Even though many nonprofits use PayPal, it’s not the best platform for organizations seeking to accept online donations.
Many PayPal alternatives can offer your nonprofit more. If your nonprofit is looking to take your online donation forms to the next level, you should look into other online giving software.
To help you understand more about PayPal challenges and the alternative options available, this article will delve into both.
Keep reading to learn more about PayPal’s shortcomings and to find your nonprofit’s solution!
PayPal’s services don’t truly cater to nonprofits. PayPal aims it’s features towards the general public, which means that it works for a wide range of people and businesses. However, the small details of a high-performing online donation page get overlooked.
Nonprofits already using PayPal know you can’t do much regarding the form’s design. While PayPal does allow you to change the page color and add an image, that’s about as far as the customization goes.
All of PayPal’s checkout pages follow the same basic layout. If someone’s making a donation or purchasing a pair of shoes, the checkout page will look very similar.
Since there is no distinction between checkout pages, donors feel like they’re making a typical transaction rather than supporting a nonprofit, let alone your specific organization.
Plus, some donors who aren’t paying close enough attention might even question if they’re on the right page.
In contrast, here is an example of what a branded donation page looks like:
The lack of customization with PayPal’s donation forms mean that your donation page won’t match your existing brand. Branding is especially important during the donation process because it helps to keep your nonprofit in the donor’s mind.
Your nonprofit has worked hard to maintain a consistent brand, and your donation pages should reflect that.
Donors have to go through a series of pages and clicks before they can even get to the donation form.
To make a donation, a donor has to:
Donors have to complete three additional steps before they reach the confirmation.
In the image below, you can see how the donation process can be cut down to just three steps:
A donor simply clicks on the amount she wants to give. Then she will be directed to a pre-written email that details her donation. Once she hits “send,” her gift will be confirmed.
Any additional steps prolong the donation process, giving donors more time to reconsider their gift and abandon the form.
While there is a way to accept recurring gifts using PayPal, the process isn’t ideal.
For example, if your nonprofit wants to accept recurring donations for an annual fund, you must create a separate donation button.
So why is this not the best option?
Having a second button means that donors can’t conveniently make impulse decisions. Let’s say that a donor wants to make a gift to your nonprofit, so he clicks on the “Donate Now” button.
As the donor fills out the form, he realizes that he’d like to give regularly. To do that, he must exit out of the current donation form, go back to your website, click the recurring donation button, and begin the process all over again.
Recurring giving should be an option on any donation form, not it’s own separate form. As you can see in the example below, PayPal alternatives allow donors to click on the option to donate weekly or monthly:
That way, donors can choose to give recurring gifts no matter what stage they’re in.
Verifying your nonprofit’s status is not required to accept donations through PayPal. However, without verification, PayPal puts limits on your account so that you can only withdraw $500 a month.
Depending on the size of your nonprofit and the number of donations you have coming in, a cap in your withdrawal amount is going to be inconvenient.
Your nonprofit won’t be able to withdraw all the funds you need for various projects. And you have to wait another month before withdrawing anything else.
For smaller organizations, a $500 cap a month might be all you need. But, if you decided not to verify that your nonprofit is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, PayPal has the right to freeze your account at any time to make sure that you are a nonprofit. This means you won’t have access to your donations until you resolve the issue with PayPal.
So, even though it’s optional, your nonprofit will be better off verifying your account from the beginning to avoid any issues.
Now that you’re aware of the problems with PayPal, it’s time to look at how other online giving software can be more beneficial to your nonprofit.
There are plenty of alternatives to PayPal that are specifically geared toward nonprofits. These software providers understand the needs of your organization and can provide you with tools that are made just for donating.
Online giving encompasses more than just accepting donations through your nonprofit’s website. For example, nonprofits can accept donations through text-to-give and simple mobile-responsive donation forms.
As you can see in the example, donors can simply text the amount they want to give to begin the donation process.
