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Nonprofit guides

Stripe for Nonprofits: What is it and How to Use it?

December 11, 2023
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For many nonprofits, handling transactions efficiently and cost-effectively can be a major pain. Many payment processors include hidden fees, are tough to navigate, and lack some key features necessary for effective fundraising. 

In this complete guide, we'll delve into the ins and outs of Stripe for nonprofits, and the best alternatives to help you figure out which payment payment processor is right for you. 

What is Stripe for nonprofits?

Stripe for nonprofits lets you accept online payments

Stripe is an online payment processing platform that allows businesses, including nonprofits, to accept payments over the Internet.

Stripe for nonprofits is a popular, user-friendly, and secure solution for processing various payment methods—such as credit cards, debit cards, and ACH transfers.

What are the Stripe nonprofit fees?

Stripe offers discounted fees for nonprofits and charities

Stripe offers discounted fees for qualifying nonprofits that use the platform. 

Eligible nonprofits that will be processing 80% or more of donation payments on Stripe get access to reduced pricing of 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.

Unlike lots of other payment processes—which often don’t offer nonprofit discounts—using Stripe for donations doesn't include any other hidden fees.

However, it is important to note that other income outside of donations—like membership dues and ticket sales—are not eligible for discounted rates with your Stripe account.

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

What you need to apply for Stripe’s nonprofit pricing

Only eligible nonprofits can access the discounted rate Stripe’s payment processing fees. To apply to Stripe for nonprofits, organizations must supply the following information:

3 steps to start using Stripe's nonprofit discount  

Creating a nonprofit Stripe account, and getting access to the Stripe nonprofit pricing, involves a few straightforward steps. 

1. Gather necessary information

Before you start the account creation process, gather essential information about your nonprofit organization. In addition to the information listed above, your nonprofit will need to provide:

2. Sign up for a Stripe account

Major step of creating a stripe account for nonprofit: sign up

3. Verify your nonprofit status

In order to receive access to the discounted Stripe fees for nonprofits, Stripe requires verification of your nonprofit status. To verify, email Stripe at [email protected] using this email template:

Dear [Stripe],

I am sending the required information to register my nonprofit as a verified 501(c)(3), in order to receive the discounted Stripe nonprofit rates:

Thank you,

[Name]

After completing these steps, and receiving approval from Stripe, your nonprofit Stripe account should be set up and ready to use for online fundraising and payment processing. 

Watch Zeffy demo on fundraising

What to look for when choosing a nonprofit payment platform

Stripe is a great choice for organizations looking for a simple, easy-to-use payment processor. However, it’s important to consider alternative options to see if there is a different platform that’s a better fit for your organization.

When choosing a payment platform for your nonprofit, it’s important to look for a few key features. 

8 alternatives to Stripe for nonprofits

While Stripe for nonprofits does offer discounted fees and has quite a few pros, there are lots of payment processors that offer better discounts, more features, and even better support.

Payment processor Best for Fees

Zeffy

Best free solution—for all nonprofits

100% free—no hidden fees

PayPal

Best for secure transactions 

2.2% + $0.30 

Google Pay 

Best for mobile giving

No fees

Square

Best for donor data

3.5% - $0.30 

Braintree

Best for organizations with developers

Up to 3.49% + $0.49

Authorize.net

Best for customer support

2.9% + $0.30 plus $25 monthly fee

Venmo

Best for social media style giving

1.9% + $0.10

Cashapp

Best for flexible giving options

3% per credit card transaction, 0.5% -1.75% per instant deposit


Zeffy: Best for free solution—for all nonprofits

Zeffy lets you avoid Stripe fees

Unlike other payment processors like Stripe for nonprofits, Zeffy is the only zero-fee fundraising platform for fundraisers. That means no processing, platform, or monthly fees—plus no hidden fees, either. Plus, with Zeffy, nonprofits can create custom donation forms, charge membership fees, accept recurring payments and more.

Secure, easy to use, and built with nonprofits in mind, Zeffy is a one-stop shop for processing donations, and making the most out of your fundraising efforts. Trusted by 10,000+ nonprofits throughout North America, Zeffy is 100% transparent and 100% free.

Fees: Zeffy : 0% fees. 🙂 Every other platform: 3% - 10% fees. 

