Would your online giving page accept or reject a gift of, let’s say, $50,000? Avoid the nightmare of a rejected online major gift with this easy solution.
You may think it would never happen to you, but it happens more often than you might think.
Donors are growing more comfortable with online transactions.
This post originally appeared on RaiseDonors.
This behavior has been driven largely by improvements in online banking security, and the fact that the market keeps sliding towards a digital rather than a cash-based economy.
Most nonprofits see this donor behavior shift during their year-end fundraising campaigns when unexpectedly large gifts can come in without notice.
Year End Fundraising and Unicorns
Looking for major gifts to come through your online giving page may be like hunting for unicorns. But that’s changing.
That might be true the rest of the year, but year-end fundraising is a magical place.
Research has shown that 28% of nonprofits raise between 26% and 50% of their entire year’s income in the last two months of the calendar year alone.
The numbers communicate a clear message: the year-end ask is a massive opportunity. Miss it and you’ll spend the rest of the year trying to catch up.
Why is year-end fundraising so magical?
Because your donors are on your side!
They want to give. If you’ve been nurturing your relationship with them all year, they will be motivated to participate.
The guys at Better Fundraising said it best when they advised nonprofits to “Remind, Don’t Persuade.”
“The job of your fundraising from mid-November on is to remind your donor to send in a gift, not to persuade them. Just Ask. Ask Boldly. Ask without fear. Ask knowing that your donors love your cause and your organization’s role in helping them make the world a better place!”
Besides the fact that they love you, for some of your donors, this is the time where they get serious about their tax situation.
And that’s where you might spot the unicorn.
Online Giving and Major Gifts
We’re seeing this more and more as donors begin to use digital transactions more for their giving — and normally when a major gift comes in through an online giving page, this is what happens.
It’s December,and your online giving dashboard is lighting up as people are rushing to beat the year-end deadline. It’s a giving frenzy.
But not only are people giving, they’re giving big sums—$20,000, $30,000…up to $50,000 even!
That’s great, right?
Except when your payment gateway rejects those major gifts.
Online giving payment gateways are designed to spot transactional anomalies. They’re made to identify unusual spending that might be signs of identity theft or some other fraudulent transaction.
Going back to our fantasy metaphor, payment gateways are unicorn-killers.
When online giving payment gateways see the huge amounts on people’s credit cards, alarm bells ring. So what do they do?
They block the transactions because of the ‘unusual’ activity. What started as ecstasy ends in agony.
You’re pulling your hair out because you’re about to miss out on a big gift that would touch so many lives. Meanwhile, the donor is freaking out because they only have a few hours remaining before January 1 hits.
But wait! It gets worse.
Your donor calls your nonprofit, but nobody’s there to pick up the phone and help. It’s the holidays and you’ve got a skeleton crew.
You might try calling your online giving payment gateway’s support — but they, too, are out for the holidays.
Everyone is going nuts…
But this nightmare can all be avoided with one incredibly simple solution.
The Easy Way to Save Yourself from this Nightmare
Contact your payment gateway in early December or late November and give them a heads up so they can expect and approve these large donations.
This is the same thing you’d do when you make credit card purchases while traveling abroad. Call ahead and tell them to expect unusual transactions so that you don’t get stuck somewhere with a card that won’t work.
By giving your online giving payment gateway prior warning, they’ll allow large transactions to go through, saving you and your major donors from the nightmare of a blocked year-end gift.
CLICK TO TWEET
That’s it. Simple and easy.
But it’s also irreplaceable peace of mind during one of the most strategic and hectic times of the year.
Positioning your Nonprofit Brand with Online Giving
While not replacing other forms of giving, online giving is a growing trend. As confidence and familiarity grows with online giving, we are sure to see more and more donors giving large amounts online.
Ensuring that every online donation is secure and painless is a strategic way to position your nonprofit brand.
When other nonprofits botch their large year-end donations with rejected transactions, these major donors will look for a nonprofit that understands how they want to give.
Be the one ready for them with a donor-centric, secure, and hitch-free way to give online.
By: Jeff Jacobs- Virtuous Blog