When you are running a charitable organisation, you are relying heavily on donations. While there are a number of challenges that are associated with running a charity, you need to focus on the fundamentals of the organisation before worrying too much about smaller problems.
You need to have a system in place whereby you can accept all different forms of payment method. In the old days, the bulk of donations to charities came in the form of paper based payment methods such as cheques, cash and bank drafts.
Nowadays, with the recent developments in technology, people are moving more and more towards solely using paperless payment methods, such as credit cards and online banking. Therefore, charities need to adapt with this trend in order to ensure that they receive as much donations as possible.
If you do not accept credit cards, you are missing out on a serious amount of donations. This is why you need to work with a reputable credit processing company, as well as having a good system in place.
As a charity, you will most likely have a merchant account with your bank, so you can avail of certain discounts on different goods and services. Sometimes, due to the high risk nature of an organisation, the bank may change your account type to a high risk merchant account.
This means that you will have higher processing fees, as they perceive the risk of you having chargebacks and poor repayments of debts, to be increased. Therefore, you need to utilise the services of a company that specialises in merchant services for high risk accounts. These companies will be able to help you better manage these increased processing fees and help you to get better control over the situation.
Here is some additional advice to keep in mind when implementing a credit card processing system for your charity organisation.
Use a virtual gateway
For certain organisations, it is not feasible to have a comprehensive accounting system for all aspects of organisation. Therefore, you should use a virtual gateway instead, as this is your best alternative option.
With a virtual gateway, you will be able to accept credit card payments no matter where you are, provided you have the card reader and an internet connection. This means that you can be in the middle of a fundraising event, and be able to seamlessly collet donation by credit card, as well as receiving real time information and reports on details such as how much money you have received so far and other important metrics.
This is opposed to a physical router system, whereby you can only process payments in a single location and generating reports is a lot more labour intensive.
Dealing with invoices
It is important that you are able to provide invoices to all donators. They will want to have these invoices as proof of the donation so they can comprehensively do their accounts for the year, as well as having proof for the tax man in case of an audit. Always choose an operating system that has built in invoicing, which will automatically generate them. This will save time and will also be a lot more accurate than doing them manually.