Apple Pay for nonprofits: How to accept donations

In the years since its release in 2014, Apple Pay has gained prominence — slowly at first and then quickly. The pandemic fast-tracked adoption of the system (not least because it was contactless). In 2019, only 65 percent of U.S. retail locations accepted Apple Pay; today, over 85 percent of the nation’s retailers do.

Of course, it’s not only retailers that accept Apple Pay; taxis, subway stations, and even some vending machines are now accepting payment using Apple’s popular technology.

But what about Apple Pay for nonprofits?

Just two years after its initial release, Apple expanded Apple Pay to support donations to charitable organizations. The American Red Cross and UNICEF were earlier adopters; nonprofits like yours can benefit as well. It’s easy to take advantage of this convenient payment method.

And if you collect donations through Apple Pay, your donors will enjoy key benefits too, including

  • Reduced user friction. Users don’t have to enter billing or contact info, create an account, fill out lengthy forms, or tender a credit card at checkout — they can donate instantly.
  • Increased security. Donors have to use Face ID, Touch ID, or their passcode to access Apple Pay, and they’re never required to provide their credit card number.
  • Greater trust. Users recognize the Apple Pay brand as a signifier of security. This comes in handy when you operate a nonprofit that may not be well known.

As a result, you can expect to see an increase in conversions when you use this payment system.

So how do you take advantage of this technology and accept Apple Pay at your nonprofit organization? Keep reading to learn about basic setup steps and options for implementation.

How to set up Apple Pay for nonprofits: 4 steps

1. Get set up with a payment service provider

To use Apple Pay, you must first start an account with a payment service provider (PSP) — such as, Square, or Stripe — and implement the service on your website.

Alternatively, if you currently use an e-commerce platform that supports Apple Pay, you can use an Apple Pay software development kit (SDK)* or JavaScript application programming interface (API) from your platform providers, though this option would still require an account with a PSP.

If you already accept donations through an app or website, you likely already have one or more PSPs or e-commerce platforms set up.

*If you’re unfamiliar with SDKs and APIs, this article explains the differences between the two.

2. Join the Apple Developer Program

This is a requirement: Even if you don’t plan to create an app, you must create an Apple Developer Program account and complete some basic steps to enable your website to accept Apple Pay payments.

This will not only facilitate Apple Pay but also grant you access to software, app services, and other tools that will help you reach customers on the App Store, iMessage, and other venues in the Apple ecosystem.

You can enroll in the program here. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An Apple ID with two-factor authentication enabled
  • A DUNS number
  • Legal entity status
  • Legal binding authority
  • A website

3. Gain approval to accept donations

Next up is getting approved to accept donations. You’ll have to do so through Benevity, an Apple partner company. Benevity is a charitable donation management platform; it supports Apple Pay for nonprofits by vetting and determining eligibility.

You can register with Benevity here. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Standard information about your organization
  • Your Apple Developer Team ID

Apple will notify you when Benevity approves you.

4. Implement Apple Pay in your app or website

At this point, you’ll have access to Apple Pay for donations. The only thing left for you to do is activate Apple Pay on your app, website, or e-commerce platform. Refer to the documentation provided by your PSP, app developer, or other provider. Implementation may be as simple as enabling Apple Pay in your settings.

How to take your nonprofit to the next level with Jotform

Jotform, a powerful form builder, not only enables you to accept donations via Apple Pay but also to create forms for volunteer applications, signup sheets, event registrations, and more. The software readily integrates with popular PSPs like Square and Stripe, and by taking your operations online, you’ll avoid the hassle of paper-based processes.

What’s more, you can accept donations directly from your own mobile app with Jotform Apps. You don’t need any coding knowledge to develop an app, and you can even use the app builder’s Donation Box to add a ready-made donation collection element with a click. Once it’s set up, donors can conveniently send money from their phones, and you’ll get more of the funds you need to continue your organization’s mission.

To top it all off, we offer nonprofits an exclusive discount. Learn more and get started here.

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