How to Choose the Right Nonprofit Payment Processing Platform

The Keela Team • Apr 04, 2022
Woman holding a credit card

Every fundraiser’s goal is to find a sustainable medium for raising money and nurturing donor relationships. And with the rise in digital payment methods and online transactions over the past decade, online donations have become an essential source of revenue for nonprofits worldwide. 

Charity organizations need safe, secure, and credible nonprofit payment processing to accept online donations and monitor their digital transactions. This article explores and compares the best payment processing options available to nonprofits and shares tips on how organizations can choose the right payment processor. 

What is a Nonprofit Payment Processor?

A nonprofit payment processor is a tool used to collect donors’ financial information when they make a contribution online. The information, usually collected via a donation form, is used to finalize transactions and ensure that the donations go through. 

Think of a payment processor as a middle person between your nonprofit and donors when a contribution is being made. This middle person allows you to process multiple transactions simultaneously and ensures each transaction is completed promptly. 

Your nonprofit payment processor offers you a low risk of theft and scams. Traditional methods of donations, such as cash and cheques, can easily get into the wrong hands and be manipulated. A secure payment processing system will keep your donations safe and your mind at rest. 

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Which Payment Processing Tool is Best for Nonprofits?

There are several payment processing options available to nonprofit organizations, and each of them has its advantages, unique features, and limitations. You can find a comprehensive list of options here, but PayPal and Stripe are the most popular payment processors for nonprofits. 

Keela integrates with Paypal and Stripe, which means you can easily accept donations using KeelaForm if your organization has Paypal or Stripe accounts. Keela users can also use KeelaPay, an efficient and effective way to collect and report online contributions.

1. Paypal 

PayPal is an excellent payment processing tool for new and small nonprofit organizations, especially if most of their donors are based in North America. This tool allows you to add and customize a donate button on your website so donors can make secure contributions using credit cards, ACH Direct Debit payments, and digital wallets. 

Donors making payments via Paypal will need to do so through their PayPal account. This requires an additional step on the donor’s part and may result in the donor abandoning the donation. Nevertheless, so many resources are available for donors who choose to make contributions via Paypal. 

PayPal’s Pricing for Nonprofits

PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.49 per transaction, but eligible 501(c)3 organizations may qualify for reduced rates.

2. Stripe

Stripe is one of the most popular payment processors worldwide. Its reach extends to 47 countries, meaning you can accept donations via Stripe from several parts of the world. These donations can be made using major credit cards and ACH Direct Debit payments. However, Stripe is also making plans to support cryptocurrency transactions

Nonprofits can use Stripe’s API to integrate this payment processor with their CRM to accept donations. 

Stripe’s Pricing for Nonprofits

Stripe charges a 2.9% + $0.30 fee for each credit or debit transaction, but eligible nonprofits may qualify for discounted processing fees. ACH Direct Debit payments are 0.80% and up to $5 per transaction. 

3. KeelaPay

KeelaPay is a new nonprofit payment processor that offers an efficient, effective way of collecting, tracking, and reporting online donations. 

With native integration with KeelaCRM, KeelaPay allows nonprofits to accept online donations, send receipts, monitor donors’ contributions, assess online fundraising progress and performance, and share reports with their teams without using multiple tools. Users get access to Keela’s world-class customer care team, which will ensure they are supported at any point in time and get the best out of the tool. 

KeelaPay Logo

Simplify your payment process with KeelaPay

With KeelaPay, you can securely process more donations at an affordable rate and get access to world-class in-house support.

KeelaPay is Level 1 PCI compliant, which means it meets the highest security standard for a payment processor. Donors can make contributions via KeelaPay using major credit cards and ACH Direct Debit payments. Soon, in 2022, they’ll be able to use their digital wallets and cryptocurrencies to make donations via KeelaPay.

KeelaPay’s Pricing for Nonprofits

KeelaPay’s competitive payment processing fees start at 2.2% + $0.30 per credit card transaction and $0.75 for ACH Direct Debit payments

What to Look for When Choosing a Payment Processor for Your Nonprofit

Choosing a nonprofit payment processor can be a challenging decision to make. You want a payment processing tool that is safe, secure, and convenient for your donors. You don’t want a tool that glitches often and discourages donors from making timely payments and contributions. 

The three payment processing tools we’ve discussed are more than capable of meeting these requirements and should help you narrow down your options. But if you’re wondering how they stacked up against each other, here are four features to consider when deciding on your nonprofit payment processor:

SecurityLevel 1 PCI CompliantLevel 1 PCI CompliantLevel 1 PCI Compliant
Ease of Use
Setup doesn’t require technical knowledge.

Donors can make contributions using credit cards, and ACH Direct Debit payments (Digital Wallets and Cryptocurrency donations, coming soon)
Setup may require technical knowledge.

Donors can make contributions using credit cards and ACH Direct Debit payments. 
Setup doesn’t require technical knowledge.

