Get Prepared for EFT
Fewer people are using cash and personal checks to donate funds, opting instead to choose electronic funds transfer payment options. It is therefore necessary for all nonprofits to accept these types of payments in order to maintain their fundraising capabilities.
But before jumping into EFT with both feet, organizations should understand what it will mean for them, as EFT changes the way they relate to and reach out to donors.
“Opening up new avenues for payment means that you need to be prepared to respond differently,” says Cheryl Campbell, vice president and general manager of government solutions for eFunds, a firm that provides services in support of financial institutions’ commercial and not-for-profit customers. For example, a financial institution that represents a nonprofit organization that wants to accept EFT would work with eFunds to make that possible.
Allowing people to donate through EFT means an organization’s responses need to be faster, for one thing. Organizations also have to enhance the acknowledgement process for gifts.
Security of information is also critical. Be aware of the fact that sensitive information is entrusted to you when a donor gives to you through EFT. Make sure that you have the right security mechanisms in place to ensure the information you collect is protected.
Campbell says organizations that take the time to consider what mechanisms will have to be changed or adjusted to maximize EFT will find it increases funds and donor giving.
“Any time you can make it easier for your donor to be able to increase their contribution or reach out to those that just don’t get over the inertia of writing the check and mailing it … it’s just an amazing tool that I think can deliver some great benefits to the not-for-profit world by virtue of making the ability to give less complex and immediately rewarding,” she adds.