Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Non-Profits Might Raise Their Online Donations

Perhaps I'm unusual but I tend not to donate to non-profits that don't use Paypal or Google Checkout (or another large well known front-end processor) to accept payments. The reason is because non-profits are rarely large trusted brands, are usually underfunded and thus security isn't a high priority, and their web sites are often a hodgepodge of thrown together stuff hosted who-knows-where.

(It's not just non-profits I take this position with. I often click away from small no-name merchants if I can't be confident I'm bypassing their who-the-heck-knows-who-where-and-how web site to make the actual payment transaction).

I don't see justification for exposing my credit card so easily. With Paypal or Google Checkout, the credit card information is never exposed to the non-profits hosting provider. Plus, at least with Paypal, the person paying doesn't even have to have a Paypal account - any major CC with still do.

If you're a non-profit, give some consideration to how you might improve the trust level of your web site. Come at it with the mindset of a business doing e-commerce... someone may want to buy what you're selling but they also may click away because they are uncomfortable.

This is about more than having just an SSL certificate. Using https:// is meaningless if the server(s) behind it can't be trusted.

How can you give your customers (potential donors) the warm and fuzzy feeling when they hit your web site?


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