The top 5 ways to accept donations online

November 18, 2022

Technology has played a major role in helping nonprofits do more with limited resources. Websites allow them to tell their stories, emails make communications more efficient and effective, and online platforms help them accept donations online.

However, some online giving platforms are far better than others, especially when it comes to accepting donations for churches and faith-based organizations. For example, the IRS recently changed their requirements for PayPal, CashApp, Venmo, and other third-party payment processors to report transactions that exceed $600 per year. This could spell trouble for your organization if it’s not officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or if your payment processing accounts are not under your organization’s name.*

Let’s take a closer look at popular platforms and discover which one of them offers the best way to collect donations online for your organization.

*For any questions regarding IRS regulations, please contact the IRS or a tax professional.

1. PayPal

PayPal is one of the best known online payment processing systems. They offer a secure, simple-to-use solution for receiving and making payments, as well as for receiving donations. It’s possible to add a PayPal button on a website, making it a tempting solution for churches and nonprofit organizations.

Unfortunately, accepting PayPal donations requires users to create a personal PayPal account. Many donors don’t want the hassle of registering a new account, causing them to abandon their donation altogether.

PayPal also uses subjective terms in their User Agreement, allowing them to take $2,500 from your account if PayPal deems any of your organization’s activities to be promoting ‘hate,’ ‘intolerance,’ or ‘discrimination.’ PayPal doesn’t define those terms, and anyone can report a ‘violation,’ causing many churches and faith-based organizations to be concerned that this could impact their religious freedom.

2. Subsplash

Subsplash offers the best way to collect donations online for churches, nonprofits, and other charitable organizations. It offers powerful features specifically designed for their needs, such as:

  • Guest giving—Donors can choose not to create an account, streamlining their giving experience
  • Recurring giving—Donors can easily schedule their gifts in advance
  • Donor-covered fees—Donors can cover any processing fees, which ensures your organization keeps 100% of their donations
  • End-of-year tax statements—Easily send donors their tax deductible contribution statements with a click of a button
  • No monthly fees or hidden fees—simple pricing with no tricks or gimmicks

Subsplash also respects and supports religious freedom with no subjective community guidelines or terms of service, and content policies built to amplify the message of the gospel.

3. CashApp

Many organizations use popular peer-to-peer payment platforms like CashApp to accept donations online without being aware of the potential risks to their organization. For example, if your organization has a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, the CashApp terms clearly state that, “Amounts sent to the Organization do not qualify as a tax deductible donation.” CashApp transactions also do not offer a “guest giving” option and require creating a CashApp account.  

4. Venmo

Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment application that is owned by PayPal. Recently, Venmo started accepting charitable donations for registered 501(c)(3) organizations. However, Venmo for nonprofits lacks many of standard tools such as guest giving or being able to “manage your charity profile via the web.”

It’s also important to note that donors incur extra charges if they use a credit card, and Venmo accounts are subject to PayPal’s subjective “acceptable use” policies mentioned earlier.

5. GoFundMe

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that is popular for raising money for special causes. Through their platform, you can tell your story and promote your cause. Similar to Subsplash Giving, they offer a guest giving option to donate without creating an account.

Unfortunately, like most Big Tech platforms, GoFundMe has subjective terms that allows them to cancel a fundraiser if GoFundMe (in their “sole discretion”) believes an organization supports any ‘discrimination’ or ‘intolerance.’ As a result, they’ve often been in the news for canceling fundraisers due to disagreements with their users' social, religious, or political beliefs.

Experience the best way to collect donations online

Big Tech tools offer promising solutions, but they’re more ideally suited for businesses, peer-to-peer payments, or informal fundraising campaigns. Other church-focused giving platforms offer services similar to Subsplash for accepting donations, but they charge hidden fees, higher rates, or expensive monthly subscription fees. Some even raise their processing rates as your donations increase, leaving you with less of your donations!

Subsplash Giving was built with partnership over profit in mind. That’s why we created GrowCurve™, a built-in feature that automatically lowers processing rates as your donations increase. This allows your organization to keep more of your donations to fulfill your mission. Subsplash also offers special integrations to connect your giving platform to other tools like custom mobile apps, websites, live streams, and church management software (ChMS).

[.blog-contact-cta]Book a demo today[.blog-contact-cta] to discover how Subsplash Giving can help you encourage generosity and Fuel Your Mission™!


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