I am researching services that will take online donations for nonprofits. There seem to be many available, but it is hard to find good information on them. I found a large list at The Nonprofit Matrix. Unfortunately, unlike most matrixes, it doesn’t organize them or allow easy comparisons.
From a previous Web II class, a student named Sarah found Justgive.org. It seems to be the best that I’ve found yet. Some have lower transaction fees but much higher (than free) monthly fees. Since Stearns will likely not get enough to offset those monthly fees, it makes sense to go with Justgive. Some Details:
- Cost: no setup fee, no monthly fees, 3% transaction fee
- Services: Collects online donations using credit cards (of course). Provides a tax receipt for the donor, allows recurring donations to be made, maintains a donor list for the organization, and mails checks of earnings monthly.
- Reviews: Forbes, FoundationCenter, KillerStartups
- Example sites using: SMSFolk.org (justgive page)
If I find more information, I will update this post or link to another.
[Update] A comparison table can be found at AffinityResources with many options and their fees. An article discusses the options (generally, not specifically). Another unrelated article discusses options, with more information about building your own donation app versus using an external one. Still, justgive seems the best option.[/update]
[Update 11/06]Google Checkout seems to offer a nonprofit option for accepting donations. This one has 30¢ plus 2.9% transaction fee. High volumes (greater that $3000 a month) get lower transaction fees, but I highly doubt Stearns will get there. Google has an API for putting a form on your site and has the recognition of Google, but it doesn’t have special tax receipts that I’m aware of, doesn’t have a donors list that I’m aware of, requires regestration with Google (stores credit card, etc), and evidently states require some sort of registration with them that places like JustGive have taken care of (since they are pass-through). These legal concerns are things I’m unsure about. Paypal seems to be about the same.[/update]