I've been helping my wife's university development office look into this.
They have decided to outsource. Here are some issues that have come up and
some vendors we've come across:
Does the vendor charge a setup and/or monthly fee or do they charge a
per-transaction fee? If the latter, is there a cap on the fees on a single
gift? The latter may allow you to get started for free, but the former may
be less expensive if you raise a lot of large gifts. You may want to start
with the latter type of vendor and consider switching to the former in a few
years if volume warrants.
Credit Card Processing:
Can the vendor send transactions directly to your merchant bank (assuming
you want them to)? If so, do their fees include the merchant bank
Interface with Gift System:
Can the vendor transmit data to your gift administration system (assuming
you want them to)? If you do, you probably want the gift data to go into a
holding file for review. Otherwise you risk entering garbage into your
donor database. You may also need additional security for your gift admin.
system if it's linked to your e-giving system.
Look and Feel/Branding:
Will the web site look like it's part of your web site or will it look like
the vendor's site?
How often will you be able to make changes to the site as your needs change?
Will this cost extra?
Do you have to adopt a proprietary technology in order to use the vendor's
What kind of security does the vendor provide during each step of the
process (security of the donor's transaction, security of the data while it
lives on the vendor's server, and security of the transmission of the data
to the bank and to you). Does the vendor meet accepted privacy and security
standards, such as Trust-e?
Experience and Reputation:
How long has the vendor been in the e-giving business?
How many e-giving sites have they built?
Have they handled institutions similar to yours?
Are your needs particularly complex or high-volume?
Are the vendor's reference sites comparable to you?
VENDORS (not a comprehensive list):
Contribute.com (a division of CollegeNET, Inc.)
1 S.W. Columbia St., Suite 100
Portland, OR 97258
2819 Tenth St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
655 Broadway, Suite 725
Denver, CO 80203
2400 Moorpark, Suite 112
San Jose, CA 95128-2625
One Sansome St.
San Francisco, CA 94104
Larkspur, CA 94939
Interim Director of Academic Computing
University of Redlands
From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Rodman, Gary
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2000 9:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CIO] Web-based alumni fund donations
At Ripon College, we are contemplating setting up some sort of facility that
would allow alumni to donate to the annual fund via the web, using a credit
What are others doing along these lines? Did you set up a secure server and
"electronic storefront" in-house or did you outsource it to one of the many
outfits that promise a "quick and easy storefront solution"?
How much did the solution cost (in time and/or dollars)?
Has the system drawn many donations?
Does your system post the donations directly or indirectly into your
Is the electronic donation capability tied into other ecommerce - type
activities, such as on-line sales of books or college paraphernalia?
Any words of wisdom on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
- Gary Rodman
Assistant Director of Information Technology Services
Ripon, WI 54971
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