Because PayPal is simple to set up and administer, many of our clients are interested in using the service for online political fundraising.
Although it does not specialize in political contributions, PayPal does provide resources and instructions for users who want to do political fundraising. These resources are helpful to any local candidates who want to raise money online. There’s even a section for collecting mobile donations.
There are a few ways to process contributions via PayPal. The most common method is to process single donations through generated donation buttons and links. To enable donors to contribute to your campaign or PAC on a regular schedule, you can implement PayPal recurring donations by utilizing the Subscribe button. PayPal’s Custom Payment Pages feature gives you the ability to tailor your payment pages to the style of your political organization’s website, providing donors with a seamless payment experience.
Here are the basic steps for accepting campaign contributions through PayPal:
1) Create a campaign bank account.
2) Sign up for a PayPal Business Account.
a. Select Nonprofit as the business type
b. Select Political as the subcategory
3) Confirm that your political campaign account is a nonprofit
You will need to submit a tax letter from the IRS and a bank statement or voided check in the name of your organization, along with your PayPal email account and contact details, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) Add a Donate button to your campaign’s website
Use the button designer on PayPal.com to create your button, then simply copy and paste the resulting code into your site.
Do open your campaign PayPal account early, as there is some verification to complete before your account can be set up and approved.
Note that your organization is responsible for gathering donor information, such as employer and occupation, and obtaining permission from donors before sending future marketing outreach.
Unfortunately, PayPal does not provide an easy way to collect employer and occupation information from the donor. This information is required for every Federal race and many other political elections. This lack of flexibility in information gathering and setup makes PayPal bad for political campaigns and political action committees.
Also, if you are in a time crunch, it can take up to 3 to 5 days to have your PayPal account approved.
For these reasons, and because it lacks important online tools, we do not recommend PayPal as a donation processor for political campaigns. There are other political fundraising websites and services that are, frankly, better at doing the job. (See the links below.)
However, Online Candidate’s built-in donation form DOES allow for PayPal integration. This form will collect required data for you before sending the donor to PayPal to complete the transaction. It essential makes the donation a two-step process. Because the donation process is not seamless (like other donation services provide), you have a higher chance of incomplete transactions.
- Political Campaign Resources
- Crowdfunding Your Election Campaign
- Political Fundraising with PayPal
- Free Online Candidate Downloads
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