NonProfit Payment Processing
Nonprofit organizations often encounter unique merchant needs that extend far beyond ordinary credit card processing. Perhaps in no other industry is the ability to conveniently accommodate impulse purchases and donations so key to an organization’s livelihood, requiring the payment flexibility to securely accept donations anywhere and at anytime. Let’s face it; few businesses depend so much on the ability of accepting donations in the middle of a golf course during a corporate fundraiser.
While there is rarely a shortage of NonProfit payment processing providers willing to step in and offer payment acceptance services on behalf of a nonprofit organization, there are certain important aspects to consider which could greatly impact your nonprofit organization financially.
SECURITY – The first attribute seems obvious, yet adequate security protection for nonprofits cannot be over emphasized. In fact, donor trust is crucial to the livelihood of any organization in the nonprofit sector. Behind every philanthropic action is an underlying factor of trust. Trust that donations will not only be applied in a positive way and ideally contribute to a positive outcome, but also confidence that a nonprofit has the ability to protect a donor’s privacy and sensitive information.
Thus, it cannot be understated how important an organization’s reputation is to keeping its lights on. These exceptionally high donor expectations present a complicated challenge to any organization operating in our age of data breaches and hacking threats. Yet there are tools in place to provide the necessary security and protection donors demand. A secure payment gateway is a great step towards protecting both the interests of donors as well as the nonprofit.
In fact the latest gateway technology provides sophisticated security capabilities including encryption. Another benchmark worth looking for when shopping a merchant services provider is Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. PCI Compliance means strict and specific guidelines for how the credit card information is stored, are being met.
FEATURES – Look for features beyond the basic credit card processing function. Often cost-conscious nonprofits deliberately place low pricing over features. This can be counterproductive since in the case of merchant services providers, more features often prove more affordable in the long run. Processors that offer advanced features like automated recurring payments and detailed donor record keeping and reporting bring increased donor revenue. It’s also easy to miss other important features and benefits that may not be so obvious. For example: Many merchant services providers offer substantially discounted rates for nonprofit organizations.
TECHNOLOGY – In this digital age, it’s important for a nonprofit to implement the latest technology to keep the organization as competitive and versatile as possible for donor contributions. The latest mobile payment solutions facilitate impulse donations at fund raisers, media events, and anywhere else the organization has a presence. Additionally, detailed auditing software provides clarity and transparency for donor accounting and tax purposes, which further encourage donors to consider participating in organization causes.
Finally, with the massive popularity of social media driven donations via websites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter, there is now fierce competition for donation dollars. Regardless, nonprofit organizations that convey integrity, security, and versatility will continue to strive by reassuring donors that they have selected the right organization to endorse.