Straight from the Google Checkout Team:
We’re writing to let you know that Google Checkout’s free transaction processing offer for non-profits has been extended until 2010. However, in an effort to bring more consistency to the eligibility guidelines for our non-profit offerings, only those non-profits who are also members of our Google Grants program will be eligible for free donation processing. All other non-profits will transition to Checkout’s standard fee structure on March 1, 2009.
If you’re a Google Grants recipient, please make sure to link your Grants account with Checkout by February 15, 2009 to continue to receive free transaction processing without interruption. Learn how to link your accounts:
If you’re not a Google Grants recipient, we strongly encourage you to learn more about the program and apply. Google Grants awards free AdWords advertising to non-profits who meet certain eligibility guidelines, and integrates with Google Checkout to help you increase your online fundraising. Plus, if you apply for Google Grants by March 1, 2009 and you’re accepted, we will retroactively credit you for any Checkout fees incurred while your
application was pending. Learn more about Google Grants:
If your organization falls outside of our guidelines or decides not to apply for a Google Grant, we realize this news may come as a disappointment and hope that you’ll still find Checkout’s ease of use and competitive rates compelling reasons to keep using our product. You’ll be charged a low 2.0% plus $0.20 per transaction for all payment types (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover), and there are no monthly, setup, or gateway fees. Learn more about Google Checkout fees:
Please visit our Help Center or reply to this email if you have any additional questions. Thank you for using Google Checkout for Non-Profits.
Of course, I know you’re going to ask what the eligibility guidelines are. They are:
To be eligible for the Google Grants program, organizations must fit our eligibility criteria.
In the United States – Read our legal requirements.
Other countries/regions – We are currently accepting applications from eligible charitable organizations based in these areas.
If your country/region isn’t listed and you’d like to be notified via email should Google Grants launch in your country/region, please send us your contact information.
Beyond the legal requirements, organizations must also meet our policy guidelines to be considered for a Google Grant. When we consider your application to the program, we review not just the content included in your application, but we also closely review your website, as this is where users will be taken via your Google Grants ads. Please review the policy guidelines we consider when reviewing your application and website below.
Eligible nonprofits include, but are not limited to, the following focus areas:
- Animal rescue & conservation
- Disaster & relief services
- Science & technology
- Voluntarism &community outreach
- Youth advocacy & programs
Ineligible nonprofits include, but are not limited to, the following concentrations:
- Commercial non-profits
- Credit-counseling services
- Mutual membership benefits (networking, professional, alumni, and other membership organizations)
- Portals and directories
Be aware that any organization with the following components on site are not eligible for the program: political/lobbying content; religious content which proselytizes or discriminates on the basis of religion; Google AdSense; car/boat/real estate donation-focus; and entirely fee-based programs.
Google reserves the right to award advertising to any organization. Selections are made at Google’s sole discretion, and decisions regarding award recipients are final.
I think the upshot is that if you’re a direct service nonprofit, you’re still A-OK in Google’s books. If you don’t do direct service, you’ll still have to pay the fee. I find it odd that they exclude credit-counseling services specifically. Are they seen as not being a direct services organization too much in cahoots with funders who can pay (like banks)? Interesting. It’ll be interesting if they include socialmarkets in that mix. I’ll be finding out soon.