The holiday season is a great time to give to charity! To make the donation process even easier, most charities now accept credit cards. As great as that is, many people don’t realize that this convenience comes at a price. Like merchants, charities must pay processing fees to accept credit cards online, which can automatically deduct up to 5% from your intended donation. Basically, that $100 dollar donation you wanted to give to your local homeless shelter can easily turn into $95. Enter Capital One’s No Hassle Giving site. Use it for your online donations, and they’ll make sure the charity gets 100% of your money by covering the transaction costs for them.
No Hassle Giving in a nutshell
If you have a Capital One credit or debit card, you can donate anywhere from $10 to $25,000 to more than 1.2 million verified U.S. charities. Best of all, you don’t even have to cover the cost yourself if you don’t want to. Capital One will let you turn your rewards into charity dollars, whether you earn miles, points or cash. Not sure where to donate, or which charities qualify? The No Hassle Giving site lets you search for eligible charities by location, cause and name.
With so many choices, it’s easy to find a good charity. Your favorite famous organizations, like the National Geographic Society, the American Red Cross, and Habitat for Humanity, are all there. If you’re looking to do good close to home, consider donating on a local level. For example, when you search for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, you can select your local chapter. Want to stretch your charity dollars to the max? Capital One is currently offering matching funds for donations to Americans for the Arts, up to $50,000. This organization works to promote art programs in schools and communities all across the United States.
Why give online? The benefits for charities (and you)
Sure, it’s super nice of Capital One to step up to the plate and waive the transaction costs, but is there any other advantage to supporting charities online, as opposed to writing a check? We did some research, and it turns out that online donations are more cost efficient for charities, especially from a marketing perspective. Network for Good, the nonprofit online charity platform making Capital One’s campaign possible, has the details. By their estimates, it costs $1.25 for a charity to solicit a new donor through direct mail, and 63 cents if they do it through telemarketing. However, the cost per dollar of raising money online can be as low as 5 cents. With an online donation, there’s no paperwork to process, and you don’t have to spend time speaking with a representative over the phone.
Oh, and did we mention that donating online is really convenient for you? Maybe that’s why more people are donating online now than ever before. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, online donations have skyrocketed in popularity over the last 10 years. 65% of people who plan to donate to charity will do so online this year (2011), up from just 4% ten years ago. And, as of November 2011, people have donated $570 million to charity through Network for Good’s partners like Capital One. Let’s keep that number climbing!
No Capital One card? Donate anyway (or get one)
Not a Capital One cardholder? Not a problem! You can still make donations to the same organizations listed on the site; you just need to go through the Network for Good website instead. It’s good to know that Capital One is only covering transaction fees when you use one of their own cards through the No Hassle Giving site. If you happen to be in the market for a Capital One credit card, they have quite a few worth considering. The Venture Rewards card consistently makes it into our best travel credit card lists for its industry-leading 2% back on all purchases, travel or otherwise, and its flexibility in covering travel costs. We also recommend the Capital One Cash card if you insist on a no-fee rewards credit card, and the Capital One Secured if you’re looking for an exceptionally accessible secured card.