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The PAC Contribution Cart

I have been looking for a shopping cart for an association to use with a variety of online payment gateways that has some customization of value for a political action committee contribution campaign.

Clearly, it’s best if an association can tie the PAC contributions into their online association management software and use that to take the contributions online, to monitor activity and to measure results. But what if an association can’t do that – either because they have not developed their association management web site yet, or because the PAC contributions have to go to a second financial account that’s different than where all other transactions go, and their online association management software doesn’t allow for multiple financial account locations?

That’s when you get to three choices:

Use a DIFFERENT online association management software package or account to manage the PAC contributions. From what I can tell, YourMembership.com has a nice contribution form tied into the payment gateway. But if you’re not already there, the cost and work of keeping two association management software packages data coordinated may be too much. And the cost of YourMembership.com is not cheap – think thousands of dollars.

Then there’s using a stand-alone shopping cart that ties into your payment gateway. The cost is considerably less but it won’t tie into most online association management software packages for purposes of record keeping. So it requires an offline management, which for most organizations is more work but not new work, which makes it less of a problem.

And there’s just taking checks by providing a PDF form. That is still VERY common on the web for associations, and when you look at the two scenarios above, becomes very understandable if the amount contributed isn’t spectacular in a given year.

For the time being, we’ve found our answer.  But the search will continue for greater functionality at a reasonable price.

Kessler Freedman, Inc.