Asking Donors to Help With the Costs of Online Donation Processing

Today’s donors are more sophisticated and informed than ever. They want to make sure that as much of their donation gets to your nonprofit as possible. How can you help make that happen? WebLink’s new Donors Cover Costs feature allows you to offer donors the option of covering the minor added fee of processing their online payment. This benefits both you and your donors: your organization recoups processing costs while donors are assured that 100% of their donation goes to the cause they support.

How It Works

When you accept online payments, your nonprofit pays a small fee to the credit card or ACH merchant to process that transaction (typically, between 2% and 3%). WebLink forms with Donors Cover Costs enabled will have a default option for the donor to add 3% of the payment to the charge, up to a maximum of $10. With the option checked, a $100 donation would actually be $103. You can easily adjust the percentage and maximum amounts, as well as turn the feature off altogether. All new forms created after this feature is enabled on your system will have it turned on automatically. For existing forms, you’ll need to edit the form, go to Additional Options, and turn on the Donors Cover Costs feature individually.

Weblink's Donors Cover Costs feature provides a way for donors to contribute to the cost of Online Processing fees

How Transactions Appear in DonorPerfect and to the Donor

What do these transactions look like once downloaded into DonorPerfect? For single page forms, the additional costs that the donor selected to cover are combined with the original payment and downloaded as one gift. For multi-page forms, the additional amount is added to the first item selected. In all cases, it’s listed as one payment in the SafeSave™ Payments Gateway.

From your donors’ perspective, they see the extra payment separately from the donation and other payments. It’s listed as a separate item on the Confirmation page and in their email receipt.

The optional processing payment is listed as a separate item on the confirmation page and receipt email.

Why It Matters

online donation iconHaving donors help to defray the costs of online processing, even by a small percentage, means your donations can do more. Soliciting them now makes sense as online donations continue to grow in importance. In a survey of nonprofit professionals conducted by Charity Dynamics, 88% expected online fundraising to grow from 7% of total fundraising to 20% or more within the next 10 years. That’s potentially 20% of your total donations incurring processing fees. Donors Cover Costs provides a simple method to substantially reduce these costs and thus lower donor acquisition costs.

This feature is also important in the arena of transparency. Recent FTC charges filed against several well known nonprofits for mismanaged funds bring to light the issue of allocating donations properly. Making donors part of the solution by asking them to cover online processing fees is a creative way to be transparent about the costs of providing your services to the community.

How Can You Get Donors Cover Costs on Your System?

While this feature was released for WebLink this week, you might not see it yet on your system. For the next 4-5 weeks, we’re rolling out Donors Cover Costs in a phased approach, with all systems slated to have it by early November. Once the rollout is complete, all payment templates in the WebLink template library will have this feature added and enabled by default.

To learn more about this feature and how to configure it on your forms, visit Donors Cover Costs in the Knowledgebase or watch this video below.

Stephanie Kanak
by Stephanie Kanak

Oct 2 15

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Recent DonorPerfect Improvements Designed to Save Time and Steps

With #GivingTuesday and the Year End giving season just around the corner, you’ll be looking for ways to stretch your already limited resources to do even more. That’s why we’ve implemented a few of your suggestions to help DonorPerfect work smarter for you. The improvements in this week’s release of DonorPerfect are certain to help make your life easier.

A More Efficient Instant Merge

One of our most requested product enhancements is the ability to merge a letter receipt without downloading data through Instant Merge. Previously, you needed to export the records that you wanted to include in any Mail Merge Letters or Receipts and then upload them when performing an Instant Merge. Now, Instant Merge also allows you to select data directly from DonorPerfect, saving multiple steps and precious time. Once you enter your criteria, click Instant Merge, select a template and simply merge with data from DonorPerfect. It’s that easy!

Now you merge a letter receipt using data directly from DonorPerfect using Instant Merge.

Get Alerted to Pending Receipts and Acknowledgements

With so much to do, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that you’ve got tasks that are pending. DonorPerfect’s Alerts feature already helps you keep up with processing EFT transactions, managing expired credit cards, and notifying you of pending WebLink transactions that need to be downloaded. We’ve made this feature even better by adding two new alerts that let you know when you have email and/or letter receipts to run. These customizable reminders can be set to pop-up each time you log in or as a “badge” that appears as a red indicator on the Alerts menu item. Clicking on either of these new alerts takes you directly into Receipting to begin processing.

New! Get Alerted to Pending Receipts and Acknowledgements

To learn how you can enable these alerts on your system and configure their notification options, read DonorPerfect Alerts in our Knowledgebase.

Let SmartScreens Do the Work for You

If you’re like many nonprofit organizations, you might use volunteers to process donor data collected from events and mailings. It can definitely be a challenge to get consistent results when so many different people are entering data. What if there was a way to facilitate that the data being posted in your system was entered correctly or that once recorded, it was being followed through? Using SmartScreens, you can modify any of the seven main donor input screens (i.e., Main, Gift, Pledge, etc.) to dynamically change or hide different data entry fields based on the information entered on screen or to alert staff of next steps to take.

