It’s a topic that has come up with our readers a number of times in recent weeks. PayPal is yet another company that has taken the wrong side on some important social issues, most recently by announcing that they will no longer be expanding their offices in North Carolina after the state signed a law that requires “transgendered persons” to use public restrooms corresponding to their gender of birth. Political correctness strikes again.
Many conservatives are now boycotting PayPal, and I don’t blame them. But this creates a dilemma for us with no simple solution.
PayPal is now, and has long been, the preferred gateway for online businesses and nonprofits to accept payments and donations. It’s relatively easy to set up, fairly robust, and integrates well with bank accounts and accounting software. It has been our only method of online donation acceptance since we opened up shop here in 2014.
It is also the only payment gateway that integrates with our donor management software, which tracks the donations of and manages correspondence with our donors — close to a thousand of them as of this morning. This software is responsible for ensuring that people get emailed receipts at the time of donation, and also generates year-end reports for tax purposes. Any of our donors can log in at any time to see what they’ve donated so far this year, last year, and for all of time.
I emailed the company that develops our (otherwise very good) donor management software to ask about whether it accepts alternative payment options, and right now, it doesn’t.
This means that in order to move away from PayPal, I’m going to have to identify a comparable service (with comparable processing fees) and a donor management option to match. Then, I’m going to have to migrate all of our records over to the new system to ensure that no donor data is lost. We will also have to work with the dozens of folks who have set up recurring donations through PayPal. We will also have to consider our advertisers, who pay us via PayPal as well. (It really is ubiquitous.) I am the only full-time staff member of 1P5, so I can’t delegate this. I’ve got to go through the whole process, soup to nuts, and make sure I don’t break anything.
To say that this is a daunting challenge while maintaining our current content production is an understatement.
So I ask for your patience in this matter. I am aware that this is a concern. It is for me as well. But there’s simply not enough time in the day for us to move quickly on this. In the mean time, we still need your financial support, and we ask that you prayerfully consider continuing to help keep us funded during this time.
If you want to support us but you absolutely refuse to use PayPal any longer, there is another option. You can send in donations by mail. Please note that I process each check manually, entering in the donor info by hand into our system. It’s a time-consuming process, so I ask for your patience here as well.
We want to work with the kind of companies we can be proud to be associated with, and this is definitely on our radar. If you want to offer a few prayers that we can find what we need soon and transition without too much trouble, I’d be very appreciative.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.
I’m leaving mine on Paypal. Why shouldn’t the people who irritate me be made to work for me? Seriously, I figure if I did the research, I’d learn that there is no company on earth with whom I can do business, if I’m going to cut them off for not agreeing with me. I wouldn’t even be able to buy anything in the Vatican gift shop.
At the end of this process, I may very well keep them on for the reasons you mention. They may have stupid opinions about laws in North Carolina, but they’ve also kept this apostolate (quasi)funded for almost two years.
Still, if I can add a payment gateway that helps those who don’t want to work with them anymore, I think it’s a win. Ultimately, though, I need the recordkeeping to stay straight. The last thing I want is to fall out of compliance with the IRS. Then the real headaches begin.
IMO, The reality of the world is that in order to be completely consistent you will have to WITHDRAW from all those organizations which provide needed services but are morally corrupt in some part of their corporate culture. Essentially, You will have to withdraw from the world entirely. It’s a false sense of obligation. We have to live in the world while not being of the world.
Don’t waste your valuable time chasing dragons with a BB Gun. Fight them instead like you have been doing. Otherwise you will spend 110% of your time trying to avoid the PayPal’s of the World out of a false sense of obligation driven by purity of intent. The world is a very immoral place.
Now if you want a sure fire way to avoid/solve this? Start your own merchant account provider to compete with PP et al. How? See if you get in touch with someone like a Tom Monaghan et al. You need a strong financial backer(s) to do so but it is very doable. Next? Can you get the great majority of the Catholic/Christian blogosphere to switch from PP et al. ?
