Compared to many “traditional” channels, online fundraising and online donations can be a very effective and cost-efficient channel for nonprofits, especially if new donor segments can be targeted and admin work can be streamlined.
There are many online fundraising tools available in the market today and a nonprofit has to evaluate 3 key questions when deciding which platforms to use:
- Will the Online Donation tools work for my target segment, help grow my donor base and drive incremental donations?
- Will the administration of the Online Donation tool reduce admin work and work together with my existing processes and systems (for example donor managements system, accounting and reporting)?
- Will the incremental revenues from 1. and cost savings from 2. offset the service fee for an Online Donation tool?
Lets do the math for ammado’s 1. features, 2. admin tools and 3. fees
Easy and accessible giving is at the core of ammado’s offering and facilitated by the unique “Donation Widget”. Its a user-friendly donation tool which can facilitate donations in 80 different currencies, 12 languages and many payment methods. It detects the donors country by his IP address and automatically adjusts to the users main currency, language and payment method. This makes it a truly global donation experience and allows even small local nonprofits to fundraise globally.
The Donation Widget can be embedded into any website with no technical expertise. In fact it's as easy as embedding a YouTube video. Instead of donating on ammado.com potential donors will find the widget on a nonprofit website (example, click on "Donate") or Facebook page (example, click "Donate"), a company homepage or Intranet or any other personal (example) or commercial website that wants to support one or different nonprofits.
The Donation Widget can be configured in different ways for example to present several nonprofits or appeals at the same time (example) or to display a different nonprofit depending on the donors country to ensure tax-efficiency.
Example Giving Widget:
It also displays well on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones which broadens the online channel again. There is also an special app to display the widget on the Facebook page of a nonprofit.
To further drive donations and target certain donor segments especially in the corporate sector ammado offers a variety of tools like Fundraising Projects and Events, Disaster Appeals, Corporate Giving Events, Donation Gift Cards and Matching Programs (see overview).
In summary ammado will help to reach new donor segments and drive donations, particularly
- in the corporate sector,
- through social media websites and
- smartphones and tablets.
2. Admin tools: While an online fundraising tool needs to be easy to use and intuitive it also has to fulfill many backend requirements that can cause major administrative headache, especially when it come to international transactions.
Sign up: the nonprofit signup is free and basically requires contact details, bank details and legal information on the nonprofit (see manual). ammado verifies the information provided and accepts membership requests from legally established nonprofits around the world (except countries sanctioned by the international banking policy).
Profile: once approved every nonprofit gets a profile (example) where it can present information and news about its activities, receive donations and easily manage the services, like the Donation Widget, fundraisers for special projects or appeals (example), manage notifications/privacy and view/export reports. The profile and fundraising pages can be branded with logo images and a cover image also displaying text and partner logos. (See article on branding).
Reports: reports are a particular strength of ammado. Nonprofits can see incoming donations in real-time, like in a bank statement, including an overview and a detailed breakdown and status of each individual donation. Reports can be exported as .csv file to be imported into the nonprofits overall donor management system. Reports are also available on a fundraiser level and can be shared for example with corporate partners, who want to know about the contribution of a certain appeal. (See article on reports).
Settlement: ammado collects all donations and pays out to the nonprofits monthly to minimize bank charges. The pay-out can be done in EUR, GBP, USD or JPY, as per the nonprofits choice. Donations in other currencies will be converted with the current exchange rate. Nonprofits can use their existing bank account to receive bank transfers. Detailed and exportable reports on those payments will also be provided for each payment session (monthly) for nonprofits to reconcile the payments they receive against the individual donations and to import the information into their accounting systems.
Tax receipts: ammado sends an email confirmation about the transaction to every donor, which in some countries might be sufficient to claim a tax relief at least for smaller amounts. Donors can also ask for a donation receipt at the end of the donation or at a later stage by following a link provided in the confirmation email. Those requests will be earmarked in the reports described earlier. Based on the report the nonprofits are able to issue tax receipts to their donors. ammado is also offering to email out the receipts on behalf of the nonprofits. Its even possible for the nonprofit to add some custom text, links, a logo and a signature. Please see specification how to set this up. Its a free service and a big cost saving opportunity especially for international receipts.
Security and Privacy: ammado applies very high standards on security and privacy and complies with and exceeds the legal requirements in Ireland, the EU and also the USA. The platform is hosted on Amazon Web Service (AWS) and built on a foundation of highly scalable infrastructure using best practices designed to optimize application uptime, scalability, and processing power. It is compliant with all major industry standards. The actual payment data is handled by the PCI compliant partner, Worldpay. (see document for more details).
In summary ammado is offering an end-to-end online fundraising platform that removes administrative burdens and offers maximum compatibility with other systems nonprofits are using.
The fee structure is very simple: ammado charges a 5% service fee to the nonprofits on online donation and also passes on the actual payment processing fees averaging at about 2.5% (i.e. credit card fees). These 2 fees will be deducted as services charges from the gross donation amount before pay-out and listed in the reports as separate items. There are no other fees for setting up or maintaining a profile or any license or other fixed fees.
Increases revenues and reduced admin will be much greater than costs
In summary, with no cash-outlay or technical investment, nonprofits can start fundraising using ammado and address new donor segments while streamlining admin processes and hence reduce admin costs. This way nonprofits can focus on the communications of their service and come up with creative ways to call for donations. The increased revenues and lower admin work will easily offset the associated fees.