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Nonprofit guides

8 Best Nonprofit Payment Processing Platforms: A Detailed Comparison

May 17, 2024

When it comes to accepting online donations, having a reliable and secure payment processing solution is crucial for nonprofits. 

A payment processor acts as the intermediary, facilitating the transfer of funds from donors' accounts into your organization's account. With the increasing shift towards digital transactions, selecting a suitable payment processor has become a critical decision for nonprofit organizations. 

In this article, we've curated a list of the top 8 payment processing options tailored specifically to nonprofits' unique needs.

Our Top Picks of Payment Software

  1. Zeffy: Best Free Payment Processing Software for Nonprofits
  2. Stripe: Best for Integrations and Customizations 
  3. Payline Data: Best for Multiplatform Payment Needs
  4. Helcim: Best for Online Credit Card Payments 
  5. Square: Best for Point-of-Sales Transactions 
  6. PayPal: Best for New Nonprofits 
  7. Adyen: Best Omnichannel Payment Processing Solution
  8. HubSpot Payments: Best for Versatile Payment Collection 

What is a Payment Processing Software?

A payment processor is a solution that facilitates online payments between nonprofits and their donors with debit cards, credit cards, or digital wallets. It serves as a mediator between merchants, donors, and the financial institutions involved.

Once a donor initiates online payments, the transaction details are encrypted and shared with the processor. The payment processor software sends these details to the donor's bank and requests authorization for the transaction.

After the bank ensures the donors have enough funds, it approves the transaction. The payment processor then transfers the funds from the donor account to the nonprofit’s account.

Top 8 Payment Processing Software for Nonprofits

Top 8 Payment Processing Software for Nonprofits
Software Standout Feature Payout Time Pricing
Zeffy 100% free - we cover all the fees for nonprofits even transaction fees. Weekly or monthly 100% Free
Stripe Flexible and versatile with a wide range of tools and plugins 2 days 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction
Payline A wide selection of POS (point-of-sale) systems to address unique needs Next day For nonprofits discounted rates start at Interchange fee + 0.10%.
Helcim Automatic discounts on high-volume transactions 3-4 days Visa Canada: 0.98% to 2.00%
MC Canada: 0.92% to 1.80%
Visa US: 0.65% + $0.15 to 1.35% + $0.05
MC US: 1.45% + $0.15 to 2.00% + $0.10
Square Free mobile card e-reader 1-2 business days Processing fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
PayPal Customizable donate button 3-5 business days 1.99% and a fixed fee (by location)
Adyen Connects offline and online payments on a single platform 2 days Fixed processing fee (US: $0.13) according to location + a fee determined by the payment method
HubSpot Payments Accept payments using links invoices quotes meetings and forms 2 days for credit cards and three days for ACH (automated clearing house) Processing fee of 2.9% for credit card transactions and 0.5% for ACH payments

1. Zeffy: Best Free Payment Processing Software for Nonprofits

Capterra: 4.8

G2: 4.9

Zeffy is a game-changer for nonprofits seeking to streamline their payment processing and fundraising efforts. What sets Zeffy apart is its commitment to providing a 100% free platform, eliminating all monthly fees and even transaction charges. This means that every penny donated through Zeffy goes directly to your cause.

Zeffy accepts debit and credit card online payments from around the world, as well as ACH, bank transfers, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and checks. With its 100% free model and dedication to nonprofit success, Zeffy is the ideal partner for organizations looking to make every donation count.

In addition to payment processing, Zeffy offers a range of features designed to simplify fundraising for nonprofits, such as:

Things to Keep in Mind:

Zeffy Nonprofit Payment Processing Platform
Why Should You Consider It? Why Should You Avoid It?
  • Zeffy covers all transaction and processing fees ensuring that 100% of every donation goes directly to the nonprofit.
  • Accepts payments via debit and credit cards, ACH transfers, and mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Automatically generates and sends tax receipts to donors.
  • Available to nonprofits in the US and Canada only.


100% free

What Do the Users Say?

We are a small not-for-profit start-up organization that was having problems raising money online. We were limited in how donors could send us money and the processing fees were costly. We found Zeffy easy to use and extremely donor-friendly. Zeffy delivers a tax-ready receipt to donors immediately. The software has allowed us to collect donations for multiple fundraising campaigns. - Ronald W


What is the maximum amount Zeffy accepts on cards?

