May 1, 2012

A new player in the nonprofit donations space

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FrontStream’s entry into nonprofit sector from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

FrontStream enables nonprofits to handle donations with several advantages

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations.

JD LasicaIlove the serendipity of who you bump into at the Nonprofit Technology Conference each year. At last month’s event, I sat down to lunch with my partner John Haydon and Leila Khoury, director of business development for FrontStream Payments.

If you haven’t heard of FrontStream, they’re a newcomer to the nonprofit space, although they have a long and solid record with businesses and the education marketplace.

With FrontStream, nonprofits can build a donation capability into your website with your own branding — and at a remarkably low cost of just 2.99% of the amount when donors use most credit cards (3.5% for American Express). Customized branding is included at no additional cost. You can create a special campaign widget using FrontStream, or have someone set up a booth at one of your events to accept donations on the spot using a swipe terminal or wireless device.

One the benefits of FrontStream for nonprofits over other alternatives is that you can collect donations directly on your own website instead of being sent off to a third-party site like Fundly, Rally,, PayPal or Google Checkout. And, unlike donation aggregator Network for Good, which holds your funds for 30 to 60 days, your nonprofit will receive the donations immediately.

“We want to be the donation processor anywhere and any time,” Leila says.

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo

If you want to get a bit geeky, here’s how FrontStream describes its fasttransact service: “The platform is a self-serve, cloud-based payment processing and data management system, designed to interface with multiple payment channels. The platform offers data management tools for capturing, tracking and mining consumer data, to assist clients with generating increased revenues and the automated sharing of real-time transactional and demographic data with any of their ERP business systems.”

Leila says FrontStream processes $3 billion a year in transactions and has a small team devoting to working with nonprofits. “We’re releasing code every month. There’s no other donation payments company that can say that.” FrontStream provides integration with and upgrades to nonprofits’ various content relationship management and marketing systems — all for no additional cost.

Sounds like an option worth exploring.JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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