Website donation for nonprofits?
August 18, 2008 10:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm developing a site for a new nonprofit that would like to accept online donations. I'd love advice on which sites I can sign them up with to accept donations with the least amount of fees. Is there anything better than PayPal - perhaps a site specifically dedicated to nonprofits? Thanks!
posted by AONeal79 to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My NP used Click and Pledge donation system. The Donor Management system looked good, but we were already using something else. No idea about their CMS-style stuff.
posted by unixrat at 11:09 AM on August 18, 2008

this is very country-specific, for tax and donation rules vary. I use CanadaHelps.
posted by scruss at 11:10 AM on August 18, 2008

Former non-profit board chair here. I'd look for a system that will also do the sending out of IRS letters and forms.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:18 AM on August 18, 2008

Google Checkout has a program for 501(c)3 non-profit organizations.

I don't know how they (will) compare on fees, but they aren't charging them until 2009.
posted by polexa at 11:22 AM on August 18, 2008

Best answer: Sorry, just remembered one more donation-collector, Groundspring, that I've seen several (local) non-profits use.

Looking at the site, they seem to offer a whole suite of development/fundraising services & tools, like donor management, email newsletters (a la constant contact or myemma), as well as donation processing.

Looks like the donation part does cost money -- monthly fee ($30) and 3%. They're a non-profit too though, in case that makes a difference to you.
posted by polexa at 11:31 AM on August 18, 2008

I've seen several organizations use Network for Good.
posted by hooray at 12:15 PM on August 18, 2008

I have used JustGive previously as a web admin setting this up. All you need is the Employer Tax ID # for the NPO to set up your account, then just look around as to how to integrate this into your site. Example half way down
posted by ijoyner at 12:23 PM on August 18, 2008

I walk by the HQ for Firstgiving on my way to work everyday. Fee structure.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:06 PM on August 18, 2008

Best answer: Network for Good is "powered by" Groundspring, so they're really just a single option.

At the last NPO I worked for we used Groundspring and were very, very happy with them. We used them for the collection of online donations as well as for email list management. Very happy with their service.
posted by anastasiav at 1:35 PM on August 18, 2008

Don't send out automated acknowledgments. Every donation deserves a personal thank you letter, and it will also help to increase donor loyalty. You're not the ASPCA, you need to personally thank your donors. Just work the IRS language regarding tax deductibility into the letter. I don't know what Ironmouth means by "IRS forms." A donor does not need to fill out any kind of form other than the line item on his 1040; a letter of acknowledgment from the nfp will do it. (sorry for the derail)
posted by nax at 1:51 PM on August 18, 2008

Check out they are a good group and have low fees. I agree with Nax, you also NEVER want to send out automated acknowledgments.
posted by parmanparman at 3:48 PM on August 18, 2008

If they already have a merchant account (i.e. can accept credit cards in person), then might be a good match. It's free for most basic accounts. They've been around for years.
posted by amtho at 6:15 PM on August 18, 2008

I agree with nax, that unless some online organization will send out a thank you letter that you've written on your organization's letterhead, you should send those letters yourselves (as opposed to what Ironmouth suggested). You want your logo on that letter.

I'll second (third) Groundspring.
posted by salvia at 7:33 PM on August 18, 2008

There are several ways to do this, and the other folks have mentioned some great options-- like JustGive and Google Checkout -- that will let you integrate payment into the site for far less than a product like Convio costs. Another option would be to simply put a "Donate Now" link that directs visitors to a non-profit marketplace to handle the actual transaction. Network4Good is one option, as are we (Razoo, I believe we're the only place you can donate for free, though (we don't charge any transaction fees).
posted by razoo at 1:32 PM on October 2, 2008

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