PayPal Alternatives for Nonprofits: A Comprehensive Guide

Even though many nonprofits use PayPal, it’s not the best platform for organizations seeking to accept online donations.

Many PayPal alternatives exist that can offer your nonprofit more. If your nonprofit is looking to take your online donation forms to the next level, you should look into other online giving software.

To help you understand more about PayPal and the alternative options available to you, this article will delve into both.

Here are the two sections we’ll cover:

  1. Problems with PayPal
  2. Strengths of Other Alternatives for Online Giving Software

Keep reading to learn more about PayPal’s shortcomings and to find your nonprofit’s solution!

Problems with PayPal

PayPal’s services don’t truly cater to nonprofits. PayPal aims its features towards the general public, which means that it works for a wide range of people and organizations but for nonprofits, the small details of a high-performing online donation page get overlooked.

In this section, we’ll go over four problems nonprofits encounter with PayPal:

  1. Minimal checkout page design
  2. Multiple steps to reach the confirmation page
  3. Roundabout process for accepting recurring gifts
  4. Restricted withdraw amounts and 501(c)(3) status verification obstacals

You may need to find PayPal alternatives because of the minimal page designs.
1. Minimal checkout page design

Nonprofits already using PayPal know you can’t do much regarding the form’s design. While PayPal does allow you to change the page color and add an image, that’s about as far as the customization goes.

All of PayPal’s checkout pages follow the same basic layout. If someone’s making a donation or purchasing a pair of shoes, the checkout page will look the same (except for variations in the color).

Since there is no distinction between the checkout pages, donors feel like they’re making a typical transaction rather than supporting a nonprofit, let alone your specific organization.

Plus, some donors who aren’t paying close enough attention might even question if they’re on the right page.

The lack of customization also means that your donation page won’t match your existing brand. Branding is especially important during the donation process because it helps to keep your nonprofit in the donor’s mind.

Your nonprofit has worked hard to maintain a consistent brand, and your donation pages should reflect that.

PayPal alternatives are important because of the multiple clicks it takes to get through the donation process.
2. Multiple steps to reach the confirmation page

Donors have to go through a series of pages and clicks before they can even get to the donation form.

To make a donation, a donor has to:

  1. Go to the nonprofit’s website.
  2. Enter a donation amount and click the “Donate Now” button.
  3. Be redirected to PayPal’s website.
  4. Click “Continue,” log in, or set up an account before moving on to the checkout page.
  5. Fill out the form with payment information and personal details.
  6. Click “Submit” to confirm the donation.

Donors have to complete three additional steps before they reach the confirmation.

The additional steps prolong the donation process, giving donors more time to reconsider their donation and abandon the form.

PayPal alternatives can prevent a roundabout payment process.
3. Roundabout process for accepting recurring gifts

While there is a way to accept recurring gifts using PayPal, the process isn’t ideal.

For example, if your nonprofit wants to accept recurring donations, you must create a separate donation button.

So why is this not the best option?

Having a second button means that donors can’t conveniently make impulse decisions. Let’s say that a donor wants to make a gift to your nonprofit, so he clicks on the “Donate Now” button.

As the donor fills out the form, he realizes that he’d like to give regularly. To do that, he must exit out of the current donation form, go back to your website, click the recurring donation button, and begin the process all over again.

Recurring giving should be an option on any donation form, not it’s own separate form. That way, donors can choose recurring giving no matter what stage they’re in.

PayPal alternatives can work around withdrawal limits.
4. Restricted withdraw amounts and 501(c)(3) status verification obstacles

Verifying your nonprofit’s status is not required to accept donations through PayPal. However, without verification, PayPal puts limits on your account so that you can only withdraw $500 a month.

Depending on the size of your nonprofit and the number of donations you have coming in, a cap in your withdrawal amount is going to be inconvenient.

Your nonprofit won’t be able to withdraw all the funds you need for various projects. And you have to wait another month before withdrawing anything else.

For smaller organizations, a $500 cap a month might be all you need. But, if you decided not to verify that your nonprofit is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, PayPal has the right to freeze your account at any time to make sure that you are a nonprofit. This means you won’t have access to your donations until you resolve the issue with PayPal.

So, even though it’s optional, your nonprofit will be better off verifying your account from the beginning to avoid any issues.

