The 8 Best Alternatives to Paypal for Nonprofits
For many nonprofit organizations, PayPal has been a great tool over the years for processing donations and membership fees.
But it’s not the only tool out there. There is a large and growing pool of payment platforms coupled with management software for nonprofits that are available, and who are true competitors to PayPal when it comes to fees, features, and ease of use.
Here, we’ll go over 8 of the best alternative payment platforms to PayPal for nonprofits like yours. Here’s what to expect from this article:
- Is it Time to look for PayPal Alternatives?
- How does PayPal work?
- The 8 Best Paypal Alternatives for Nonprofits
- Sum Up
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Is it Time to look for PayPal Alternatives?
Depending on how long your nonprofit organization has been around, many professionals today remember how revolutionary it was when PayPal launched in 1998. Electronic payments had just started to take off, and PayPal was the crown jewel of them all.
While PayPal is an excellent and highly popular online payment service, it’s hard to ignore some of the great alternatives out there.
Eva doesn't know what PayPal alternative to use for her nonprofit!
To better understand its competitors, we need to form an understanding of PayPal itself as a payment platform.
Essentially, PayPal is a digital wallet through which you can send and receive payments, store funds, and transfer those funds to a connected card or bank account.
A Quick Breakdown of PayPal Fees for Nonprofit
Just to get a basis, here’s a quick rundown of all fees that PayPal charges:
$24.99 (first one free) for mobile card readers
2.7% + $0.30 for Mobile Payments
2.7% + $0.30 for In-Store Purchases
2.9% + $0.30 for Online Payments
Qualified 501(c)(3) organizations get a discounted domestic rate of 2.2% + $0.30!
How Does PayPal Work?
In order to understand how a service like PayPal works, we first need to understand some online payment terminology:
Payment gateways deal with information regarding every transaction they handle. When someone donates to your cause on any payment platform, their information is passed through a payment gateway, which asks as a sort of courier. It runs the information from the donor’s bank to yours, checking every detail along the way to ensure that the card used is not stolen, expired, or out of funds. This all happens in an instant.
A merchant account is a dedicated account that businesses (and nonprofits) use to collect payments from customers. Typically handled by a third party, merchant accounts serve as endpoints for transactions handled by payment gateways.
Paypal is a sort of combination of these two things, since it both facilitates transactions and checks for fraud (like a payment gateway), and stores funds (like a merchant account).
Alex is zen knowing how online payment works!
While this works fantastically for almost everything, there is a limit to what you can do, especially as a nonprofit with members, donors, and operations to keep track of. This is where a different payment platform might come in handy. There are tons of alternatives out there that not only allow for payment collection, but that also integrate seamlessly with other aspects of your organization. There are software created specifically for nonprofits that essentially provide a one-stop-shop for everything your organization needs when it comes to finances.
The 8 Best PayPal Alternatives for Nonprofits
We tip our hat to PayPal for essentially creating and growing the online payment sector, which has revolutionized the way all businesses, including nonprofit organizations, do business and raise funds.
But are you sure that it’s the absolute best payment processor for your nonprofit organization? Why not try one of these incredible options!
With 15,000 organizations using it, Springly (that’s us!) is the best alternative to PayPal when it comes to managing memberships. Springly is a highly secure and convenient platform for nonprofit organizations to manage their donations, payments, campaigning, and all your other nonprofit needs.
Have you ever found yourself jumping from one software to another when facilitating your day-to-day operations? Through Springly, you can stop frantically switching from app to app and enjoy a truly all-in-one solution.
Springly can connect your financial system to many other aspects of your IT infrastructure, such as your CRM, events management, website, and membership interface.
Through Springly, you are notified in real-time who pays and when. You’ll never have to scratch your head wondering if everyone’s membership dues are paid up again. Additionally, when your members or donors pay through Springly, the funds will instantly appear in your e-wallet
Not only does the Springly platform make it easy for you to facilitate payments, it also makes it easier for your members and donors to support your cause. Springly has a state-of-the-art campaign management system complete with website creators, donation page designers, and financial flexibility with discount management, custom pricing, and group pricing, all giving your donors a more seamless and convenient experience.
