I made a donation to a large national organization recently and one of the options was: "I would like to help decrease expenses by paying for the 3% credit card fee." I think this is a fantastic idea, and want to use it myself. But our event software company won't do it - they say it's illegal to "charge a surcharge." I can't believe big organizations like the one I gave to would get this wrong. Can I ask the donor if they'd like to pay the credit card processing fee?
I don’t think your software company is correct. You are not charging a surcharge. You are offering the donor the opportunity to contribute a little extra to cover some of your costs. It is like suggesting that a donor put a stamp on the business reply envelope to cover the charity’s cost of the return mail charge. It is totally optional.
The software company may have to program an additional option on your donation page and the email receipt, but it may be a good investment to cut your other costs.