Caging - 100mm of Learning resizedLast year, Innovairre’s caging operation processed more than $100 million, from 7.4 million donations. 9.3% of these transactions required special coding, e.g., a changed name or address, a new email address, a special acknowledgment letter, or a thank you call.

While numerous payment processing centers can do a terrific job with the 90% of donations that are straightforward, very few processors are highly adept at handling the special needs of donors.

Donor processing is very different than cashing checks for a purchase. A donation is optional; it’s not an obligation. Donors who are kind enough to contribute have an expectation that you’re listening. When a donor sends a check with a note that says, “I’m supporting your organization because I lost my brother in the line of duty,” they are really appreciative when your thank you letter comes back in a matter of days, and says, “Thank you for your generous gift. P.S. We are sorry that you lost your brother.”

Not only is this message the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing for donor loyalty. In a world where acquiring donors is so expensive, and donor retention is so hard, handling these 9.3% of special circumstances with precision is critical.

Yet having the means to merely identify the special circumstances that donor letters present is not enough. Nonprofits need the means to react to these ad hoc donor comments and requests quickly — and at scale. This is where a direct connection between your caging operation and digital print technology is so important. Our experience proves that this integrated processing / acknowledgment solution has a significant impact on retention and overall donation revenue.

If you’re interested in finding out if your donor processing operation can be enhanced, Innovairre has a simple audit that may help you. The audit takes 30-60 minutes and can be done on the phone. We find it’s particularly effective for charities processing more than 50k donations a year.

Can our $100 million of experience be helpful to you? It costs nothing to find out.

Liz Gerardi is Vice President of Donor Response Management at Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. Contact us at Answers@Innovairre.com, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.