The Nonprofit’s Guide to Salesforce Donations and Payments

Use Cases for Chargent:
The Nonprofit’s Guide to Salesforce Donations and Payments

Salesforce and Nonprofits

For many nonprofits, making the move to a CRM system like Salesforce is a big commitment. The processes of choosing a system, getting buy-in, designing the system for your operations, staff training, data migration, and implementation are time consuming and often challenging. Even with Salesforce’s generous 10 free licenses for nonprofits, it is still a big time and financial commitment.

However, once implemented, your team has a valuable tool in a system like Salesforce - which is the CRM of choice for many nonprofits. Supplementing Salesforce with apps that help you become more effective and efficient in how you use your CRM will add to its capabilities and complete the toolset. You can have a 360 degree view of your donors and almost endless options for interacting with them and analyzing the information you collect. You can review email subscriptions, analyze success rates of different campaigns and programs, and if you have the right tools in place - capture and manage the payment preferences of your donors.

You design your marketing campaigns to deliver compelling messages to engage and entice potential donors, and you want to be sure your payment solutions give those donors the opportunity to take the next step. A tool, like the Chargent Payment Processing for Salesforce app, helps you easily capture and access donor payment information directly in Salesforce. Once you have the best tools and processes in place, capturing donations and payment data in Salesforce gives you a leg-up in how you focus your fundraising efforts and identify trends that help improve your campaigns. The payment data in Salesforce equips you with your donors’ payment preferences, helps you design your programs and campaigns, and empowers your team to maximize the return on your investment.

Understanding Donor Preferences

So much of your fundraising and awareness efforts are spent on understanding your audience and what influences your donors. That understanding needs to carry through all aspects of your fundraising from awareness to donation. If you run the perfect campaign that draws in new visitors to your website or grows you database of contacts, you want to be sure that they have the options they want in order to make a donation.

“19% of 2015 PayPal donations were made by a mobile device.”

The nonprofit industry is influenced by consumer purchasing preferences, just like the retail world is. Just consider how common it is, especially for certain generations, to make purchases or donations online using a mobile device. In 2015, over $45.8 million was donated globally using Paypal alone, with approximately 19% of the donations made by a mobile device. If you want to maximize these trends, you need to understand how and if they impact your target audience. Look at your Salesforce payment data, and ask yourself:

  • Do we make the right payment options available at the right times and in the right locations?

  • Are we losing out on recurring donations because we don’t have the correct management tools in place?

  • Are our donors more likely to contribute with credit cards, cash, check, echeck or other methods?

  • Do most of our donations come via our website, our call center, or other methods?

  • Can we segment our donor lists based on their payment preferences?

  • Do our donors use different payment options for different types of contributions?

  • Do certain payment methods correspond with larger contribution or better donor retention?

These are the kinds of questions you can answer when you manage your payment processing and billing directly in Salesforce and capture the data for each transaction.

Nonprofit fundraising using Salesforce

Designing Your Programs

Once you understand your donor payment preferences, you can design your fundraising campaigns appropriately. Often, giving donors more options will give you better results. However a targeted approach when you understand what works best for certain groups will also help you reach your goals. Regardless of how you approach and communicate to your donors, it’s important that whatever their preferences are for making a donation, you make that available to them at each step along the way.

Offering new programs to donors will be more successful when you understand the kinds of programs, and the program delivery details – like payment types – that your donors respond to. Here are some examples of how understanding the payment preferences of your target audience can help you create programs that maximize results.

Recurring Giving

Many of the fundraising trends tell us that recurring giving is a smart strategy to build long-term donors and get better returns on your fundraising efforts. In fact, a January 2016 blog on Network for Good tells us that on average, a recurring donor will give 42% more than those who only donate annually. Plus, the likelihood of retaining a recurring donor once they’ve donated for a full year, is 80%.

“A recurring donor will give 42% more than an annual one.”

When you look at your database to identify potential recurring donors, those who donate with cash or check may be less likely candidates because the process is more labour intensive and relies on them to take steps each month. Donors who are comfortable using a credit card or ACH / eCheck to donate would be more favorable candidate. With the right tools, you can set up monthly authorized payments directly in Salesforce so no reminder email, letter or call is required for each donation. Recurring annual donations are also easier for donors to agree to if it’s as simple as authorizing a payment based on payment information you already have securely stored in Salesforce.

Giving your donors the option to schedule automatic recurring payments on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis can all be managed in Salesforce with the Chargent Payment Processing for Salesforce app. These recurring payments are set up and documented directly in Salesforce and can include a limited number of recurrences or a specified end date.

Targeted Campaigns

According to the 2016 M+R Benchmarks Study, an average campaign that directs donors to a website for contributions can expect $654 in donations for every 1,000 visitors. Using an email campaign can expect only $44 for 1,000 messages sent. Is this what you see from your donors? If so, you might want to consider using email as part of a general awareness campaign to drive donors to your website.

If however, you have a segment of your donor list who consistently make donations in response to your email campaigns, you want to continue to target them this way. Including a “Donate Now” link in your email campaigns gives donors the option to make a donation with a single click of a button on your email or attachment. With the help of the Chargent app, the information is captured directly in Salesforce and the contact has the option to not only make a contribution, but also to update their information securely online.