Donors can make contributions using credit cards, ACH Direct Debit payments, and digital Wallets.
Processing Fees2.2% + $0.30 for Visa and MasterCard, 3.2% + $0.30 for American Express, and $0.75 for ACH Direct Debit payments2.9% + $0.30 fee for each credit or debit transaction, ACH Direct Debit payments are 0.80% and up to $5 per transaction.2.9% plus $0.30 for all credit and debit transactions.
In-House SupportUnlimited Email Support, Online Knowledge Base, Complimentary Data Review, In-app Live Chat, Scheduled Phone Support, and Monthly Training SessionsHelp Center, Community forum, Live chat, Email support, and Phone supportEmail Support, Live chat, Phone support, Help Center, and Developer Documentation

1. Security

Data thieves and cybercrimes have evolved over the years. Hackers are always looking for innovative ways to sabotage tools and technologies that organizations have employed to protect their donor data. It’s essential to have a secure payment processor that reduces the risk of fraud and data theft. 

When choosing a payment processor for your nonprofit, one thing to look out for is if that tool is PCI-compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) have created guidelines and policies that payment merchants have to adhere to meet the required data encryption and security standards

Your nonprofit payment processor needs to have a PCI certificate. The payment processing systems used by KeelaPay, Stripe, and Paypal have been certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. KeelaPay has built-in fraud protection, Stripe features advanced fraud monitoring and chargeback protection, and PayPal has automatic fraud screening to protect you and your donors.

2. Ease of Use

You want to choose a payment processor that is simple enough for your nonprofit organization to implement and manage and easy for donors to make payments. 

KeelaPay simplifies merchant application, setup, and payment management processes for organizations and allows donors to choose between multiple payment options. The merchant application takes less than 10 minutes to get through, and the information gathered can be used to monitor your fundraising performance easily in KeelaCRM. 

Stripe’s value lies in its developer tools and customization opportunities. It’s an attractive option for nonprofits who want to maintain consistent branding across all donor touchpoints. If you’re not tech-savvy or prefer to keep the setup process simple, KeelaPay or PayPal may be a less stressful option. 

PayPal makes it very easy for anyone to set up and start accepting payments with little to no coding experience (although it offers developer tools if you need them). You can integrate with third-party eCommerce platforms, like Shopify, which has headless commerce capabilities, for an easy setup or create a custom site with payment buttons.

So, if you’re looking for payment processors that are easy to set up and manage, KeelaPay and PayPal are two of your best options.

3. Processing Fees

Payment processing fees are the costs that nonprofits incur when donors make contributions through a payment processing tool. Many nonprofits like to give donors the option to cover these fees, and with KeelaForms, you can do this easily. Doing so will help your organization save money and get the most out of each donation. 

The processing fees for nonprofit payment processors differ. PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.49 per transaction, Stripe charges a 2.9% + $0.30 fee for each credit or debit transaction, and KeelaPay’s competitive processing fees start at 2.2% + $0.30 per credit card transaction and $0.75 for ACH Direct Debit payments. 

Since KeelaPay is exclusive to Keela users, nonprofits can be sure they are getting the best rate possible. However, for Stripe and PayPal, eligible nonprofit organizations may be able to get a discounted rate.

4. In-House Support

There’s nothing like knowing the team behind the product your organization uses can support you when you need it most. This is something that Keela prides itself on; our customer care team provides world-class support, premium care, and continuous learning opportunities so your nonprofit can get the most out of Keela’s products and services. 

Since KeelaPay is native to KeelaCRM, you have access to an in-house support team that can help you navigate any questions or challenges you have with your payment processor and CRM. Our care team offers free unlimited email support, an online knowledge base, and complementary data review services. With our premium care package, you can enjoy even more support with in-app live chat, scheduled phone support, and monthly training sessions. 

PayPal and Stripe also offer support through multiple channels. PayPal users can get support through their Help Center, community forum, live chat, email, and phone support. Similarly, Stripe users can contact the support team via email, live chat, and phone support or learn more about the product via the Help Center and Developer Documentation. 

Enhance Your Donors’ Giving Experience with KeelaPay

Research shows that 6 out of 10 donors will leave a donation form without completing their donation. There are several reasons for this, ranging from unnecessarily long donation forms to incompatibility issues with mobile devices. But at the center of it, all is the reality that nonprofits need to simplify the process of making donations. 

Your choice of a payment processor matters and will determine how easy it is for donors to contribute to your nonprofit organization. You need payment processors that enhance your donors’ overall giving experience while simplifying your organization’s payment management and reporting process

KeelaPay makes it easier for you to track and monitor donations as they come in and gives your donors the option to contribute using their preferred payment method. This tool is native to KeelaCRM, so you can easily access, monitor, and report your donors’ data and payment history. 

Even better, KeelaPay offers one of the most competitive payment processing fees available to nonprofit organizations. Its processing fees start at 2.2% + $0.30 per credit card transaction and $0.75 for ACH Direct Debit payments, and you can use KeelaForms to give donors the option to cover these fees. 

KeelaPay Logo

Simplify your payment process with KeelaPay

With KeelaPay, you can securely process more donations at an affordable rate and get access to world-class in-house support.

Keela has supported nonprofit organizations worldwide to raise more than $2 billion. By taking advantage of the seamless integration between KeelaPay, KeelaCRM, and KeelaForms, you can ensure that your team benefits from all the best that Keela has to offer.