If your nonprofit holds a a charity event, you want to collect as many donations as possible during the evening. Accepting credit cards lets you maximize the amount of money you collect .Luckily, you don’t need to drag a bulky point of sale system to the event, since many mobile credit card processing tools are available to help.
The Benefits of Accepting Credit Cards at Fundraisers
When you accept credit cards at your fundraiser, people who don’t carry cash can still make donations. In addition, your guests have the freedom to make larger donations than they might if spending cash, since they aren’t limited to what’s in their wallet. You don’t have to worry about checks bouncing, and you don’t have the security issues involved with having to guard a large wad of cash during your event or in transit back to your office.
Manual Credit Card Imprint Machines
If your event is taking place in a venue with limited mobile phone reception and no Wi-Fi, you may want to consider manual credit card processing options. If you frequently need to process cards manually, consider investing in a credit card imprinting machine. This old-school processing machine uses carbon copy paper to create an imprint of the card. After making the imprint, you give a copy of the receipt to the donor and you keep the imprint, so you can enter the credit card info in your system later.
This is an effective option in situations where you don’t have internet access, but entering the numbers by hand after the event can be time-consuming. Also, the delay in processing may mean that you risk card rejections when you enter the information later. For example, if a donor forgets about the transaction and spends the money in their account before you run the card, the card company may deny the charges. In addition, you run the risk of losing your paper copy of the transaction, which contains sensitive personal information.
Paper and Pen
If you choose to jot down the relevant information on a piece of paper, you need the credit card number, the name on the card, the expiration date, and the security pin number from the back of the card. While this method can work in some situations, it’s even more time-consuming than an imprinting machine. If you opt to collect credit card information this way, make sure you have a plan in place to ensure that your customer’s personal information isn’t stolen. You may find that donors are hesitant to turn over their credit card information if you’re just writing it down on paper. Using a credit machine makes your fundraiser look more reputable and professional.
Mobile Swipe Devices
Mobile swipe devices allow you to accept credit cards using a smartphone or tablet. In many cases, you can get the equipment you need to swipe the card for free. In exchange, you pay a certain percentage per transaction or a set monthly processing charge. These devices attach directly to your tablet or smartphone so you can swipe credit cards throughout your entire fundraiser venue, freeing you up from requiring a payment station. This option can work for the occasional event or as your main payment processing procedure.
If you don’t have time to find swipe devices to connect to your phone, you may want to consider using an online credit card processing service. For example, QuickBooks Online has a credit card processing portal. With this option, you create an invoice or a transaction for each donation, then type the client’s credit card information into the portal. Similar to most credit card processors, QuickBooks charges a small fee as well as a percentage of each transaction. This method offers speed and security. In addition, when you use QuickBooks or a related app that syncs with your accounting software, it helps eliminate accounting errors.
Running your own non-profit means constantly watching your finances. QuickBooks Online can help you get paid faster. Start accepting payments today with QuickBooks.