PayPal- Not Donor Friendly

PayPal has been around for some time, and it provides a very convenient way for digital funds to be transferred between individuals, business and organizations.  PayPal even promotes online donations for churches and non-profits advertising their free “donate-now” button that can easily be placed on your website.   However, many of PayPal’s features actually work against known best practices for successful online donations and fundraising.  Let’s review some of the ways PayPal may be actually deterring gifts to your organization:


PayPal is Not Easy to Set-up

If you are a nonprofit or church, often times responsibilities of setting up your website or payment processing account fall to a volunteer or member of support staff.  PayPal has 11 steps to access their “donate now” button and that is the bare minimum to get set-up.  If you need any type of payment customization such as recurring gifts, fund designations, or campaigns the steps become increasingly more complicated to navigate.

With DonateQ you can literally be set up in just a few minutes.  You have full access to an online guide to move you through the process as well as access to live support from our Customer Engagement Team.  Working with a professional can help you determine the optimal set up for your account to ensure all your needs are covered.


Funds Cannot Be Designated

The out-of-the-box PayPal donate button does not include options for your donors to designate where they want their donation to go.  This is a problem.  Every donor wants control of how you are investing their money into your mission.  If your church members want to make a split gift designating their funds between their interests they will be restricted from it.  For instance if they want to make a single donation of $700 and designate $100 to your homeless fund, $400 to tithe, and $200 to missions, it would not be possible with PayPal.  You would receive a $700 donation and the donor would need to contact you to make arrangements from there.


Recurring Giving – Fuhgeddaboudit

Okay, so you can do recurring giving with PayPal, but it is a 27 step set-up process and you will probably need someone with HTML coding experience.  In addition your givers will not be able to set their OWN recurring schedule?  Nope, not going to happen.  PayPal dictates the days allowed.

Automated recurring giving has become an essential element for churches and nonprofits to stabilize their incomes and avoid seasonal droughts (eg. Summer attendance).  Not to mention it is incredibly helpful to donors who can set it up and check one more to-do off their busy schedules.


Branded Pages Perform Better

There are volumes of funding experts saying “Branded giving pages outperform third-party redirects in SPADES”, okay maybe I threw the spades part in.  According to the Digital Giving Index, branded giving pages outperform third party pages by 7x!  They even boast a higher donation amount on average.  PayPal was established as a merchant experience who added on branding to reach churches.  They have a shopping cart user experience which can be confusing to donors.  MinistryLINQ has been working solely with the faith based market for a decade.  We understand your values and our products are completely tailored to the tithe and nonprofit donor experience.

Want to SEE the difference?  Check out our free Test Drive of DonateQ.


Redirect- The Modern Version

When your supporter is making a donation, you have earned their trust.  When you redirect them to an unknown third party they are having to wade through another system and often do not complete gifts because of apprehension of the security of their funds or hesitation of having to set up another account to process their gift.

Differences between PayPal and DonateQ:


  • The user wants to make a donation and clicks on the corresponding button.
  • They are redirected to the PayPal page, leaving your organizations website all together.
  • They are asked to sign in to their PayPal account or (if they can find it) or create an account then enter their bank details.
  • The user confirms that they are authorizing the payment.
  • They are redirected back to your website.


  • Donors click on your donation page or button
  • They are directed to a page that is branded and matches the look and feel of your website’s branding.  All the redirect is modernized and happens behind the scenes.
  • They enter their gift amount, designation or establish recurring specifications and banking information – the donor has all options on the table.  They submit their donation and receive receipt and confirmation emailed directly to them.  This email receipt is personalized by the organization to personally thank them for their generous donation.


I Have to Have a PayPal Account?

PayPal does have the option to give without an account, but it is actually pretty hard to find.  When many of your members have busy schedules, or are not frequent users of online payments this is really cumbersome.  They will be driven through a click-process that guides them to set-up an account with PayPal.  When someone wants to make a one-time gift to a campaign or scholarship, or they simply don’t want one more account to manage it can discourage the completion of their gift.


Meeting Your Donors Where They Are

The easier it is to pay, the more likely your donors and members are going to access online payments.  This is a win because it frees up overhead in money and admin time for you.  Unlike PayPal, DonateQ has carefully thought out the donor experience and how it intersects with your faith based organization.

You can expect:

  • Responsive and embedded web/online giving
  • Automatic Account Updater
  • Mobile giving via an iOS and web app
  • SmoothPay- One easy to read statement for all your payment processing services
  • Highest standard of PCI compliance
  • Intuitive donor and admin dashboards for reporting and forecasting


PayPal-Not Ready For a Relationship

PayPal reputation for service has been spotty at best.  The intended system was a merchant payment system that was manually established by the user.  To us at MinistryLINQ that is a recipe for bare minimum.  We are the experts in our field and by partnering with you for your best success, we can help you establish the online payment solution that will provide you with the best ROI.  PayPal’s system was not established for churches, ministries and nonprofits.  MinistryLINQ was founded on principles of helping churches and ministries tackle online payment managements, so they could focus on their missions.  We share your values.

PayPal has changed the way we process online payments worldwide, but when it comes to servicing churches, non-profits and ministries their processes and user experience is counter to the best practices of fundraising and tithing.

If you want to find out more about how MinistryLINQ is partnering with organizations like yours, contact us.