Need Suggestions for Donation Vehicles that Do Not Require Bank Accounts

I’m working with a few governmental shelters (city/county shelters), as I know many of you do, and I need some advice.

Because these shelters are a government entity, they can accept donations from the public–monetary donations–that can be tax-deductible for the donor. If someone walks in the door with a check or cash, great! No problem.

But when they want to accept donations online via credit card, there the difficulty arises. Sure, they can set up a Paypal account or a Firstgiving page or something like that. But in pretty much every case, the city/county does NOT want to provide bank account information. Since most of the websites and Facebook pages where these donate buttons would be placed are run by volunteers, I can understand the government’s reluctance to tie a bank account to any specific service like this.

But what are these organizations supposed to use? They have donors visiting their websites and Facebook pages who want to give. They want to give online. There has to be SOME way for them to do that!

Ideally, a volunteer could manage the account (we’ll use Paypal as an example, just for the heck of it). They would set up a Paypal account but not hook up a bank account to it. Then, on a monthly/weekly basis, they would extract donated funds to be paid/mailed to the government shelter via check.

Paypal CAN do this, but you can’t accept payments on an account unless you have a bank account associated with your Paypal account. So I need advice!

Are any of you using an online donation service that does not require you to associate a bank account with it? Please post in the comments here and let me know your suggestions!

Thanks so much–from me, and your friends at city, county and parish shelters everywhere!

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3 Responses to Need Suggestions for Donation Vehicles that Do Not Require Bank Accounts

  1. Emily Randolph November 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    TheGivingEffect.com and Razoo.com are both options that can link to an account or mail the acct owner a check. We use Razoo quite a bit and The Giving Effect – it allows for one admin to set up the organization’s info by tax ID # and then other volunteers can create their own accounts to help fundraise for the organization that they choose by tying their fundraiser/cause to the organization’s account with them. 🙂

    -emily

  2. Emily Garman November 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Thanks Emily!

  3. Wendy Wareham February 14, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Emily, if it is going to be an ongoing problem for other kinds of gifts (securities, for instance…it could happen!), you might want to explore a third party receiver like a community foundation. There would be a small fee, but their reach would be greater, as well as the types of gifts they could accept. Management of an estate gift, etc. is then also not a problem. I would recommend setting them up so that going forward they are ready to accept cash, securities, credit cards, estates, etc.

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