Getting Started with Stripe

To process donations made using our fundraising technology, we rely on Stripe, an industry-leading payment processor. All Give Lively nonprofit members must complete the following three steps with Stripe in order to fundraise using our technology:

  1. Activate a Stripe account, and connect it to Give Lively
  2. Apply for Stripe's nonprofit discount
  3. Set up your Stripe account to accept ACH bank donations

Follow the instructions below to complete these three steps with Stripe.

1. Creating and activating a Stripe account, and connecting it to Give Lively

All Give Lively members must activate a Stripe account and connect it to Give Lively in order to receive funds raised using Give Lively technology (why?). To get started, watch this 70-second video and then follow the written-out step-by-step instructions.

For any nonprofit with an existing Stripe account, see the information further below about how to connect an existing Stripe account to Give Lively.

To create a NEW Stripe account:

  • Nonprofits that register with Give Lively automatically receive an email from Stripe with the subject line “Give Lively payments: claim your Stripe account” and advising that “Give Lively has created a Stripe account for you.”
  • Click on the “Claim your Stripe account” link in the email to open a Stripe login page.
  • Add a new password and then click on “Save your Stripe account” to confirm that the Stripe account has been set up. The new account can be visited by clicking on the “View your dashboard” button.

To activate a NEW Stripe account:

  • After logging in to Stripe, go to the Stripe dashboard and follow prompts to “Activate your Stripe account.”
  • The Activate your accountpage is an application form that must be completed and submitted since Stripe requires information about a business before it can process any payments. This includes business details, personal details, credit and statement details, bank details and two-step authentication.  
  • The application does not need to be completed in one sitting. Click “Save for later” to continue another time.
  • Once the new Stripe account is activated, it is automatically connected to Give Lively if the account was created by clicking on “Claim your Stripe account” in the “Give Lively payments: claim your Stripe account” email received from Stripe. If the account was created without clicking on the link in the email, see the information below about how to connect an existing Stripe account to Give Lively.

To connect an EXISTING Stripe account to Give Lively:

  • At the end of the Give Lively membership registration process, on the “Here’s What’s Next: Connect With Stripe” landing page, there’s an option to click on “connect your Stripe account to our platform.”
  • Simultaneously, a message is sent to the email registered with the new Give Lively account. This “Give Lively + [Nonprofit Name] / Membership Next Steps” email contains a “Connect to Stripe” button.
  • Both the landing page and the email button open Stripe on a page announcing that “Give Lively would like you to start accepting payments with Stripe.”
  • Sign in to Stripe by clicking on the “Already have a Stripe account?” button at the top right of the page.
  • IMPORTANT: If the Stripe user has more than one Stripe account, then choose the Stripe account that should be associated with our Give Live fundraising technology. Log in to the correct account or click the name at the top of the Stripe left navigation menu to choose the correct Stripe account.
  • If the selected Stripe account is not yet activated, then a one-page application form must be completed and submitted, since Stripe requires more information about a business before it can process any payments. This includes business details, personal details, credit and statement details, bank details and two-step authentication. Remember: Any nonprofit with an existing Stripe account that completes the Give Lively membership process but doesn’t connect it to Stripe will not be able to move forward with Give Lively membership approval.
  • If the nonprofit’s Stripe account is already activated, then the connection to Give Lively will happen automatically and the Give Lively membership process can move to approval.

For more specifics about activating and maintaining a Stripe account, visit Stripe’s Managing Your Account page.

2. Applying for Stripe's nonprofit discount

Give Lively Nonprofit Members must apply for Stripe's nonprofit discount in order to fundraise with our platform, which includes Text-to-Donate and Peer-to-Peer fundraising.

In order to receive a discount on Stripe's payment processing fees, nonprofits must have 501(c)(3) status and an EIN number. To apply for the discount, message Stripe with your EIN number and a request for the discount to or visit this support page.

Once your nonprofit status has been confirmed by Stripe, donations made to your organization using Give Lively products will be processed at Stripe's nonprofit rate. As of this writing, Stripe's nonprofit fee structure is 2.2% + $0.30 for most major credit card transactions, 3.5% for American Express transactions, and 0.8% capped at $5 for ACH direct debits.

Our platform's "Cover the Transaction Fee" feature is calculated based on this discounted rate. If you haven't received the discount yet from Stripe, there will be a discrepancy in amount raised between our system and your Stripe Dashboard.

Stripe will not retroactively apply the nonprofit discount, so please make sure to complete the above steps as soon as possible to ensure you get the most out of every donation.

3. Setting up your Stripe account to accept ACH bank donations

Donations via ACH (bank account direct debits) are great for major gifts and monthly sustainers because they come with a lower transaction fee from Stripe (0.8% with a cap of $5 in total fee).

Here's how to accept donations via ACH:

  • Sign in to your Stripe account and then go to the ACH Guide page. (It's easiest to sign in to Stripe and then click on the link in the preceding sentence.)
  • Click the blue "Enable ACH" button on the top of the page:

  • After ACH has been enabled, the button will turn green (see below):

(Please note: Moving forward, when visiting this page, the button/section to agree to the terms of service will not appear.)

Stripe automatically imposes a limit of $2,000 total on ACH payments made through our platforms. If you expect to receive more than that in ACH donations, contact Stripe Support and they will increase the limit for you.

To donate via direct debit, donors can select "Donate by Bank Account" on your fundraising page. When they click this, they will be redirected to a list of banks provided by Plaid, a service that instantly verifies bank credentials, and asked to select their bank. If their bank does not appear, they can click "Don't see your bank? Search instead" to find it. If their bank is not in Plaid's database, they will not be able to donate via ACH. After donors select their bank, they will be directed to sign in to their bank's online portal. Once they've entered their sign in info, they will be directed back to your fundraising page where they'll receive a "Thank You" message for completing their donation.

Need more help? Contact Stripe Support.

Done with these steps? Return to New Member Guide and continue to Step #2: Complete Your Nonprofit Profile.

July 25, 2019