Monday (3/30) in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Peter Panepento writes, “Large national and international charities such as Greenpeace and Save the Children are often held up as examples of how to set up monthly credit- or debit-card giving programs. But can such programs also work for smaller groups? Greg Gorman, development director at St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station, Tex., answers that question with an emphatic yes. Mr. Gorman’s center, which is affiliated with Texas A&M University, operates with a modest $1.8-million annual budget. And roughly one-sixth of that budget—about $300,000—comes from monthly gifts from donors who pay with debit and credit cards. Those donors have become a source of consistent, predictable income for his organization—and he believes they are likely candidates for more significant gifts in the future. … Smaller groups do have to be smart about setting up such programs. To make them work, they need to determine their technological needs, figure out whether to manage the program internally or through an outside vendor, and create a consistent, simple message.”

Posted April 1, 2009