Receiving online donations

There are a couple of ways to receive donations online via credit card:

1)  If you already have a merchant account to process credit cards (say for your bookstore) then all you need are gateway services, which allow you to use your merchant account securely online.  We recommend Authorize.net.

2)  If you do not have a merchant account or do not wish to pay an additional fee for gateway services, then we would recommend creating an account with an online giving provider, such as JustGive.org or PayPal.com as well.  If you are looking for simple and free (except for a small percentage which is taken for processing fees), we would recommend PayPal.  

There are two steps to setting up online donations with PayPal:

a) Create an account with PayPal http://paypal.com
b) Insert a section of type, "Components - PayPal (one-time)" or "Components - PayPal (recurring).

PayPal’s overhead is minimal with no monthly fee and a relatively small transaction fee, making it good for a small online giving program.  Most other online giving services generally have setup/monthly fees but a smaller percentage on transactions than PayPal.  They also offer additional bells and whistles, like more advanced reporting and custom forms, which may be worth the added expense.  You would have to determine which would be more desirable based upon cost and features.

Financially speaking, if you are not going to be doing hundreds or thousands of dollars per month in online donations, PayPal might be your best option at first.  Then, if you are receiving a lot of donations via PayPal, pursuing a more powerful online giving program might be advisable.

Orthodox Web Solutions has no financial relationship with any of the above companies, and we do not offer financial processing services ourselves.

If you have any questions, please just let us know.

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