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If you’re looking for a way to accept money online for your organization, you might have considered using PayPal, a popular payment processing tool. However, PayPal doesn’t offer all the features that nonprofits need to collect money online effectively.

Whether you’re considering PayPal or already using their tool, be aware that there are better options that offer more customization, ease of use, and integrations. That’s why we’ve created this guide to understanding your payment processing options and choosing the best PayPal alternatives for nonprofits:

Let’s jump in!

Main Problems with paypal alternatives for nonprofits

Main Problems with PayPal for Nonprofits

PayPal’s services don’t truly cater to nonprofits. PayPal aims its features towards the general public, meaning that its features are generalized for a wide range of people and businesses. This also means that the PayPal platform comes with the following critical drawbacks for nonprofit use:

Minimal Checkout Page Design

Nonprofits using PayPal know your donation form’s design is hard to customize. Most nonprofit payment processors allow for detailed personalization and branding, whereas PayPal offers only color and image options.

The lack of customization with PayPal’s donation forms means that your donation page won’t match your existing brand. Branding is essential during the donation process because it helps 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.

Furthermore, all of PayPal’s checkout pages follow the same basic layout. If someone is 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.

Lengthy Donation Process

Donors have to go through a series of pages and clicks before they can even get to the important donation form.

To donate on a nonprofit’s site that uses PayPal, a donor has to:

  1. Find the nonprofit’s website.
  2. Enter a donation amount and click the “Donate Now” button.
  3. Be redirected off of the original page to PayPal’s website.
  4. Complete the steps to log in or set up an account before checking out.
  5. Fill out the form with ample payment information and personal details.
  6. Click “submit” to confirm the donation.

This is harmful to nonprofits because any additional steps that prolong the donation process give donors more time to reconsider their gift and abandon the form.

Complications with Recurring Gifts

While there is a way to accept recurring gifts using PayPal, the process isn’t intuitive. If your nonprofit wants to accept recurring donations, you must create a separate form, meaning that donors can’t make impulse decisions as easily.

Let’s say that a donor wants to make a recurring gift. They would have to 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 its own separate form. Your team will likely lose out on this contribution if it’s too hard for donors to configure.

Restrictions on Withdrawal Amounts

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 can be inconvenient if your nonprofit is unable to withdraw all the funds you need for various projects.

For smaller organizations, a $500 cap might be all you need. But, if you decide not to verify that your nonprofit is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, PayPal has the right to freeze your account at any time, meaning you won’t have access to your donations until you resolve the issue with PayPal.

Significant Strengths of paypal alternatives for nonprofits

Significant Strengths of PayPal Alternatives

Now that you’re aware of the problems with PayPal, it’s time to look at how other online giving software can benefit your mission. These nonprofit-specific software providers understand your organization’s needs and can provide you with tools that are specifically created for donations. Here are a few overarching benefits to look out for:

Additional Donation Channels

Online giving encompasses more than just accepting donations through your nonprofit’s website. 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. These include:

  • Text-to-give
  • Mobile giving
  • Donation pages optimized for all browsers

With these tools and more, donors can give whenever and wherever they feel like, breaking the giving barriers of limited options.

Easy Customization and Personalization

With alternatives to PayPal for nonprofits, you can create a simplified donation form that donors can complete entirely on your website. By not redirecting users to a different site, you can eliminate any confusion about who is receiving their gift.

Online giving makes it easy for nonprofits to create a donation form that encompasses their existing brand. Creating a customized donation form will help highlight your nonprofit’s mission and make it easier for donors to know how their funds will be used.

Your form may even include additional fields about your donors so that you can use the information for future fundraising campaigns and better target your outreach efforts.

Streamlined Giving Process

It’s a risk worth noting that donors can easily abandon donation forms before completing their gift. Long, over-complicated forms are to blame.

Software providers focusing on nonprofits offer 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 emphasizes reducing donor abandonment rates by creating donation forms that only require a few simple steps. This way, the risk of losing your precious donation is cut significantly with the right software.

