EFT Improvements Lead to Great Results

Sometimes when we release product enhancement, it is hard to evaluate the success.  That is certainly not the case with our recently released improvements to DonorPerfect Online’s EFT recurring gift processing.  The improvements were designed to make many different aspects of the process faster and easier. Another goal was to provide users with a better system to deal with transactions that failed to process.  How?

  • We enhanced the reporting of why the transaction failed and made it easier to email or call donors to get updated credit card or bank account data.
  • We also now provide color-coded information on the likelihood that a transaction will be successful before you process a batch.

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The Results: failed transactions were reduced by 60%!

We’ve also received positive feedback from clients on many of the other improvements, so if your nonprofit doesn’t currently use our built-in recurring gifts feature, try it out!

Bonus Tip #1:  The best way to ensure recurring gifts process successfully is to get bank account data (99.8% success) instead of credit card (93% success) data.

Bonus Tip #2: – Download our Monthly Giving Kit to learn how to start a recurring gifts program using our EFT feature.

by sgoldenberg

Jul 1 15

Giftworks 2013 Shutoff Date Moved to June 30, 2015

Robert Weiner, a strategic technology adviser to nonprofits, noted in a February blog article that  “A representative from FrontStream confirmed that all clients, whether their database is on-premise (local) or hosted by FrontStream, will no longer be able to access their data if they do not upgrade by midnight on July 31st, 2015.”  Then, on June 12, he noted he had received an update from Frontstream Systems, the company that purchased Giftworks, that “The original shutoff date was July 31st. A few months ago our management team made the call to push it forward a month to June 30th. June 30th is the new date for shut off.”

As our CEO Doug Schoenberg wrote in October 2013, when they first announced they were shutting off earlier versions of Giftworks, “This is clearly an attempt to force clients to migrate …, which requires the payment of monthly fees, even for the installed version of the product. Regardless of the legality of this strategy, we don’t think this is fair or right, and SofterWare is committed to giving GiftWorks customers a real choice and a real opportunity to upgrade their fundraising software.   We’ve created a GiftWorks client Switch & Save special offer.”

If you or someone you know uses Giftworks 2013, please let them know that unless they pay Frontstream what they’re asking, their system will be shut-off on June 30, 2015, and they should immediately make a back-up of their data and store it outside of their Giftworks system.  With that, the new donor management system they choose will be able to migrate that data into their new system.  We have converted hundreds of Giftworks clients since this was first announced, and our team have become experts in migrating data from their software. If you would like to speak to a DonorPerfect account representative, please call 800-220-8111, or request information on our Switch & Save Giftworks special offer page.

by sgoldenberg

Jun 26 15

What Metrics Will Convince Your Board to Start a Monthly Giving Program?

By Erica Waasdorp, co-author of DonorPerfect  Monthly Giving Starter Kit, Author of Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant, and President of A Direct Solution

If you’re like a lot of organizations, boards (and sometimes other bosses) drag their feet on starting a monthly giving program. They worry that the metrics are not compelling enough to warrant investing the time, money and people. After all, monthly donors are just small donors, right? Yes, but here’s the great news: the metrics ARE compelling, if you’re looking at the right ones!

Let’s look at two examples using conservative estimates that you’ll be able to convert 3% to 5% of your donors to give monthly in very short order (we’ve seen many organizations convert even more of their donors to monthly giving).

Example 1: Say you have 2,000 donors who gave on average less than $100 in the past two years. If you can convert 3% of them to give $20 monthly, that means $14,400 annually! If you’re able to grow that percentage to 9%, that’s $43,200 annually. Nothing a board can sneeze at, right? And once you bring them in, the cost to maintain is virtually nil!

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Example 2: What if you had 10,000 donors who gave in the past two years? These metrics are just astounding!

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Even if you minimally invested and generated 300 new monthly donors (3%), you’d generate $72,000 annually in the first year! Again, minimal maintenance cost and the money will just keep coming in…every month.

Ask your board “What’s not to like about these metrics?”

What I see happen every time is that once your boss and board see these metrics, their eyes start to shine a lot brighter. Even if you’re like most organizations and you have a lot more small donors to reach out to, starting a monthly giving program makes a lot of sense.

If you use DonorPerfect and would like to do this calculation on your own, run a report with a selection filter for donors who have given in the past two years (Last Gift Date >= 6/1/2013). Then, download the Monthly Donor Calculator. Now, you’re ready to plug in your own numbers and see what the potential is for YOUR organization.

