July 25, 2023
Nonprofit Technology & Fundraising Blog
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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.
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.
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.
Having 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.
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.