Additionally, some software providers lower the number of steps needed to complete a donation or don’t require donors to create an account if they’d like to donate again. For example, many organizations have opted to use passwordless login systems. This way, donors can log in through another form of verification, such as email authorization, fingerprint scanning, or a random token sent directly to their phones.

Reliable Tech Support

If your nonprofit ever runs into technical problems, you should expect excellent customer service from your provider. Most online giving providers have a technical support team available to answer your questions and resolve problems. Even better, nonprofit-specific providers often have a team of experienced nonprofit fundraisers willing and ready to help you.

Your chosen payment software should offer a wealth of learning resources. For example, your software provider might have downloadable resources to create different elements on your donation pages. With support readily available, your nonprofit can save time trying to contact the technical team and focus the efforts elsewhere.

favorite paypal alternatives for nonprofits

Our Favorite PayPal Alternatives for Nonprofits

Snowball PayPal Alternative for Nonprofits

Snowball

At Snowball, our main objective is to help nonprofits develop simple online forms to streamline the donation process for supporters.

Some of the many features at Snowball include:

  • Customizable forms that fit your brand
  • Automatically updating fundraising thermometers
  • Robust fundraising dashboard
  • Text-to-give tools
  • Secure payment processing

First-time users have to enter their payment information, which will be saved into the Snowball system. Any future transactions can be made with a simple click of a button, saving patrons from the hassle of remembering another password.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Snowball’s forms provide organizations with a plethora of customization capabilities that you won’t find on PayPal. For instance, nonprofits can design a simple donation page to match their brand and add unique fields specific to their needs.

Branded forms look more professional and establish trust, making patrons feel confident about using your site.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Pick from a few different options for your Snowball plan. Our most basic package, the essential plan, is free plus a standard processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. Then, scale-up for additional functionality as your fundraising needs grow.


Fundly is an online giving company

Fundly

Fundly is a leading crowdfunding platform for both nonprofits and individuals. Using their software, nonprofits can build a fully customized fundraising page with their logo and brand’s colors, which is crucial for your brand recognition.

The features that organizations can expect from Fundly’s platform include:

  • Crowdfunding updates
  • Images and videos
  • Social sharing buttons
  • Incentives and giving levels

With these options, giving is simple and straightforward for your donors and your organization alike.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Fundly is an alternative to PayPal that focuses on helping donors raise money through social sharing. Their fundraising pages provide supporters with plenty of opportunities to spread the word on their social media accounts.

Additionally, nonprofits can include perks for specific donation amounts—a feature not available with PayPal. These incentives can be the push many supporters need to contribute.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Setting up a crowdfunding campaign is free! Organizations will only pay a platform fee and 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction payment processing fee once they start receiving funds.


Qgiv PayPal Alternative for Nonprofits

Qgiv

Organizations can use Qgiv to provide an easy-to-navigate donation page. Plus, your organization can personalize donation forms with your brand colors, logo, fonts, and further giving options. Here’s what else you can do with Qgiv:

  • Create donation forms
  • Launch peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns
  • Accept on-site gifts
  • Enable mobile text giving

Qgiv is available to nonprofits of any size, therefore, is scalable to your goals as you grow.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Qgiv makes it easy for your nonprofit’s supporters to give via whichever channel is most convenient for them. This means more donors will make gifts year-round.

Because this platform offers text-to-give, mobile donation forms, online giving pages, and even on-site fundraising kiosks, donors can give at any time.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Qgiv’s online fundraising tools start at just $0/month with a 3.95% + $0.30 transaction fee.


Donately PayPal Alternative for Nonprofits

Donately

Donately is a PayPal alternative that meets the needs of all kinds of nonprofit organizations, from charities to churches. Individuals can use Donately to:

  • Embed donation forms
  • Launch giving pages
  • Accept and track offline gifts

Even if your team doesn’t have extensive online fundraising experience, their intuitive tools and interface will make it easy for you to get started fundraising in no time.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Donately is a great PayPal alternative because it’s simple to start using their many online fundraising tools to accept gifts from supporters. Not only can your organization process donations, but you can also build beautiful giving pages and donation forms to get your community excited about giving back.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

With the most basic package, Donately is free to start fundraising and collects just 4% of your earned donations.


