Test: Online giving fails 1/3 of the time

This is just what everyone is afraid of: As reported in The NonProfit Times at One-Third Of Web Donations Didn’t Go Through, a recent experience by fundraising agency Amergent showed a lot of stuff just not working. They gave online donations of $25 to 30 Catholic charities. Here’s what happened:



Ten out of the 30 online gifts could not be processed online: five organizations required the mailing address to match the credit card billing address, two didn’t accept online donations, and for two the donation processes did not go through. One organization had a bill-to company requirement.

Okay, it’s a small sample size, so it’s not reasonable to call these results typical. But that’s a stunning failure rate. If your direct-mail caging or data-processing vendor were screwing up that bad, you’d fire them, immediately.


The only excuse would be that online revenue is too small for an organization to spend a lot getting it right. Of course, that’s a self-perpetuating decision: If your system is rejecting your donors’ attempts to give online, you won’t get a lot of online gifts.


Right now, go online and try to give your organization a gift. If something goes wrong, fix it.


Thanks to AFP Blog: Recent News of Note for the tip.


Comments

4 responses to “Test: Online giving fails 1/3 of the time”

  1. Jeff:
    It is really important to educate donors and nonprofit organizations about credit card processing basics. Some of the failures highlighted in the tests are the result of very important fraud protection measures built into the credit card transaction process. For example, requiring the mailing address to match the credit card billing address is an important step to prevent fraud. For the five organizations where there was an “address mismatch failure,” there was nothing wrong with the system– the requirement is there to prevent fraud. The post states, “for two the donation processes did not go through,” but there is not enough information to discern if the failure was on the part of the NPO, the transaction processing company, the hosting company, or user error.
    It is very important to acknowledge that nonprofit organizations are not exempt from the explosion of online credit card fraud. The credit card processing companies and online donation processing partners (like Network for Good) build in protection to prevent fraud to protect donors and nonprofit organizations. Don’t get me wrong, I do know NPOs make mistakes on their online donation forms, and there’s room for improvement, but overall, I would be willing to bet the these tests would yield similar results on many smaller businesses online shopping sites.
    These tests clearly point out the need for nonprofit organizations to select their online donation processing systems carefully. They should look for vendors who have good credit card processing track record,s and staff dedicated to provide support, training, advice, and guidance about best practice in online donation processing.

  2. Jeff:
    It is really important to educate donors and nonprofit organizations about credit card processing basics. Some of the failures highlighted in the tests are the result of very important fraud protection measures built into the credit card transaction process. For example, requiring the mailing address to match the credit card billing address is an important step to prevent fraud. For the five organizations where there was an “address mismatch failure,” there was nothing wrong with the system– the requirement is there to prevent fraud. The post states, “for two the donation processes did not go through,” but there is not enough information to discern if the failure was on the part of the NPO, the transaction processing company, the hosting company, or user error.
    It is very important to acknowledge that nonprofit organizations are not exempt from the explosion of online credit card fraud. The credit card processing companies and online donation processing partners (like Network for Good) build in protection to prevent fraud to protect donors and nonprofit organizations. Don’t get me wrong, I do know NPOs make mistakes on their online donation forms, and there’s room for improvement, but overall, I would be willing to bet the these tests would yield similar results on many smaller businesses online shopping sites.
    These tests clearly point out the need for nonprofit organizations to select their online donation processing systems carefully. They should look for vendors who have good credit card processing track record,s and staff dedicated to provide support, training, advice, and guidance about best practice in online donation processing.

  3. Is this is right? that nonprofit organizations are not exempt from the explosion of online credit card fraud.

  4. Is this is right? that nonprofit organizations are not exempt from the explosion of online credit card fraud.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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