Zeffy accepts credit cards and CVV debit cards for all payments up to $4,999.

Does Zeffy use Stripe?

Zeffy partners with Stripe, an online leader in global transactions, to process payments for nonprofits. Stripe is a backend payment processor on the platform, but it is 100% free with Zeffy. This means you don’t have to pay any of the costs usually associated with the Stripe platform. 

How is Zeffy 100% free?

With voluntary donations, Zeffy can offer nonprofits a 100% free fundraising platform. At the confirmation step of processing payments, donors have the choice (but are never forced) to contribute to the platform.

2. Stripe: Best for Integrations and Customizations 

Capterra: 4.6

G2: 4.3

Stripe is a well-known and widely recognizable payment processing software that enables you to accept payments through an e-commerce platform, website, or from most sources on the Internet.

The solution intermediates your donor's payment methods and your organization's bank account. You can integrate Stripe with whatever platform you're using with no code and create your own custom point of sale. It accepts payment in 135 currencies and offers a variety of extensions, including prospect management, analytics, and tax calculation tools. 

By using Zeffy, nonprofits can access Stripe's payment processing capabilities without incurring any of the usual fees associated with the platform, as Zeffy covers even the transaction costs. This means you can enjoy the benefits of Stripe's reliability and security while keeping all of your donated funds.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Stripe Nonprofit Payment Processing Platform
Why Should You Consider It? Why Should You Avoid It?
  • Integrates with a vast array of platforms and tools.
  • Capable of handling transactions in over 135 currencies, ideal for international donations.
  • Offers robust security measures to prevent fraudulent transactions, enhancing donor trust.
  • Charges 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction, unlike Zeffy that covers the transaction fee and is 100% free.
  • Limited options for in-person transactions.


It offers eligible nonprofits processing 80% or more donations on the platform a discounted fee of 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction, as opposed to 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for businesses.

What Do the Users Say?

I like that Stripe integrates with many, many platforms. Whether it's databases or crowdfunding sites, Stripe is accepted in a lot of places, which has been so helpful for us. I also think it has really accurate reporting and is heavily detail-oriented. - Rachel D.


Does Stripe accept wired transactions?

Yes, Stripe accepts international wired transactions, but it may incur a fee, which can result in receiving an amount that’s less than what the donor contributed. 

How many bank accounts can you have on Stripe?

In some countries, Stripe users can add extra bank accounts to enable payouts and settlements in additional currencies. You can add only one bank account per supported settlement currency. To use multiple bank accounts, you have to select a default settlement currency, which you can change at any time. 

Is Stripe only for online payments?

No, it also supports offline transactions by offering a Stripe Terminal. The Terminal accepts most online payments made with credit and debit cards. 

3. Payline Data: Best for Multiplatform Payment Needs

Capterra: 5

G2: 4.6

Payline Data is another online payment software for nonprofits, especially those in the education sector. It has seamless integrations, mobile payment capabilities, and various POS solutions. 

The POS system options are tailored to your specific operational needs. Organizations can customize their payment processing setup to meet their unique requirements with choices such as Oracle MICROS, Clover, and NCR Aloha Cloud.

Its Virtual Terminal functionality optimizes cash flow by accepting online payments and transferring the funds the next day. The Virtual Terminal and dashboard offer a central location to manage several payment-related tasks, from viewing reports to storing profiles and sending invoices. 

Things to Keep in Mind:

Payline Data Nonprofit Payment Processing Platform
Why Should You Consider It? Why Should You Avoid It?
  • Direct integrations with POS systems, popular shopping carts, and some versions of QuickBooks.
  • Offers diverse POS options to address specific needs.
  • Open-faced APIs for tailored integrations to both third-party and native software.
  • Initial setup needs familiarization with integrations and services.
  • Hardware integration may demand additional investment and setup.
  • Pricing models can be difficult to understand.


  • For nonprofits, discounted rates start at Interchange + 0.10%.

What Do the Users Say?

Payline helps our accounting team balance financial reports by managing transactions such as payments and refunds. It's a straightforward method to manage all of our purchases and sales within a single app. - Arindam B.


Can you handle international transactions through Payline Data?

While Payline data supports various card brands, including Mastercard, Visa, Amex, and Discover, it primarily handles domestic transactions. You have to contact Payline directly to discuss international payment capabilities. 

Does Payline Data offer additional tools to enhance the user experience?

