Create, activate and manage a Stripe account (required to use Give Lively tech)
Stripe is an industry-leading payment processor trusted by over 100,000 companies and nonprofits. To use Give Lively technology, you must have an activated Stripe account connected to Give Lively. A fully effective account is also enabled for ACH (bank) transfers and has applied for Stripe’s nonprofit discount. Learn how to set it up.
Before You Get Started
What is Stripe?
Stripe is an industry-leading payment processor trusted by over 100,000 companies and nonprofits, including Lyft, Shopify, UNICEF and NPR. A payment processor manages the financial transaction process by mediating between merchants and financial institutions.
Stripe and Give Lively are not the same company. Much like an account with PayPal or Facebook, a Stripe account is independent of your account with Give Lively. By connecting your Stripe account to the Give Lively platform, however, you grant us permission to accept donations, deliver donor data, and transfer funds to you through your Stripe account.
Is Stripe secure?
Yes. Stripe is a PCI Level 1 compliant company, which means that its payment processing reaches the highest possible security standards. Learn more about Stripe's PCI compliance.
You should therefore not hesitate to provide them with your date of birth and social security number, both of which Stripe must ask for by law "as part of Stripe’s mandatory identity verification requirement" to activate your nonprofit's account. As described by Stripe: "Stripe must collect, verify, and maintain information on the individuals associated with every US Stripe account, as required by our regulators and financial partners. This is intended to promote transparency and prevent individuals from using complex company structures to hide terrorist financing, money laundering, tax evasion, and other financial crimes." Stripe does not use this information for any other purpose.
Is Stripe free, like Give Lively?
There is no cost to setting up a Stripe account, but Stripe charges a small transaction fee to collect money from a credit card or through a bank, as well as fines for failed/disputed ACH charges. Give Lively offers donors the option to cover the transaction fees. If declined, this fee gets subtracted from the donation. When covered, this legally increases the value of a donor’s contribution, the gross value of which is necessarily reflected in a nonprofit’s fundraising totals.
Keep in mind that:
- You must apply to Stripe to receive its nonprofit discount; learn how to apply for this discount.
- Give Lively’s fundraising platform allows donations through ACH (bank transfer) but it is not automatically enabled. You must enable ACH payments with Stripe to prevent your donors from seeing errors. Enable ACH now.
- Give Lively offers donors the option to cover Stripe's transaction fees, except when donations are made via a digital wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay). If donors decline to cover fees, they are subtracted directly from the donation. When accepted, the fee coverage legally increases the value of a donor’s contribution, the gross value of which is necessarily reflected in a nonprofit’s fundraising totals.
- Stripe charges $4.00 for failed ACH/direct debit payments and $15.00 for disputed ACH/direct debit payments.
- Making donations via ACH/bank transfer is by far the most effective, lowest cost payment option and ensures that you get more money to use toward your services.
- For all gifts under $30, you get more if your donors use American Express, and for all gifts above $30, you'll get more if your donors use a Visa or MasterCard.
What should I check Stripe for?
Stripe is an essential money-management tool. You should check your Stripe account (not Give Lively) first for the following operations:
- Cancel a donor's monthly donation or subscription
- Set up notifications for every donation
- Issue a full or partial refund for a donation
- Export donor data from Stripe
- Respond to Stripe account restrictions
- Troubleshoot donations made via ACH/direct debit
- Troubleshoot donation form errors that donors see
- Schedule payouts
- Change Stripe account email address
Get started with Stripe
To use Give Lively technology, you must have an activated Stripe account connected to Give Lively. A fully effective account is also enabled for ACH (bank) transfers and has applied for Stripe’s nonprofit discount.
Click the links below to complete each step (links connect to sections lower on this page):
1. Create and activate a Stripe account, and connect it to Give Lively
To create, activate and connect a NEW Stripe account:
- Nonprofits that apply for Give Lively membership but do not have an existing Stripe account must create a new account in the "Step 4 of 4: Connect a Stripe account" page of the membership application process.
- As part of the separate Stripe application process, nonprofits must complete and submit a Stripe application form, 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. Stripe created this video to help walk you through the process.
- The Stripe application does not need to be completed in one sitting. Click “Save for later” to continue at another time.
- Once the new Stripe account is activated, it is automatically connected to Give Lively if the account was created by clicking on the “Connect with Stripe” button on the "Step 4 of 4: Connect a Stripe account" page of the Give Lively membership application process, or in the "You're Almost Done" email received from Give Lively. If the account was created without clicking on that button, see the information below about how to connect an existing Stripe account to Give Lively.
To connect an EXISTING Stripe account to Give Lively:
- Nonprofits that apply for Give Lively membership and have an existing Stripe account must connect it to Give Lively during the membership application process. This happens in step 4 of the membership application process. On either the "Step 4 of 4: Connect a Stripe account" page of the membership application process, or in the "You're Almost Done" email received from Give Lively, click the "Connect with Stripe" button. Note that the Stripe application does not need to be completed in one sitting. Click “Save for later” to continue at another time.
- If you are not already logged in to Stripe when you click the "Connect with Stripe" button, both the landing page button and the email button open Stripe on a page with a Give Lively logo and a notice that “Give Lively would like you to start accepting payments with Stripe.” This is a long page with lots of requests for additional account information, but you may ignore all of that. Simply sign in to Stripe by clicking on the “Already have a Stripe account?” button at the top right of the page.
