Learn About Accepting
Credit Card Donations Online
Transform your website into a place where donors
can make contributions or purchase products.

Accepting Online Donations or Orders

If your nonprofit organization would like to accept donations or sell products on its website, you will need online credit card processing. With the help of an online merchant account and credit card payment gateway, you can give your supporters the option to make a donation at any time, day or night.

Bluewater can provide you with an online merchant account and the ability to accept credit card donations or payments on your organization’s website.

How Online Processing Works

The illustration shows how a nonprofit organization can accept credit card donations on its website.
  1. The donor goes to the nonprofit organization’s website and completes the donation form. As part of the process they indicate the amount of money they want to donate using a credit card and provide their billing information.
  2. If the nonprofit organization does not have a secure page to store and process credit card information, the donor can be transferred to a secure payment gateway. This process can be set up quickly and usually requires only a small amount of technical expertise on the part of the nonprofit organization’s staff. If the nonprofit organization does have a secure site, then the information will be "passed" to the payment gateway without the donor ever leaving the nonprofit organization's site.
  3. Once the donor’s billing information has made it to the payment gateway, it is then transmitted to the processor.
  4. The processor passes the information from the online payment gateway onto the bank that issued the credit card, which verifies that the card is valid and that the amount requested is available on the card.
  5. The bank sets aside the purchase amount for the nonprofit organization, then sends back an approval number or a decline message to the processor.
  6. Within just a few seconds, the information in steps 2-6 is passed back to the gateway.
  7. The gateway passes the approval code back to the nonprofit organization's site or, if the nonprofit organization does not have a secure site, gives the donor their approval information. At this point, the nonprofit organization can also choose to have the payment gateway email the donor a payment receipt.
  8. Final payment is secured and is deposited in the nonprofit organization’s account. It typically takes two business days from the time of the original transaction for the funds to reach the nonprofit organization's bank account.

For more information on how you can accept online donations, call 1-866-519-9624.

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