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Payments for Charities Explained

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Last editedJan 20222 min read

There was a time when charities relied on cash and cheques when receiving donations. But the pandemic has hastened our transition into an increasingly digital and cashless society. Now, 47% of Brits say that they do not carry cash, and only 16% regard cash as their preferred way to pay. Businesses of all kinds are scrambling to find secure, frictionless ways for their customers to make payments. Non-profit organisations like charities are no exception.

It’s becoming increasingly important for charities to find ways to remove the barriers between their organisations and prospective donors. The right Payment Service Provider (PSP) or payment gateway can make it easier, faster and more secure for donors to make one-off or recurring contributions to your cause. We’ll take a look at what you should look for in a payment solution and compare some of the best.

Charity payment solutions: What to look for

Charities are potentially missing out on donations if they don’t have the solutions in place to accept card or online payments. Charities have a diverse array of payment solutions to choose from. However, not all are created equal. It’s up to you to choose the one that best meets the needs of your organisation. Each will have slightly different implications in terms of both user experience and fees.

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar presence or you’re online-only, you should consider the following when choosing a payment solution:

  • Fees and charges – They might seem negligible, but they can make a big difference to the impact your donations can make upon your cause

  • Scalability – As your charity grows and donations multiply, will it continue to keep up with your needs?

  • Integrations – How easy is the payment solution to integrate with your current systems and operations?

Charity payment solutions compared

In this next section, we’ll take a look at some payment solutions commonly used by charities and compare their respective merits.


Hundreds of charities use GoCardless to accept donations, including Comic Relief and WellChild. We make it easy for both you and your donors to enjoy an ongoing and mutually satisfactory relationship. We offer seamless integrations with your billing and Customer Relationship Management systems, and payment capabilities that are completely scalable.

GoCardless is completely flexible, allowing donors to be billed immediately after they sign up or at another time of their choosing. Donors can sign up online through desktop or mobile devices, over the phone or with paper Direct Debit forms. They can even increase or decrease their recurring donations with a click through their own self-service portal.

We’re dedicated to offering an outstanding and scalable donor experience that fits seamlessly into your operations.


This platform originates from the US but has already made a big impression in the UK and Europe. Stripe appeals to charities because of its simplicity and transparent fees. Transactions incur a single flat charge, with no other costs for using different cards or currencies.


Square offers a combination of hardware and software to facilitate payments for charities. It can change any computer into a payment terminal, and facilitates online, card-present, key-in and contactless payments. Fees start at 1.75%.


Worldpay offers a range of payment technologies including an API that integrates directly with your website. It is highly scalable and has a dashboard that enables you to monitor transactions. Plans are charged at a flat monthly rate rather than as a percentage of transactions.


LibertyPay offers bespoke payment solutions to charities, with customised features built around your needs. It offers payment processing solutions as well as contactless donation boxes to facilitate easy payment.

We can help

If you’re interested in finding out more about payment options for charities and removing barriers to donations, then get in touch with our financial experts. Discover how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Save money on transaction fees with Direct Debit via GoCardless. Reduce failed payments. Spend less time on financial admin. Get paid on time, every time.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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