DonorPerfect's SmartScreens can dynamically change or hide different data entry fields based on the information entered on screen

The SmartScreens feature provides six different types of trigger actions to customize for unlimited SmartScreen triggers. You can hide fields and sections, send pop-up alerts, rename the field prompts, make specific fields required and set a custom order for tabs. Here are a few examples of how others are using SmartScreens:

  • The trigger type “Make Fields Required” can be set to make the Sub-Solicitation and Thank-You Letter fields required for all gifts where the General Ledger is set to “Building Fund.”
  • Create an alert to remind staff to notify the Development Director any time a gift is entered above $4000.
  • Use the “Rename Field Prompts” trigger type, to set the prompt for the ZIP Code field to be dynamically renamed to Postal Code when your staff selects Canada as the donor’s country.

The possibilities are endless. To get you started, we’ve created a handful of sample triggers that you can implement right away. We know you’ll love this feature as much as so many of our other users do!

SmartScreens is a standard feature in the Premier level of DonorPerfect Online. To get started, visit Introduction to SmartScreens in our Knowledgebase. If you don’t have the Premier level of DonorPerfect Online, you can still get SmartScreens. To learn how, contact your Client Account Manager at (800) 848-3279.

Additional Changes

Also included in this release are some improvements to the Export Templates screens, changes for the Tributes Beta and other minor tweaks. You can read all about them in the Release Notes.

Stephanie Kanak
by Stephanie Kanak

Sep 28 15

Supported Web Browsers for DonorPerfect and WebLink

Today, we access so much information on the internet through our web browser. It’s our gateway to learn if there’s anything we like on a menu, find out who won the game, and even manage our secure donor information in DonorPerfect. To maintain the highest level of security, however, your browser must stay up to date.

Your data has been safe and we’re continuing to take proactive measures to keep it

We always recommend that you use the latest version of your web browser to stay secure. However, here is an updated list of (minimally) supported browsers* for you to use with DonorPerfect and WebLink. This will ensure your information and your donor’s information stays secure. This will take effect beginning 9/30/2015.

  • Google Chrome 22+ – released in 2012
  • Mozilla Firefox 27+ – released in 2014
  • Internet Explorer 11+ – released in 2013
  • Safari 7+ – released in 2013

*This is not an exhaustive list of all possible browsers to securely access DonorPerfect and WebLink (such as Microsoft Edge, Opera etc.) but is intended to provide you the most commonly used browsers that will need to be updated as of 9/30/2015.

What browser do I have?

Simply go to to see which browser version you are running. If you need to update your browser, will provide you with a link to download the update. Or, you can visit for free browser downloads.

What will happen if I don’t update my older browser?

After 9/30/2015, when you attempt to log into DonorPerfect on an unsupported browser, you will receive an error and not be able to log in. This will be due to the high security encryption used to protect your data in DonorPerfect, which is incompatible with less secure browsers. The same is true for WebLink.

Why do I need to update my browser?

We want to make sure your data is always as secure as possible. To do this, we are no longer supporting the older security technology of TLS 1.0 and SSL 3.0. Because some browsers still use this technology, we are depreciating our support for older (less secure) browsers. Also, this will allow you to remain PCI compliant as you protect your donor’s credit card information.

Security is still our number one priority and we’ll continue to work hard to protect your information. Thank you for partnering with us to bring you the safest fundraising experience possible.

Josh Nelson
by Josh Nelson

Sep 24 15

The Excellence in Fundraising Awards are Back!


For over 25 years, thousands of nonprofits have used DonorPerfect to organize constituent data and raise over $100 billion. At our annual DonorPerfect Community Network Conference, we’ll be awarding the best fundraising efforts of over 10,000 clients and 25,000 users.

Constant Contact, a DonorPerfect partner for over 10 years, is proud to sponsor the DonorPerfect Excellence in Fundraising Awards, which include:

1. Fastest Growing Nonprofit (Large and Small categories)
2. Fastest Acknowledgements
3. Best Donor Retention
4. Best Recurring Donation Program

We’ll be the first to acknowledge that there’s so much more to fundraising than these four categories. You spend tireless nights preparing for events, countless hours on long road trips, and have survived dozens of paper cuts from stuffing thousands of envelopes to further your cause. However, these four categories represent a core of mission-critical analytics that will continue to grow and sustain your nonprofit for generations to come.

How does each award relate to the fundraising best practice?

Fastest Growing Nonprofit

When you apply the best fundraising techniques towards your mission, you will grow. Simply put, this award will go to an organization who has grown the most financially this year compared to last year. This award will be given to two different organizations, a large nonprofit and a small nonprofit.

