Two women sitting at a cluttered office table working
Hero Images/Getty Images

There is a credit card out there for just about everyone, from students to CEOs to busy moms to millennial side-hustlers. However, there is one group in particular that has been consistently underserved in this crowded market: nonprofit organizations.

Charity Charge has launched a new credit card to meet that need.

A card built specifically for nonprofits

Traditionally, nonprofits could choose between a standard business card or a debit card when paying expenses with plastic. Both options require a personal guarantor, which assigns financial liability to a single person. Nonprofits operate under a different business model than for-profit companies; they are not beholden to stakeholders and are not created to generate a profit benefiting an owner. Therefore, many nonprofits are hesitant to apply for business credit cards where one person is required to take on personal liability for the organization.

That’s where the Charity Charge Nonprofit Business Mastercard comes in.

Charity Charge partnered with Commerce Bank and Mastercard to launch its nonprofit credit card. The card comes with no annual fee, and nonprofits will earn an automatic 1 percent cash back on every purchase. Eligible nonprofits can also take advantage of a partnership between Charity Charge and Purchasing Point, a discount program built to help nonprofits save money on everyday expenses.

The card’s APR is lower than the industry standard at 14.9 percent, as is the 1 percent foreign transaction fee for transactions in USD and 2 percent fee for transactions in other currencies.

Financial transparency is of the utmost importance to nonprofits, and that makes expense reporting and online card controls extremely valuable. One service Charity Charge provides is setting up expense reporting based on the classes and codes provided by the nonprofit. Employee cards come with no extra cost, and account holders can control spending limits and turn the cards on and off as needed online.

Stephen Garten, founder and CEO of Charity Charge, came up with the idea for the Charity Charge Mastercard after learning nonprofits didn’t have any credit options specifically made to address their business needs. The organizations that Charity Charge partnered with for their consumer card — which allows cardholders to automatically donate their cash back rewards to a charity of their choosing — consistently asked about a product designed with nonprofits in mind.

“We’re set up as a public benefit corporation. Our number one mission is to help nonprofits,” said Garten. “We recognized the problem, and we decided to do something about it.”

Which nonprofit organizations are eligible?

The Charity Charge Mastercard serves 501(c)(3), (4) and (6) nonprofit of all shapes and sizes. According to Garten, clients range from local charities in Austin to organizations such as Global Impact that serve communities worldwide.

When a nonprofit applies for the card, they submit two years of financial statements and a credit limit request. Based on those financial statements, Charity Charge will either accept the proposed credit limit or counter with an alternative. There is no requirement for a personal guarantor, which is one of the things that sets Charity Charge apart.

“I’m just floored that a product, an idea that I had and was able to bring to market is now able to impact all of these organizations,” Garten said. “I’m just super happy to be dedicating my life to making a difference.”

The Charity Charge Mastercard is open for applications on the Charity Charge website.