Best Merchant Accounts for Non-Profits

Best Merchant Accounts for Non-Profits

Charitable organizations possess a special place in credit card processing due to their reliance on donations as a source of income. While specific businesses may need features such as inventory management or point-of-sale systems, non-profits often prioritize recurring billing, donor engagement, and event planning. Unfortunately, many conventional payment processors may not provide the necessary tools for a charity to expand its donor base and minimize expenses. Hence our team compiled a list of the best merchant accounts for non-profits.

When accepting credit cards, non-profit organizations have two primary options. One is establishing payment processing through a standard merchant account provider and utilizing integrated third-party solutions, such as Salesforce, QuickBooks, and NeonCRM, for donor management, online advertising, and tax filing. This approach necessitates more initial research and effort. Yet, it is typically the most economical option, allowing non-profits to secure the most favorable fees for each of their services and let them pay only for the features they need.

The second option is to use a specialized payment processor that caters specifically to non-profit organizations, which may offer a more comprehensive suite of tools and features but may come at a higher cost. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on the specific needs and budget of the non-profit organization.

Best Merchant Accounts for Non-Profits

Selecting the appropriate credit card processing for a non-profit organization is crucial to keep costs low. As more and more donations are made online, it is increasingly essential for non-profit organizations to have a reliable and cost-effective payment processing system in place.

A suitable processor helps non-profits save money on processing donations and can cater to a wide range of the organization’s other needs. From recurring billing to donor management and event planning, non-profits must choose a processor that can provide the necessary tools and features to support the organization’s mission.

With the right merchant account provider, non-profits can streamline their payment processing and focus on their core mission.


image source: Helcim

Helcim is a cost-effective payment processor that offers a range of online and in-person payment tools and CRM features that can easily be adapted to non-profit functions. It boasts very low per-transaction costs, with no monthly fees or hidden costs.

While it does not offer discounted processing fees, it offers Visa and Mastercard’s special interchange rates for non-profits, which can lower overall processing fees. Unlike other providers such as PayPal, it does not charge organizations for its payment processing tools, such as its virtual terminal, and offers a simple pricing structure.

Helcim scored well in payment types and other features, but it did lose points for its limited integrations, which include non-profit platforms like iATS, Stripe, and PayPal. Despite this, it is still an excellent option for non-profit organizations looking for a cost-effective and feature-rich payment processor.


Square Payments
image source: Square Payments

Square offers a comprehensive package of features for non-profit organizations designed to help organizations grow their donor base and keep overhead low. The features that Square has to offer to include the ability to capture donor information in a customer directory, customizable donation links with goals, donation tracking, a virtual terminal, a free magstripe-only card reader, an inexpensive chip card reader, hosted donation pages, invoicing, QR code payments and even a website/online store builder called Square Online.

All these features combined make Square an ideal option for non-profit organizations looking for a cost-effective, easy-to-use, and feature-rich payment processing solution. The company’s focus on providing a comprehensive set of tools and resources for non-profits sets it apart from other providers.

It is an excellent choice for organizations looking to streamline their payment processing and donor management. Additionally, Square’s customer support is known to be exceptional, which is vital for non-profits who may need extra assistance setting up and maintaining their account.

Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services Review
Image source Host Merchant Services

Based in Newark, Delaware, HMS is a merchant account provider that serves non-profit organizations. The company offers a range of products and services tailored to the specific needs of non-profits, such as point-of-donation solutions, a virtual terminal, an online payment gateway, mobile credit card processing, and online marketing tools.

Host Merchant Services has a special Host merchant “Gives” program that helps non-profits get the lowest possible transaction fees. The company has a strong reputation in the industry with positive feedback from public forums, with many praising the company’s customer service.

Host Merchant Services offers all merchants an interchange-plus pricing model without early termination fees, providing a transparent pricing model and flexibility to cancel service without penalty.


image source PayPal

PayPal offers a range of resources specifically designed for non-profit organizations, including special transaction rates for charities and discounted rates for donations, even if your organization is not a charity. The company offers a variety of features that can benefit non-profits, such as donation buttons, QR codes, an inexpensive mobile card reader with a PIN pad, a virtual terminal (with a monthly fee), donation links, hosted donation pages, invoicing, and detailed reporting.

Additionally, PayPal offers countless shopping carts, POS, CRM, and accounting integrations, making it a versatile option for non-profits. For a comprehensive overview of PayPal’s non-profit and donation features, it is recommended to read the company’s guide on the subject.


Payment Cloud Merchant Services
Image source Payment Cloud

PaymentCloud is a merchant provider located in Woodland Hills, California, that serves a wide range of retail businesses, including those considered “high-risk.” The company’s products and services include mobile phone swipers, point-of-sale solutions, an online payment gateway, a virtual terminal, merchant cash advances, and EMV-compatible terminals.

PaymentCloud assigns a dedicated account representative to each new merchant, ensuring that they have personalized support throughout their time with the company. Additionally, PaymentCloud is known for its custom pricing plans tailored to the specific needs of each merchant based on their processing history and business type. The company has a strong reputation in the industry, with no bad complaints on merchant forums.


Finding the correct merchant account provider for your non-profit organization is crucial to keep costs low and effectively managing donations.

Many options are available, each with its unique features and pricing structures. Some account providers offer special rates for charities and discounted rates for donations.

In contrast, others offer a range of tools and resources, such as recurring billing, donor outreach, and event planning. It is essential to research different providers, compare their rates and features, and choose the one that best fits your organization’s needs.

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