Learn About Accepting
Credit Card Donations
at Special Events
Get the information you need
to accept swiped credit cards at your
special event. Accept credit cards donations
with your iPhone, Android or iPad.

Accepting Special Event Credit Card Donations

If your nonprofit organization would like to accept credit card donations when you are face to face with your donors, you will need a retail merchant account. With a retail merchant account and a credit card terminal (wired or wireless), you can give your supporters the option to use their credit card during your silent auction or special event.

Bluewater can help your nonprofit organization set up a merchant account and accept credit cards for less money than you ever thought possible.

How Accepting Credit Card Donations at a Special Event Works

The illustration shows how a nonprofit organization can accept a credit card donation at a special event, auction or retail store.
  1. The nonprofit organization slides (swipes) the donor’s card through a wired or wireless credit card terminal and enters the donation amount. The terminal then connects to Bluewater’s processor for authorization.
  2. The processor passes that information onto the bank that issued the credit card where the bank checks to see if the card is valid and see if the donation amount is available on the card.
  3. The issuing bank sends back an authorization number or a decline message to Bluewater’s processor.
  4. The information is passed back to the credit card terminal which prints a receipt for the donor to sign if the card is approved. It takes less than 15 seconds to complete steps 1-4 on a credit card machine using a phone line. A wireless terminal connected to the internet can cut this time to just a few seconds.
  5. At the end of the day the nonprofit organization must "settle" or "batch out" their terminal which will begin the final process of the transaction. In most cases Bluewater can automatically settle the transactions at a specified time each day. Once the settlement process is initiated the funds are transferred from the card issuing bank and are electronically deposited into the nonprofit organization’s bank account. It typically takes no more than two business days from the time of the original transaction for the funds to reach the nonprofit organization’s account.

For more information on how you can accept credit card donations at special events, call 1-866-519-9624.

Learning Center Learn more about accepting credit cards for donations or sales.