Soapbox Engage PayPal Alternative for Nonprofits

Soapbox Engage

Soapbox Engage offers easy-to-use Salesforce apps designed to get nonprofits up and running on the most advanced cloud-based CRM quickly.

The top features of their donations app include:

  • Seamless integration with the Salesforce CRM
  • Fully customizable and unlimited donation forms
  • Flexible options to choose your processing service
  • Intuitive data reporting and analytics tools

The Soapbox donations app is a perfect way to start building out your Salesforce toolkit. Its features and options make it one of the most useful donation form and payment processing tools right out of the box.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Salesforce is a powerful tool for nonprofit organizations, and it’s easy to get started when you have the right apps. The Soapbox Engage suite of Salesforce apps is the most affordable, functional, and easy-to-use for smaller organizations.

The best part of using Soapbox Engage to fill out your Salesforce toolbox, though, is that all of their apps work together seamlessly. You can pull from your data to inform your decisions in every aspect of your operations.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

The Soapbox Engage app starts at $99/month with considerable discounts for nonprofits. For all-in-one functionality, their unlimited plan gives you access to 6 of their most popular Salesforce apps.


iATS Payments PayPal Alternative for Nonprofits

iATS Payments

With a dedicated payment processor like iATS Payments, your organization benefits from ample support and an emphasis on driving your mission forward. High-security measures are crucial for your organization with features like:

  • Tokenization and encryption
  • PCI compliance assistance
  • Custom fraud protection tools

A breach of your donor’s sensitive information can ruin your reputation and put lots of people at risk, so consider a payment processor that takes extra security measures.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

This tool is the only payment processor classified as dedicated to the nonprofit sector. Organizations across the world trust and rely on this platform to securely process payments from donors to reach their goals and impact their communities.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Contact iATS Payments for specific pricing offerings.


Giveffect paypal alternative

Giveffect

Giveffect is a comprehensive nonprofit management software that can consolidate several nonprofit-based tasks such as donor retention and event planning into one helpful package.

Giveffect has some great fundraising features like:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising functionality
  • Wealth and major gift screening
  • Personal and corporate fundraising

Streamline your development plans and budget design by using one effective and efficient piece of software with Giveffect.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Giveffect can be geared towards specific kinds of fundraising that your nonprofit specializes in. While Paypal can only handle payment processing, Giveffect can handle event management and payment processing, making your entire organization’s fundraising campaign more effective and organized.

If you need an app that performs like Paypal but can also take care of other fundraising tasks like wealth screening and data analytics, Giveffect is right for you.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Visit GiveEffect to discover a variety of plans depending on your nonprofit’s goals and needs.


venmo paypal alternative

Venmo

Venmo is a popular payment app used by individuals and nonprofits alike. Individuals can use Venmo to:

  • Send and receive money
  • Make purchases through mobile apps
  • Transfer money to their banks

Anyone that wants to use the service must download the application on their phones and create an account. This alternative to PayPal offers an enjoyable experience when sending money to individuals because every user has a feed that shows their friends’ transactions. This feature can benefit nonprofits, because your constituents’ networks see each time they contribute to your Venmo account.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Venmo is a social experience; users can comment on their friend’s transactions. Plus, sending money is simple. It only takes a couple of steps to complete the process. Moreover, individuals can use the tool to make purchases at partnering businesses, making it easy for them to keep all the online transactions in one place.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Individuals can send money for free using their Venmo balance. Venmo deducts a small percentage when transferring from cards.


googlepay paypal alternative

Google Pay

With Google Pay, individuals can send and request money via phone or email as well as keep track of shared expenses. Recipients only need a Google email account!

