December Stress Relief: Automation for Gift Processing
Fundraising requires timely and efficient processing of donations, especially in the typical end-of-year rush of gifts. This season, give your team a little December stress relief by automating and streamlining gift processing, including recurring donations and installment payments.
Do You Panic When December 31 Falls on a Weekend?
As each year draws to a close, your nonprofit organization gears up for one of its most crucial fundraising periods. However, when the calendar’s final days land on a weekend, you can face a unique set of challenges, complicating what is already a high-stakes time for your nonprofit. From staffing limitations to banking intricacies, these multifaceted hurdles demand proactive strategies and solutions to ensure seamless gift processing and donor satisfaction. These are some of the challenges you might face when New Year’s Eve lands on a weekend:
- Limited staff availability: Team members might be off over the long weekend, making it difficult to address in real-time any issues that might arise during gift processing.
- Banking delays: Financial institutions often have limited operations on the weekend. This can lead to delays in processing transactions or obtaining transaction confirmations, with the risk of them falling into the next year.
- Last-minute donations: Donors might make an 11th-hour decision to donate. Without proper systems in place, processing these donations can be cumbersome.
- Communication delays: Responding to donor queries or concerns might be hindered by weekend hours, potentially leading to missed donation opportunities.
Optimize Recurring Gift Management
Expanding your recurring gifts program can be vital for your social impact organization, offering a steady revenue stream that aids in effective planning and resource allocation. However, the diverse preferences of donors, from donation frequency to payment method, can make managing recurring gifts a challenge. Combine the urgency of year-end processing with addressing expired credit cards, updating payment details, and rectifying potential errors, and you could have a perfect storm of stress for your team as the year comes to a close.
To navigate these complexities, invest in a fundraising platform purpose-built to transform your management of recurring gifts. Look for software that allows you to schedule donations based on individual donor preferences, automate notifications, and handle payment intricacies, all while minimizing manual interventions. The right software can help you boost efficiency to reduce stress on your team while enhancing donor satisfaction—the first step in building a lifelong relationship with your year-end donors.
Tips to Maximize Year-End Fundraising
As the end of the year approaches, processing gifts becomes even more critical. You need to handle high volumes of transactions seamlessly, even when faced with a weekend deadline. Here’s how to make it easier:
- Process gifts by December 29. As your organization receives an influx of gifts from donors new and old, make sure that you process them by December 29 so they post in 2023.
- Automate notifications. Set up automated notifications to remind donors about their upcoming scheduled gifts.
- Enable donors to manage recurring gifts. Give donors the flexibility to manage their recurring gifts from a donor portal. Donors can adjust gift amounts, modify payment schedules, pause, or even stop future payments, ensuring a personalized and convenient giving experience.
- Update stored credit cards. Recurring gifts can fail when the credit card you have securely stored in your system expires or details like expiration date change. Fundraising software is available that automatically updates expired or changed credit card information. These secure services help ensure future gifts process without interruption and let you resubmit failed recurring gifts, capturing that incremental year-end revenue.
- Monitor fundraising success. Because year-end donations are so important to your nonprofit organization’s revenue, you need to be able to monitor the success of end-of-year recurring gift processing and create effective reports. Every fundraising team needs insights into how many gifts were processed, the total amount raised, and any issues that arose. Consider upgrading to a platform that provides the convenience of viewing your organization’s account activity so your team can manage transactions, create lists, and run reports to help with reconciliation and financial auditing.
- Follow up with a thank you. Make the post-gift acknowledgment struggle-free for your team by using built-in communications tools to thank donors for their gifts and provide them with a summary of their year-end giving. This can help build stronger relationships and encourage future giving.
- Expand your tech capabilities. To make the most of your end-of-year fundraising strategy, your technology has to be ready to handle almost anything. And it must be secure, accurate, and compliant. Investing in best-in-class payment-processing software that can handle end-of-year transaction volume and is integrated into your other platforms could be the difference between a good year and a great one.