A client came to us with an urgent need to get donation functionality set up on their website. Every web development shop gets these calls, and in the olden days (5 years ago), there wasn’t much we could do but sympathize, stress the importance of involving your dev shop in long-term planning, and hope that they already have a merchant account so that you can whip something together in a reasonable amount of time.
Enter Stripe Checkout. Stripe Checkout has allowed us to say our favorite line: “Yep! No problem!”
Stripe Checkout has figured out the “I need to get something up that is professional, safe, secure, and on-brand quickly” problem. But first, we have a few rules when it comes to donations:
– Unless you have a really good internal dev team, it never makes sense to try to roll your own solution.
– Transaction fees are part of the game (and are fairly similar across services), and you get really great experiences for those fees.
– If you are a truly giant non-profit, your dev team knows all of this and has figured out the best solution for your organization.
Here’s the demo directly from Stripe’s site.
In our experience, it really is that easy, and clients who use it really like the ease of use and professionalism it brings to their organization. Try it yourself here: https://checkout.stripe.dev/
When is Stripe Checkout not a good fit?
If you have larger data collection requirements, you might want to look into developing a more robust donation system (combine your payment processor with a modified-for-your-needs checkout app). If you’re like most non-profits and use WordPress for your CMS, you can collect donations through Gravity Forms, WPForms, etc. and can tailor the experience to your liking. It takes a little more time to develop, but you get some flexibility you won’t get with Stripe Checkout.
Every Non-Profit Can Use a Little More Simplicity
We like to say that running a non-profit is just business with a higher degree of difficulty. Funders, donors, partners, volunteers, team members all want and need your time and attention. Modern web solutions like Stripe Checkout (and even some of the solutions coming out of PayPal) make taking online donations, a small but important tool in the non-profit toolbox, simple.