Online Fundraising: Proven Tips to Increase Donations | Bambora

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How to Get More Donations


14 February 2020

Victoria Galloway

Many charitable organisations and fundraising initiatives face a couple of challenges: we're all very busy and hardly any of us carry cash any more. If you're looking for ways to increase your fundraising and donations, you've come to the right place.

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If you're looking for ways to increase your fundraising and donations, you've probably noticed it can be tough. Many charitable organisations and fundraising initiatives face a couple of challenges: we're all very busy and hardly any of us carry cash any more.

Enter online donations. Most charities have a web presence today for the sole purpose of collecting online donations, enabling Australians to donate via credit and debit card at their convenience. Today, online giving is an integral part of charitable activities so getting the donation process wrong simply isn't an option.

You'll want to engage with a payment processor that helps maximise your reach, increase your donations, optimise each and every transaction and drive repeat custom.

However, accepting online payments safely and securely can feel complex. To help, we've put together this guide on how you can amplify your fundraising objectives through smart payment functionality.


Perhaps you haven't accepted donations before or your last online fundraising initiative wasn't as effective as you would've liked. Before getting started or continuing down your charitable path, consider what you need from a payment solution.

  • Type of donations: do you think you'll need the functionality to accept a single donation or are you after repeat donations? While you may not feel like you need repeat functionality now, it's beneficial to think about building in flexibility for the future.
  • Integration type: there are a few methods to integrate a donations page into a website. Some integrations are more complex than others, so consider whether you'll need technical support.
  • Fees: make sure you understand what fees you'll be paying. Transactions can involve a number of different fees so ensure you opt for a payment processor with transparent pricing.
  • Security: most reputable payment processors will be PCI compliant, but it's worth checking, as well as anti-fraud tools and systems you can leverage.


Your checkout is everything. In the same way many businesses can experience shopping cart and checkout abandonment, many charities and fundraising initiatives can experience checkout drop out. Research from the Baymard Institute indicates that fundraising checkouts experience only marginally less checkout abandonment that businesses, 62% and 69% respectively.

The challenge today is that we're all strapped for time and we expect a simple online donation experience. If the donation page is clunky, doesn't feel safe, doesn't offer our preferred payment method, isn't intuitive or personalised, donations are likely to fall despite best intentions.

Speed up your checkout with tokenisation

Tokenisation enables a range of secure donation options. First of all, little recap: tokenisation securely encrypts sensitive cardhodler data, storing it in a PCI compliant environment, replacing the data with a non-sensitive equivalent.

Bambora offers a tokenisation service that is tailored for fundraising and donor activities, enabling three main uses for fundraisers:

  • Card on file
  • Single-click functionality
  • Digital wallet acceptance

We also support third-party tokenisation, which is an ideal piece of functionality for collecting on-the-go donations, for example via an iPad as part of a street fundraiser.

Benefits for the donor

  1. As tokenisation encrypts and saves cardholder data, therefore saving the card's credentials, it negates the need for the donor to re-enter their details into your donation page
  2. It speeds up the checkout process, enabling faster donations
  3. Improved donation experience encourages repeat donations

Benefits for the fundraiser

  1. Tokenisation can significantly reduce your PCI scope as it minimises - sometimes even eliminates - the need for fundraisers to store payment card data. In most cases, this is because you're able to leverage your payment provider's PCI compliance - like Bambora.
  2. Token is super secure. When tokens are stored - for example - in eWallet functionality, it negates the need for the fundraiser to ever receive card details or PANs.
  3. The same goes for contactless donations where donors can use their digital wallet on eftpos machines.
  4. You can effectively tonkenise any type of card data - including gift cards.

Accept multiple payment types

Charitable payments can be donated often, very often, not often at all or on a complete whim. A big part of the donation journey is being able to do just that - donate, anyhow and everywhere. While you won't need to provide potential donors with every payment option out there, adding recognisable and popular options is recommended.

Tip: make sure all donation methods are clear at the donation page, with logos.


Frequently, online giving comes in the form of one-off and ad-hoc donations. Functionality like direct debit helps convert one-time givers into regular donors. The ongoing source of funds can be incredibly valuable and for the backbone of a long-term initiative.

Charitable direct debits enable you to easily manage regular donations from supporters easily. Direct debit donors authorise you to take money from their bank account for a fixed or variable amount. This is great for your supporters as it is sensitive to changing circumstances - they may need to adjust their charitable giving over time, which is better than cancelling the donation altogether.

Direct debit puts your donor in complete control. They have the right to cancel their donations at any time by contacting their bank. Their money is protected from being withdrawn in error, adding an extra layer of security.

Bambora's Direct Debit

Our paperless direct debit functionality reduces manual payment handling costs and increases your charitable efficiencies, enabling the speedy collection of one-off, recurring and schedules payments. Donor card details are stored in our PCI compliant environment, reducing your PCI scope.

Easy and flexible set-up

Bambora are able to manage your direct debit schedule for you or you can opt to manage it in your own platform. Our flexible scheduling capability API can be used to manage all payment types.

Automatic card updater

Situations change and cards expire. Card issuers are sending out thousands of new cards every day, but new card details need not disrupt your charitable efforts.

Our tool finds cards reaching expiration and automatically updates the details, eliminating manual tracking and updating. This seamless process helps rescue donations that might otherwise have been lost forever.

Automatic retry

Declined payment management capability will also help protect your fundraising efforts. One of the most common reasons for a transaction rejection is insufficient funds, but there are plenty of other reasons. By analysing data from each one and retrying in a controlled space of time, you're more likely to succeed.


Like every sector, charities and fundraisers are not immune to criminal abuse from fraudsters. Fraud can easily damage your good reputation, affecting how people perceive you. However, financial loss and reputational damage can be reduced by implementing effective fraud prevention strategies.

Fundraising relies on trust and goodwill, which is easily exploited. It's beneficial to use a payment processor who can supply you with robust fraud prevention tools.

Bambora's advanced fraud tools protect your revenue so you can accept major and alternative card payments safely, quickly and securely.

Managing fraud should never put your conversions at risk; refusing legitimate transaction, mismanaging real donors and adding friction to your checkout won't optimise donations. Our fraud prevention systems include:

  • CVV verification
  • 3D Secure
  • Online custom profiling that takes place on a transactional level, detecting fraud as it happens
  • Tokenisation
  • Partnership with ACI Worldwide

Our advanced fraud tools can also offer our customers superior real-time fraud and risk prevention, with access to instant, highly accurate verdicts on all transactions across all channels.


In our experience, payments are not a one-size-fits all solution. It's important to review your chosen payment provider and check if their features and functionality align to your fundraising objectives.

With donations being so crucial to many charities, having a good donation or fundraising platform is a great starting point. If you'd like to find out more about how Bambora work with some of the world's leading charities, not-for-profits and fundraisers, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

About the author

Victoria Galloway has been writing and producing in the payments and eCommerce space for a number of years, both in the UK and Australia.

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