I’m leaving mine on Paypal too, Karen.
It’s not that they are working for you, it’s they are making money off you. And you are right it is getting harder these days with regards to support morally responsible or even neutral businesses. However, that is not a good excuse to not stop using a business because of an inconvenience to us. This is the exact reason businesses are more emboldened today, as they calculate most people won’t do anything different with their money. And they are correct as we just go right along with it.
Andrew Joe: you take a strong “principled stand”. Good for you. And you also insist that we shouldn’t not do something just because it creates an inconvenience for us. Can we count on you, therefore, to volunteer forty-fifty hours this week to help Steve do the inputting and make the transition from PayPal?
First, I wasn’t talking about Steve’s situation which is very different than the average individual, and I have sympathy for him. Second, I didn’t even address Steve, my post was addressed to Karen Hall and the average Christian who uses PayPal for personal transactions. But thanks for the sarcasm, while not even addressing the legitimacy of my post.
Perhaps this is a comparable solution since they want to compete with Paypal. https://www.continuetogive.com/
Ann Barnhardt wrote in the past few months about an alternate service that works for her. You should compare notes.
Steve, I’d recommend you read this Catholic advice on what to do about PayPal:
That is a very good site. Thank you for the introduction to it.
You’re very welcome.
You might look into Stripe (https://stripe.com/). The site, DivineOffice.org has a similar problem as you do, and employs Stripe as an alternative to PayPal.
Thanks for bringing up this subject. It is a bigger problem that just Paypal. I bank with Wells Fargo and I read somewhere they support Sodomy and should be boycotted (same as Chase and BofA). We need to figure out how to apply moral theology on these situations.
Commenter David above linked the following, and it speaks to this. See what you think:
I took all my money out of Wells Fargo and I will continue to boycott and remove money from places that support anti Catholic teaching. It is quite difficult but so be it .
So it is difficult but doable. But I have mortgage with Chase and has my loan modified not long ago with my credit rating I don’t think it is remotely possible to find mortgage with other banks that would be affordable to me. What do I do?
I also am with Ameritrade where I have money and investments
that I need to move to another company . With a mortgage that is more difficult . Is it possible to refinance ? What is your interest rate? I have my mortgage with my credit union. This sometimes takes time . Unfortunately I need to work harder at finding better options and I am slow to making it happen.
Hoping you are able to find an alternative, Steve. I thoroughly dislike dealing with PayPal due to their association with the abortion and sodomy promoter eBay. And I completely agree with Andrew Joe’s comments. The AFA boycott is having an excellent effect according to a Freedom Outpost article claiming that Target stocks have sunk by $2.5 billion in ten days.
This gets bigger each day………NYCITY require….require…all businesses AND schools permit entry of men into women’s bathrooms……..perverts love this.
A family bathroom whete a patent takes their chldren say got changing clothes…stalls fit each person, no men’s urinals………we are talking about .2 or .3 percent of US LGBT population#!!!!#!!!!
North Carolina is refusing to allow trans into opposite sex bathrooms. For that Obama is punishing them by withdrawing $1,000,000,000.00/bil for educational purposes. In other words the WH is now into extortion.
Asked if he had any gay friends, William F. Buckley Jr. once quipped that, “If there are only 2.5 percent gays in America, I know them all.”
Having said that from what I’ve gleaned in research it’s around 5%.
The scarier figure lies in this salient fact…..although gays are around 5%, research reveals 47% of serial killers are homosexuals. It is a fact that Hitler killed gays, but he also used them for being the most ruthless and sadistic for holocaust torturing. Further, many trans are gay as well. So from my standpoint a woman’s chances of being killed in a woman’s public john go way up. Allowing a child to enter a public restroom alone constitutes child abuse in my book.
Steve, I suspect you already knew this but passing along just in case. The Lepanto Institute just switched from PayPal to a new online donation service called Anedot – hopefully the following link works: http://us9.campaign-archive1.com/?u=915b9f76b16faca7a61055fd4&id=6bc7951642
Anedot may not work with your donor management software – but I thought it was worth a shot. In any event, we will continue to support 1P5 regardless.
