Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 14, 2018

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Fundraising with PayPal

by Deane Brengle

Many people are aware of PayPal from its popular use as a payment system for eBay auctions. PayPal is a universally recognized Internet payment merchant with a solid reputation of being secure and easy to use. It is by far the largest of its kind, and is available in 103 countries/regions and used by more 100 million accountholders worldwide. But PayPal can be so much more.

Along with being a payment option for eBay online auction users, PayPal also offers a feature called PayPal Donations. PayPal Donations is a simple solution enabling nonprofit organizations to collect donations from their own Web sites or a link in their email newsletters. It is an ideal solution for nonprofits that don't have a full-time technology staff or sophisticated online fund-raising software. PayPal Donations is an easy to implement donation system that involves no upfront costs, and maintains detailed transaction records for your accounting.

The most common method of collecting PayPal donations is by setting up a donation button on your website. Include a paragraph with the button explaining this method and encourage visitors to click on the button to donate. Or you can create an entire page on your website discussing your organizations needs and encouraging visitors to donate via PayPal.

You can create several types of buttons to match your message. You can also create a series of buttons in incremental dollar amounts that your supporters can choose from. You can even set up ongoing monthly donations, called subscriptions, so your supporters can give a little each month, month after month.

PayPal takes all the headaches out of making sure your supporters enjoy a safe and secure donation experience. All contact and credit card information is entered on PayPal's secure website to eliminate any potential problems. After the donation is complete your supporters can be returned to a thank you page on your website if you choose. It's a quick, convenient and comfortable process.

Supporters can donate using a credit card from VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. Supporters need not have a PayPal account to donate but if they do they can also donate from their PayPal account or transfer from their bank account.

When you receive a donation, PayPal will send an e-mail letting you know the amount and who sent it. Your supporter will also receive an e-mail receipt which can act as proof of their donation for tax purposes. This is a fool-proof method of tracking donations. And PayPal maintains detailed transaction records on their website that you can access 24/7.

I'm betting you are waiting for the other shoe to drop. That shoe named Fees. Well, those aren't so bad either compared to a regular merchant account.

  • No application fees.
  • No setup fees.
  • No monthly fees.
  • No gateway fees.
  • No transaction fees.
  • No expensive card machines to buy.
  • No expensive software to buy.

Ok, so what do they charge? PayPal doesn't charge anything until you get a donation, then they charge per transaction based on your total monthly donations:

  • 0.00 - $3,000.00 = 2.9% + $0.30
  • $3,000.01 - $10,000.00 = 2.5% + $0.30
  • $10,000.01 - $100,000.00 = 2.2% + $0.30
  • over $100,000.00 = 1.9% + $0.30
    (all funds are in U.S dollars for business accounts with donations being made and accepted in the United States)

For example: If you received a donation of $100 then PayPal would retain $3.20 before crediting $96.80 to your account. Meanwhile, the donor would realize the full $100 for tax purposes.
($100 x .029%= $2.90 + $0.30= $3.20)

It's easy to get your money too. PayPal will transfer your funds to your bank account whenever you want for free.

PayPal eliminates the need for your nonprofit to spend thousands of dollars on technical things like secure Web certificates, credit card merchant accounts, online processing software, and credit card machines. Nor does PayPal charge any upfront fees or monthly fees. And it is extremely easy to implement with a simple and competitive fee schedule.

If your organization doesn't already have an established way to accept cash donations PayPal is my recommended method. Once you set things up you can receive money 24 hours a day from anyone with an email address. Donít miss this opportunity to make fundraising for your cause easier with this turn-key donation solution.

Start accepting donations now with a PayPal business account.


About the Author:

Deane Brengle is the editor of several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.

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