Accept online donations: 1 system, 4 methods & 5 tips

Donations are the lifeblood of many nonprofit organisations. While face-to-face fundraising has been hit by COVID-19, many nonprofits have found their stride by relying less on traditional ways of raising money. Instead, they’ve gone digital.

Whether it’s by credit card, recurring, one-time donation, or bank account transfer — there’s multiple payment methods available for accepting donations online.

That’s why choosing the best possible digital payment processor is going to help you focus on creating effective fundraising campaigns that drive donor engagement and allow you to raise funds quickly.

How to accept online donations

When it comes to providing payment options the more flexibility you can offer, the better. What does this look like?

  • Setting up ‘auto-collect’ donation systems and set-and-forget donor arrangements
  • Being able to create scheduled or recurring invoices to automate your donation invoicing
  • Allowing safe and quick payment processing at checkout
  • Giving multiple payment options at checkout

Collect donations with Direct Debit, EFTPOS, BPAY, & Real Time Payments

The Ezidebit system is designed to simplify payment processing, giving back the time you need to expand your range of donors and focus on raising awareness of your social cause.

Here’s four payment methods to start accepting donations both online and offline:

Accept donations online via Direct Debit

Great option for nonprofits when they want to encourage recurring donations or just a once off payment. There’s the option to choose the donation amount, payment frequency, and whether the donation is made via the donor’s bank account or credit card.

Receive on-the-spot donations with EFTPOS

The great thing about a ‘plug and play’ EFTPOS machine is that you can integrate it to neatly consolidate all your payment systems. You won’t need to match up end-of-day reports.

Receive invoice-driven donations with BPAY

A great option for accepting donations online from your invoice-driven donors. There are no processing fees and the payments processed are typically available for settlement the next business banking day.

Collect donations online, over the phone or in-person with Real Time Payments

A payment method with multiple donation options. It provides an instant payment response and all payment information is handled and processed securely within the PCI DSS compliant Ezidebit system.

5 fundraising tips to help you increase your online donations

By offering a variety of options to accept donations, including one-off payments, you are making it easier for donors to give to your cause. But that’s just the beginning.

Once you have an automated payment processing system like Ezidebit, you’re able to spend more time on increasing your online donations.

Here’s how.

Optimise your online fundraising process for mobile

Optimising your website for mobile is non-negotiable! The same applies if you have just created a single donation form where you direct potential donors to.

By optimising your webpages for mobile — it makes it easier to navigate your website, which encourages your visitors to explore your content and easy to check-out when they want to make a donation.

Checking if your website is mobile friendly is easy. Here’s two ways you can do it (one for back-up).

1. Manually drag & resize the screen on desktop: Bring up your website in a browser on desktop. With your mouse, grab the right side of your browser window and drag it all the way to the left until you can’t shrink your browser anymore.

2. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test: All you need to do is pop in your website URL in the search bar to check on your site’s mobile-friendliness.

Just found out your website is not mobile-friendly? You need what is called a ‘responsive design.’ Mobile-responsive websites adjust to fit any screen size and are easy to use on any device. Depending on how you host your website (i.e WordPress), you will have access to a number of responsive design templates.

Tell a compelling story on your fundraising pages

As human beings, we connect through storytelling — which should be a big part of your fundraising strategy. Explaining what your organisation does is one thing, but how are you using it to develop a deeper connection with your potential donors? The stories you tell need to inspire and motivate action. In other words, motivate them to donate.

Here’s some tips to help you dig a bit deeper:

  • Tell a story that reminds your donors or prospective donors of a shared experience
  • Use videos to explain your mission
  • Create a ‘day in the life’ story
  • Encourage user-generated content on social media with your volunteers and donors
  • Look at how you can create urgency in your cause
  • Find ways to directly show the impact that donations provide

Share these stories across all of your channels; your email newsletter, website, annual report and social media. And make sure there is a clear way to donate at the end of every story you share — whether it’s a one-off or recurring donation.

Hook in small, recurring payments

Subscription-based services have become a part of everyday life. From Netflix to coffee bean deliveries, these everyday costs are negligible and deemed necessary. So how can you achieve the same thinking with recurring donations?

Explain why you need recurring donations and what impact they have. Donors want reassurance that their monthly gift is going to make a difference, so it is important to explain exactly what that donation will accomplish. In UNICEF’s example below, donors are encouraged to consider a smaller, monthly gift right before they press the donation button.

accept-donations-online-UNICEF-example 

Keep payment security at the forefront of processing donations

Accepting small minimum donations as low as $1 is important to maintain a steady stream of revenue — but this does raise some important security considerations.

The ability to make quick, anonymous, low-dollar-value donations appeals to fraudsters who want to commit a particular type of fraud known as card testing. In a typical two year period, 10% to 15% of Australian not-for-profits have been the targets of fraud, with an average loss of $23,000, according to data from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. What’s worse, is that nonprofits and charities are usually the least equipped to deal with them.

That’s why partnering with a payment provider like Ezidebit can help you secure and safeguard your business. We’ve developed a program called the Merchant Trust Initiative to help and support our merchants. Within this program, there are a range of tools and information that can be used to help protect your nonprofit or charity against the most common data threats, as well as provide access to a range of resources including templates, webinars, blogs, educational materials and support.


Read more: How to keep your customers information secure when taking payments online


Make the best use of technology to help you operate efficiently

A report released in 2020 aimed to understand how nonprofits across Australia and New Zealand are using technology to recognise opportunities and areas for improvement. Only 52% of nonprofits are using at least one type of new or emerging technology. And nearly half (49%) of the nonprofit staff are less than confident using technology and information systems.

The effective use of digital technologies and donation tools is critical to your nonprofit or charity success moving forward.

Some areas technology plays a successful role includes:

  • accepting donations
  • fundraising
  • communication through raising awareness
  • engaging donors
  • managing donor information
  • measuring campaign performance

If running on limited resources is a common challenge for your organisation, technology can help you work smarter rather than harder in all the areas listed above.

Case in point: The World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS) worked with Ezidebit to accept payments and enable seamless reconciliations to aid tier growth and expansion. As part of a hackathon/day-of-service, Ezidebit helped WBGS implement an event entry ticketing system on their website that resulted in a 39% conversion rate for tickets from the public and over 1,500 link clicks in a 24-hour period.


Read more: Client Spotlight: The World’s Biggest Garage Sale Reclaiming Goods for Profit and Purpose


Start accepting online donations with Ezidebit

We know the day-to-day running of your nonprofit or charity will take up much of your time. But collecting donations online doesn’t have to require a lot of effort, as there are increasingly accessible options for accepting donations online.

You can accept donations with Direct Debit, BPAY, Real Time Payment, and on-the-spot with EFTPOS. Making use of an automated payment processing system will free up your time to spend on fundraising strategies that will help you increase your donations.

To find out more about how Ezidebit can help your nonprofit or charity reach its potential, contact us today.