May almighty God continue to bless you, your family and your apostolate!
Thanks, John. I just need to make time to work through these and evaluate them all. Much appreciated!
Just clicked on the donate button, and got the following message:
The page you were looking for could not be found (Error code 404).
Please advise. Sending cheques from out of the USA is not an option for me.
Thank you for your support. The error was on my end — the software has been archiving the monthly fundraiser a day early for some reason, and I forgot to extend it. It’s been fixed.
Is it possible to contribute through a credit card like American Express? That’s how many people contribute to ChurchMilitant.com.
I already posed that question to Steve and he doesn’t take credit cards. For me , this would be easier for me to donate with a credit card and with a “very secure” website.
I like Paypal and do not like to use credit card as it has proven to be unsafe. I would rather send you a check directly if you change. If you do change you will lose some percentage of contributors. If I were you I would stick with Paypal.
Set up alternative companies. Arent you people in the labd of opportunity?
Sounds like a lot of work, Steve.
My two cents: stick with PayPal. I could tell you a hundred different items and technologies you use every day that are made by horribly leftist corporations, but that you [just about] must use to be a contributing member of modern society. You’re an Aquinas guy, right? Then you certainly know that there is a difference between ‘material’ and ‘formal’ cooperation with evil. What you are doing by using PayPal is certainly not formal cooperation with evil and it is arguably [given the philosophical principle of ‘double effect’] not even material cooperation with evil. In other words: you’re not doing anything wrong. You continue to pay your taxes every year, right? Well, the U.S. government openly funds abortions throughout this country and throughout the world. Similar principle involved here, although it would take a short paper to explain it well.
Not trying to get you to sell your soul. Just trying to save you what seems like an ass ton of work and aggravation for very little, if any, moral benefit. And for the people who insist that you not use PayPal, tell them you won’t if and when they have 8 or 9 kids and run a shoestring operation faithful Catholic blog and are willing themselves to do a hundred hours of tedious inputting to help you make the transition. In other words: it’s easy for them to “stand on principle” and insist you not use PP. Perhaps their insistence would wane if they themselves were in your concrete situation and had to do all this extra non-paid work.
In my opinion, you’re not doing anything wrong by continuing to use PP and the cost-benefit analysis of the whole operation to switch to another company is prohibitive. Explain this to your faithful readers; they will understand completely. And then you can focus on the content of your blog instead of killing yourself trying to please people who, with all due respect, have nothing to complain about in the first place. Just my two cents.
Sherry, I invite you to get acquainted with Ann Barnhardt. She is more Catholic than the pope and has in fact, stopped paying taxes and pushes for all faithful Catholics to do the same. Actually if all Americans saved up six months living expenses they could so easily cripple this god forsaken gov’t. I’d add that doing the same at church would allow them to stand up and take notice. But as long as cafeteria Catholics drop dollars in a sunday basket (for the legal fees now over two billion $$ for pedo priests), the clergy is home free. The Vatican thanks you from the bottom of the V’s bank of trillions.
I often wonder what Christ will say on Judgment day to all of those who aided/abetted legal fees for perv priests..How will he judge Catholics who caved for all little things..like–Paypal! claiming it was not worth their time.
When out at sea if the ship or boat gets just one degree off course, in due time you can end up at another continent…just that teensie weensie 1% can take you so far off course..transfer that thought…soon you have a gov’t that so changes the course of your life, you wonder how you got there. This is what Barry meant by hope and change…what we really got was hopeless change. I disagree with any idea that small stuff should be ignored.
Okay, in the meantime, I will mail in my donation check
Thank you for this explanation. Personally, and as someone who lives in the Carolinas, Paypal’s action in North Carolina was too egregious for me to keep doing business with them. I believe, along with many analysts, that North Carolina passed very weak legislation that balanced privacy and “rights,” yet Paypal reacted by economically harming the state in a serious way (not to mention the company’s hypocrisy, as has been noted in many sites).
