The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented economic crisis not only for the global economy but especially for nonprofits, many of whom depend on live fundraisers for the majority of their revenue. A severe reduction in donations has made a significant impact. To make matters worse, the pandemic has made in-person fundraising and volunteering impossible, leaving many charities unable to continue operations. Many nonprofits are forced to adapt to the new virtual normal by switching to virtual methods of fundraising and volunteering.
In response to this widespread crisis, a collective of nonprofits have launched a coordinated and organized global fundraising effort. Giving Tuesday is a worldwide day of giving and unity that typically takes place after Black Friday each year. As an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19 'Giving Tuesday Now' will take place on May 5, 2020.
Perceived as easy targets, charities are the focus of fraud attempts daily. Ongoing socio-economic disruption and uncertainty are expected to be accompanied by an escalation in donation fraud, especially on Giving Tuesday Now, when thousands of nonprofits will be fundraising and processing transactions.
Nonprofit organizations must take preventative measures to protect themselves from those who jeopardize their missions. Here are some simple ways of protecting your nonprofit against fraud –
Improve password security
Your passwords should be unique and securely stored to prevent them from being cracked. Ideal passwords are long and contain symbols, numbers and upper and lower-case letters. You should also enable multi-factor authentication for password resets wherever possible. You should use password managers, which not only store passwords securely, but they can assist in generating strong passwords and ensure you don't reuse passwords across sites. Here are some password managers you could consider.
Beware of Phishing Emails
Emails asking you to click on links or attachments and provide personal information can be used by fraudsters to install malware and gain access to sensitive information. Fraudsters can also pose as your nonprofit and solicit donations from well-meaning constituents. You should take the following steps to mitigate your risk –
- Carefully review the email for poor spelling or grammar and the email address for errors
- Do not click on any links or attachments. You can hover over them to ascertain if they are genuine
- Separately contact the organization that sent the email to confirm its authenticity
Monitor your merchant services account
To better spot donation fraud, you should check for multiple donations with small, random amounts that occur over a short period. Such transactions are often made using the same name for many different card numbers. To protect against fraud, your nonprofit could require a minimum donation amount and CVV2 for online transactions. You could even enable Captcha in your online donation form.
If you use an online form vendor, work with them to ensure you're protected. iATS Payments works exclusively with nonprofit organizations, and our fraud tools are built to suit your needs specifically. Our free and easy-to-use protection tools prevented over USD 48,000,000 in potential losses from fraudulent transactions in 2019.
We offer the following free and easy-to-use protection tools -
- Address Verification System (AVS)
- Bank Identification Number (BIN) Blocking
- Card Verification Code Requirement Capability (CVV2)
- Card Number Tumbling
- IP Blocking
- IP Velocity Checking
- Minimum Transaction
- Limit Name Tumbling
Working with a payment processor that understands the unique challenges faced by nonprofits saves time and money, allowing your nonprofit to focus on its mission. While fraud protection for nonprofits is always necessary, now is the time to ensure you have protected your organization's donations and can safely and securely accept the influx of charity during this year's Giving Tuesday Now.