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 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. 

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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 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.

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

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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. 

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Comments

11 comments
  • What does the donor see if we enable this option? 

    What would the prompt on the giving page say?

    Does it tell the donor what the new total amount of the donation would be? 

    Is the prompt customizable? 

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

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  • @techsupport

    Great question! At this time, donor covered fees are not available for text to give. This is something that Breeze is very excited about implementing in the future! But for now, it is only available for the Online Giving Page. 

    Cheers!

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  • In your example, the donor's statement reflects a deductible donation of $103.30, Shouldn't the deductible amount be $100, since the extra $3.30 is specified for the fee? And the full $103.30 is applied against any pledge. I had hoped that only the $100 would be applied against the pledge. 

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  • @larryholman

    Great questions!  The article called "Online Giving Page Design and Donor-Covered Fees" has a great video at the top of it that shows exactly what the donor will see.  Essentially, it's a check box on the page where they include their payment information.  It tells what the fee is, and if they click on it the total will be updated.  The prompt is not customizable.  Hope this helps!

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  • To continue with brianangle44's line of questioning, I agree that the donor should get credit for 100% of their donation. But is it possible to have the fee donation credited to a different fund - like "Donation to Offset Fee"? The downside to having the fee donation added to the pledge donation plays out in this scenario -

    A donor has a $1,200 pledge. Each month, the donor is giving $100 towards their pledge plus the $3.30 to cover fees. After the 11th month, the donor looks at their pledge balance and sees that they have donated  $1,136.30 towards their pledge, with a balance of $63.70 remaining. So the donor adjusts their last month giving to $63.70. In the end, the church paid more in fees and received the same amount of donations.

    Assigning the fee donation to a separate fund allows both the church and the donor to clearly see how much in fees they are offsetting & avoids confusion about what is going to their pledge.

    I know Vanco can track the fee donations this way, so I'm hoping Breeze can too. Thanks!

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  • Is the choice to cover fees included in the options available for setting up text giving?  How does it work in relationship to text to give?  

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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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  • @brianangle44

    Hey Brian! Thanks for reaching out to us. The donor will receive the full amount that they've given, including the fee. In other words, if they cover the fees, and they give to a pledge-related fund, that entire amount goes towards the pledge. 

    I hope this clears everything up for you! 

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  • It is clear, I just don't agree with the treatment

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  • @bookkeeper Thank you for this thorough explanation, it's helpful and we truly appreciate it. Our product team is looking at ways that we could potentially help alleviate issues with pledges related to donor covered fees in the future. As of right now, one workaround to consider is including at the bottom of your statement a line that mentions something along the lines of "if you opted to cover your fees with online giving then your amount paid towards your pledge is going to be increased by the fees that you have covered." Please know that are team is looking into options that we hope to be able to bring a solution to this issue in the future.

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