Choosing between Stripe vs PayPal for nonprofit payments comes down to ease of use and processing fees. Here's the full breakdown of what each payment processor offers for nonprofit organizations.
Collecting payments online is one of the biggest challenges that nonprofits face. To get donations, you need a payment processor that's easy to set up. As a nonprofit, you also need an option that doesn't charge too much in fees.
If you're running a nonprofit, some payment processors may charge you preferential rates. This means you'll pay less in fees than if you use Stripe or PayPal to sell products or services online. Understanding the fee structure that both payment processors use is critical to choosing the right option for your nonprofit.
In this article, we'll compare Stripe vs PayPal for nonprofits. We'll discuss the pros and cons of each option. Plus, we'll talk about how to set up the right payment gateway for your organization. Let's get to it!
PayPal for nonprofits: What you need to know
One of the biggest advantages of using PayPal is that it's remarkably easy to integrate with WordPress. It's also available in over 200 countries. That applies whether you're running an online store or a charity. With PayPal, you have multiple options as to how to process payments for your nonprofit.
The first option is to set up a "donation" button. Using this feature, you can specify potential donation amounts. Then visitors pay using the money in their PayPal account, bank account, or credit/debit cards:
There are also plenty of plugins that enable you to set up PayPal payment forms for your website. Formidable Forms offers a PayPal Payments plugin that lets you create custom donation forms. They can include any combination of fields that you want to use:
When using PayPal, you pay a standard, flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee. This applies to purchases, donations, subscriptions, and any other type of payment that you need to process.
This processing fee is in line with industry standards for e-commerce transactions. However, nonprofits can usually get discounted fees. PayPal advertises special fees for charities at 1.99% + $0.49 per transaction and no monthly fees. But it doesn't specify what the verification process is for nonprofits.
Although PayPal is a flexible payment option, it comes with some downsides. The main one is its checkout experience.
When you set up PayPal for a nonprofit organization, users will need to leave your website to complete their payments. Any payment form you set up will lead donors to the PayPal website. When they get there, they'll see a checkout page that you have minimal control over. In our experience, you can lose a lot of customers during that process.
If donors run into issues on the PayPal website, you might lose their donations altogether. Moreover, the payment process occurs entirely on PayPal's side. So you don't get access to any error data that can help you troubleshoot issues.
Overall, PayPal may be an easy solution for nonprofits. But it may not be the best option when it comes to ease of use and customer service. If you plan on offering PayPal payments, we recommend that you also offer another option.
Stripe for nonprofits: What you need to know
On paper, Stripe offers a very similar option to PayPal. This popular payment processor enables users to make donations through your website and pay using credit cards or local payment options. Just be aware, that Stripe is currently only available in less than 50 countries.
However, Stripe offers a few advantages over PayPal when it comes to nonprofit use.
For starters, you can set up Stripe payment forms that enable you to collect payments without having users leave your site. This means you get full control over the payment experience. If there are any errors during the process, you have access to that data:
Stripe offers plenty of user friendly resources for developers to create on-page payment forms. However, you may still need to hire someone to help you create Stripe payment forms. That can translate to hundreds or thousands of dollars in development costs. That's a lot for a small business or nonprofit.
A better alternative is to use the Stripe Payments plugin for Formidable Forms. Thanks to this tool, you can create payment forms using the Formidable Forms builder. You get access to the great Formidable drag-and-drop builder. Plus, there are dozens of ready-to-go add-ons that you can use to customize your payment or donation forms.
With Formidable Forms, you can offer users the option of giving one-time or recurring donations. That's because you get to design custom payment workflows that give you full control over the payments experience. Moreover, you don't need a web development background to make it happen:
As far as nonprofit rates go, Stripe charges a discounted rate for charitable organizations. The info isn't currently publicly available, but in the past the published rates were 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.
Stripe is a lot more transparent when it comes to its requirements for special rates. To get access to Stripe nonprofit rates, you simply need to contact customer support. Just provide them with your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or documentation from the IRS that proves the 501(c) status.
Stripe vs PayPal for nonprofits
Overall, Stripe offers a much more attractive option for collecting payments as a nonprofit. With Stripe, you get access to hosted payment forms, which means customers don't need to leave your site to pay. Moreover, its nonprofit fees are a lot more competitive than PayPal's:
- Stripe nonprofit pricing: 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction (they don't make nonprofit fees publicly available)
- PayPal nonprofit pricing: 1.99% + $0.49 per transaction
One advantage of using PayPal over Stripe is that setting up a donation form or button can be a lot easier. With Stripe, you might need to hire a WordPress developer to help set up nonprofit payment forms. However, you can easily sidestep that problem by using the Stripe Payments add-on for Formidable Forms.
Thanks to the Stripe Payments add-on, you get to create Stripe payment forms using the Formidable Forms builder. You get full control over the entire payment experience and customers won't have to leave your website to make a donation.
Choosing Stripe vs PayPal as a nonprofit is not an easy decision. Stripe and PayPal offer nonprofits lower payment processing fees.
However Stripe enables you to set up hosted payment forms in WordPress. This means users don't need to leave your website to make a donation. So you get more control over the payment process.
Ready to convert from PayPal to Stripe for nonprofit payments? You can use Formidable Forms to help you set up a new payment form. Read part two of this guide to get a walkthrough on converting from PayPal to Stripe as a nonprofit.
Get started today with the best WordPress form builder plugin. You'll have full control to create any type of payment or donation forms for your nonprofit website.