The Complete Handbook on Credit Card Processing for Nonprofits

The Keela Team • Jan 30, 2024

In this guide, we’ll explore the world of credit card processing for nonprofits. We’ll start by looking at why it’s so important for organizations like yours. Imagine you’re part of a team making a positive impact. To do that, you need funds, right? Well, credit card processing is like a superhero tool helping nonprofits collect the money they need.

It’s your guide to understanding credit card processing for nonprofits. We’ll break down the process, explain tricky stuff, and give you practical tips. From how credit card transactions work to what nonprofits need, we’ve got it covered.

Whether you’re in the nonprofit sector, a volunteer, or just curious about the money side of making a difference, this handbook is your key. Let’s jump in and help your organization thrive!

Understanding Nonprofit Credit Card Processing

Now, let’s delve into understanding how credit card processing works for nonprofits like yours. It’s more than just swiping cards; nonprofits have their own unique needs when it comes to handling donor payments.

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Nonprofit Payment Processing Made Simple

Keela Has Helped Nonprofit Organizations Raise $2 Billion, and Counting. KeelaPay helps make that a reality.

Unveiling the Unique Needs of Nonprofits in Payment Processing

Nonprofits are different from regular businesses. Instead of aiming to make a profit, they focus on their missions. Every penny matters, and that’s why a payment processor needs to be tailored to support their specific goals. Nonprofits often deal with donations, memberships, and event payments, making their payment processing needs distinct.

Unlocking the Benefits of Efficient Credit Card Processing for Nonprofits

Efficient credit card processing brings a bunch of perks for nonprofits. It’s like having a reliable ally in your mission. Quick and secure transactions mean you spend less time dealing with finances and more time making a positive impact. Plus, it makes it easier for your supporters to contribute, creating a smoother and more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Navigating the Challenges Faced by Nonprofits in Credit Card Processing

However, it’s not always a walk in the park. Nonprofits face challenges in credit card processing too. From transaction fees that eat into funds meant for your cause to the complexity of managing different payment methods, there are hurdles to overcome. But fear not, understanding these challenges is the first step to finding solutions and ensuring your nonprofit’s financial journey is as smooth as possible.

Key Considerations for Nonprofits in Credit Card Processing

Now, let’s explore the important things nonprofits like yours need to think about when it comes to credit card processing.

Security and Compliance: Ensuring Safe Transactions

Your nonprofit deals with valuable donations, so making sure every transaction is secure is a top priority. This means using reliable systems and following rules to keep your supporters’ information safe.

Cost-Effectiveness: Managing Processing Fees and Expenses

Money matters, right? When it comes to credit card processing, nonprofits need to be smart about costs. Let’s break it down.

Pricing and Fees:

  • Understand how a credit card processor charges for their services.
  • Figure out if there are any hidden fees that could take away from your mission.

Do nonprofits pay credit card processing fees?

  • Yes, nonprofits usually have to pay fees. But, with the right choices, you can minimize these costs and keep more funds for your cause.

Accessibility: Catering to Donors’ Preferences and Accessibility

Making it easy for your supporters to contribute is key. Let’s look at how you can do that.

Payment Processing for Nonprofits Methods to Look for in Payment Solutions:

  • Consider various payment methods to accommodate different preferences.
  • The more options you offer, the more likely people are to support your cause.

What Tools to Look For in Nonprofit Credit Card Processors:

  • Choose processors that provide user-friendly tools.
  • Look for options that make it easy for your donors to give, whether online, in-person, or through mobile devices.

How do nonprofits accept payments?

  • Nonprofits can accept payments through various methods like credit cards, debit cards, and online payment systems for nonprofits.
  • Finding a flexible solution allows you to meet your donors where they are, making it convenient for them to support your mission.

Top Credit Card Processing Tools for Nonprofits: Choosing the Right Solution for You

Now, let’s delve into the details of the leading credit card processing tools, considering their features, benefits, and how they cater to nonprofits like yours.

Features and Benefits of the Top 5 Credit Card Processing Tools:

1. Keela Nonprofit Payment Processing:

Features and Specialized Services for Nonprofits:

  • Keela is designed with nonprofits in mind, offering features like a donation processor, tracking, and membership management.
  • Specialized services include customizable forms to maintain your organization’s branding and enhance donor engagement.

Integration Capabilities with PayPal, Stripe, BitPay:

  • Keela takes integration to the next level, seamlessly connecting with major platforms such as PayPal, Stripe, and BitPay.
  • This integration ensures a smooth flow of data and transactions, allowing you to manage everything efficiently in one place.

