Understanding Donor-Covered Fees

Allowing Donors to Cover Processing Fees

If you're a US-based church and would like to allow your donors to cover the processing fees for web giving, you can now turn on this feature in the settings of your Breeze Online Giving Page. This feature not only introduces the idea of processing fees to your donors, but also allows donors to take action and help offset this cost for the church. 

  1. Navigate to More > Contributions > Online Giving.1
  2. Click the Settings button in the Web Giving Box in the center-left of the page.
  3. Under General find the processing fees option and check it. 
  4. Click Update.

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How It Works

When most donors give online, they assume the amount that they are choosing to donate is the amount that the church actually receives. However, in the world of online processing, there are standard processing fees involved. The option to allow donors to cover fees not only helps inform your donors of the processing fees, but if they choose to participate, it helps offset administrative costs for your church or organization. 

This feature may sound fancy, but on a technical level all that we're doing is some basic math, allowing the donor to increase their donation to ensure that the initial intended amount is fully received by the church. Because these fees are pulled out of the total transaction, the gift must be increased by an amount that is slightly larger than what the fee would be if the donor did not choose to cover the fees.

For example, a $100 credit/debit card gift where the donor chooses to cover the fees, increases the gift by $3.30. Where a $100 credit/debit card gift, when the donor chooses not to cover the fees, incurs a processing fee of $3.20. 

See the Math Involved
In order to ensure the church receives the full amount intended by the donor, we increase the gross amount given (which due to the fee percentage, increases the fee slightly), until the net total matches the donor’s desired amount.

gross = (net + .3) / (1 - .029)

Here’s an example to help visualize this process. If a donor wishes to give $100 net to the church, we simply need to re-figure the gross amount they must give in order to account for the processing fee, and ensure that $100 is what the church actually receives.

gross = ($100 + .3) / (1 - .029) gross = $103.30

In this example, when giving by credit card, a gross amount of $103.30 is required for the church to receive the intended $100.

Note: To help cover rounding issues that may occur during the fee-application process, donor totals may vary by +$0.01 or -$0.01 from totals derived using the above formula. 

 

How Donors Receive Credit for Donor-Covered Fees

Because the donor-covered fees option simply encourages your donors to increase their donation amount in order to help offset costs for your church or organization, the donor is always credited the full amount that they give

For example:

  • If a donor chooses to give $100 with a credit/debit card and they decide to cover the fees, they are opting to increase their donation to $103.30. The church receives $100 (net of fees), and the donor receives credit for $103.30 on their Breeze profile, as well as on their giving statement.
  • If a donor chooses to give $100 with a credit/debit card and they decide not to cover the fees, there is no increase to their donation. As it has always been, the church receives $96.80 (net of fees), and the donor receives credit for $100 on their Breeze profile, as well as on their giving statement. 

How to Reconcile with Donor-Covered Fees

Regardless of whether a donor increased their donation to offset the fee or not, you will record processing fees the same way in your accounting records.

When someone chooses to cover transaction fees, they are simply increasing their donation to the specific fund(s) to which they have decided to give, as a way to help offset the fees of the transaction. Because the gross amount of the gift was increased, the church is still being charged the standard processing fee, which is taken out of the transfer.

Donors deciding to increase their gift allows the church to receive more net income to the specified funds, rather than if the donor did not increase their gift to “cover" or "offset” the fees.

If you previously recorded “fees” in your accounting software, you can continue to do so by recording the fee amounts of the specific transfers. 

 

How Donor-Covered Fees Appear in an Online Giving Report

Donations where the donor has opted to cover the fees will appear in Online Giving Reporting accompanied by a heart icon, allowing you to easily differentiate between fees the church is responsible for, and fees with which donors increased their gift to help offset. 

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Gifts where the donor chose to offset the fees are also designated in Excel downloads. 

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Note: Admins can manage existing recurring gifts and enable donor-covered fees by Viewing and Modifying Recurring Donations.

What The Donor Sees on the Giving Page

If you decide to turn on Donor Covered Fees, it's probably important to you to know exactly what the donor will see when giving. 

  • Whether through the public giving page or the Give Now option in Breeze (or the Breeze App), the giver will see the option to cover the fees on the second page when Payment Information is being collected. 
  • If they check the box to add the pre-configured processing fee to the donation, the total amount will increase on the Give Button to reflect the addition of the fee. 
  • If you have both Credit Cards/Debit Cards and ACH gifts selected as Payment Type options in your Online Giving Page Settings, then we will communicate what the fee would be if they choose to use the other method. 

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Comments

14 comments
  • I appreciate this feature being added.  For us, the way you credit it to people works well.  Thanks!

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  • Hi @pastor!

    You are most welcome! Thank you so much for the kind words and feedback! I'll be sure to pass along this information to our whole team!

