Dwolla and Stripe for Online Donations

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Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Just wanted to share some research I've done as of late to settle on some options for accepting online donations. I've used Paypal for a lot of Credit Card processing for a non-profit I'm a part of. I also used another Credit Card and ACH processor for my Church's online donation process. In the fomer case, certain actions by Paypal motivated me to look for alternatives.

For credit card processing I really found Stripe to be quite good. Stripe has no monthly fees and it's rate for credit card transactions matches Paypal. If you are a non-profit, the rate goes down to 2.2% and they also make the first $15,000 processed transaction free (nice for a small Church!).

ACH processing fees are typically small and you can process them through Stripe but there's a lot of paperwork and stuff to maintain if a donater wants to use ACH (bank draft) to send donations.

I discovered Dwolla, which has the benefit that there are zero transaction fees for Dwolla to Dwolla transfers. Yes, it requires that a donater register for a Dwolla account and then associate a funding source (their checking account) but this process is no more onerous than an ACH authorization with their bank. It takes little time to set up and then they can set up recurring or one-time donations from Dwolla to your Church - again no tranaction fees.

Dwolla allows you to set up a hub page so you can provide a simple link (or Donate button) so that the donater is taken to your Dwolla Hub page and they can then initiate the donation. You can see our Dwolla hub page here: https://www.dwolla.com/hub/hopeofchrist (feel free to donate to our Church :) )

Stripe integration is a little more complicated. If you have a Wordpress site there are Stripe donation plugins. I've found that Full Stripe and WP Simple Payment are two good premium plugins.

I also found that Jotforms has some really nice forms that are easy to set up. It will generate javascript that can then be embedded into a page or hosted at Jotforms itself. The latter may be preferrable if you don't want to deal with the hassle of getting an SSL cert for your website.

I know this all sounds very technical to some but thought I'd share my research. There are some other good options out there like bluepay but I didn't really want to have to pay the monthly fee so I went in this direction.
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