PayPal Giving Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization that allows registered nonprofits to receive 100% of every donation received through their donation page or one of their partner programs such as eBay for Charity, Humble Bundle, or GoFundMe.
If you work at a nonprofit, using PayPal Giving Fund will feel like an upgrade to your existing PayPal business account. Donors will still use their PayPal accounts to donate and those donations will ultimately wind up in your PayPal account.
One way that PayPal Giving Fund differs from PayPal is that you will receive 100% of every donation made through PayPal Giving Fund whereas money received through PayPal will incur at least 2.2% + 30¢ in fees. PayPal Giving Fund also sends automatic tax receipts by email.
Tip: Looking for a summary of this article to share with your nonprofit? We made a slide deck for that!
First, some fine print
Of course, a lack of fees isn’t the only way that PayPal Giving Fund and PayPal are different.
Donations are deposited monthly on the 25th
Donations received through PayPal Giving Fund are deposited to your PayPal account once per month on the 25th. This means that a donation made on the 26th will not be available to you until the 25th of the next month.
PayPal Giving Fund wants you to receive every penny of every donation, but they don’t want to pay double the fees when a donor decides to cancel a transaction. To mitigate the “donor’s remorse” scenario, PayPal Giving Fund holds donations for a period of time before depositing them.
You must register to receive donations
If you search for your nonprofit on PayPal Giving Fund, you may discover that you already have a donation page. According to PayPal Giving Fund’s Donation Delivery Policy, only nonprofits enrolled in PayPal Giving Fund will receive donations.
If you are not enrolled or ineligible to claim the funds, PayPal Giving Fund will encourage you to enroll, but if they cannot reach you then donations may be redirected. This policy isn’t dissimilar from Amazon Smile’s delivery policy.
Since PayPal Giving Fund and all enrolled nonprofits have 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, all donations remain tax-deductible even if they are redirected.
New ways to raise funds online
Once registered with PayPal Giving Fund, you will find many new ways to receive donations. Depending on the nature of your nonprofit, these new programs may range from “Meh” to “This is exactly what we need!”
Finding details about each of these programs can be a little time-consuming, so we’ve done that work for you and summarized each program below.
PayPal Giving Fund donation page
This is the premiere benefit of PayPal Giving Fund. Once enrolled, your nonprofit will get a customizable donation page that shows your logo, a description of your organization, mission area, EIN, and a link to your website.
<a href="https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/196655" target="_blank"> <img src="donate-button.png" alt="Donate with PayPal Giving Fund"> </a>
In order to take full advantage of your no-fees donation page, we recommend replacing your existing donate button with one that sends donors to your PayPal Giving Fund page. We’ve provided a sample button and HTML to help get you started.
Note: Your old button will continue to work, but it will also still have those pesky fees.
eBay for Charity
A few days after you register for PayPal Giving Fund, your nonprofit will also appear on eBay for Charity. Without taking any other actions, sellers on eBay can choose to donate a portion of items they sell to your charity.
You can also add direct sellers to your nonprofit’s eBay for Charity account. Direct sellers can dedicate 100% of items sold to your charity. Money from those sales will go directly into your nonprofit’s PayPal account and the seller will also receive a lower selling fee.
eBay Give at Checkout
Not only can sellers donate to your charity using PayPal Giving Fund, buyers can too.
eBay Give at Checkout allows buyers to choose a charity from PayPal Giving Fund to receive a donation. This donation is in addition to the auction price and buyers can select an amount ranging from $1 to $25. As expected, 100% of the donation amount goes to your nonprofit’s PayPal account.
If you have supporters who regularly buy items on eBay, you can ask them to add your organization to their favorites using eBay’s charity search.
Humble Bundle sells bundles of video games and e-books. They let buyers name their price and allocate their money to Humble Bundle, makers of the for-sale products, and charities however they see fit. If your supporters love video games or books, Humble Bundle is a great way for them to donate to your cause and get fantastic goodies in return.
Once enrolled in PayPal Giving Fund, it may take several days or weeks for your organization to appear on Humble Bundle. Even then, not all bundles allow the buyer to choose a PayPal Giving Fund charity.