Yes, Payline Data provides features such as recurring payments and invoices, making it easier for organizations to manage donations. 

What payment methods does Payline accept?

Payline is a payment processor that accepts most credit and debit card payments, ACH transfers, and e-checks. 

4. Helcim: Best for Online Credit Card Payments 

Capterra: 4.2 

G2: 4.2

Helcim is the best credit card payment processor for accepting donations offline and online. Its POS hardware allows you to accept funds in person, while its hosted payments page and gateway options allow you to accept transactions online.

It also accepts donations from ACH, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. The platform provides additional features, including generating a QR code, building your hosted nonprofit online store, and creating and sharing invoices.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Helcim Nonprofit Payment Processing Platform
Why Should You Consider It? Why Should You Avoid It?
  • No monthly subscription fees, PCI compliance fees, setup fees, or cancellation fees.
  • Comes integrated with e-commerce solutions.
  • Issues payment reminders.
  • Hardware is available at extra cost.
  • Not a good option for nonprofits with low-volume transactions.
  • No same-day deposit options available.


Helcim provides reasonable credit card processing rates to some qualified charities. These are:

  • Visa Canada - 0.98% to 2.00%
  • MC Canada - 0.92% to 1.80%
  • Visa US - 0.65% + $0.15 to 1.35% + $0.05
  • MC US - 1.45% + $0.15 to 2.00% +$0.10

What Do the Users Say?

Helcim helped our not-for-profit with efficiencies. We had no issues at all with our service. Helcim helped our not-for-profit with efficiencies. - James V


Does Helcim come with a payment gateway?

Yes, Helcim is an all-in-one payment platform with one of the best payment gateway APIs, so you can process credit card payments on your website. 

How long does it take for Helcim to transfer funds?

It takes around three business days for Helcim to transfer funds to the merchant’s bank account. 

Does Helcim accept international payments?

Use the Helcim merchant account to accept credit card payments from supporters worldwide. Regardless of their credit card transaction currency, they will be charged in your local currency, and you will receive the funds without any conversion charges.   

5. Square: Best for Point-of-Sale Transactions  

Capterra: 4.7

G2: 4.6

Square is best known for its POS solution, which enables you to accept payments in person with ease. You can download the Square POS app on your phone or choose from a range of robust hardware. It even comes with a tap to pay solution that helps accept payments through contactless cards and digital wallets on iPhone and Android during events.

Besides offering payment services, Square comes with basic CRM (customer relationship management) tools that help to segment your supporters into groups, send targeted emails, and receive feedback through digital receipts.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Square Nonprofit Payment Processing Platform
Why Should You Consider It? Why Should You Avoid It?
  • Easy combination of online and in-person sales.
  • Includes a basic CRM and website builder.
  • Affordable POS hardware.
  • APIs to create a customizable and secure payment gateway.
  • First mobile device card reader is free, but additional is charged at $10.
  • It charges 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction.
  • Lack of ACH payment processing.


Processing fee is 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction for nonprofits

What Do the Users Say?

The payments always go through, and Square Payments has a very clean-looking interface. It has good functionality and is mostly reliable. - Anonymous


What cards are accepted by Square?

Square payment processor accepts payment from any US-issued and most international-issued magstripe or chip card bearing a Mastercard, Visa, Discover, JCB, American Express, or UnionPay International logo.

Does Square support third-party integrations?

Square supports several third-party integrations with its Square App Marketplace. You may have to pay for them separately, depending on which apps you choose.

Does Square accept Google Pay?

Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay are all mobile wallets that Square accepts for contactless transactions. 

6. PayPal: Payment Processing Software for Nonprofits 

Capterra: 4.7

G2: 4.4

For nonprofits looking for a reliable and easily accessible payment processor, PayPal is a great choice. It's designed to be easy for first-time users. 

PayPal uses its merchant account to process transactions for nonprofits. It enables you to collect donations online and in person using a mobile card reader, chip and swipe reader, or chip and tap reader.

PayPal even allows you to add and customize a donate button on your website so that your donors can make contributions via credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal payments without creating an account on the platform.

