PayPal is one of the world's leading payment processors. Today it's used by major charities like Children in Need, Cancer Research, and the Blue Cross.

Being such a recognised brand worldwide, accepting payments through PayPal helps to build trust with your supporters.

Additionally, PayPal offer discounted processing fees (1.4% + 20p per transaction) for nonprofits. Learn more.


Create a PayPal merchant account

To accept payments through PayPal, you'll need to create a merchant/business account for your nonprofit. Note that this is not this same as a personal PayPal account.

You can sign up for a merchant account here.


Connect your PayPal account with Beacon

To connect to Beacon, we need to create a PayPal developer app in your PayPal account.

Note: This is the tricky part. Feel free to reach out to us if you get stuck!

  1. First, visit the PayPal developer apps page.

  2. If you're not already logged in, click the Login to Dashboard button in the top right.

  3. Click 'My Apps & Credentials' in the sidebar

  4. Click to switch to the 'Live' tab

    Warning:This part is really important!

  5. Click the 'Create App' button, give it a name (such as 'Beacon'), and click 'Create App'

You've created the app - nice one! Now to get the IDs for Beacon...

  1. Scroll down a little, and click to show the 'Secret'

  2. Copy and past the 'Client ID' and the 'Secret' into your Beacon settings. You'll find it in Settings > Payments.

  3. Click Save PayPal settings. Beacon will check the details are correct for you.

All done! You can now accept PayPal donations through your Beacon forms - the button will appear automatically.


Frequently Asked Questions

I can't see the PayPal button on my form, where is it?

The PayPal button will show as a payment option on your donation forms in the 'Payment' section. Currently, only one-off donations are able to be paid with PayPal so if you've selected a recurring donation it won't be visible.

PayPal isn't available as a payment method on event or membership forms as it doesn't support multiple transactions.

Beacon isn't accepting my Paypal App Client ID and Secret

One of the most common reasons people have trouble connecting their Paypal account to Beacon is because they've used the wrong details. Make sure you use your Live details and not your Sandbox details. Take a look back at Step 4 in "Connect your PayPal account with Beacon" for more

Did this answer your question?