A Guide to Non-Profit Credit Card Processing


If you are a non-profit and still restricted to cash, checks, or in-kind donations, it is a ripe time to consider accepting credit cards. This will surely enhance your overall donations because this also improves your donors’ experience extensively.

As a matter of fact, donors prefer to make a contribution using an online fundraising method. This guide about Non-profit credit card processing is aimed at providing a thorough insight with respect to non-profit payment processors, especially acceptance of donations.

This will cover payment processing, the importance of the payment processor, types of payments, and basic payment practices for choosing a payment processor.

Payment Processing:

As it relates to non-profits, payment processing describes the handling of donor financial information whenever they make online donation transactions, whether it is submitting a donation, buying merchandise, paying a membership fee, or registering for an event.

Payment processing certainly is a comprehensive term; it calls attention to the operation part of an entity as a backend financial process. This payment process is related to a donor’s contribution using different methods.

Importance of Payment Processor:

For a non-profit credit card, the payment processor plays a significant role. Your nonprofit can not accept online fundraising without a payment processor. Therefore, the payment processor is an essential part of nonprofit credit card transactions.

What types of payments are acceptable?

A few major credit card companies dealing with online donations and fundraising, such as MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, etc.

Many nonprofits are allowed by most payment processors to accept donations from these aforementioned companies. Further, a large number of processors allow you to approve the ACH (The Automatic Clearing House) direct debit payment directly from the bank account of the donor.

Basic Best Practice for Choosing the Payment Processor:

Opt for a Payment Processor that is dedicated. Make sure It is not an aggregator:

A nonprofit payment processor manages the credit card transaction process by acting as the mediator between the merchant and the financial institutions involved.

Therefore it is necessary to choose a dedicated payment processor. It can authorize transactions and work on merchants getting paid on time. It does that by facilitating the transfer of funds.

In fact, thousands of payments are processed daily by the aggregator. Those go through the unvaried merchant account. The issue is that if anything occurs to someone utilizing an aggregated account of yours, it can result in problems being created for your organization’s capacity to approve payments.

Moreover, if you confront difficulties with your aggregated merchants account, assistance may take substantial time as you are sharing the account with additional firms or organizations.

On the contrary, the payment processor that is dedicated to provides your nonpayment with additional assistance. It offers occasional delays in approving donations.

Choose a processor accepting credit card payments and ACH direct Debit payments:

You might not be well aware of the phrase ACH direct debit. It can be due to various reasons. ACH direct debit payment comes straight from the donor’s bank account.

Rather than inputting the credit card details on the donation form, a donor usually makes use of the number of their bank account in order to contribute. Suppose you offer both facilities of ACH direct debit and credit card to your contributors.

You can strengthen the chances of additional donations. Consequently, more contributors will be eligible to give with the payment method they prefer.

Thus, a payment processor is deemed best for a non-profit that has credit card processing capacities, along with the ACH direct debit options.

Only processes the payments for non-profit clients:

It would be a good idea to opt for a payment processor that only serves nonprofit clients. The payment processor working with nonprofits can comprehend the issues that charities confront when fundraising. On the contrary, a processor dealing with different clients will not be offering such concentrated services.

Integrates with the existing Fundraising software:

It is equally important to make certain that the nonprofit merchant services can integrate your membership software, nonprofit CRM, online form for donation, or the peer-to-peer forum. This will reduce your manual work as regards the data collection.

Ratifies Multiple currencies:

A few nonprofits raise money not only in their own country but also get donations internationally.

If your organization is getting donations from other countries, then it would be better to opt for a payment processor that accepts multiple currencies.

Moreover, some of the payment processors can enable nonprofits to set up independent merchant accounts, in those countries they receive donations from.

Offers other various types of fundraising software solutions:

It is significant to check out the other various types of options with regard to the software the payment processor possesses.

Thus, it would be a straightforward way to establish a reasonable donation form if you find a payment processor with additional fundraising capabilities.

Learn about the payout schedule that payment processor uses:

It is also imperative to learn about the payout schedule that payment processors make use of. This approach will mitigate complications as to where your funds exist and when you will collect them.

Choose a processor that is simple to set up and enables you to receive Donations quickly after onboarding:

It is crucial to choose the processor that would facilitate your nonprofit to commence getting donations promptly and efficiently. You will not like a complex setup process. Thus, select the payment processor which is easy to set up and allows you to accept donations as soon as possible.

Search for the payment processor with the support options:

All nonprofits can’t be well equipped with advanced technology. In this respect, you need technical support. It is important to find a payment processor that can offer you such support. The support that could work for your organization.

Be aware of the Fee structure and any additional costs:

There are three common kinds of fees. It includes per-transaction fees, recurring fees, and incidental fees. Recurring fees usually are taken out on a monthly or yearly basis.

Pre-transaction fees are charged every time a contributor donates online. Incidental fees appear whenever something particular takes place.

It is also important for you to know the actual costs related to your payment processor. Make certain that you comprehend how much a payment processor would take from every contribution.

Choose the payment processor that has an easy and simple Billing procedure and cycle:
It is also crucial to understand when will a processor put the funds in your bank account for non-profits.

Adheres to the payment card industry’s data security standards (PCI DSS):

The Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are simply the rules. They are meant for nonprofits, merchants, donors, customers, and anyone who uses online donation and payment forms.

PCI compliance is significant for you and your donors. You might actually lose the capacity to process contributions if the payment processor is not PCI-compliant. Therefore, choose the best payment processor that adheres to PCI DSS. Look for E-Security Features:

There are some other E-Security features in addition to PCI-Compliance. Those features protect your nonprofit’s information and your donor’s details. These security measures need to be understood by you while purchasing software. Make sure that the payment processor you choose has the security features that you want and need.