Giving Back

If you need to accept credit cards, get a merchant account that does some good! Supporting the community of humankind is a founding tenet of Dharma Merchant Services. Giving back is a reflection of dharma: right intention, right action.

For the 2013 calendar year, Dharma Merchant Services made a significant change to the way in which the Giving Back program has been managed. The original program was based on the commitment to donate 10% of a merchant’s annual processing profit that was earned from their account to the charitable organization of their choice. The logic being that each merchant may have a cause to which they are particularly interested in supporting, so their choice of charity would have a greater personal meaning. What we determined after 5 years of managing such a program was that many nonprofits would often receive a very small check – sometimes less than $50. You see, our margins are extremely thin compared to our competitors, so the available revenues are not significant. In addition, with over 2,000 merchants in our portfolio, the ability to administer so many checks (assuming that all merchants made a choice) became prohibitively cumbersome.

This past year we decided to choose a nonprofit organization from five main categories that would benefit from the lion’s share of our available funds – plus we decided to use the figure of 50% of net revenue instead of the 10% gross revenue numbers to compute our annual commitment. The categories that we chose were:

  • Social change/Social Justice

  • Education

  • Environment

  • Health and Welfare

  • Animal Welfare

The team felt that the larger dollar amounts would achieve a far greater value for those communities in need, but in addition to the principal beneficiaries, we would collaborate on smaller amounts that would be much appreciated by other charities that warrant support. Accordingly, Dharma donated $70,000 in 2013 with the partial list of beneficiaries and respective amounts as follows:

  • Green America - $10,000

  • Seva Foundation - $10,000

  • Animal Defense League - $10,000

  • Amazon Watch - $10,000

  • Little Kids Rock - $5,000

  • Pachamama Alliance - $5,000

  • Spirit Rock Center - $1,500

  • Community Workshop Fund - $1,000

  • Global Exchange - $1,000

  • KQED - $1,000

The following nonprofits each received a year end contribution of $500:

  • Slow Food USA

  • Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco

  • The Crucible

  • Falling Whistles

  • Actera

  • EarthJustice

  • Growing Power


  • Ecology Center

  • World Bicycle Relief

  • David Brower Center

  • Rainforest Action Network

For 2014, Dharma will select 5 new primary beneficiaries from the same categories as before. To be considered for a $10,000 year end donation, here are the qualifications:

  • Organization must be a certified 501c3 that is listed on Guidestar as of June 30, 2014

  • Nonprofit must have a national scope of service

  • Information must be received before July 2014

  • Must have a minimum of $500,000 in annual operating budget

  • Applicants can send requests to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are grateful for the opportunity to be of service to those in need as we continue our commitment to the principles to which Dharma has pledged.

View the non-profit organizations that we support »

  • Authorize.Net
  • B Corp Best for the World
  • B Corporation
  • Best of Category
  • Better Business Bureau
  • CardPayment
  • Conscious Capitalism
  • Fit Small Business