Security is a top priority for Springly. All of the online monetary transactions that go through Springly are encrypted by industry-leading tech and a dedicated team of experts.
The funds given by donors or members never pass through Springly’s own bank accounts. They don’t need to, since Springly doesn’t charge a single transaction fee. Save money, add security. Simple as that.
Springly is definitely number one on this list because of the convenience it offers both your organization and your members. We love it (obviously), and we really do think you will too!
Donately is another great alternative donation platform to PayPal. Like Springly, Donately has some easy-to-use fundraising tools that make it easy for donors to support your organization.
This platform offers integrated payment processing, meaning that donations made by credit card or bank transfer can be accepted directly from an electronic donation form.
There is a high level of customization allowed for donors, as Donately’s embeddable donation forms allow donors to get creative with their contributions.
Donors have the option to make anonymous donations as well as add custom information fields and styles. Allow your donors to personalize their contributions to your organizations.
What’s great about Donately is that they offer an integrated peer-to-peer fundraising system. A donation page created through Donately allows your donors to add their own personal anecdotes to the page and share it with friends, encouraging each other to give.
Conveniently, Donately offers a unique text-to-donate system in which you can send automated text messages to your donors and members which can be shared. You can exponentially increase your donation yield through this easy-to-send and share text-to-donate platform.
Thousands of organizations and individuals use Donately to facilitate their fundraising campaigns. There’s no doubt that Donately is one of the top dogs when it comes to donation management.
Stripe makes online fundraising a breeze. This platform is equipped to handle both payments for businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Like Springly, Stripe gives donors and members options when it comes time to pay. Mobile payments and recurring donations are easy to set up through this platform.
Stripe comes with some pretty serious data protection as well. SSL and PCI Level 1 compliance are two cybersecurity achievements Stripe’s system has accomplished.
Additionally, Stripe offers real-time reporting and useful insights into the results of your fundraising efforts and payment receipts.
Stripe also gives pretty quick payouts from your balance on the platform to your bank account. Through Stripe, you can expect to receive your payments in two days after you press the transfer button.
Lastly, Stripe is a cheaper alternative to PayPal for your nonprofit. Their standard processing fee is lower than that of PayPal, coming in at only 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Stripe gives a solid discount to nonprofit organizations, making it a great choice for people like us.
An overall great alternative to PayPal, Stripe offers a well-rounded financial service to your organization and your contributors.
Another great PayPal alternative, iATS is designed to meet all of the financial needs of your nonprofit. A 30-year old platform, iATS has been in the game long enough to know the needs of organizations.
One of the greatest accomplishments of this platform is its incredibly user-friendly and developer-friendly mobile app. The iATS app allows users to make secure payments on the go.
One of the main focuses of this platform is protected against fraud. The cybersecurity division at iATS has prevented countless cyberattacks and fraud attempts in its 30 years of operation.
Their cutting edge technology and rocksteady security measures has earned iATS a PCI Level 1 compliance certification.
Instead of dealing with hidden fees and general headaches, iATS charges a flat monthly fee that doesn’t change due to volume or any other factor. A highly transparent and uniquely secure PayPal alternative, iATS is a solid choice for nonprofits.
Cybersource is a child of Visa, the credit card leviathan. A strong choice for nonprofits, Cybersource allows organizations to easily accept payments from around the world.
This platform is ideal for large, globally-operating nonprofit organizations that are concerned with the security of their funds.
Cybersource offers worldwide financial services with some no-nonsense PCI-compliant data security. Additionally, you can create custom donor and member experiences for your international contributors, changing language, wording, and imagery as needed.
What’s great about Cybersource is that it offers dynamic currency conversions. If someone in the UK donates to your US-based association, the currency conversion is done automatically.
The user interface allows the payer to decide which currency they would like to pay in, allowing for a seamless donation process with no calculations or preemptive currency conversions required.
If you receive payments and donations from around the world, Cybersource is the ideal payment management solution for your organization.
This solution is another dynamic all-in-one platform that will meet the needs of your organization. GiveEffect allows you to facilitate everything from carrying out daily organizational functions to donor retention and event planning.
Your organization can use this PayPal alternative to streamline the development process of your fundraising events and facilitate the act of processing the payments earned from them.
