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Understand the third-party fees on donations through Give Lively

Everything you need to know about the fees and payment methods associated with use of Give Lively technology. We don't charge you anything, but third-party processors do.

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


We don't charge for the unlimited use of our powerful and practical technology. However, we use independent services to securely manage the financial transaction process, from donation to disbursement. These services do charge small fees, although the fees can sometimes be covered by the donor. (Learn more about disbursement and the data privacy and security practices put in place by us and these independent services.)

Which payment methods does Give Lively accept?

Give Lively fundraising technology currently accepts:

To process major credit cards and debit cards, including those stored in Apple Pay and Google Pay, we rely on Stripe, an industry-leading payment processor trusted by thousands of companies and nonprofits.

IMPORTANT: An activated Stripe account must be connected to Give Lively in order for member nonprofits to process and receive donations made using Apple Pay or Google Pay. Learn how to use Stripe, including how to create, activate and connect a Stripe account, how to apply for Stripe’s nonprofit discount, and how enable ACH/bank transfer.

Give Lively nonprofit members can add PayPal, but only as an optional additional donation-processing method. At the present time, it can't be the sole payment processor. All other payment methods (credit/debit, ACH etc.) are processed via Stripe.

To manage ACH/direct debit, we work with Plaid and Stripe Financial Connections, two financial technology services that enable users to interact with their bank accounts. ACH/direct debit transfers are processed by Stripe and must first be enabled through Stripe.

What are the fees associated with each payment method?

As described above, we partner with Stripe and PayPal (two industry-leading payment providers) to manage donations. Stripe and PayPal charge a small transaction fee for each donation. There is a discounted base rate for qualified nonprofits that register with Stripe and PayPal. As fees are always subject to change at any time by the independent services, always verify directly with the services themselves for the latest updates.

Here's what you need to know about Stripe fees as of September 2023.

Learn how to apply for the Stripe nonprofit discount. Stripe fees may be covered by the donor, except when donations are made via a digital wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay). As fee coverage legally increases the value of a donor’s contribution, the gross value is necessarily reflected in a nonprofit’s fundraising totals.

That means, assuming nonprofits have applied for and received the Stripe nonprofit discount:

  • Making donations via ACH/bank transfer is by far the most cost-effective payment option and ensures that you get more money to use toward your services.
  • If domestic donors opt to use their credit cards: For all gifts under $23, you get more if your donors use American Express; for all gifts above $23, you'll get more if your donors use a Visa or MasterCard. This calculation is based on the nonprofit discounted rate for Stripe transaction fees (see above).

Here's what you need to know about PayPal fees as of September 2023.

* To enjoy special discounted transaction fees on payment through PayPal, a qualified organization must register an account with PayPal as a nonprofit and confirm its nonprofit status. This helpful PDF includes a checklist of what is needed to complete PayPal’s registration. Learn more about how to get confirmed charity status with PayPal.

** The fixed portion of the fee on international PayPal donations is based on the currency used. See PayPal's fixed fees for sending in other currencies.

REMINDER: Give Lively nonprofit members can only add PayPal as an optional additional payment method. PayPal can't be the sole payment processor. All other payment methods (credit/debit, ACH etc.) are processed via Stripe. PayPal’s transaction fees can be covered by the donor when using the second-generation payment form, but not when using a first-generation payment form. (In the near future, we will be adding the option to process recurring monthly donations.)

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 when using PayPal is supported only by our second-generation payment form. Activation of this option alongside the other items on this list may trigger the second-generation payment form. Any combination of options beyond those detailed on the list will continue to see use of the first-generation donation 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.

Does Give Lively charge any fees?

We don't charge any fees. The use of our platform is free for nonprofits and membership is both free and non-committal.

Give Lively was created by philanthropists to provide free fundraising technology to nonprofits. Our founders have worked extensively with charitable organizations and seen first-hand the positive impact innovative tech can have on fundraising. They started Give Lively in 2015 based on the belief that every nonprofit, no matter its size, should not sacrifice its means to satisfy its mission. So we collaborated directly with them to propel the development of our product -- a powerful, practical and free fundraising platform.

Our philanthropist founders cover the cost of running our business, which means we do not charge nonprofits for use of our technology. There are no setup fees, no monthly or annual fees, no commitments, and no hidden transaction fees beyond those described above and charged by our third-party partners.

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.” A contribution is entirely voluntary and has no effect on the final donation amount the nonprofit receives. Learn more about voluntary contributions to Give Lively.

Are donations to nonprofits made through Give Lively tax deductible?

Yes. Donations to nonprofits are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. (Donors should always consult a tax professional to determine deductibility.)

Immediately after donors complete their transactions via a nonprofit's Give Lively-powered fundraising page, they receive an email from containing a receipt for their donation that they can use for tax purposes.

All receipts include the following language:

"Your payment has been processed. Please save this message as your official receipt. No goods or services were received by the donor as a result of this gift."


<Type of donation> to <Nonprofit Name> <amount>
Total Payment: <payment amount>
Total Tax-Deductible Donation <amount of the total payment that is tax-deductible>

<Nonprofit Name> is recognized as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax ID: <Tax ID>). Donations to organizations with 501(c)(3) status may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax professional to determine deductibility.”

Receipts for donations made through a second-generation form will also include the following information:

“Order ID:” <#######>

“Campaign name”

“<Name of the fundraiser>,” if applicable

“One-Time Voluntary Contribution to Give Lively (Not tax-deductible) <amount>,” if applicable

“In honor of <name and email of the acknowledged>,” if applicable

“In memory of <name and email of the acknowledged>,” if applicable

“Your name will not be displayed publicly,”, if the donation was made anonymously

“Total payment <amount paid, both tax-deductible and not tax-deductible>”

Here's an example:

Note that this receipt also includes a link to a User Portal through which donors can directly and securely view their donation history and receipts, and manage recurring donations.

Thank-you messages/receipts are automatically sent to every donor. Nonprofits cannot opt out of this feature. At present, thank-you messages/receipts can only be reissued by Give Lively’s support team.


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