How the Right Payment Processing System Gets Your Donations Further
The holidays are upon us! Charities across the country have ramped up for a year-end push for donations.
Of course, charitable giving is typically year-round. However, nonprofits and charities know the last quarter is the big one. People are more likely to open their wallets during the holiday season, and many are in the mood to maximize their tax deduction.
The seasonal patterns of giving haven’t changed much; however, how donations are given has changed significantly. Donors have become accustomed to a wide variety of payment options, from credit cards and mobile wallets to GoFundMe campaigns. With all of this change, charities have struggled to keep up – the Salvation Army has reported steep donation declines over the past few years - primarily because fewer shoppers carry cash.
Nonprofits and charities can maximize their contributions by leveraging technology to improve payment processing
These strategies are straightforward: it’s relatively easy to set up secure, online donation systems coupled with marketing campaigns that track emails, social media engagement, and sign-ups.
However, many nonprofits and charities still rely on direct mail and mailed responses for their campaigns. While this is still a successful approach for many organizations, the back-end processes required to accept those payments can be time-consuming and expensive.
For those that accept a mix of check, cash, credit card, and online donations, smart remittance processing software and advanced digital imaging can increase payment processing speeds and eliminate manual effort involved in sorting donations and associated documents.
The Arbor Day Foundation accepts donations for more than 45 different programs via check, credit card, and cash. Also, all returned donation coupons include survey information, address changes, and membership or campaign numbers.
Using an advanced imaging and remittance processing solution, the Arbor Day Foundation has been able to open and scan all incoming mail, automatically sorting and categorizing every transaction. Coupons now include 2D barcodes that increase processing speeds. Different payment types are scanned without any manual pre-sorting.
Because all of the documents are converted into electronic files, physical mail is not distributed to different departments, and checks are deposited electronically at the end of each day. Their system reduced processing steps by 60 percent and manual handling by 90 percent while also reducing the need to hire temporary staff.
In Touch Ministries also eliminated manual document sorting in its mailroom, which processes donations, prayer requests, and other correspondence. The organization has accelerated donation processing and improved its response times using digital imaging and automated remittance processing. In Touch Ministries processes some 90,000 transactions per month, with most mail processed on the same day. The staff needed for mail processing during peak periods has been reduced from 15 volunteers to just one.
An automated solution can eliminate time spent preparing documents and streamline payment processing workflows
Digital imaging also enables these groups to capture donor information electronically, allowing them to send donation acknowledgments quickly, and enhance their ability to create accurate donor databases for future campaigns.
Electronic document imaging and management systems make it easier and faster to collect survey information, update address information, make donation information available online to key stakeholders, and enable faster electronic deposit of the funds. That means less overhead for the organization and more time for staff and volunteers to achieve the primary mission of the charity/nonprofit.
With the holidays upon us, remember your staff this holiday season, and make their jobs simpler with digital imaging and automated remittance processing. Efficiency, after all, is a gift that keeps on giving.
Our team of project managers, engineers, and analysts can assist and support you through your Document management and Mailroom automation evaluation and implementation process from start to finish. Contact us today via phone (+1 856.727.1100) or online to learn more.