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Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Online Donation Made Easy
Frank Moore

October, 2010

The ability to accept donations online has become an essential component of virtually every nonprofit organization’s web-marketing strategy. Donations are the oxygen that enriches an NPO’s lifeblood, and these days, donors expect to be able to contribute online.

Yet for many NPOs, a custom-made e-commerce solution can be far too costly, time-consuming and riddled with potential problems. We all know of PayPal and numerous shopping-cart modules that are pre-packaged for “easy integration” into virtually any website. But almost every such solution comes with inherent limitations and sometimes nasty bugs. Moreover, the vast majority of these modules aren’t attuned to the specific needs of NPOs.

At Edge, we’ve begun to recommend one online donation system above others – Acceptiva. Billing itself as a “customized online payment and donation service,” and proudly stating that it “works only with nonprofits,” Acceptiva takes a huge amount of hassle and guesswork out of the online donation process.

In a nutshell, here’s how Acceptiva works –

  1. Via an ordinary Microsoft Word document, you submit the requirements and structure of your online donation form to Acceptiva.
  2. Acceptiva creates, codes and posts the form online as little as 24 hours.
  3. Once tested and approved, you link to this Acceptiva-hosted form through your website and you’re ready to start accepting donations.

Of course, there are a few typical administrative elements that are part of the Acceptiva equation. Like with all such services, Acceptiva must first establish a link to your organization’s bank account for the electronic transfer of donations. Plus there is an initial set-up fee, and the usual credit card and transaction fees also apply.

Acceptiva operates as a paid-subscription service. While a monthly fee may initially raise eyebrows at some NPOs, at Edge we believe Acceptiva is a bargain for several reasons.

  • For a one-time set-up fee and less than $50 per month, an NPO can create an unlimited number of donation forms. When compared to the cost and hassle of other such solutions – and especially from-scratch donation systems – Acceptiva offers exceptional value.
  • Acceptiva forms can be designed for one-time donations, recurring donations, event registrations, tuition payments and much, much more.
  • Acceptiva is extremely secure and works with Master Card®, Visa®, American Express®, Discover® and e-checks.
  • Acceptiva charges no additional fees over and above ordinary merchant bank processing fees.
  • They even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Now you may be asking yourself, “What’s in this for Edge?” Rest assured, our endorsement of Acceptiva is completely unsolicited and we reap no financial benefit from suggesting the service.

We first witnessed the power and convenience of Acceptiva when this service was recommended to CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare by Edge’s own web guru, Michel Godts. CHRISTUS has since used Acceptiva for the processing of all its online donations and event registrations with great ease and success.    

Of course, Acceptiva may not be right for every NPO, but if your organization is considering a custom online donation solution, why reinvent the wheel? Check out Acceptiva first.

Frank Moore is  a Senior Writer at Edge Creative Strategies in Houston where he writes for clients websites. You can learn more at


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