Detail 1-- Links should work
Recently, I received an invoice as an attachment to a nice email. All was well done and professional, until I clicked on the link for online payment. Then, I was taken to an error page on the nonprofit website. Not nice. Now it’s up to me to figure out how to pay the organization. Do I look around the website for a link? Write a check? Maybe leave this alone for now...and the organization may never see any donation or membership payment. Some prospective donors may never contact the nonprofit with this issue, and the bad link detail will go on undetected.
*** Pointer -- Check regularly on the invoice or email master text to make sure it’s still valid. Usually, changing only one invoice or email doesn’t work well, since most systems use a master file that populates all the communications with donors.
Detail 2 – Take information over the phone easily
Have everybody in the organization trained in handling payments over the phone. Not just accounting folks. All the information and forms should be easily accessible and ready to be used, including online forms. When donors or others call to make a payment, get it done. This may be easier said than done. I have seen people transfer payers from one person to another– don’t do that. Don’t frustrate the person on the other end of the line. Everyone should know how to handle the calls, help and get any payment.
***Pointer -- The nonprofit could have a phone setup for people who wants to pay, so that they can do it easily. The message could be, “If you want to make a donation or a payment, please press 1 and someone will get the information right away.”
Nonprofits are competing with other organizations for every cent they get. Sometimes the day-to-day activities cloud the importance of making donations easy and stress free. Sorry, but if I’m put on hold for a bit too long or get attitude or cluelessness, I hang up and give my money to someone else. So it’s important to make donating an easy, pleasant experience, not one where donors get error messages on the computer or an aggravating phone person. Details matter.
See more here Volunteers: Catch them and keep them
Check out 'Nonprofit Finance: A Practical Guide"