IMPORTANT: If you have more than one Stripe account, it is vital that you log in with the Stripe account that will be associated with our Give Lively fundraising technology.
- If you are already logged in to Stripe when you click the “Connect with Stripe” button, there are two possibilities:
+ If you have only one Stripe account, you will be taken to your account.
+ If you have more than one Stripe account, you will be directed to a page where Stripe prompts you to select the correct Stripe account. It is vital that you log in with the Stripe account that will be associated with our Give Lively fundraising technology.
- If you accidentally log in with the wrong Stripe account, review the section below about what to do when the wrong account is connected and you wish to change it.
- In all cases:
+ If your Stripe account is already activated, and if the account was reached by clicking on the "Connect with Stripe" button in step 4 of the application process, then the connection to Give Lively will happen automatically and the Give Lively membership process can move to the review phase.
+ If your 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. Stripe created this video to help walk you through the process. Once the new Stripe account is activated, it is automatically connected to Give Lively if the account was reached by clicking on the “Connect with Stripe” button in step 4 of the application process. The Give Lively membership process can move to the review phase.
For more specifics about activating and maintaining a Stripe account, visit Stripe’s Managing Your Account page.
Confirm or change the Stripe account connected to Give Lively
Some nonprofits have more than one Stripe account. It is absolutely essential that you connect the correct Stripe account to Give Lively. If not, donations made through Give Lively won't be reported in the places you look for them.
To double-check whether the correct Stripe account is connected to Give Lively:
- Log in to the Stripe dashboard.
- Click on the dropdown arrow next to your Stripe account name in the top-left navigation menu to see your multiple Stripe accounts.
- Click on the account that should be connected to Give Lively and visit “Settings" > “Authorized applications" to confirm that Give Lively is authorized.
As a point of information, to learn the Stripe account number of the Stripe account connected to Give Lively:
- Log in to the Nonprofit Admin Portal.
- Choose "Organization Settings" in the navigation bar at the top of the page.
- Directly beneath the nonprofit name you will find the nonprofit's EIN, Stripe account number and date your nonprofit became a Give Lively member.
If the wrong account is connected and you want to change it:
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line, write "Change Stripe account”. In the body of the email, provide (1) the name of your nonprofit, (2) your nonprofit’s EIN number, and (3) the PRIMARY email address of the Stripe account that should be connected to Give Lively.
- Give Lively’s Customer Support team will disconnect the old account.
IMPORTANT: As soon as this happens, your Give Lively account will be temporarily deactivated, you will not be able to log in to the Nonprofit Admin Portal and none of your fundraising pages will be active.
- Give Lively’s Customer Support team will send you a “Give Lively + [Nonprofit Name] / Membership Next Steps” email (to the PRIMARY email address of the Stripe account that should be connected to Give Lively) that prompts you to “Connect with Stripe”.
- Follow the “Connect with Stripe" instructions in the activate a Stripe account step-by-step directly above.
Once the new activated account is connected to Give Lively, your Give Lively account will be reactivated, you will again be able to log in to the Nonprofit Admin Portal, and all of your existing fundraising pages will function as normal.
VERY IMPORTANT: All transactions -- including donations and ticket sales -- made while your old Stripe account was connected will NOT be transferred to the new Stripe account. This means that any donations received as part of recurring gifts associated with your old Stripe account will remain tied to that old account. In accordance with Stripe terms, if the old account is not reactivated within 21 days, Stripe will refund all of the money received but not disbursed by that account. It is essential that you transfer all funds into the new Stripe account, or at least reactivate your old account. Contact Stripe Support to transfer funds from the old account to the new one.
2. Apply for Stripe's nonprofit discount
In order to receive a discount on Stripe's payment processing fees, nonprofits must be a public charity (not private foundation) with 501(c)(3) status and an EIN. To apply for the discount, message Stripe with your EIN number and a request for the discount to email@example.com or visit this support page.
Once your nonprofit status been confirmed by Stripe, donations made to your organization using Give Lively products will be processed at Stripe's nonprofit rate.
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 between the amount raised between our system and your Stripe Dashboard.
3. Set up your Stripe account to accept ACH bank donations
THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP! DON’T SKIP IT!
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. This chart makes clear the fees associated with using Stripe.
However, while the option to “Donate via Bank Account” (ACH/bank transfer) appears on all of our fundraising products by default, it is usually not automatically enabled by Stripe. ACH payments must be enabled within Stripe to prevent your donors from seeing errors.
To check whether it is already enabled:
- Log in to Stripe.
- Click on the “Setting” button (gear icon) in the left-hand navigation menu.
- Click on “Payment Methods” in the “Payments” section and select the “Eligible” tab.
- Click on the little gray arrow at the left of the “ACH Credit Transfer” line to open up details about it.
- If the status is shown as “Active” then ACH is enabled (even though it appears in the list of “Eligible” payment methods). If the status is “Available” then ACH is not yet enabled.
If it is not already enabled, Stripe requires that nonprofits do the following to ensure seamless ACH transfers:
- 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).
If you are having difficulty with any step, contact Stripe Support.
Once ACH is enabled, when donors give via ACH, they select “Donate by Bank Account” on your fundraising page and are requested to select from a list of banks provided by Plaid, a service that instantly verifies bank credentials. 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 returned to your fundraising page where they’ll receive a “Thank You” message for completing their donation.