Some software providers may offer ways to accept donations through all these platforms, and others may just offer a select few.
Having more than one way to donate adds variety to your online giving and lets donors choose their preferred method.
Other types of online giving, like mobile giving, allow donors to give on the go. Donors can give whenever and wherever they feel like, breaking the giving barriers of limited options.
Online giving makes it easy for nonprofits to create a donation form that will be unique and match an organization’s existing brand.
With alternatives to PayPal for nonprofits, you’ll be able to create a donation for that can be completed entirely on your website. Donors won’t be redirected to a different site, which will eliminate any confusion about who is receiving their gift.
Moreover, creating a customized donation form will help highlight your nonprofits mission and make it easier for donors to know how their funds will be used. For instance, if your university is looking to raise money from alumni, your online donation form will look slightly different than an animal shelter raising money online.
Your form may include more fields about your donors so that you can use the information for future fundraising campaigns or invite them to events related to the major they studied in school. If you want information on PayPal alternatives tailored to higher education, check out the list of top fundraising software on DonorSearch.
In addition, your nonprofit can create a form that represents the act of giving more so than a typical online transaction.
For example, instead of having a “Submit” button, your donation form can have something like “Give Now!” That way, the donor understands the full impact of their donation.
Many providers are creating ways to cut down on the time it takes to make a donation so that fewer donors abandon the process. Online giving software providers offer many features that make the process easier for donors.
Some software providers lowered the amount of steps needed to complete a donation or don’t require donors to create an account if they’d like to donate again.
In recent years, some organizations have opted to use passwordless login systems that allow donors to make an account without the hassle of remembering a string of characters.
Donors can log-in through another form of verification, such as email authorization, fingerprint scanning, or a random token that is sent directly to their phones.
Plus, online giving software offers other features that can save the donor time like donation amount buttons.
With pre-set donation amounts, donors save time because they don’t have to enter in a gift amount.
Donors are also more likely to make a higher donation. Donors will think everyone is using the donation buttons or that the amounts shown are what the average person gives and want to contribute that amount too.
At least 60% of donors abandon donation forms before completing their gift. Nonprofits are losing over half of their potential donors, and long, over-complicated forms are to blame.
That’s why it’s so crucial for online giving software providers to understand the reasons why donors abandon forms.
With a clear understanding of why, software providers can offer you more convenient ways to accept donations and other features to simplify the process. When a donation form is convenient and fast, donors have fewer opportunities to abandon the process.
For example, Snowball places a high emphasis on reducing donor abandonment rates by creating donation forms that only require three simple steps. When donors give via text-to-give, the process will go like this:
As a result, donors don’t have to spend time entering payment information as their data from previous donations is save to Snowball’s secure database.
If your nonprofit ever runs into technical problems, you should expect excellent customer service. Most online giving providers have a technical support team that is available to answer your questions and resolve any problems.
Your provider will also have a wealth of learning resources available so you can learn even more. For example, your software provider might have downloadable resources on how to create different elements on your donation pages.
With so much support readily available, your nonprofit can save time trying to contact the technical team and focus the efforts elsewhere.
Online giving software can offer your nonprofit the right tools to improve your online donation forms and keep donors happy.
PayPal may be the most used online payment platform, but it’s not the only one. Alternative online giving software, like Snowball, offers your nonprofit more features.
Features like their 2-click donation buttons make Snowball’s donation process simple.
For example, all a donor needs to do is click on the button with their chosen donation amount, and a pre-written confirmation email will appear. Once they press “send,” their donation is complete.
If this is their first gift, donors will have to enter their payment information. However, Snowball’s platform doesn’t require donors to create an account. Powerful encryption technology, along with the donor’s email, is used to authenticate a donation.
Donors can give multiple times without ever needing to remember a username or password. Learn more about Snowball by taking it for a spin. Request a demo today!
For more help with online fundraising tools, check out our additional resources:
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