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How Nonprofits Can Easily Accept Credit Card Payments on Mobile Phones at Fundraising Events and Over the Phone

November 5, 2009

A few weeks ago I was at a fundraising event that had a silent auction. So many fabulous items had been donated, but unfortunately bidders could only pay in cash or by check. I haven’t had more than $5 in my pocket for years and I can’t even remember the last time I carried a checkbook with me. So, I opted out of the silent auction. My guess is many others did too for the same reason.

A new service called Intuit GoPayment enables nonprofits to accept credit cards on mobile phones (View Supported Phones). There is a one-time setup fee of $59.95 and a monthly fee of $19.95. For small nonprofits on a tight budget, that may be a little high, but the good news is that you do not need to sign a contract. You can cancel at any time and your first two months are free (ideal if you just want to try it for this year’s holiday fundraising season). Cards accepted are MasterCard, Visa and Discover and the credit card processing fee is 2.44% plus $.27 per transaction. A signature is not necessary to process the donation and payment is immediately transferred to your nonprofit’s bank account. You can use the system to email or text a receipt, but I strongly suggest that you follow up with an e-mail thank you letter.

If your organization is one that hosts or attends a lot of events (galas, silent auctions, walkathons, protests, conferences, etc.)  throughout the year, then this could be an easy, cost-effective solution for accepting credit cards on the go. It also allows nonprofits to accept credit card payments verbally over the phone. Maybe your nonprofit does a year-end phone banking campaign? Or perhaps you want to notify donors in e-mail newsletters or on your website that they can also call in their donations if for some reason they don’t feel comfortable entering their credit card information on the Internet? In this competitive fundraising climate, donor convenience and on-the-spot fundraising may be just what your organization needs to stand out from the rest.

You can learn more at and if you are interested in being an early adopter of mobile technology, be sure to check out my Webinar on How Nonprofit Organizations Can Successfully Use Mobile Technology and Social Media. 2010 is going to be a big year for nonprofits and mobile technology. In the meantime, good luck with your year-end fundraising campaigns!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2009 5:58 am

    This sounds great for silent auctions but what is there to be done to enable non-profits to fundraise via text messaging without having to shell out hundreds of dollars for set up and monthly fees?

  2. nonprofitorgs permalink
    November 5, 2009 6:01 am

    I think it is going to take another year or so for Text-to-Give to become affordable… as more vendors flood the market. But mass text messaging is affordable now… where as it wasn’t a year ago. Not much being raised via Text-to-Give yet… so a year down the road is OK… but it is crucial to start the text messaging campaigns now and build your mobile list.

  3. November 5, 2009 7:55 am

    Mobile Commons is a great platform for all things mobile and they work great with nonprofits:

  4. November 5, 2009 9:49 am

    Distributive Networks is an interesting company as well.


  5. November 5, 2009 8:28 pm

    I have used such devices and programs as this and see their value. Some of the local community banks will donate the use of wireless credit card terminals for an event.

    Not having this type of tool is leaving money on the table.

  6. RachelC permalink
    November 12, 2009 7:00 am

    You atteneded a fundraising event without bringing your checkbook?

    As a 30-year-old, I understand that many people don’t regularly carry their checkbook with them, but that seems like a good time to remember to bring it along. Shame on you.

  7. nonprofitorgs permalink
    November 12, 2009 7:08 am

    Well… I didn’t know it was fundraising event. Pure accident that I was there. And had no clue that there would be a silent auction. So, shame on me? Weird.

  8. March 7, 2010 6:23 am

    I have an experience with credit card and now I’m trauma, but really I love this post….maybe by combining yours and my ideas I will manage to start some serious work on my business blog.

  9. July 5, 2010 7:15 pm

    thanks for ur articles 🙂


  1. Shared Items – November 5, 2009 | Future:Media:Change

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