Card Payment Solutions Help Charitable Organizations
Adapt to Changing Donor Landscape
From the DMA Journal of the Non-Profit Federation
By Rusty Ware, Visa USA
Although the main goal of any charitable organization is to bring awareness to specific issues and to
find solutions that ease these problems, charities must focus much of their energy on attracting donors.
This task is never complete, the need to secure new donors is an ongoing one, but it’s a task that can be
made significantly easier every time a one-time donor agrees to become a recurring contributor.
Meanwhile, the donor landscape is continually changing. Charitable organizations must constantly
adapt to make it easier for donors to contribute - offering the flexibility to donate what they want,
when they want, how they want, and with as little effort as possible. One easy and viable option is to
partner with payment providers to provide alternatives that will help charities keep up with this
Three main trends exemplify this need for change. First, a new generation of donors has emerged as a
viable target for charitable organizations. Secondly, a largely untapped potential still exists for debit
and credit cards as payment options for contributions. Finally, as we emerge from a U.S. recession,
organizations are now focusing on donor retention as much as donor acquisition and payment cards
can help in that regard.
Targeting young donors is an essential strategy. Ten younger donors contributing $100 each are
potentially more valuable than a one-time donation of $1000 from a senior donor. Organizations need
to actively seek relationships with tomorrow’s donors. Many of the new generation of donors prefer
using new payment forms, like debit or credit cards. Research conducted by Visa USA indicates that
10% of Americans feel they would use a debit or credit card to make a donation and, importantly, the
average one-time donation on a card is $99, compared