    Keep up the great work!

    Blessings,

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  • Is this an opt in or opt out when the donor sees it on the giving page? How does it look on giving side?

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  • Hi gtnobes! 

    If Donor Covered Fees is enabled in Breeze, a checkbox will appear allowing them to choose whether they'd like to cover the fee themselves. Here's a picture of what it looks like on their end:

    Hope that answers your questions and clears things up for you. Blessings!

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  • Yes that's great. Can I assume that the checkbox is unchecked to start so it's a true opt-in? Are they presented this option each time (unchecked) or is it a setting that "sticks" and they'll be charged every time, unknowingly maybe? I think that should wrap up my questions :-)

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  • That's correct, @gtnobes! The checkbox is unchecked to start. And yes, every time they give from your online giving page it will revert back to being unchecked, so they can decide each donation if they'd like to cover the fee.

    The only exception occurs when setting up a recurring donation because they will only fill out this information one time. Whichever option they choose will be remembered for future scheduled gifts. 

    If you'd like to talk more in depth about these donor covered fees, feel free to shoot us an email at support@breezechms.com and we'd be happy to help even more!

    Cheers!

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  • Is it possible to have the Donor Covered Fee automatically applied to a different fund (in our case "Pick a Bill") instead of the pledge fund or other fund chosen by the donor?  We would like all of the Donor Covered Fee gifts to be treated as a donation to cover a specific bill.   I know we can adjust the funds manually but it would help if this could be set up to automatically happen.

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  • Hey @denisewkelly!

    This is a great idea! I can definitely see how it would be helpful to have the fees be automatically applied to a different fund.

    At this time, there's currently not a way to do this, as the fee will just be applied to whichever fund the donor donates to. I apologize for this current limitation, and as you mentioned, the best workaround currently is to manually edit those fees to the fund of your choosing.

    Since this is a current limitation, I would encourage you to fill out a feature request that goes directly to our Product team! They are always looking for ways to improve Breeze, and I know they will appreciate this awesome thought! You can learn more about feature requests here: Submitting Feature Requests

    Have a wonderful day! :) 

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  • We transferred from another processor that allowed fees to be covered, but the fee hit a separate fund (Processing Fees), rather than hitting the Donation fund (we will say Pledges).  We could easily then offset the processing fees by what was covered, not effecting our Pledge fund and our fund in the database (Breeze) would match the actual amount intended for that fund and the Books/Bank.

    In Breeze, when I look up a persons donation history, it includes the donated fee under their Pledge and so it appears as though they have given more to their pledge than they actually have. Has Breeze considered designating those donated fees to their own "fund" to help ease this process, or is there some easy way to separate these donated fees from the fund that I am not seeing. My best idea right now is that at the end of the month I pull the payment spreadsheet, manipulate it to calculate the total fees donated in each fund, then do a journal entry in QB to move those to Processing Fees. Then at least all the funds would match Breeze until the very last day of the month - it still seems less than ideal though. Last month (our first month with Breeze) we tried manipulating the spreadsheets with each deposit. Either method,  at the end of the year though, when we reconcile the books with the database, the books will still show less funds received in each fund than Breeze will...please help...

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  • @accounting

    Thank you for reaching out with your question about Donor Covered Fees!  I can definitely understand how having those fees go into a separate fund would be helpful and make life easier when balancing the books.

    At this time, we do not have that function available.  The fees will go into whichever fund the rest of the contribution went into.

    If you have a few moments to spare, I would encourage you to submit this as a Feature Request here: Submit Feature Request.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

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  • Hi! I just added the checkbox for giving people the option to cover fees to our giving page, but am wondering if there is a way to let people cover the fees on a Breeze Form for an event too? Thanks!

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  • @info, great question! Donor covered fees are only available as part of the web giving/online giving at this time. We do not have a way to offer this for text giving or form payments at this time. If using a form for event registration, I have seen some organizations build the fees into the price of the tickets. Communicating with registrants that registering online has a slightly higher registration fee to help offset the processing fees incurred.

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  • Is there a way to "always" have donor include the fees charged for processing? Currently we have the "opt" button enabled. Is there a way to make covering the fees mandatory? (for instance - while paying property taxes online, using a credit card, the processing fee is added to the payment.) Obviously a bit different than a donation - just asking because it's a discussion we've had with the finance team.

    Thank you for your help.

    Donna Vickroy

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  • Hi Donna,

    I really appreciate you asking about this! I definitely understand how it would be helpful to have it be mandatory for donors to cover fees. I am sad to say that currently, this is not possible to make covering fees mandatory. However, I know that our team is always open to feedback and if this is a feature you are interested in, you can fill out a feature request here!

    I am sorry we do not have what you are looking for today, but I hope that with your feedback we can improve! 

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