Payment Processing Doesn't Have to be A Hassle: 3 Tips

Payment Processing Doesn't Have to be A Hassle: 3 Tips

Picture this: your nonprofit organization made a call to action that motivated potential donors to visit your website with the intention of making a gift. The hardest part of acquiring a donation is over, so what is the next step for your organization?

As your donor moves through their journey toward making a gift, it’s your responsibility to provide a secure and seamless payment processor to expedite the process and catch the important information you need to foster this relationship.

Here at iATS Payments, we know that payment processing is the core of your online fundraising. Therefore, we’ll unpack a few items that are crucial to taking the stress and hassle out of your organization’s engagement with payment processing, and how to make the donor journey as straightforward as possible. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Choose the best payment processor for your organization’s needs.
  • Create a straightforward donor journey.
  • Ensure the security of the data flowing through your payment processor.

Payment processing can impact how efficiently your team reaches your fundraising goals. When choosing a payment processing software, you’ll want to consider your organization’s unique needs before making a decision and investment.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into three of the most important tips regarding payment processing, starting with how to choose the best option for your organization.

Choose the best payment processor for your organization’s needs.

Having the best payment processor for your organization is crucial to your online fundraising success. When picking the best option for your team, there are a few things to consider to take the guesswork out of the process.

Here are the most important aspects to keep in mind when choosing your best option:

  • A reputation of high security measures. When your donor gives to your organization, their data is flowing through the payment processor, gateway, and the ACH network. It’s your team’s responsibility to keep this sensitive financial information secure. This is important not only to protect your supporters but also your reputation. A breach in security poses a threat to the good standing of your organization. Do your research on the security features and options included in your payment processor. 

  • An emphasis on nonprofit fundraising. As a nonprofit professional, you know that payment processing is central to raising funds online and hitting those important financial goals to push your mission forward. Look for a payment processor that often works with other charitable organizations. This way, they have ample experience in troubleshooting any issues and facilitating different gift types like pledged or recurring. And, with virtual fundraising taking off in recent years, a reliable payment processor is even more essential. 

  • A straightforward user experience for both you and your donors. The last place you want to lose your donors is right before they give to your organization. Not only does the design matter to receiving your donation, which we’ll discuss shortly, but your processor matters, too. Implement a payment processor that can be embedded directly onto your donation page. Sometimes, some payment processors lead users to a third-party aggregator and can drive donors away.

Remember that your payment processor should seamlessly integrate with the rest of your nonprofit’s tech stack. Your donor’s data flows through multiple checkpoints before the gift is received. Before investing, do research into how your current software will mesh with your new payment processing system.

For example, if you use Salesforce, there’s a ready resource of integrated donation apps in the Salesforce AppExchange that can ensure a tidy flow of data between your entire fundraising system.

Create a straightforward donor journey.

Now that your team has secured a payment processor, streamline your donor journey as a whole so you create an efficient experience from start to finish. 

Having a simple, straightforward web page and donation form will leave your supporters with a positive impression of your nonprofit. This impression makes it more likely that they will give to your cause again in the future and have a greater impact over time. Here’s how you may do so:

Design an effective donation page.

Implement a few best practices when designing your website’s donation page. Designing your donation page requires much more than simply providing a donation form, after all, this is the page that can either encourage supporters to complete their donation or lead them away.

Here are a few important tips for creating your donation page:

  • Including your mission statement or donation statistics at the top of your page. This will verify your cause and where a donor’s money is going.
  • Embed your form and ensure your supporters aren’t led to a third-party page to make a donation.
  • Brand your page with your organization’s colors and logo for consistency and brand recognition.

Keep your donation form short and sweet.

Filling out your donation form is the very last action your donors need to take before giving to your cause. Be sure that your questionnaire and form are simple, while still providing your team with essential data. Forms that are too long and involved will turn donors away. 

With this being said, you still need to ask questions that will build your donor profiles. The information in your profiles can then supplement your team’s future communications, promotions, and donor segmentation strategies. Consider the following questions for your donation form:

  • Contact information
  • Household size
  • Donation amount
  • Financial information 

These are the essential questions you need to ask. However, if you want additional information, you can add some optional fields, like for “How did you find out about our organization?” to give you more well-rounded donor data. 

Ensure the security of the data flowing through your payment processor.

Last but not least, cybersecurity is of utmost importance to your organization when it comes to implementing a payment processor that handles the sensitive information of your donors. 

Secure payment and data protection are crucial to your reputation and the safety of all involved with your organization. You’ll want a tool that has the following characteristics:

  • PCI compliance, which means the company abides by the Payment Card Industry set of official safety protocols. 
  • Address verification services to ensure that the person paying with a card is the verified owner of the card.
  • VPN encrypted data, to provide a secure connection for your data to transmit through.

With these pertinent security measures, you’re sure to do everything you can to prevent a data breach. Be sure to communicate your efforts with your supporters in advance so they feel good about paying through your site.

As a nonprofit professional, you know it’s a big deal to earn the contribution of a supporter. Be sure you’re doing everything you can to maintain the security of financial data and provide a beneficial experience with your payment processor. 

When you implement fundraising tools like a dedicated payment processor, you’re able to build relationships, earn money to push your cause forward, and connect with your community. Be sure to keep in mind all of your options to pick the best processor for your team.

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Charity Fundraising
Nonprofit Fundraising
Nonprofit Tips
Matt Dunne

Driven by his desire to support numerous charitable causes in his home country of Ireland, Matt joined the iATS Payments Team in March 2016 to leverage his entrepreneurial experience in support of the non-profit industry. He empowers partner organizations to provide impartial, accurate and valuable payments information and knowledge to the Nonprofit community.