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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

Top 6 Nonprofit Payment Processing Tools

Updated: Apr 23

This is a sponsored blog post by Samantha Lego from Keela.

Whether you’re familiar with the complexities of nonprofit payment processing or not, the basics are pretty simple. Once a supporter gives on your donation page, the gift will be processed via several backend operations that take funds from your donor’s account and deposit them into your organization’s.

This article explores the payment processing tools and online payment methods available for nonprofits so you can make the right decision for your organization.

What is a Nonprofit Payment Processing Tool?

Nonprofit payment processing tools, or payment processors, are systems that allow donors to make financial contributions to charitable organizations.

Without a payment processor, your nonprofit wouldn’t be able to effectively collect online donations, recurring membership fees, or revenue from event tickets and other online merchandise. It’s vital that you know the different types of online payment processing options available for nonprofits and how they can impact your revenue.

4 Types of Online Payment Methods for Nonprofits

Did you know that 60% of potential donors change their minds and abandon nonprofit’s donation pages when trying to make a contribution? That’s a staggering 3 in 5 people. One major reason is that would-be donors aren’t offered their preferred payment method.

More so, 20% of donation page visitors will reconsider donating if their preferred payment method isn’t included on your form. Your donation form needs to have the following payment methods to give your organization a better chance of improving your donor acquisition rates.

Here are the four common types of online payments methods for nonprofits:

1. Credit Card Payments

Arguably the most common way to give, credit card payments are central to most—if not all—payment processors. Most of the online donations that your organization receives are presumably made via a credit card.

Making transactions with a credit card has been proven to increase the amount a donor is willing to contribute and release dopamine in the brain that boosts purchase cravings. The bottom line is donors are more likely to give online if you offer them the option to make their donations with a credit card.

2. ACH Debit Payments

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. ACH Debit Payments are a type of electronic bank-to-bank payment. Rather than using a credit card, donors can send bank-to-bank money transfers. ACH transactions account for more than half of all non-cash payments.

3. Digital Wallets

Digital Wallets are used by 150 million Americans and counting, with 66% of those surveyed saying they use them out of convenience. Examples include Apple Pay and Google Pay, etc.

Gen Z’s and Millennials have championed this payment method, with 85% and 81% of these cohorts, respectively, using digital wallets. And it’s paying off for nonprofits. In 2021, digital wallet-enabled donation forms saw an 11-14% increase in conversions, and they are primed to continue to be a preferred payment type for younger generations.

4. Cryptocurrencies

Not just some seedy fringe internet trend anymore, cryptocurrencies and their usage are steadily increasing in value and becoming a more popular way for donors to give. Yet few nonprofits (and few processors) are set up to accept crypto.

As more donors explore more payment options, they may consider cryptocurrencies for donations to nonprofit organizations and causes that are typically beyond their reach. You can learn more about crypto-fundraising in this free webinar, titled Cryptocurrency 101: What Nonprofits Need to Know About Crypto-Fundraising.

6 Nonprofit Payment Processors to Consider for Your Organization

As we’ve established, it is beneficial to offer donors a number of payment method options—from credit card payments to cryptocurrencies and digital wallets. This is why it’s so important to choose a nonprofit payment processing tools for your organization that is secure, convenient and capable of accepting your donors’ preferred payment methods.

Here are the six top nonprofit payment processors to choose from.

1. Stripe

By far one of the most widely used payment processors for nonprofits, Stripe accepts all major credit cards in over 135 currencies as well as ACH payments, Digital Wallets. It will soon support cryptocurrency transactions. Through an industry-leading API integration with your nonprofit CRM, Stripe allows donors to enter their payment details on your donation form and processes donations daily with a two-day delay.

Stripe’s Pricing for Nonprofits

Stripe has a 2.9% + $0.30 fee for each credit or debit transaction, which is in the higher range for nonprofit payment processors, however, qualified nonprofits may be eligible for discounted processing fees. ACH payments are 0.80% and capped at $5.

