Online Fundraising for Non-Profits: Three Options for Accepting Online Donations on Your Website
Several online payment services offer many useful tools for businesses and for non-profit organizations too!
As e-commerce becomes more and more common and is embraced by many as the norm. It is not time to sit back and wait for people to send checks to your organization. When it comes to fundraising, it is time to take that same ease of payments that for-profit organizations use and bring it into the non-profit world. Put online giving within easy reach of donors. Here’s a breakdown on three options for online donations.
Advantages Thanks to PayPal, Amazon.com, and other sources like Facebook’s FundRazr App non-profits have the ability to collect individual donations or even schedule ongoing gifts with tools that e-consumers are already familiar with.
PayPal offers several options that give non-profit organizations the ability to accept donations in a simple way that consumers are already use to using PayPal accounts or credit cards.
PayPal features include:
- Configure buttons and copy HTML code for use on your website or HTML websites
- Enable one-time donations at donor-determined amounts,
- Schedule regular online giving at pre-determined amounts and cycles
- Management of funds
- Auto receipt
- Optional info collection for followup
PayPal accepts donations from people with or without PayPal accounts through:
- PayPal Account transfers
- Credit Card Processing
With PayPal’s fee structure you receive a discount if you verify your 501(c) 3 status. The regular rate is 2.9% + $0.30 but the non-profit rate is just a wee bit less:
- 2.2% + $0.30 on donations under $100,000
- 1.9% + $0.30 on donations over $100,000
That means that if a donation was $100 you’d pay between $2.20 and $2.50 in fees.
Amazon.com offers a similar non-profit donation plan. Amazon’s no start-up cost option includes the ability to configure your own donation buttons (to be posted on your site or in your html e-mails). Amazon also provides flexibility to set fixed, minimum, or donor-determined donation amounts along with scheduling ongoing gifts.
Donors will have to either open an Amazon Payments account or have one already to use this service.
Amazon supports giving through:
- Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB).
- Bank Account debits (only supported by Amazon FPS)
- Amazon Payments balance (only supported by Amazon Simple Pay and Amazon FPS)
Amazon charges no start-up fees, but neither do the other options listed here so that’s no big deal. The key is to compare per-payment charges. At Amazon they’re pretty similar to PayPal:
- For credit card transactions >= $10: 2.9% + $0.30 for credit card
- For transactions < $10: 5.0% + $0.05 for credit card
FundRazr provides a unique option of embedding your giving links into Facebook and providing goal-oriented giving with on the fly followup charts so donors can see how the donation project is progressing.
I like this idea, but have found it to take some work to set up (though recent reviews say it’s easy now!). Still with the popularity of Facebook, this could reach a lot of people on the social network you might otherwise miss.
- Credit Card
- Debit Card
- PayPal Account
Recipients pay a fee of 4.9% + $0.30 on every payment. The fee includes all PayPal transaction fees. This is higher than either Amazon Payments or PayPal’s regular service, but the ability to integrate with Facebook is really attractive even at nearly 5% in fees per payment.
I like PayPal but it doesn’t hurt to have several options as long as they’re displayed in a user-friendly way. In unofficial numbers PayPal had more than 153 million accounts worldwide in 2008. Amazon has about 615 million and Facebook has over 500 million users. That puts Amazon in the lead with users by evaluating your audience may be a good idea if you just want to use one service instead of all three.
Keep in mind the fees involved. You’ll need to account for these as you keep up on your records since this will be a reduction in the total donation you receive when transferring the donations to your organization.
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