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XF 1.5 Is it somehow possible to force payments to go through PayPal F&F?

#1
I've recently started a small charity event on my forum. Users can donate by purchasing an upgrade, which would add them into an exclusive "donors" group. However, I'm concerned that all purchases come through as Goods and Services (as all Xenforo upgrades do by default).

Is there some way to accept the payments as Friends and Family through some modified gateway in order to send the full amount of the donations received to the charity after our event (as opposed to forfeiting a portion to PayPal fees)?

Thank you in advance.
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
#2
I doubt this would be an option and I suspect it wouldn't work with IPNs. I'm not positive, but I'd guess that friends and family is explicitly designed for manual actions (since otherwise it's not really friends and family).

I suspect you'd have to do manual payments to work this way.
 
#3
I doubt this would be an option and I suspect it wouldn't work with IPNs. I'm not positive, but I'd guess that friends and family is explicitly designed for manual actions (since otherwise it's not really friends and family).

I suspect you'd have to do manual payments to work this way.
Well, my IPNs seem to already pick up manual F&F payments; however, like you added, it's just a matter of looking into whether there's a way to automate such payments.

Has anyone ever tried to add in such a gateway?
 

StarArmy

Active member
#4
FYI: Forcing users to pay your PayPal fees by asking them to use the "friends and family" option is explicitly against Paypal's terms of service and doing it can get you banned from PayPal.
 
#5
FYI: Forcing users to pay your PayPal fees by asking them to use the "friends and family" option is explicitly against Paypal's terms of service and doing it can get you banned from PayPal.
Even for donations to legally recognized non-profits? I find it somewhat off to brand such transactions as "Goods and Services" :unsure:

Just to clarify: the non-profit will still have to pay fees on it as the final amount will be transferred from my site to their account. As such, I don't see why it's fair for both me and the non-profit to pay fees.
 
#7
Absolutely. I am on the Board of Directors for the one our forum is under, we are a full 501c3 Charitable Organization and I had a conversation on the phone with PayPal about fees for non-profits, you must pay them just like a business.
Well, again, the charity will still have to process fees when we send the full amount raised from our forum. In that sense, we're paying two sets of fees on the same donation :cautious:
 

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#8
Why would you have to pay a second fee? Where are you transferring the funds to after they are raised? Another PayPal account?

Regardless, when you have someone donate through a business account via the IPN system, you have to pay fees.

But if you then transfer (donate) that to another PayPal account, that can be f/f. If you have to issue a check directly, there's a fee associated with that, but that's a different type of fee.
 
#9
Why would you have to pay a second fee? Where are you transferring the funds to after they are raised? Another PayPal account?

Regardless, when you have someone donate through a business account via the IPN system, you have to pay fees.

But if you then transfer (donate) that to another PayPal account, that can be f/f. If you have to issue a check directly, there's a fee associated with that, but that's a different type of fee.
This is the basic structure of what we're doing:
Sell ranks for charity > collect into forum PayPal > Once reached threshold, send to charity (possibly through PayPal)
Each time it shifts from one PayPal account to another, the fee is deducted.

I suppose we could transfer it as a check, though I think I'll directly contact the charity organizers to see what my options are.
 

StarArmy

Active member
#10
You can withdraw money from your Paypal to a bank account without any fees. Once it's there you could...
  • Write a check
  • donate using a debit card attached to the bank account
  • Pay with your credit card and then send yourself a matching amount to reimburse your expense (I do this for my forum's server bill)
Note: It's preferable your forum has a seperate bank account as you don't want to co-mingle funds (this can harm your limited liability, etc.)

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer or finance person and this post is not intended as legal or financial advice.
 

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
#11
Each time it shifts from one PayPal account to another, the fee is deducted.
No, that's not true, unless there is a currency conversion involved (which is also a separate fee). There's nothing preventing the entity from sending a f/f payment to someone else (anyone else). You're not selling a good or a service, so that doesn't have to incur a fee. It's just that when using the automated system to collect funds from a donor, that's where the fee is incurred. Similarly, if the entity you are donating to sends you an invoice for the donation, then there is going to be a fee incurred - but, by them.

You can withdraw money from your Paypal to a bank account without any fees.
Exactly

Note: It's preferable your forum has a seperate bank account as you don't want to co-mingle funds (this can harm your limited liability, etc.)
If the forum is an integral part of the non-profit, there's no need to keep a separate account. You just need to keep tabs on what money is in what "bucket" and have a line-item for the donations going from one "bucket" to the other (they don't have to really be in separate physical accounts). That is at least how it works for us, I had to have this discussing with the Charitable Gambling department in our state because we do raffles as fundrasiers and have to have a license for that and pay sales tax, etc. If that $ was specifically raised to be donated to another entity, that's where the whole line-item & bucket thing comes in. But if you're just taking straight-up donations and then the non-profit is turning around and donating those to someone else, I'm not sure you have to do any kind of special tracking at all.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer or finance person and this post is not intended as legal or financial advice.
re-tweet

But I did dream that I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
#12
Even for donations to legally recognized non-profits? I find it somewhat off to brand such transactions as "Goods and Services"
It isn't actually a donation, legally you are providing a service which is this:
Sell ranks for charity >
We do exactly the same thing with user upgrades. people think of it as a donation as they can choose the amount they pay, but it is in fact a payment for the upgrade.

We are a non-profit organisation, all the money is paid to charities.

What makes it even more annoying is that if anyone from an EU country outside the UK makes a payment, then by law, you should charge EU VAT at the rate of that country. We have set up to do this via the HMRC VAT MOSS scheme.
 
#13
It isn't actually a donation, legally you are providing a service which is this:


We do exactly the same thing with user upgrades. people think of it as a donation as they can choose the amount they pay, but it is in fact a payment for the upgrade.

We are a non-profit organisation, all the money is paid to charities.

What makes it even more annoying is that if anyone from an EU country outside the UK makes a payment, then by law, you should charge EU VAT at the rate of that country. We have set up to do this via the HMRC VAT MOSS scheme.
Yikes, seems much more complicated than I initially thought :confused:

How could the board differentiate in user upgrades between who’s in a EU country to send a checkout page w/VAT added versus not doing so?