Talking tech since 2003

Right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, non-profit organizations globally are taking online donations. We look into one of the foremost technology solutions to power websites for doing just that: Donorbox.

The challenge with accepting online donations:

Accepting Paypal payments for non-profits and setting up a basic CRM to provide a clear and reliable audit trail might seem like quite a task, particularly when transparency and efficiency is a requirement. That is because in most parts of the world, it is a regulated sector where compliance is a key issue. Naturally, seamless integration and affordability comes into play – and we found, upon review of the code and solution, that Donorbox is one of those solutions that is as “close to open source” as can be, given that there is no need to re-invent the wheel. So multiple providers use it as a generic solution, which ultimately drives down the cost in what we consider a “code sharing economy”.

Successful case studies in place:

Having explored multiple solutions, two existing examples of organizations demonstrated that Donorbox is quite an efficient solution:

(Meal donations for medical professionals in NYC)

(Meal donations in collaboration with the NHS in the UK)

So accepting either recurring or single donations online turns out to be quite easy when powered by the right technology – and set up can indeed be very swift. This results in a user-experience that is equally swift and attractive, almost invoking peer pressure when you consider the fancy looking counters and statistics on the abovementioned sites.

Exploring Donorbox in-depth:

The integration part is rather flexible. This means that whether you have a site that is powered by WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Godaddy, Joomla, Drupal or practically any web-builder that allows the user to paste HTML – that Donorbox can be added within minutes. If you ever choose to migrate away from any particular platform, moving Donorbox with you to the new platform is rather straight-forward: all your data is still kept – and the same code snippet can simply be applied to the new platform.

Functioning alongside other tools: Very small organizations may use a tool like Donorbox to keep track of their client data and perform basic CRM. However it can function equally well alongside more complex systems such as Salesforce, and more via Zapier integration.

Embedding stylish donation forms: The aesthetics of a donation form has to relay credibility through good statistics, milestones and a level of organization. This helps potential donors establish the necessary trust that this is not just some fly by night scam. Off course this does not negate the need for the organization itself to be fully legal and licensed to accept donations online.

Styling and branding: The web design elements of the website remain unchanged, so web developers retain full control over the look and feel of the overall site. It is simply a matter of determining where to embed the stylish forms and customize it according to all the features available. The extent to which a form can be customised is completely flexible, including colours, custom CSS, or predesigned, templated layout pages that were created for you.

Third-party integration: It can pretty much integrate with all your favourite payment processors, especially Paypal and Stripe.

You can accept payments via credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Direct bank transfer via ACH and more. As far as analytics integration is concerned, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel and the use of Google Ecommerce & Ad tracking are all fully supported.

You can also connect to various apps like Google Spreadsheet and more via Zapier.

Trust and safety: Fraud detection and SSL/TLS encryption are key features throughout the checkout process. The tokenization of all financial data and customer authentication that complies with PSD2 regulations in Europe come as standard. All of these features provide additional peace of mind to both the donor and recipient organization.

Perhaps the most reassuring part of working with this technology, is that tax and legal compliance is well-supported. This comes through tax receipts, year-end tax receipts, GDPR-friendly forms and the ability to accept anonymous donations that are overtly flagged by the system.


Is it costly?

Besides all the functionality and ease of integration, perhaps one of the reasons the software is so popular and well-received in the market, is the low-cost model it operates.Its free to start and has a 1.5% platform fees on top of 2.9% payment processing.


Final Scoop:

Donorbox seems like one of the quickest innovation solutions to power a donor website – and where the scale of the organization is not in the millions of dollars, certainly the most affordable solution too. As much as UX and conversion rates matter, so is trust and safety in this industry of particular importance – and the solution seems to tick both boxes.


To try out Donorbox for free – visit the official site.

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