Charitable giving is how most nonprofits raise funds. But traditional methods for collecting money have severe limitations:
- Cash collections require that donors have money on hand (78 percent of Americans carry less than $50 at any given time).
- Checks can bounce, resulting in fees for both the giver and receiver. Moreover, it can take as many as five business days for a good check to clear.
Some savvier nonprofits accept credit cards using terminals or online payment gateways. But even these two approaches have problems:
- Credit card terminals require both extra equipment (machines, ink and paper) and the back-and-forth mailing of receipts.
- Online payments require that donors be in front of a computer — sometimes long after you’ve already made your heartfelt fundraising pitch.
But with an iPad credit card reader, it’s possible to take your fundraising efforts completely mobile. Accept contributions anywhere potential donors might be.
How Does iPad Credit Card Reader Technology Work?
The process is very similar to a traditional credit card terminal. But instead of having a stationary machine through which you swipe credit cards, you use detachable hardware that fits into your iPad (or iPhone).
Unlike credit card terminals, however, iPad readers can verify transactions on the spot and send confirmation emails directly to the donor’s account.
How Can an iPad Credit Card Reader Enhance Your Fundraising?
The most obvious benefit of iPad credit card technology is that payment processing becomes location independent.
You can take your iPad anywhere and accept donations at conferences and other off-site fundraising events. You can even stop people on the street and accept donations right there and then.
But the benefits don’t stop there:
1. Greater Security
As mentioned above, it’s possible to verify transactions in real time (unlike with checks or off-line credit card machines).
2. Greater Immediacy
Charitable donations are not impulse “purchases,” exactly, but they are impulse decisions. Mobile credit card processing increases the likelihood of receiving donations when enthusiasm is at peak levels.
3. Easier Accounting
Receipts are automatic. This makes it easier for donors to track tax-deductible contributions later on.
4. Better Integration
You can integrate your iPad credit card reader with:
- CRM platforms
- Dedicated donation apps
- Attendance registration software
This makes it easier to follow up with donors in the future.
5. Recurring Billing
It’s also possible to enable recurring billing, completely removing the need to follow up at all.
iPad Credit Card Readers Aren’t a Replacement — They’re an Extension
With mobile credit card processing, you can still keep all the other payment options you already have (e.g. cash, checks and online gateways). Having an iPad credit card reader simply expands your reach, allowing you to accept more donations than you could before.