Donations are a big part of an NGO. So in order to accept them from people and patrons across the world, we usually turn to online payment services – like PayPal, whose integrations on different platforms makes it one of the most widely used services today.
Opening a personal online payment account is easy. However, an account intended for collected donations is often another story.
This type of account means that you have to certify your status as a legitimate organization/project first, before you can start accepting funds. PayPal requires you to submit three (3) things (to email@example.com):
1. contact information
2. your organization’s official website URL; and
3. a brief business summary
Keep in mind, however, that there’s the possibility that PayPal may eventually request additional documents for further authentication. It’s always good idea to get your important files ready, such as proof of your tax-exempt status or registration papers.
Accepting donations as an individual
Last December, we received a related inquiry from Anthony (real identity undisclosed).
Anthony’s goal was simple: to raise reward money for a certain cause. So, as an individual, he tried to set up a PayPal account to collect donations from his relatives abroad.
While his effort is not associated with any organization, PayPal also requires – and it did – Anthony to provide a document that certifies his project. This could be a type of certificate, a news feature or a published article, a photo documentation, or a police report, among others. He follows the same process as NGOs, because it is an account intended for donations.
Obviously, this seemingly long process is all in the name of security. The PDAF scandal in the Philippines is more than enough proof that organizations can pose as something else. Authentication is a way for PayPal and for organizations to ensure that the cause is not a scam or a money-laundering scheme.