 15 upset people when our iPads were not able to process debit cards. We are a small nonprofit that takes in less than $100,000 in Credit/debit donations. Thanks for any suggestions.
                                                                    Thank you,
                                                                    Mike

                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                      Hi Mike,

                                                                      That sounds very frustrating! We don’t know much about Swipe, but Paypal seems to be a good fit for your needs. Paypal Here can process debit cards on the credit networks, just like a credit card, so the customer experience remains the same regardless of their method of payment. I hope that helps!

                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                        Brenna

                                                                        Thanks so much for this helpful article and for the follow-up questions and responses!

                                                                        I have worked for straight-up non-profits in the past, and we’ve always used Network for Good, ActBlue, and other donation processors of that type. However, my new gig is with an historic mansion that is a non-profit, but also makes money from for-profit activities such as weddings, lectures, concerts, and the like. We’d like to be able to take both donations and payments online, as well as in person. We’re relative small. Would Square be the right way to go to meet this for-profit/non-profit hybrid’s needs?

                                                                        Thanks!

                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                          Hi Brenna,

                                                                          Square is a great option for nonprofits, but for your situation, I think PayPal is your best bet. They will offer you a nonprofit discount, plus recurring donation buttons. PayPal’s recurring donation buttons are easy to set up, plus you can send invoices and accept payments in person. Best!

                                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                            Cathy Freeman

                                                                            We just applied for non-profit status. We are a group of patients with a rare incurable cancer and are looking for donations to fund researchers who’ll study our rare disease, help get tumor tissue to researchers to create cell lines and assist patients. We have both a facebook site and a website. In our first year we facilitated $130,000 in fundraising through a researcher’s nonprofit lab (using his Foundation’s status). This year we are going creating our own non-profit so we can fund other researchers as well. I doubt we’ll every get the amount we raised last year again thus it would be a low volume donation site. I first thought Paypal but then realized there would be two fees, Paypal’s fee plus the credit cards fee. I expect most donations to be by credit card. I use Square personally for my husband’s concerts but it has a high percentage per transaction fee. Thus looking for a credit card non-profit that a donate button on our website would link to with the least percentage fee per transaction as well as no monthly fees since we’ll probably go months with no donations. Trying to save lives and often our disease first is seen in teenagers, SDH Deficient (a Kreb’s Cycle inherited mutation) that leads to three different cancers, Gist (what I have), Paraganglioma (what my father died of) and renal cell carcinoma. Thank you.

                                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                              Hi Cathy,

                                                                              Paypal is actually your best option — there won’t be any fees beyond processing rates, and since you are a non-profit you’ll be able to get a lower rate than you would with Square.
                                                                              Plus you get the option of recurring donations for free! Best of luck to you and your nonprofit!

                                                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                Kim

                                                                                Hi, We’re a small nonprofit providing thherapeutic riding for children and adults with disabilities. We’d like to be able to accept donations via credit card, as well as payments for lessons. Occasionally we might have merchandise, such as t-shirts or cups being sold. Suggestions?

                                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                  Hi Kim,

                                                                                  What a great service you provide! I think Square would handle this well. They work great for most smaller non-profits, for both regular donations, as well as fundraising events, etc. They are also easy to use and have no monthly fee. Good luck to you!

                                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                    Gerry

                                                                                    Hi,

                                                                                    I’ve read your article and many of your responses to comments. We are a small to medium sized church that has some monthly recurring donations plus a small bookstore that accepts credit card sales. We don’t have a dedicated pad or phone that we can attach a reader to, though there is a computer in the bookstore that can be accessed. You recommend Dharma to several folks who seem to be in situations similar to ours but I read somewhere the Dharma isn’t good for smaller organizations. Is that correct? What would you recommend for us?

                                                                                    Thank you!

                                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                      Hi Gerry,

                                                                                      I think with your lower sales volume, you’d be best off with Square or Paypal, however you’d really need to invest in an iPad or tablet for either of them. They both accommodate donations quite simply, and offer the flexibility to accept donations on the go. Just be sure to get the EMV reader regardless of your choice. Hope that helps!

                                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                        Jason

                                                                                        Are there any 3rd party processors that allow you to execute all transactions under your domain, seamlessly? I understand I can do this by working with a company like Authorize.net, but that is a complicated set up. I’m looking for a PayPal or a NetworkforGood type service that can do this.

                                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                          Hi Jason,

                                                                                          I’d suggest checking out our eCommerce reviews, and possibly look into Shopify. We aren’t 100% sure if this is the solution to your problem, but at a minimum, they make it pretty seamless to set everything up under one domain. I hope that helps!

