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B Generous Press

eJewish Philanthropy – A new platform is letting small donors give now and pay later

Like nonprofits everywhere, the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts relies partly on monthly donations to fund its $5 million in total annual revenue. But instead of giving the federation a measure of confidence about its cash flow, CEO Nora Gorenstein said the monthly gifts can be a vehicle for uncertainty.

Gorenstein sketched out a typical scenario: The federation takes the necessary steps to process a credit card payment for a recurring gift, which she said could be difficult. “You’re really taking a risk as an organization that the person will perhaps not fulfill the whole cycle of that recurring gift,” she told eJewishPhilanthropy, explaining that should a donor “make a donation, let’s say, for $100 a month, for us, depending on when you start that during the year, it can be complicated to figure out what your exact intention is… Is it a pledge to be paid off in $100 segments, or should we just consider whatever ends up coming to us as revenue?”

Now, when prospective donors log onto the federation’s donation page, a new button appears — a blue oval with four words in the middle: “Donate now, pay later!” Gorenstein, whose federation takes in less than $100,000 a year in online donations, calls the idea “a new model of philanthropy.” Read More