Written by Erica Waasdorp, Monthly Giving Expert and President of A Direct Solution

Written by Erica Waasdorp, Monthly Giving Expert and President of A Direct Solution

There are more compelling statistics and resources within the Monthly Giving Starter Kit to help you convince your board. After you prove your case, they’ll be more than willing to give you the time and some resources to start building this program to the potential it can have for your organization.  And, when you get your approval (and I know you will), simply use the tools and tips in the Monthly Giving Starter Kit, which includes some links to great down-loadable templates you can use right away to get started.

We’ve truly made it easy for you to start and grow your monthly giving program, but if you have any questions at all, simply contact Erica Waasdorp via DPConnect.

 

 

by sgoldenberg

Jun 24 15

Announcing Fresh WebLink Features for Your Summer Fundraising

If you’re anything like us (even though we love our jobs), summer vacation is something we all can’t wait for! Maybe you’re headed somewhere exotic, to the mountains or maybe you’re hanging around the house for a good ‘ole “staycation!” 

Before you head out for some R&R, take a look at what we’ve been working on to improve all of the great features you already enjoy in WebLink.

Entry List Screen Improvements

After your donors submit their payment, it’s time for you to review their information in the WebLink Review and Acceptance Center (RAC). Because you come here often (if you don’t have automatic download enabled), we gave it a facelift and made it easier to use.

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  • One of the first things you’ll notice is that we’ve repositioned and updated the appearance of the Download Selected and Delete Selected buttons to improve usability.
  • We’ve also added the Payment type to the grid such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or ACH (bank draft), etc. so you no longer have to search for this information.
  • Want more information than what you see here? We’ve also improved the Expanded and Complete view to give you just what you need when reviewing donor information in the RAC.
  • Don’t worry, we kept the best of the features you love about WebLink such as the red highlights for failed payments or incomplete submissions. However, we did improve the status symbol to indicate that a record has already been downloaded to DonorPerfect. When you see a green check box, you know it’s downloaded.

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Apply Your Great Header to All Pages with One Click

After you finish designing your WebLink form’s logo and text, you shouldn’t have to make those same custom changes on every page of your form. Now, you can click Save to All Pages after editing your header and WebLink will update the rest of your form for you. This will save you the time and effort of manually updating each page individually.

Set Unlimited Default Item Codes for Every Transaction

Defaults allow you to track information in DonorPerfect for every transaction that is processed through your WebLink form. You could always do this on the Set Item Codes screen but it was limited to the number of fields. Now, you can choose a Solicitation Code for your golf outing, pick your General Ledger code of Unrestricted, and even add an unlimited number of custom fields and values such as a specific fundraising office in Chicago or Orlando.

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In addition, you now have the choice to display these fields on your form. Sometimes, you may want to have donors select where they want their donation to be applied (General Ledger) or their preferred thank you method of email, letter, or both (Receipt Delivery Preference).

Once you set up these Item Codes, every transaction that is processed will have your custom codes downloaded into DonorPerfect.

Improved PDF Receipts for Canadian Donors

The Canadian PDF Receipt has a beautiful new style to make sure your donor’s online experience is great. We also made it easy for you to format the required information for the Canada Revenue Agency by providing you with a simple form to complete. These PDF receipts include your logo, charity number, and official signature (without the extra information that wasn’t needed in the old version). To update your Canadian PDF template, simply choose the new version from the Set Email Options > PDF Receipt screen.

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For a complete list of all the changes made in this summer release, see the release notes  in our knowledgebase.

 

Josh Nelson
by Josh Nelson

Jun 19 15

Demystifying Credit Card Processing for Nonprofits

Most nonprofits accept credit cards. Why? Because donors love the convenience and perks, such as airline mileage, which they get when they pay by credit cards; and because your nonprofit can benefit from the quick collection of funds and the tendency for donations by credit card to be larger (one recent study noted a 20% increase over non-credit card gifts).whitepaper-3d

But with more and more nonprofits offering donors the ability to make various types of electronic payments, there is the potential for plenty of confusion. Your organization could end up with the wrong processing solutions and even end up paying more than you need to for processing transactions. We wrote an article to demystify electronic payment technology and provide some useful guidance on avoiding pitfalls.

For example, we look at what types of payments you accept such as recurring vs. one-time transactions, and constituent-initiated vs. staff-processed transactions. We also explain what a merchant account is, and how to get one. Then we dive into all the fees you’ll have to know and understand so you make good decisions when comparing providers. Finally, we review pitfalls to avoid as you get started.

Check out the article.

by sgoldenberg

Jun 12 15