Empowering your Team

What Chargent Lets Your Team Do Without Leaving Salesforce
  • Capture donor financial and payment information
  • Review donation transactions as soon as they happen
  • Process donations using eChecks/ ACH and credit cards, including recurring payments
  • Instantly send reminder, payment confirmation, or donation requests via email
  • Keep your donor financial information safe and secure
  • Control access to payment functionality using Salesforce's robust user permissions

Salesforce gives you a 360 degree view of your donors. It also lets you manage your events, programs, campaigns, and financial information. When your team has access to payment information on specific donors or can see the financial results of different campaigns or efforts, they are better equipped to succeed.

For example, a call center employee who knows how a donor has contributed in the past can recommend that they continue that option. For credit cards or eChecks, apps like Chargent lets your team secure the donation with a quick click of a button. It also gives you the ability to securely store payment information for future donations and campaigns. If your team has the opportunity to promote a recurring contribution option to a donor, preauthorized payments can also be captured in Salesforce with the click of a button.

Your accounting team can analyze payment data to understand the areas where you can minimize fees or streamline some of the payment processes. You may even identify payment options that you want to eliminate because they are underutilized or are have high transaction rates but aren’t popular with your donors. The same can be said for your IT team who may have to manage different elements of your payment systems.

Marketing can also review payment information to understand how donors react to certain campaigns and certain options for payments. You may be able to identify trends for certain campaign types and continue to focus on what works and let go of what doesn’t.

Nonprofit Donations online using Salesforce

Using the Best Tool for the Job

See What You Can Do with Salesforce and Chargent at Your Nonprofit
  • Instantly capture donations with the click of a button and without leaving Salesforce
  • Store your financial and donor contact information in one place
  • Offer your donors multiple payment options and save their preferences
  • Give donors a simple way to update their contact and payment information
  • Automate authorized recurring payments
  • Use donor financial data to evaluate and design fundraising campaigns
  • Embed “Donate Now” buttons in your email and on your website
  • Give your team a complete view of your donors, including their donation information
  • Minimize transaction costs for donations

Salesforce is essential to keep donor lists and information organized and available. Keeping financial information and donation payment history directly in Salesforce takes the system up a notch. Non-profits who use the Chargent app to add a payment option in their Salesforce Non-Profit Starter Pack (NPSP) find it easier and more convenient to manage their data, accept donations with a secure process, and keep their transaction costs to a minimum.

All Your Information in One Place

The addition of Chargent to Salesforce means your team doesn’t have to log out of Salesforce, or log into a different system to manage donations or schedule donation requests. This eliminates the need to duplicate data in a separate payment or accounting system and gives you access to active and historical data in one location. Having only one system for your contacts and financial data also minimizes the need for IT to manage more than one system and the process of synchronizing multiple systems.

Capture Donations Quickly and Easily

To make it easy for your employees or volunteers, Chargent creates payment buttons directly in the Donation portion of Salesforce so a donation can be captured with a simple click. You are able to give your donors the option to pay with a credit card, debit card, or ACH / eCheck and you can securely save their payment preferences immediately in Salesforce. During fundraising drives your team can also immediately process donation payments using Chargent buttons inside of Salesforce, providing instant feedback on whether a transaction was approved.

The Chargent app also lets you save multiple payment options in Salesforce for an individual donor so you can maintain a record of their payment preferences for future donations. It is a fast and easy process that makes pledge drives and telemarketing efforts easier for your team and gives you up-to-the-minute access to your fundraising efforts.

Whether you decide to use an email campaign, phone bank or your website to request donations, you want to keep the process simple for your donors. The Chargent app includes features that let you include secure Donate Now links in your email campaigns to give donors the option to make a donation with a single click of a button on your email or attachment. You can also use Form Assembly with its Chargent connector to make a donation form or agreement on your website. This information is captured immediately into Salesforce.

Minimize Transaction Costs

Chargent has no transaction fees when integrated into Salesforce. It gives you the option to choose from more than 20 payment gateways so you can negotiate transaction rates that best suit your needs and those of your donors. This can help you keep your transaction fees to a minimum while making your process more efficient.

Donor Security

Keeping donor information secure is important and your contacts expect it, especially when you have their financial information. Salesforce has built in security, and you want to be sure any other tools you use are also secure. The Chargent app adds another layer of security on top of what exists in Salesforce. With Chargent, you have PCI compliant security tools that include tokenization. Tokenization shares donor data using tokens instead of real information, which limits the vulnerability of your contacts’ information. Chargent’s Payment Console also creates a secure link between your preferred payment gateway and Salesforce so you can feel secure about each transaction.

Self-Service Donor Tools

With Chargent embedded in Salesforce, you can also provide self-service tools to donors who need to update their payment details. If a recurring payment is declined, you can send donors a Payment Request email. They can then click through to an online form and update their payment details, which are automatically saved in Salesforce after a successful transaction goes through. And with Salesforce Communities, you can build an even more full-featured donation portal, with billing updates, past donation records, and more.


Salesforce Recurring Billing with Chargent

Capturing the Information and Using It

Making the most out of Salesforce is an ongoing process. How you manage your donors and their information will continue to change and evolve as will what you do with the information. An app like Chargent not only makes capturing donations and financial information in Salesforce easy for your employees and volunteers, it lets you offer flexible options to your donors. Saving your donors’ financial information in Salesforce gives you a one-stop, comprehensive view of your contacts. This full-view gives you valuable insight as you design your marketing campaigns and programs for successful fundraising.