’Tis the Season: Online Donations Made Easy with Advanced Fees
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While being an essential funding component for K-12 institutions all year long, charitable donations are the very soul of the holiday season. Hopeful recipients have come to expect a significant uptick in donations for this final stretch of the calendar year, being marked by “Giving Tuesday,” observed on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Upward 31% of all donations come in December, with 12% being donated in the final three days of the year, according to Donorbox.
Unsurprisingly, when considering the different solicitation and marketing methods for charitable donation appeal and collection, online giving is utilized 90% of the time. Email (92%), social media (80%), and direct mail (72%) also lead the way as the most-utilized appeal approaches. It is important to remember online payment capabilities aren’t just a standalone solicitation method but should also act as an essential transactional endpoint for donors in any well-designed offline-to-online (direct mail and printed/posted QR codes to online payment) and online-to-online (email and social media to online payment) campaign. Even with a wealth of online knowledge (such as can be found courtesy of GoFundMe) dedicated to strategizing and rolling out an engaging and successful fundraiser, K-12 institutions still underachieve in the online segment. Only around 6% of total K-12 fundraising transacts online, compared to about 12% of all charitable donations for all industries combined, according to the Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report. It’s difficult to pinpoint why the K-12 space is lagging in online donation processing. Still, often-cited obstacles by administrators continue to be perceived technical difficulty and the perceived financial burden of initiating and maintaining an online payment platform.
A fact that may surprise some administrators is that not only does accepting online payments for donations not have to be difficult, but many of the readers of this article already have access to integrated software that can make this process a breeze, with no additional financial burden. If your school utilizes almost any i3 Education product, you already have access to Advanced Fees, which allows for simple, effective, and efficient adoption of online payments, including fundraising. With a quick phone call or email to your i3 Education Sales Executive, the Advanced Fees component could be activated within PaySchools Central with ease. Your donors, most likely current student households and alums, will love the familiar interface within PaySchools Central. Best yet, there is no additional software licensing charge for activating Advanced Fees. After all, this is the giving season.
Of course, the Advanced Fees feature is not singularly purposed for collecting online donations. K-12 institutions can utilize this robust PaySchools component to collect standardized district fees, any additional extracurricular fees (athletics, arts, field trips, etc.), and even sell commerce items such as apparel. With sophisticated options and streamlined accounting features, there are countless ways your district could deploy this tool for online payments. Moreover, the integrated guest checkout capability broadens the scope of use, allowing patrons without PaySchools Central accounts to process designated transactions, such as with donations. Again, if you’re already an i3 Education customer, call or email your i3 Education Sales Executive to activate this feature, or take a more in-depth look at Advanced Fees and what they can do for your district. If you’re not an i3 Education customer and are intrigued by our Advanced Fees feature, maybe it’s time to see what we’re all about.
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