The beauty and pleasure of working with nonprofits is seeing the incredible things they do for our communities. Nonprofit organizations help raise awareness, solve problems, and keep communities engaged to create a positive impact. Unfortunately, when working with nonprofits we see so many of them being taken advantage of because of contracts with large merchant processing companies that charge excessive fees, change fee structures without notice, and offer poor customer service. This is all too common in the nonprofit sector for merchant processing.

Below we will walk through what merchant processing is for nonprofits, why nonprofits sign up with large companies, and the difficulties they encounter with large companies that force them away.

What is merchant processing for nonprofits?

To start, what exactly is nonprofit merchant processing? Nonprofits require a unique type of payment processing, compared to B2C or B2B businesses, because it is managing the financials between a donor and the organization, as compared to a consumer or client. Whenever someone donates to a nonprofit, using the various available methods, merchant processing needs to securely and effectively manage the donation process.

Where we see the most benefit for nonprofits working with merchant processing is setting up systems to maximize their donations while having an easy to use software package that they can track their payments, build relationships with their donors, and have excellent customer service.

Cons of partnering with big-name merchant processing companies

Like many nonprofits who are either getting started or looking for a software package upgrade, you look online to find a solution. Hopefully, you find this article first and find it to be useful! Others instead find large companies that spend millions in advertising to be a recognizable name and proclaim themselves as the “best” simply because you found them first. I do not doubt that they are the best at finding new opportunities and manufacturing a one-size-fits-all platform, yet importantly what they may not be the best at listening to your needs and identifying solutions to meet and exceed your goals. 

With 19 years of experience in the industry, Evolve Payment has encountered this countless times when nonprofits are signed up for programs that are not built for organizations to succeed, resulting in unexpected fees and difficult to cancel contracts. This coupled with higher merchant processing fees to cover the costs of all of their marketing makes a recipe that no one has the time to deal with.

Pros of partnering with nonprofit-oriented merchant processing companies

So why partner with a smaller firm? First and foremost, they avoid all the above issues discussed. If there is something Evolve Payment knows from our experience, it’s how to listen to our clients; specifically, working with nonprofits to maximize donations and to see a positive return on investments. One example is working with one of our featured nonprofits, The Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities.

Case Study: The Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities

The Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities had an issue with their large merchant processing company changing fees without notifying the staff as well as charging a large fee for accepting payments. When Evolve Payment started the conversation, we identified that our process could reduce their processing fees by 23%. We also identified other areas of improvement that could impact their efficiencies, including the ability to donate online so people could donate to specific causes like building a new playground or making a donation in memoriam of a loved one.

After we implemented the changes and updated the system, the organization saw a direct increase in online donations and had one of their best years in donations. It is because of the Evolve Paymanet teams’ ability to first listen to our client’s needs and then identify software solutions that helped propel the organization forward.

Evolve Payment understands the unique merchant processing considerations for nonprofits that will advance donation processing and acceptance while offering a streamlined and simple system management platform. Contact Evolve Payment to learn more about what payment processing opportunities are available for your organization.