Some nonprofit managers are using this time to re-evaluate their organization’s infrastructure. Whether it is video conference services, phone systems, web hosting, or email marketing – now is a good time to explore alternatives before everyone returns to the office. It is a unique opportunity that could cut costs, enhance productivity and, in the case of a payment processing solution, increase donations as well.

Peer to peer fundraising lens

I view payment processing through a “peer to peer fundraising lens” and after 20 years I’ve found that the perfect payment processor for peer to peer fundraising is Nelnet Payment Services.

Great payment processor checklist

Here is a checklist of characteristics that make a great payment processor for peer to peer fundraising.

  1. Great service. You can call and speak to a human being. Your software people can easily reach technical support.
  2. Quick turnaround. Money is deposited frequently into your account. This is especially important if you are running a peer to peer event with vendors that need to be paid in advance.
  3. Competitive and transparent pricing — without hidden charges.
  4. A full feature set that should include the following to give you the most flexibility in structuring your peer to peer fundraising campaign(s):
    • Recurring donations.
    • Flat Pledge donations where the giving and processing happen asynchronously.
    • Pledge-Per-Lap capabilities.
    • Minimum fundraising fulfillment where the amount of the transaction is not known till the campaign is complete.
    • Monthly or recurring donations that automatically credit the person that raised the money each time.
    • ACH (online check capabilities)
    • An API that is flexible, well documented, and not unnecessarily complex.
  5. Mobile and day-of payment processing options like card readers.
  6. Donation Widgets that can be embedded onto several web sites to boost online giving in other areas.
  7. Proven experience in the non-profit sector, which is extremely important as payment processing for e-commerce is a much different animal both technically and legally.
  8. Rigorous security and compliance standards.

The perfect payment processor

Over the years, I’ve integrated dozens of payment processors into peer to peer fundraising sites. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but Nelnet Payment Services is the closest thing to perfect for peer to peer fundraising that I’ve ever seen.


Syam Buradagunta

Guest Blogger / President and Founder of Blue Sky Collaborative

Syam Buradagunta is the president and founder of Blue Sky Collaborative, an organization specializing in peer-to-peer fundraising and support events that range from $10,000 dinners to multi-million dollar international fundraising runs.