When you buy something, it's natural to think about the price of the item and the payment you're making to the store owner. However, another party in the transaction - the bank that issued your credit card - may be taking a cut of your money.
In most cases, banks charge a small fee known as a transaction fee for processing the transaction. This fee typically ranges between 1-3% of the total purchase price, and while it may not appear to be much, it can quickly add up for large purchases or businesses with high-volume sales.
Because they frequently rely on donations to fund their programs and services, nonprofits are especially vulnerable to high transaction fees. These fees can eat into the limited funds available to many organizations, reducing the impact they can make in their communities. Many nonprofits choose to offset this cost by using donation processing services that charge lower fees, allowing them to maximize the value of each donation and make the most of their resources.
So, what can you do to make sure your hard-earned money goes where you want it to go? The first step is to understand how transaction fees work. Consider the fee that may be associated with a transaction when making a purchase or donating to a nonprofit. If the fee appears to be excessive, you might want to consider using a different payment method, such as a debit card or an ACH transfer, which has lower or no fees.
It is also critical to recognize that not all donation processing services are created equal. Some services charge lower fees than others, so doing your research to find the best option for your needs is worthwhile. Before making a decision, consider factors such as ease of use, security, and the fees associated with each service.
Finally, while transaction fees may appear to be a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, they can have a significant impact on the organizations you support. You can help ensure that your money goes where you want it to go by understanding how these fees work and taking steps to reduce them.