2. PayPal

As 2021’s second most trusted brand globally, PayPal gives your nonprofit credibility - especially if you are just starting out. Combined with no extra fees for account setup, statements, withdrawals, or cancellations, PayPal is an ideal payment processing tool for new and small organizations - especially if their donor base is North American-centric.

PayPal’s payment processor lets you customize a donate button for your website so donors can instantly give with all major credit cards, ACH, and Digital Wallet payments in 25 currencies with a payout time of two to three days. That said, donors cannot make donations using cryptocurrencies via PayPal currently.

Since donors have to leave your website to donate through their PayPal account, it makes it less efficient for supporters. The more steps they have to take, the more likely they’ll be to abandon the donation.

PayPal’s Pricing for Nonprofits

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

3. iATS

iATS Payments is a payment processor specifically for nonprofits. It integrates with dozens of fundraising platforms from CRMs to Peer-to-Peer and text-to-give providers allowing organizations to sync financial reporting under one processor.

With five main currencies and a gateway to 180 additional currencies, donors can give via the leading credit cards in the market as well as ACH.

iATS’ Pricing for Nonprofits

Rates for credit card processing range from 2.49% to 3.2% per transaction, and ACH processing is offered at $0.26 per transaction.

4. Square

If your organization manages a lot of point-of-sale transactions to accept donations or purchases - i.e., if you host a lot of events or in-person fundraisers - then Square is a good option. Most of us quill recognize Square’s credit card reader. However, Square also offers essential CRM tools to sort donor data, send emails, and receive feedback via digital receipts.

Square processes transactions from all major credit cards, ACH, and Digital Wallets within 1-2 days.

Square’s Pricing for Nonprofits

Transaction fees are 2.6% for credit or debit transactions and 1% for ACH.

5. Authorize.Net

Owned by Visa, Authorize.Net has been around since 1996 and is a leading provider of payment processing services. This processor is a simplified solution with advanced fraud protection, recurring giving options, and digital invoicing.

However, considering that it was built for for-profit businesses, it is more expensive than other nonprofit payment processors. It includes a monthly fee on top of transaction fees. Authorize.Net accepts all credit cards, ACH, and digital wallet payments in five different currencies.

Authorize.Net’s Pricing for Nonprofits

$25 monthly fee plus a 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction or $0.75 for ACH.

6. KeelaPay

KeelaPay offers nonprofits a more efficient and effective way to collect and report on online donations.

With a native integration through KeelaCRM, nonprofits can consolidate their transaction data, track donations, and streamline operations by slimming down their tech stack. Plus, with Keela’s in-house support team, your nonprofit organization can have access to the best customer care team in the industry who will ensure you get the best out of the tool.

KeelaPay, which complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) guidelines, has built-in fraud protection and accepts all major credit cards and ACH payments. In 2022, it is set to begin releasing functionalities with Digital Wallets and cryptocurrencies while developing a terminal for you to collect donations in-person at your office or during an event.

KeelaPay’s Pricing

KeelaPay offers competitive fees starting at 2.2% + $0.30 per credit card transaction and $0.75 for ACH.


Choosing the right payment processor is an essential first step to providing your supporters with a great donor experience. By allowing them to donate what they like, when they want, and how they like, you can boost your donation page conversion rate and earn your donors’ trust.

Just remember: your payment processor is an essential component of your online fundraising strategy, so make sure it integrates with the rest of your nonprofit organization’s tools before making a final decision.


Author: Samantha Lego, Marketing Director at Keela

Author Bio: A storyteller by nature and an organizer by inheritance, Sam enjoys crafting meaningful content equally as much as colour coding spreadsheets. As the Marketing Director at Keela, a Canadian Donor Management Software (CRM), she is always on the hunt for new and innovative ways to educate nonprofits and help them maximize their impact.


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