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Collecting Donations with PayPal

Church and Ministry Leaders: Generous Giving is pleased to announce that you can now use PayPal, the global leader in online payment solutions, to collect donations for any opportunity you posted on the Marketplace—even if your organization does not yet have a PayPal account!

PayPal is a universally recognized Internet payment merchant with a reputation of being solid, secure and easy to use. Available in 38 countries and used by more 40 million accountholders, PayPal is by far the largest of its kind. Although most widely recognized as a payment option for eBay online auction users, PayPal also offers a feature called PayPal Donations, a simple solution enabling nonprofit organizations to collect donations from their own Web sites, from a link in their email newsletters and, most recently, through the Generous Giving Marketplace. PayPal is an ideal solution for churches and ministries that have no full-time technology staff or customized online fund-raising platforms. By contrast, PayPal is easy to implement, involves no upfront costs, and maintains detailed transaction records for your accounting. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to make fund raising for God’s kingdom easier.
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Using PayPal

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  • Frequently Asked Questions
    1. What is PayPal, and how can my ministry use it to receive online donations?
      Most widely recognized as a payment option for eBay online auction users, PayPal can be used to send and receive payments through the Internet, serving as the middleman between a giver and your ministry. Once you sign up for PayPal, you can receive money from anyone who has an email address as well as a credit card, debit card or bank account. As the recipient, you will be notified by email anytime someone has sent you a payment. A related tool, PayPal Donations, is available to nonprofit organizations. Please note that PayPal is a third-party provider, a separate organization not in any way affiliated with the Generous Giving Marketplace. As an introductory service only, the Marketplace is not involved in any way with the transaction between giver and ministry.

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    2. Why does the Marketplace use PayPal Donations instead of one of many faith-based alternatives?
      There are many third-party donation providers who exist solely to help small organizations manage their online giving. Many of these services are led by Christians and even specialize in helping faith-based organizations, and we encourage you to explore these many options. Nevertheless, we have selected PayPal based on its wide reputation, security, ease-of-use and low cost. Already 40 million users in 38 countries use PayPal to conduct financial transactions. Many givers already have PayPal accounts and use this form of payment for other Internet-related commerce. PayPal Donations even will show you how to add this feature to your own Web site so that your organization can receive donations from outside the Marketplace. Remember, if your ministry’s Web site already has the ability to accept online donations, by all means include the link on your Marketplace profile so that givers can make donations directly to your organization without the need for PayPal.

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    3. How can I learn more about PayPal Donations?
      On its Web site, PayPal has posted detailed explanations and a step-by-step guide on using this tool, in addition to complete instructions on incorporating PayPal Donations into your ministry’s Web site.

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    4. What can I realistically expect from a PayPal account?
      Despite the ever-increasing use of the Internet to trade stocks, pay bills and purchase items, online donations are still in their infancy. For this reason, while you just might be surprised at the number of gifts you receive via online giving, it may be better to begin with low expectations. On the other hand, since your ministry’s upfront cost for using PayPal Donations is zero, your return-on-investment can only be positive. Another thing to consider is that because many givers like to contribute in small amounts and many ministries survive on regular contributions of $25, $50 or $100, PayPal Donations will provide a complete turnkey donation solution that is not only easy to use but also easy to service. As a ministry leader, you are happy with any support a giver wishes to contribute. But realistically, the effort required to personally service each of these small gifts is not always the most effective use of your time, so PayPal may be a good solution. Once a giver completes a gift, PayPal automatically emails you the contribution. Once you have received a PayPal email confirmation, you can follow up with a form-letter email to the giver thanking him for his gift along with instructions on how he can follow up with his gift.

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    5. Is there a charge for using PayPal?
      Generous Giving does not charge its users for the use of PayPal, but PayPal does. Each time a Marketplace user donates to your ministry, PayPal will collect a fee of 2.9 percent of the total transaction plus 30 cents. This means that if a giver were to use PayPal to donate $100 to your ministry, PayPal would retain $3.20 before forwarding $96.80 to your ministry. Meanwhile, the giver would realize the full $100 for tax purposes. Visit PayPay’s Web site for more details. Be sure to consult your professional advisor about this fee schedule.

