October 2, 2015 | Categories Donation Processing, DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, DonorPerfect Update, SofterWare Products

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.

Written by Emily Patz
  1. Need to raise donation for save the sources of river
    • Josh Nelson permalink
      @Kamal - We'd love to help you with your fundraising. I'll have a member of our staff reach out to you to explore your needs and see how DonorPerfect could work for your organization.
  2. Robin J permalink
    It would be great if you could separate the Donors Cover Costs portion into a separate gift upon import. We use a different code for these, since they go against the "CC Processing Fees" budget line, and shouldn't be counted towards straight membership/ticket revenue. (Although the donation is helpful!) It is time-consuming to have to go in and split gifts individually to pull out Donors Cover Costs into a separate GL code.
    • I agree. We want to ask for help covering the transaction costs, but we want to import it as a separate item from the general contribution in DP. Is there any way to do that now?
      • Stephanie Kanak permalink
        Hi Jenn, This is actually our top request in Suggest and Vote. The good news is that the upgrade to WebLink that happened on Monday night now allows you to separate out the transaction costs from the general contribution! You can read about how you can set this option in this blog post. Stephanie
  3. Stacey permalink
    Does the "Donor Covers Cost" feature work on when a donor sets a recurring donation?

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