Let's Get Digital! Payment Processors for the Win

April 20, 2021
10 minutes

You have a new website, you updated your social media pages, and you’ve signed up for Funraise... but how do you actually accept all of those donations? You’re going to need a payment processor.

Payment processors are necessary tools for every nonprofit and business—any place that accepts or raises money online needs a secure payment processor. Gone are the days of taking stacks of checks to the ATM; if you’re accepting donations online or hosting online fundraisers, you’ll need to integrate a tool to process those payments.

Choosing your payment processor gives you the power to make sure it’s working for you and your donors. Sure, you can link your nonprofit’s bank account to Facebook, but going with a payment processor gives you control over refunds, donation data, and donor updates. And, as we've noted, very few, if any, nonprofits can fund their needs through social media alone.

Let’s dig into the details.

Why You Need a Payment Processor

You may be saying, "But I take donaaaaaations, not payments!" And yes, you and I know there's a difference, but to your PayPals, your Stripes, your Apple Pays... payments and donations and transactions are all one and the same.

So. You need to begin thinking in those terms as well, at least logistically.

Depositing money into your organization’s bank account always comes with some sort of cost: checking fees, time spent in line for a teller, processing fees, and so on. If you're accruing a nominal cost—and you are—ensure the security and efficiency of your information and money.

Also, without a payment processor, your digital presence is dim, at best. If you can't accept donations online, you have very little reason to be online.

This is where the benefits of payment processors shine:


No more lost checks in the mail. No more unsecured credit card transactions. Payment processors give your donors peace of mind by offering greater security.

Bonus: Funraise is PCI compliant! This means you won’t be vulnerable to costly data breaches or attacks. Non-PCI compliance can expose you to large penalties and fines, not to mention loss of trust from the public.

Donation buttons

If you have a button (and you will, if you stick with this guide), then you must connect a payment processor. Donors simply click, confirm a few details, et voilà—a donation!

Ease of donating

Payment processors are doing work behind the scenes so you can spend your time building relationships. Plus, they make donating easy for donors by accepting all forms of credit cards.

Quick processing

You’ll get the donations in your bank account within hours or a couple of days, not weeks. And definitely not standing in line.

Choosing a Payment Processor

We like Stripe! There are lots of options for payment processors, but when you’re going digital you want a trusted, secure option. That’s why we recommend Stripe. Plus, Stripe also loves nonprofits, so it’s a win-win.

What can you do with Funraise and Stripe together?

  • Collect credit and debit card payments
  • Support Apple Pay
  • Refund donations through Funraise
  • Access a discounted processing rate

You’ll also be able to see and store necessary donor data such as email addresses and campaign names, all of which help you identify how donors respond and where your fundraising efforts could grow.

PayPal is another good option for a payment processor and one you may already use. Plus, Funraise integrates with PayPal so you can accept and manage donations with no more manual entry. PayPal will automatically send donations to your Funraise page, saving you lots of time.

With PayPal and Funraise, you can:

  • Add PayPal as a payment option to your donation forms
  • Manage your PayPal donations
  • Refund donations through Funraise
  • Access a discounted processing rate

Funraise Makes Processing Payments Easy

When you integrate Funraise with a payment processor, everything from collecting online donations to launching crowdfunding campaigns to selling event tickets becomes much easier. The benefit of going digital is to have elements working for you, 24/7. And that’s just what adding a payment processor will do.

Bonus help: Funraise has a fancy feature that automatically updates credit card info. Our handy card genie handles payment interruptions to recurring donations before they become a problem, preventing pauses in your predictable revenue. Talk to our team about this feature!

With a payment processor, a world of revenue is at your fingertips and data is practically automagic. On to donation buttons: Take that next step, then follow the rest of the steps in our Let's Get Digital! series.

Download Funraise's Let's Get Digital! A Guide to Becoming a Digital Nonprofit

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