An important aspect of increasing revenue and donations that result directly from your website and web presence is to make it simple for your visitor to give you money. If you can do it without redirecting them elsewhere or to a third-party site, you are taking one step out of that process, and therefore easier and quicker.
Additionally, accepting donations through your own site may cost less than the small fees charged by PayPal and CanadaHelps.org or any other secondary e-commerce provider.
The downside, though, is that in order to take payments, you will need secure web hosting. If you are unfamiliar with this, it is when your ‘HTTP’ (hyper text transfer protocol) has an ‘S’ after it (secured) so it is ‘HTTPS’. This means that data collected will need to be encrypted.
Without this, it is not safe for visitors to give out payment information. Having this secured hosting increases your yearly hosting fees – these fees are different for different providers, and you should do a cost/benefit analysis before you decide to move forward with secure hosting and taking payments yourself. Will the increased donations from your website outweigh the costs of the more secure hosting? For any organization that takes a lot of donations online, it generally will be. If most of your donors aren’t the kind of people that spend a lot of time on computers (this isn’t uncommon, lots of organizations target philanthropic senior citizens). It is also worth noting that some hosting packages include secure hosting, and may not cost extra at all (such as WordPress like this website, for example).
Accepting payments on WordPress:
Thanks to Webtegrity for the video!