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Ask Your Donors To Cover Processing Fees With GiveWP Fee Recovery

Asking donors to cover processing fees is easy with GiveWP and our Fee Recovery add-on.
credit card processing fees

Online donations really aren’t possible without the gateways that process credit card information. As a result, credit card processing fees are a necessary part of online giving.

These fees are often the last stumbling block between a nonprofit and accepting online donations. It’s always a bit deflating to see a $100 donation come in and find out you only get $96.70 of it.

What if you could increase your total giving with one checkbox? Have you thought of simply asking your donors to give just a little more? That’s exactly what you can and should do with the GiveWP Fee Recovery Add-on.

Lessen the impact of fees from your payment gateway by eliminating the per-transaction fees they charge.

Why You Should Ask Donors to Cover Processing Fees?

Every payment gateway takes a percentage of online donations to cover the work they do as your payment processor. PayPal fees are usually 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. Stripe fees are the exact same. All payment gateways charge some kind of fee that hovers around an average of 3%.

As much as you know how that 3% negatively affects your bottom line, your donors are aware of it, too. When people donate, they want to know that their money is going to good use.

With that in mind, what would you say about asking your donors to cover credit card processing fees when they give? You might be pleasantly surprised by how willing your donors are to make sure you aren’t hit as hard by fees. Given the choice, I’m sure many would volunteer to give a little extra.

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How Fee Recovery Works with GiveWP

The GiveWP Fee Recovery add-on makes asking your donors to cover processing fees extremely easy. It presents people with a simple checkbox, asking if they would like to donate an additional amount to pay the credit card fee for their donation.

Once the option to pay processing fees is chosen, the additional amount is automatically added to the donation total.

Asking donors to cover processing fees when they give is done through a simple checkbox, similar to the one used for recurring donations for subscription giving.

An important point of clarification is that the Fee Recovery add-on does not remove or change the fees that your payment processor charges at all. Instead, you are asking the donor to give an additional amount so that if their intention is to give you $100, they’ll give $103.20. That way, you still get $100 instead of $96.80.

If every donor used this option, your total funding for the year would increase by roughly 3% — just by adding a simple checkbox.

Calculating Credit Card Fees

The next question is obviously, “How does it calculate the fees?” You have total control over this. Set the percentage amount and a flat fee amount globally for all gateways, per gateway, or per form.

Setting up your fee structure per gateway has its benefits. For example, if you have the Offline Donations gateway enabled, you probably don’t want to add additional fees there. Simply disable Fee Recovery for that gateway.

Enable or disable fee recovery and set the amount you need to ask your donors to cover processing fees in your donations settings panel.

Fee Recovery also lets you force the addition of credit card fees with a customized message. Doing this makes credit card fees part of your online donation process for all donors or for those giving through a specific form.

For example, maybe you have one multi-level form encouraging large donations. If your levels were $250, $400, and $500, then the fees for these would be rather large; e.g. $7.55, $11.90, $14.80 per donation. If you had 100 donors at the $400 level, that would add up to $1,190 in credit card processing fees. By forcing the Fee Recovery opt-in on your GiveWP forms, you get that additional $1,190 to cover the fees charged by your payment processor.

Lastly, you also need a way to understand how your collected fees benefit you. You can view your fees in their own column on the Donations > Reporting screen, in a custom “Fees” tab. Donors also see the fees separated from their donation on the Confirmation page.

Your donation confirmation page shows the intended gift alongside the fee payment.

How to Set Up Fee Recovery with GiveWP

Use the full walkthrough to set up Fee Recovery so you can ask your own donors to cover the processing fees. It only takes minutes to install, activate, and configure. The following video guides you through the setup process step by step.

If you need more information or guided assistance using Fee Recovery, visit our documentation.

Start Recovering Your Credit Card Processing Fees Today

Asking donors to cover processing fees is a powerful way to increase the net donations that your organization receives. On an annual basis, we’ve seen it result in tens of thousands of additional dollars for GiveWP customers. Help your organization make a bigger overall impact with Fee Recovery.

Get started today. Choose a Pricing Plan, install, activate, and configure Fee Recovery.

Amplify your fundraising with a GiveWP Plan

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13 Responses

  1. Stripe offers non-profit discounts on processing fees, but that has different rate for AMEX vs. Visa/MasterCard/Discover (because swipe fees for AMEX are higher).

    Other processors frequently have different fees for different card types.

    Any plans to allow fees to be entered per card type?

    1. Hey Nick! We’ve had reports from customers that Stripe does offer that on a case-by-case basis, which is why with this Addon you can set the percentage and fee to be whatever you like, it’s not fixed at 2.9%. Charging per card type is an interesting option. I know some gateways charge higher rates for Mastercard (for example), but overall they tend to even out the fees. The biggest issue at the moment with implementing a feature like that is that we don’t have core logic to detect card types specifically. But I think someone with strong developer chops (like yourself!) could hook into Fee Recovery to implement that relatively easyily since the majority of this functionality is JS-driven anyway.


      1. Not sure if this is still monitored, but: regarding the above for making the fee recovery box default checked – do you guys have somewhere where you take feature requests? It seems to us that this feature would be widely useful as just part of Give without needing to add a snippet.

        (secondary question though: is this snippet still correct as-is, if we need to use?)

  2. If a donor chooses to cover the credit card fees, should the non-profit only acknowledge them and provide contribution credit for the gift amount? (e.g. $50 not $51.43) Or the gift amount plus the fees? Thanks!

    1. I would say that’s up to you as the nonprofit. One could argue that the fee amount is part of the donation, but the nonprofit is not actually using that amount towards furthering their cause therefore you would only credit the original amount. However, from the donor’s perspective they are giving more than the original amount to help cover the fees. If it were my nonprofit, I would give credit for the amount + fees paid but you may choose differently.

    1. I haven’t see raw data on actual numbers in terms of percentages. But the fundraising industry all agrees that donors really like the idea that 100% of their donation goes to your cause, so they tend to be more open to covering those fees. I just checked with a local 501c3 that I’m on the board of, and we found that of the most recent 30 donations 23 of them opted to cover the donation fees. So that’s promising for sure!

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