To qualify for this award, an organization must have donor giving data in DonorPerfect for the past 24 months.

Fastest Acknowledgements

Whether you thank your donors with a handwritten card, a phone call, or an automated mail merge, the most important factor is that you send something and send it fast. According to the National Council of Nonprofits, “Sending the acknowledgment within a short period of time of the gift reassures the donor that the donation was received and solidifies donor relations.”

To qualify for this award, an organization must have acknowledgement data for gifts in DonorPerfect from the past 12 months.

Best Donor Retention

It’s much easier, cost-effective, and more sustainable for your nonprofit to retain a donor than to find a new one. Your long-term mission depends on it. An organization’s donor retention rate is the percentage of donors who gave last year and also gave again this year. For example, if 100 donors gave last year and 50 of those same donors gave again this year, your donor retention rate is 50%.

To qualify for this award, an organization must have donor giving data in DonorPerfect for the past 24 months.

Best Recurring Donation Program

A donor who gives regularly will most likely give more, and remain a committed partner of your organization longer than those who don’t.

To qualify for this award, you must process recurring payments through EFT over the past 12 months and have the most recurring donors as a percentage of all active donors.

Eligibility and Prizes

To be eligible for these awards, the recipients must attend the 2015 DonorPerfect Community Network Conference where the awards ceremony will be held. Winners will receive an award, recognition at the conference, publicity for their nonprofit after the conference to share their best practices, a $250 donation, and a free one-year subscription to Constant Contact email marketing.

To register for the conference, visit

Thank you to our valued partner, Constant Contact, for sponsoring the awards. Your DonorPerfect software integrates with Constant Contact and enables you to share contact information automatically, create segmented mailing lists, and track who opens your emails and what they click on.

Looking to integrate your DonorPerfect system with Constant Contact? Click here

by Cheryl Keen

Sep 16 15

Getting Ready for the Fall Event Season? WebLink Can Help

Whatever type of fundraising events that your organization uses, they will require a lot of planning and coordination. What if there was a way to make planning your Fall Event season a little easier and your events more successful? A new version of WebLink, released last week, has some additional features to help.

Five New WebLink Templates

WebLkink Event Survey FormThousands of you already use the “do-it-yourself” form templates in WebLink every day to process donations online, register constituents for events, gather information requests, manage volunteer sign-ups, renew memberships and more. Now, there are five new templates for online forms and surveys that integrate with DonorPerfect to provide even greater support for your fundraising efforts.

1. Sponsorships Organization Purchase Template

Reduce the effort involved in reaching corporate sponsors by providing a way for them to sign up online. Our new Sponsorships Organization Purchase template is designed for sponsorships purchased by organizations or companies. Purchases made via this form will download as organizational records in DonorPerfect.

2. Sponsorships Individual Purchase Template

One of the best ways to have a successful event (and increase revenue) is to sell event sponsorships and not just tickets. The new Sponsorships Individual Purchase template allows you to easily offer sponsorships purchased by individuals. Purchases made via this form will download as individual donor records in DonorPerfect.

3. Generic Registration Template

If you use DPO Event Management, you’ll want to take advantage of the new Generic Registration template for your events. Since this form doesn’t have sponsorship levels, you won’t need WebLink Pro to adjust the number of free registrations associated with each sponsorship level. You can easily adjust the registrant quantity dropdown field and additional donation amounts using the standard version of WebLink.

4. Event Follow Up Template

Want to know how well your event performed? The Event Follow Up survey, one of two new survey templates, is a great way to gather attendee feedback about your event. Not only will it help you evaluate this year’s event, but you can use the data to plan for next year. Plus, we’ve made it easy to track the results in DonorPerfect by storing survey responses for the event in the Other Info tab, providing all feedback in one self-contained donor record.

5. Organization Rating Template

Our other new survey template, the Organization Rating template, is designed to gather general constituent feedback about your organization.

To learn more about how our new survey templates store and track survey results, visit Creating and Using Surveys in WebLink.

Improved Form Testing

How can you make sure your new forms are working correctly? During a previous release of WebLink, we introduced the ability to put your form in test mode. Last week’s release enhances and improves that functionality.

Keep on Top of System Status

Now, there’s a new way to keep track of the latest updates on service uptime, known issues, and scheduled maintenance for WebLink. Check the Important Links section at the bottom of your WebLink screen for a new System Status link.

Coming Soon – Optional Contributions

Most payment processing companies charge a small fee for accepting online payments. That means you don’t receive 100% of the donation, and the donor can’t give you the full amount intended for your mission. Wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce your online processing costs? Coming soon, WebLink will give you the ability to allow donors to (optionally) contribute to the cost of processing their online donation. Look for this feature to be active soon.

For a complete list of all the changes made in this release, see the release notes in our Knowledgebase.

Stephanie Kanak
by Stephanie Kanak

Sep 9 15