April 8th, 2016

How non-profits can save on transaction fees

Make the most of your donations

As a non-profit, you’re working hard to raise donations. Because you want to make this process expedient for your donors, you offer multiple payment options—including credit cards. The problem is, credit cards transaction fees take a bite out of each donation. And while each transaction fee is rather small (about 3%), when taken together they comprise a healthy chunk of change.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to save on that cost?

Ask your donors if they would like to cover the transaction fees

This can be a delicate subject. Your donors are already chipping in to help you out purely from the goodness of their hearts, and maybe you feel a little shy about asking them to give more. Here’s the reason why you should do it anyway:

Your donors want you to.

When they give you $100, they want to know that you receive $100—not $97. These are altruistic people who want to support your cause. Most will be more than happy to have the option to ensure that their full donation goes to you. You just have to give it to them.

How do I make the ask?

In practical terms, all you need to do is set a check box to appear whenever someone selects “credit card” as their payment option that asks them if they would like to donate. We suggest something polite and simple like the following:

“Will you help cover the transaction fee by donating an extra 3%?”

You would say “yes” to that, right? Your donors will, too.

One other thing you should do: have the box already checked. This seems fairly small, but it’s simple psychology: most people don’t read forms very carefully. If you don’t have that box preselected, a substantial portion of your donors might not check it as a simple oversight rather than as a conscious decision not to add the extra 3%. Having them opt-out rather than opt-in makes the process simpler and increases the likelihood that they will help you cover that fee, but still puts the final choice in their hands.

Interested in adding this to your donations?

We can easily set this up for you if you would like it enabled on your donations page. Just send us an email and we’ll be happy to help!

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