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Online Donations for Nonprofits in a Nutshell

Posted on 2nd October 2009 by Timothy Spell
By Admin |October 2nd, 2009

Starting to accept online donations for your nonprofit can be a somewhat confusing process as there are literally hundreds of options out there.


The first step when putting together your online donation plan is to determine what payment processor you would like to use. The most popular processor PayPal Payments Pro, which is used not only in nonprofits, but commercially as well. NonprofitCMS recommends using PayPal Pro for accepting online donations.

Here is a quick comparison of the two biggest payment processors out there:

PayPal Pro 2.9% + $0.30 USD + $30/mo 2.37% + $0.35 USD + $25/mo + $150 setup fee

Other options include:



Auctionpay is a good option for organizations looking for a middle-of-the-road donation,
registration, and event solution at a reasonable price — it’s $30 a month with a
3.5 percent per-payment transaction fee. ActionPay’s donation form can be integrated
into the look and feel of a Web site to some degree, and is quite customizable.


A solid, high-end option, GiftTool offers robust support for donations, an online
shopping cart, event registration, pledge-a-thons, and more. It can be completely
integrated into the look and feel of your site. When you use more than one of its
payment functionalities, GiftTool’s monthly fees are higher than most of the tools
listed above. However, the company charges a flat $1.23 per transaction rather than
a percentage of the payment, making the pricing attractive for those accepting large
payments such as conference registration fees.


Half hosted payment-processing tool and half Web-development shop with a focus on
payment processing, CharityWeb offers payment solutions custom built to meet your
particular needs for donation, membership registration, events, products, and more.
Because it comes with high setup fees and requires a merchant account, CharityWeb
is not for organizations that are just getting started with online payments, but
it could be a great choice for those ready to invest in a custom solution.

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