Accepting Online Donations or Pledge Payments for Your Congregation
Recommendations from Congregational Treasurers
Although the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) can’t provide a specific recommendation, there are several options that you might be interested in exploring. Several of these recommendations are based on input from treasurers and church administrators who participate in the UU-Money email discussion list.
- Paypal: The service that seems to have moved to the top in popularity among congregations is PayPal. Paypal allows you to accept one-time donations and recurring donations (i.e. monthly pledge payments.) Paypal’s rates for nonprofits are 2.2% + $.30 per transaction. Confirm these rates and get more information on their merchants site.
- Vanco: The UUA Congregational Stewardship Services group has a negotiated deal with Vanco, which is described in their online flyer (PDF). They charge 3 or 4% plus a monthly fee; you would be best served to get current pricing directly from them. One thing to note is that members must create an online profile with the payment processing service before donating.
- Network for Good: Their “lite” option is easy to set up and has no setup fees or monthly subscription fees, but is limited to a generic donation page. Rates are 5%, but that includes credit card plus processing fees. Or you can have a customized donation page and drop processing fees to 3% with a monthly subscription fee of $49.95. Compared to the rates for other services, the Network For Good rates seem a bit high.
All of these are pretty easy to set up. Some include templates, but allow you to manage the donation form; some have a “one look fits all” donation form that is the same for everyone, and some provide creation and maintenance of a custom donation page as part of the service. All are PCI compliant, which is extremely important.
Sample Congregation Sites
Here are a few congregations with Paypal donation forms:
- Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church of Lexington, KY
- Sanford UU Church, ME
- First UU New Orleans, LA
- UU Church of Fresno, CA
- UU Church of Meriden, CT
- First UU Church of Stockton, CA
These use Vanco:
Data and Computer Security
Follow Congregational Data and Computer Security Guidelines to be confident your congregation’s information and computers are safe.
For more information contact congstewardship @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Monday, October 22, 2012.
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