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 new 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.
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.
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.
How Donor-Covered Fees Appear in an Online Giving Report
Donations, where the donor has opted to offset their processing fees, will appear in Online Giving Reporting accompanied by a heart icon.
Gifts where the donor chose to offset the fees are also designated in Excel downloads.
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.
- 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.