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3 Easy Ways to Accept Donations Online (For Nonprofits)

If you are a registered 501(c)3 organization and are set up in the GuideStar database, here are three free and easy ways to start accepting donations online. Free + easy = you should be using them all.
  1. Accept donations on your Web site through Network for Good or Just Give These services collect donations and send tax receipts to your donors, then pay you at the end of each month. You will be able to download contact information from any donors who have not asked to keep that information private. They each charge a moderate fee to cover credit card processing and overhead. Network for Good offers a basic option (free to set up + 4.75% per transaction fee), or a customizable option (one-time setup fee + $29.95/month + 3% per transaction fee). Just Give does not offer a customizable option, but is free to set up and charges only 3% per transaction to cover credit card processing costs.
  2. Set up a Charity Badge on sixdegrees.org Donations made through the badge are processed by Network for Good. You can post the badge on your site and provide code for supporters to post it on their sites, blogs, and elsewhere. (4.75% per transaction fee)
  3. Set up a Cause on Facebook Project Agape and Just Give have partnered up to allow you to set up a Cause that can accept donations on facebook.com. First, you'll need to create a Facebook account. Then add Causes to your profile and start your own. Other Facebook members will then be able to join your cause and contribute. As a bonus, you'll also be building a community around your cause! (4.5% per transaction fee)
6/18/07 - NOTE: I've amended this post to add in the per transaction fees for each option. In the examples above, about 3% per transaction can be expected to go straight to credit card processing fees. Robert Tolmach of WellGood LLC also wrote to offer up ChangingThePresent.org as an option to list giving opportunities. On Changing the Present, donors can list and promote their favorite charities and causes, while nonprofits can offer specific gift options. (3% plus $.30 per transaction fee). If you have any recommendations for other services (chipin.com or change.org, for example), please post a comment.

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