Increase Donations Ten-Fold: A Case Study

iATS helps nonprofit increase donation ten-fold through unique payment processor partnership.

When Nicholas Gardner, Ben Kurtz , and Mike Duin were in college together, a big part of their experience was volunteering. Once they became attorneys, they noticed how hard it was for nonprofits to manage volunteers. They decided to do something about it. That’s how Helping Habit was created, to connect volunteers to the causes that need them most.  

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization, in more ways than one. People who volunteer donate ten times more money than those who don’t, according to a study by Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and VolunteerMatch. Seventy-nine percent of those who volunteer with a specific nonprofit organization also donate to that same organization. 

When Helping Habit’s three founders learned this, they knew they had to find a way to integrate donation capabilities into their Helping Habit platform. Specifically, they needed not just any payment processor, but one who could be nimble enough to work with a start up like Helping Habit while being experienced enough to manage the team’s needs.



Nicholas, Ben, and Mike searched for payment options and created a shortlist of three companies. iATS quickly moved to the top of that list thanks to their company approach to partnership. “iATS was willing to have the conversation with us about creating new value for clients in ways other payment processors couldn’t,” said Nicholas Gardner, Co-Founder & CEO of Helping Habit. 

Finding a partner who was willing and capable of growing with them was also appealing to Nicholas, Ben, and Mike. “We are only in Colorado but we know as we continue to grow, we will need to add more features to reach a bigger market. iATS was without question, the best option to meet our needs and the needs of all the nonprofits we serve, now and in the future,” said Nicholas. 

For three friends, it came down to adding value for their customers. “We know that 70% of nonprofits have a budget of $500,000 or less and we wanted to provide the best value for them, without having to sacrifice parts of their already tight purse strings,” said Nicholas. “This means coming up with creative solutions to help them and iATS was willing to do that with us.”  

Helping Habit and iATS entered into negotiations which Nicholas described like sitting on a porch and having a friendly conversation. This experience confirmed that iATS was the right partner for Helping Habit.



After choosing to go with iATS, it was time to roll up their sleeves and figure out how Helping Habit could offer a donation platform that would cover the costs for the nonprofit organizations. Nicholas was blown away - iATS pulled in resources from every team they had to offer: their in house development, marketing, accounting, customer service, legal and their executive team. Together, they found a way to continue to offer their platform for free to organizations. 

Since working with iATS the last few years, everything the Helping Habit team hoped for from this partnership has come to life. To this day, iATS’s level of service continues to be high quality, responsive and helpful. “Recently we had a couple of issues come up and I got a response in less than an hour from their development team,” said Nicholas. “I knew the exact person to call when an issue come up, not just the phone number to call.”  

“When I get them on the phone,” added Nicholas, “they know me well enough to ask how my family is doing. They truly care about our organization and us as individuals. iATS is a partner in every sense of the word.”



The partnership between Helping Habit and iATS has helped over 100 non-profit organizations with nearly 15,000 volunteers on the platform adding up to more than 18,000 volunteer hours. It’s giving every nonprofit in Colorado the chance to access volunteer management for free and increase their donations by as much as ten-fold, thanks to targeting those very same volunteers.

“iATS has been a valuable partner in helping us achieve our vision of helping more nonprofits access free volunteer management,” said Nicholas. “They understood our dream and worked with us to make it happen.”  

“They may be the largest payment processor in North America for nonprofits, but iATS treated us like we were their most important client, even though we were a startup. We are excited to grow our organization and have the confidence that iATS is in this journey with us serving the needs of our clients,” said Nicholas.