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95% of donors cover charities’ transaction costs on Blackbaud Heroix

95% of donors cover charities’ transaction costs on Blackbaud Heroix

’s Heroix online giving platform has started inviting donors to increase their donation to cover the transaction and card fees, ensuring that charities receive 100% of each donation. Since the ‘Donor Cover’ option was introduced in Ireland, 95% of people making direct donations have chosen to cover the fees.

Donors are presented with the message: ‘I’d like to help a little bit more by donating towards the cost of online fundraising’, with the option to select it or ignore it.


Blackbaud Heroix Donor Cover hover message

Blackbaud Heroix Donor Cover explanatory message on hover


John Bird, Blackbaud Europe’s general manager, peer-to-peer, explained:

“With online giving on the increase it only seems fair that not-for-profits should receive all of the money people donate to their cause – this is not the case with other major online giving platforms. Donor Cover is another tool to help [charities] raise even more money to support their mission.”

Irish Cancer Society and Donor Cover

Irish Cancer Society has already benefited from a drop in the transaction fees it has to pay to accept online donations, after it started using Donor Cover as part of Heroix.

Justine O’Donnell, Irish Cancer Society’s supporter services manager, said:

“We have been delighted by the take up rates by donors for the donor cover feature. The vast majority of supporters agree to it and this has led to a significant drop in costs. The feedback we have received from supporters has been positive as they like the transparency and the choice to further support the organisation.”

This seemingly small option is another example of combining the ‘’ approach and modest tweaks to the user experience, and has started to be used by other online giving platforms.


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Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.
  • I remain sceptical about ‘nudging’. Too often it is a case of common sense or good business sense. It’s surprising that it has taken nearly 20 years after the first online donations to charities for online giving platforms to encourage donors to top up their donation by covering the transaction costs.

    Not least given the popular obsession with being able to give 100% of a donation to charity.

    But hats off to Blackbaud’s Heroix for doing so, and, which is another provider who offers this I recall.

    • Simon

      We’ve been doing it for a few years on – the idea we initially stole from another site. Good to see more sites following suit as it is really effective.

      However, the number of donors on who tick the box is nowhere near 95%, and we’re testing different layouts and wording – I’m sceptical that so many are ticking it through Heroix but delighted for the charities if that’s the case!

      • Well done Simon! I’d hoped someone would have been ahead of the game on this. Ah yes, the default tick box might well explain such a high success rate 🙂

    • Simon

      Just realised…their tick box is default ticked. Cheekily clever.

    • On the opt-in box to cover the card fee is unchecked. We show the extra amount that will be added on top of the donation rather than a generic message and we leave it up to the donor to decide whether to pay or not. We also allow donors to cover the Direct Debit processing fee.

      Across all our charity clients we have an 81% opt-in rate for covering the processing fees.

      In terms of pre-ticked vs not – We are seeing 79% of users opt-in for further email communication – we believe this is due to the white-label nature of our products and also positioning of the pre-ticked opt-ins within our single page checkout. From a data point of view, opt-out of comms is okay in most countries, but in Australia pre-checked boxes for comms is illegal and therefore not possible.

      Will –

  • Vasileios Kospanos

    Well done John Bird 🙂

  • Margaret Davidson

    At Charity Choice ( we have been doing this same thing for several years. Donors are asked if they would like to cover the transaction fees – the costs are then broken down for each type of card ie debit / credit card / corporate credit cards so that the donor has full transparency over their donation and can make canny decisions about which type of card to use so that their donation stretches further without costing them more than is necessary! We have found that 96% take up this option which is great news for charities. As we also don’t charge charities any admin fees or commission, this means that the vast majority of the time charities receive 100% of a donation.

  • Pingback: On-line Upgrades – The Easiest Way To Boost Your Donations? | changefundraising()

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