Benefits of Using Keela for Nonprofit Credit Card Processing:

  • Streamlined processes for donor management, making it easy to keep track of contributions.
  • Enhanced security measures safeguard sensitive donor information.
  • Advanced integration capabilities provide flexibility and convenience for your financial transactions.

2. PayPal:

Features and Specialized Services for Nonprofits:

  • PayPal, a household name, offers features like recurring donations and straightforward mobile nonprofit payments.
  • Specialized services include a user-friendly interface, ensuring a smooth experience for both nonprofits and donors.

3. Stripe:

Features and Specialized Services for Nonprofits:

  • Stripe focuses on simplicity and customization, allowing nonprofits to embed payment forms directly on their websites.
  • The platform supports various payment methods, offering flexibility to donors.

4. BitPay:

Features and Specialized Services for Nonprofits:

  • BitPay introduces a cryptocurrency-friendly option, providing a unique way for nonprofits to accept digital currency donations.
  • Specialized services include automated donation tracking and reporting for efficient financial management.

5. iATS Payments:

Features and Specialized Services for Nonprofits:

  • iATS Payments is known for robust payment processing solutions, including a recurring giving platform.
  • Tailored services support efficient donor management for nonprofit organizations.

Comparison: Pricing, Services, and Support for Nonprofits

Now, let’s compare these tools based on three critical factors: Pricing, Services, and Support for Nonprofits.

Keela Nonprofit Payment Processing:

Pricing: Transparent pricing plans catering to

Services: Comprehensive services, including donation tracking, membership management, and advanced integration capabilities.

Support for Nonprofits: Dedicated customer support team with training resources and personalized assistance.



  • Transaction Fees: Vary based on the plan; additional fees for currency conversion.
  • Percentage: Around 2.2% to 2.9% per transaction.

Services: Recurring donations, mobile credit card payments, and a user-friendly interface.

Support for Nonprofits: General customer support for business accounts.



  • Transaction Fees: Vary based on the plan; additional fees for international cards.
  • Percentage: Around 2.9% + 30 cents per successful transaction.

Services: Customizable payment forms, support for various payment methods.

Support for Nonprofits: Online documentation and community forum.



  • Transaction Fees: Vary based on the plan; additional fees for additional features.
  • Percentage: Around 1% per successful transaction.

Services: Cryptocurrency-friendly, automated donation tracking, and reporting.

Support for Nonprofits: General customer support.

iATS Payments:


  • Transaction Fees: Customized based on the nonprofit’s needs.
  • Percentage: Specific rates depending on the agreement with the organization.

Services: Robust payment processing, recurring giving platform.

Support for Nonprofits: Customer support tailored for nonprofit organizations.

While each tool has its strengths, Keela stands out as the top choice for nonprofits due to its comprehensive features, advanced integration capabilities, transparent pricing, and dedicated support. When choosing a credit card processing tool, consider your organization’s unique requirements, ensuring that the selected solution aligns seamlessly with your mission and budget.

Step-by-Step Guide for Implementing Credit Card Processing in Nonprofits

Getting credit card processing for your nonprofit is an important move for smooth money transactions. Let’s go through the process with easy steps.

Setting Up an Effective System for Credit Card Processing

Start by building a strong system for credit card processing:

  • Choose a Good Processor: Pick a credit card processing service that suits your nonprofit. Look for clear pricing and features made for organizations like yours.
  • Secure Donation Payment Gateway: Set up a safe payment gateway to protect donor info during online transactions.
  • Customizable Donation Forms: Make donation forms that can be personalized. This helps create an easy giving experience and collects important donor info.

Integration with Fundraising Platforms and Donation Pages

Now, let’s fit credit card processing into your fundraising:

  • Connect with Fundraising Tools and Platforms: If you use platforms like Keela, make sure they work well together. Connecting your credit card processing with these platforms makes donation tracking easier.
  • Optimized Donation Pages: Make your online donation pages easy to use, mobile-friendly, and nice to look at. This makes it easier for nonprofit organizations to collect donations online.

Tips for Optimizing Credit Card Processing Workflow

Make your credit card processing work better with these tips:

  • Keep Software Updated: Always update your credit card processing software for the latest security features.
  • Check Transaction Reports: Regularly look at transaction reports to see patterns, check donations, and keep financial records accurate.
  • Offer Different Payment Options: Give donors choices by accepting major credit cards, debit cards, and other payment forms.
  • Educate Your Team: Make sure your team knows how to use the credit card processing system. Training can prevent mistakes and make the workflow smoother.

Adding credit card processing to your nonprofit doesn’t have to be hard. With these steps, you’ll create a smooth and safe system that helps your organization and donors.

Best Practices and Strategies

Let’s discover some clever ways to make your credit card processing even better for your nonprofit.

