Growing Your Sustaining Donor Program with ACH

Using direct withdrawal via ACH – a form of Direct Payment via ACH – can help strengthen your sustaining donor program. Direct withdrawal via ACH helps to retain donors and cultivate recurring donors. The payment method also removes the hassle often associated with credit/debit card and check donations. There are no expiration dates with direct withdrawal via ACH, and it eliminates the need to store and handle paper checks. Additionally, direct withdrawal via ACH reduces fees and resources spent on processing donations made by credit/debit cards and paper checks, allowing your donors’ resources to more fully support your mission.

Two recent studies explored the role that direct withdrawal via ACH plays in nonprofit donations. The findings conclude that using ACH leads to more frequent and higher dollar contributions from sustaining donors. We invite you to download the executive summary to learn how direct withdrawal via ACH as a giving method more fully supports nonprofit goals and objectives by retaining and cultivating sustaining donors. Scroll down to access the complete nonprofit toolkit. 


Nonprofit Toolkit: Grow Your Sustaining Donor Program

Don't know where to start? Need help growing your sustaining donor program using ACH? Use the Building a Sustaining Donor Program with ACH toolkit. The toolkit offers practical tips and resources for leveraging direct withdrawal via ACH payments to retain donors and sustain contributions. It consists of four core pieces:

1. Case Study – Featuring Capital Public Radio’s “Evergreen” campaign, this case study provides a concrete example of how ACH payments increase donor contributions and retention. The station reports ACH payments are responsible for more than 40 percent of all individual donation dollars, and they retain ACH donors up to 20 percent longer than those using credit cards.

2. Checklist – Identifying specific steps, this checklist simplifies the process of establishing a sustaining donor program with ACH.

3. Best Practices – Once established, nonprofits can enhance and grow their sustaining donor programs by increasing ACH payments. This document outlines tried-and-true practices that deliver increased sustainer donations for nonprofits.

4. Addressing Common Misconceptions – This promotional piece directly addresses and responds to common misconceptions about ACH payments, enabling nonprofits to offer factual responses to donors who may have questions.  

5. Authorization Requirements for Direct Withdrawal via ACH – Direct withdrawal via ACH for sustaining donors can be authorized by mail, over the telephone, or on a website. With each option there are specific payment types and authorization requirements. This fact sheet outlines the authorization requirements for each option. 

6. Complimentary Webinar Recording and PowerPoint Presentation – For more information about how nonprofits of all types and sizes can leverage direct withdrawal via ACH to develop and grow sustaining donors, we invite you to listen to a recent webinar we hosted on the topic and download the PowerPoint presentation.

7. The New Tax Law: What It Means For How Your Organization Collects DonationsRecent changes in tax law make loyal, committed donors who can contribute on an ongoing basis even more valuable. How do you get and keep these donors? The answer may lie in payment type. 

What is Direct Withdrawal via ACH?

Direct withdrawal via ACH, a form of Direct Payment via ACH, is a type of electronic payment in which funds are withdrawn or debited from a donor’s checking or savings account and transferred electronically to your organization. Direct withdrawal via ACH payments are processed through the Automated Clearing House, an electronic network at the center of commerce in the U.S. that moves money and information from one bank account to another through direct deposits and direct payments. It serves as an efficient means for nonprofit organizations to collect donations. 

Leveraging ACH Payments to Support Other Areas of Your Organization

Direct withdrawal via ACH can support your donation collection processes, but using other forms of ACH payments - Direct Deposit and Direct Payment - can support payroll, vendor payments and more. They can help simplify the way you make and receive payments - and save costs and increase your bottom line.


  • It's safe
  • Saves time, costs and resources
  • Builds employee satisfaction



  • Easy to set up and use
  • Improves the donation collection process
  • Automates accounts payables and saves costs