Banishing Auction Check-out Problems with Sherry Truhlar and Kim Bauman.
A snip-it from the recording:
Nonprofits and payment acceptance
Sherry: Kim, describe a typical beginner’s auction checkout.
Kim: A typical first year group accepts checks and cash. No credit cards.
Sherry: Seems easy. Why is that a bad set-up?
Kim: The biggest issue is that nonprofits may be leaving money on the table. People spend more when given an opportunity to use a credit card over check or cash. Typically they will spend 20-25% more.
Sherry: That’s right. Accepting credit cards is necessary. First, it’s out of sight out of mind; when guests pay in cash, they have to keep in mind that they need money for the valet, bar, babysitter, etc. Credit cards are “play money” in the cloud. But there are different ways of accepting those cards, so let me explain…
Kim: And if the group gets the guest’s credit card registered before the event, that 20-25% increases. Guests spend more with pre-swipe.
Sherry: OK, so guests spend more when they can use a credit card, and they will spend more if they pre-swipe it.
Kim: Yes, it’s very likely. And here’s something else to consider. The number of nonprofit organizations is increasing, and donors are spending the same total dollar amount on multiple events. So you need to have the best process and compete with other groups – if you make it easy for donors to give, they will give. Case in point, look at the number of nonprofits that have a “donate now” button on their website. That’s a best practice now (an industry standard) and so is accepting credit cards and express pay.
Sherry: With that grounding, now let’s take this one step further. We aren’t covering Greater Giving software today, but if a group were to jump in and buy your entire software package, what’s the other nifty thing that you can do with these credit cards?
Kim: Assume you send out your invitations but instead of including RSVP cards, you drive everyone to a website to register. When that guest pulls out their credit card to pay for their tickets, they can also check a box that says, “Yes, I want this card to be used for all my purchases onsite that night, too.” When a guest does that, they don’t need to pull out their credit card the night of the event!
Sherry: Of your clients who have purchased the entire package, what percentage of them are using this feature?
Kim: 89% of all GG clients have Auctionpay – credit card accepting capability.
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So here is my question. What happens if the guest is over their limit or their credit card charge is denied that night of the event? We have table sponsors that bring guests and the only information we take is the name of the guest. I may have answered part of my own question as in reading the information above more information on the guest is needed for one. But what are suggestions for a denied Credit card that someone has given in advance? Also we work with many groups/guests/tables that it is like pulling teeth to even get them to give a first and last name!!! To get the rest of the information will be really tough to get. Maybe the online option? But with our ecclectric crowd i can see many not attending the event if we required this information. Suggestions?
If the organization has limited information about the guest, they can reach out to the Table Sponsor to ask for additional information. During check-in, a best practice is asking for either a phone number or email address to have on file in case you need to get in touch. Hope that helps and thanks for reaching out Mandy!