Things to Keep in Mind:

PayPal Nonprofit Payment Processing Platform
Why Should You Consider It? Why Should You Avoid It?
  • Strong global recognition boosts donor trust.
  • Extremely simple to use for you and your donors.
  • Seamlessly integrates with multiple platforms.
  • Excellent customer service support post-sales.
  • PayPal charges 1.99% + $0.49 per transaction.
  • Lacks advanced fundraising tools like event management and peer-to-peer fundraising that are essential for more comprehensive nonprofit operations.
  • While support is available, it is not specifically tailored to the unique needs of nonprofits.


For registered 501(c)(3) organizations, the price is 1.99% + $0.49 per transaction. 

What Do The Users Say?

The ease of integrating with any website, no matter what platform it is designed on. You can quickly parameterize all the elements related to this payment method. It is used at the same level as other payment methods and this gives confidence. It is a secure platform, it does not generate errors, on the user's side or on the programmer's or administrator's side. - Ivan B.


What is the daily transfer limit on PayPal?

The maximum amount PayPal can transfer in a single day is $10,000. This can vary depending on the PayPal balance, history, user’s account type, and location.

Is PayPal safe to use?

Absolutely. PayPal uses end-to-end encryption to secure all transactions. It also offers merchant fraud detection, so you can contact the platform directly if something suspicious occurs in your credit history. 

How do you verify your charity on PayPal?

To begin your confirmation process, visit the charities page on the PayPal platform. You’ll need to offer information to prove:

  • Your nonprofit is legally registered with the necessary regulatory body.
  • You are a representative of that nonprofit.

7. Adyen: Best Omnichannel Payment Processing System 

Capterra: 4.8

G2: 3.3

Adyen is an omnichannel payment processor, meaning it can manage transactions on smartphones, in-person, or any other means on a single platform. Its payment services comprise a payment gateway for online payments, point-of-sale systems for in-person transactions, and integration for in-app or mobile payments. 

The platform offers insights into your transaction history. You can check balances, reconcile payments, and more for each payment service linked to the merchant account.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Adyen Nonprofit Payment Processing Platform
Why Should You Consider It? Why Should You Avoid It?
  • Insightful reports for conducting great analysis.
  • Customer service is very friendly and responsive.
  • It makes it easy to manage payments with a single platform.
  • Accepts multiple currencies and payment methods.
  • May be pricey for new and small nonprofits.
  • Integrating it with other platforms might take time.


A fixed processing fee ($0.13 for the US) + a fee determined by the payment method

What Do the Users Say?

Adyen has helped us to offer our products to clients in different markets with the payment method of their choice and to manage our transaction from just one platform in a very easy and organized way. - Anonymous


Is Adyen a processor or gateway?

Adyen is a payment processor, gateway, and acquirer in one platform. It can handle transactions using different methods, devices, and locations. 

How many payment methods does Adyen accept?

Adyen offers access to 150+ payment methods through a single integration and even accepts payments globally. 

What does Adyen do?

Adyen processes online and in-person transactions for nonprofits and businesses. Its most notable capabilities include fraud detection and chargeback protection, chip card readers, and point-of-sale systems.  

8. HubSpot Payments: Best for Versatile Payment Collection  

Capterra: 4.5

G2: 4.4

HubSpot Payments is a comprehensive payment processor integrated directly into the HubSpot platform. It allows you to collect one-time or recurring payments through payment links, invoices, forms, and quotes. 

When someone makes a payment, you will receive a notification in your email. The platform, integrated with automation and reporting tools, will automatically generate transaction records, making it simple to manage and track your payment activity. 

The solution also integrates with your existing payment gateway. 

Things to Keep in Mind:

HubSpot Payment Processing Platform
Why Should You Consider It? Why Should You Avoid It?
  • Offers embeddable payment links to add to your website or donation forms.
  • Automated invoice generation, payment reminders, payment processing, and reconciliation.
  • Real-time visibility into the status of invoices, pending payments, and cash inflows.
  • Available only to organizations in the USA with a US bank account and using a paid version of HubSpot.
  • No customization capabilities.
  • Doesn’t allow for donation creation.


HubSpot offers a 40% discount to eligible nonprofits. HubSpot Payments has a processing fee of 2.9% for credit card transactions and 0.5% for ACH payments (capped at $10).

What Do the Users Say?

There are so many useful tools, and they are all incredibly intuitive. Using automated workflows, our organization has significantly improved engagement and nurturing while curbing labor. HubSpot's customer support is also amazingly responsive and helpful. - Pete G


How secure is the HubSpot payment tool?