Perhaps I will consider using the service only when there is truly no other payment alternative, as is the case when donating to One Peter Five. But this particular issue is too important for me, and I cannot forget that they didn’t seek dialogue, they didn’t seek to persuade the citizens of North Carolina–they, like totalitarians, punished the people of North Carolina for having “hateful” and irrational opinions about reality. Paypal wants us to practice doublethink!
All that said, this is just my personal view, and I understand completely the perspective of others on this matter.
I would rather send a check or cash. Look at the effect of the Target boycott. We have to try to put our money where our mouth is! Thanks for all you do
ProPay has been identified as a much better, conservative alternative. Cut PayPal off.
I won’t be contributing to this site or Remnant or any site that uses PayPal. By supporting these leftist bullies, you are funding the future demise of your American freedoms.
If you try different payment and donor management systems, blogging results, even on the ones that don’t work well, could help other 501c3’s in this situation.
Wow no wonder PayPal didn’t care when I shut down my account in protest: they have all the vendors by the throat. 4 years later after all the people that crowded Chick-fil-A I still don’t understand how the left keeps moving its agenda when it’s clear so many people don’t agree. One just has to wonder about their success in the face of opposition :
With all due respect to Steve, and other people here, I think it’s time that WE stop lying to God, ourselves, and each other about what really matters to us. While to some degree we are going to inadvertently support by our business or donations businesses or entities that are pro-death, pro-homosexual, etc., this is just a blatant declaration that the “convenience” of Paypal is more important than their support of the homo agenda, and their willingness to do business with muslim countries that have laws requiring the execution of homosexuals. (Notice of course the homo lobbyists never seem to call for sanctions against those countries). And let’s not forget about the talk of being pro-life that Steve regularly likes to put out, yet when the new Star Wars movie came out, he wasted no time going to see it, despite the fact it was made by Disney, one of the most anti-Christ and anti-family (as well as porn producing) companies in America.
Sorry folks, it’s time to get real.
WE are not really interested in fighting against the corruption of the culture. WE are more than happy to help contribute to it. Which is why it will continue, and why corporate America will continue to do what it does. Why shouldn’t they? Who’s going to stop them? US?
The answer to that is all too clear.
How’s that cave you’re planning to live in? Is it warm? You have enough to read in there?
Nice. Let’s see how that attitude goes over at your particular judgment. I can see it now:
Jesus: So Steve, why did you blatantly support the culture of death?
Steve: What, was I supposed to live in a cave?
Yeah, I have a funny feeling the cave you will be residing in will be plenty warm for the few thousand years you may have to reside there before going to heaven.
Sorry Steve, I think you do a lot of good work, no doubt about it. I have enjoyed listening to many of your podcasts and found many good useful articles on 1P5, but I think you’ve made it abundantly clear that God and the Faith are not your highest priorities.
To some degree, NONE of US can totally avoid inadvertently supporting things we are not in favor of. Granted, but the question WE have to ask ourselves is: Am I really interested in opposing the culture of death, and doing whatever I can to not support it?
Seriously, we may not be able to afford to shop at a local mom & pop store for things we need and thus go to Walmart or Kmart, whatever. But at what point are we putting our own desires above the will of God?
That’s something each and every one of us has to figure out.
Shawn, how dare you?
I do the job of roughly five people. I am the Executive Director (dealing with all administrative aspects of this business), the webmaster, the graphic designer, the editor, the podcast host and producer, the sole comment moderator, the social media marketer, the fundraiser, and the principal writer (with almost 600 articles in my name alone.) I work more than full time in an apostolate that allows me to bring home about two-thirds what I used to make in the private sector as an Association Executive — before self-employment taxes. I have no medical insurance or other benefits. On this, I am trying to support a family of nine people. Because of this, my wife also has to work, while homeschooling and trying to run our household.