Some of the features you can expect from Google Pay include:

  • Request payments from friends and family
  • Data encryption and fraud protection
  • Deposit and transaction insights

The money sent through Google Pay can be directly deposited into your bank account, so there’s no need to transfer money between applications.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

The process for this PayPal alternative is simple and easy to use. With over a billion active email accounts, you’ll be able to send to and receive money from practically anyone.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Users can send and receive money with Google Pay for free; they just need to have a Gmail account.


Apple Pay paypal alternative

Apple Pay

With Apple Pay, donors can make contactless and secure gifts to your organization. When you’re setting up your donation forms, be sure to add Apple Pay as an option for payment. Here’s how this can benefit you:

  • Users already have their card info saved for quick donations
  • Donors can give from anywhere on their phones
  • The software eliminates the risk of losing donors due to the time it takes to fill out a form

This option is excellent for those looking to cater to a large audience that may already be using Apple Pay.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Apple Pay is efficient for a variety of giving settings. For example, donors can send money via text, email, on your nonprofit’s site, and more. Purchases are kept private and are safer than entering credit card numbers on a website.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Organizations can start using Apple Pay for free, although the platform does collect payment processing fees.


stripe paypal alternative

Stripe

Stripe provides a variety of payment processing functions and features for nonprofits. This platform offers multiple ways to integrate your processor with your existing tech stack. For example, your team can use this to implement:

  • Recurring gift options
  • E-commerce transactions
  • Powerful API features
  • PCI Compliance

Organizations use Stripe to provide donors with straightforward and secure transaction experiences.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Stripe can process payments through the Soapbox Engage donations app, letting you fine-tune the donation process from the larger donation page down to the nitty-gritty technical process of the transaction.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Stripe only costs 2.9% + 30¢ per card charge.


Authorize.net paypal alternative

Authorize.net

Authorize.net is a PayPal alternative for nonprofits that helps donors easily give to your cause through a secure payment service. Here’s what they can offer for your team:

  • Invoicing services
  • Recurring gift options
  • Simple checkout process

With these features, you’re likely to have your supporters returning to give through the easy process provided.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Authorize.net is a PayPal alternative that accepts payment methods of all kinds. For example, this tool allows your donors to pay through credit and debit, e-checks, and Apple Pay via donation forms, mobile card scanners, and more.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Visit Authorize.net for pricing information based on your specific needs.


square paypal alternative

Square

Square is affordable and easy to implement into your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. This tool offers straightforward ways to contribute to your mission, including multiple payment routes and the option for an online storefront.

Here are some other features Square provides:

  • Fraud prevention
  • Dedicated support
  • PCI compliance
  • Flexible toolkit 

With these features, you can accept donations and provide a positive and secure experience for donors.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Square is a transparent and flexible provider for your nonprofit’s needs. This software offers a free point of sale app, online store setup, and more to drive your fundraising forward.

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

Depending on how your nonprofit accepts donations, Square has a range of price options that can be found here.


Double the Donation PayPal Alternative for Nonprofits

Double the Donation

Double the Donation is a matching gift software that can help your organization take advantage of corporate philanthropy. Perfect for nonprofits who want to increase their fundraising capacity, the Double the Donation matching gift database is easily embedded in your organization’s donation page alongside the PayPal alternative of your choice. With this tool, your donors can: 

  • Determine their eligibility for a corporate matching gift program. 
  • Find out more about their employers’ matching gift guidelines. 
  • Access their employer’s matching gift forms. 

Your donors will appreciate how you provide useful tools and knowledge for them to maximize their impact on a cause.

Why is this our favorite PayPal alternative for nonprofits?

Besides providing an excellent payment processing tool, your donation page should be a one-stop-shop for donation information, making a matching gift database a must-have. 

How much does this PayPal alternative cost?

You can begin implementing Double the Donation for as low as $499 a year! Sign up for a 14-day risk-free trial to see if it’s right for you. 


Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are plenty of options for businesses, nonprofits, and individuals looking for different features than what PayPal offers. Hopefully, you’ve found the right PayPal alternative for your situation!

For more information, check out these additional resources:

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