HubSpot Payments relies on tokenization, encryption, and other advanced security measures to protect online transactions and mitigate the risk of fraud. 

What payment methods are accepted by HubSpot Payments?

The platform primarily accepts three kinds of online payments: ACH transfers, debit cards, and credit cards. You can choose to accept only cards, only transfers, or both for one-time or recurring payments.

Can you charge supporters outside the United States?

Yes, HubSpot Payments accepts credit and debit card transactions denominated in US dollars from supporters outside the US. It supports global and regional card brands, including American Express, Visa, Discover, Diners, Mastercard, and Japan Card Bureau (JCB).

What to Consider When Choosing a Payment Processing Software

Here are a few factors to consider when looking for a payment processing solution:

1. Pricing Structure

Most credit card processing companies offer flat-rate pricing and interchange-plus pricing. The former charges merchants a single fixed rate irrespective of the card used, while the second varies cost based on the card.

Some payment processors even offer subscription models, eliminating per-transaction fees in exchange for a monthly membership charge. For nonprofits that process high-volume transactions, membership plans offer a cost-effective way to lower costs.

Check the fine print for any extra fees added to your pricing structure. Some providers charge statement fees, gateway fees, setup fees, and batch fees in addition to transactions or subscriptions. Be careful when reviewing the pricing structure to identify any hidden costs.

When considering pricing structures, it's important to keep in mind that some platforms, like Zeffy, offer completely free payment processing for nonprofits. By choosing a fee-free solution, you can ensure that 100% of the donated funds go directly towards your cause.

2. Payment Methods Supported

Consider the payment methods you want to offer your donors and ensure that the payment processor software supports them. 

Popular methods are credit and debit cards, which almost all payment software solutions support. You may also want to accept payments via PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, e-check, and digital wallets. Ensure that the processor supports global payments in currencies you accept. 

3. Integration 

You want to choose a payment processor that integrates seamlessly with nonprofit’s website.

Zeffy enhances nonprofit fundraising efforts with its embedded donation forms, seamlessly integrating into your website. These customizable forms provide a user-friendly experience, ensuring donors can contribute easily without navigating away from your site, thus keeping engagement high and consistent.

4. Security 

When collecting online donations, it's your responsibility to protect and secure the donor's sensitive payment data and your confidential organization information. Look for payment processors that prioritize security measures such as fraud protection and chargeback protection. 

The payment processor should also be PIC-compliant, which is a set of standards that all organizations that process credit card payments have to follow.

Zeffy understands the importance of security in payment processing and ensures that your donors' sensitive information is safe and secure. By partnering with Stripe, a leading payment processor known for its robust security measures, Zeffy ensures that all transactions are protected and compliant with industry standards. 

5. Good Customer Service

Good customer service in payment processing is crucial, especially for nonprofits that handle numerous transactions under various conditions. 

Opt for services that provide dedicated support for nonprofits, understanding the nuances and specifics of nonprofit operations, ensuring any issues are swiftly and effectively resolved.

The Bottom Line: Which is the Best Payment Processing Software?

While all these payment processing solutions are solid choices to let donors pay securely and conveniently, remember to choose what's right for your nonprofit.

Explore your options and decide on a simple, powerful, cost-effective payment solution that offers the services you need. 

When it comes to selecting a payment processing platform for your nonprofit, Zeffy stands out as an exceptional choice. With its comprehensive set of features, including online and offline transaction support, multiple payment methods, automated tax receipts, and 100% free processing, Zeffy empowers nonprofits to maximize their fundraising potential.

Sign up for Zeffy and get a 100% free user-friendly payment processing solution tailored specifically for nonprofits.

FAQs on the Payment Processor 

What is the most convenient payment method?

Credit cards are often considered the most appropriate payment method because they’re widely accepted, easy-to-use, and offer enhanced fraud detection. 

How much time does it take for the online funds to transfer from your merchant account to your bank account?

Most processors take around two to four business days to transfer funds from your merchant's account to your nonprofit's bank account. There are a few payment services that can offer instant payouts, but they will usually have a certain charge. 

Do nonprofits pay credit card payment processing fees? 

Yes, nonprofits will have to pay credit card processing fees. Depending on the payment solution and the credit card, these are typically around 2-3% per transaction fee. Many solutions allow you to ask your donor if they will be willing to cover these fees, while others not designed explicitly for nonprofits cover these themselves.

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