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Using PayPal for fundraising: nonprofit donation processing

Digital fundraising is increasingly important for nonprofits that want to reach wide audiences and raise money for their causes. That's why PayPal offers a range of tools to help nonprofits accept online donations quickly and securely.

Here, we'll explain the benefits of digital fundraising and how PayPal can help you streamline your donation process.

Why is digital fundraising important for nonprofits?

Digital fundraising increased by 42% from 2018 to 2021, driving donations for nonprofits of all sizes.1 Online nonprofit fundraising continued to grow by 6.7% in 2022, especially as donors responded to the crisis in Ukraine, social justice movements, and ongoing efforts related to the pandemic.2

This growth in online donations means your nonprofit may need mobile-friendly, convenient, and secure fundraising solutions that donors can trust.

After all, in-person fundraising usually occurs at events, where donors can more easily vet nonprofits, and nonprofits can guide people through the donation process. The downside is that your audience is limited to only those event attendees.

On the flip side, online fundraising can help nonprofits reach a wider audience — anytime, anywhere. But since the transactions occur digitally, the donation process has to be as user-friendly and trustworthy as possible.

That's where online fundraising platforms for nonprofits can help.

What is PayPal's nonprofit donation process?

Donation payment processing is the act of accepting, verifying, approving, and completing a transaction from a donor. Nonprofits can automate these steps by using a secure online payment processing platform like PayPal.

There are many benefits to using PayPal for fundraising. You can set up a nonprofit account to start accepting donations quickly. You can also enroll in the PayPal Giving Fund to expand your reach and make it easy for donors to discover your nonprofit.

Here's a rundown of how PayPal's nonprofit payment processing works:

  1. A donor wants to contribute to your cause. So they go to your website and click on the PayPal Donate button.
  2. The donor enters the amount they wish to donate. They can also choose to set up monthly donations.
  3. The donor chooses their favorite way to pay and reviews the checkout page. If they have a PayPal account, they don't need to do anything after clicking the Donate button. The donation amount is simply subtracted from their PayPal account. If they do not have a PayPal account, they can choose to create one or just complete the donation via credit card or debit card and check out as a guest.
  4. The donor sees a confirmation page saying their donation is complete. Your nonprofit is notified of the new donation via email.

Is it safe to fundraise through PayPal?

Fundraising through PayPal is a swift and secure process. All credit and debit card payments are encrypted and stored safely. All PayPal transactions are protected from fraud using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

You can also use these online donation safety tips to help protect your transactions and donor information:

  • Use a trusted online fundraising platform like PayPal.
  • Be transparent about the steps involved in your online donation process and how your fundraising platform keeps customer data secure.
  • Send confirmations to donors after their contributions have been successfully processed and verified.

How long is the donation process?

How long do PayPal donations take to go through? Once a donor submits their donation, PayPal will confirm that the funds are available — either in their PayPal account or credit or debit account, depending on their payment method. Once confirmed, PayPal will transfer the funds to your nonprofit's PayPal account within minutes, minus any applicable fees.

Now, the money is in your nonprofit's hands. You can leave it in your PayPal account or transfer it to your nonprofit's bank account, which can take up to 2-3 days.

Get started fundraising for your nonprofit today with PayPal

It's easy to start fundraising online with PayPal.

With the PayPal Donate button, you can make it easy for people to donate on your website in just a few taps. Once the donations start rolling in, you can manage and track your funds directly through PayPal. Sign up for your PayPal nonprofit account to start accepting donations.

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