We are a small resident association who use CiviCRM to record our membership details. There is an annual subscription each year which we have been entering manually. We want to move to allowing our members to subscribe and pay online via PayPal.

We have found that the PayPal Payment Processor treats transactions as "goods/services" and therefore we are subject to a proportionally large fee for each contribution we receive.

As we are not selling goods or services and are non-profit, is there any way we can set the PayPal Payment Processor to "send money to a friend", and not "purchase goods and services", so that we can avoid having to pay the PayPal fee?

I suspect the answer may be in PayPalImpl.php, but any advice gratefully received.


  • Does a resident association meet PayPal's definition of a "friend"?? – Aidan May 9 '18 at 20:02
  • There's no definition on the PayPal site as to what constitutes a "friend". We are primarily a group of neighbourhood friends who share an interest in our local community. One definition in the Oxford English Dictionary for "friend" is "A person who supports a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help", so by that definition, yes, we are friends. – Lee Cooper May 10 '18 at 11:22
  • Does the implementation in php code differ? Or you subscription with paypal? In other words should this question be asked at paypal? – Jaap Jansma - CiviCooP May 10 '18 at 12:25
  • Can't see any setting in PayPal, so I am guessing there may be a parameter passed via the API, possibly in PayPalImpl.php, hence my question – Lee Cooper May 10 '18 at 13:36

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