2023 Update: MasterCard has revised its recommendations and the requirements that were previously announced are now optional. These changes become mandatory requirements only for nonprofits that have “excessive” consumer complaints or chargebacks for four consecutive months. MasterCard will be in touch with those organizations that meet the mandatory criteria. Maintain data integrity and follow donors’ wishes when they request to cancel a recurring gift in order to avoid consumer complaints.
Credit cards have undoubtedly made donating faster, easier and safer, but they’ve also added complexity for those of us on the receiving end of gifts. Ensuring that nonprofits are complying with credit card company requirements is a necessity for protecting our donors and assets.
Mastercard recently updated its requirements to provide greater clarity and protection for consumers. These updates affect your recurring gifts. The deadline for compliance with these requirements is March 21, 2023. Our post will cover the updates nonprofit organizations need to make to ensure their compliance with Mastercard, and the features popular giving platforms have enabled to help organizations meet these requirements.
Let’s start by laying out the ground rules of compliance:
The most significant change resulting from these requirements is that organizations must obtain explicit permission from donors before charging their credit cards on a recurring basis. This permission must be in writing, and it must be obtained before the first charge is made. To ensure compliance, all donation forms, and billing transaction steps should include language explicitly stating the amount that someone will be charged, on what schedule, and for what duration.
After the first donation, organizations must also provide donors with clear communication about the terms of their recurring donation, as well as instructions on how to cancel their recurring donation should they choose to do so. The cancellation method must be clearly stated in the communication about the recurring donation, and it must be available at no cost to the donor.
Although not explicitly required, it is recommended the organizations add information about canceling recurring donations to their website or to emails related to donations. This language should be simple and brief, for example: “You can cancel your recurring donation at any time. Call us at 555-555-5555 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to change or cancel your recurring donation.”
Your organization is likely already sending electronic receipts after each automatic donation, but if not – you will need to implement those to ensure compliance. These receipts should once again include cancellation instructions.
Finally, for donors who have recurring donation schedules less frequent than every 180 days, pre-notification must be sent. Pre-notification can be as simple as an email notification informing the donor of the terms of the recurring donation as well as clear instructions on how to cancel. This message should be sent no less than three days and no more than seven days prior to the transaction date.
Fortunately, most popular giving platforms have already implemented changes that can help your organization seamlessly comply with Mastercard’s new rules. Read on to see what your giving platform has enabled to ensure compliance:
Blackbaud’s Luminate Online has made life easier by creating a Recurring Gift Terms Acceptance element, which can be seamlessly added to online giving donation forms. Luminate Online has also made it easy to set up and configure autoresponders for the Next Sustaining Payment Notification and Next Installment Payment Notification for donors whose schedule is less frequent than once every 180 days.
Luminate Online has this auto-configured to notify donors five days prior to the payment date, in alignment with the Mastercard requirements. Click here for detailed instructions on how to enable and use these features.
Raiser’s Edge NXT Receipting allows users to add instructions for canceling recurring gifts into all receipt templates. Unfortunately, Receipting is currently only available in the US. Here are instructions on how to fulfill Mastercard’s gift cancellation requirements without Receipting. Blackbaud’s Checkout Experience includes messaging at checkout that meets the requirements for customer permissions and acceptance.
Notifying recurring donors whose schedule is less frequent than once every 180 days requires exporting a list, then distributing pre-notifications via direct email. Click here for detailed instructions on how to enable and use these features.
For Blackbaud Internet Solutions and CRM, the email acknowledgment and eReceipt templates have a merge field that can be updated to include the necessary terms and cancellation instructions. The Blackbaud Internet Solutions and CRM online confirmation screens can also be edited to display cancellation instructions.
Blackbaud Internet Solutions users will need to enable a part to indicate to donors the process they should follow to cancel their recurring gifts. With CRM, the Transaction Manager/Sponsorship Status part allows donors to enter an end date for their recurring gift, which can then be used to set their status to canceled.
The CRM Acknowledgement/Receipt Email process allows organizations to send receipts after every billing and can be modified to include standard language regarding the cancellation of recurring gifts.
Recurring gifts that are less frequent than every 180 days should have the “Send Reminders” checkbox ticked, allowing them to be included in a reminder email process in CRM. Click here for detailed instructions on how to enable and use these features.
Classy has already integrated most of Mastercard’s requirements into its platform. In advance of the March deadline, Classy will enable the sending of email notifications to donors at least seven days prior to processing payment for recurring gifts that are less frequent than every 180 days.
They will also enable a “manage your donation” content block for all recurring giving emails, which will include Mastercard-compliant information related to confirmation and cancellation. As with all Classy email templates, organizations can edit as needed. Click here for detailed instructions on how to enable and use these features.
Even with an assist from a high-quality giving platform, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed about ensuring your organization’s compliance with Mastercard’s new requirements. If you find yourself adrift, please reach out! Doing Good Digital is ready to help you meet these requirements and take your digital fundraising strategies to the next level. Let’s chat!