Understand the third-party fees on donations through Give Lively

Everything you need to know about the fees and payment methods associated with use of Give Lively technology. We don't charge you anything, but third-party processors do.


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We don't charge for the unlimited use of our powerful and practical technology. However, we use independent services, called payment processors, to manage the financial transaction process, from donation to disbursement, by mediating between merchants and financial institutions. These services do charge small fees for every transaction, although the fees can sometimes be covered by the donor. (Learn more about disbursement and the data privacy and security practices put in place by us and these independent services.)

Which payment methods does Give Lively accept?

Give Lively fundraising technology currently accepts:

To process major credit cards and debit cards, including those stored in Apple Pay and Google Pay, we rely on Stripe, an industry-leading payment processor trusted by thousands of companies and nonprofits.

IMPORTANT: An activated Stripe account must be connected to Give Lively in order for member nonprofits to process and receive donations made using Apple Pay or Google Pay. Learn how to use Stripe, including how to create, activate and connect a Stripe account, how to apply for Stripe’s nonprofit discount, and how enable ACH/bank transfer.

Give Lively nonprofit members can add PayPal, but only as an optional additional donation-processing method. At the present time, it can't be the sole payment processor, since it can only be used for one-time donations. Thus, PayPal will only process donations when the donors' selected payment method is PayPal. All other payment methods (credit/debit, ACH etc.) will be processed via Stripe. In the near future, we will be adding the option to process recurring monthly donations too.

To manage ACH/direct debit, we work with Plaid, a financial technology that enables users to interact with their bank accounts. ACH/direct debit transfers are processed by Stripe and must first be enabled through Stripe.

What are the fees associated with each payment method?

As described above, we partner with Stripe and PayPal (two industry-leading payment providers) to manage donations. Stripe and PayPal charge a small transaction fee for each donation. As fees are always subject to change at any time by the independent services, always verify directly with the services themselves for the latest updates.

Here's what you need to know about Stripe fees as of September 2020.

Stripe fees shown above are based on the Stripe nonprofit discount; learn how to apply for this discount. Stripe fees may be covered by the donor, except when donations are made via a digital wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay). As fee coverage legally increases the value of a donor’s contribution, the gross value is necessarily reflected in a nonprofit’s fundraising totals.

That means:

  • Making donations via ACH/bank transfer is by far the most cost-effective payment option and ensures that you get more money to use toward your services.
  • If donors opt to use their credit cards: for all gifts under $30, you get more if your donors use American Express, and for all gifts above $30, you'll get more if your donors use a Visa or MasterCard.

Here's what you need to know about PayPal fees as of September 2020.

REMINDER: Give Lively nonprofit members can only add PayPal as an optional additional payment method.

PayPal can't be the sole payment method, since it can only be used for one-time donations. PayPal will also only process donations when the donors' selected payment method is PayPal. All other payment methods (credit/debit, ACH etc.) will be processed via Stripe. PayPal’s transaction fees can’t be covered by the donor. (In the near future, we will be adding both the option to process recurring monthly donations and for donors to cover the cost of transaction fees.)

Does Give Lively charge any fees?

We don't charge any fees. The use of our platform is free for Give Lively nonprofit members, and membership is both free and non-committal.

Much like a foundation, Give Lively was created by philanthropists to provide free fundraising technology to nonprofits. Our founders have worked extensively with charitable organizations and seen first-hand the positive impact innovative tech can have on fundraising. They started Give Lively in 2015 based on the belief that every nonprofit, no matter its size, should not sacrifice its means to satisfy its mission. So we collaborated directly with them to propel the development of our product -- a powerful and practical, no-commitment/no-fee fundraising platform.

Our philanthropist founders cover the cost of running our business, which means we do not charge nonprofits for use of our technology. There are no setup fees, no monthly or annual fees, no commitments, and no hidden transaction fees beyond those described above and charged by our third-party partners.

Are donations to nonprofits made through Give Lively tax deductible?

Yes. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Immediately after donors complete their transactions via a nonprofit's fundraising page, they receive an email from hello@givelively.org containing a receipt for their donation that they can use for tax purposes. Each receipt includes the following language:

"<Nonprofit Name> is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax ID: <Tax ID>). Contributions to organizations with 501(c)(3) status may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax professional to determine deductibility.

Please save this message as your official donation receipt.

Donation Summary:
* Donor: <Donor first and last name>
* Organization: <Nonprofit Name>
* Amount: <Donation Amount>
* Date: <Donation Date and Time>

No goods or services were received by the donor as a result of this gift.”


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