Simplifying Collections: Cheddar Up vs. Square – A Comprehensive Guide

In the world of digital payments, choices abound, and every organization needs a system that fits their unique needs. Today, we’re diving deep into two fantastic platforms: Cheddar Up vs. Square. Although both platforms allow online transactions, they cater to different audiences and offer distinct features. Let’s unravel the details and help you find the perfect solution!

Who Are They Designed For?
Cheddar Up:

If you’re part of a PTA, non-profit, club, or any community-driven group, Cheddar Up is made for you! It focuses on simplifying collections for groups, be it membership fees, donations, or fundraising campaigns.


Square is tailored for businesses – from small startups to established brands. It’s a multifaceted platform providing Point of Sale (POS) systems, online payment solutions, and various other business tools.

Ease of Use
Cheddar Up:

The Cheddar Up platform is all about simplicity. As a volunteer, you want to spend as little time as possible setting up your online payments so it better be fast and easy. Set up an online collection page for almost anything in minutes, and share a single link or QR code. Members can pay without creating an account – no pop-ups, no hassle!


Square offers a lot of different products for business owners – from comprehensive websites to staff management and payroll – which makes it versatile. However, it also makes it pretty complicated as it’s often much more than a community group needs. Navigating the interface takes a big learning curve, and since communities often have new volunteers rotating in and out each year, that learning curve can often be too steep to sustain.

Collections vs. Sales
Cheddar Up:

We are laser-focused on making collections effortless. Schools and other non-profits don’t just collect money. Whether you’re collecting payments, sign ups, forms, or waivers, Cheddar Up can do it all. It’s a one-stop shop that’s easy to set up and automates tracking and managing submissions, saving you precious time.


Square’s domain is sales. From setting up a physical or online store to managing inventories and employees, it’s a comprehensive business solution.

Community Reporting vs. Business Reporting
Cheddar Up:

For community-driven organizations, Cheddar Up not only manages collections but helps foster communication within your community. Our platform becomes a central hub for all group interactions. Our Group Page is something you won’t find elsewhere! PTAs and similar organizations can have one consistent URL listing all their active collections, such as membership, class donations, and spirit wear. All accounting and reporting can be done at the account level or the collection level. It’s easy to see what you brought in from individual events or sales, as well as to identify your biggest donors across all your collections. When it’s time to withdraw, it’s completely up to you how much you withdraw to your bank account and when.


Square serves the needs of businesses with tools to manage sales, employees, appointments, and much more. However, businesses only have one “storefront”. Groups and organizations have many – from individual fundraisers to spirit wear to class donations. This requires groups to build multiple storefronts in Square, and when the money is deposited into the bank account, it’s almost impossible to know where it came from making accounting and oversight very difficult.

Cost Consideration
Cheddar Up:

With groups and nonprofits, every penny matters. Cheddar Up can be used completely free by any group. By default, organizers pass our already-low transaction fees onto the payers. However, it can also be customized to give payers the option to pay or you can cover the fees. Our pricing structure is straight-forward and simple with no hidden fees, no surprises!


Square has a pricing structure depending on the various services used. There are also nuances within a service. For example, when you’re doing in-person sales and you manually key-in a credit card number, Square charges the organizer a higher processing fee than if you swipe.

Security & Payment Integration
Cheddar Up:

We prioritize your security and that of your community. Cheddar Up is securely integrated with Stripe – we never see or store financial information. Your transactions are safe with Stripe, a PCI-compliant platform processing billions of dollars annually.


Square processes payments directly and is designed to be a comprehensive payment system for businesses, including POS hardware. Square also adheres to PCI compliance standards, encrypting card information and providing bank-level security.

Support and Resources
Cheddar Up:

We pride ourselves on our easy-to-use platform, but when you need help you have a team of experts at your beck and call. Our Support team includes PTA presidents, team parents, HOA treasurers and non-profit board members who offer a level of expertise that is always free and always human. You can also use our library of resources that ensures you have all the guidance you need.


Square offers various support channels and an extensive help center to assist businesses in utilizing their services efficiently.

Point of Sale Comparison
Cheddar Up:

Cheddar Up provides mobile apps for iOS and Android and Bluetooth card readers that seamlessly integrate with your online collections making management of inventory and accounting a breeze. The card readers are easily purchased with no contract required and can accept Apple or Google Pay. Additionally, you can provide your volunteers with a simple QR code that gives them access to be able to process in-person payments but doesn’t give them access to your entire account.


Square’s physical card readers allow businesses to accept credit card payments but require a contract. They also must be taken in a separate Point of Sale app and require volunteers to have the app with an account login.


Community Hub or Business Powerhouse?

Choosing between Cheddar Up vs. Square boils down to your specific needs. If you’re part of a community-driven group looking to simplify collecting payments and information to save volunteers time and headaches, Cheddar Up is designed just for you. From our exclusive Group Page feature to our multiple form types, we’ve made collecting payments and information a breeze.

On the other hand, if you’re running a business and need a versatile payment system with tools to manage every aspect of sales, Square provides a comprehensive solution.

At Cheddar Up, we’ve always been committed to making collections easy for communities, clubs, and groups. We understand the time you save on managing payments can be spent on what truly matters: nurturing connections, building relationships, and making a difference.

*From our exclusive Group Page feature to our multiple form types, we’ve made collecting payments and information a breeze.

Ready to start?

Are you ready to see how Cheddar Up can transform your collections?

Collect for FREE

Whether you’re collecting dues and fees, fundraising, managing an event, creating a sign up, or selling something online or in-person, you can do it with a Cheddar Up collection.

You’ll want to ask your group’s organizer for a link. For privacy reasons, it’s not possible to search for this on Cheddar Up.

Learn more about paying on Cheddar Up

Cheddar Up