What charities have APIs or allow users to write programs that donate to them
August 7, 2009 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Is there any non-profit or charity that allows you to programatically donate? E.g. I run a website and when users do certain things, I'd like to say "proceeds from such actions go to a good cause." Right now, I'm doing it by hand. I've seen Kiva come out with an API, but it's mainly for showing off their transactions, no money changes hands. I'm sure charities take PayPal?
posted by racecar to Society & Culture (7 answers total)
If it's a short list of charities, you could setup a direct deposit / ETF into their accounts. I know that's automatable, and on the same level as credit card handling as far as I know (ie. you have a vendor account, and push money around).

That's probably easier than asking individual charities to setup an API. Use the banking system as your API.
posted by cschneid at 9:34 AM on August 7, 2009

Here's a quick e-How on how to make automated payments through PayPal. It seems easy enough.
posted by xingcat at 9:36 AM on August 7, 2009

Sorry, I think I mis-read your question.
posted by xingcat at 9:37 AM on August 7, 2009

Here's another idea: if you accept credit card payments through an e-commerce website, Dharma Merchant Services donates 10% of the credit card fees to a charity of your choice. They are great people to work with.
posted by Merlin144 at 9:44 AM on August 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

You can set up scheduled payments on networkforgood.org. My non-profit uses them to accept donations. It's done through paypal I think but anyway they're associated with Guidestar and have a great reputation. Also super easy to use in my experience.
posted by entropyiswinning at 10:29 AM on August 7, 2009

Whatever method you choose, I know you will batch these donations, and require approval by yourself before funds are actually transferred, right? Otherwise any script kiddie will be able to bankrupt you... and it might not even be illegal.

You might be better off using something like Google Analytics to track the actions you want and then multiply the number of uniques by your donation amount and transfer that over weekly.
posted by rocketpup at 11:05 AM on August 7, 2009

Or perhaps if the automated donation is tied to a credit card or paypal expenditure by the user, it will be more difficult to bankrupt you with this scheme... but someone with a database of stolen card numbers might still be able to wreak havoc.
posted by rocketpup at 11:09 AM on August 7, 2009

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