A research study by Blackbaud Institute in 2021 reveals that online giving has increased by 42% in the past three years. Given that we are shifting to digitization rapidly, this number will increase exponentially.
Integrating online payment processing into fundraising campaigns is one reason for the increase. Charitable organizations encourage donors to contribute using landing pages, campaign forms, and online tools effortlessly, saving time and energy.
However, high processing fees and limited customization can put a cap on the donations they could have received.
You might wonder how nonprofit organizations like YMCA can pull in more money than you. It is because they have decoded the best payment processing systems for their organization and donation campaigns.
Their not-so-secret system is ACH payment processors.
Do you wish to upgrade your payment systems too?
Read on to learn what ACH processing is, why worldwide charity organizations utilize them, and how you can integrate them into your website to maximize gains on your campaigns and build a stronger rapport.
What is an ACH Payment?
An ACH Payment is an electronic payment directly transferred from one bank account to another via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network using the payment processing portal. ACH transfers are a form of EFTs (electronic fund transfers).
In fact, most of our transactions are EFTs, including debit and credit card payments, digital wallets, and wire transfers; however, what sets ACH transactions apart from the rest are low processing fees, reliability, security, simple integration, and automation.
A National Automated Clearing House (Nacha) study found that U.S. donation frequency and contribution levels increased for nonprofits that offer ACH or credit card payment portals to donors.
Now, if you ask search engines for the best payment processors, the answer is most likely PayPal, Stripe, or built-in subscription-based online payment processors that integrate with your website. While they might look like viable options at first glance, there’s an underlying secret about these processors that make them a bad decision for worldwide charities:
High Processing Fees
The standard fee for online donations using PayPal is 2.9%, plus $0.30 per donation. Even eligible 501c3 charities, who receive discounts, have to pay a 2.2% processing fee, plus $0.30 per donation. Most processors and credit and debit card payments deduct a fee ranging from 2-3%. This means that the online processor hogs a significant chunk of the donation received.
Longer Set-Up Process
Most times, you are on your own while setting up the processor. You must fill out countless time-consuming forms and documents to install and integrate the payment processor. Any error can delay the process for days and/or weeks.
Worldwide charities have a lot of recurring donors. Some donate to charities weekly or biweekly, while others prefer monthly, quarterly, or annually. However, most payment processors offer limited recurring payment options. For instance, PayPal offers monthly or nothing. Recurring donors contribute 42% more than one-time donors, so the limited flexibility bars the scope of donations.
Limited Automation and Branding Options
While you may integrate several payment options like credit cards and PayPal, you will be directed to their page, adding an unnecessary step into the payment process. Moreover, nonprofits cannot build a visual identity to create brand recognition because of limited customization. You cannot design custom receipts or send notifications and messages to your customers.
While some may argue how their processor offers a few of these above features, we’d reason that some offer a few while others provide the remaining, but not one processor offers all of them together. This is where ACH payment processing portals come in.
How Does an ACH Processor Help Your Charitable Organization?
Low Processing Fees
Unlike online processing tools, ACH processors deduct a flat rate fee ranging from $.20 to $.75 per transaction. You save thousands of dollars with just a menial fee, allowing more to be used for a better cause.
An ACH portal enables you to set up a one-click system for your members and recurring donors. Once you make the entry, it is saved for a lifetime. You can set up weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual systems to offer maximum flexibility to your donors.
Whether it is a one-time $100 donation or a $10,000 annual collection from your dedicated donor, you automate the process and make donation collection effortless, saving you human effort for other important tasks.
Backed by Nacha, ACH processing has several verification levels to ensure transactions happen without fraud, errors, or delays. The financial details of both parties are encrypted and tokenized, and the transaction is not processed until the account holder authorizes it, leaving no room for error. In case someone engages in a fraudulent transaction, you can reverse the transaction by reporting the activity within 60 days.
How Can You Get Started with ACH Payment Processing?
Step 1: Register for a merchant account. Your merchant account should be separate from your business bank account.
Step 2: Partner with a third-party ACH provider to help you set up a custom system to process payments.
We advise you to partner with a Nacha-preferred third-party solution provider for a seamless set-up experience. From registering authorization forms to setting up the processor, they will assist you at each step while informing you about the best practices.
How to Determine the Best ACH Provider for Your Charity:
The best ones do not leave you hanging, and they’ll hold your hand at every step, educate you about the best practices, and integrate solutions that maximize revenue and funds.
As mentioned earlier, partnering with Nacha-backed ACH processing solutions providers means safeguarding your information in safe and reliable hands.
Opt for a solution provider who understands your needs and creates a custom solution that aligns with your organization’s guidelines and requirements.
Multi-Level Reporting Systems
While ACH technology is already powerful, advanced analytics and reporting features keep you updated in real-time. The virtual terminal gives you an overview of activities, donor behavior, and progress so you know how far you are from your goal and can improve the experience for patrons.
Several providers offer additional features to make your ACH processor a single pane-of-glass platform empowering donors to choose their method of giving. A few solutions that iCG provides its partners include:
SMS Text-to-Donate Facility
Did you know that Red Cross’s Haiti earthquake relief raised more than $43 million through a text-to-give campaign?
Stay in touch with your patrons through SMS and simplify donation with just a few taps on a screen.
Cash Discount Programs
Encourage donors to use ACH payments by incentivizing donors to receive a discount cashback when they choose ACH over other payment methods.
Email Acknowledgment Receipts
Automate generating and distributing receipts for each patron and streamline your billing process with minimal effort.
Ready to Set Up Your Account? Partner with iCG
With the world transitioning to one-click payments, your organization might be losing a lot of donations with outdated systems and processors.
It’s time to take a step back, analyze the amount you’re losing, and talk to experts to set up your multi-channel processor to empower your donors.
Partner with iCheckGateway.com, a Nacha-preferred partner, who brings their expertise from diverse fields and industries to build a powerful system for your charity that needs minimal manual effort and maintenance. Speak with one of our experts today or download our catalog to simplify your donation collection journey.