How to Receive Online Donations without Fees

For smaller nonprofits, charities, churches, and ministries that are working hard to minimize any overhead, even a small percentage for transaction fees are perceived as a barrier to using an online donation platform. For example, when a donor gives $100 online, your nonprofit gets $96.80 or less. Although, there is ample data and evidence to show that the extra money donated online would in most cases exceed the fees incurred by using a credit card and/or using a donation platform.

Be that as it may, there are some free options for receiving donations online:

Zeffy describes itself as “the only zero-fee fundraising software for nonprofits” and that’s for real. How is this possible, you might ask? Zeffy asks the donors to cover the transaction fees.

Givebutter – “all-in-one fundraising platform is completely free to use” with a processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢ for each transaction, which most donors will choose to cover.

• PayPal Giving Fund works differently than a typical PayPal donation or payment—because those still incur a transaction fee. By contrast, this PayPal Giving Fund “makes grants to our donors’ recommended charities” and “PayPal Giving Fund doesn’t charge charities or donors any fees.” (note: donations are sent monthly to an enrolled nonprofit.)

I’ve also seen some charities, nonprofits, churches, and ministries use digital payment services, like:

Zelle is a digital payment from a donor’s bank account directly to the nonprofit’s bank account. There isn’t a simple one-click donation button for donors to make a Zelle payment, yet; the easier thing is using a QR code.

Venmo is another digital payment service, particularly popular with next generation social media savvy donors.

What are other options available out there? Please add a comment and share here.

Compare the costs and features of popular donation platforms

Refer to this free ebook report of 20+ giving platforms and fees, from

And, see for a handy-dandy comparison chart

photo by Michael lima on Unsplash • disclaimer: using this Zeffy signup link will give a small referral fee to Catalyst Coalition, the fiscal sponsor of Christian Asian Mental Health.