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    6. Is PayPal’s fee worth the “lost” revenue to my ministry?
      Without PayPal, your ministry may never have received the donation in the first place, so you should not assume “lost” revenue. Rather, PayPal eliminates the need for your ministry to spend thousands of dollars on technical things like secure Web certificates, Internet merchant accounts, and online processing software. Nor does PayPal charge any upfront fees, and it is extremely easy to implement. While Generous Giving has no control over PayPal’s fees, we do consider 2.9 percent of the transaction plus 30 cents to be a fair “finder’s fee.” What is interesting is that PayPal’s payment scale does not slide based on the increased size of the gift, so all gifts are treated equally. If in your opinion the fee is still unreasonably large, you might encourage your givers to limit PayPal donations to gifts under, say, $500.

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    7. If my ministry does not have a PayPal account, can we still receive donations through PayPal?
      Yes. If your organization has not already set up its own PayPal account, and a giver uses PayPal to contribute to your ministry through the Marketplace, PayPal contacts your ministry (using the email address listed on your Marketplace account) with instructions on how to set up a PayPal account. (Note: If multiple users within your organization have created their own Marketplace accounts, then PayPal uses the email address associated with the “owner” of the particular proposal being funded). Once the giver completes his transaction, both he and your ministry will receive separate email confirmations from PayPal. When setting up your ministry’s PayPal account to claim your funds, remember that you must use the same email address as the one used in the original transaction). Once you have set up your Pay Pal account, you will receive the funds.

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    8. Is receiving a donation through PayPal the same as receiving a check in the mail?
      Yes. Once your bookkeeper receives the funds from PayPal, he must deposit the donation into your ministry’s bank account and update the donor tracking system as needed.

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      If your ministry does not have the capability to accept online donations through your Web site, you can still collect donations online using PayPal. Using PayPal is simple. Here is what happens when a giver chooses to fund your ministry through the Marketplace, using PayPal:

      1. First, please note that in no way does Generous Giving receive, forward or otherwise handle any funds. All funds are exchanged through PayPal, not Generous Giving. Because Generous Giving is simply an introduction service, we do not participate in the actual transaction between giver and ministry.

      2. At the bottom of your ministry’s Marketplace profile page and/or each proposal that your ministry has posted on the Marketplace, givers will see the “Give with PayPal” icon:

      3. Once a giver clicks this icon, he immediately is transferred out of the Marketplace and to the PayPal Web site, where he will be allowed to make a donation to your ministry. As he leaves the Marketplace, he will see a reminder to perform all necessary due diligence before contributing to any ministry:

      4. Once the giver has been transferred to the PayPal Web site, PayPal automatically collects all necessary information about your ministry from the specific proposal or ministry profile being viewed by the giver, including (a) the name of your ministry, (b) the email address associated with your ministry’s Marketplace account, (c) the name of the proposal, and/or (d) the gift designation for your general fund.

      5. The giver then will be asked to log onto his PayPal account to complete the transaction. If the giver does not have a PayPal account, he will be asked to create one at this time.

      6. Once the transaction is complete, your ministry will receive an email announcing the gift. Now, in order to collect the donation, your ministry must have its own PayPal account.

      7. If your ministry already has a PayPal account, you must link it to your Marketplace account. Simply log onto the Generous Giving Marketplace, click on the “Administration” tab, and in question 23 you must enter the same email address that you supplied when setting up your PayPal account.

      8. If your ministry does not have a PayPal account, the setup is quick, free and easy:

        • Visit the PayPal Web site to learn more about PayPal Donations, including PayPal’s privacy policy.

        • Once you are comfortable with PayPal Donations, follow the instructions to establish a free PayPal account.

        • Now that your PayPal account setup is complete, you must link it to your Marketplace account. Simply log onto the Generous Giving Marketplace, click on the “Administration” tab, and in question 23 you must enter the same email address that you supplied when setting up your PayPal account.

      9. You’re done! Let your donor base know about this new way for people to give. You can process PayPal gifts just as you would any other type of donation.

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