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The bottom line: Despite the fact that it is such a widely used platform, PayPal doesn’t offer all the features a growing nonprofit needs, and some of those limitations could potentially keep you from reaching your full fundraising potential.

Strengths of using other alternatives for online giving software

Now that you’re aware of the problems with PayPal, it’s time to look at how other online giving software can be more beneficial to your nonprofit.

Unlike PayPal, there is online giving software specifically geared towards nonprofits. These software providers understand the needs of your organization and can create a form that is just for donating.

Here are some of the many ways online giving software is a better choice than PayPal:

  1. Additional platforms for giving
  2. More customization with online donation forms
  3. Simplified donation process
  4. Solid understanding of donor abandonment
  5. Reliable technical support

PayPal alternatives provide different platforms for payment.
1. Additional platforms for giving

Online giving encompasses more than just accepting donations through your nonprofit’s website. For example, nonprofits can accept donations through text-to-give and simple mobile-responsive donation forms.

Some software providers may offer ways to accept donations through all these platforms, and others may just offer a select few.

Having more than one way to donate adds variety to your online giving and lets donors choose their preferred method.

Other types of online giving, like mobile giving, allow donors to give on the go. Donors can give whenever they feel like, breaking the giving barriers of limited options.

PayPal alternatives offer more customization options.
2. More customization

Online giving makes it easy for nonprofits to create a donation form that will be unique to your nonprofit and match your existing brand.

With online giving software, your nonprofit will have a donation form that can be completed entirely on your website. Donors won’t be redirected to a different site, which will eliminate any confusion about where the donation is going.

In addition, your nonprofit can create a form that represents the act of giving rather than a typical online transaction. For example, instead of having “Submit” button, your donation form can have something like “Donate Now!” That way, the donor understands the full impact of their support.

PayPal alternatives provide a simplified donation process.
3. Simplified donation process

Many providers are creating ways to cut down on the time it takes to make a donation so that fewer donors abandon the process. Online giving software providers offer many features that make the process easier for donors.

Some software providers lowered the amount of steps needed to complete a donation or don’t require donors to create an account if they’d like to donate again.

Plus online giving software offers other features that can save the donor time like donation amount buttons.

With pre-set donation amounts, donors save time because they don’t have to enter in a gift amount. Plus, donors are more likely to make a higher donation. Donors will think everyone is using the donation buttons or that the amounts shown are what the average person gives and want to contribute that amount too.

PayPal alternatives have a solid understanding of donor abandonment.
4. Solid Understanding of Donor Abandonment

At least 60% of donors abandon donation forms before completing their gift. Nonprofits are losing over half of their potential donors, and long, over-complicated forms are the main reason.

That’s why it’s so crucial for online giving software providers to understand the reasons why donors abandon forms.

With a clear understanding of why, software providers can offer you more convenient ways to accept donations and other features to simplify the process. When a donation form is convenient and fast, donors have fewer opportunities to abandon the process.

PayPal alternatives allow for nonprofit-specific support.
5. Reliable technical support and learning resources

If your nonprofit ever runs into technical problems, you can expect excellent customer service. Most online giving providers have a technical support team that is available to answer your questions and resolve any problems.

Your provider will also have a wealth of learning resources available so you can learn even more. For example, your software provider might have downloadable resources on how to create different elements on your donation page.

With so much support readily available, your nonprofit can save time trying to contact the technical team and focus their efforts elsewhere.
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The bottom line: Online giving software can offer your nonprofit the right tools to improve your online donation forms and keep donors happy.


PayPal may be the most used online payment platform, but it’s not the only one. Alternative online giving software, like @Pay, offers your nonprofit more features.

Features like their 2-click donation buttons make @Pay’s donation process simple.

For example, all a donor needs to do is click on the button with their chosen donation amount, and a pre-written confirmation email will appear. Once they press “send,” their donation is complete.

If this is their first gift, donors will have to enter their payment information. However, @Pay’s platform doesn’t require donors to create an account. Powerful encryption technology, along with the donor’s email, is used to authenticate a donation.

Donors can give multiple times without ever needing to remember a username or password. Learn more about @Pay now by taking it for a spin. Request a demo! 

PayPal alternatives are important for raising more.

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