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You all are quick to respond and diligent and creative and innovative. Blessings on you and your ministry and all the willing hearts who work with you.

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Jonell Lindh
Senior Pastor, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church

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How to setup Paypal to accept Online Church Donations

Patrick Steil - Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Note:  This information on setting up Paypal for churches seems to be a very popular topic with people from watching our search traffic.  We are updating this slightly in case any churches need help with this!

PayPal Setup for Churches

This document is a guide to setting up a PayPal account for Churches.  Once this is setup, ChurchBuzz can then setup any payment / donation forms on your website.

PayPal Fee Information:

Fees are only applied when your organization accepts a donation from a non-Paypal member who pays with a credit card.  If someone is a Paypal user and pays directly from the Paypal account, there are no fees for the transaction either.  There are no setup fees or monthly fees.

Discounted credit card processing fees for Churches with 501 (c)(3) status:

  • Less than $100,000 in monthly volume: 2.2% + $.30 per transaction (ex: $2.50 on a $100 donation)

  • More than $100,000 in monthly volume: 1.9% + $.30 per transaction (ex: $2.20 on a $100 donation)

Full detail and latest rate info for non-profits


How to Register for the PayPal Account:

  1. Click this link to go to the: "Sign Up Page".

  2. Select: "Business" for the account type to create.

  3. Choose "Website Payments Standard" in the "Payment Solution" pulldown.

  4. Click the blue "Go" icon on the next page after reviewing the process.

  5. On the next page, select "Non Profit Organization" as the business type.

    1. Fill in the rest of the form - when you get to Category, select "Nonprofit".

    2. In the "Subcategory" field, scroll down to the bolded "Nonprofit" section and select "Charity".

    3. Under "Sales Venue", check the "My Own Website" checkbox and enter: – http://www.yourwebsite.org

    4. For the "Customer Service Contact Information", enter the email address (perhaps something generic like donations@yourwebsite.org - church members may see this, so choose carefully) and phone number of the person you want to handle all donation related issues/inquiries.  THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU ENTER MUST BE A VALID WORKING EMAIL ADDRESS, Paypal will send information that you must verify to this email address.  

    5. Fill in all other fields marked with an asterisk and press "Continue".

  6. Continue with the following screens until you have completed registration.  Please be sure to document the username and password used to setup the account.

  7. You may be asked to supply checking account number, tax returns and your Church’s bank statement or cancelled check.  You will receive an email from PayPal requesting additional information if it is required.

  8. Once you have completed the signup up for the account, ChurchBuzz will require your PayPal userid (email address you associated with the account) so that we can setup your payment forms on the website.

This information can be found on the Paypal website, but we condensed their instructions into this document.  You can access the Nonprofit FAQs page for further details if you need more information, or you access the online Paypal HELP page also.


Adding a Donation Form to your website

First off keep in mind that this is something we ONLY want promote to MEMBERS or those specifically looking to give to your church online.  Do NOT show a link to your ONLINE GIVING bright and bold to the visitors of your website.  We want your website to be friendly to the visitor, so put the link to online giving down in the footer of your site along with any other links you might have there.

In terms of how to add the paypal donation / payment form to your website - we often use a third party tool called JotForm to process all payments on your website.  This tool is completely free for any church who is accepting less than 10 payments per month or 1000 non-payment registration forms per month.  Once you exceed that limit, you will need to pay $9.95 per month and the limit is then raised to 1000 payment or non-payment enabled forms.  Very easy to integrate with PayPal, inexpensive and a great way to start (FREE!)

Need more help - we love helping churches - email me:  patrick@churchbuzz.org!  And of course a JotForm with Paypal integration can be added to any of our church website templates or custom church website designs!

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