Let’s face it: donors don’t want to remember another password just to contribute to your nonprofit. It’s likely they already have multiple passwords they need to remember and adding one more to the mix could make or break their decision to give to your organization.

Luckily, new technology and passwordless login systems are making it easier for organizations to offer alternative solutions.

These passwordless solutions evolved from the need to create a system that was more secure and easy for users to maintain.

Passwordless logins don’t require donors to remember a complicated string of letters, numbers, and symbols. Plus, these systems require different verification measures that make it much more difficult for hackers to crack.

Your organization probably has a ton of questions about how you can use this technology in your online donation tools.

Keep reading as we answer four of the most common questions about passwordless login systems:

  1. What type of passwordless login system should we use?
  2. Are passwordless login systems more secure?
  3. What are some of the benefits of implementing a passwordless login system?
  4. How do we promote our passwordless login to our donors?

Get ready to jump into the first question!

What type of passwordless login systems should nonprofits use?

1. What Type of Passwordless Login System Should We Use?

In case we lost you at “passwordless login,” we’ll go back to the basics. Essentially, passwordless login systems are tools that organizations can implement so that their donors don’t have to login via a password every time they donate. 

Generally, these systems have a form of authentication that donors present to access their account. From fingerprint scanning to tokens to email verification, each system will have a different way to authorize donations.

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so organizations will have to find the one that best fits their needs.

Let’s dive deeper into the three types of authentication that passwordless login systems use.

Email Authentication

As one of the most popular authentication methods, email authentication can be used in web-based donation forms as well as mobile forms like text-to-give.

The process is simple:

  1. After a donor selects a donation amount and pushes the donation button, a mailto link is triggered that will generate a pre-written payment email.
  2. The donor will use this email to authorize her donation. When a donor donates for the first time, she will have to create an account with her contact and payment information before receiving the email.
  3. Once your donor sends the email, the passwordless login system can access the unique token in every email that links the donations to the donor’s payment information.

For instance, you can see in the example below how donors use email authentication when making a donation via text-to-give.

The first step in the passwordless login email verification is for the donor to text a donation amount to the nonprofit's text-to-give number.    In the last step, the donor will be sent a confirmation email with the donation amount and the nonprofit they contributed to.

Confirming the donation through email is a verification step that reduces the number of fraudulent charges and ensures that donors are who they say they are. Plus, passwordless login systems often use encrypted servers to house all of your donors’ sensitive information.

Our Top Pick for Email Authentication Systems

@Pay is a leading provider of email authentication tools. Additionally, their software can be used on mobile donation forms, email, and text-to-give. Learn more about @Pay’s secure plasswordless login features.

Token Authentication

Token authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, is when donors have to input a code that generates on another device.

This token is usually a unique combination of numbers and letters that donors will have to input instead of a password. For security purposes, the token changes every time a donor tries to login.

Unlike email verification, this authentication type usually requires donors to have an authentication application on their phone or text services to receive the token. As a result, some donors might run into complications if they don’t have phone service or aren’t well-versed in the process.

Fingerprint Authentication

Growing in popularity is the fingerprint authentication. In fact, many donors may already use similar tools on their smartphones.

Since everyone has a unique set of fingerprints, this type of authentication is one of the most secure options available. The concept is simple; donors press their thumb on their phone’s fingerprint reader to authorize payments or gain access to their accounts. 

While this technique is intuitive and secure, it does come with some challenges. Namely, accessing technology with a fingerprint reader can be costly for your donors, and the technology is less cost-effective for nonprofits. Additionally, fingerprints can be copied and replicated, and once someone has access to a user’s fingerprints, donors can’t change them to protect their information like they would a password.

Takeaway: Deciding on which type of passwordless login system works for you will vary depending on your organization and the tools you have available.

Are passwordless login systems more secure?

2. Are Passwordless Login Systems More Secure?

As we mentioned earlier, one of the many benefits of passwordless login systems is their security. But are they really more secure than passwords?

The short answer is yes!

While there are plenty of password creation best practices—change your password annually, avoid using your birthday, etc.—very few donors have the time or capacity to remember a long string of unrelated symbols.

As a result, many people use the same password or similar variations which can lead to a domino effect that allows hackers access to multiple accounts just by cracking a single password. 

Passwordless logins help to elevate some of these concerns. For example, when donors use passwordless login they don’t have to go through the process of creating an account. Even with email authentication, donors will just have to remember and create one strong password for their email account.