                                                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                            Annie H

                                                                                            Hi, we are a non-profit preschool based in California, and we’re looking for a way to accept online tuition payments (around $175-$200/month) for around 75 families. That’s our priority, as our parents have been asking for online payments for awhile now. Also, a mobile on site option would be nice, in case parents want to pay tuition at school, or if they want to purchase tickets to some of our events. Any recommendations?

                                                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                              Hi Annie,

                                                                                              I think Dharma Merchant Services (see our review) would meet your needs. They are great for non-profits and come highly recommended. I’d also suggest this article: Nonprofit Card Processing Discounts Can Mean Big Savings.

                                                                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                Kathi Williams

                                                                                                We are looking for something other than PayPal Here for vendor events. PayPal Here does not transfer the address of the donor to the main Pay Pal file causing us to have to enter everyone by hand.

                                                                                                Do you know of any POS card companies that have the integration so we can obtain the address of our donor?

                                                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                  Hi Kathi!

                                                                                                  I love the work you’re doing! I think Square Customer Directory would be perfect for what you are looking for. Check it out and please let me know if you have any further questions. Best of luck!

                                                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                    Catherine

                                                                                                    Great Article, Im not sure if I have more or less questions. I have heard that PayPal has a cap on how much money you can move out of the account per month? If that is true, is there a better option.

                                                                                                    It is a non profit.

                                                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                      Melissa Johnson

                                                                                                      Hi, Catherine!

                                                                                                      As far as I am aware, and as far as PayPal indicates on its website, caps only apply to unverified non-profits. Once you link your bank account and provide the other information, you should be free to move money around as you need/

                                                                                                      https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/brc/nonprofits-and-limitations

                                                                                                      Hope this helps!

                                                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                        Elaina

                                                                                                        We are a looking to accept credit card transactions at various events such as bake sales, and other fundraisers, etc as well as adding a storefront to our website.

                                                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                          Hi Elaina,

                                                                                                          I think Square would be perfect for you. Check them out and see what you think. Good luck with your sales!

                                                                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                            Sherry

                                                                                                            Our camp would like to take online donations where people can use their credit cards. We also have a camp store that we sell out of and have many parents that would like to pay with a credit card. What’s the best option that would allow us to both?

                                                                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                              Hi Sherry,

                                                                                                              Thanks for writing. I would recommend taking a look at Square; they work well for non-profit organizations in our experience. Paypal would also be worth looking into if Square doesn’t check all of your boxes. Best of luck with your camp!

                                                                                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                Reema

                                                                                                                Hi, I am looking for a cheap option for credit card machines for a non-profit organization. We are currently using moneris which is quite costly for us.
                                                                                                                Please advise! Thanks!

                                                                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                  Hi Reema,
                                                                                                                  Square is an excellent choice for non-profit organizations and there are no monthly fees or early termination fees.

                                                                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                    Kathie Daufel

                                                                                                                    We are a non-profit organization. We perform once a year and we would like to offer the option of buying tickets at the door using a CC. Looking for the best option for us to do this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

                                                                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                      Hi Kathie,
                                                                                                                      Square is a great option for non-profits with low/variable sales volumes.

                                                                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                        Lynette

                                                                                                                        Do any of the merchants have a mobile phone app that accepts recurring donations.?

                                                                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                          Hi Lynette,

                                                                                                                          Dharma Merchant Services should be able to help with this!

                                                                                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                            anne

                                                                                                                            Hi, Can non-profits charge the fee BACK to the person making the donation?

                                                                                                                            We were thinking of putting a comment on our website that the processing fee would be covered by the donor. $100 becomes $114.50.

                                                                                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                              Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                              Hi Anne,

                                                                                                                              That’s a great questions. The laws regarding charging the customer vary between the different card networks, so it is hard to say. This article and this article will help you get a better idea of what you need to do to comply. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

                                                                                                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                                Julie Elangwey

                                                                                                                                Hello Melissa, How to reduce credit card processing costs?

                                                                                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                                  Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                  Hi Julia,

                                                                                                                                  I think you might find this article helpful. If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to let us know.

                                                                                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                                    Florence Allbaugh

                                                                                                                                    Thank you for your work. It was helpful for us. We are a non-profit providing medical & dental care in developing countries.

                                                                                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                                      Abraham Amoah

                                                                                                                                      Please I’ve set up a non-profit making organization site at http://www.christiansonearth.org and I want to see how you can help me to set up a merchant account for donations. Please visit http://www.christiansonearth.org/hell.html or /rapture.html to understand what I mean.
                                                                                                                                      Thank you.
                                                                                                                                      Abraham Amoah
                                                                                                                                      Ghana

                                                                                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                        Hi Abraham! Thank you for your inquiry. I’d recommend Dharma for your non-profit needs. Best of luck to you!

                                                                                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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