In 2012, Dagmar Schildwach, Chief Development Officer of the Northern California and Northern Nevada chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, was brainstorming for ways to help her organization simplify the electronic payment process during the group’s fundraising walks. Up to that point, her chapter had been using traditional and unwieldy credit card machines that also required an electronic outlet to power them.
“We wanted to offer a credit card donation opportunity on our Walk Days,” she says, noting her region oversees 17 Alzheimer’s fundraising walks annually. After doing some research, she stumbled upon a solution for which she had high hopes.
Still, unsure how successful PayPal Here would be at easing her group’s electronic payment dilemma, she decided to tread lightly with the application, at first. So, in 2012, at the San Francisco/San Jose walk, her region’s largest, she and her volunteers used ten dongles linked to PayPal Here. The app proved easy to teach volunteers to use and donations increased over prior years.
That experiment proved so successful, Schildwach decided to expand the use of PayPal Here to several of her region’s fundraising walks in 2013. She was thrilled when the use of PayPal Here helped her group raised $18,000 for their cause, despite its use at only two of the group’s walks. The funds raised came not only from participants paying their registration fees, but from people donating money to the cause along the route.
In 2014, the app was utilized at all 17 of the Alzheimer’s Walks held in Schildwach’s region. Doing so upped on-the-spot donations to $38,000. Needless to say, Schildwach is thrilled. While that figure is but a small percentage of the $4.03 million her region raised for the Alzheimer’s Association during its 2014 walks, it represents a significant increase over what the group garnered prior to using the app.
“Before PayPal Here, when we used credit card machines at walks, we raised up to $5,000. But with the trusted name of PayPal, it gave people greater security to make donations. We even received a couple $1,000 donations at our walks this year. I attribute that to the ease of donating and the reliability of the PayPal system,” she says.
Schildwach and her group are so satisfied with their collaboration with PayPal Here, they are not considering changing anything about it in 2015. “We are happy with the results,” she says.
The plusses of PayPal Here
According to Schildwach, using PayPal Here offers several benefits. Among them is the safety the transaction enjoys. “Security is a big benefit of using PayPal since it uses an encryption system to protect credit card numbers,” she says. Other benefits of using the app include:
*Multi-users can collect payments on a PayPal account;
*The ease of inputting donor data needed to complete a transaction;
*The portability of the payment system, since electricity is not necessary;
*The simplicity of training people to use PayPal Here; and
*Donors can choose to receive a printed receipt on the spot or opt to have it emailed to them, thereby decreasing the use of paper.
Anyone with an Android smartphone or tablet, iPad or iPhone can download the free PayPal Here app. Non-profit organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, can order up to five free dongles when they establish a PayPal Here account, while for-profit ventures can order one at sign up. If desired, additional dongles can be purchased, says PayPal Nonprofit Engagement Manager Tanya Urschel.
Whereas PayPal charges a for-profit entity nearly three percent of the transaction plus 30 cents when PayPal is used online, a non-profit pays 2.2 percent plus 30 cents per online payment and only 2.7 percent when using a PayPal Here dongle. Those charges are “on par or lower” than those the Alzheimer’s Association paid to the companies from whom they formerly rented credit card machines, says Schildwach.
Today, over 400,000 non-profit organizations utilize PayPal, says Urschel. In 2013 alone, $5.5 billion dollars were donated to those charities using the PayPal app.
Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer.
Last modified on Tuesday, 20 January 2015