Additionally, passwordless login systems use additional tools like the following methods to ensure that your donor’s sensitive information is safe and secure from potential hackers:

  • Tokenization is a form of security that randomly generates a token or a string of characters. This token can be a substitute for the real data and is harder to crack because there is no mathematical relationship between the real data and the token.
  • Encryption is very similar to tokenization, but uses an algorithm to transform sensitive information into ciphertext. This ciphertext can only be decrypted with the encryption key.

Passwordless login systems use top-notch security measures to ensure that your donors' information stays safe.

These security measures are used in traditional online donations as well but offer even more security when paired with one of the three password authentication methods we discussed earlier.

Takeaway: By placing another step in the authentication process that doesn’t require a password, your donors’ information stays safe.

What are some benefits of implementing a passwordless login system.

3. What Are the Benefits of Implementing a Passwordless Login System?

Now that you know about the security of passwordless logins, you’re probably wondering what other benefits implementing a similar system will have on your online donation forms.

Organizations are constantly looking for best practices and giving methods that make the donation process quick and easy for donors. Passwordless login systems not only make the process simple, but they also save donors from the hassle of remembering a new password.

As a nonprofit leader, you’re probably aware that one of the main causes of donor abandonment—when a donor leaves your donation form before confirming their gift—is because donors have to create an account in order to give.

While having an account is essential if organizations want to encourage their donors to make repeat donations or setup recurring gifts, donors are less likely to give again if they can’t remember their password. 

Passwordless login systems give donors the best of both worlds: donors can keep their payment information on file, saving them time in the future, and they won’t have to remember a long complicated password, which will encourage repeat donations.

Additionally, donors won’t have to struggle to create a password that they feel is secure, which can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of creating an online account.

Moreover, your donors are more likely to make impulse donations at events or when they’re browsing social media because the donation process will be much easier.

Think about it this way: Organizations that implement an email verification passwordless system can cut down their donation process, and donors won’t have to spend any additional time trying to remember or retrieve their account password.

Takeaway: Implementing a passwordless login system saves your donors time and removes the frustration of having to remember another password.

How can nonprofits promote passwordless login systems to donors?

4. How Do We Promote Passwordless Login to Our Donors?

As with any new giving method or process, your donors will have some hesitation about using passwordless login systems. It’s likely that they will question its security, as well as its ease of use.

If you want supporters to use your passwordless login system, you need to be able to put their concerns at ease as well as show them how it works.

Here are a few ways you can promote your passwordless login system:

  • Create a video to post online. Create a video that shows donors how the authentication process works—whether you’re using email or fingerprint verification, showing your donors all the steps will make them more familiar and comfortable with the process. You can post your video to social media or on your website’s donation page.
  • Have an event speaker demonstrate the process. Asking attendees to make donations during an event is a great way to raise additional funds and a great opportunity to show your supporters how easy it is to set up and use a passwordless login system.
  • Highlight your new giving feature in your nonprofit’s newsletter. Nonprofit newsletters are the perfect place to let donors know that your donation process has become more simple than ever. Make sure to link to other resources where donors can learn more about the process and include a link to your donation form.
  • Engage with donors on social media. After launching your passwordless login system encourage your donors to ask questions on Facebook and Twitter. That way, you can answer the concerns that matter most to your supporters and get them excited about your easy-to-use donation form.

As you can see, there are countless ways you can promote your passwordless login system to donors and make them feel comfortable using it.

Takeaway: Donors may be hesitant at first, but by demonstrating how to use the tool and answering your donors’ questions, they’ll get on board in no time!


There you have it; four of the most common questions about passwordless login systems answered. Hopefully, these answers have helped you decide if this is something your organization should implement (we hope the answer is yes!).

For more information about passwordless login systems and more solutions to online donation forms, check out these fantastic additional resources:

  1. Nonprofit Password Alternatives: Are you looking for more ways to get rid of troublesome passwords for your donors? You’re in luck! This article takes you through the pros and cons of three alternatives.
  2. Mobile Giving Guide: What better place to implement your passwordless login system than on your mobile donation forms? Learn everything you need to know about mobile giving with this comprehensive guide.
  3. Fundraising Software for Nonprofits: If your organization is looking for free or inexpensive fundraising solutions, we’ve got a list of the top nine free fundraising software providers.
Check out our essential tips and tricks to finding software that fits your organization.

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