A woman volunteer working in a community charity donation center smiles at the viewer. Behind her are other volunteers who are folding clothes.
Partnering with a credit card processor can boost donations for your nonprofit. Plus many payment processors offer discounted rates for registered 501(c)(3) charities. — Getty Images/FG Trade

The best credit card processors for nonprofits offer discounted rates for registered 501(c)(3) charities and support multiple donation methods. Many merchant service providers include fundraising tools like a Donate Now button or recurring giving options. Others have donor database management systems and integrate with online platforms.

Compare payment processors to find the best solution for your nonprofit. Look for services that fit your donor base and let your charity collect data, reach more supporters, and serve your purpose. Explore the following nonprofit credit card processing solutions.

iATS: for nonprofits collecting donations on-site and online

iATS works exclusively with all sizes of nonprofit organizations and provides purpose-built credit card processing and payment solutions. It has over 16,000 nonprofit clients and over 20 years of experience. iATS offers transparent pricing via a flat monthly rate with no gateway or setup fees. Nonprofit customers receive an itemized listing of all iATS fees to better understand the total costs of processing payments.

With hundreds of technology integrations, iATS can sync with online fundraising, customer relationship management (CRM), and auction software systems. The mobile app lets you accept payments at community events or fundraisers. In addition, you can use online forms for one-time or recurring donations.

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Bloomerang: all-in-one donor management and merchant services

Bloomerang’s donor management platform helps nonprofits engage supporters, collect donations, and analyze campaigns. It has a complete fundraising suite and mobile app, which is perfect for online or onsite events. Bloomerang Payments features flat fees with no monthly minimums.

Since Bloomerang Payments is built into the platform, you don’t need to integrate products. All payments sync automatically to your database. Plus, Bloomerang allows donors to cover transaction fees so more funds go to your charity.

PayPal: best credit card processor for new, local nonprofits

PayPal is a well-recognized credit card processor that helps more than 1 million crowdfunders, nonprofits, campaigns, and schools fundraise yearly. It offers discounted transaction rates for verified 501(c)(3) charities and reduced rates for all other nonprofits. PayPal doesn’t charge platform, setup, or cancellation fees. Indeed, you only pay transaction fees when receiving donations.

Online fundraisers can use the PayPal Donate button to request funds online or set up recurring donations through the automatic payments setting. PayPal Zettle supports in-person contributions via mobile phones.

Stripe: an integrated online solution for international nonprofits

If your nonprofit accepts donations worldwide, Stripe is one of the few merchant account providers offering local payment methods in every market. It automates sales and value-added tax collection while protecting you against fraud. Confirmed 501(c)(3) organizations receive lower rates (down to 2.7% plus 5 cents per transaction). Depending on your donation volume, you may qualify for 1.2% per transaction when using the Stripe Payment app.

With Stripe, you can attach donor information to a receipt and encourage benefactors to opt into daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly pledges. Stripe’s software and application programming interfaces (APIs) let nonprofits embed debit and credit card processing into nearly any program.

Many merchant service providers include fundraising tools like a Donate Now button or recurring giving options.

Charity Engine: credit card processing plus automated fundraising tools

Charity Engine is an all-in-one nonprofit CRM with in-house, Payment Card Industry-certified nonprofit payment processing. It stands out for its automated workflows, which save organizations time with billing and fundraising tasks. Aside from accepting all major credit cards, Charity Engine takes PayPal, Apple Pay, Automated Clearing House, and Google Pay.

Additionally, Charity Engine has in-house banking capabilities, so it processes checks without requiring a gateway or middleman. Donors can give through Charity Engine’s online app or donate in person. The platform features peer-to-peer fundraising pages, event ticketing, and integrated email campaigns.

Square: merchant account services for in-person and social sales

If your nonprofit sells T-shirts and other items, Square’s free point-of-sale (POS) software, e-commerce tools, and mobile card readers can streamline sales. It integrates with Meta for Business, so you can accept donations or sell goods on Instagram and Facebook. Your team can collect donor funds in person by logging into the Square POS app from their mobile phone or tablet.

Square charges 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction for all major credit cards. The customer directory serves as a donor database, showing customer information and transaction details. You can also create Donate buttons or request recurring payments.

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GoFundMe Charity: a crowdfunding payment processing option

With GoFundMe Charity, your nonprofit doesn’t have to sign up with a separate payment processing provider. It’s connected to the PayPal Giving Fund, which handles charity fundraising debit and credit card processing. By going this route, your nonprofit can fundraise online using donation pages, and individuals can create campaigns on your behalf, with all funds going to your charity.

The platform is free to use, so you only pay transaction fees. It offers many social crowdfunding tools, including email invitations and insightful reports. Also, nonprofits can manage donor information through the built-in CRM program.

Dharma Merchant Services: better for larger nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations that collect over $120,000 in donations annually can benefit from Dharma Merchant Services’ low interchange rates. It offers discounted rates for registered 501(c)(3) organizations. Each in-person transaction costs 0.10% plus 8 cents above the interchange rate, and virtual payments are 0.10% plus 11 cents. Dharma Merchant Services lets you accept donations via phone, mail, online, or in person.

It integrates with 4aGoodCause, an online fundraising platform offering donation pages. Alternatively, you can use Dharma’s MX invoicing app for recurring donations or add an e-commerce gateway to your website.

PayPal Braintree: developer-friendly payment processing for not-for-profits

If you’re a fan of PayPal’s versatile payment solutions but wish it was more developer-friendly, you’ll appreciate PayPal Braintree. It features user-friendly APIs for several programming languages and platforms. With Braintree's drop-in integration, you can create a checkout page with only a few lines of code or add a full-featured donor checkout page to your site or app.

PayPal Braintree facilitates most payment methods, including Venmo, American Express, JCB, UnionPay, PayPal, Apple Pay, Diners Club, Google Pay, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover. Confirmed charitable 501(c)(3) organizations receive reduced rates for major credit card payments (1.99% plus 49 cents per transaction). You can set up repeat giving, accept in-person donations, or take contributions over the phone.

[Read more: 6 Proven Marketing Strategies for Nonprofits]

Helcim: low credit card processing rates for registered charities

Helcim’s interchange plus rate pass discounts from Visa and Mastercard (for verified charities) to your nonprofit. It doesn't charge monthly fees, and it offers in-person, online, and recurring donation solutions. Helcim provides a customer portal for donors, allowing them to manage their payment information and subscriptions. The CRM features let you collect and store donor details to improve your outreach efforts.

Moreover, Helcim has quick response codes, which you can use in social media or email marketing campaigns or add an online payment gateway and a Donate button to collect donations on your website. Helcim's recurring payment manager lets you view monthly contributions and see if payment methods need updating.

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