Once again, this platform offers a peer-to-peer fundraising feature that incentivizes your donors to spread the word about your organization. This feature can come in the form of a "donation thermometer" that allows your contributors to see how much they’re supporting your organization in relation to the goalpost.
One of the most important steps for a nonprofit organization to take when searching for potential donors is to screen for wealth. GiveEffect allows you to access the industry’s cutting-edge data services that will greatly help you in your prospect research.
This PayPal alternative also features RSVP management, allowing you to manage every aspect of your events. Coordinators can facilitate volunteer training, and the organization can manage speaker appearances without confusion or guesswork.
What’s great about GiveEffect is how all-encompassing and customizable the platform is. With GiveEffect, you can seamlessly integrate all of your external and internal fundraising tools such as separate fundraising websites, auction websites, and your own donation pages.
You can consolidate all of your fundraising earnings, information, and data in one place with this service. Transaction fees for this service range from 1.9% to 3% depending on the size of the transaction.
GiveEffect boasts that their customers enjoy an average increase of 32% in their revenue from fundraising through them.
If you find data important for your nonprofit organization, you should definitely consider one of the final entries on our list. Kindful is a PayPal alternative that takes data collection and management to another level.
Through Kindful, you can seamlessly integrate data from your highly customized donation pages directly into your database. Through Kindful, you can easily organize your donor data to monitor for trends.
You can use this data to increase the success of your next fundraising campaign while improving your relationship with your donors.
Kindful, like Springly, offers tools that merge your donor and member management tools with your email marketing tool, allowing you to communicate better with your contributors.
Overall, Kindful makes for an intuitive alternative to PayPal that makes donation waves doubly valuable for your organization.
To finish up our list we have Venmo, the best PayPal alternative for peer-to-peer fundraising. While it’s not the best option for large organizations hosting large-scale fundraising events, Venmo is perfect for smaller crowdsourcing ventures.
What’s great about Venmo is how many people use it. The chances are high that someone with a smartphone also has the convenient app downloaded.
What’s great about Venmo is that it’s a reliable payment processing service that doubles as a kind of social media network.
People on Venmo can see their friends’ transactions if they make them public, so donors can show their friends that they’re contributing to your cause without effort.
Venmo accounts can be shared through essentially any platform. Text, social media, email, it’s all very simple.
Additionally, Venmo codes are easy to share. A simple QR code is all a potential donor needs to find your donation page and make a contribution.
Venmo is optimized for mobile devices, making it the best fundraising solution for in-person fundraising events.
If you’re targeting younger demographics in your fundraising efforts, Venmo is certainly a safe choice.
Venmo charges little to no fees. There is no platform fee, and no transaction fees as long as you don’t use the instant transfer. Usually, the instant transfer costs a small percentage off the top of the amount being transferred.
So if you’re a smaller organization looking for a cheap and simple way to facilitate your fundraiser, Venmo is the way to go.
In summary, there are a lot of great alternatives to PayPal out there, that all offer their own unique special features.
While Paypal was a true pioneer for payment processing, laying the foundation for so many other platforms to flourish, it wasn’t built specifically for nonprofits. Finding a payment software that is built for nonprofit’s specific payment needs will prove invaluable for your organization.
Nina knows exactly which payment processor to use for her organization!
An all-in-one nonprofit finance software can save time by automating donations, seamlessly integrating payment and membership data, and driving campaigns that link directly to your account. It can save money by reducing your fees, cutting out the need for more tools, and reducing payment delays with member auto-reminders.
All of this means more time and money to put into what really matters: your cause.
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🧲 What are some good alternatives to PayPal for nonprofits?
There are many great alternatives to PayPal. Here are a few of our favourites: Springly, Kindful, Venmo, and GiveEffect. Find out more.
🔒 How does PayPal work?
PayPal uses payment gateways and merchant accounts to provide a safe way of your donors, members, and supporters making payments online through your website, fundraising page, or other. Find out more.
👪 Should I be looking for alternatives to PayPal?
PayPal was a pioneer in the industry when it first launched and is still a very powerful payment service. That being said, there are now so many great competitors on the market, many of which have been made with nonprofits in mind. Find out more.