Choruses use a wide variety of credit card processors for collecting membership dues. We interviewed a few dozen choruses to find out what the best options are and how much they cost. Check out the results below!
|Quickbooks Payments||2.4% + 25¢1||3.4% + 25¢1||N/A|
|PayPal||2.7%||2.2% + 30¢2||N/A|
|Square||2.75%||3.15% + 15¢||N/A|
|Patron Manager CRM||2.5%3||N/A|
|Authorize.net||2.9% + 30¢||2.9% + 30¢||$25|
|Chorus Connection||2.9% + 30¢||***4|
- If you process more than $3K/mo, it's worth spending the monthly fee to get the "Reduced Rates" (see website).
- Pricing for non-profits.
- 3.25% for AmEx.
- Requires Chorus Connection subscription.
- Rates vary depending on volume.
When it comes to price and ease of use, Quickbooks Payments, PayPal, and Square are all great choices.
With a fee of 2.2% + 30¢, PayPal for Nonprofits is hard to beat when it comes to accepting online payments for membership dues.
Bank Merchant Accounts
You may have noticed the absence of traditional bank merchant accounts from the above list. There are some choruses that process membership dues through such accounts, but I would strongly encourage you to avoid doing so for the following reasons:
- These accounts typically have opaque and highly confusing fee structures. Of the choruses I've talked to that use such accounts, not a single one knew what their exact fees were, even after rereading their contract!
- The rates often aren't competitive with the recommendations listed above. Typically rates start around 3.5-3.75%, though they can dip under 3% under certain conditions (though, of course, the banks make it practically impossible to understand those conditions).
- Some merchant accounts involve monthly, annual, and/or other fees.
Do yourself a favor: use a vendor that will keep your life simple. You already have enough to worry about.
Warning: shameless self-promotion.
Keeping track of membership dues is a pain. Many choruses accept payments via cash, check, and credit card (swiped or online payments). All of that information has to be integrated into a single place in order to figure out who still owes money.
One major advantage of a system like Chorus Connection is that payments are integrated directly with your membership database. Members can pay online, and it automatically updates reports like the ones below (see video). Automated reporting = fewer errors + less work = happier you!
Needless to say, every organization has different needs. Ultimately, you'll need to research the options available to see which is the best fit for you. Hopefully this post gets you off to a good start!
What about you? What does your organization use? Share your experience in the comments below!