Use Humble Bundle’s charity search to find your nonprofit. Click on your logo in the search results to get a link that donors can use to select your charity before purchasing a bundle. Once a buyer selects your charity, it will stay selected on return visits.
If your organization wants to try out crowdfunding online, you can quickly create a fundraiser on GoFundMe once you’re registered on PayPal Giving Fund. Not only that, but anyone can create a fundraiser that supports your charity.
When creating a fundraiser on GoFundMe, just change the campaign type to “Certified Charity” and fill in your nonprofit’s name or EIN to dedicate a campaign to your organization. Fill in a few more text boxes, including a goal amount, and then share the campaign with anyone and everyone.
The funds raised will go directly to the nonprofit’s PayPal account. GoFundMe does have a fee for using their platform, though: 7.9% + 30¢ per donation.
Giving Jar Shopper
Our fledgling donation software, Giving Jar Shopper, is a browser add-on that reminds people to donate when they shop online. If a user of our add-on decides to donate, we send them to their selected charity’s PayPal Giving Fund donation page. This ensures every penny goes to their cause. Our add-on supports dozens of charities.
If you want your nonprofit added to our software, contact us! We’ll do a short interview, write an article about what you do on our blog, and add you to our program. We like our relationships with nonprofits to be personal. 🙂
Disclaimer: Giving Jar is not an official partner of PayPal Giving Fund.
Enrolling in PayPal Giving Fund
On the surface, enrolling in PayPal Giving Fund seems as easy as:
- Setting up your PayPal business account
- Upgrading to PayPal Giving Fund
- And customizing your donation page
Each of these steps has its own hurdles to overcome, though, and we have plenty of tips to help you along.
Setup your PayPal business account
If you don’t already have a PayPal business account, the first step is to create one. Do not use a personal account!
Tip: Use an email address that can be reused by future members of your organization, such as
firstname.lastname@example.org. Avoid email addresses that have names in them like
Once you have a business account, there are six key areas of your account that should be in order before enrolling in PayPal Giving Fund:
1. Verified email
Having a verified email is how PayPal knows that when they send you an email, you will actually receive it. When you sign up, you’ll get an email with a link to confirm your email address. Click the link to complete this step. You can also resend the verification email if needed.
Tip: Complete this step before doing anything else so PayPal can email you if you need assistance!
2. Accurate contact info
It’s fairly common for board members and staff at nonprofits to change. Make sure the contact on your PayPal account is correct. If not, go ahead and start the process of changing it now:
- Click Change next to the contact name
- Select Your contact name has changed and click Continue
- Upload the required documents (there can be as many as four!)
- Wait a few days for the change to occur
Tip: Check your email daily to make sure no additional action is required of you. Visit the Resolution Center regularly to make sure nothing is being requested of you there either.
3. Accurate business info
Make sure your business name is up-to-date. It should match what is on your 501(c)(3) designation letter from the IRS. If your nonprofit has changed names or has an alias, you may as well straighten this out now to avoid delays during the PayPal Giving Fund enrollment.
Your business URL will be displayed on your PayPal Giving Fund donation page. Make sure it’s accurate, too!
To change your business info, click Update next to the Business information row on your PayPal Business Profile.
4. Linked bank account
If you receive donations through PayPal, you probably want to transfer those funds to a bank account so you can put that money toward your cause.
First, go to your My Money page and add a bank account. After you have provided the account and routing information, PayPal will make two small deposits to your bank account. It will take 2-3 business days for this money to show up. Once it does, go back to PayPal and enter the two amounts to confirm your bank account.
5. Confirmed as a charity
Before enrolling in PayPal Giving Fund, you must confirm your charity status in PayPal. Even if you don’t follow through with PayPal Giving Fund enrollment, you should complete this step because it will get you a reduced transaction fee (2.2% instead of 2.9%) for almost all PayPal transactions, including donations.
To start the verification, start at PayPal’s Charity Confirmation page. Have a digital copy of your IRS designation letter, your EIN, and a recent bank statement ready. You’ll have to provide these in order to complete the verification.
Tip: Any documents uploaded to PayPal must be less than 2 MB. We’ve had the best luck with JPG and PDF files. If you get a vague error when uploading a file, visit the Resolution Center to see if a specific document has been requested and upload it there.