Last year, our family van was repossessed because I wasn’t earning enough to make payments. We also almost lost our house. We got the van back, through the generosity of our donors, who support this work and in so doing literally put food on my family’s table.
I don’t share the depth of the sacrifices I make to do this work. I don’t talk about the stresses I personally endure, the cost to my health, the toll on my marriage and family. I work every day in a windowless basement, frequently going back to my desk until all hours of the night, in the hopes of just catching up. I do this because I truly believe God has called me to do this work in a time where so few others have the ability to step forward and make a difference.
Nothing else would make it worth it.
And God has blessed this apostolate. In less than two years, we’ve become THE most significant Catholic publication of our kind. We have more domestic traffic than The Remnant, more than Our Sunday Visitor, more than Catholic World Report. We are neck-in-neck with Crisis Magazine and closing in on Rorate Caeli. We’ve had over half a dozen major media placements, and got the so-called leader of the “conservatives” among the Synod fathers to address our concerns in a public press conference.
And if God wants to wipe it all away, it’s His to do. But until then, I go out every day and put my name on the line, suffer the attacks of those who hate me, and ride the financial rollercoaster of sitting at the helm of a small non-profit.
I currently have 183 unread emails in my inbox. Some of them are submissions I haven’t gotten to. Some are kind letters from readers who deserve a response. I haven’t produced a podcast in two weeks because I can’t find the time to put one together. I have web issues I’ve been trying to work on for a year, but I can’t even get organized to ask for help from some of the kind folks who have volunteered.
Meanwhile, I have six children age 10 and under, and one in college. We drive hundreds of miles per month to get to a TLM and other related activities.
I am doing what I can for the Church. You insult me, my wife, my children, and this work by assuming that just because I don’t get up and jump to change a payment gateway at the cost of revenue I need to pay my bills, I’m not prioritizing God and His Church. Get lost.
Steve, clearly you are not interested in seeing anything but an attack on you DESPITE the fact I have made it clear by my use of WE and US that I also share some guilt in all this along with other people.
This is, for the time being, going to be my only reply to what you wrote here.
God bless you and have a good day.
Are you kidding me? You’re talking about my particular judgment, how long I’m going to spend in a “warm cave,” and how I’ve “made it abundantly clear that God and the Faith are not [my] highest priorities.”
People like you are the ones everyone is talking about when they condemn Catholics for being “judgmental.” It’s disgusting. Did you volunteer to help me fix this problem? Nope. Have you donated a single dime that I could use to hire someone who could? Nope.
But boy oh boy do you have an opinion about where I stand with God.
The hubris. The sanctimony.
We do a lot of “so-and-so did this thing and it’s clearly in violation of Church teaching” here, because it’s important for our leaders to be held to account. But we never, ever make judgments on the state of their souls, and I have, in fact, talked about how we need to remember to pray for them more.
I am calling you out, right here, in public, to review your standard of how a Catholic should view other Catholics. Of just how much right you have to stand in judgment over interior dispositions simply by the observation of exterior actions.
I suspect you and I may agree on an awful lot of things, Shawn, but this kind of attitude is unbecoming of a Christian. You can do better. We all can — and should — do better.
God bless you and your site and your family. I will add you to my prayers. I’m glad that Fr RP is here. I know him well. A very courageous priest. Because of him I noticed your site and have you on my Facebook. I am very disappointed with CM, but because of their problems over there it brought me to you. I hope and pray for your success.
Good help us!
American Express, Visa, MasterCard and the major banks all massively support the LGBT movement and the ‘gay pride’ marches. Thanks for raising this issue Steve. I’ve been a single parent for 23 years. I run a Catholic business. I accept Paypal. I do not accept credit cards. If in the future I have to sacrifice my livelihood then God willing my children and I will be given the grace to do that. Right now I am not willing to give up my livelihood because of a tranny in North Carolina.
My comment would be whether 1P5 took a principled stand and whether they have now abandoned that stand because of the ease and convenience of using Paypal. That would be the concern. The principled one stays principled no matter how hard it becomes.