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Understand how donors can cover third-party transaction fees

Understand how donors can elect to cover third-party transaction fees on donations made through Give Lively.

Before you get started

Video Overview


Before you get started

Video Overview


Before you get started

Video Overview


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Before You Get Started

Video Overview

Video Transcript


Although Give Lively itself charges no fees, we use independent services to securely manage the financial transaction process from donation to disbursement. Those third-party providers do charge small fees for each donation. 

In response to this – to help nonprofits maximize the final donation amounts they receive – we make it possible for donors to cover the third-party fees in some cases. 

In what cases can donors cover the payment processing fee?

At present, the ability to cover payment processing fees is available (as an additional tax-deductible gift) when donors pay by: 

Transaction fees can't yet be covered by the donor when payments are made via:

Note that, at this time, the ability for donors to cover the fee does not apply to the currency conversion part of an international transaction, so there will be a slight difference between the fee-covered donation sent and the total amount received by the nonprofit.

Additionally, we accept voluntary contributions (not tax-deductible) to Give Lively from donors, but donors are not asked to cover transaction fees on these voluntary contributions; the ability to do so is reserved for donations to nonprofits so that nonprofits can make the most of donor generosity. Learn more about voluntary contributions to Give Lively.

How do donors cover the payment processing fees?

Depending on the payment method and generation of payment form, donors see one of two checkboxes:

On first-generation payment forms, when donors choose to pay by “Credit Card” or “Bank Account” on the “Choose a Payment Method” page, they see a checkbox on the following page where they may elect to: “Add <fee amount> to cover payment processing fees. Otherwise, we’ll only get <donation amount minus the fee amount> of your <donation amount> donation.”

First-generation payment form fee-coverage language.

On second-generation payment forms, when donors pay by “Card,” “Bank” or “PayPal,” donors see new language for this: “Add <fee amount> to your tax-deductible donation to help cover our payment processing fees for this transaction.”

Second-generation payment form fee-coverage language.

In both cases, for donors who opt to cover the payment processing fee, the confirmation screen and the automatic email receipt show the tally of the original donation amount plus the payment processing fee as the total donation amount.

How are payment processing fees calculated?

Payment processing fees vary according to the third-party providers, the type of payment method, whether the nonprofit beneficiary has taken advantage of discounted rates offered by payment processors (like this for Stripe) and whether the donor has an international card.

That said, transaction fees typically have up to two components: 

  • a variable fee, calculated as a percentage of the total donation amount (0.8% to 3.5%, depending on the method of payment and/or type of card) 
  • a fixed fee of zero to $0.30, depending on the method of payment and/or type of card.

For example, if a $100 donation is made by Mastercard to a nonprofit with a Stripe nonprofit discount, the variable fee for the donation is $2.20 ($100 x 2.2%) and the fixed component is $0.30, totaling $2.50 in fees. This same amount donated by bank/ACH transfer has an $0.80 fee ($100 x 0.8% with no fixed fee).

Can covered fees be refunded to the donor?

Stripe and PayPal never refund the transaction fees they charge. A nonprofit may choose to refund transaction fees, but at its own discretion and only out of its own budget. As Give Lively neither charges nor collects any fees (and doesn’t profit from any donation), it has no fees to refund and no fee balance from which to offer a refund.

A note about payment forms

Give Lively has two generations of payment forms in use. Your choice of features will dictate which form appears. At present, the ability to cover payment processing fees for bank/ACH and debit/credit cards is supported by both generations of payment forms. However, the ability to cover processing fees for PayPal payments is supported only by the second-generation form. Activation of this feature alongside the others on this list may trigger the second-generation payment form. Any combination of features beyond those detailed on the list will continue to see use of the first-generation form.

IMPORTANT: Both generations of payment forms guide donors through very similar giving experiences and there is no reason a nonprofit should favor one payment form over the other. Over the next few months, the new payment form will become the standard for all Give Lively donation pages. Learn more here.


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