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Learn about “pay free forward” voluntary contributions

Before you get started

Walkthrough

Before you get started

Walkthrough

Before you get started

Walkthrough

In the fall of 2022, Give Lively introduced the ability for donors to make a voluntary contribution (not tax-deductible) to Give Lively and join forces with our founder-funders in supporting the nonprofit community.

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Before You Get Started

Video Overview

Walkthrough

In the fall of 2022, Give Lively introduced the ability for donors to make a voluntary contribution (not tax-deductible) to Give Lively and join forces with our founder-funders in supporting the nonprofit community. 

We call this donor-powered generosity “pay free forward” because donor contributions to Give Lively extend the reach and capability of our free products and services, thus helping the nonprofit community direct millions of dollars to their critical work, not digital fundraising software. Because we’re in it for nonprofits, not for profit.

Visit our How do voluntary donor contributions to Give Lively “pay free forward” FAQ for answers to the following:

  • Why allow for voluntary contributions to GL?
  • Why now?
  • How does “pay free forward” help?
  • What will Give Lively do with the funds?
  • How is the rollout happening?

To add to that foundational understanding, this article goes deeper into subjects useful to Give Lively member nonprofits.

What do voluntary contributions look like?

The “pay free forward” feature appears on a Give Lively donation form's "Payment Details” page. This is the screen that appears after the donation amount, frequency and payment method have been entered but before payment confirmation. Donors do not need to make a voluntary contribution. To ensure that the contribution is voluntary, the default amount is set to zero dollars.

The default amount is always $0. This is just an example with $5 showing.

Here is a video of the voluntary contribution box in context.

Does this mean that Give Lively is no longer free?

Give Lively is still free for nonprofits. That has not changed and will not change. Give Lively does not charge nonprofits for use of our fundraising platform – no setup fees, no platform fees, no membership or subscription fees, no annual or monthly fees, no hidden Give Lively fees. Learn why we’re free for nonprofits.

Using our original benefactors' sustaining annual generosity as a springboard, all we’ve done is open our doors to voluntary contributions from a broader pool of philanthropists. We are exploring this additional source of operating revenue to aid our pursuit of more opportunities on behalf of nonprofits.

We are already paying fees. Why add more?

The fees you are paying are not Give Lively fees. We don’t change for the unlimited use of our technology. However, we use independent services, called payment processors, to securely manage the financial transaction process, from donation to disbursement. These services – Stripe and PayPal – do charge small fees for every transaction, although the fees can sometimes be covered by the donor. Learn about third party fees.

“Pay free forward" is also not a fee. It is a tool through which donors may voluntarily contribute capital to Give Lively to extend the reach and capability of our free products and services. This helps the nonprofit community direct millions of dollars to their critical work, not digital fundraising software.

Does this mean Give Lively is in financial trouble?

Give Lively is on firm financial footing, made possible by our founder-funders' generous long-term commitment to nonprofit philanthropy. In keeping with their goodwill vision of democratized digital fundraising, they cover Give Lively's operating expenses so that we don’t have to charge nonprofits for use of our platform. The introduction of voluntary contributions is part of our exploration of additional sources of operating revenue to aid our pursuit of more opportunities on behalf of nonprofits.

Can nonprofits opt out of “pay free forward”?

There is no ability for nonprofits to opt out. Once fully implemented, the option for voluntary contributions will appear on all member nonprofits’ Give Lively donation forms. That said, the slow rollout is to allow for careful study so that we can be sure our donation forms remain intuitive to donors and donation completion rates continue to be high.

Can nonprofits pay for Give Lively instead of “pay free forward" on donation pages?

This option is not available.

Are nonprofits losing donations because of “pay free forward”?

The slow rollout of voluntary contribution is to allow for careful study so that we can be sure our donation forms remain intuitive to donors and donation completion rates continue to be high.

Can donors NOT make a voluntary contribution?

Contributions to Give Lively are entirely voluntary. Donors can bypass the voluntary contribution to complete their donation.

Can donors contribute without donating?

For donors who do choose to contribute to Give Lively, it must be in addition to a donation to a nonprofit. It is not possible to make a contribution without first making a donation. The voluntary contribution has no effect on the final donation amount the nonprofit receives.

Are voluntary contributions tax deductible?

Voluntary contributions are not tax deductible and are clearly labeled as such throughout the “pay free forward" process.

Do voluntary contributions appear on the donor’s receipt?

Voluntary contributions are clearly labeled in the donation receipt.

Are voluntary contributions included with every recurring payment on monthly donations?

No, the voluntary contribution is only added to the first payment on recurring monthly donations.

Do nonprofits see voluntary contributions in their donation data?

Voluntary contributions are not included in Give Lively downloadable CSV reports of donation data. They do, however, appear in Stipe data reports. Learn how Stripe processes and displays voluntary contributions.

How are voluntary contributions processed?

At present, the voluntary contributions feature only appears on donation forms where the donor chooses to pay by card, which is handled by Stripe. Learn how Stripe processes and displays voluntary contributions.

Can voluntary contributions be refunded?

Voluntary contributions can be refunded. Learn how to do this with the help of support at Give Lively.

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