Make sure you’ve completed steps 1-4 above before starting this process. After you’ve provided all of the documentation, the confirmation will likely take at least a day.
6. Confirmed statement name
Okay, technically this isn’t a requirement for enrolling in PayPal Giving Fund, but it only takes a few seconds to make sure people can recognize your organization on their credit card statement, so why not do it now?
Go to My Selling Tools and click Update next to the Credit card statement name row to set them. There are two names you will need to provide: one is 11 letters, the other is 19.
Tip: 11 letters isn’t much to work with. Remove spaces and words such as ‘the’ to shorten your business name. Abbreviating also works!
Enroll in PayPal Giving Fund
Once your contact/business info are up-to-date and you see all those green checks on your Account Setup page, you’re ready to enroll in PayPal Giving Fund! 🤘
To enroll, start here. You will need to provide documentation to confirm your 501(c)(3) status and upload a recent bank statement. Sound familiar? Yep, you basically repeat the steps to confirm your charity status in step 5 up above.
Tip: If you get any errors during this process or PayPal Giving Fund shows that you have provided the necessary steps but will not let you proceed, check PayPal’s Resolution Center and your email for requests of additional information.
Once documentation is provided, it may take a business day or two or more before you can access your PayPal Giving Fund account. If you think the enrollment is taking too long or you need assistance, use PayPal Giving Fund’s contact page to request assistance.
Customize your donation page
After you sign in for the first time, visit your PayPal Giving Fund profile to customize your donation page.
Tip: Access your PayPal Giving Fund account here. Your dashboard provides links to your donation page, PayPal account, donation activity, and other resources.
There are six aspects of your PayPal Giving Fund account that you can customize. Most of them will be visible on your donation page, the others affect how donors find our interact with your organization.
Your nonprofit’s description will appear on the donation page. We recommend including your mission statement and one or two sentences that briefly describe how you pursue your mission.
Tip: Keep your description short, perhaps three or four sentences. You want it to be easy for new donors to decide to give to your organization. If they have to read a novella to learn about you, they may become reluctant to donate.
The logo will be presented front and center in a circle on your nonprofit’s donation page. Upload a high-resolution, square version of your logo. If your logo is rectangular in shape, add a little bit of padding so your logo does not come too close to the circle it will be displayed in.
Use a large (400×400 pixels), high-resolution (100+ DPI) PNG image for the best results. The image will be scaled down to as little as 58 pixels on mobile devices, but browsers do a great job shrinking hi-res images on the fly.
Tip: Do not use transparency in your image. When displaying your logo, PayPal Giving Fund uses a white background, but eBay uses black. If you use transparency in your image, there’s a good chance it won’t look good on one of those two sites!
3. Call to Action
The call to action does not appear to be used on any PayPal Giving Fund pages, but it does show up as the “slogan” of your nonprofit on eBay. This field is limited to 90 characters, so be concise!
4. Mission Area
You can choose up to three mission areas: one primary and two others. Be very careful when choosing these because at the time of this writing there is no way to remove them!
Tip: If you selected three mission areas and want to remove one, assign the same mission area to both secondary areas. Only one of them will be displayed.
Enter at least five words to help donors find your organization, separated by commas. You have about 255 characters to work with.
Tip: Use keywords that describe how your nonprofit pursues its mission, common misspellings of your nonprofit’s name, who you serve, and where. If you have room, add synonyms of your keywords, too.
6. Giving Fund Contact
This contact is different from your PayPal business account contact and can be changed without providing a variety of documentation. Pick someone who has the authority and access to manage your PayPal account information.
If you get stuck during enrollment or need help administering your PayPal Giving Fund account, first check your email and PayPal’s Resolution Center. It’s not uncommon for PayPal or PayPal Giving Fund to request additional information in one of those two places.
If a document is requested via email, do not reply to the email with an attached document. Instead, ask for a case to be opened in the Resolution Center. That way you can guarantee that the information is sent securely to the correct recipient.
If there isn’t any information from PayPal in your inbox or the Resolution Center, ask for help on PayPal Giving Fund’s contact page.
If you found this article helpful, please consider donating to Giving Jar. It only takes a few dollars to keep our servers running each month!
Tip: Looking for a summary of this article to share with your nonprofit? We made a slide deck for that!