Building Trust and Encouraging Card-Based Donations

  • Clear Communication: Share openly with your donors about how their card information is used. Being clear helps build trust.
  • Safe Transactions: Use secure payment gateways to protect donor data. This ensures a safe space for card-based donations.
  • Show Impact: Tell stories of success and how donations make a difference. Knowing their impact encourages more card-based contributions.
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Keela Integrates Seamlessly with PayPal

When you connect your PayPal account to Keela’s donation forms, you can collect donations online and have donation records updated and receipts sent automatically in Keela.

Improving User Experience in Credit Card Processing

  • Mobile-Friendly Design: Ensure your credit card process works well on mobile devices. Many donors use phones, so a mobile-friendly design is crucial for online donations.
  • Simple Forms: Keep donation forms simple and easy to understand. A straightforward process encourages more donors to complete their transactions.
  • Thank You Page: After a donation, show a thank-you page. This not only expresses gratitude but also confirms the donation went through successfully.

Effective Data Management for Better Donor Engagement

  • Organized Data: Keep donor information organized. Well-organized data helps you understand your donors better.
  • Regular Data Analysis: Look at donation patterns and trends. This helps you make informed decisions and tailor your engagement strategies.
  • Personalized Outreach: Use data to personalize your outreach. Donors appreciate messages that feel tailored to them.

By following these smart strategies, you’ll not only make your credit card processing more donor-friendly but also enhance the overall impact of your nonprofit’s efforts.

Donation Receipt Template

Donation receipts allow you to properly track your donations and ensure that your donors can claim their gift on their taxes.
Download this donation receipt template to easily set up accurate tax receipts for your organization.

Future Trends and Innovations in Nonprofit Credit Card Processing

Let’s explore the exciting changes on the horizon for nonprofit payment processing services

Emerging Technologies and Innovations Shaping the Industry

  • Contactless Payments: Look out for more ways to donate without touching anything. This technology makes giving easier without physical contact.
  • Blockchain for Transparency: Blockchain might be used to make financial transactions more transparent. This builds trust with your donors.
  • AI-Powered Analytics: Artificial Intelligence (AI) could help analyze how donors behave and what they like. This helps nonprofits communicate better with their supporters.

Predictions for the Future of Credit Card Processing for Nonprofits

  • Increased Digital Engagement: More donors will likely use digital platforms. Nonprofits should be ready to connect with donors online.
  • Rise of Cryptocurrency Donations: Cryptocurrency may become a more popular way for donors to give. Nonprofits should think about how to accept these donations.
  • Enhanced Security Measures: Expect better security features to keep donor information safe. Nonprofits need to be watchful to maintain a secure environment.

Recommendations for Staying Ahead in an Evolving Landscape

  • Stay Informed: Keep up with industry news. Staying informed helps you adjust to new technologies and trends.
  • Invest in Training: Make sure your team knows how to use the latest technologies. This prepares your organization to make the most of new tools.
  • Adaptability is Key: Be ready to change your strategies as things evolve. Being flexible helps your nonprofit stay important and effective.

As nonprofit credit card processing keeps changing, embracing these future trends and innovations will help your organization succeed in the evolving landscape.

Nonprofit Credit Card and Payment Processing Made Simple with Keela!

See how Keela’s suite of intelligent tools has helped nonprofit organizations raise $2 billion, and counting


Throughout this guide, we’ve uncovered the importance of credit card processing for nonprofits, delving into the nuances of setting up efficient systems and exploring top tools like Keela. Key takeaways include building trust with transparent communication, enhancing user experience, and embracing future trends like contactless payments and blockchain technology.

As you navigate the landscape of nonprofit credit card processing, remember that staying informed, adapting to emerging technologies, and maintaining a flexible approach is vital. The handbook has equipped you with strategies to increase donor trust, optimize user experience, and leverage data for improved engagement.

In closing, we want to encourage nonprofits to consider Keela’s Nonprofit Payment Processing Tool. Its tailored features, seamless integration with major platforms, and transparent pricing make it a standout choice for organizations looking to enhance their credit card processing. By optimizing your credit card processing, you not only streamline financial transactions but also elevate the overall impact of your nonprofit. Best of luck on your journey, and may your organization thrive in the evolving world of credit card processing.

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About the author:

Stephanie Wallace
Marketing Specialist, Keela

For as long as she can remember, Stephanie has been involved in the nonprofit industry. This passion for nonprofit fundraising and helping her community led her to study Human Rights and Social Justice. Stephanie continued her studies where she completed a Post Graduate Certification in Digital and Content Marketing. This is when she found she could combine both her love of marketing and nonprofit fundraising.