Pledge payments anyone?

Dear Tuppence,

It seems like every online giving service offers the ability to make recurring gifts. You know, “give $20, would you like to repeat that every month?” That’s all fine and good, but I’m running a capital campaign, and so my needs are different. In a capital campaign, each donor agrees to a campaign pledge, say $2,000, and pays against that pledge in, say monthly payments over a three-year pledge period. Nobody seems to offer functionality that meshes with THAT. Any ideas?

–Nancy

Nancy, you really hit the nail on the head with that question! You are right, nobody seems to offer the ability to pay on a pledge over time. That makes most online giving systems, well, incompatible with capital campaigns.

GivingTools was built originally to help support capital campaigns, so we have functionality that others don’t. With GivingTools, you can launch what is called a Campaign Pledge appeal. You can set the pledge period and payment frequencies you would like to allow. Donors can then set up a pledge and decide how often they’d like to pay. The system automatically calculates the payments based on the pledge period. The donor can even set the date they would like their payments to begin.

This functionality mimics what is traditionally found on a printed capital campaign pledge card, so you can mesh up the options between your online givers and your traditional (check-writing) givers. And here’s a nice twist: because the data is structured in the same way, you can enter your traditional givers into GivingTools and they get an emailed receipt, just as if they paid online. So they can track their giving, and you can track it, too, all in one place.

One other thing. Some folks would argue that making major gifts to a capital campaign using an online giving service is a bad idea, due to the expense. While that may be true with many services, because GivingTools charges so little, it makes great sense to accept capital campaign pledges online.

With our 25¢ ACH feature, for example, a gift of $500 costs just 25¢ to process. That works out to 5/100ths of a percent!

Another feature we have to keep costs down is our “Discourage Credit Cards” feature. With this feature, if a donor chooses to make a pledge using a credit card, the system can intervene, presenting a message you author that encourages the donor to give via ACH instead!

But even if the donor gives with a credit card, thanks to our no-charge Stripe and PayPal integrations, you can pay the nonprofit rate of just 2.2%. When you consider that capital campaigns need to often budget 4% for “pledge attrition”, 2.2% looks pretty great!

Good luck with your capital campaign, Nancy. And don’t forget that GivingTools can help you with your campaign website, too!

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