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Credit Card Merchant Services For Nonprofits

Credit card merchant services for nonprofits have different standards when it comes to accepting payments. Whether you have an online store, take donations at events, or offer in-person services, if you’re registered as a charitable organization such as a 501-C3, then you’ll need to find a payment processor that works in your field. 


In order to open a merchant account that allows nonprofits to accept credit card payments, you should first contact a processor that boards custom accounts. Unlike Paypal, Square, or Stripe, custom providers take the time to learn your business and set up an account that suits your organization.

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High Risk Merchant Account For Nonprofits

Alternative merchant account providers for nonprofits are often called “high risk”. This term doesn’t make claim to the type of organizations they serve, but rather denotes the bank’s perspective on the types of accounts commonly boarded by alternative providers. 


To elaborate, high risk merchant accounts also board firearms merchants, cbd business, and even adult entertainment venues. These high risk types of businesses have different risk profiles. Some may have age regulations while others may be seen as reputational risk. Nonetheless, the payment processors that create custom merchant accounts will help you accept credit cards for your nonprofit.

Credit Card Processing for Nonprofits

Credit card processing for nonprofits can be a bit more challenging than it is for standard for-profit businesses. Nonetheless, there are a few options available to nonprofits seeking credit card merchant services:


  • Nonprofit Payment Processors – Some payment processors like Zen Payments specialize in working with nonprofit organizations. These providers may be more willing to work with nonprofits and may offer more competitive rates and fees.


  • Custom Merchant Accounts: In addition to traditional payment methods like credit cards, nonprofits can consider accepting cryptocurrency or using an echeck processor. These options give you the freedom to expand in new fields as well as having a reliable payment solution.


  • High Risk Solutions: If you search for high risk payment processing, you’ll find a number of providers that offer multiple ways to accept payments.These providers often cater to nonprofits, and are more willing to work with organizations that are considered higher risk.

Instant Approval Merchant Account

It is important to note that the process for setting up credit card merchant services for a nonprofit may be slightly different than it is for a for-profit business. Nonprofits may need to provide additional documentation or may need to go through a more detailed underwriting process. 


In some cases you can get an instant approval on your merchant account, however, it’s rare to find a company that can review your business information so quickly. Moreover, it’s a good idea to take your time and share all of the essential documents your processor requests so you can get the lowest rate on your account.

Accepting Payments At Your Nonprofit

At the end of the day, the goal is to be able to raise funds. And although payment processing for a nonprofit can be a bit more challenging to find, there are plenty of resources to help you get the solution you need.


By working with a nonprofit payment processor, exploring alternative payment methods, or finding a payment processor that specializes in high risk businesses, it is possible to set up a successful nonprofit that is able to accept credit card payments. Just be sure to do your research and speak with an informed team that can help you along the way.

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