Introducing Classy Studio: Unleash Your Online Fundraising Potential

Introducing Classy Pay Powered by Stripe

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Published October 1, 2019 Reading Time: 4 minutes

We are so excited to announce Classy Pay powered by Stripe is here. Classy Pay is an end-to-end payment processing solution built on the Stripe architecture that will allow our nonprofit customers to manage their entire online fundraising process, from building a campaign to reconciling payments, all within Classy. 

Classy Pay offers the lowest processing rates in the industry, automatic credit card updating, enhanced reconciliation, and powerful fraud protection. Additionally, acting as our own payment processor allows us to have more control and flexibility in rolling out new features, such as mobile wallets and ACH payments. 

Below we dive into how we approached this update and how Classy Pay can save your nonprofit time and money, so you can focus on what’s most important: making an impact on your mission.

Why Did We Choose to Build an In-House Payment Processor?

When we build a new product or feature, the first thing we do is talk with our nonprofit customers. In the case of Classy Pay, we heard that many were struggling to reconcile donations across multiple systems, and this process was frustrating for finance teams. Nonprofits were also struggling with high volumes of fraudulent payments. 

For example, lead product manager Jackie Lam says: 

This was a clear opportunity to provide a solution for our customers that would alleviate some of their stress and provide a better overall experience by building an end-to-end payment processing solution directly within our product.

Previously nonprofits had to manage Classy and their payment processing, and it was extremely time-consuming to tie those data elements together. Through this new partnership with Stripe, our customers now have full visibility across both systems and can deliver reports that unify both data sources so that, as an organization, you deal with one single entity and can run one report to access all of this information.

We chose to partner with Stripe for Classy Pay to take advantage of their strong technology foundation. Stripe’s built-in fraud prevention tools are best in class, allowing us to better protect our partners and their donors. 

As we look toward the future, building Classy Pay on the Stripe platform allows us greater flexibility and extensibility to continue offering new payment options down the line. 

Classy Pay’s Top Features

The ultimate goal of Classy Pay is to make a nonprofit professional’s job easier. The first iteration of Classy Pay powered by Stripe includes the following features that will help your team increase efficiency in reporting, retain recurring donations, and decrease fraudulent charges.

I love being able to log into the Classy dashboard and have everything I need for reconciliation right there.

Mark Hackett

Executive Director, Operation Broken Silence


Enhanced Reconciliation

Classy Pay will streamline your reporting, allow you to access funds more quickly with daily cash-out, and enable you to reconcile payments and deposits in the same place you access the rest of your campaign reports. Instead of reconciling separate transaction reports from Classy and your payment processor, all your transaction and payout data will be available in the same report within Classy Manager. 

classy pay payout product

Industry-Leading Fraud Prevention

We know that maintaining security for your organization and your donors is a top priority. We also know that nonprofits struggle with fraud prevention because they’re creating manual rules and logic to try to prevent fraudulent transactions. Fraudsters bypass those rules, causing nonprofits to create more rules; this can even cause organizations to inadvertently block legitimate transactions in the process.

Instead, Stripe Radar uses machine learning across Stripe’s global network of millions of businesses to detect and block fraudulent transactions in real-time, with higher accuracy and fewer false positives than other tools. 

As fraudsters and their methods evolve, this protects users more effectively than traditional human monitoring—which is the go-to method for many other payment processors. 

Automatic Credit Card Updating

At Classy, we’re focusing on building tools that help you retain recurring gifts since recurring donors are up to 5 times more valuable than one-time donors. Moreover, a study by Salesforce and NextAfter reported that 47% of nonprofits made no attempt to reinstate a recurring gift after the payment method on file failed. 

When you have hundreds to tens of thousands of recurring donors, it can be tough to stay on top of each individual payment. That’s why every Classy Pay account includes automatic credit card updates at no extra cost. When a donor’s credit card expires or is canceled, Stripe will work with card networks behind the scenes to update the donor’s profile with their new payment information so recurring donations continue to process uninterrupted. 

Lower Fees

By partnering with Stripe, we can process your online donations at a low cost and pass those savings along to you and your donors. We’re proud to offer low processing rates of 2.4% + $0.30 per transaction, with Stripe Radar fraud protection and automatic credit card updating included at no extra cost. 

How Does This Affect Classy Clients?

Classy Pay powered by Stripe offers our customers simplified reconciliation, lower processing fees for donations, and first-in-line access to our newest payment features. Beyond an improved experience for your staff on the back end, these new features will enhance your organization’s ability to make the most of your online fundraising. 

Classy will continue to support WePay,, and Braintree to accept donations and process payments, but if you’re a current Classy customer, making the switch to Classy Pay is simple. In just a few steps, your nonprofit can see all the benefits of leveraging Classy Pay within your online fundraising ecosystem.

switch to classy pay

Future Innovations

We will be focused on continuing to innovate and provide more flexible payment options for your donors so that they can give when, where, and how they want. Our next priority for Classy Pay is adding support for donations through mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as enabling donations via direct bank account transfer. 

For the latest news about Classy Pay and other new features, make sure to check back in with our Classy blog or sign up for our product newsletter to stay in the know on all things Classy. For more information on Classy Pay, check out the Support Center.

Classy eliminates the barriers to entry for things like Apple Pay, especially for smaller nonprofits. It’s things we’ve wanted but didn’t know how to access or couldn’t afford.


Director of Development, Lawyers for Children


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