Online pledging platforms make managing campaigns easier for nonprofit organizations. Web-based pledging eliminates the need for paper pledges, resulting in a more environmentally friendly solution. Also, online giving tools track campaign data in real-time, decrease transaction errors, and make the accounting process more efficient.
From a donor perspective, online giving tools make it convenient for supporters to contribute gifts. However, donors may have questions about the pledging tool. Some questions might be as simple as, “How do I change my password?” While others might be more complicated. For instance, “How do I receive my tax receipt?” is a question that will vary depending on the country the donor is in, the type of pledge they make, and the amount they give. By putting together a donor FAQ, you’ll not only make the giving experience more comfortable, the transparency in information sharing will build trust in your nonprofit organization. A formal FAQ is also helpful for your staff to have on hand and turn to for answers when needed.
Where Should You Start?
We have put together an FAQ with some common online pledging questions that might come up. All social good organizations are different, so we haven’t provided detailed answers to the questions. Instead, we have provided prompts so that you and your team can determine what the best answer is for your organization.
Your FAQ document, or webpage, should first provide your contact information so that donors can reach you if they have any issues or questions about their pledges. Cleary list out your:
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Below are some questions you can add to your Online Pledging Donor FAQ:
How do I make a donation?
To answer this question, you may want to provide step by step instructions with screen captures that illustrate each step.
What does my gift support?
This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your impact areas and your organization’s mission statement. You may also want to link to the current list of agencies, programs, and collaborations you support.
What are my payment options?
Does your organization accept payroll donations and individual donations? You will want to list all the available options here, and also share the preferred methods of payment (credit cards are convenient, but come with additional fees.)
Create Your Customized FAQ
What kind of questions are your donors wondering about when they are making an online donation?
Download this Word template as a guide to create a customized FAQ for your organization. The template is in an easy to read layout and includes the questions from this blog with the answer prompts.
Can I choose more than one payment option at a time?
Donors may want to set up a payroll deduction and also give a one-time credit card or cash gift. Let them know what steps they need to take to make different payments by clarifying whether they can do them all at once in one donation sequence, or if they need to process each payment type separately (by entering their username and password between each payment.)
How do I make a payroll deduction?
If donors are giving through a workplace campaign, payroll deduction will usually be offered as a payment option when they log into the pledging website. If this is the case, let your donors know what the steps are. For example, do they have to click the “Give” button for the payment options to appear? Also, clarify whether payroll deductions are made annually, monthly, or by pay period. If a donor doesn’t see a payroll deduction option but believes they should, let them know how they can contact you to receive more information.
Can I designate my gift?
This is a good place to clarify how your particular organization designates donations. Let donors know how to fully or partially designate their gifts by providing step by step instructions.
How do I change my gift amount?
Are donors able to edit their payroll deduction amounts? If they are, providing step by step instructions would be helpful. Also, share instructions on how to change donation amounts if they haven’t yet been processed by your organization.
Was my donation successfully received?
Is your online pledging tool set up to provide an immediate confirmation on the pledging website, or should donors expect an email within 24 hours? Let donors know what they can expect by detailing what info they will receive, how they will obtain it, and when they will get it.
When will my contributions be deducted?
Some organizations might process gifts immediately, while others may let donors specify a date on the donation form. Payroll deductions are also handled differently. Make sure to share all of your different deduction options.
How do I receive my donation summary?
Donors who pledge multiple times throughout the year may want to see a summary of how much they have donated annually. Let them know whether this is possible and share step by step instructions on how to do so.
How do I save a record of the donation I made?
If a donation summary page populates after the pledge transaction is completed, the user may want to print a record of that page as a PDF. Will you be sending donors an automated “Thank You” email after the donation is processed? Donors may want to print this email for their records too.
How do I receive my tax receipt?
Tax receipts are issued differently depending on the amount and type of gift the donor makes. For example, payroll donation tax receipts are handled by the workplace payroll or HR team. One-time cash or credit card donations often have tax receipts issued immediately upon completing the donation. Make sure to clarify whether the tax receipt will be received via email or by regular mail. Some organizations issue tax receipts at the end of their campaign season. If this is the case for your organization, let donors know what month of the year they can expect to receive their tax receipts and whether they will be sent via email or regular mail. You may want to provide an email address that individuals can contact if they have tax receipt questions.
Why do you ask me for my address and other information?
Personal information may be needed to confirm the validity of the donation and to manage tax receipts. Be transparent and let donors know if they will receive future emails or direct mail from your organization.
Is my personal information safe and kept confidential?
Data security can be a deciding factor for donors that are considering making an online pledge. Let users know if the site has an SSL certificate, plus any other security measures your organization has in place. This is also a great opportunity to share that bank account or credit card information is not visible or accessible by your organization when you use a third-party payment processor.
How do I change my password?
Let users know how they can change their passwords. Step by step instructions with screen captures that illustrate each step would be helpful here. If an online, self-serve option is not available, let them know who they can call or email.
Does your organization charge administrative fees for each online donation?
Credit card transactions often have a fee associated with them. How does your organization manage such fees? Also, if a percentage of donations are directed toward administrative and staffing efforts, you can outline what they are here.
Can I donate using a paper form?
If this option is available to your donors, provide information on how to obtain the paper pledge forms and how to submit them.
How can I get involved in other ways beyond giving financial resources?
Donors may want to give their time and experience to your organizations. Let them know about your volunteering opportunities, your events, and your affinity programs.
At the very end of your FAQ, you can add a closing statement that includes your contact information once again. The goal here is to ease any potential friction and make the online pledging experience as informed and comfortable as possible for all of your supporters:
Do you have other questions that aren’t covered above?
Get in touch with us so that we can help you!
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We hope these questions are helpful in getting your Online Pledging Donor FAQ started, or at the very least, that they get the ball rolling and the ideas flowing!
Using Andar e-Pledge for Online Giving
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