Classy Makes Fundraising Easy For Nonprofits Using WePay


Classy cut its time to sign up new nonprofits from 2 to 3 days to roughly 10 minutes, and build a robust free trial that has become an important source of new customer acquisitions.



Executive Summary

Classy helps nonprofits manage all of their fundraising needs more effectively and efficiently. Classy found the traditional payment vendors didn't provide enough flexibility, creating administrative burden for the company and its customers. Classy chose WePay as its preferred payments partner because it coupled white label customizability with the ability to seamlessly collect transaction fees. Classy cut its time to sign up new nonprofits from 2 to 3 days to roughly 10 minutes, and build a robust free trial that has become an important source of new customer acquisitions.

"Trust and transparency are very important when processing payments, and it's one reason why we're happy to have WePay as our preferred payment partner."

Todd Crutchfield, COO, Classy

The Challenge

Classy initially opted for a simple approach to payment processing, integrating first a standard PayPal form and then adding more advanced payments with PayPal Pro. It later added as a second processor to give larger nonprofits a way to process with their existing merchant accounts.

However, as it began serving more nonprofits, the limits of this approach quickly became clear. Although the PayPal Pro integration gave Classy the customization it needed to create donation pages tailored to the nonprofits it served, it didn’t provide Classy with the ability to collect a transaction fee at the time of a donation.

Since it couldn’t collect its fees seamlessly as part of the transaction, it had to invoice its nonprofit partners for them after the fact. This created a huge administrative burden for Classy and its customers.

In an effort to streamline the on-boarding and customize its payment solution, Classy began looking for a payment partner.

The Solution

Classy found WePay to have everything it was looking for:

  • White Label Experience: Classy could fully customize the look and feel of payment checkout and merchant on-boarding forms, as well as complete these tasks without having to perform a confusing redirect to a 3rd party processor site.
  • Split Payments: Classy could split a credit payment between itself and its charity partners at the time of the transaction, allowing it to collect fees seamlessly and with little fuss.
  • Fraud & compliance: Since Classy never had to take possession of funds as a part of its payment process, it would face less regulatory requirements and reduce risk exposure. Classy also appreciated how WePay’s integrated fraud tools could protect its partners from identity thieves, who often use online donation forms as a way to test stolen credit card numbers.
  • Robust product roadmap: WePay’s roadmap of new features and enhancements, such as payments in Canada and other international markets, mapped with Classy’s goals and gave it confidence that integrating WePay would set it up for long term success.
  • Discounted rates: Since Classy’s customers were registered nonprofits, they were able to get discounted interchange rates through WePay.

In addition to the product features WePay offered, Classy was impressed by the care it gave to the partner relationship.

When dealing with other processors, Classy often didn’t have a single point of contact, or had to deal with a rotating cast of account managers — non-ideal for forming a productive working relationship. WePay, on the other hand, offered a dedicated account manager that could work quickly to respond when issues were raised and also act as an internal advocate for Classy’s needs Classy felt like it had a more direct line to WePay’s development team, which kept the company in the loop about how its payments were evolving and allowed it to advocate for features that would have a material effect on its business, such as a credit updater that automatically adjusted the data on file when a cardholder’s info changed.

Finally, Classy found value in WePay’s integrated approach to customer support. Since WePay could provide seamless tier 2 support for any payments question, Classy found that it could better serve its customer’s needs, answering questions and addressing issues much more quickly than it could with payments processors that didn’t integrate as closely.Classy decided to roll out WePay as its preferred payment option in 2013.

"Since integrating with WePay, it significantly streamlined our free plan letting a new customer literally activate an account and start processing immediately."

Todd Crutchfield, COO, Classy

The Results

In addition to providing Classy with a better way to collect fees, the flexibility of the WePay platform gave the company the ability to more effectively implement new customer acquisition strategies.

The most important of these was a new self-service free plan. Prior to rolling out flexible payments with WePay, setting up a new account was a hands-on process that required significant time investment from the Classy team and a sometimes lengthy underwriting process from the payment processor. But WePay’s simple on-boarding process meant that Classy could create a new payment account instantly with very little data upfront.The free account sign up form has just 6 fields to complete, requires no bank information, and creates a new account instantly.

These new more flexible features started making a difference for Classy and its nonprofit partners immediately:

  • The time it took to go from signing up to being able to accept donations decreased dramatically, going from 2 to 3 days to roughly 10 minutes.
  • Collecting fees in real time reducing the monthly overhead of invoicing and collecting fees.
  • Enabled Classy to expand its free trial strategy.

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