Learn about My Tribute Gift, the background, and why FrontRunner chose to partner with them for donations.
When FrontRunner looked into developing an online donation system, we met with countless charities that confirmed the dramatic decline in memorial donation giving throughout North America. All of these charities shared with us their deep concerns that without these donations, the ability to fund activities in support of their communities is in jeopardy. There are several explanations for the drop in donations:
- The growing number of funeral homes that have moved to the honor-based practice of providing envelopes for donors to put a check in and mail directly to the charity. Only a small percentage of the donations are actually sent to the organizations.
- Online donations are growing faster than any other form of charitable giving yet 99% of charities are small, local charities (like churches) without the financial means or administrative capabilities to accept online memorial giving.
- The rise in cremations without services results in fewer opportunities for the public to place a donation.
- Many funeral home websites direct visitors to a list of charity websites but unfortunately, only larger charities are able to accept and process online donations. This is not a very helpful or considerate resolve for small, local charities, which are simply out of luck.
The cost to fundraise is challenging for any charity. While the ultimate goal is to direct all donor dollars directly to the cause, the reality is that it costs money to raise money. For example, the American Cancer Society spends $23 to raise $100, or 23% of the donation.* The percentage varies from charity to charity but online donation solutions are meant to reduce the cost of fundraising.
True to Frontrunner’s philosophy of doing more, we set out to make a difference.
There are countless donation fulfillment organizations that provide secure transactions and conveniences for charitable giving; all are respected and appreciated by charitable organizations. FrontRunner wanted to work with one to create the best solution to help our funeral homes clients and increase charitable giving. FrontRunner set out to develop a system that would achieve a number of goals:
- Allow donations to be captured and tracked, thereby providing critical data for charities on all methods of giving (checks / credit card / cash donations collected at the funeral home);
- Provide families and donors with permanent records of memorial donations on the Book of Memories;
- Provide all sized charities with the opportunity to receive online donations and issue instant tax receipts, a process that for many was unaffordable; and
- Offer an optional online solution on all funeral home websites to create more opportunities for donors to give and for charities to receive at a time when there are fewer traditional funeral services and visitations.
My Tribute Gift Foundation
FrontRunner Professional chose My Tribute Gift Foundation as a way to help charities generate more online revenue and save money.
My Tribute Gift charges a 5% fee to cover the cost of administration, handling, receipting, audit expenses, and monthly check processing. An additional 3% is taken by the credit card companies for processing. The total of 8% in fees (5% fee plus 3% paid directly to credit card companies) is actually a significant savings for most charities compared to the normal cost of fundraising and administration costs. Using the American Cancer Society example, this memorial donation handler’s cost of 8% is far less expensive than the standard 23%.
The mission of My Tribute Gift Foundation is to facilitate online giving by the public to any of the over 1-million IRS and CRA registered charities in the U.S. and Canada. Its online portal not only maximizes charitable giving, it removes the onus of donation check management from funeral homes. Once a donation is made, the donor is sent, via email, an official charitable tax receipt. Both the
family and funeral home are automatically notified about the donation.
Donation processing normally takes two weeks and then funds are sent to charities on a monthly basis at the end of each month. My Tribute Gift Foundation mails checks but charities are also able to register for direct bank deposits for faster receipt of funds.
FrontRunner invested $136,000 in billable hours in this software program in an effort to allow ALL charities, not just the top ten major organizations that can afford an online platform, to benefit from online giving with no investment or ongoing expenses.
A portion of the 5% My Tribute Gift administration fee is directed to FrontRunner to cover the initial development costs. While there are still significant ongoing monthly costs for hosting, bandwidth and support, once that initial amount is paid, Frontrunner will use these funds to advance our own company’s charitable giving. FrontRunner is proud of its ability to support worthwhile charitable causes that save lives and make a difference in this world.
In the spirit of transparency, FrontRunner and My Tribute Gift believe it’s necessary to disclose the financial relationship between our companies. It is made very clear to online donors that donations are completed through My Tribute Gift, which is very upfront regarding its administration fees. This is in contrast to some other donation fulfillment organizations that only publish obvious credit card fees but fail to inform donors that they bill charities separately for additional fees.
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