Accepting Donations on Your Website

Aug 19, 2019

TechArk has partnered with close to thirty nonprofits in Hampton Roads to help them reinvent their online presence. Fundraising and collecting donations are critical needs for these organizations, allowing them to continue supporting their specific causes. One way to support this need is to accept online donations. There are multiple ways to implement donation collection on your website. Learn more about the most common methods below.

1. External Link
The first and simplest option to add online donations to your website is with an external link. For this method, you would need to include a Donate button on your website that redirects users to a third-party payment processor such as Paypal. Please note that for this to work, the non-profit is required to have an account with Paypal. There are both benefits and drawbacks to utilizing this option.


  • Quick and Simple Setup
  • Paypal is nonprofit friendly and trustworthy
  • Fees are minimum, if any


  • User experience suffers because of a redirect

An example of a website we created with this method is Hindu Temple of Hampton Roads.

2. Embedding Paypal in your Website

The second method for accepting online donations is to embedded PayPal within your website itself. This is accomplished by creating a custom form that accesses the PayPal API in the backend to process the payment. There are benefits and drawbacks to this method.


  • User experience does not decrease because the user is not redirected off of the site


  • More time consuming to implement
  • More costly to have implemented

The Together We Can Foundation is an example of this method at work on a website we built.

3. Amazon Smile

Another convenient way to incorporate online donations to your website is by using Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile allows users to order items on Amazon and a portion of their purchase goes towards their favorite charitable organization. Nonprofits interested in implementing this method would need to register their organization with Amazon Smile and include a link on their website to allow visitors to easily start shopping and donating.


  • Popularity of Amazon increases likelihood of purchase/donation
  • Allows user to donate while purchasing items they want/need
  • Convenient


  • User experience suffers because of a redirect
  • Donation is not made if user does not navigate to Amazon Smile site instead of general Amazon site

The Troopster website is an example that includes Amazon Smile as a donation option.

4. Recurring Donations

You can give your website visitors the option to set a recurring donation. To do this, users will need to complete a form on your site similar to the one on the Samaritan House website and then choose to donate monthly.

5. Gift Card Donations

A new method many organizations are adding to their donation collection efforts are donations from gift cards. Gift cards of all brands are accepted. To implement gift card donations on your organization’s website you will first need to register with a company that takes care of the payment processing. Troopster uses for all their gift card donations. Once registered, the next step is to include a link on your website and you are now all set to start accepting online donations from gift cards.

TechArk can implement and support whichever method is best for your nonprofit. With loads of experience collaborating with charitable organizations in Hampton Roads, we can create a custom website design solution to revamp and reimagine your business.

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