PayPal is one of the most recognized names in online payments. The company is most known for enabling online payments at eBay and other e-commerce platforms. As PayPal has grown, they have branched out into various niche industries to try to expand their business, including the non-profit sector. Because PayPal is a for-profit gateway, they’ve come up short in some important areas:
A standard, out-of-the-box PayPal “Donate” button does not come with the ability to set up a recurring donation. To do so, you need to have some computer savvy that will require you to go through a 27-step process involving HTML coding. Seriously – 27 steps. Take a look at the official article on PayPal’s site here: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/get-started/create-recurring-donation-button
Recurring donations seem to have been an afterthought for PayPal. But they're not an afterthought for you. On average, organizations that accept recurring donations accept 16.3% more in donations that organizations that don’t have that ability.
PayPal’s standard non-profit option does not come with the ability to accept ACH (direct bank deposit) donations, which accounts for over 30% of the average organization’s online giving. ACH is an important part of any non-profit’s online giving – donors tend to make larger recurring donations with ACH and keep them running much longer than with credit cards.
Donor Activity and
PayPal is not set up to help an organization analyze and contact their donors. They do not provide any information on donor activity. At the end of the year, PayPal may provide addresses for your donors, but they in no way help you to generate annual reports to send to your donors.
One of the bigger downfalls of working with any large company like PayPal is the lack of customer service. You may be directed to an online chat that uses an algorithm to try to answer your questions, or you may be directed to an FAQ page. But you won’t get someone on the line who knows churches and non-profits and can personally answer your questions from experience.
At first glance, PayPal’s rates look great for any registered non-profit at 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction. Let’s revisit what those rates actually get you. They don’t get you recurring donations. They don’t get you ACH donations. They don’t get you any information on your donors or any tools to track the growth of your donors. What you get is the ability for one-time donors to make a donation along with a lot of additional work. Your organization will end up paying a high cost for that low price.
A better way to accept and track donations
Now the question is: can GivingFire
solve these issues? Yes!
GivingFire was designed from the very beginning with non-profits and churches in mind. Everything we do is intended to make GivingFire the best tool for an organization to accept, track, and grow their donations.
GivingFire allows your donors to set up recurring donations with either credit cards or ACH accounts and they can give to multiple funds at a time. You can track when new donors come one board and when existing donors update their one-time payment to a recurring gift. If you ever have a question or an issue with your account, your organization has an assigned account manager whom you can call or email to resolve your issue quickly.
Giving is too important an issue to outsource to PayPal. If you’re ready to get started with real online donations, then I’d love to talk. Send us a message HERE and we’ll talk about what we can do for you and your organization.