How Nonprofits Can Comply With Mastercard’s Rules for Recurring Gifts

Kelly Cristaldi and Chris Mechsner

Note: After this post was published, Mastercard amended its rules to largely exempt nonprofits. However, notifying your supporters of upcoming charges, making sure they understand recurring billing, and giving them clear ways to cancel or change their gifts remain best practices for clarity and donor satisfaction.

What do Mastercard’s new billing rules mean for your nonprofit?

Mastercard has new requirements for recurring billing, including recurring gifts to nonprofits. Mastercard has changed its requirements for recurring billing to help avoid chargebacks and disputes that originate with the cardholder. How can you make sure you’re in compliance? This week on The Responsive Weekly, Chris Mechsner and Kelly Cristaldi talked about what Virtuous is doing to make compliance simple for nonprofits, and what you need to know.

Watch the Full Recording Here

Top Takeaways

  • For Virtuous Giving users, we’ve introduced a new automatic notification for donors who are giving semi-annually or annually to let givers know when their card is about to be charged. This ensures that when Mastercard’s new rules go into effect, you’ll be ready. 
  • Clearly communicate what will be charged to the donor’s credit card, the schedule for recurring gifts, and what will appear on the statement.
  • Email a confirmation that echos that information
  • Donors must have an option to cancel or change their recurring gifts. This could be a phone number on their receipt or a donor portal, they just need to be able to make changes. 
  • Every time the card is charged, an email confirmation must be sent. 
  • For recurring gifts on a schedule of charges less often than every six months, the donor must receive an electronic reminder 7-30 days before the next billing date, describing the donation terms and giving instructions for how to cancel it. The purpose of the message must be clear in the subject line and be distinct from marketing communications. 
  • Check out more information about the changes from the National Council of Nonprofits

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