For nonprofits and churches, every donation counts. If you’re still limited to cash, check, or in-kind donations, it’s time to consider accepting credit cards. This improves your donor experience in more ways than one and increases your overall donations. This guide covers the many benefits of credit card processing for nonprofits and churches, how to get started, how to find the right tools, and how to use credit card payments to reach your fundraising goals.

Increase Your Donations With Credit Card Processing

The data is clear: most of us don’t carry cash or checks anymore. In fact, credit and debit cards are the preferred payment method of payment for 75% of consumers.

Why are credit cards so popular with your potential donors? Let’s take a look at the benefits:

  • It’s a convenient and private method of donating
  • People often have credit card information stored in keychains and digital wallets
  • Rewards points and airline miles incentivize larger donations

Because credit and debit cards are the preferred payment method, most of us simply assume the organizations we interact with already accept them. Modernizing your payments system help you put forth the image of a robust and credible organization. In fact, according to Nonprofits Source, churches that accept tithing online increase their overall donations by 32%.

What’s more, accepting credit cards is the fastest way to boost the number of recurring donations you receive. Make it easy for your most engaged donors to conveniently contribute every month with automatic online payments. Even better, recurring donations keep your bottom line steady so you can make better plans for your most important programs.

How To Set Up Credit Card Processing For Nonprofits

Accept one-time and recurring credit card payments through customizable payment forms, a state-of-the art point-of-sale system, on a mobile device with an app, or all of the above!

Ready to find out how an integrated solution can help you boost revenue and meet your fundraising goals? Here’s everything you should know about the different tools you can use to manage credit card processing for nonprofits.


Whether it’s a bake sale or gala, accepting in-person donations is easy with card payment machines for charities. Your donors will have the ability to provide a credit card for quick giving of any amount they choose. Look for solutions that give you access to a mobile credit card reader, as well as keyed-in payment processing.

Want to reduce your administrative tasks even more? Find a payment system that syncs in-person payments and online payments seamlessly to reduce your reconciliation tasks.

> Supporting Post: How to Get a Credit Card Reader


With how much of our lives are spent online, donors should have access to multiple, easy online options for making donations with credit cards.

Build a professionally branded website with obvious donor calls to action. Use online tools like “Donate Now” buttons or an online storefront for any merchandise. You can also offer event registration with convenient online payment portals that allow for both one-time and recurring donations.

Once these tools are set up on your website, you can better focus on other areas of your fundraising while donors can easily access your nonprofit or church from their computer, tablet, or phone.


Speaking of phones, going mobile is crucial. Generate more donors with a mobile app that allows you to accept donations and add important donor contact information, no matter where you are in the world. Use a mobile swiper to take donations on the road.

Look for mobile solutions that are designed for both iOS and Android. This allows your team to get involved and accept donations wherever they go.

Meet Your Fundraising Goals More Easily

Charity credit card processing certainly gives you increased flexibility, but the convenience of easy credit card payments is unmatched. This boosts your chances of meeting your fundraising goals with ease.

If you’re looking to plan a successful and financially-sound year of donation growth, here are a few important tips.

Set up automatic recurring donations

One-time donations are still the most common type of giving, but sustained giving or automatic-recurring donation programs continue to increase in popularity. 

Setting up weekly, monthly, or yearly donations is as simple as inputting your donor’s credit card or checking account information into your online donation software. Once in the system, their billing information is secure, and they can set up both the amount and frequency of the donation.

Perhaps they want to donate $10 every month or $50 per quarter; you’ll have the ability to automatically boost donation volume that accommodates your donor’s needs.

Maintain an online donor database

Using online donation software gives you the ability to set up easy-to-use databases that help you keep donor information in one place. Having this information accessible is critical for doing the important work of donor outreach.

For example, it may seem trivial, but a simple birthday card to your donors might be just the thing that helps them decide to increase their monthly contribution or attend an upcoming event. It’s these small details that can matter the most.

You can also use your donor database to customize mailings. For example, if a donor gave $5,000 last year, an updated database will ensure you send the appropriate mailing to them, versus someone who donated $50.

Provide donation opportunities at every point of contact

There’s nothing more frustrating for donors than having to navigate a complicated giving process. You should be able to offer them opportunities to give at every point of contact.

By using online donation software, you can link the “Donate” buttons on your website to secure online donation forms that accept credit card payments. Your potential donor can create an account for easy future donations, or just do a one-time donation. 

Further, you need software that allows you to accept in-person donations at lightning speed. Mobile card swipers and integrated app systems allow for this in a simple and seamless manner.

Look For The Best Nonprofit Credit Card Processing Features

You already know how important it is to take advantage of every donation opportunity, so it’s time to find software with the best credit card processing for nonprofits.

These are five features you should look for.

1. One integrated solution

When it comes to fundraising, there should be no limits. Find a provider that allows your organization to accept credit cards, debit cards, mobile payments, ACH, and e-checks under one system.

Further, all of your donations should flow right into this single system for easy bookkeeping.

2. A dedicated merchant account

Keep your money secure and get it faster! A dedicated merchant account allows you to accept different types of payment, typically debit and credit card payments, at lower processing rates. Payments are authorized through this account and then, when the transactions are approved and verified, they are deposited into your bank account.

When you work with PaySimple, you’ll get a dedicated merchant account for your organization. This gives you more security and better stability with your processing since it won’t be grouped with other business owners.

3. Low processing rates

Depending on the card and payment method (card present vs. not present), processing rates will vary. Be sure to study the Terms and Conditions of any credit card processing tool to fully understand the fees and processing rates.

Look for providers who already work closely with other charities. They’ll understand the unique challenges nonprofits and churches face, and often offer affordable rates and lower fees that were built for nonprofits like yours.

4. Secure transactions

It is critical for your donor’s payment data to be safe and secure. Look for a credit card processor that complies with all PCI requirements.

PaySimple is a Level 1 PCI DSS certified Service Provider and handles the majority of your compliance requirements. Once you move all data entry, processing, and data storage to a PCI certified partner, you’re 90% of the way to PCI compliance. From there, we will advise you on the forms you must complete to meet full compliance.

5. A great customer service team

Exceptional customer support should be a requirement. To help you succeed, look for a customer support that includes phone, email, chat and help center access.

You should never have to wait for answers to important questions. A great customer service team will always be ready and willing to address your concerns. For volunteers who aren’t tech-savvy, having help just a phone call away can be a major benefit, reducing the burden on your admin team.

Get Started

For nonprofits and churches, PaySimple gives you the power to accept donations by credit card wherever you and your donors happen to be. Even when you use multiple payment methods, PaySimple tracks them all and ties them back together within our single integrated solution.

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