Credit card processing fees are a necessary evil of online giving. But 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 our new Give Fee Recovery Add-on.

Payment processing really isn’t possible without the gateways which make donations possible. Nevertheless, it’s always a bit deflating to see $100 donation come in and find out you only get $96.70 of it.

Why You Should Ask Donors to Help

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

With that in mind, what if you just asked your donors to help cover that expense? You might be pleasantly surprised how willing your donors are to make sure you aren’t hit so hard by these processing fees. Given the choice, I’m sure many would volunteer it.

How Fee Recovery Works

That’s where our new Add-on shines. Give Fee Recovery is made to help you make that ask. It presents your donors with a simple checkbox asking whether they would like to donate an additional amount to help defray credit card fees.

Fee Recovery Donor’s Choice Checkbox and Message

Once clicked, the additional amount is added automatically to their total. An important point of clarification is that this 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 so that you still get $100 instead of $96.80. The net result of this is that if every donor used this option your total funding for the year would increase by roughly 3% — just by adding a simple checkbox.

Next question is obviously, “How does it calculate the fees?” You set the percentage amount and an additional flat fee amount. This can be set globally for all gateways, per gateway, and per form.

Setting it 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 it for that gateway.

The Offline Donations Gateway disabled in Fee Recovery.
The Offline Donations Gateway disabled in Fee Recovery.

Fee Recovery also lets you force the addition of the fees with a customized message:

The Fee Recovery Forced Opt-in Message
The Fee Recovery Forced Opt-in Message

You even can set this per-form. For example, maybe you have one form for which you are encouraging large donations with a multi-level form. 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 be $1,190 just in fees. By forcing that opt-in you are still going to have fees taken out, but you’re going to get that $1,190 additional amount first before the fees are taken out.

Lastly, you probably also want to have a way to understand how your collected fees are benefiting you. We have plans to enhance this Add-on with more reports and tools, but for now you can view your fees in their own column on the donations screen and in a custom “Fees” Reporting tab. Donors also see the fees separated out in the Donation Confirmation page:

Confirmation Page Shows Intended Gift
Confirmation Page Shows Intended Gift

How to Get it Today

Give Fee Recovery Add-on

New Customers — Give Fee Recovery is one of those Add-ons that basically pays for itself by directly increasing your donations. If you have not yet purchased a Give Add-on, this is a great first one to try out. Purchasing Add-ons give you not only this functionality, but it also gives you access to our Priority Support.

Existing Customers — For those of you who have purchased individual Add-ons, you can also purchase Fee Recovery directly, but we’d encourage you to upgrade to either our Plus or Pro Bundle where you’ll get that and all of our Add-ons for just the difference between your existing purchase.

Bundle License Holders — All of our existing Plus and Pro Bundle license holders who have active licenses, you have Fee Recovery in your account today. Just login to our site and download today. This is one of the major benefits of our Bundle — you get immediate access to new Add-ons as they are released.

Naturally, we believe this will benefit many of our Give users and will provoke some great data on the generosity of your donor base. If you implement Fee Recovery on your site, we’d love for you to track the benefits it provides you and consider submitting your findings to us as a Give Story so we can promote and amplify you and your Cause.

Buy Fee Recovery Today:

Buy Now

...or Bundle and Save

Matt Cromwell

Matt is a co-author of Give and is Head of Support and Community Outreach for He loves writing docs and being "Generally helpful since birth".

11 responses to “Ask Your Donors to Cover Processing Fees with Give Fee Recovery

  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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *