Best Banks for Nonprofits in 2024

February 28, 2024 Business Banking

Key Takeaways

  1. Nonprofits require bank accounts for donations, payments, and financial services, despite their tax-exempt status.
  2. Benefits of nonprofit bank accounts: protection, financial services, donation handling, interest, and loan facilitation.
  3. Choosing a nonprofit bank account: consider specialization, fees, services, rates, customer support, integrations, and alignment with values.
  4. Open a nonprofit checking account by gathering documents, assessing needs, comparing banks, and completing the application.
  5. Documents needed: personal ID, SSNs of authorized individuals, EIN, formation papers, and officer documentation.
Best Banks for Nonprofits in 2024

If you’re running a nonprofit organization, you need to open a bank account. Choosing the right bank is important, so you want to make sure you're choosing an account specific to the needs of nonprofits. There are many factors you should take into consideration, including interest rates and fees, so we’ll break down what you need to know to make sure you choose the right account.

Benefits of Opening a Bank Account for Nonprofits

Nonprofits are special organizations that are exempt from taxes. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t interact with money on a regular basis. Nonprofits need to accept donations and pay for goods and services to support their mission.

This means a nonprofit needs a good bank account that lets it keep its money safe and offers essential financial services.

Some of the benefits of opening a bank account for a nonprofit include:

  • Protecting money. Bank accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.
  • Financial services. Having a bank account means you get access to financial services from that bank. For example, the bank may offer bill payment services or payroll services, so you can pay your employees.
  • Accept donations. With a bank account for your nonprofit, you have an easy way to accept donations, such as cash or check payments.
  • Earn interest. If you open a nonprofit savings account, you can store your extra money and let it grow through interest payments.
  • Access to loans. Your nonprofit may want to borrow money to finance a purchase, such as real estate or a vehicle. Opening a bank account for your nonprofit can help streamline the loan process, especially if all your banking is kept within the same institution.

Best Bank for Nonprofits 2024

The best bank account for nonprofit organizations will offer useful services at a low cost. One important consideration is whether the bank you choose is used to working with nonprofits. Nonprofits operate slightly differently from other entities and have different tax treatments. If you work with a smaller institution that hasn’t dealt with nonprofits before, it might be a bit complicated.

Some of the best checking accounts for nonprofits are:

Name APY Monthly Fees Features
U.S. Bank 0.005% None 1,800 free transactions per year, $30,000 in free cash deposits or 300 cash transactions (whichever comes first) per year, Card payment processing available, Cash management tools, Check fraud protection
Citizens Bank N/A None 200 free transactions per month, Overdraft protection
Axos Bank 0.20% $5 ($0 with a $2,500 monthly balance) 25 free transactions per month, Dedicated relationship manager, Merchant services, Payroll services

How to Choose a Nonprofit Bank Account?

When choosing the right bank for your nonprofit, you should think about whether the bank offers specialized nonprofit accounts or just normal business bank accounts. If there are specific nonprofit accounts, that bank may have more experience when it comes to working with nonprofits, which can be a benefit.

Other things to look for include:

  • Fees. Consider the monthly fee (and what it takes to avoid the fee) and the fees for other common services, such as cash deposits, then estimate how much you’ll pay to use the account each month. Ideally, you want to find an account that won’t charge any fees. If you work with a bank that charges fees, make sure the services you receive in exchange are worth what you’re paying.
  • Services. Each bank offers different features and services, and that should guide your choice. Online banks can have lots of perks but make it hard to deposit cash. If your nonprofit uses cash frequently, that can be an issue. Try to find a bank that offers services that will bring the most benefit to your organization.
  • Interest rates: Some nonprofit bank accounts pay interest on your balance. Any interest you earn is like free money, so look for accounts with higher rates.
  • Customer service: The last thing you want from a bank is poor customer service, which makes it difficult to complete basic transactions or ask for help. Consider the bank’s reputation for service and how easy it is to contact someone for assistance.
  • Integrations: Many nonprofit organizations use tools such as QuickBooks or other third-party services. Some banks integrate with these tools, so if you can find one that works with the apps you use, it can make managing your money easier.
  • Values: Your nonprofit is probably working toward a certain goal, such as reducing climate change or supporting a specific community. You might want to find a bank that aligns with your nonprofit’s goals and values.

How to Open a Checking Account for Nonprofits?

Opening a checking account for a nonprofit isn’t complicated. Just follow these steps.

  1. Gather the needed documents. To open a bank account, you’ll need to have documents such as your ID and formation information for your nonprofit. Get your documents together first, so you don’t have to worry about finding them later on.
  2. Think about your nonprofit’s needs. Consider your nonprofit and what it needs from a bank account. Use that information to guide your search.
  3. Compare banks and choose the best option. Look at multiple banks and think about how each will benefit your organization. Choose the one with the best account for your needs.
  4. Apply. Sit down and fill out the account application. This usually only takes a few minutes. Once you’re done, you’ll have a new account for your nonprofit.

What Do You Need to Open a Nonprofit Bank Account?

To open a nonprofit bank account, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Personal identification for anyone authorized to make transactions
  • Social Security numbers for anyone authorized to make transactions
  • Your Employer Identification Number
  • Company formation documents
  • Documents showing the officers of the non-profit

Bottom Line

Nonprofits might be exempt from taxes, but that doesn’t mean they’re exempt from working with money. A good business checking account is essential for every nonprofit. A bank account helps keep your money safe and provides essential services for your organization.

Before you open an account, compare multiple options to see which one fits your needs. You’ll be working with your bank for a long time, so it’s important to choose the right one for your unique needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of bank account should a nonprofit have?

Most nonprofits will benefit from having a checking account. These accounts keep your money safe and make it easy to accept donations and make purchases and payments.

Do you need a special bank account for a nonprofit?

Yes, nonprofits need a special bank account due to their unique tax status. They can’t use personal accounts, so they should use business or specific nonprofit bank accounts.

Can a nonprofit use a personal bank account?

No, nonprofits can't and shouldn't be used as personal bank accounts. To keep your tax-exempt status, follow all relevant laws and rules for your nonprofit.

About The Author

Author Avatar

TJ Porter

Freelance Personal Finance Writer

TJ Porter is a Boston-based freelance writer who specializes in bank accounts, credit, and credit cards. He’s written for Bankrate, Credit Karma, MoneyCrashers, DollarSprout and My Bank Tracker, among others. In his spare time, TJ enjoys cooking, soccer, reading, and video games. You can connect with him on his website,

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