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Apple Pay extended to handle donations to US nonprofits

Apple Pay extended to handle donations to US nonprofits

US nonprofits can now receive donations via Pay, ’s and digital wallet service. Instant donations can be made in this way to 19 organisations, with more due to accept it soon.

Apple Pay offers a secure way to donate to a nonprofit with just one touch. It is similar to contactless payments but with the addition of two-factor authentication for security.

It makes the giving process faster and easier by removing the need to enter billing and contact information on web forms.

It can be used on a compatible iOS device or on the web with Safari through macOS Sierra.

Donate to charity: water via Apple Pay

Charity: water accepts monthly gifts to its regular giving programme via Apple Pay.

Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay, explained:

“Websites and apps tell us they see twice as many people actually completing a purchase with Apple Pay than with other payment methods. We think offering such a simple and secure way to support the incredible work nonprofits do will have a significant impact on the communities they serve.”

Apple Pay was announced in September 2014 and initially available only to merchants in the USA. It has been expanded internationally since then, with payments being handled in the UK for the first time in July 2015.

Christmas giving

The extension to nonprofits comes at an opportune time, as US nonprofits gear up for the Christmas season of giving and the year-end campaigns that typically generate major spikes in giving.


Jennifer Bailey's quotation about Apple Pay and charitable giving

Nonprofits have had to wait behind for-profit merchants for Apple payment systems before. Apple had a policy of not allowing developers to add ‘donate’ functionality to apps, including in-app payments, in its iTunes app store. Aware of the missed opportunity for charities, nonprofit staff and others triggered a petition in 2010, asking the company to change.

Now developers will be able to integrate Apple Pay directly within nonprofits’ apps, avoiding the need to direct people to give outside the app on the web or via SMS.

First nonprofits to accept Apple Pay donations

The first US nonprofits to accept donations by Apple Pay are:

  • American Red Cross
  • American Heart Association
  • charity: water
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
  • COPD Foundation
  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)
  • Doctors without Borders
  • Feeding America
  • GlobalGiving
  • International Rescue Committee
  • (RED)
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Save the Children
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • The Water Project
  • WNET
  • World Vision
  • WWF (World Wildlife Fund)

They will be followed by:

  • American Cancer Society
  • CARE
  • PBS and its local stations
  • United Way

charity: water and Apple Pay

charity: water is integrating Apple Pay across all giving platforms on desktop and mobile to provide a seamless experience for supporters. Donors can use Apple Pay when they join charity: water’s monthly giving program, The Spring, make a one-time donation, or give to birthday or fundraising campaigns.
In addition to Apple Pay, donors can also give to charity: water through PayPal, credit card, or linking their bank account directly.
Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of charity: water explained how and why the nonprofit was one of the first to use the payment tool:
“At charity: water, we’re always looking for new ways to make funding clean water projects easier than ever. We’re thrilled to be one of the first charities that supports donations through Apple Pay.
“663 million people around the world live without clean drinking water, but solutions are readily available and clean water transforms lives and communities. By integrating Apple Pay and making giving effortless – whether someone’s making an end of year donation or joining our new monthly giving program, The Spring – we hope to impact more lives than ever before.”

Using Apple Pay

How significant is Apple Pay for charities? Should UK charities plan to adopt it when it becomes available in the UK? Roger Craven of mobile payment specialists RSM 2000 told UK Fundraising that it was still too early for most UK charities to commit time and resource to this issue. He said:
“Each charity needs to make a judgement about the benefits of additional donations that they might turn away versus the disruption and confusion that introducing a new payment mechanism will add.
“If Apple Pay is to be seen as purely substitutional for existing payment methods then how does getting involved in Apple Pay further any charity’s objectives? Apple Pay could in the long run be a game changer, but its short term impact will only be significant to the sector if it can be used to solve particular problems that fundraisers face.
“Charities should be looking to explore using Apple Pay to open up cost effectively new giving propositions (e.g. unattended) or make existing ones more cost effective (e.g. street fundraising) or tapping into particular donor segments (e.g. elite high rollers).”


  • When will UK charities be able to accept donations via Apple Pay? UK Fundraising will report.



Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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