Pros:

Compare Zeffy (100% free) to Stripe for nonprofits →

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

PayPal: Best for secure transactions

Paypal website

PayPal, like Stripe, is a popular payment processing platform. Like Stripe, the platform offers discounted fees for charities and has several great tools and gadgets for processing donations. 

Paypal donation Fees: 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction for eligible charities only

Pros:

Cons:

Compare Zeffy (100% free) to PayPal for nonprofits  →

Google Pay: Best for mobile giving 

Google Pay

Google Pay is another mobile-friendly payment processor with a sleek interface. Lots of nonprofits choose this Stripe alternative for the name recognition, and ease of use. Like Stripe for nonprofits, Google Pay is widely recognizable and trusted by thousands of users.

Fees: None for domestic donations

Pros: 

Cons: 

Square: Best for donor data 

Square payment solution

Unlike lots of payment processors, Square for nonprofits is an excellent choice for organizations that want to capture donor data. Though the platform wasn’t specifically designed with charities in mind, its secure and easy-to-use platform is a great fit for nonprofits in need of a payment processing solution.

Fees: 3.5% - $0.30 

Pros: 

Cons:

Compare Zeffy (100%) free to Square for nonprofits →

Watch Zeffy demo on fundraising

Braintree: Best for organizations with developers 

Paypal Braintree can be used by nonprofits as a payment system

Braintree, owned by PayPal, is a payment processing platform that enables businesses and organizations to accept online and mobile payments. Mobile-optimized, the platform is often used by a wide range of businesses, including nonprofits, to process payments using multiple methods of giving.

Fees: Up to 3.49% + $0.49 per transaction

Pros: 

Cons: 

Authorize.net: Best for customer support

Authorize.net is an alternative to Stripe for nonprofits

Authorize.Net, a payment gateway service that enables businesses and nonprofits to process transactions, offers charities tons of features. Various payment methods and customization options make it a great option.

Fees: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction plus a monthly fee of $25

Pros:

Cons:

Venmo: Best for social media style giving

Venmo payment service

Venmo is a mobile payment service that allows users to make payments and transfer money to others using a mobile app. It's widely used in the United States and is known for its ease of use, especially for peer-to-peer transactions among individuals.

Fees: 1.9% + $0.10

Pros:

Cons:

Compare Zeffy (100% free) to Venmo for nonprofits →

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

Cash App: Best for flexible giving options

Cashapp has key essentials features for nonprofits

Cash App, developed by Square, Inc., is a mobile payment service that allows users to send and receive money through a mobile app. Easy to use and quick to launch, using Cash App for donations allows nonprofits to enjoy a swift payment solution.

Fees: 3% per transaction made using a credit card, 0.5% -1.75% fee for instant deposits

Fees: 

Cons: 


Compare Zeffy (100% free) to Cash App for nonprofits →

Stripe for nonprofits: FAQs

Can Stripe be used for nonprofits?

Stripe is widely used by nonprofit organizations that are looking to collect donations online. While it allows you to accept both one-time and recurring donations and offers a discounted processing fee for qualifying nonprofits, Stripe fundraising capabilities are limited.

Does Stripe offer a discount for nonprofits?

Stripe offers a discounted donation fee equal to approximately 0.7% per transaction. However, this pricing structure is only applicable to tax-deductible donations and some credit card payments are not eligible for it.

Should you use Stripe or PayPal for donations?

The choice between Stripe for nonprofits and PayPal for donations depends on various factors, including your organization's needs, preferences, and the preferences of your donors. 

However, neither platform was built specifically with nonprofits in mind. Both platforms lack essential fundraising features that are necessary for charities.

Compare Zeffy (100% free) to other payment processors for donations →

Do you need an EIN to set up a Stripe for nonprofits account?

Yes

Zeffy: The best free nonprofit payment processor 

Zeffy is a free online donation platform for nonprofits

Stripe for nonprofits is a great option for organizations, but like a lot of payment processors, it’s not specifically designed with charity work in mind. Stripe, like others, lacks crucial features essentials for a fundraising software for nonprofit. Like the ability to accept recurring donations, track donor data, and send automated tax receipts. Plus, most payment processors come with hefty fees—but not Zeffy, which is 100% free to use.

While every other platform takes fees away from your mission, Zeffy delivers 100% of it to your nonprofit. In the last year, nonprofits paid $3 billion in transaction fees. With Zeffy, nonprofits can rest assured that they’ll never be charged a cent, and that all donations are used to support their mission.

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

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