When you ask people about making a donation through their phone, they usually think of texting donations like they do for the Red Cross. That is about to change.

A growing number of services are allowing people to give donations from their phone. And services allowing you, as a nonprofit, to receive donations right at the visit or event. In this post I’ll highlight one of each: Givatron and Square.


Givatron is perfect for donors wanting to make a gift from their phone. I learned about the Givatron app for Android phones during a recent 501 Mission Place webinar on mobile giving. What I love about this app is its simplicity. Anyone can get the app for free at the Android App Market. When you open the app, you choose either USA or Canada and then search for your charity. That’s it. You use are able to make a donation of any amount using PayPal. Easy. Charities don’t have to set anything up and donors get to use the tools they already know: the app market and PayPal. You even get a donation receipt emailed to you after you make your gift!


Givatron is fine for donors wanting to make a gift. But what if you work for a nonprofit and want to process a gift while you’re with a donor? Maybe a donor not comfortable with PayPal or even with smartphones? Services like Square can help.

Square claims to let you process credit cards from your phone…without the need of an expensive merchant account! According to the Square website www.squareup.com, there are no set up fees or other charges. The app is free for both iPhones/iPads and Android phones. And the square card reader you plug into your phone is free too. They simply charge you a flat 2.75% for swiping the card. That’s competitive with any merchant account. But there are no pricey monthly fees or other charges associated with traditional merchant accounts.

You can register your account as a nonprofit and start receiving donations pretty quickly. And the donor can even get a receipt for their gift sent right to their email.

Replacing Direct Mail Giving?

These aren’t going to replace direct mail giving. But it’s exciting to see how these types of tools can transform your next fundraising event or donor solicitations.

There are now more cell phones than there are landlines. And a growing number of your donors are used to living much of their life with and through these phones. So why wouldn’t they want to give too?

From my perspective, the best part of these two tools is that they’re free to try!

What about you? What mobile giving tools are you hearing about?

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